Kolkata (West Bengal): BJP leader Anupam Hazra has been booked for allegedly beating up a man and molesting his girlfriend at a pub in the city, police said on Monday. Hazra, a former Trinamool Congress MP, has been also booked for allegedly snatching the man’s gold chain following a brawl over clicking selfies with him at a pub on Ho Chi Minh Sarani late on Saturday night, a senior police officer said.
A complaint has been lodged by Suresh Roy, a resident of Kasba area, on Sunday following which police has started an investigation into the incident, the officer said.
In his complaint, Roy said he met Hazra during a visit to the pub with his girlfriend and friends on Saturday night and had taken selfies with the politician, he said.
“Roy mentioned in the complaint that sometime after taking selfies with Hazra, the BJP leader came up to the complainant and asked him the reason for clicking his photographs. Roy said Hazra then verbally abused him and punched him on the face,” the officer said.
Roy alleged that after beating him up, Hazra had molested his girlfriend and also snatched his gold chain that was around his neck.
“We are scrutinising CCTV footage of the pub and are also speaking with its manager and people present there during the incident,” the officer said.
Hazra, when contacted, dismissed the charges and alleged that the complainant was “fully drunk” when he approached him for a selfie.
“My security guards initially did not allow him (Roy) but when he kept on requesting for a selfie, I told them to let him click it. After taking the selfie, he went to his table.
“However, one of my security guards saw him taking videos of me from his table and sending them to someone. It was then we complained to the pub manager about it who drove the group away from there,” Hazra said.
Dismissing the allegations, Hazra said, “There has been no such incident. Because I am a BJP leader, police has registered such a complaint. No officer has contacted me till now.”
Students in several major Indian cities are planning protests after students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the capital Delhi were attacked on Sunday night.
At least 40 students and staff were admitted to hospital after being attacked by masked men wielding sticks.
Police have begun a probe and say they have identified some of the assailants.
Students in some cities like Mumbai and Hyderabad have already taken to the streets in support of JNU.
The JNU student union blamed Sunday’s violence on the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a right-wing student body linked to India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the ABVP said that its members had been attacked by left-wing groups, and some had been injured.
The university initially released a statement informing students that “armed miscreants” were “roaming around, damaging property and attacking people”.
It later released another statement in which it blamed a “group of students” who were opposing an ongoing admission process to register new students. It is widely believed that the statement referred to leftist students who have been protesting against the hostel fee hike for the past three months.
The university also recently saw protests over a controversial citizenship law.
Students at the university said they would take out rallies against the violence on Monday. A group of them also protested against police “inaction”, alleging that it took them hours to get to the campus.
Further protests are being planned in several other cities as well.
In the financial capital, Mumbai, university students will continue a protest against the incident at the Gateway of India monument. They had gathered there by midnight, with more and more people joining in since then.
The students of Jamia Millia Islamia university in Delhi and the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh state, which have also recently seen violence on campus premises, are planning to take out big protests on Monday.
Demonstrations are also expected in the cities of Hyderabad, Chennai (formerly Madras), Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.
The violence has been condemned across the board, including by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and foreign minister S Jaishankar – both of whom are alumni of the university.
Actor Russell Crowe has used his winner’s speech at the Golden Globes to raise awareness of the deadly bushfire crisis in Australia.
“Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” he said in a message read out on stage by show host Jennifer Aniston.
Crowe won the award for his portrayal of Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes in The Loudest Voice in the Room.
His comments join a wave of celebrity support for the fire response.
At least 24 people have died since the fires began in September.
The fires are a natural part of the Australian weather cycle, but have been worsened this year by hotter-than-average temperatures and a persistent drought in many areas.
Crowe is one of thousands of Australian residents whose homes have been lost or damaged by the bushfires, which are affecting every state and territory.
“We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is,” he said in his message.
Crowe was not at the Golden Globes ceremony in Hollywood – Aniston said he had stayed at home to protect his family.
He has been posting regularly on social media since the fires began, about the damage to his home but also encouraging donations to the largely volunteer fire services.
