Monthly Archives: MARCH 2016


Flyover collapses in Kolkata
31.03.16 - pt team
Flyover collapses in Kolkata



An under-construction flyover in Kolkata collapsed on Thursday, triggering fears of many being trapped in the debris. One girder of the Vivekananda Road flyover near the old Ganesh Talkies collapsed and several vehicles are feared to be trapped underneath.
Official confirmation about casualties and injuries is yet to be received. However, PTI has reported one casualty in the accident. State Minister for Disaster Management Javed Khan said that about 20 to 35 people are injured in the collapse of the flyover. He, however, couldn't confirm the number of deaths.

A disaster management team is on the spot.
 
According to ANI, 10 people have died. Rescue operations are underaway near Ganesh Talkies (Girish Park) in Kolkata. Eye-witnesses say that there could be around 150 people under the debris




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Kanhaiya, under fire for remarks on 1984 anti-Sikh riots, says he was misinterpreted
30.03.16 - pt team
Kanhaiya, under fire for remarks on 1984 anti-Sikh riots, says he was misinterpreted



Jawaharlal Nehru University student union president Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday attempted to water down the controversy that erupted after he said there was a difference between 2002 riots and 1984 Sikh massacre.
 
In a Facebook post, Kumar said he was misinterpreted. Read his post here:
 
" I have been misinterpreted and misrepresented yet again. There isn’t an iota of doubt that Emergency represents one of the darkest periods of Indian democracy. My organization AISF strongly opposed and fought against the state repression during Emergency. Both 1984 and 2002 were indeed state led pogroms for which justice is still awaited. The current central government is relentlessly carrying forward its fascist agenda using state power, as visible in the recent authoritarian actions against students and all voices of dissent across the country. What we now witness is unprecedented - a form of undeclared emergency."
 
He wrote the post after he came under strong criticism for his remarks that 1984 anti-Sikh riot was a "mob-led massacre" while 2002 Gujarat riots were a "state-sponsored violence."
 
Kanhaiya's comments did not go down well even with those who have been his zealous supporters ever since he was arrested in a sedition case over an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

"Sorry Kanhaiya, you're badly wrong here. The 1984 Anti Sikh pogrom was just as much sponsored by state machinery," CPI(ML) Politburo member and former JNUSU president Kavita Krishnan wrote on Twitter.

Sharing a report by People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) on 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Krishnan further said, "I hope @kanhaiyajnusu and all others read Who Are The Guilty, the report that documents the meticulous planning".

Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadava, who is also an alumni, also tweeted, "Sorry to disagree again @kanhaiyajnusu Both 2002,1984 were state sanctioned Emergency was closest we came to fascism".

Speaking at an event at JNU, Kanhaiya had on Monday said that there is a difference between 2002 riots and 1984 Sikh massacre as the Gujarat violence was "carried out through state machinery while the other was caused due to mob frenzy."
 
He had also compared the alleged onslaught on varsities with Gujarat riots alleging both of them were carried out "with support" from state machinery even as he stressed that there is a fundamental difference between "emergency" and "fascism".




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Sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar has no right to make comment on tragedies of Sikhs: GK
29.03.16 - PT team
Sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar has no right to make comment on tragedies of Sikhs: GK



The decision of Government of India to scrap names of 36 Sikhs from the black list and directions of the Delhi High Court a rethinking on Santa Banta movie was welcomed by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and Shiromani Akali Dal today.Manjit Singh G.K. the President of DSGMC and President of Shiromani Akali Dal in Delhi while talking to the press in party office censured Kanhaiya Kumar President of Jawahar Lal Nehru University students for commenting that 1984 genocide of Sikhs was anger of uncontrolled mob.
 
Manjit Singh G.K. said that by removing names of 36 Sikhs from the black list the Government of India has given partial relief to the Sikhs who took political asylum in foreign countries due to political reasons. "Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had been taking the issue politically and DSGMC had fought a legal battle to resolve the issue,” G.K. said to the press. He praised the positive role played by the Government of India before taking up of the case in Supreme Court on 8 April 2016.
 
G.K. made it clear that black list be scrapped in totality and all those Sikhs who have not visited India for more than three decades and have not met their two generations must get visas to visit their homeland and allowed to meet their families. "How can we make a grandson suffer for the helplessness of his grandfather,” G.K. told.
 
