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Amit Shah marks CAA protestors as Anti-Dalits

Bengaluru: Attacking Rahul Gandhi for constantly opposing Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday challenged the Congress leader to prove that how the new amended introduced by Modi government and passed by President of India takes away citizenship of Indian Muslims and advised him to reach the act completely.

Addressing a public rally on CAA in Bengaluru as part of BJP’s nationwide ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’, Shah also said that those who are against the citizenship act are ‘anti-Dalits’ and clarified that there is no clause in the law that takes away citizenship of Muslims, and accused the Congress and Rahul Gandhi of trying to create confusion.

“I challenge Rahul Gandhi…read the CAA completely, if you find anything that takes away citizenship of Indian Muslims….our Pralhad Joshi (Parliamentary Affairs Minister) is ready to debate with you,” Shah said.

The minister also accused Congress of dividing the country on the basis of religion. He also slammed other Opposition parties and political leaders including the Communist party, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the JDS, BSP, and SP for indulging in vote bank politics over CAA.

WATCH | Amit Shah Attacks Rahul Gandhi For Opposing Citizenship Amendment Act

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Union minister Pralhad Joshi and several BJP leaders attended the rally.

Not just the outgoing BJP president, but even the interim BJP President JP Nadda attacked Rahul Gandhi and dared him to speak ten sentences on the CAA, a legislation the Congress is vehemently opposing.

“The Congress is opposing the CAA. I dare Rahul Gandhi to speak 10 sentences on the law. He should tell us in two sentences what is his problem with the CAA,” he said.

Accusing the Congress of misleading the nation on the issue and calling it “unfortunate”, Nadda claimed: “He is leading such a big party and has to decide himself how he has to do it, but he should not mislead the country.”

Later he took to Twitter to carry on his attack. “For the Congress and the Left, their vote bank comes before the country. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country comes first and votes later,” he posted.

ALSO WATCH | PM Modi, Amit Shah Speaking Differently On CAA, NRC: Supriya Sule

The event was part of the BJP’s reach out programme to all castes, communities and religions to drum up support for the CAA, which gives Indian citizenship to members of six persecuted non-Muslim communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who have fled to India till December 31, 2014.

The Congress, along with other opposition parties, have been vocal against the legislation, terming it “unconstitutional” and “discriminatory”. The BJP has all along argued the grounds for opposing the CAA are baseless as it does not discriminate against Indian Muslims or, for that matter, against any Indians.

(With inputs from agencies)

Congress Announces First List Of 54 Candidate For Delhi Elections; Alka Lamba Fielded From Chandni Chowk

New Delhi: Congress on Saturday announced its first list of 54 candidates for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections on February 8. Congress was last among Delhi’s mainstream parties including Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party, to release the list of candidates.

The party-led by Sonia Gandhi, has fielded former Union minister Krishna Tirath from Patel Nagar and former Delhi minister Arvinder Lovely from Gandhi Nagar.

Former AAP leader Alka Lamba, who switched over to the Congress, has been fielded from Chandni Chowk constituency, while election campaign committee chairman Kirti Azad’s wife Poonam Azad will contest from Sangam Vihar.

Former Delhi minister Ashok Kumar Walia will contest from Krishna Nagar constituency, Haroon Yusuf from Ballimaran, Mateen Ahamad from Seelampur, the party announced. The Congress has not decided its candidate against Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi seat.

The party has fielded Lakshman Rawat against Deputy CM Manish Sisodia from Patparganj.

BJP on Friday evening released list of 57 candidates out of 70 for the much-crucial Delhi elections. Out of the 57 candidates fielded by the saffron party,  11 are from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community and four are women.

ALSO READ | Delhi Elections 2020: BJP Releases List Of 57 Candidates; 4 Women, 11 SC Faces – Full List Here

Rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and now BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who, Tiwari said, will contest the Delhi polls from Model Town seat. BJP’s national Secretary R.P. Singh is being fielded from Rajinder Nagar, while Shikha Rai is the candidate from the upscale Greater Kailash. From Tughlaqabad, the candidate is Vikram Bidhuri, a relative of BJP’s South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri.

Earlier this week, ruling AAP had released its list of candidates for all 70 seats for the Delhi polls. Kejriwal will contest from the New Delhi Assembly seat while his deputy Manish Sisodia from the Patparganj Assembly seat.

