Today Picture

‘No power can stop me’: Rahul Gandhi to visit Hathras to meet victim’s family today

‘I won’t accept the behavior of the UP government towards the family of the Hathras victim. None of any Indians will accept it,’ he said.

Two days after being manhandled followed by arrest on his way to hathras, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will go again to meet the family of the Hathras gang rape victim today.

Early morning in a couple of tweets in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said: “I won’t accept the behavior of the UP government towards the family of the Hathras victim. None of any Indians will accept it.”

“No power in the world can stop me from meeting and sharing the pain of the victim’s family of Hathras,” he added.

On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were arrested by the police and taken to the police station while they were on their way to Hathras to meet the family of gang rape victim.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has alleged that he was pushed to the ground and lathi-charged, when he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were marching towards Hathras after their convoy was stopped at the highway between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on the act of police said, “We were stopped from going to Hathras. When we along with Rahul ji took foot-march then we were stopped repeatedly and were lathicharged. But our will power is strong and the lathis of the high and mighty cannot stop us.”

“I wish these lathis were for the protection of Dalit daughter of Hathras,” she said.

The 19-year-old girl who scummed to her injuries on Tuesday night and whose dead-of-night cremation has sparked nation wide protest. The Gandhis along with other Congress volunteers sat on road after Uttar Pradesh police refused to let them continue to Hathras. Gandhis’ SUV had crossed the border, but their convoy was stopped at Greater Noida, which is about 142 km to Hathras. Rahul Gandhi targeting the Prime Minister said, “Just now police pushed me, lathicharged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modi Ji walk in this country? Can’t a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking,”

The UP administration has put a ban on all  large gathering and has set up barricades at border, ahead of the Congress visit. The district administration in Hathras has imposed Section 144 in the area and has banned the entry of all ‘outsiders’ including media persons, in the Boolgarhi village where the 19-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped and has died.

The victim had suffered from multiple fracture, paralysis and had difficulties in breathing by a neck injury in the assault. The police have also said that there was a gash in her tongue as she had bitten it when then four assaulters tried to strangle her.

The incident has triggered public anger and the Yogi Adityanath led UP government has come under attack from the opposition over recent crimes against women.

‘Doing very well’: Donald Trump hospitalized, given experimental Covid-19 treatment

In an 18-second video recorded inside the White House and released on Twitter, Trump broke his silence, saying he was being hospitalized but ‘I think I’m doing very well.’

President Donald Trump was hospitalized Friday and given an experimental Covid-19 treatment, but said he was “well,” following bombshell news that the Republican had contracted the virus, knocking him off the campaign trail a month from the US election.

After having not been seen in public since his shock announcement that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, the president walked out of the White House Friday evening, wearing a mask, and flew by helicopter to the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington.

In an 18-second video recorded inside the White House and released on Twitter, Trump broke his silence, saying he was being hospitalized but “I think I’m doing very well.”

“We’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said, adding that the first lady was also “doing very well.”

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that medical experts recommended Trump “be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.”

The hospitalization indicated an intense effort to make sure the president’s reportedly “mild” symptoms do not deteriorate.

The development also highlighted the uncharted waters for the US election on November 3, with Trump — who is well behind his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the polls — having to freeze much of his campaign.

At first, aides gave rosy assessments, with Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows saying the president, 74, had only mild symptoms, was in “good spirits” and feeling “very energetic.”

Later Friday, a letter issued by White House physician Sean Conley indicated something more serious.

Conley said Trump received a single dose of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, a treatment undergoing clinical trials but not yet approved by regulators.

“He’s being evaluated by a team of experts, and together we’ll be making recommendations to the President and First Lady in regards to next best steps,” Conley wrote.

Biden out on his own

Trump’s illness upended the White House race, with Biden suddenly finding himself alone on the campaign trail — and able to argue that his distinctly more cautious approach to Covid-19 had been vindicated.

Biden has made Trump’s frequent downplaying of the pandemic and mixed messaging on mask-wearing a central campaign theme, arguing the president is to blame for the scale of the crisis in the United States, where more than 200,000 people have died.

