Fri, 19 July 2019
Rajnath to pay tribute to Kargil heroes at Dras
23:36 Shivraj Singh Chauhan blames Congress for Karnataka crisis
Senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Friday blamed the Congress for the political crisis in Karnataka and claimed that the H D Kumaraswami government there has lost its majority.
"The Congress is responsible for the crisis in Karnataka. Sitting on a constitutional post, the speaker of the Karnataka House is acting unconstitutionally," Chauhan told a press conference.
The state government has lost majority and therev should be immediate decision (floor test), the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.
He alleged that the ruling coalition in Karnataka was not based on principles and ideology but on selfishness.
"(Congress leader) Siddaramaiah does not like Kumaraswamy," he said, claiming Kumaraswami has literally been in tears to run the government.
He said the Congress had brought down the governments of former prime ministers Choudhary Charan Singh, Chandra Shekhar, I K Gujral and H D Deve Gowda in the past and had never "adhered to coalition dharma".
23:02 Rajnath to pay tribute to Kargil heroes at Dras
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will lay a wreath at the Kargil War Memorial in Dras on Saturday to commemorate 20 years of the Indian Army's Operation Vijay, officials said.
In a statement, the defence ministry on Friday said Singh will also dedicate to the nation two bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation at Ujh in Kathua district and Basantar in Samba district.
The Ujh bridge is one kilometre-long and the Basantar bridge is 617.4 metres.
The defence minister will lay the wreath at the Kargil War Memorial in Dras on Saturday on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Operation Vijay that was against the intrusion by militias as well as regular troops of Pakistan in the Kargil sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.
"Brave soldiers of the Indian Army had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, hostile terrain, weather, and a determined enemy occupying dominating heights, to win the Kargil War with the help of the Indian Air Force, which gave air support to the Army," the ministry said.
A host of events have been organised and a few major ones are lined up to mark the 20 years of the conflict.
Operation Vijay refers to the Indian Army's limited war against Pakistan's infiltration in 1999 fought at the icy heights of Kargil, including super-high altitude locations such as Tololing and Tiger Hill.
22:38 Trump marks Apollo 11 anniversary by meeting its astronauts
US President Donald Trump is marking the 50th anniversary of the first human steps on the moon with a meeting on Friday with former Apollo 11 astronauts.
The White House says Buzz Aldrin, Mike Collins and the family of mission commander Neil Armstrong will be greeted by Trump in the Oval Office.
Armstrong, who died in 2012, and Aldrin made history when they landed on the moon 50 years ago Saturday, as Collins orbited overhead in their command module.
US Vice President Mike Pence is set to mark the anniversary on Saturday with a visit and speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Image: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump acknowledge former astronauts, including Apollo 11 crew members Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, and their family members during an Apollo 11 50th anniversary commemoration event in the Oval Office of the White House. Photograph: Leah Mills/Reuters
22:21 What is her crime: Vadra on Priyanka's detention
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's husband Robert Vadra on Friday slammed her detention in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district.
In a Facebook post, Robert Vadra asked whether it was a crime to support the poor in Uttar Pradesh and questioned Priyanka Gandhi's detention.
"Is it a crime to support the poor in Uttar Pradesh now? Someone tell me what is Priyanka's crime?" Robert Vadra said while sharing his photo with Priyanka Gandhi.
The Congress leader on Friday was detained and stopped from going to Sonbhadra, where 10 people were gunned down this week.
Priyanka Gandhi was taken to a guesthouse after she squatted on the road, insisting that she be allowed to proceed, UP Police officials said.
Earlier in the day, Robert Vadra had tweeted in protest of Priyanka Gandhi's detention in Mirzapur and said that it was "completely unconstitutional".
The Sonbhadra shootout acquired a sharp political edge with Congress leaders, including former party president Rahul Gandhi, alleging Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was "illegally" arrested and the Uttar Pradesh government was attempting to crush democracy, while the local police maintained that she was just detained in Narainpur in the state's Mirzapur district.
Ten people were killed and 18 injured in the clash between supporters of the village head and Gond tribals over a piece of land in Sonbhadra's Ghorawal area on Wednesday.
21:38 BJP MP again questions Darwin's theory
BJP MP Satyapal Singh again questioned Darwin's theory of evolution on Friday saying human beings are descendants of sages and not monkeys as propounded by thew British scientist.
While speaking in Lok Sabha during a discussion on Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Singh said Indian culture has always valued human beings.
"It is our belief that we are descendant of rishis (sages)," he said.
His remark drew sharp retort from the Opposition benches.
The BJP MP from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh had earlier too rejected Darwin's theory saying it "scientifically wrong".
When he was Minister of State for HRD, he had said he does not consider himself a descendant of monkeys.
Singh had also emphasised on the need to change school and college curriculum teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.
Reacting to Singh's statement, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "Unfortunately, my ancestors are not rishis. My ancestors are homo sapiens, as science says, and my parents are Shudras."
21:05 Power outage hits guest house in Mirzapur where Priyanka is putting up
The government guest house where Congress's eastern Uttar Pradesh General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was putting up on Friday faced power outage.