ALSO READ | Delhi Elections 2020: AAP Announces Names Of 70 Candidates, 15 Sitting MLAs Axed; Full List Here

Atishi Marlena is will contest the Assembly polls from Kalkaji seat whereas as Raghav Chadha will fight from Rajinder Nagar seat. Somnath Bharti will contest from Malviya Nagar seat and Amanatullah Khan will contend from Okhla seat.

The last date to file nomination is January 21, the scrutiny will happen on January 22 while the last date of withdrawal of candidature will be January 24. The counting of votes will be taken up on February 11.

Congress Remained Oblivious To Minorities Persecution In Pakistan Since Independence: Smriti Irani

Varanasi: Accusing the Congress and opposition of being oblivious of the plight of minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan Union Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided for their citizenship to rehabilitate them with respect in India.

Addressing a rally here at the Sampurnanand University ground, she said the percentage of minority communities in Pakistan drastically came down to three percent from 23 percent since independence, but the Congress never saw it all these years.

Referring to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rout’s recent remark about Indira Gandhi’s alleged meeting with Karim Lala, she said the grand old party jailed leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jai Prakash Narayan and Choudhary Charn Singh during Emergency, but left people like Karim Lala to move freely in the country.

Recalling former Congress president leader Rahul Gandhi’s remark, My name is Rahul Gandhi not Rahul Savarkar..”, at a Bharat Bachao rally in New Delhi last year, Irani said, “I want to tell Rahul Gandhi that even after 10 generations, he will not be able to match Savarkar’s courage.”

Claiming that the Congress Seva Dal wrote against Veer Savarkar and maligned his image, she said even the Congress insulted such a freedom fighter who faced torture in Andaman Jail for many tears.

Addressing the rally, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accused the Congress of putting hurdles in early resolution of the Ayodhya dispute, saying they even approached the Supreme Court to ensure that the apex court does not deliver its verdict before the Lok Sabha elections.

“But now after so many years all the hurdles for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya has been cleared with the apex court ruling and no power on earth can stop its construction niow,” he said.

The rally was also attended by Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey, former Union Minister Manoj Sinha, UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, and BJP leader Sunil Ojha.

‘Join Us Over Cup Of Tea And Listen To Our Concerns On CAA NRC’: Shaheen Bagh Protesters To PM Modi

New Delhi: Several protesters at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on Saturday said that they have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting him to join them for tea and listen to their concerns over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The sit-in by the protesters has been continuing over a month now.

“I want the prime minister to make the effort of coming here and addressing our issues. Why has he not come here to meet us yet?” asked 80-year-old Bilkis. Another protester Sarwari (75) said she also wrote to the PM, urging him to rollback CAA and not implement NRC.

Ninety-year-old Asma Khatoon said she has invited the prime minister to join them for a cup of tea and address their concerns over the issue. A 40-ft-long banner displaying India’s map has been put up at the site with the slogan: “We the people of India don’t accept CAA, NPR and NRC”.

Several hawkers can be seen daily selling the tricolour at the protest site. Mubarak (49) claimed that so far he has sold about 90 medium and big flags.

The Delhi Police on Friday had appealed to the agitators to unblock the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch as the residents, senior citizens, emergency patients and school-going children of Delhi and NCR are suffering due to the blockade.

The matter had also come up before the High Court. “We again urge protesters to cooperate and clear the road in the larger public interest,” a police statement said. However, the protestors refused to budge unless the government discards CAA and any NRC exercise.

Torab Niazi, a protester, said they will not leave the place unless their demands are met.

“We want the representatives of the government to visit the protesting women. They are not going to move from here unless the prime minister or the home minister addresses their concerns about CAA and NRC,” Niazi said.

Send those opposing Savarkar’s Bharat Ratna to Andaman: Sanjay Raut

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Those Opposing CAA, NRP Must Come Together – Chidambaram Attempts Reconciliation With Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Urging all parties opposing CAA and NPR to come together, the Congress on Saturday extended the olive branch to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other leaders who skipped January 13 Delhi deliberations hoping they would turn up in some other meeting that might be convened on the twin issues. “For the sake of the country, all parties which are opposing the CAA and NPR should come together… What is at stake are far more important issues… One shouldn’t miss the larger picture,” he said.

“The larger picture is we are fighting to save the Constitution of India, we are fighting to save the enduring values embodied in the Constitution of India. So all those who fight for these values must eventually come together on one platform. And I am confident, they will,” Congress Working Committee member P. Chidambaram told media.

Apart from Banerjee, Samajwadi Party, DMK and the BSP did not attend, while Shiv Sena and the AAP said they were not invited for the meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Chidambaram said Gandhi made an attempt to invite as many parties as possible, and 20 of them participated.

