Today Picture

Bulandshahr violence: Son of deceased cop had just finished writing exam when he received tragic news of his father’s death

Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh): Abhishek Kumar son of deceased cop Subodh Kumar who was shot dead yesterday during Bulandshahr clashes, on Tuesday presented a brave face amid the unfortunate loss and asserted that his father always wanted his children to respect all religions.

Abhishek told ANI, “He wanted us to be a good citizen. He wanted us to be a person who doesn’t incite violence in the name of religion. Be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian everyone is equal over here. It is my father who lost his life this time, who is going to be the next?” Abhishek Kumar, a class 12 student had just finished writing his exams when he received the unfortunate news of his father’s death.

Recalling his last conversation with his father he said, “I had spoken to him one day before the incident. He was telling me to work on my weak subjects and advised me to focus more on the subject in which I received fewer marks during the last examination.” Abhishek also shared turn of events which led to his father’s death and said, “There were reports of some stone pelting in the concerned police station area and when my father reached the spot he was hit by a stone on his head. He became unconscious. Later when the constables were taking my father, the police jeep came under attack. The constables went away from the place and my father who was unconscious was shot above the left eye.” Additional Director General (ADG) of the Meerut zone, Prashant Kumar  today informed that two named accused have been arrested in connection with Kumar’s murder.

Inspector Subodh Kumar and a local youth were killed in Bulandshahr on Monday when a mob went on a rampage over allegations of illegal cow slaughter.  He was also the Investigating officer (IO) in the Akhlaq lynching case. Police have lodged two First Information Reports in Bulandshahr case. One FIR is against the alleged cattle slaughter and the other against the violent protests which followed.

Usman Khawaja’s brother arrested over fake ‘terror hit list’, Australian cricketer requests privacy

Sydney: The brother of Australia test cricketer Usman Khawaja has been taken into custody by counter-terrorism police investigating the discovery in August of a laptop computer containing a purported terrorist hit-list. Arsalan Khawaja, 39, was arrested Tuesday morning after being pulled over while driving in western Sydney, according to a spokesperson for New South Wales state police.

Australian media, quoting police sources, said Arsalan Khawaja was being questioned about forgery and an attempt to pervert justice. The arrest comes as Usman Khawaja prepares with the Australia squad in Adelaide ahead of Thursday’s first test against India, the start of a crucial four-match series in which the home side could challenge India’s position as the world’s top-ranked test team.

Tuesday’s police operation stemmed from the discovery in an office at the University of New South Wales of a laptop which contained an alleged hit-list naming former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy Julie Bishop. The device also reportedly contained blueprints for attacks on train stations and landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House.

When Usman was questioned over the matter by media, he was quoted by Cricinfo as saying “This is a matter for the police to deal with. Out of respect for the process it’d be inappropriate for me to be making any further comment. I just ask for you to please respect my privacy and my family’s privacy during this time.”

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported police were not alleging Arsalan Khawaja intended to carry out terrorist attacks but that he tampered with the laptop to frame a colleague, 25-year-old PhD student Mohamed Nizamdeen. Nizamdeen spent four weeks in solitary confinement at Sydney’s Goulburn Supermax prison before all terrorism charges against him were dropped in October.

The ABC said Arsalan Khawaja aimed to frame Nizamdeen in a dispute over a woman. Nizamdeen, speaking from his native Sri Lanka, later described the police operation which led to his arrest as “immature, embarrassing and biased.” “I am completely exonerated and I hope the media and the Sri Lankan public can help me pick up the pieces of my shattered life,” he said. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Nizamdeen was now planning to sue police.

Bulandshahr violence: 2 arrested for killing police officer; SIT to probe case

Uttar Pradesh, India: Additional Director General (ADG) of the Meerut zone, Prashant Kumar on Tuesday informed that two named accused have been arrested in connection with the murder of the police officer, Subodh Kumar, who was shot dead yesterday in the Bulandshahr clashes. Today morning, he along with Inspector General (IG) Meerut zone, Ram Kumar and other officials paid last respect to the deceased cop and laid a wreath beside the inspector’s body.

Thereafter sharing details of the investigation and arrests made in the case, ADG Prashant Kumar told ANI, “We have registered an FIR in case of inspector Subodh Kumar’s death. The two named accused have been arrested. Attempts are ongoing to arrest others. The government has announced that the family of deceased will be provided with a financial aid of Rs 50 Lakh. Apart from this extraordinary pension will be provided to his wife. Also as per rules one kin of the deceased will be provided with a job.” He also informed that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the case.