DSGMC president also showed satisfaction on the directions given by the Delhi High Court Chief Justice asking the Information and broadcasting ministry to give rethink over approval to the Santa Banta movie. He told the press that DSGMC would make sure that clearance given to the movie by censor board is rejected.DSGMC President said Sikhs would not allow anybody to depict Sikhs in bad light. He said that the makers of the film are anti Sikhs and DSGMC has already given a complaint to the Delhi police for not allowing the movie be shown in cinema houses.
 
Speaking on Kanhaiya Kumar Manjit Singh G.K. said that he was born after the genocide and knows nothing about massive tragedy Sikhs suffered and should not talk about it. G.K. said that Kanhaiya is a congress party supporters and was compared by Congress leader Shashi Tharor with  Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Kanhaiya can never be compared with Shaheed Bhagat Singh said G.K. asking him to visit colony of widows in Tilak Vihar for which congress party PM Rajiv Gandhi is responsible.
 
DSGMC President said that one who is facing sedition charges has no right to make comment on tragedies of Sikhs. He told that Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, HKL Bhagat and Dharamdas Shashtri all congress leaders were not part of the uncontrolled mob but were directing the mobs to massacre innocent Sikhs.




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Uttarakhand : Harish Rawat wins some, loses some
29.03.16 - by Shishir Prashant
Uttarakhand : Harish Rawat wins some, loses some



The Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital on Tuesday ordered a floor test in the Vidhan Sabha on March 3. This is a major embarrassment to the Centre, which had imposed President's Rule in the state two days ago citing a breakdown of constitutional authority.

Harish Rawat, who was unseated from his post as chief minister, has been asked to test his majority on the floor of the House in a copybook interpretation of the S R Bommai judgment that for the first time permitted judicial review of the imposition of President's Rule.

For Rawat, however, this is a poisoned chalice: for the nine MLAs who had challenged the government by threatening to vote against the Budget presented by him, have been permitted to vote when the House meets on March 31. They were disqualified by the Speaker when they sought a division or counting of votes.

If their vote had been counted as 'nays', the government would have fallen on the spot. By allowing them to take part in the voting and disregarding the Speaker's disqualification, the court order has tightened the noose around Rawat's neck.

The rebels are most likely to vote against the government on March 31. However, the nine Congress rebels will lose their membership of the House for having defied the whip of the party, propelling the state towards early elections.

The nine MLAs including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and senior Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat had declared their intention last week to vote against the Budget.

The Rawat government must have at least 36 MLAs in a House of 70. With nine stating unambiguously that they have lost confidence in him, the Congress now has only 27. Friendly MLAs number six: Bahujan Samaj Party (2), Independents (3) and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (1).

This does not take the government to the magic number of 36.

Moreover, these MLAs cannot be counted upon as they are reassessing their position recognising the risk to the stability of the Rawat-led government.

Since the high court did not pass any order on President's rule, legal experts say the central rule in the hill state would continue. Besides, the order is only a partial relief to Rawat, who had challenged the imposition of President's rule.

This is only an interim order. The final decision of the high court would come only after the disposal of the petition by rebel MLAs challenging their disqualification by Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.

"The high court has passed an order which, according to us, accepts the points that despite the President's rule, there is enough scope for judicial review to allow a floor test. The floor test was asked by us on the basis of the past precedents of the Supreme Court's judgments. The floor test is a paramount consideration and mere horse-trading allegations cannot justify President's rule and stop the floor test," said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is the counsel for Rawat.

Interpreting the judgment further, Singhvi said the court allowed only for counting of votes by disqualified as well as non-disqualified MLAs.

The votes of the disqualified MLAs will be kept separately for their identification in a separate room and it will be subject to the final outcome.

Legal experts also said the speaker will have very little role in the floor test and there was also suspense whether he can cast his vote. The Registrar of the High Court will remain present in the Vidhan Sabha as an observer. Welcoming the order, Rawat said the new order has come as an obstacle in the attempts by the Centre to destabilise various non-BJP governments in other states.

BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said the party would comment on the court order only after reading it. "Uttarakhand is passing through a constitutional crisis created by the Speaker who ignored a written plea by several legislators that there should be a vote on the Appropriation Bill. The world has also seen how Harish Rawat offered ~5 -15 crore to rebel Congress legislators."