The Congress party workers, who were there with her in Chunnar, alleged that the district administration was doing this to force her to leave the place. Congress workers were also heard shouting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
"The district administration wants to trouble the Congress workers and force Priyanka Gandhi to go from here. But, no matter how much they trouble us, we are going to be here," said Shiv Kumar Singh Patel, a Congress worker.
"We are going to spend the night in the light of a candle. Congress workers in the entire country are protesting against the way Priyanka ji is being treated," added Patel.
Another Congress leader Gulab Chand Pandey said: "The government thinks if there is darkness, people will go from here. We will not run away. We will not leave our leader. We will be here with Priyanka ji. Such a big incident took place and opposition leader is not being allowed to go there. Is this not the murder of democracy?"
As the guest house faced power cuts, Priyanka was seen interacting with the people and clicking selfies with them.
20:33 No trust vote today; assembly adjourned till Mon
The Karnataka assembly session has been adjourned to 11 am on Monday, triggering protests from BJP MLAs.
Speaker says it is not possible for him to sit any longer.
Earlier trying to find a solution to the problem, the Speaker told the MLAs that he didn't want the trust vote to be conducted in a hurry, but did not want to stretch proceedings either.
"So I am in a dilemma, please help me," said the Speaker.
Non Bengaluru MLAs from the coalition are saying they need to go back to their constituencies, and demanded the Deputy Speaker that they be allowed to leave.
20:28 Cong-JD-S ask Speaker to adjourn House till Mon
Congres-JD-S MLAs are again asking to adjourn the assembly till Monday.
After every speaker, Cong-JD-S MLAs are asking to adjourn. BS Yeddyurappa asks Krishna Byre Gowda to consult with the Speaker and come to a decision.
Meanwhile, Former CM Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP on Twitter. He tweeted, "@BJP4Karnataka is under tremendous pressure as they consider this as a form of trade business. Now that they have made their payments to few, they want to assume power as they wish. But that is not how our Parliamentary democracy works!!"
20:00 Section 377 lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju come out as a couple
On September 6, 2018, India became a more equal country after a five-judge panel of the Supreme Court struck down the colonial era-sodomy laws encapsulated in Section 377 of the IPC that made consensual gay sex illegal. On the forefront of the fight were two lawyers, Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, the advocates who represented the five original petitioners in court and fought the case.
Now, almost a year after the astounding victory, the duo have come out on international media as a couple.
In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, the two attorneys admitted that they were indeed a couple and that the victory was not just a professional benchmark but also a personal win.
While speaking about the human impact of the decision to repeal Section 377, Zakaria asked if the case was much more personal to them as the two were not just partners in court but also a couple. In response, both Guruswamy and Katju chuckled and agreed that they were.
"That's right. The loss in 2013 was a loss as lawyers, a loss as citizens. It was a personal loss," said Guruswamy.
"It is not nice to be a 'criminal' who has to go back to court as a lawyer to argue other cases," she added.
Guruswamy and Katju had also argued the case in court in 2013 when the Supreme Court upheld the criminalisation of Section 377 after it was decriminalised in 2009 by Delhi high court.
"We had a court where we practised as lawyers ... and this court had just told us that gay people were second class citizens", said Katju, who added that it was very difficult.
Guruswamy and Katju earned international acclaim after the historic SC judgment in 2018 after they convinced the very court that had rejected their pleas in 2013 to repeal the colonial-era law. The duo were even named by TIME magazine in their list of 100 most influential people of 2019.
19:34 No MLA has sought my protection: K'taka Speaker
Karnataka Assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Friday said no MLA has sought protection from him amid allegations by the Congress that rebel lawmakers were being held captive to bring down the government.
The statement by the speaker in the assembly came after senior Congress leader H K Patil requested him to create an atmosphere conducive for the legislators who are holed up outside the city to attend the session.
"No one has come seeking protection... nor have their families come.. so the issue ends there," Kumar said.
Senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar said he had been to Mumbai where the rebel MLAs are sequestered and according to his information, they were in "captivity and confinement".
The House, which missed the Governor's 1.30 pm deadline for the voting on the confidence motion, was also locked in a debate on when the trust vote process should be completed.
"Lot of discussion has happened; I want to close it (trust motion process) today," the speaker said.
He also said, "Caesar's wife should be above suspicion; I cannot be guilty of dragging proceedings."
After the 1.30 pm deadline set by him Thursday was missed, state Governor Vajubhai Vala has asked Kumaraswamy to complete the process by Friday itself.
19:05 Release pleas of Lal, Mattoo killers rejected
Release pleas of model Jessica Lal and student Priyadarshini Mattoo's killers were rejected by the Delhi Sentence Review Board on Thursday, sources said.
They said that convict in Jessica's murder case Manu Sharma and Mattoo's killer Santosh Singh were among 204 convicts who had approached the board, headed by state Home Minister Satyendar Jain.
The board approved release requests of 59 convicts and rejected 145 such pleas, they said.
