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To protest pothole deaths, MNS workers create more ‘potholes’ outside Mantralaya


Mumbai: Staging violent protests against potholes-related deaths in the state, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers on Monday night broke the road in front of Mantralaya. Dozens of MNS workers used axes to break road outside Mantralaya, in a violent protest against fatal accidents being caused by deadly potholes during this monsoon season.

 

ANI

@ANI
 #WATCH MNS workers break road in front of Mantralaya in Mumbai to protest against potholes in the city, late last night.

9:41 AM - Jul 17, 2018
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The incident comes after another violent protest led by MNS workers in PWD office of Navi Mumbai yesterday, where they broke chairs, tables, computers and tables, in a protest against pothole-related-death.

These are not a new event of violent protests led by MNS in recent times. The protests over pothole-related deaths comes after a similar violent protest taken out by MNS workers over issue of high prices of food in multiplexes, when they beat a manager of film theatre in Pune.

Around a dozen MNS workers had barged into PVR Icon on Senapati Bapat Road and some of them slapped the assistant manager of the theatre, a purported video of the incident showed. The MNS workers were carrying banners protesting the overpricing of food items sold on the multiplex premises.

Meanwhile, the potholes have turned disaster for people during monsoon, where many deaths have occurred by accidents caused due to potholes on roads. Earlier, a women died in Kalyan area of Thane district after getting crushed below a bus. The bike she was traveling on met an accident due to a pothole. Another Kalyan resident was run over by a truck after he slipped and fell down because of a pothole. At least five deaths have occurred in Maharashtra due to accidents caused by potholes.




Baby trafficking: Inspect all child-care homes run by Missionaries of Charity immediately, says Maneka Gandhi


New Delhi: Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has ordered all the states to get the child-care homes run by the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity (MoC) inspected immediately, after cases of alleged illegal adoptions carried out by the homes came to light recently.

Gandhi also directed the states to ensure that all the child-care institutions (CCIs) were registered and linked to the country’s apex adoption body within a month.

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, registration of CCIs and their linking with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is mandatory, but some orphanages have challenged the validity of the clause, an official in the Women and Child Development Ministry said.

Taking cognisance of the cases of alleged illegal adoptions carried out by the MoC in Jharkhand, Gandhi has ordered all the states to get the child-care homes run by the organisation inspected immediately, the ministry said in a statement.

A shelter home run by the MoC in Ranchi has allegedly been involved in “selling” three children and “giving away” another one. Approximately 2,300 CCIs have been linked to CARA since December last year, while about 4,000 more are still pending for linkage. Gandhi has expressed displeasure over the fact that the children in the 2,300 institutions linked to CARA are yet to be brought under an adoption system.

According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 2,32,937 children are currently under the care of CCIs — both registered and unregistered — in the country.




Bombay High Court let off man convicted for raping and killing minor girl


Mumbai: In an unusual ruling, the Bombay High Court recently let off a man, convicted for raping and killing a minor girl. The court, while acquitting the man, said he was only sleeping ‘peacefully’ besides the six-year-old victim’s dead body. A division bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Sarang Kotwal held that there are chances someone else would have raped the minor girl and disposed her body in the convict’s hut.

The bench also underscored that since there was heavy police bandobast during Ganpati immersion celebrations, it was hardly possible for the convict to kidnap the girl from her hut and then take her to his shanty and commit the offence.  The bench was hearing a criminal appeal filed by Sandip Gaikwad, who was lodged in Nasik central prison.

Having heard the submissions advanced, the bench said, “The only evidence against Gaikwad is that he was found sleeping besides the victim girl. Gaikwad’s conduct that he was sleeping peacefully besides the victim, does not fit with the allegations levelled against him.”

Bombay High Court adjourns petitions challenging plastic ban till July 20
The judges noted that the accused was living in a hut made up of fishing nets and there were no doors to it, paving the way for anyone to enter and exit the hut. “Therefore, the possibility cannot be ruled out that somebody else, after commission of the offence, could have kept the dead body near him. There is a strong possibility that someone else could have committed the offence,” the bench added.
The bench also trashed the argument of the victim’s family and the prosecution that Gaikwad kidnapped the girl from her hut. “Admittedly, those were the days of heavy rush and police bandobast at night. The evidence shows that police officers were present near the spot where the victim was found,” the bench noted.

