Delhi BJP's gherao at DJB office ends, police escort CEO out
A BJP delegation that held the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) CEO Nikhil Kumar "captive" for more than 10 hours at the utility's headquarters here over alleged lack of water supply in the city ended the protest early Wednesday after the officer called the police.
New Delhi: A BJP delegation that held the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) CEO Nikhil Kumar "captive" for more than 10 hours at the utility's headquarters here over alleged lack of water supply in the city ended the protest early Wednesday after the officer called the police.
Former Union minister Vijay Goel, who led the delegation, told PTI that the DJB CEO "called the police who escorted him out and the gherao ended around 3:30 am Wednesday".
Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said they had been supplying water beyond their capacity and accused the BJP of politicising the issue.
Around 5 pm on Tuesday, the BJP delegation, which besides Goel included MLA O P Sharma and BJP city unit vice president Jai Prakash, went to meet DJB CEO Kumar, who took charge on June 6.
The DJB headquarters, however, soon turned into a protest venue as the delegation started raising slogans against the Aam Aadmi Party government alleging the utility, headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, had no plans to deal with the "water crisis" in the national capital.
Goel told PTI that the delegation had "held the CEO captive and that he would not be allowed to leave till he promises to form a task force to address issues related to contaminated water, upload all complaints on DJB website and release a summer action plan, among other things".
Sharma, the BJP MLA, said the DJB staff had locked the doors on the ground floor to prevent other BJP supporters from moving up to the CEO's room.
Goel, a former Delhi BJP president, Sharma and other party leaders indulged in arguments with DJB officials over the water supply issue.
"They have no clue as to how many complaints have been received. They don't have any knowledge about the areas where people have been getting contaminated water or no water at all. They have no plans to resolve the crisis. We have gheraoed the CEO office, we have held him captive and will not let him leave tonight," Goel said, before the protest ended.
Later, police were called in as the raucous protesters jostled with the DJB staff in a bid to force their way into the CEO's office on the third floor.
Earlier, BJP's Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari wrote a letter to Chief Minister Kejriwal on Tuesday drawing his attention to "power outages" and "acute water crisis" in the national capital.
Kejriwal tweeted that Delhi gets round-the-clock power supply at the cheapest rates in the country.
DJB CEO Kumar said officials have been given strict instructions to redress grievances in the shortest possible time."We have a toll-free number and sub-zonal offices where complaints are registered and time-bound action is taken. We will take strongest possible action. We have a zero-tolerance policy for any laxity on the part of field-level officers," he said.
"I and other senior officials will be monitoring the situation (so that) there's no problem of water contamination or water shortage in this summer season," Kumar said.
The BJP leaders have been attacking the ruling AAP over power and water supply that the ruling party counts among two of its most significant achievements since coming to power in Delhi in 2015.DJB Vice-Chairman Mohaniya said that in many areas, such as in Anand Parbat, geographical constraints don't allow laying water and sewer pipelines.
"They always tell half truth. It's not that only Delhi has been facing issues. The entire country is reeling under a severe heatwave and facing water shortage. We have been supplying water beyond our capacity. Our supply hasn't declined, but the demand has been increasing due to the oppressive heat," Mohaniya said.
"All rivers, lakes and ponds across the country are running dry. But, instead of helping people in such a situation, the BJP is politicising the issue," he alleged.
15-year-old girl abducted, gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh
The incident took place in Khandrauli village under Kandhla police station area on Monday. The minor was found lying unconscious in a field. A case has been registered against two men, identified as Suhail and Soman who have fled away.
Muzaffarnagar: A 15-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped by two men in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district, police said on Tuesday. The incident took place in Khandrauli village under Kandhla police station area on Monday. The minor was found lying unconscious in a field, they said.
A case has been registered against two men, identified as Suhail and Soman. They are absconding and efforts are underway to nab them, Station House Officer S K Vishnoi said. According to a complaint lodged by the girl's father, she was abducted from outside her residence and raped by the two accused in a nearby field.
The minor has been sent for a medical examination, the police said. Security has been tightened in the village and additional police personnel have been deployed as a precautionary measure, they said.
New Delhi: Large swathes of the country seared under record high temperatures on Monday with the mercury touching 48 degrees Celsius in Delhi, the highest for June, and hovering around the 50-degree Celsius mark in many other areas in north India.