His latest video showed his Golden Globe alongside his firefighting equipment.
Actress Cate Blanchett also paid tribute at the ceremony to the largely volunteer firefighting operation, saying: “When one country is facing a climate disaster, we are all facing a climate disaster.”
And Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor in a drama for The Joker, called on Hollywood to “get unified and make some changes” on climate change.
Sports and celebrity donations
The Golden Globe speeches are part of a surge of celebrity activism over the past week, as the scale of the crisis has become more known internationally.
Scores of actors, singers and sports stars – Australian or otherwise – have donated to help the victims of the fires or are encouraging others to do so.
Australian actress Margot Robbie shared an emotional appeal on Instagram on Monday showing pictures of her childhood to show “how beautiful our country is”.
“It is so beautiful and it’s really hurting right now,” she said, while calling for her followers to give to various charities “to give future generations the kind of childhood I was so lucky to have”.
Prominent Australian writers have also joined forces under the #AuthorsForFireys hashtag on Twitter, auctioning off personalised pieces of writing, workshops, illustrations or coaching in exchange for donations.
She shared an image of her mother-in-law’s home, saying: “It’s terrifying. They are scared.”
Kim Kardashian-West, who has nearly 63 million followers on Twitter, tweeted a string of news articles about the fires on 3 January, followed by the message: “Climate change is real”, while Selena Gomez, with more than 59 million followers on Twitter, also called for donations.
Mardaani 2 Box Office Day 24: It is now the biggest solo grosser for Rani Mukerji. The film has managed to edge past the lifetime numbers of her last release Hichki which had accumulated 46.17 crores in its overall run. In comparison, Mardaani 2 has now touched 46.50 crores* after bringing in 1.25 crores* over the weekend gone by.
This is a good enough feat for the actress who has been around for a couple of decades and had in fact started her career with a female centric film, Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat. While that was 22 years back, the actress is still going strong and is managing to pull audiences primarily on her name. In case of Mardaani 2, the antagonist was a new actor while the director too was a first timer. Still, on the basis of the pull that she enjoys and also the content that the director managed to put together for the film, Mardaani 2 has emerged as a success story, which is quite good.
It is now a given that Mardaani 3 will also be made by Aditya Chopra. Though Mardaani 2 may just about miss out on the 50 crores milestone by a crore or two, one just hopes that Mardaani 3 is released with a lot more fanfare and eventually it manages to be a much bigger success that the franchise warrants.
*Estimates. Final numbers awaited
Note: All collections as per production and distribution sources
Today is the last day to apply for the online application for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020 on the official website ntaneet.nic.in. The information was provided by the National Testing Agency (NTA) by releasing a notification on ntaneet.nic.in.
NEET 2020 is only for the undergraduate level medical entrance examination in the country.
Earlier, the last date to apply for NEET 2020 was December 31, 2019, but later, it was extended to January 6, 2020.
From this year, NEET has become mandatory for candidates who want to take admission to the MBBS course in medical colleges across the country including JIPMER and every AIIMS.
Previously, AIIMS and JIPMER conducted their own admission test for MBBS and BDS courses separately every year.
Candidates who are interested in AIIMS MBBS and JIPMER MBBS are required to appear for NEET examination this academic year onwards.
Important dates for NEET 2020
Opening date of NEET application: December 2, 2019
Last date of NEET application form: January 6, 2020
Admit card to be out on: March 27, 2020
Date of examination: May 3, 2020
Tentative release date of the result: June 4, 2020
10+2 pass in core subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English are eligible to take the exam.
NEET UG 2020 exam will be OMR-based. The scores in NEET-UG 2020 will be converted into a percentile score.
Candidates should not be younger than 17 years of age or older than 25 years of age on or before 6th January 2020 (the year of admission to the medical college).