According to the prosecution case, Gaikwad was arrested by the Cuffe Parade police during Ganpati immersion celebrations in 2009, after he was found lying beside the body of the victim girl. The prosecution claimed that Gaikwad kidnapped the victim from her hut, took her to his own and then raped and killed the girl. The bench acquitted Gaikwad saying the prosecution had only gathered ‘circumstantial’ evidence against him and failed to connect all the sequences together to establish his guilt. “Considering the prosecution evidence, it is clear that family members and witnesses are not telling any false stories. However, the case of the prosecution still does not travel beyond suspicion,” the bench said while quashing the judgment pronounced by the Sewree sessions court in October 2010 against Gaikwad.




BJP MLA Kisan Kathore forged documents of senior bureaucrat R A Rajeev, claims Shiv Sena


Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Kisan Kathore forged documents of senior bureaucrat R A Rajeev for registration of Sagav Vividh Karyakari Seva Sahakari Society (multi-purpose service cooperative society) in Thane district, according to Shiv Sena leader Prabhakar Patil,  who had filed a query under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. Bureaucrat  Rajeev has confirmed his consent was not taken before making him a member of the society and has  said the signature by his name in registration documents is not his. Kathore represents the Badlapur-Murbad assembly constituency.

Kathore has refuted the charges of Ulhasnagar Agriculture Market Produce Committee director Patil and claimed Rajeev had signed proposal documents in 2006. “Rajeev has agricultural land at Sagav village and hence he was made member of the society in 2006. He had signed the documents. But now, he may have forgotten about it,” Kathore claimed. However, Rajeev has confirmed to The Free Press Journal via SMS, “I am not member. I have never consented.”

Patil said, “The joint registrar initially refused to register the society, but did so in 2011, on the orders of the then minister of state. During these years, Rajeev did not attend any meeting of the society and had informed joint registrar that he was not a member of the society. After that, the society deleted his name from the members’ list”.


At a general body meeting of farmers and agriculturists on May 15, 2006, it was decided to form  the Sagav VKSSS, Taluka Ambernath, in Thane district. Kisan Kathore, then a legislator from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), had been elected chief promoter.

The society prepared a list of 73 members, with the name of R A Rajeev at number 7. The proposal to register the society was rejected by the divisional joint registrar of the Konkan division on the grounds that the then commissioner (cooperative) had prohibited the registration of  any new ‘seva’ society on May 5, 2009. But the then minister of state for cooperation had allowed Kathore to register the society though his order dated August 6, 2011. Kathore, as chief promoter of the society, registered the society, signed documents and submitted the annual income of every promoter and member of the society. Patil, who is also the director of the Ulhasnagar APMC, said despite Rajeev being an Indian Administrative Officer (IAS), he has been shown as one of the eleven working committee members, with an affidavit showing his annual income as Rs 55,000 and his fake signature.

The society is functional, active and has disbursed lakhs of rupees in loans to members. Patil has claimed these members have benefited from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana loan waiver scheme. When Patil approached the joint commissioner of cooperative department seeking de-registration of the society as it is based on fake documents and sent notices to each member through his lawyer, Rajeev sent an email on February 2, 2017, denying his signature and informed the joint registrar that his consent was not taken before making him  joint promoter of the Sagav society. He stated he had not signed the documents and his signature was fake.

Patil said Kathore and his team had forged the signatures of four dead people — Tanaji Shelar, Jijabai Dhumal, Ambo Bhoir and Ramu Dohale — and included them as members of the society. Other members of the society include Bhaskar Kathore (nephew of MLA Kathore), employed with the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation with an income of Rs 55,000, Vasant Borhade, clerk at Thane District Cooperative bank at Kulgaon branch, with an income of Rs 26,000, Luis Vaity, a trader with an income of Rs 30,000 and another trader, Pankaj Kanohi, with annual income of Rs 32000. Patil demanded an independent probe be initiated against Kathore as he has forged documents and cheated people, the government as well as a senior bureaucrat.




Trump-Putin Summit! US and Russian President pledge fresh start to their troubled relations


Helsinki: President Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday and publicly challenged the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, wrapping up what he called a “deeply productive” summit meeting with an extraordinary show of support for a leader accused of attacking American democracy, reports the New York Times.

Trump and Putin also pledged a fresh start to troubled relations between the world’s greatest nuclear powers at their first summit, media reports added. Trump hailed as ‘‘direct, open and deeply productive’’ his talks with Putin on an array of issues from Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals.

The US President, speaking alongside Putin at a press conference in Helsinki, Finland, admitted that the relationship between the two countries ‘‘has never been worse’’ but said ‘‘that changed as of about four hours ago.’’ Putin, in turn, denied meddling in the 2016 US presidential election but admitted he had hoped Trump would win, saying: ‘‘I wanted him to win because he talked about normalising Russian-American relations.’’