18:26 Wish to end this today: Karnataka Speaker
With no sign of trust vote in sight, high drama plagued the Karnataka Assembly on Friday -- the day of floor test.
Even as Kumaraswamy ignored the Governor's request to finish the trust vote today, Speaker KR Ramesh said that he would wish to finish the issue today.
Talking in the assembly, Speaker Ramesh said, "Dont embarrass me. Please let me know how many people will speak and how long it will take."
When Kumaraswamy said that he wished to push the trust vote till Monday, the Speaker responded, "No, I have to face the world too."
He's also set a deadline for the lawmakers. "Come to a consensus within 7:30," said the Speaker.
18:06 Defamation complaint filed against TMC MP Mahua Moitra
A criminal complaint was on Friday filed in a court in New Delhi against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra by Zee Media Corporation Ltd, accusing her of defaming the news channel.
The complaint comes days after Moitra filed a defamation complaint against the news channel and its Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary for alleging that her June 25 speech in Parliament on the 'seven signs of fascism' was plagiarized.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal posted the matter related to the company's complaint for consideration on August 1.
In its complaint filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, the company said that "on July 3, Moitra made defamatory statements against the company, wherein she knowingly made several frivolous, false, malicious and derogatory statements".
The statements are highly defamatory to the reputation and goodwill of the company, it claimed.
"The intentional hate campaign of the accused (Moitra) has tarnished the reputation of the complainant (news channel)," the complaint said.
The complaint has sought Moitra's prosecution under sections 499 and 500 of IPC for the offence of defamation.
In her complaint before Metropolitan Magistrate Preeti Parewa, Moitra had said that her speech was inspired by a holocaust poster in a United States museum, containing 14 signs of early fascism.
She said that she "clearly attributed" the source as she stated that the signs were taken from the said poster.
However, Chaudhary ran a broadcast stating that Mahua Moitra had plagiarised her "hate-filled speech" delivered in Parliament, she said.
17:41 Kumaraswamy moves SC against Guv
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy moved the Supreme Court Friday contending that Governor Vajubhai Vala cannot dictate Speaker K R Ramesh to conduct the proceedings of the Assembly which is debating the confidence motion moved by him.
Kumaraswamy questioned the deadlines set by the Governor one after another to complete the trust vote.
He said directions of the Governor are completely contrary and ex-facie in contravention of apex court's earlier verdict.
In his application, Kumaraswamy contended: "No such direction on trust vote could have been issued by Governor when confidence motion was already initiated."
He submitted that the Governor cannot dictate the House on the manner in which debate on the Confidence motion has to take place.
The CM also sought clarification of the apex court's July 17 order that the 15 rebel MLAs can't be compelled to attend assembly proceedings.
The Governor had on Thursday set a deadline of 1:30 pm on Friday for the conclusion of the trust vote, which was not met. Thereafter, Vala again sent a communication extending the deadline till 6:00 pm.
17:21 The assassination attempt on Hitler that failed miserably
Tomorrow, July 20, is the 75th anniversary of the failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler. Had it worked, World War II may have ended earlier and hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved.
The plot was the culmination of efforts by several groups in the German resistance to overthrow the Nazi German government.
The failure of the assassination attempt and the intended military coup d'tat that was to follow led the Gestapo to arrest more than 7,000 people, of whom they executed 4,980.
For a retelling of the event, watch the Tom Cruise-starrer Valkyrie.
16:56 2nd love letter from guv hurt me: Kumaraswamy
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy reacts to the governor's missive to hold the trust vote by 6 pm: "I have respect for the governor. But the second love letter from the governor has hurt me. He only came to know about horse trading 10 days ago? (Holds up photos of BS Yeddyurappa's PA Santosh, reportedly boarding a plane with independent MLA H Nagesh). I leave the decision on the floor test to you (the Speaker). It won't be directed by Delhi. I request you to protect me from the letter sent by the Governor."
The Karnataka Congress moved the Supreme Court today contending that its July 17 order on the resignation of 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs was coming in the way of the party issuing whip to its legislators in the ongoing trust vote.
The application filed by Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao sought clarification on the order, which said the 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the ongoing Assembly proceedings, saying that the direction compromises with the party's right to issue whip.
It said the apex court's order "whittles down" the power of a political party to issue whip to its MLAs as it has a constitutional right to do so and the court can't restrict that.
Bhopal: Former BJP MLA Surendra Nath Singh has been arrested by police over his reported statement 'Blood will flow on the streets, and that blood will be of Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh CM).'
16:02 Trust vote before 6 pm: K'taka guv to Speaker
Karnataka crisis update: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala sends a letter to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asking him to prove his majority before 6 pm, today. This comes after the Speaker did not adhere to the governor's earlier request of a 1:30 pm deadline to hold the trust vote. Yesterday afternoon, the governor had also given a 'end of the day' deadline.
IN reality, the floor test seems unlikely before Monday.
Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao has approached the Supreme Court claiming that the SC order (on rebel MLAs) had violated the party's right to issue whip to its MLAs. The application filed by Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao sought clarification on the order, which said the 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the ongoing Assembly proceedings, saying that the direction compromises with the party's right to issue whip.
It said the apex court's order "whittles down" the power of a political party to issue whip to its MLAs as it has a constitutional right to do so and the court can't restrict that.
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has also approached the SC against the governor saying he cannot dictate terms and his deadline is unconstitutional.
15:31 Cong's horsetrading allegations bizarre: BJP
R Ashok, BJP of the says they have faith in the Karnataka Speaker that he will take right decision. "Allegations made by Congress regarding horse trading are a bit bizarre. What fake righteousness is this? One wonders where these principles were when they cross voted during the Rajya Sabha elections. Where were their principles when they backstabbed earlier coalitions? Who paid then for hotel stays, air fare, moving people here and there? Suddenly they are wailing about principles."
15:28 IFS Vivek Kumar appointed private secretary to PM
Indian Foreign Service officer Vivek Kumar was appointed as private secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, according to an official order.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, cleared the new assignment for Kumar, who is currently working as Director in the Prime Minister's Office.
Kumar's appointment will come into effect from the day of the assumption of charge and his tenure will be on co-terminus basis or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the official order said. -- PTI
BS Yeddyurappa says the BJP will move a breach of privilege motion against Kolar MLA Srinivas Gowda of the JD-S for saying in the assembly that he was offered Rs 5 crore by the BJP.
15:19 Don't market Bengal here: Speaker to TMC MP
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday told Trinamool Congress member not to do "marketing" of West Bengal government as he was seeking to counter the Centre's charge that the state government was not joining its ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme.
The Speaker's remarks came during Question Hour when Trinamool's Sudip Bandopadhyay said the West Bengal government has introduced a scheme called "Swasthya Sathi Prakalpa" through which every family gets Rs five lakh every year.
As he took the name of the scheme and the state government, Birla said, "You are not here for marketing West Bengal. Ask your question."After this, the senior Trinamool leader sought to know from the minister it was only West Bengal or other states too that have refused to join the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
"The minister said that West Bengal was not joining the Ayushmaan Bharat scheme. By saying this, he has targeted Bengal. I want to say that Bengal has introduced the scheme Swasthya Sathi for which it gives Rs 5 lakh to each family every year," he said.
Responding to his query Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said despite his repeated requests, the West Bengal government has not yet joined this scheme.
"This scheme is in the interest of the people and the states should join the scheme in their larger interest," he said.The Minister said that four states including West Bengal and Delhi have so far not joined the scheme. -- ANI
14:25 Trust vote debate may go on till Monday: Sidda
The Congress party's Siddaramaiah says that the discussion on the trust vote is still not complete and 20 members are yet to participate. "I don't think it will finish today and it will continue on Monday also," he said.
Just before the Vidhan Soudha adjourned till 3 pm, the ruling Cong-JDS coalition questioned Governor Vajubhai Vala's power to issue a direction to hold the floor test by 1:30 pm.
With the Karnataka CM citing a Supreme Court verdict that a Governor cannot act as ombudsman of Legislature he said he would not criticise the Governor and requested the Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to decide whether the Governor can set a deadline.
As the treasury bench objected to the Governor's direction, Congress members shouted slogans, "Go back Governor."
When the 1:30 pm deadline ended, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa stood up and pressed for division of votes moved by the Chief Minister.
The Speaker said there was a process to be followed and the motion would be put to vote, if pressed for, according to rules after discussion. Amid bedlam, the House was then adjourned till 3 pm.
14:10 Kumaraswamy: Is it even possible to save a govt with black magic!
Karnataka CM HD Kumarswamy react to BJP MLAs saying his brother carried a lemon for black magic: "You blame Revanna (state minister and CM's brother) for carrying a lemon. You (BJP) believe in Hindu culture, but you blame him. He carries a lemon with him and he goes to a temple. But you accuse him of doing black magic. Is it even possible to save a Govt by black magic?"
13:57 Priyanka's arrest disturbing: Rahul
Rahul Gandhi responds to Priyanaka Gandhi Vadra's detention en route to Sonbhadra. "The illegal arrest of Priyanka in Sonbhadra, UP, is disturbing. This arbitrary application of power, to prevent her from meeting families of the 10 Adivasi farmers brutally gunned down for refusing to vacate their own land, reveals the BJP Govt's increasing insecurity in UP."
13:41 Speaker holds his ground, guv's deadline ends
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's deadline ends. He had directed Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to hold a floor test by 1.30 pm today, but the Speaker held his ground saying unless the discussion is complete, you cannot press for division of votes for the floor test.
The House has now been adjourned till 3 pm.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday asked Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to prove his majority in the state assembly before 1.30 pm on Friday, observing that resignation of 15 ruling combine MLAs and withdrawal of support by two independents 'prima facie' indicated he has lost the confidence of the House.
Today, Karnataka Congress MP Nasir Hussain hinted at the possibility of his party approaching the Supreme Court over Governor Vajubhai Vala's message to the Speaker to wrap up the trust vote in the Assembly.