Here is how you can apply for NEET UG 2020:
1. Log on to the official website ntaneet.nic.in
2. Fill in the online application form to register
3. Note down the registration details. Upload your photo and signature.
4. Select the mode of payment and submit your fee for the NEET UG 2020 entrance examination
5. Print the candidate details after the successful remittance of fee.
The government hosted a meeting with Bollywood celebrities regarding the ongoing protests for the citizenship amendment act (CAA) in various parts of India. Various names such as Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Kabir Khan, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ritesh Sidhwani and others were invited for the meeting. However, most of them, including KJo, gave it a miss.
Farhan Akhtar stated he is out of the country and thus will not be able to attend the meeting. His business partner Ritesh Sidhwani, however, was seen at the meeting, which was held in Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt hotel.
Other names to attend the meeting, held by railway minister Piyush Goyal, were Kunal Kohli, Prasoon Joshi, Anu Malik, Vipul Shah, Bhushan Kumar, Kailash Kher, Anil Sharma, Shailesh Lodha, Shashi Ranjan, Ritesh Sidhwani, Abhishek Kapoor, Suresh Wadhkar, Rahul Rawal, Ranvir Shorey, and Shaan.
Here’s the invite:
Interestingly, names like Swara Bhasker, Varun Grover, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anubhav Sinha, Neeraj Ghaywan and Anurag Kashyap, who had been openly talking about CAA protests on the internet, were not invited for the conference.
Soon after reports of the meeting made rounds of the internet, Twitter went on a protest against Bollywood and asked the Bollywood biggies to not be part of the CAA meeting. #BollywoodWakeUp started trending on Twitter for a long time.
The invite reportedly came from film producer Mahavir Jain. He has also been linked as Modi’s man and the name behind the popular Bollywood selfie with Modi.
Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop – and Mr Morrison’s Liberal Party colleague – said she thought the PM was “doing the best he can”, but said Canberra should show leadership on global climate change.
“We don’t have a national energy policy in this country and a national approach to climate change,” she said.
“If a country like Australia fails to show leadership, we can hardly blame other nations for not likewise showing leadership in this area.”
New Delhi: The JNU on Sunday night said students opposing the semester registration process “moved aggressively” in a bid to stop those supporting the process, triggering a clash, while “masked miscreants” carrying sticks and rods went on a rampage in hostel rooms. It warned that those who were “trying to disrupt peaceful academic atmosphere of campus will not be spared” and said it is filing a police complaint to bring the culprits to book.
Explaining how scuffles turned violent, it said those who had registered in the winter semester wanted to enter the school buildings but they were physically prevented by students agitating against the hostel fee hike.
The JNUSU had also called for a boycott of the registration process to press for a complete rollback of the increase in hostel fees.
Since Sunday afternoon, the varsity said in a statement, “the campus witnessed scuffles at the schools as well as inside the hostel premises between groups of students who wanted to stop the registration and those who wanted to register and continue their studies.”
A group of students opposed to the registration process moved aggressively from the front of the administration block and reached the hostels around 4.30 pm. The administration immediately contacted police.
“However, by the time police came, the students who are for the registration were beaten up by a group of agitating students opposing the registration,” the university added.
“Some masked miscreants also entered Periyar hostel rooms and attacked students with sticks and rods,” it said, adding a few security guards were also badly injured in the clashes.
The JNU administration said it is with the students during the “difficult time”.
“It is unfortunate that a group of students with their violent means of protests are preventing thousands of non-agitating students from pursuing their academic activities,” it added.
JNU adminstration appeals to all the stakeholders to maintain peace on the campus.
Watch Video | JNU Violence: Video of masked goons attacking students goes viral
The registration process started on January 1 but a group of students opposed to it made the servers used in the process dysfunctional on January 3, according to the university.
This led to the discontinuation of the registration process on January 3.
A police complaint was filed immediately identifying the students.
However, on January 4 morning, the technical staff again made the CIS functional.
“Immediately, thousands of students started registering by paying the new hostel room rent. A group of students who are bent upon stopping the registration process, again entered the CIS premises with a criminal intent to make the servers dysfunctional,” the varsity said.
The varsity alleged that the students damaged the power supplies, broke the optical fibres and made the servers dysfunctional again disrupting the registration process. A police complaint was again filed against the miscreants.