Trump has tried repeatedly to shift the narrative to areas where he feels stronger, like the economy, only to find himself drawn back into the coronavirus catastrophe in which he is now the country’s highest-profile patient.

Biden, who stood in close proximity to Trump for 90 minutes during their ill-tempered first debate Tuesday in Cleveland, announced that he and his wife Jill took tests Friday and were negative.

Underlining his sudden advantage in the bitter race, Biden, 77, traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, going ahead with a previously scheduled campaign stop.

Biden said he was praying for Trump and his family, and his campaign announced it would take down all negative ads.

However, Biden also reminded Americans that he has pushed consistently for taking coronavirus seriously, unlike his opponent who has repeatedly mocked the Democrat for his rigorous use of masks yet now finds himself infected.

“Be patriotic,” Biden told supporters in Michigan through a blue surgical mask. “It’s not about being a tough guy. It’s about doing your part.”

Campaign grounded

Trump’s shock diagnosis was a huge blow to his reelection effort, triggering a freeze on plans to barnstorm the country in an attempt to catch up in the polls with Biden.

The Trump campaign said all planned events involving the president were either being postponed or going virtual — starting with the cancellation of a rally Friday in Florida, one Saturday in Wisconsin and others in western states like Arizona next week.

Even the second Trump-Biden debate, scheduled for October 15, is now in some doubt.

Rallies are such a key part of the Trump brand that his sudden inability to travel leaves the campaign scrambling to reinvent its strategy. In addition, Trump has made his argument that coronavirus dangers are overblown a central plank in his reelection platform.

How he can recover momentum will depend first on his health but then how quickly he can come up with a convincing new message in the waning days before November 3.

Contact tracing

News of Trump’s infection came after one of his closest advisors, Hope Hicks, tested positive — sparking fears of a cluster of cases emanating from the heart of the White House.

Trump met with dozens of people through the week and reportedly went to a fundraiser in New Jersey after it was known that Hicks had contracted the virus.

The White House said it was carrying out contact tracing, while Melania Trump’s spokeswoman said the couple’s 14-year-old son Barron had tested negative.

Vice President Mike Pence and other senior figures were tested and announced to be negative. The White House said Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was a negative too.

Technically obese and in his 70s, Trump is in a higher-risk category.

Daniel Griffin, an infectious disease specialist in the New York area, told AFP Trump had an estimated 20 percent chance of developing severe disease requiring oxygenation.

As the news rattled global stock markets, leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Boris Johnson wished the president and first lady a speedy recovery — while Russia’s Vladimir Putin predicted Trump’s “vitality, good spirits and optimism” would see him through.



Hathras horror: 5 policemen, including Superintendent of Police, suspended amid nationwide outrage

The Special Investigation Team probing the incident in its initial report called for their suspension over allegations of mismanagement.

Days after the nationwide outrage over the gang rape and death of a 20-year-old Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, the UP government has suspended five policemen, including the Superintendent of Police.

The Special Investigation Team probing the incident in its initial report called for their suspension over allegations of mismanagement.

It has also asked for a narco-analysis, also known as lie-detector tests, of all those involved including the arrested suspects and the family of the victim.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday had claimed that his government was “committed to the safety, security and development of all mothers and sisters”.

Not only the Hathras, Balrampur, Azamgarh and Bhadohi rape cases are also under scanner of the people sending the Yogi government at the back foot.

In a tweet in Hindi, CM said, “Those who even think of harming mothers and daughters in UP, their destruction is assured. They will get such punishment that will set an example for the future. The govt of UP is committed to the safety and security and development of all mothers and sisters. This is our commitment and promise.”

‘UP is committed to safety, security of women’: CM Adityanath amid nationwide protest against Hathras incident

Yesterday, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien was pushed to the ground in a confrontation with police while on his way to Hathras to meet the voctim’s family.

He and three other party leaders tried to enter the village to meet the family of the 20-year-old Dalit girl who died at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital two weeks after being gang raped by a group of four upper-class men.