“A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed under IG Range Meerut. Different aspects such as how did this incident occur, why the mob got violent, how many people were there with the inspector and did anyone flee from the spot. SIT will inquire about all these thing and action will be taken if there is any laxity,” Kumar said.

ADG Kumar also asserted that some seven to eight people have been named in the FIR. ‘Further action will be taken as per the emerging details,’ he said. Meanwhile, deceased cop Subodh’s son Abhishek on Tuesday asserted that his father wanted his kids to become good citizens who are secular. A student of class 12, Abhishek said, “I received a call around afternoon that he has been shot and is dead. Thereafter we were told his postmortem is being conducted. We were told that he reached the site of protest and was hit by a stone and went unconscious. He wanted us to be a good citizen and taught us not be religion biased. He believed that all our citizens are equal and should stay united.”

Singh lost his life in the clashes that erupted over the presence of illegal animal slaughterhouses in Bulandshahr city. He was also the Investigating officer (IO) in the Akhlaq lynching case. As per the police, clashes began after locals found cattle carcass in the nearby area. During the violence that ensued in the region, a local youth, identified as Sumit, was also shot. He, later on, succumbed to his injuries.

PM Narendra Modi terms minority reservation a betrayal of nation

Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said attempts to provide reservation to minorities are betrayal with the nation and an insult to the framers of the Indian Constitution. Addressing an election rally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he called for defeating any such move to protect the country’s unity.

Hitting out at the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for its move to increase reservation for minorities to 12 per cent, Modi said he was surprised how the power-hungry were pushing for religion-based quota for the sake of their family and to save their seats of power. Stating that the issue of religion-based reservation was discussed in the Constituent Assembly, the Prime Minister said the great personalities framing the Constitution decided against it in the interest of the country’s unity.

Modi wondered from where the reservation for minorities would come when the Supreme Court had already fixed the upper limit of total reservation at 50 per cent. “They will take away the rights of Dalits, STs and OBCs from backdoor. Will you allow this crime?” he asked the participants in the rally held at L.B. Stadium. Telangana Assembly had last year passed a resolution to increase reservation for minorities in jobs and education from current 4 per cent to 12 per cent and the same was sent to the Centre. TRS had blamed Modi for the delay in implementing its poll promise made in 2014.

Modi also came down heavily on TRS, saying it destroyed Telangana the way Congress destroyed the nation. Countering Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that TRS is ‘B’ team of BJP, Modi said TRS and the Congress had common nature, character, thinking and policies. The Prime Minister recalled that during the Karnataka Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi used to dub Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) as the ‘B’ team of BJP, but after the elections formed the government with the same party to keep the BJP out of power.

Branding the TRS and the Congress as the two sides of the same coin, he alleged that they have already started planning backdoor entry to prevent BJP from coming to power in Telangana. Modi said both TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had their apprenticeship in the Congress and this made them natural friends. He described dynasty politics as a threat to the democracy. He pointed out that barring the BJP, all major parties in fray in the Telangana elections were parties with dynasty politics and family rule.

He said the Congress, TRS, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) all were family-ruled parties. “All these parties are becoming threat to democracy,” he remarked. Modi said Telangana had wasted its five years of welfare due to the arrogance of one family. He alleged that the KCR family exploited emotions of Telangana movement for itself. Stating that Telangana had huge potential, he said the state could not progress because of the kind of rulers it got.

“Why people of Telangana demanded a separate state? Why they suffered so long for separate Telangana. Why so many youth sacrificed their lives? They did it for a bright future of Telangana. One family was not to be given the right to loot Telangana.” Referring to the TDP’s alliance with the Congress, Modi recalled that N.T. Rama Rao had formed the TDP for the self-respect of Telugu people after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had insulted them. He alleged that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu for the sake of power and vested interests put the entire party into the lap of Rahul Gandhi.


India sees US as an important defence partner: Nirmala Sitharaman

Washington: Commencing her five-day official visit to the United States, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday asserted that New Delhi sees the US as an important partner in the field of defence. In her remarks at the start of her bilateral talks with the US Defence Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon, Sitharaman said mutual trust and confidence in defence partnership between the two countries were growing.

The defence minister added that she was encouraged by the importance attached to the India-US defence relationship in the new US National Security Strategy. “A strong foundation has been laid for the India-US defence relationship over the years. India sees the US as an important partner in defence,” Sitharaman said, adding that the two countries have good military to military cooperation, defence consultations, scientific collaborations and co-production and co-development and industry collaboration.