“For the past few days, the group of agitating students also closed the buildings of some Schools preventing the non agitating students, staff and the faculty members,” the varsity said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday condemned the assault on students and teachers of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), terming it a ‘heinous act’ and a ‘shame on democracy’. A four-member Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation will visit JNU to express solidarity with students and teachers, she said.
Days after unrest in the campus over the contentious citizenship law, protests were held at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) late on Sunday night against violence at the JNU. A spokesperson of protesting students said that a march was held in the night to express solidarity with the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, who were attacked by masked men armed with sticks. In a statement, the AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) condemned the violence.
Delhi Police: We have received multiple complaints in connection with yesterday’s violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). We will soon register FIR.
In Kolkata, students of Jadavpur University carried out a march to express their solidarity with the JNU community: ANI
Delhi: Latest visuals from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) main gate. Violence broke out in the campus yesterday evening in which more than 20 people were injured.
Mumbai: Students continue to protest outside Gateway of India against yesterday’s violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has called the Registrar, Proctor and Rector of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to his office, today.
Delhi Traffic Police: Road No 13A between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj is closed for traffic movement. People coming from Noida are advised to take DND or Akshardham to reach Delhi.
Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC): We demand that the goons who unleashed terror in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) be identified & a First Information Report (FIR) be initiated immediately against them.
Students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) hold candlelight protest against the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University yesterday.
‘Delhi police, go back’ slogans raised during the flag march conducted by police inside Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.
Delhi Police conducts flag march inside JNU campus after the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University yesterday.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Federation(JNUTF): JNUTF appeals to agitators&their patrons not to instigate students for violence&criminal activities.We appeal to JNU community to restore peaceful environment of JNU where one can express his/her disagreement democratically
Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Federation (JNUTF): JNUTF is extremely concerned about the environment of fear and brutality created by some violent agitating students. JNUTF condemns such violent act by the agitators.
Pune: Students of Film and Television Institute of India held protest against the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University. (5.1.20)
Delhi Police PRO, MS Randhawa held meeting with students and teachers of JNU at the Police Headquarters at ITO. A student delegation has been allowed to visit AIIMS trauma centre where those injured in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) violence are admitted.
Mumbai: Students from different colleges gather outside Gateway of India to protest against the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier today.
Delhi: Protesters gather outside Police Headquarters against the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier today.
Jawaharlal Nehru University: It is unfortunate that violence took place in JNU campus this evening (Jan 5).The administration strongly condemns any form of violence in the campus.The JNU administration feels great pain&anguish for the students who have sustained injuries in the violence.
The murder was so brutal it shocked even the hardened detectives who arrived at the scene on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Bushra Iftikhar, a 28-year-old housewife, had been stabbed with such force that the knife her assailant used had bent out of shape, and he had continued the attack with a screwdriver.
The killer? Her husband, Sami Ullah.
The couple had four children already, and at the time of her death Bushra Iftikhar was pregnant with their fifth. Why exactly her husband killed her remains unclear. He claimed in court to have been suffering a mental breakdown and to have no recollection of the incident. Her family says he accused her of wanting to convert to another religious sect.
But what does seem clear is that Sami Ullah was a violent man. He had previously been accused of the attempted murder of a neighbour, and of being part of a violent argument at a restaurant.
Police believe he should have been in prison, but instead he didn’t even face a proper trial.
According to Bushra Iftikhar’s brother, Sami Ullah’s family were influential in the local area and had paid money to the victims of those earlier cases.
“In the old cases, he gave money and quickly got out of prison,” Mohammad Zakaria bluntly told the BBC.
Under Pakistani law, victims or their families have the right to forgive suspects in a number of serious crimes, including most instances of murder. All they have to do is state in court that they forgive a suspect “in the name of God”. In reality, legal observers agree that the primary motive for that “forgiveness” is normally financial, and the informal payment of money to victims is not illegal.