“Some did not. That doesn’t mean that is the final word. Maybe there well be another meeting, maybe they will attend. What is important is we are fighting, not that we are fighting together always. But fighting separately is also fighting, fighting together is also fighting,” he said.

“The fact is we are trying to build a united opposition to the CAA and NPR. We have succeeded substantially. Some parties are fighting separately. Hopefully, some day they will all come on a united platform,” he said.

Asked whether the Congress would invite to future meetings leaders like Banerjee who stayed away from Monday’s deliberations, Chidambaram said he was certain invitations will go out.

“If somebody asks my view, I’ll say of course we send an invitation. What is the harm? I invite you to my house once, you do not come. That doesn’t mean I don’t invite you again,” he said.

To repeated queries about the lack of unity of the anti-CAA parties in Bengal, Chidambaram said: “In Bengal or in any other state, there are some domestic factors at play. Purely intra-state factors, though the big picture should not be missed”.

He pointed out that the Congress was working with the Left parties in the state, and they were carrying on the movement together at the district level too.

On questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi sending an invite to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan, Chidambaram said it only means the government has modified its earlier position “about no engagement with Pakistan”.

He disagreed with a scribe who said that many parties now find the Congress unreliable. “In the last Lok Sabha election, 19 per cent Indians relied on the Congress and voted for it. The Congress also got votes in the recent assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.

“But I do admit, we need to do more, we need to get more people on our side. But that doesn’t mean nobody relies on us,” he added.

Nirbhaya Case: Bar Council Takes Action Against Convict’s Lawyer For Filing Forged Documents

New Delhi: The Bar Council of Delhi on Saturday issued notice to advocate A P Singh, appearing for convict Pawan Kumar Gupta in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, after Delhi High Court had last month directed it to take action against the lawyer for filing “forged” documents and not appearing for hearing. The Bar body issued notice to Singh for February 28 and sought his reply within two weeks.

The Delhi High Court had on December 19 last year dismissed the claim of death row convict Pawan that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence in December 2012 and had deprecated the conduct of Singh for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court.

The high court had imposed Rs 25,000 as costs on advocate A P Singh, who filed the petition for Pawan.

“Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, in his order dated December 19 last year, referred the matter to Bar Council of Delhi for taking necessary action against A P Singh, who appeared in the matter on behalf of the petitioner, Pawan Kumar Gupta.

“After perusing the order passed by the court, it is unanimously decided to issue notice to A P Singh, advocate for February 28. He is directed to file his reply within two weeks from the date of receipt of the notice,” the Bar Council said.

The high court had asked the Bar Council of Delhi to take action against Singh for filing forged affidavit in the court regarding the convict Pawan’s age and added that without applying his mind or deliberately he filed the documents to delay the process.

Pawan has now moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court’s order dismissing his claim of juvenility at the time of offence. The top court will hear matter on January 20.

On December 19, 2019, Singh had appeared in the court at 10:30 am and mentioned the matter for seeking an adjournment on the pretext of filing some additional documents, without informing the other party.

The judge, through his staff, sent several communications via phone, SMS and e-mail to the advocate to appear before the court as the matter was to be taken up again. However, Singh did not “bother” to come to the court when the matter was again taken up after 2:30 pm or respond to any of the communications, the judge noted in his order.

While dismissing the plea, the high court had observed it seemed that the convict’s advocate was not interested in appearing in the court and it “deprecates such a practice”. Irked over the conduct of Singh, the high court had imposed Rs 25,000 as costs on the the counsel for playing “hide and seek”.

A Delhi court had on Friday issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts — Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — in the case.

President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh. The other three condemned convicts have not yet availed of the constitutional remedy of filing the mercy petitions.

The apex court had on January 14 dismissed the curative petitions of Vinay and Mukesh against their conviction and capital punishment. The two other convicts — Akshay and Pawan — have not yet filed curative petitions in the top court.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before she was thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at a hospital in Singapore.

Voice Call, SMS, 2G Mobile Internet Services Restored In Parts Of J&K; Social Media Ban Remains

Jammu: Nearly after five months of communication blockade, broadband and mobile internet services have been restored in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir from Saturday, government spokesman Rohit Kansal said at a press conference. The administration has also informed that 2G mobile internet services have been restored on post-paid mobile phones for accessing only white-listed sites all ten districts of Jammu and two districts of Kashmir- Kupwara and Bandipora.