There was no immediate respite in sight as the monsoon advanced slowly in southern and northeastern India and the weather department forecast that heatwave conditions were likely to prevail in north and western India for a couple of days more.
Churu in Rajasthan was the hottest recorded place with a high of 50.3 degrees Celsius, followed by Banda in Uttar Pradesh (49.2), Allahabad (48.9), Sriganganagar (48.5) and Narnaul in Haryana (48.3). Delhi recorded its highest-ever June temperature at 48 degrees Celsius.
In Punjab and Haryana, many areas reeled under a high of over 45 degrees Celsius. Narnaul, with a maximum of 48.3 degrees Celsius, was the hottest place in the two neighbouring states that were under the grip of a severe heatwave.
Scorching heatwave swept Chandigarh, which recorded a maximum temperature of 44.1 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal. In Punjab, the maximum temperature in Amritsar was 45.2 degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal. Maximum temperatures in Ludhiana and Patiala were seven notches above normal at 45.5 and 45.8 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In UP, Banda was the hottest place with a maximum of 49.2 degrees Celsius. People in Allahabad and Jhansi to sweltered under highs of 48.9 and 48.1 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Severe heatwave conditions persisted in the desert state of Rajasthan. Maximum temperature in most of the cities was recorded above 45 degrees Celsius -- 47.4 in Bikaner, 47.3 in Kota and 46.3 in Jaipur, according to weather department officials in Jaipur.
Jammu recorded the hottest day of the season with a maximum temperature of 44.4 degrees Celsius. The prevailing heatwave conditions intensified power and water woes in different parts of the region in Jammu and Kashmir. The mercury in Srinagar too rose and settled at 29.2 degrees Celsius, 1.2 notches above normal.
According to an IMD bulletin, "Heatwave to severe heatwave conditions (are) very likely to prevail over Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, southern parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh during next 2 days. Intensity and spatial extent of heating is very likely to reduce substantially thereafter."
In large areas, a heatwave is declared when the mercury touches the 45-degree mark for two consecutive days and a severe heatwave is when the temperature soars to 47 degrees Celsius for two days on the trot, according to the India Meteorological Department.
In small areas, like the national capital, a heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature is recorded at 45 degrees Celsius even for a day, it said. Heatwave conditions also prevailed in Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal where the mercury settled at above normal levels in many areas.
In Odisha, coastal and interior areas reeled under unbearable weather conditions due to rising temperature coupled with high level of relative humidity.
Hirakud in western Odisha turned out to be the hottest place in the state recording 44.8 degree Celsius followed by 44.6 degree in neighbouring Sambalpur, officials said.
Adilabad district in Telangana recorded a maximum temperature of 44.3 degrees Celsius. The weather office in Hyderabad issued a warning that heatwave conditions are very likely to prevail at
isolated pockets in different districts of the state till June 12.With the Monsoon unlikely to make an entry in West Bengal soon, the Met department said day temperatures in south Bengal are likely to be above normal by two to three degrees Celsius.
It said that heat wave condition is "very likely" to prevail over Purulia, Bankura, West Burdwan, Birbhum, West Midnapore and Jhargram districts of West Bengal during the next three days.
The Southwest Monsoon advanced slowly into other parts of the country, having made an onset over Kerala on June 8, a week after its normal arrival.
"Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of South Arabian Sea & Lakshadweep area, most parts of Kerala, some more parts of Tamil Nadu, remaining parts of southeast Bay of Bengal
, most parts of Southwest & East-central Bay of Bengal, some more parts of Northeast Bay of Bengal, some parts of West-central Bay of Bengal, most parts of Mizoram and some parts of Manipur," according to the IMD bulletin.
Himachal Pradesh's Una district experienced the hottest day in 14 years. Una sizzled at 45.2 degrees Celsius on Monday, Shimla MeT Centre Director Manmohan Singh said. The previous highest temperature in Una was same as 45.2 degrees Celsius on June 21, 2005, he added.
Amid claims that Pakistan has shut down terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat
New Delhi: Amid claims that Pakistan has shut down terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Monday said there was no way to verify this, adding that the Army would continue to maintain a strict vigil along the borders.
"There is now way to verify whether the Pakistan Army has closed the terrorist camps there (in PoK) or not. We will not take chances and continue to maintain a strict vigil along our borders," General Rawat told ANI when asked if the Army had any information about Pakistan having shut down its terrorist camps in PoK.