The incident has been recorded in a video in which a man in a white shirt and a helmet, who is reported to be UP Joint Magistrate Prem Prakash Meena, has shoved Derek O’Brien and grabbed MP Pratima Mandal by the shoulders to prevent her from walking to the village.

Lucknow gears up for Babri demolition verdict

The early winter air hangs heavy and the smell of fresh paint mixes with that of bleaching powder, used extensively to sanitise disinfect the campus.

Almost four years after the Lucknow High Court shifted out to the new building on Faizabad road, the old High court building in Kaiserbagh is buzzing with activity again.

It is here that the special CBI court will pronounce its verdict in the Babri mosque demolition case on Wednesday.

Former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, former union ministers, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, former MP Vinay Katiyar and several other VHP leaders are among the 32 accused whose fate will be decided in the case on Wednesday.

Ahead of the court verdict, a high alert has been sounded across the state for Wednesday.

According to sources, more than 2,000 police personnel, half of them in civil clothes, have been deployed to ensure the security of the area.

SP Traffic Purnendu Singh said that all vehicular traffic has been banned the area and only ambulances, fire brigades and hearse vans will be allowed to move in the area. This will remain in force till the court verdict is announced.

“There will be other diversions too and barricades will be put up at some places,” he said.

Besides, security has been beefed up in 25 districts that are known to be communally sensitive in Uttar Pradesh.

Special security arrangements have been made in Ayodhya also where police personnel have been deployed in adequate numbers.

Rapid Action Force personnel have also been deployed in Lucknow and Ayodhya.

The CID, Lucknow intelligence unit and the CRPF are manning the complex and dog squads have also been deployed in the court that has been fitted with new CCTV cameras.

Additional district and session judge (Ayodhya matters), SK Yadav, who has been hearing the case on a day-to-day basis since May 2017, has asked all the 32 accused persons to be present in the court when he pronounces the judgment on Wednesday.

The verdict will be announced in Court room number 18, and it has been decided that only five out of 32 accused will be inside the courtroom at any time. The rest will be seated outside in the lobby.

There were 49 accused in the case apart from lakhs of ‘kar sevaks’ named in two separate FIRs lodged at the Ram Janmabhoomi (RJB) police station on the day of the demolition.

Seventeen named accused, including Bal Thackeray, Ashok Singhal, Mahant Avaidyanath, Giriraj Kishore and Vijayaraje Scindia passed away during the course of the trial, leaving 32 accused in the case.

Sources said that L K Advani, Uma Bharti, MM Joshi and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das are unlikely to be present when the court announces its verdict. Their applications for exemption are likely to be moved by their counsel before the court and they will seek exemption on health grounds.

Uma Bharti has been found Covid positive and admitted to a hospital while Kalyan Singh was also hospitalised after testing positive for Covid.

Jaishankar to visit Japan for Quad FMs meet on 6-7 Oct

In the midst of ongoing tensions with China, external affairs minister S Jaishankar will visit Japan on 6-7 October to participate in the 2nd ministerial meeting of the ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ that brings India, Japan, Australia and the US on a common platform.

Jaishankar is visiting Tokyo for bilateral consultations with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi and the two ministers are expected to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, the External Affairs Ministry said today.

The foreign ministers of the Quad, which was upgraded to the ministerial level in September last year, will discuss the “post-Covid-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic”, the foreign office said.

The ministers will also discuss regional issues and “collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive IndoPacific”.

Jaishankar will also hold bilateral consultations with Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo during the visit. The Quad meet assumes significance against the backdrop of China’s aggressive actions against its neighbours, including India and Japan. Both Australia and the US also have serious differences with China over trade and other major issues.

Hathras victim cremated, police denies coercion

19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras, who died in a Delhi hospital after sustaining grievous injuries during an alleged gang rape, was cremated early Wednesday in her village amid tight security.

“The police have forcibly taken the dead body, and my father along with them for cremation. When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken (to the crematorium) by the police,” the victim’s brother told the media.

However, Hathras police have denied the charges and has issued a notice saying the coercion being talked about on social media is canard. It said: “The family cremated the body with due rituals under the supervision of police and administration.”