"I think the Congress party will go to Supreme Court because Governor cannot interfere in the matter of Speaker, he has no right to do it. Governor is arbitrarily interfering and trying to work as an agent of a party", Hussain told ANI.
The governor gave the timeline while taking note of the adjournment of the House till Friday after it took up the confidence motion moved by Kumaraswamy in the backdrop of rebellion by a section of ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular).
Though a message as contemplated under article 175 (2) is sent to the Speaker, I'm informed that the House is adjourned today. Under these circumstances, I request you to prove your majority on the floor of the House on or before 1.30 pm tomorrow (Friday),' Vala has said in a letter to Kumaraswamy.
13:35 Sanitary napkins at Rs 6 for pack of 6 to ensure menstrual hygiene: Govt
A pack of six sanitary napkins is being provided to adolescent girls at a cost of Rs 6 every month under a centrally-sponsored scheme, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Lok Sabha on Friday.
Vardhan said the government is supporting the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme, a component of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram, by providing funds to States and UTs which propose for it in their Programme Implementation Plans through the National Health Mission for decentralised procurement of sanitary napkins for adolescent girls.
"Under the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme a pack of six sanitary napkins is provided to adolescent girls at a cost of Rs 6 per pack by the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) through door-to-door visits and also through platforms of schools and anganwadi centres," he said during the Question Hour.
The ASHA gets an incentive amount of Rs 1 per pack sold to the beneficiary, besides getting a free pack of sanitary napkins per month for her personal use.
The minister said funds are also provided to ASHAs for holding monthly meetings with adolescent girls to discuss issues related to menstrual hygiene.
Vardhan said access to safe menstrual hygiene practices is an important component of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram under the National Health Mission for health and wellbeing of adolescents. This intervention involves increasing awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene, improving access to high quality sanitary napkins by them, ensuring safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environmentally friendly manner, he said. -- PTI
13:03 BJP did not kidnap me: Hospitalised Cong MLA
The Mumbai Police has allowed Karnataka Police officials to meet and take the statement of Congress MLA Shrimant Patil, who is admitted at St George hospital in Mumbai.
Patil's disappearing act from Karnataka and his sudden appearance in Mumbai came on a day the state Assembly was rocked during a trust vote. The Congress alleged that Patil, who had gone incommunicado, had been "kidnapped" as part of efforts to destabliise the coalition government.
The Congress MLAs said the lawmakers were living in fear and Patil was kidnapped, kept in a room, taken by a special flight to Mumbai and admitted to a hospital.
Senior minister DK Shivakumar said they would produce documents to show that Patil was forcibly admitted to the hospital to skip the trust vote.
Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar reads out Patil's letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala in the House, "I went to Chennai for personal work and felt chest pain. I visited a hospital on doctor's suggestion and I came to Mumbai and got admitted here. Hence I couldn't attend the assembly session. I was not kidnapped by BJP."
12:43 Sonbhadra clash: 5 officials suspended, 29 accused arrested, says Yogi
Promising justice to those killed in the Sonbhadra clash, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth on Friday said the sub divisional magistrate and four other officials were suspended and 29 people arrested.
A committee under the additional chief secretary (Revenue) has also been constituted and will give its report within 10 days, the chief minister said. Ten people were killed and 28 injured on Wednesday when they resisted an attempt by the village headman and his supporters to take possession of 90 bighas of disputed land in Sonbhadra district's Ghorawal area.
"Despite the dispute between the two factions in the past and apprehensions of breach of peace adequate action was not taken by officers. SDM, Circle officer and Inspector--all posted in Ghorawal have been suspended on basis of the probe committee, constituted on July 17, report.
Beat sub-inspector and constable have also been suspended," the CM said while making a statement in the state assembly. About the incident, the CM said that 29 persons including main accused Yagya Dutt have been arrested. 10 persons were killed and 28 injured in the incident, he added.
Yogi said the land dispute, which led to the clash was old and was there since 1955 and there were a number of cases pending in revenue courts and criminal cases filed by both factions. -- PTI
UP DGM denies Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been detained.
12:32 Priyanka detained en route to Sonbhadra
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been detained at Narayanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Section 144 has been imposed in the area ahead of the visit. She is sitting on Dharna in Mirzapur near Sonbhadra.
Priyanka is in UP to visit Sonbhadra to meet the family members of those who were killed in firing over a land dispute on July 17. Apart from meeting the family members, Priyanka is also expected to visit the place of the incident.
"I just want to go and meet families of victims, I even said I will take only 4 people with me. Yet the administration is not letting us go there. They should tell us why we are being stopped. We will continue to sit here peacefully.
"We won't be cowed down. We were only going peacefully to meet victim families. I don't know where are they taking me, we are ready to go anywhere," she said.
The killings took place in Ubbha village of Ghorawal where the village head went to take possession of his land purchased two years ago. However, he met with opposition from the villagers which triggered the firing allegedly by his aides leading to the 10 deaths.