US says Russia behind poison attack amid London-Moscow row
Trump backed Putin’s denial, saying he thought Russia had no reason to interfere in the election and contradicting the FBI which believes Moscow was responsible for hacking the campaign.  The timing of the summit has been exceptionally awkward, just days after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian agents on charges of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in an attempt to aid Trump. The Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected the indictment as part of a ‘shameful comedy’ staged by those in the U.S. who try to prevent the normalization of Russia-U.S. ties.

Trump said at the press conference that ‘‘we’ve all been foolish… we’ve both made mistakes’’ and that the summit was the beginning of a process of restoring ties. ‘‘It is in the interest of both our countries to continue our conversation and we have agreed to do so,’’ he added, having earlier shot a wink at the Kremlin strongman ahead of their private talks. In a light-hearted moment, Putin gave Trump a ball from the 2018 World Cup, to symbolise North America hosting the tournament in 2026, saying: ‘‘Now the ball is in your court.’’ Trump, who praised Russia’s hosting of the World Cup, said his son would like the gift and threw it into the audience, where his wife Melania caught it.

Putin said the US and Russia needed to solve problems together and that Moscow was ready for intelligence cooperation with America on terrorism and cyber threats. Agreeing on the need for increased cooperation, Trump said: ‘‘If we are going to solve many of the problems facing our world, we will have to find ways to cooperate.’’




Kolkata court summons Congress leader Shashi Tharoor over ‘Hindu-Pakistan’ remark


Kolkata: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was on Saturday summoned by a Kolkata Court over his controversial ‘Hindu-Pakistan’ remark. Kolkata-based advocate Sumeet Chowdhury, in his petition, said that Tharoor’s comments had hurt religious sentiments of the countrymen, insulted the Constitution and that they were intended to create great conflict and disharmony based on the religious divide.

A case has been filed under Section 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 2 of The Prevention Of Insults To National Honour Act, 1971. Tharoor has been asked to present before the court on August 14.

On Thursday, Tharoor had stated that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it will create a condition leading to the formation of a ‘Hindu Pakistan’.


 
Addressing an event in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor had said, “If they (BJP) win a repeat in the Lok Sabha our democratic constitution as we understand it will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the constitution of India and write a new one. That new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that’ll create a Hindu Pakistan.”

Tharoor’s statement drew flak from various political quarters, with the BJP demanding an apology from the Congress president Rahul Gandhi.




133 killed, 200 injured in twin election-related blasts in Pakistan


Peshawar/Karachi: At least 133 people, including a top nationalist leader, were killed and over 200 others injured today in a powerful suicide blast and a targeted attack on separate election rallies in Pakistan, the deadliest in a series of assaults on candidates ahead of the July 25 polls.

Militants targeted a gathering of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area in the troubled Balochistan province. “Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,” District Police Officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai said. Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani. The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that left 128 people dead, police officials said.

The outfit announced the claim through its Aamaq news agency without providing further details. At least 128 people, including Raisani, were killed in the deadly blast, police officials said. Local media confirmed the death toll, quoting Balochistan’s Home Minister Agha Umar Bangalzai. “We have more than 200 people injured and under treatment at different hospitals in Quetta and condition of some of the wounded is critical,” he said.


 
“Initially the death toll was not high but many critically injured persons including Siraj Raisani passed away in hospitals,” Balochistan’s caretaker health minister Faiz Kakar said. Today’s attack is the deadliest terror strike in Pakistan since the brazen terror assault on an Army school in Peshawar in December 2014 in which avout 150 people, mostly students, were killed. Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a suicide blast. They said that around 16-20 kilogram of explosives were used in the attack.

Following the incident, an emergency was declared in Quetta hospitals, with additional medical staff summoned. The attack came hours after a bomb hit a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious party, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami, in Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Five persons were killed and over 37 other injured, police said.

Durrani was unhurt in the attack. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack. Durrani, who is contesting in July 25 elections against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, announced that he will continue campaign despite threats. The twin attacks came as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam returned to the country to face arrest in a corruption case.

The law and order had suddenly deteriorated ahead of elections despite claims by the government and security forces that terrorism has been wiped out of the country. President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk also condemned the attack in separate statements. On Monday, a suicide bomber killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader and candidate in the general elections, Haroon Bilour and 19 others after striking at a corner election meeting in Peshawar city. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the ANP rally. On July 7, seven people were injured when a convoy of a Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal came under attack in Bannu.




Ram temple construction at Ayodhya to begin before 2019 elections: Amit Shah


Hyderabad: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Friday said that construction of a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya will begin before the 2019 elections. Shah told a meeting of party leaders here that steps will be taken to clear the decks for launching construction of the temple before the polls.