The victim, who was paralyzed after being allegedly dragged on the field by her attackers on September 14, died at the Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday after battling for life for a fortnight.

Her mortal remains reached the Boolgarhi village around midnight and the cremation was done at 3 a.m.

There was tension as the victim’s mortal remains reached the village and people tried to block the ambulance from moving ahead.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikrant Veer denied any ‘urgency’ by the police in holding the cremation at night even though cremations do not normally take place after sunset.

He added that the cremation was done by the family as usual after the body reached Boolgarhi village. The SP claimed that the situation is calm in the village, but heavy police force has been deployed.

The woman was allegedly raped in a Hathras village by four men, who were later taken into custody. Initially she was rushed to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh, but on Monday night had to be shifted to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi after her condition deteriorated.

She was in a critical condition and on ventilator support.

The police claimed that the post-mortem report did not confirm any sexual assault.

The brutality against the teenager sparked outrage across the country with several political leaders, Bollywood actors and activists demanding justice for her.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted that it was a matter of concern that the victim’s family was denied the right to perform her last rites. “This is unjust and unfair,” he said.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted: “Government has snatched away the family’s right to perform the cremation of the victim. The government did not provide her security and timely treatment and now they have denied her dignity in death.”

India’s recovery rate past 83%; recoveries outnumber active cases

The number of people who have recuperated from COVID-19 in India crossed 51 lakh, improving the national recovery rate to over 83 per cent and outnumbering the active cases by more than 41.5 lakh, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

As much as 73 per cent of the new recovered cases were reported from 10 states and Union Territories — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Kerala, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

Maharashtra topped the list with nearly 20,000 recoveries, while Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh contributed more than 7,000 to the single-day recoveries, the ministry said. The sustained high level of recoveries have led to a further widening of the gap between active and recovered cases, it said.

“Recovered cases exceed active cases by more than 41.5 lakh (41,53,831). The recovered cases are 5.38 times the active cases. The recoveries are consistently rising,” the ministry underlined. There are 9,47,576 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country presently, which is “merely” 15.42 per cent of the total caseload and “is consistently declining”.

The daily new recovered cases again exceeded the new infections, the ministry said. While 84,877 patients recuperated from COVID-19 in 24 hours in the country, 70,589 new infections were reported during the same period, according to the data updated at 8 am Tuesday.

The total number of recoveries has touched 51,01,397 pushing the recovery rate to 83.01 per cent as on date. The recovery rate was 82.58 per cent on Monday. Ten states and UTs account for 73 per cent of the 70,589 new cases that have been reported in 24 hours in the country.

Maharashtra continues to lead this tally, accounting for more than 11,000 cases, followed by Karnataka with more than 6,000. There have been 776 fatalities in a day, with 10 states and UTs accounting for 78 per cent of the deaths in 24 hours due to coronavirus infection. Of the new fatalities, Maharashtra reported more than 23 per cent with 180 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu with 70. India’s COVID-19 caseload mounted to 61,45,291 with 70,589 new infections, while the death toll reached 96,318 after 776 people succumbed to the disease in 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Delhi logs 48 fresh Covid deaths, highest in 75 days: With 59,102 tests conducted to identify coronavirus positive cases, Delhi today recorded 3,227 fresh Covid cases, which took its caseload to 2,76,325.

The national capital today recorded 48 deaths due to Covid ~ highest in 75 days ~ which pushed its coronavirus death toll to 5,320. This was the highest number of Covid deaths reported in a day in the city since 16 July, when it had recorded 58 fatalities.

Bhim Army protests at Safdarjung hospital, demands death penalty for culprits of Hathras gang rape

The Chandrashekar Azad’s Bhim Army holds a protest against the death of a 19-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday demanding the strict punishment against the perpetrators.

The members of the Bhim Army are protesting outside the Delhi hospital, where she died today.

Taking it to twitter, Chandrashekar Azad said, “I appeal to the members of the Bahujan Samaj community to take it to the roads donning black bands and lead a candle march as a mark of protest. And demand hanging of the culprits.”