11:55 Priyanka meets Sonbhadra shootout kin
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East met the injured in the firing over a land dispute in Sonbhadra on July 17.
Apart from meeting the family members, Priyanka is also expected to visit the place of the incident.
According to the police, nine people were killed in the firing.
On the day of the incident, she had criticised the state government over the law and order situation.
Taking to Twitter, she had said, "In the BJP ruled state, the confidence of criminals is so high that broad day-light killings are continuously happening. The killing of 9 Gond tribesmen, including 3 women, by the land mafia in Umbha village of Sonbhadra is heart-wrenching. Administration and Chief Minister are all sleeping. Is this how the state will be crime-free?"
The incident took place in Ubbha village of Ghorawal where the village head went to take possession of his land purchased two years ago. However, he met with opposition from the villagers which triggered the firing allegedly by his aides leading to the deaths.
11:47 I have strength to be non-partisan: Speaker
The Karnataka trust vote debate resumes in the Assembly.
The Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says, "Those who hurl slurs at my character, look back at what your life has been. Anyone who knows me knows I don't have lakhs of money stashed like others. I have enough strength to take a non partisan decision despite such slurs."
Meanwhile, BJP Karnataka MP, Shobha Karandlaje is climbing the 1001 steps of the Sri Chamundeshwari Devi Temple to pray for BS Yeddyurappa to become the next Chief Minister of the state.
The Karnataka Congress on Friday hinted at the possibility of his party approaching the Supreme Court over Governor Vajubhai Vala's message to the Speaker to wrap up the trust vote in the Assembly.
MP Nasir Hussain said, "I think the Congress party will go to Supreme Court because Governor cannot interfere in the matter of Speaker, he has no right to do it. Governor is arbitrarily interfering and trying to work as an agent of a party", Hussain told ANI.
On being asked whether there is clarity on when will they move to SC, he said, "I believe Congress will go to the apex court. He is working against established norms of assembly. Also, Congress can go to the court to challenge the first order because we were not a party into it."
"The judgement says we cannot issue a whip. However, unless we put forward our argument how can be there be a decision. We have objection over the Supreme Court order. If we cannot issue whip how can we go for a vote of confidence? I believe Congress will go to court in both cases."
He also cited the previous judgment of the court and said, "I believe that the SC judgement has clearly pointed out that the authority of the Speaker is supreme and there cannot be any interference into it. The timing of the trust vote and the functioning of the assembly has to be decided by the Speaker of the assembly. Governor can only give direction that a vote of confidence request has come and may request the speaker to take it. Governor cannot fix deadlines for the trust vote."
Yesterday, amid a furore on the issue with BJP members demanding that the confidence motion be put to vote immediately, the Chair adjourned the House till the next day.
The BJP announced that its members will spend the night in the House in protest.The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government had earlier this month slumped into a minority following the resignation of the dissident MLAs. Sixteen MLAs from the ruling coalition including thirteen Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have resigned. -- ANI
11:22 NRC deadline: Centre, Assam move SC
The Centre and the Assam government Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens.
The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that India cannot be the refugee capital of the world. The union and state government also sought sample verification of the citizens included in the NRC, saying lakhs of people have been wrongly included in areas bordering Bangladesh due to involvement of local officers.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018 in accordance with the top court's direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.
Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951. -- PTI
11:19 16 die in 1 day on Mumbai's suburban trains
At least 16 people, including a woman, died Thursday in separate mishaps on Mumbais suburban railway network, the Railway Police said Friday. This was the highest single day fatalities recorded on the suburban rail network, often called Mumbai's lifeline, in recent times, they said.
Thirteen other commuters were injured in these mishaps, the Railway Police said in a release. Of the 16 deaths, seven were reported from railway stations in Thane district which is part of the Mumbai metropolitan region.
The Thane railway station reported three deaths followed by Dombivili and Kalyan (two each), the release said. The Kurla railway station, which handles trains of both Harbour and Main Line sections, also reported three deaths.
Railway stations at Vashi, Panvel, Mumbai Central, Bandra, Borivili and Vasai reported one death each, the release said. A woman was among the 16 deceased, it said.
The suburban railway network, which ferries 80 lakh commuters every day, reports 8 to 9 passenger deaths daily in various mishaps. Mishaps on rail tracks take place primarily due to trespassing, boarding or alighting from running trains and falling off overcrowded trains, among others. PTI
11:08 Modi-Yogi T-shirts big hit with Kanwariyas
Ahead of the Kanwar Yatra, shopkeepers in Varanasi are selling colourful t-shirts with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath printed on them.
The Kanwar Yatra will begin on July 17 and continue till August 15.
Responding to why youths are crazy about Modi-Yogi t-shirts, a shopkeeper said: "Generally, kanwariyas used to purchase plain saffron T-shirts. But these time Modi-Yogi merchandise is in demand as kanwars are happy with the steps taken by the Yogi government for the yatra. PM Modi has contributed a lot for the development of his constituency.
"This time people are also buying tees saying 'Apna Time Ayega' and 'Jeeta hu shaan se, Mahakal tere naam se'," he said.