Internet was suspended all across Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. The broadband services were, however, restored later in Jammu region. Also, mobile and broadband services were restored in the Ladakh region but in Kashmir, all forms of Internet continued to remain suspended.

The government had earlier restored Internet services in hospitals and government offices in the valley. Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Kansal said the decision was taken after careful review. The ban on social media will continue in these districts. Meanwhile broadband internet is available across banks in Jammu and Kashmir.

ALSO WATCH | Union Ministers’ Jammu And Kashmir Visit To Begin On Saturday

However, reports also suggest that mobile internet services will remain suspended in around 10 districts of the valley including Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Srinagar, Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and others.

As per the orders, voice call and SMS services shall only be restored on all pre-paid sim cards across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) shall initiate the process for verification of credentials of subscribers for internet connectivity.

Kansal said the order will come into effect from Saturday (January 18). Apart from that, internet service providers have been asked to provide fixed-line internet connectivity in all the 10 districts of Jammu region and two districts, Kupwara and Bandipora, in North Kashmir.

ALSO WATCH | Kashmir: Heavy Snowfall Brings Trouble For tourists, Locals

Telecom services were shut in the entire Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 when the Centre abrogated special status to the erstwhile state and also bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

However, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the UT administration last week for arbitrarily shutting down the Internet, the facility described as the fundamental right by the apex court.

(With inputs from agencies)

Nirbhaya Case: SC To Hear On Jan 20 Convict’s Plea Against HC Order Rejecting His Juvenility Claim

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on January 20 a plea of a death row convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case against a Delhi High Court order dismissing his claim of being a juvenile at the time of commission of the offence. A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bushan and A S Bopanna will hear the plea of Pawan Kumar Gupta.

Gupta moved the apex court on Friday challenging the high court’s order dismissing his claim of being a juvenile in December 2012.

Besides, the convict has sought a direction restraining the authorities from executing the death penalty, which has been scheduled for February 1.

He has challenged the high court’s December 19 order by which it also deprecated the conduct of his advocate for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court.

A Delhi court on Friday issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts — Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan (25) — in the case.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh. The other three condemned convicts have not yet availed of the constitutional remedy of filing the mercy petitions.

The apex court had on January 14 dismissed the curative petitions of Vinay and Mukesh against their conviction and capital punishment.

The two other convicts — Akshay and Pawan — have not yet filed curative petitions in the top court.

In his appeal filed through advocate A P Singh, Pawan has claimed that he was a juvenile at the time of the commission of offence on December 16, 2012.

While dismissing his plea, the high court had noted that Pawan had earlier raised the juvenility claim in his review petition against the death penalty awarded to him in the case before the apex court which had dismissed his plea on July 9 last year.

In his plea before the high court, he had claimed that as per his school certificate his date of birth was October 8, 1996.

Pawan had earlier moved a trial court with a plea claiming to be juvenile at the time of the offence and it was dismissed on December 21 last year.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gangraped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before she was thrown out on the road.

She died on December 29, 2012 at a hospital in Singapore.

One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

The top court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.

Following Davinder Singh’s Arrest With Terrorists, Shiv Sena Questions Police’s Role In Kashmir

Mumbai: Days after the arrest of Deputy SP Davinder Singh along with two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, Shiv Sena on Saturday questioned the role of police in the Kashmir Valley. “Cross border infiltration is ongoing in Kashmir. But the police machinery is being used to help the terrorists in Kashmir to safely cross the border (to Pakistan) and a President’s medal awarded Deputy SP was arrested for doing so. In Kashmir (it seems), the government is using the police for some other purposes, what will the country’s Home Ministry say if somebody has a doubt in connection with the Pulwama attacks,” Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, read.

This was in reference to the incident in which Jammu and Kashmir police intercepted a vehicle on Sunday and arrested DySP Davinder Singh along with two top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, who were travelling together. The Sena mouthpiece asserted that the impact and acceptance of the Centre removing Article 370 should be visible “through the people” during the upcoming Republic Day celebrations.

“Jammu and Kashmir is now a Union Territory. It is being ruled by the Centre through President’s Rule. The government had removed Article 370 in a historic decision…The joy and excitement in the people over the removal of 370 should be visible in the Republic Day celebrations this time. The tricolour should be seen flying over all houses in Kashmir, it is the least that can be expected,” it added.

The Sena mouthpiece further said that with the arrest of terrorists in the recent days, it hoped that “Republic Day will be celebrated safely in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir”.