“Do not test our patience. I demand immediate hanging of the culprits and till it does not happens, neither we’ll sleep nor let the government sleep. I am reaching Safdarjung hospital,” he said in a tweet earlier.

On the news of the death of the girl, he said, “I had been demanding the admission of the girl to AIIMS, but the BJP government didn’t do so. The state government is equally culprit in the death of our sister as the actual perpetrators are.”

The road in front of AIIMS is blocked and slogans of “Phansi do (hang them)” are being raised by the crowd.

After two weeks of being gang-raped by a group of upper-caste men, a 19-year-old Dalit woman from Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh succumbed to injuries at a hospital in New Delhi.

The girl was raped on September 14 and was initially admitted to a district hospital with her tongue cut off and spinal cord severely injured, among other serious injuries.

The girl was first admitted to the ICU of a hospital in west UP’s Aligarh and later shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital

The four accused belonging to the upper caste community were charged with gangrape and attempt to murder, apart from charges under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The accused were arrested based on a statement provided by the victim on September 23.

She gave her statement after she briefly regained consciousness.

She had accused three men – Sandeep, his uncle Ravi (35) and their friend Luv Kush, of committing the crime.

DM of Hathras has released the official statement:

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a couple of tweets in Hindi said, “The rape victim of UP’s Hathras has succumbed to injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital. For two weeks, she was struggling for her survival. The series of rape incidents in Hathras, Shahjahanpur and Gorakhpur have shaken the state.”

“The law and order situation in UP has been disturbed to an extent. There is no arrangement for the women safety. Criminals are committing crime without any fear. The perpetrators should be severely punished,” she said.

Farmers stage protest at India gate against agriculture bills, set tractor on fire

As per the reports, around 15 to 20 persons had gathered at the central Delhi location between 7:15 AM and 7:30 AM and set an old tractor on fire.

With the agriculture bill deemed passed in the Parliament and President giving assent yesterday, the protests of farmers against the bills have triggered in Delhi on Monday.

The protesting farmers have set a tractor on fire near India Gate in Delhi in the morning during protests.

The police came in action and removed the tractor and the fire has been put out by the fire department.

As per the reports, around 15 to 20 persons had gathered at the central Delhi location between 7:15 AM and 7:30 AM and set the old tractor on fire.

The police told that the protesters had raised pro-Congress slogans and they are trying to identify those involved.

“We wanted to send a message that the protest should happen at Delhi as the issue is related to central govt and PM modi .The farmers have to occupy India Gate and Parliament to make their voice heard to arrogant Modi. Today’s protest was symbolic and we take responsibility,” said Brinder Dhillon President of Punjab Youth Congress in a tweet.

The incident was live-streamed by the Punjab Youth Congress on its official Facebook page.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union and several other organizations on Friday held nationwide demonstration and chakkajam against three contentious farm legislations which were passed in the Parliament earlier this week.

In Punjab, the state which has Agriculture as primary business, the farmer unions began a three-day ‘rail roko’ protest at six different locations in the state.

Amid the protests, the Railways has partially cancelled 20 trains and short-terminated five trains till September 26.

The three bills were introduced by the governrmtn contending that they will benefit the farmers.

Introducing the Bill, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said, “I want to assure everyone that the bills have nothing to do with MSPs. MSPs were there and will continue. I would request everyone to reconsider their views on the farm bills. The two bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. The farmers will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country.”

‘Impossible’ to defer Civil Services exams any further: UPSC tells Supreme Court

The civil services exam is scheduled on October 4, a date fixed after a postponement due to the coronavirus induced lockdown.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday told the Supreme Court that the Civil Services examinations cannot be postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The civil services exam is scheduled on October 4, a date fixed after a postponement due to the coronavirus induced lockdown.

UPSC tells the Supreme Court that it is impossible to defer Civil Services exams any further.

SC was hearing a plea filed by UPSC aspirants, seeking postponement of upcoming Civil Services (prelims) exam.

The court today asked the UPSC to file its affidavit by tomorrow.