The Army Chief was speaking on the sidelines of a function where he met with over 140 children and teachers from Jammu and Kashmir who are on a multi-city tour organised by the Army.
Reports today suggested that the Pakistan Army shut down its key terror infrastructure, including over a dozen training camps across the Line of Control.
The development, the reports suggested, have taken place ahead of anti-terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) plenary meeting next week where Pakistan faces the possibility of being blacklisted for non-compliance.
On the issue of infiltration attempts by Pakistan, top Army sources said there has not been any serious attempt by the Pakistan Army to push any terrorists from its side to India this summer.
However, the Indian Army is keeping a strict vigil on borders and prepared to foil any infiltration bid from across the borders. Sources said Pakistan pulled back a part of its armoured columns from the Sialkot sector opposite the Jammu sector.
The forward deployments were made by the Pakistan Army after India carried out aerial strikes against a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist camp in Balakot in Pakistan.
India had also deployed armoured elements of its strike corps after the aerial attacks to guard against any Pakistani misadventure. --Agencies
Bhim Army protests outside Nair Hospital, alleges Payal Tadvi was murdered
Mumbai: Ashok Kamble, president of the Maharashtra unit of Bhim Army on Wednesday protested outside BYL Nair Hospital alleging Dr Payal Tadvi’s death was not due to suicide but she was “murdered”. He also demanded action under ‘Prevention of Atrocities Act’ be carried out against the officers who were suspended by the hospital administration and strictest of punishment for the three accused.
“We have got some information which reveals that it is not a suicide case but murder since there are some marks on Payal’s upper back, we are waiting for the postmortem reports. We came to know through media that three accused have been arrested and some concerned officials were also suspended. We demand the Atrocities act be put on the suspended officials too, we are holding protests to demand the same,” he said.
Kamble laid out the three demands of the Bhim Army, he said, “We want death sentence for the people accused in the death of Payal Tadvi other than that we also want the officials to be taken to task. We also want all the SC/ST students in the Nair hospital to be asked whether they are facing any harassment here.” On being asked about Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s plan to join the protests in support of the late Dr Payal Tadvi Kamble, he said that he was supposed to arrive by May 30 if the administration failed to deliver justice and also conveyed the warning of his chief.
“Chandrashekhar Azad has said that he will come to Mumbai by May 30 if proper action is not taken against the three accused and other guilty. He has also warned that any disruption in the city after his arrival would be the responsibility of the state government,” Kamble said.
All the three accused doctors in the case- Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehre and Hema Ahuja have been arrested and are likely to be produced before the court today. Mehre and Ahuja were arrested on Tuesday. The three doctors were arrested for allegedly abetting the post-graduate medical student Tadvi, who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community, to end her life on May 22.
Jagan Mohan Reddy takes charge as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, occupies CM office in State Secretariat
Jagan Reddy entered his office amid chanting of Vedic hymns by a group of Hindu priests.
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday occupied his office in the State Secretariat here. He reached the Secretariat at 8.39 a.m. to a warm welcome by senior officials and senior leaders of his YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
Jagan Reddy entered his office amid chanting of Vedic hymns by a group of Hindu priests. After performing various rituals, he occupied his chamber. Jagan, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, had been functioning from his residence after taking oath on May 30.
Chief Secretary L. V. Subrahmanyam, Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Ajeya Kallam, Director General of Police Gautam Sawang, officials in Chief Minister's Office and secretaries of various departments welcomed Jagan.
After occupying his chair, Jagan signed three files relating to enhancement of salaries of Aasha workers to Rs 10,000, construction of Anantapur Express Highway and renewal of insurance for journalists. YSRCP stormed to power in the state last month, winning 151 seats in 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
Police made blunders in Aligarh case: Ex-DGP Vikram Singh
Former Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Vikram Singh on Friday lambasted the state police for allegedly making blunders in the Aligarh.
Noida: Former Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Vikram Singh on Friday lambasted the state police for allegedly making blunders in the Aligarh murder case of two-and-half-year-old child while asserting that getting the accused punished in 30 days may help in winning back people's trust.
Speaking to ANI, he said, "People are furious which is obvious. First of all, the police should work on gaining the trust of people. If the case was registered after 30 hours of delay, this is a very big lapse.