Exuding confidence that the bilateral talks would accord greater momentum to the dialogue and partnership between the two countries, she said the relationship continued to be very strong. The recent meetings between the two countries, Sitharaman said, have underscored their mutual desire to move positively. The high-level exchanges are an indication of the depth and the quality of bilateral ties as well as their mutual desire to work closely on a range of regional and global issues, she added. Sitharaman appreciated the responsiveness of the Trump Administration to India’s sensitivities.

At the same time, it is also indicative of the desire and the effort to have an even more robust relationship than before, she said. “Especially over the past three to four years, we have made considerable progress. Our relations, based on common democratic values, enjoy strong political and popular support in both countries. There’s a growing mutual trust and also the confidence in defence partnership, which augurs very well for the future,” Sitharaman said.

Quota for Muslims: Asaduddin Owaisi advises PM Narendra Modi to read Constitution

Hyderabad: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruling out reservation for the Muslims, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday advised him to read the Constitution of India. “If you can’t understand the Constitution, I request you to take the help of somebody who knows it,” the Hyderabad MP told an election rally of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) here.

Speaking hours after Modi addressed a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally in Hyderabad, Owaisi said the Prime Minister should read Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution. The AIMIM chief reminded Modi that his party’s government in Karnataka continued the reservation for Muslims. “In Maharashtra you are giving reservation to Marathas. Is it allowed?” he said. “You can give reservation to Marathas, Jats and Gujjars but not to Muslims. As the Prime Minister you can’t discriminate against one community. You have taken oath on the Constitution and you are the Prime Minister of India, which also has Muslims.”

The Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad said while Muslims cannot be given reservation on the basis of religion, they can be extended this benefit on the basis of their social and educational backwardness. He also advised Modi to go through Sacchar Commission, Mishra Commission and Sudheer Committee reports which amply make it clear that Muslims are the most backward socially and educationally after the Dalits.

“Our backwardness is proved but it is another matter that you don’t want to accept it. You merely make tall claims of ‘sab ka sath, sab ka vikas’,” he said. Owaisi said the AIMIM would make all efforts to see that socially and economically backwards among the Muslims get reservation not just in Telangana and Maharashtra but all over the country. Addressing a BJP election rally in Hyderabad on Monday night, Modi said minority reservation amounts to an act of treason and those making attempts are insulting the framers of the Constitution.

Why an act can’t be passed for Ram temple while Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue can be built: RSS

Mumbai: Taking a dig at the BJP government, the RSS on Sunday wondered why an act cannot be passed for construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya while a huge statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel can be built in Gujarat.

Addressing a public rally here, senior Sangh leader Dattatreya Hosabale said though a separate bench has been formed by the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Ayodhya title suits, no decision has been taken yet on the pending issue. “If Sardar Patel’s statue can be erected on the banks of the Narmada river (in Gujarat), why an act cannot be passed to build a giant Ram temple?” questioned Hosabale, the Sah Sarkaryavaah or Joint General Secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).

He was speaking at a rally here which was organised jointly by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and some regional religious outfits with an objective to mount pressure on the Centre for expediting construction of the Ram temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated an imposing 182-metre statue of the country’s first Home Minister, touted as the world’s tallest, on October 31 at Sadhu Bet near Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district.

“Then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao while speaking before the Supreme Court had stated that if the archaeological survey finds remains of a temple (at the site), the land would be made available for the temple. The excavation has found remains of the temple, but the court now says that this decision is not on its priority list,” Hosabale said. In his annual Vijaya Dashmi rally in Nagpur this October, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had demanded a law to pave the way for construction of the temple in Ayodhya.

Hosabale said, “The SC has already formed a separate bench for the hearings on Ayodhya, still there has been no decision”. On October 29, the apex court fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute cases for the first week of January next year before an appropriate bench, which will decide the schedule of hearing. Many Hindu organisations have been demanding construction of the Ram temple, as promised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before coming to power in 2014.

The saffron party has said that it was committed to the construction of the temple, but was silent on bringing an ordinance in Parliament for the purpose. A three-judge bench of the Allahabad high court had in 2010 ordered that the 2.77 acres of the disputed land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. As many as 14 appeals were filed against the high court judgement.