The provisions allowing crimes of bodily harm to be “settled” or “forgiven” were introduced in the 1990s as part of a set of Islamic-inspired legal reforms.
Supporters of the system say it helps reduce pressure on Pakistan’s already overburdened and delay-ridden court system, and reduces the likelihood of feuds developing. But according to one study, the murder conviction rate in the country dropped from 29% in 1990, before the laws were introduced, to just 12% in 2000.
Critics argue the law can give repeat offenders a sense of impunity, and is a tool for the more powerful to evade justice. Bushra Iftikhar’s brother believes the fact her killer was never punished in any of his previous cases only made him grow more violent.
“He became arrogant. He thought: ‘I did this, and nothing happened. Now I’m free and the law can’t touch me.'”
Sami Ullah’s family admit the previous cases had ended in what are often termed “compromises”, but insist they had agreed them to avoid a drawn-out legal process, not because Sami Ullah was guilty. Sami Ullah is currently appealing against a death sentence after being convicted of murder.
Ashtar Ausaf Ali, who served as attorney general under the previous government, put forward plans to reform the laws in 2015 whilst still retaining the element of forgiveness.
“A person has the right to forgive,” he told the BBC from his office in the city of Lahore, but he added that crime wasn’t just a matter for an individual, but for society.
His idea was to introduce mandatory minimum sentences, so that “people would know that they cannot put a price tag on a crime”.
Despite being supported by some clerics, Mr Ali’s proposals were blocked by a number of Islamist politicians. At the moment, there seems little prospect of them being resurrected.
Undermining the system
The current law is a source of frustration at times for both police officers and criminal prosecutors. Courts do have the right to reject settlements if they believe they are coerced, but most observers agree that due to the number of cases in the court system, they rarely investigate thoroughly.
Meanwhile, one detective told me he had come across dozens of examples of offenders reaching a settlement with their alleged victims only to go on to reoffend. He said the police would spend time and resources investigating a crime only for the case to end abruptly.
Then there are other times, when the police themselves can be the beneficiaries of such “settlements”.
In August, CCTV images of a thief sticking his tongue out at the camera as he stole a bank card from a cash machine in the central Pakistani city of Faisalabad went viral on social media.
But the case took a grim turn as shortly after Salahuddin Ayubi was arrested by police, he died in custody.
Suspicions mounted after another video emerged of Salahuddin Ayubi, who apparently initially pretended to police that he was deaf and mute, writhing in pain as a policeman twisted his arms behind his back while another interrogated him.
Salahuddin’s father, Muhammad Afzal, initially pressed for justice for his son, who is believed to have suffered from a mental illness. However, a month later, he announced he was forgiving the policemen accused of killing him “in the name of God”.
The “settlement” or “compromise” in that case is understood to have consisted of an agreement the authorities would build a new 8km (five-mile) road in the family’s village, as well as a new gas pipeline, not to mention the payment of an undisclosed sum of money.
Salahuddin’s father seemed content with the deal, which was brokered by a radical cleric with links to the intelligence services. But others, who don’t have powerful backers or the weight of public pressure behind them, often end up feeling as if they have no choice but to agree with what is being offered to them.
In a village outside Lahore, I met the family of another man who died in police custody. He had been detained after wrongly being accused of murder.
The BBC is not revealing the family’s names in order to protect them from repercussions, but they say a mixture of coercion and money led them to drop the case against the police officers they hold responsible for his death.
“We haven’t forgiven them in our hearts,” the victim’s brother told me. “We never will, but we were helpless.”
He said a steady stream of local politicians and influential figures had arrived on his doorstep when they began to fight for justice.
“They would say: ‘Do a deal. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do anything anyway. Maybe they’ll go to jail for six months or a year, after that they’ll be freed and can make all sorts of trouble for you.'”
The family are poor and were offered enough money to buy a house, something they would have struggled ever to do otherwise. They accepted, but the mother remained distraught at the bargain she felt forced to make.
“I wish to God that we were still living in a rented house, and my son was still alive,” she said. “They took my son and gave me money for a house, what kind of deal is that?”