BJP National Executive member Perala Sekharjee briefed the media about the meeting at BJP’s Telangana state unit office. “Considering the developments, I believe that construction of Ram temple will begin before the coming general elections,” Sekharjee quoted Shah as saying. The BJP chief, who arrived on a day-long visit to Hyderabad on Friday, also told the meeting that the elections will not be advanced. Shah told his party colleagues to prepare strategies to bring the party to power in the state.




Sensex surges over 250 points to hit record high, Nifty tops 11,000


Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex jumped over 250 points to hit a record high of 36,525.66 points in early trade today, ahead of the release of key macroeconomic data amid fresh foreign capital inflows.

The 30-share index rose by 259.73 points, or 0.72 per cent, to hit a new high of 36,525.66, surpassing its previous intra-day record of 36,443.98 hit on January 29. The gauged had gained 691.38 points in the previous four sessions, powered by a sharp rally in IT bellwether TCS following strong quarterly results. The 50-share NSE Nifty rose 77.35 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 11,025.65. An appreciating rupee, heavy buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and encouraging start to the earnings season contributed to the uptrend, brokers said.

Investors are also optimistic ahead of the release of index of industrial production (IIP) and inflation data, scheduled to be released later in the day, they added. Banking stocks were the biggest sectoral gainers led by BoB rising up to 2 per cent followed by SBI, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank. Shares of Reliance Industries was trading 2 per cent higher at Rs 1,057.05. Other prominent gainers include Maruti Suzuki, HUL, Kotak Bank, HDFC, Coal India, ITC and Bajaj Auto, rising up to 1.17 per cent.


Meanwhile, foreign funds bought shares worth a net of Rs 636.27 crore, while DIIs made purchases worth a net of Rs 15.33 crore on yesterday, provisional data showed. Asian stocks were trading higher, after Brent crude recovered from its biggest one-day fall in two years. Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.79 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.65 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei was trading 1.21 per cent higher in early deals. US stocks, however, fell yesterday amid renewed tensions over global trade and geopolitics. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.88 per cent lower last night.




Telecom Commission approves net neutrality rules recommended by Trai


New Delhi: The Telecom Commission on Wednesday approved net neutrality rules which bar service providers from discriminating against Internet content and services by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access.

Some mission critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars will however be kept out of the purview of net neutrality framework. “The Telecom Commission (TC) today approved net neutrality as recommended by Trai expect some critical services will be kept out of its purview,” Telecom Commission Chairman Aruna Sundararajan told reporters here. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended restrictions on service providers from entering into agreements which lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet.

Trai had favoured tweaking of licensing norms of players to ensure “explicit restrictions” on discrimination in Internet access, based on content. The Department of Telecom will set-up a multi-stakeholder body for monitoring and enforcement of net neutrality comprising government representatives, IoT providers, telecom operators, civil society members and consumer organisations. DoT will seek recommendations from Trai on traffic management for critical services.


TC also approved the new telecom policy —  National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 — for seeking approval of the Union Cabinet, Sundararajan said. “Everybody in the meeting today said that digital infrastructure is even more important than physical infrastructure for India… CEO of Niti Ayog (Amitabh Kant) said that for…districts, we must ensure digital infrastructure is provided at the earliest. Therefore, India must have ease of doing business and enabling policy environment,” she said.

The NDCP aims to attract USD 100 billion or about Rs 6.5 lakh crore investments, 40 lakh new jobs, 50 megabit per second broadband access to every citizen in the digital communications sector by 2022 with the help of reforms. An official, who was part of the meeting, said that the TC has approved installation of around 12.5 lakh WiFi hotspots in all gram panchayats with viability gap funding of around Rs 6,000 crore by December 2018. Under the WiFi project all police stations, post offices, primary health centres, schools will be connected with WiFi services by December 2018 and there will be 1-2 additional WiFi hotspots that will be available for round the public access throughout the day.

The TC has also approved avoidance of double tax on virtual network operators (VNOs) who provide retail services of telecom operators. According to the proposal approved, VNOs will be required to pay levies based on their adjusted gross revenue earned from any value addition that they will be do over the top of service they will buy from telecom operators for selling it to end consumers. The telecom commission has also approved rules for running pilot projects that will be funded from Universal Services Obligation Fund. The pilot projects will be aimed at exploring alternate broadband connectivity technology other than prevalent at the moment like WiFi and mobile Internet and also look at addressing connectivity solutions for less developed districts.




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