Religion personal matter, not inheritance of political party: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jaipur: Amid war of words between political parties in poll-bound Rajasthan, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Sunday religion is a personal matter and not the inheritance of a party. Scindia’s remarks come a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his party were confused about his religion and caste.

Swaraj was reacting to Gandhi’s statement asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi what kind of a Hindu he is as he “does not understand” the foundation of Hinduism. “As far as religion of any individual is concerned it is his personal matter. Where do you go, which faith you follow, it is a personal matter. Any religion is not an inherited property of any political party,” Scindia told reporters at a press conference here. He said religion should not enter the domain of politics and vice-versa.

Attacking the BJP for raking up the Ram temple issue, he said, “It is their habit to say ‘mandir hum wahi banayege lekin tareek nahi batayege’ (they make hollow promises on building the Ram temple). It is the BJP’s reality.” Clarifying the Congress’s stand on the Ram temple issue, Scindia said that the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter will be applicable on everyone and it is our responsibility to abide by it.

‘No link’ to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, claims LTTE

New Delhi: In an alleged statement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has claimed that they had ‘no link’ in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. The alleged letter from LTTE has been signed by their Political Wing representative Kurburan Guruswami and Legal Wing representative Lathan Chandralingam.

Claiming itself to be an organization “by the people, for the people and of the people of Tamil Eelam,” LTTE, in its alleged statement, said that time and again they have “clearly demonstrated with evidence in support that the LTTE has not been involved in any kind with the murder of Rajiv Gandhi, this unverified allegation is still being imposed.”  “Due to this defamation campaign, our people are being pushed into instability. Some others even go too far as to assert that ‘the lives of the 1,50 000 people killed in Mullivaikaal do not worth altogether to the single life of Rajiv Gandhi”. This declaration is hurting,” the alleged statement read.

“The LTTE never intended to demolish the leadership of India nor attack India. We never turned our guns toward any person or leader who was not part of Sri Lanka. We never planned any attack against any non-Sri Lankan leader. We never developed any action against any national leader of India,” it added.

It further claimed that “the pre-planned murder of Rajiv Gandhi is the result of a conspiracy motivated by the purpose of dismantling the strong relationship between the Indian government and the LTTE.”  “We ask for an immediate cessation of this allegation of defamation upon the LTTE concerning the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. As a result, we hope to put an end to the infamy on the LTTE on an international platform and that the International Community would at last end the ban on the LTTE that prevents our People to breathe the air of freedom,” LTTE added.

Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik denies changes in Permanent Residence Certificate rules

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday denied all allegations that the government was trying to make changes to the act governing permanent residence certificates in the Valley.

In a statement issued by Raj Bhawan, Malik said, “I would like to mention that the government is not making or even considering any changes to the act governing Permanent Residence Certificates in the state. It is an integral part of the legal structure of Jammu and Kashmir and there is no attempt whatsoever of tamper with this law. ” “I would like to highlight that no changes in the procedural rules governing the issue of PR certificates will ever be done without larger consultations with all stakeholders Consultations are essential so as to avoid, unnecessary apprehensions in the minds of anyone,” the letter read further.

The reply came after National Conference leader and former Chief Minister of the state, Omar Abdullah wrote a letter to the governor raising concerns over changes in rules governing the Permanent Residence Certificates. In his reply to Abdulla, Malik wrote, “To the best of my knowledge nothing of this sort is being contemplated at the moment nor have any decisions been taken. However, in view of the concerns expressed by you, I will assure you that nothing will be done to modify the procedures for issuing PR certificates.”

“As a senior political leader, I would request you not to pay heed to such frivolous and unfounded reports, In fact, you have an obligation to dispel rather than promote unnecessary mistrust among people and are always welcome to discuss Issues with me which you have been doing once in a while,” Malik added. The Governor also pointed out that seeking a PRC is one of the services under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Services Guarantee Act.

“As per the act, a PRC by a genuine state subject applicant should be obtained within a period of 30 days from the date of application but it is observed that many genuine applicants face avoidable difficulties in getting a PRC with the timeline,” Malik’s letter further read. He added that there were complaints that the issuance of these certificates gets delayed due to a variety of procedural reasons. “It is in this context of having a hassle-free process for bonafide applicants that I believe the Revenue Department has sought comments from few others. This is a routine administrative matter and unnecessary meanings should not be read into it,” he said Concluding the letter with a jibe, Malik said, “Incidentally my fax machine was working and your fax was received and confirmed by my office while you were tweeting that it was not functional.”