Secondly, the parents of the victim were pushed out of the police station, which is again a mistake. The police also failed to take action under Section 166A of IPC." Demanding a fast-track court hearing of the case, Singh further said, "They have made the team but this is not rocket science.
Best forensic science experts, statements under 164 CrPC, fast track court and private counsel should be deployed to make sure that the accused get punished within 10 days." He also criticised the local police head of the village and stated that the incidents could have been averted with "better watch".
"Tappal is not a big place and the station in-charge must have kept better watch if there was a family dispute. Police and administration should have made more efforts to catch the culprits. I would say that it was a total miscarriage of the police procedure," he said.
The police said on June 5 that the girl was abducted and killed in a revenge crime over a financial dispute her father had with the accused, Zahid.
A postmortem was conducted under the supervision of a team comprising of three doctors which confirmed that she was strangulated but ruled out the possibility of rape.
People take to streets, seeking justice for Twinkle Sharma
Locals on Friday took to the streets, seeking justice for two-and-a-half-year-old Twinkle Sharma, who was killed in a gruesome manner in Aligarh.
Lucknow/Aligarh: Locals on Friday took to the streets, seeking justice for two-and-a-half-year-old Twinkle Sharma, who was killed in a gruesome manner in Aligarh.
A large number of people including children protested in Aligarh, seeking justice for the deceased. They demanded nothing less than capital punishment for the accused of the murder. In the state capital, a candlelight march was organised, demanding justice for the deceased.
Durgesh Tripathi, a Lucknow University student, told ANI: "We are united against the horrendous crime that took place in Aligarh. We must ensure the safety of our daughters. We demand capital punishment for the accused." Another protestor Anshu Priya said: "We want a safe society. There should be security for all."
A social activist Suman Singh Rawat said: "This is a shocking incident. The government should give the harshest punishment to the perpetrators of this crime so that it works as a deterrent for others." Earlier in the day, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) asked for an inquiry report from the Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case.Two accused -- Zahid and Aslam -- have been arrested in connection with the murder.
The police had said on June 5 that the girl was abducted and killed in a revenge crime over a financial dispute her father had with Zahid.
A post-mortem examination was conducted under the supervision of a team comprising three doctors which confirmed that she was strangulated but ruled out the possibility of rape, sources said.
A power struggle has broken out within one week of formation of the new Modi government and the blame for it is being laid at the doorstep of BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah.
New Delhi: A power struggle has broken out within one week of formation of the new Modi government and the blame for it is being laid at the doorstep of BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah. He allegedly tried to cut to size Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from whom he acquired the home portfolio, allowing him to sit in only two of the eight cabinet committees while giving himself a berth in all eight, to underscore that he is No 2 in the Cabinet. However, Shah’s hope of Prime Minister Modi siding with him in case of any showdown was dashed to the ground with Singh beseeching the RSS to restore his seniority. Singh belongs to the RSS and is respected by the present leadership.A clear fallout of the development is that the RSS leadership has emerged as the court of appeal in case any such problem erupts in the ruling BJP.
Asserting that he was already No 2, since he was sworn in immediately after the PM and Shah took the oath only after him, Singh reportedly made his displeasure known to the Prime Minister, saying he could not take such "humiliation" of being downgraded. He relented only after Prime Minister Modi urged him to come around and ordered rejig of the cabinet committees. Now, Rajnath is on four additional committees. No one in the government or the BJP is, however, ready to stick his neck out to say who really plotted Rajnath's downgrading and how the decision happened to get reversed.
Shah is a clear loser in the revised list as he not only loses one of the two committees he added with Rajnath Singh becoming the chairman of the cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs but he has been also placed below Rajnath Singh in the new pecking order. The defence minister has nothing to do with parliamentary affairs as the committee's chairmanship invariably goes to the home minister but Modi had no option but to accept the RSS diktat. Those in the BJP worried over the prospects of the Modi-Shah combine running roughshod over all others are happy at the apparent assertion of the RSS, as seen in restoration of pride of Rajnath Singh.
However, the issue of who is No 2 will be faced again on Saturday when PM Modi goes on a 2-day visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka. The practice is that the PM writes to the Cabinet Secretary informing who will chair any emergency Cabinet meeting during his absence from the country. Shah would have been his natural choice, but no longer after the RSS snub. Since Shah has been calling meetings of the union ministers on his own, Modi may choose not to designate anyone as No 2; yet he may allow Shah to carry on as he has been doing since he became the home minister.