The BJP asked why the Congress was indulging in offering money to its rebels if it has the majority.

"This is an internal fight of the Congress. Rawat had conspired to remove Vijay Bahuguna as chief minister and now he is harvesting what he had sown. Even now, they are in a minority as they paraded 33 MLAs in front of the governor, which includes the Speaker and six from outside," Sharma added.

The BJP is confident that the Rawat government will lose the floor test. It is likely that Uttarakhand will see an election in the next six months. The party is keen that Rawat, considered a consummate leader within the BJP, shouldn't be at the helm in the state if it is to have any chances of winning in Uttarakhand. If he is removed now, he will not be able to continue as a caretaker chief minister.
 
(Courtesy : *Business Standard)




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President’s rule in Uttarakhand, Rawat says ‘Murder of Democracy’
27.03.16 -
President’s rule in Uttarakhand, Rawat says ‘Murder of Democracy’



Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Sunday condemned the imposition of President's rule in the state as a "murder" of democracy and the Constitution and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hands were dipped in the "blood" of the "trampled" aspirations of the people.
 
Alleging that central rule was a result of a "premeditated conspiracy" hatched by the Centre to dislodge a democratically elected Congress government in the state, Rawat also said the BJP was "thirsty for his blood" right from the day he assumed office on February one, 2014 and did not want his government to stabilise.
 
"It is a murder of democracy and the Constitution. Modi's hands are dipped in the blood of the trampled aspirations of the people of Uttarakhand," Rawat said at his first news conference here after the imposition of President's rule capping the ten-day long political upheaval in Uttarakhand after nine Congress rebels raised a banner of revolt against him and supported BJP.
 
"What has happened is the result of a premeditated conspiracy hatched by the Centre to dislodge a democratically elected Congress government in the state," he alleged, adding there was a "propaganda blast" against him by raking up issues relating to alleged corruption. Claiming that he had clear majority in the state assembly, Rawat said it was part of a conspiracy by the BJP to impose president's rule even before giving the state government a chance to go for a floor test in the House. The four-year-old Congress government was slated to go for floor test in the state assembly tomorrow. Rawat alleged that there was a money deal to lure the Congress rebels, adding "some people say it is Rs 1,000 crore, some say Rs 500 crore".
 
He said BJP had decided not to let his government stabilise from the day he took over and "slashed my head" as the first opportunity presented itself. "The way we were being given repeated threats since yesterday, the way the governor was publicly issued a threat at a press conference in Delhi it was clear things were moving towards this eventuality. That BJP was thirsty for my blood was clear from day one. They had decided at the very outset that they won't let Harish Rawat government stabilise," he added.
 
Accusing the Centre of always being step-motherly in its treatment of Uttarakhand as it was a Congress governed state, Rawat claimed it did not release money for reconstruction in Kedarnath and Ardhkumbh forcing a disaster-hit state to manage its affairs out of its own limited resources. "What has happened in Uttarakhand is also the murder of Baba Sahab Bhimrao Ambedkar's vision on the Constitution maker's 125th birth anniversary year. Before the Central rule was imposed, Rawat accused BJP of attacking democracy with money and muscle power to dislodge his four-year-old Congress government.
 
Rawat earlier had said the Centre was threatening the state with President's rule whereas "(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi projects himself as a votary of democratic federalism and autonomy of states". Accusing the Centre of engineering defections in Congress in Uttarakhand by taking advantage of a "money greedy minister" and rebel like Harak Singh Rawat and the wounded political ambition of former CM Vijay Bahuguna to dislodge his government, Rawat said he will go to people's court now and ask them to decide whether they deserved President's rule. "Most upsetting was that I had to make compromise with such a leader (Harak Singh Rawat) who used to value money above everything," he said.
 
Rawat said that the fact that the state government decided to bring legislation to seize unnamed properties only stimulated the process. "Harak Singh ji came to me twice and asked me not to bring legislation to seize unnamed properties," he added.
 
"Despite the fact that Uttarakhand gave five MPs to BJP-led government at the Centre, it chose to give the state the "gifts" of defection and President's rule. I would go to the people of the state and ask them whether what they have been handed is what they were looking for," he said. Rawat also targeted the private news channel whose editor-in-chief had done the sting operation on him saying the huge amount of wealth allegedly amassed by him should be looked into.




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