Following the age-old 'Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb' of Varanasi, both Hindu and Muslim shopkeepers sell clothes and other things for 'Sawan' here."Mostly youths are undertaking Kanwar Yatra. So t-shirts with such one-liners are high in demand. Also, people are happy with Chief Minister Yogi ji as he has given the permission for playing DJs during the yatra," a kanwariya said.
10:42 'My children disappeared in front of my eyes': Surviving a rainstorm
More than two weeks after a wall collapsed in suburban Mumbai, killing 30 people and injuring more than 100, Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore and Hitesh Harisinghani visit the area to find out how the survivors are coping.
Read the report here.
Trinamool Congress MP, Sougata Ray gives Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over "kidnapping of Karnataka MLAs".
10:23 K'taka Cong party likely to approach SC over guv's overreach
Karnataka Congress MP, Nasir Hussain says the Congress party will go to the Supreme Court because the Governor cannot interfere in the matter of the Speaker. "He has no right to do it. Governor is arbitrarily interfering and trying to work as agent of a party," he said.
Shortly, after the Karnataka Assembly was adjourned on Thursday without a trial of strength, Governor Vajubhai Vala wrote a letter to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asking him to prove majority on the floor of the House by 1:30 pm today. This came after a BJP delegation headed by former minister Jagdish Shettar rushed to the Raj Bhavan and met the Governor seeking completion of the business today itself.
Meanwhile, the Congress has given an Adjournment Motion Notice in the Lok Sabha over the "current political situation in Karnataka".
Image: Karnataka Dy CM G Parmeshwara shares a light moment with BJP MLAs this morning. Pic: ANI
10:03 After walk, MLAs on dharna breakfast with Dy CM
After spending the night at the Vidhana Soudha, Karnataka BJP legislators were seen taking a morning walk in the premises of state assembly on Friday morning.
Some of the legislators, who were part of the unprecedented overnight 'dharna' at the Vidhana Soudha over their demand of floor test took a stroll around the assembly house after waking up early in the morning.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara eating breakfast with BJP MLA Suresh Kumar at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.
"They (BJP MLAs) were on an over night dharna at Vidhana Soudha. It's our duty to arrange food and other things for them. Some of them have diabetes and BP, that's why we arranged everything here. Beyond politics we're friends, it's the beauty of democracy," said Parmeshwara.
Yesterday, the BJP MLAs were seen having discussions, dining together and sleeping on the green floor and the well of the House.
"This government has lost the majority. They tried to drag on the issue and tried to provoke us but we acted with patience. We will continue to press for a trust vote on the motion. We will stage night-long dharna in the House," Yeddyurappa told reporters.
The BJP leader's announcement came close on the heels of the adjournment of the Assembly in the midst of a debate on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
Yeddyurappa also said that the Congress-JDS government was not ready for trust vote as the Chief Minister does not have the confidence of the people as well as the Assembly.
BJP Chief BS Yeddyurappa slept on the green floor of the House along with his party MLAs. Many BJP MLAs were seen sleeping in the Well of the House and on the passage leading to the Well.
Shortly, after the Karnataka Assembly was adjourned on Thursday without a trial of strength, Governor Vajubhai Vala wrote a letter to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asking him to prove majority on the floor of the House by 1:30 pm today.
This came after a BJP delegation headed by former minister Jagdish Shettar rushed to the Raj Bhavan and met the Governor seeking completion of the business today itself.
09:39 China home to one of worst human rights crisis: Pompeo
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said China was home to one of the worst human rights crisis of the present times, slamming Beijing for violations against ethnic and religious minorities.
In his keynote address at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom on Thursday, Pompeo said a shocking 83 per cent of the world's population live in nations where religious freedom was either threatened or denied entirely.
The secretary of state singled out China as he listed out many countries for violation of religious freedom.
Since April 2017, Pompeo said, Beijing had detained more than a million Chinese Muslims and other minorities in camps in Xinjiang.
"China is home to one of the worst human rights crisis of our time. It is truly the stain of the century," Pompeo said at the event, which was attended by ministers from several countries. "In China, the Chinese Communist Party demands control over the lives of the Chinese people and their souls."
"Is that consistent with the guarantee of 'freedom of religious belief' that is found directly in the Chinese constitution?" he asked.
Pompeo cited a number of instances of human rights violations in China.
"In September last year, Chen Huixia, a member of the Falun Gong, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison simply for practising his faith.
"In May of 2018, authorities arrested Wang Yi, the pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, a large unregistered church in Chengdu, for openly criticising the government's controls on religious freedom. He's still in jail today," Pompeo said. -- PTI
09:37 Lawmakers have obligation to love country: Trump
United States President Donald Trump has said lawmakers had an obligation to love and embrace the country, as he disavowed the chanting of "send her back" by his supporters against a Democratic Congresswoman.
"The Congressmen and women also have a big obligation in this country and in every country.... And the obligation is to love your country," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
The president was responding to a question about his supporters chanting "send her back" against Representative Ilhan Omar at a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night.
"I'm not happy about when I hear a chant like that. And I've said that and I've said it very strongly," Trump said.
Somali-born Omar and three other non-white Democrat Congresswomen -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib -- have been criticised by Trump recently in a series of alleged racist tweets.
"They have such hatred. I've seen statements that they made with such hatred toward our country and I don't think that's a good thing," Trump said. "They should embrace our country. They should love our country. And things would be a lot better."
The president described his supporters as those who love the country.
"I want them to keep loving our country. And I think the Congresswomen, by the way, should be more positive than they are. The congresswomen have a lot of problems," he said.
The women, informally known as 'The Squad', have been critical of Trump's harsh immigration policies.
"When you look at the statements they made that were so bad and so horrible to our country," he said. "It's hard to believe that they could make statements like that."
Trump had earlier accused them of hating the country and suggested that they should just "go back" to where they came from. -- PTI
09:16 Tendulkar, Donald inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has been inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame alongside South African pace legend Allan Donald.
Joining Tendulkar and Donald in the Hall of Fame was two-time World Cup-winning Australian woman cricketer Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
"It's a huge honour for me," Tendulkar said at the induction ceremony held here on Sunday night.
The 46-year-old former right-hand batsman is regarded the greatest to have played the game along with Sir Donald Bradman and remains the top run-accumulator in both Tests and ODIs.
He has 34,357 runs across formats and is the only batsman to have 100 internationals hundreds under his belt.
The 52-year-old Donald is one of the finest bowlers to have played the game and had 330 Test and 272 ODI wickets to his credit before calling it quits in 2003.
Fitzpatrick is the second highest wicket-taker of all time in women's cricket with 180 ODI scalps and 60 in Tests. As a coach, she guided the Australian women's team to three World Cup titles. -- PTI
08:51 Will grant consular access to Jadhav: Pak
Pakistan will grant consular access to Indian national Kulbushan Jadhav according to the Pakistani laws, for which the modalities are being worked out, the Pakistani foreign ministry has said.
The ministry also said that Jadhav had been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention on consular relations.
"Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out," it said.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017 following which India had moved the International Court of Justice, seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.
A 16-member bench headed by President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, by 15-1 votes ordered Pakistan on Wednesday to undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.
In its 42-page order, the world court while rejecting Pakistan's objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, held that "a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review" of the sentence of Jadhav.
The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court's decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India. -- PTI
08:35 US security aid to Pak will remain suspended
Ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the United States, a Congressional report has said the security assistance to Pakistan would remain suspended pending "decisive and irreversible" action against terrorist groups.
At the direction of President Donald Trump, the US had suspended all its security assistance to Pakistan in January 2018. This is first high-level trip by a Pakistani prime minster to the White House during the Trump administration.
"Pakistan is a haven for numerous Islamist extremist and terrorist groups, and successive Pakistani governments are widely believed to have tolerated and even supported some of these as proxies in Islamabad's historical conflicts with its neighbors," the independent Congressional Research Service said in a latest report on Pakistan.
The CRS is an independent and bipartisan research wing of the the US Congress, which prepares periodic reports on issues of interest for lawmakers to make informed decisions. Its reports are prepared by eminent experts of the field and are not considered as an official view of the Congress.
The latest CRS report told lawmakers that the 2011 revelation that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had enjoyed years-long refuge in Pakistan led to intensive US government scrutiny of the bilateral relationship. It also sparked congressional questioning of the wisdom of providing significant aid to a nation that may not have the intention or capacity to be an effective partner.
The Trump administration has taken a harder line on Pakistan than its predecessors, sharply cutting assistance and suspending security-related aid, said the CRS report dated July 15.
"The United States continues to press for decisive and irreversible action against externally-focused militant groups and UN-designated terrorist organizations operating from its territory," it said. "Pending such action, security assistance will remain suspended."
During a September 2018 visit to Islamabad amidst talk of a "reset" of bilateral ties, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed hope that the US could find common ground with Pakistan's new leadership, but mutual distrust was seen to be pervasive in the relationship and American leverage was much reduced.
In mid-2017, the administration announced that it would "pause" disbursement of $255 million in Foreign Military Financing and announced a broader security aid suspension in January 2018. According to the State Department, about $790 million in unobligated FMF dating back to 2001 is affected. -- PTI
00:36 Over 50 animals die in Kaziranga due to floods
Over 50 animals, including five rhinos, have died in Kaziranga National Park as floods continue to wreak havoc in Assam.
According to a report of the divisional forest department on Wednesday, an elephant, several wild boars, hog deer and sambars, besides the rhinos, have been found dead in the park.
A total of 57 animals were rescued out of which four died on arrival at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC).
Pranjit Basumotary of the CWRC said, "We have been receiving rescued animals since July 13. We have treated and released over 85 per cent of the animals back to the park."
He said, "The rescued animals were in a distressed and weak condition. We are moving across the forest area and looking for animals in need of rescue. We are coordinating with the locals. The forest department is working with us."
Due to the floods, 70 per cent of the park was submerged as on July 14. -- ANI