Monthly Archives: MAY 2017


Kerala to challenge Central government ban on cattle sale for slaughter in court
27.05.17 - TEAM PT
Kerala to challenge Central government ban on cattle sale for slaughter in court



The Left-ruled Kerala is exploring legal options to tide over the Centre’s new regulation on cattle trade even as several youth outfits organised beef festivals at many places on Saturday in protest.
 
Various bodies and political parties reacted sharply to the government's decision to ban the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, saying it is an "ill advised" decision which will widen the "terrorism" by cow vigilantes.
 
The ban, it may be noted, came into place following notification of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by the Central government. 
 
The new rule, among others, bans trade of cattle for slaughter through animal markets besides restricting their sale for agricultural purposes and taking the animals out of the state without proper approval.
 
The rule will hurt millions of poor farmers and squeeze supplies to the country’s Rs 1 lakh-crore meat industry besides affecting sectors which derive products from cattle carcass.

While Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked whether the Centre will ban the consumption of fish tomorrow, another minister in his cabinet termed the decision as against the Constitution.
 
The youth wing of CPM, the Student Federation of India (SFI) has organised beef fests across Kerala, in over 200 centres, as a mark of protest against the environment ministry's new rule that came into effect yesterday.
 
 
The All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association agreed and said the decision will badly hit livelihoods. "It is the unproductive cattle that arrives in large numbers for sale as their maintenance cost per day is quite high. The high-yielding milching animals rarely arrive for sale," spokesperson of the association, Fauzan Alavi, said in Lucknow.
 
Union minister Harsh Vardhan said the rule is meant to "regulate the animal market". But State PWD Minister G Sudhakaran demanded to know if such decisions are being enforced simply through an order. "Has Parliament taken the states into confidence or has there been any discussion with them? These things won't work in Kerala," he said.
 
The state government has approached legal experts to explore ways to check the new notification.
 
Claiming that the Centre's step was "unacceptable," Kerala Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar has said: "We will seek legal resort against this. The Centre has taken undue advantage of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and has misused it. By this move, the Central government, in practice, is banning the consumption of meat, which is not acceptable."




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Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat gunned down by Army in Kashmir
27.05.17 - TEAM PT
Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat gunned down by Army in Kashmir



Forces have shot down Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, in an encounter in Pulwama's Tral that has been going on since Friday.
 
Sabzar Ahmad Bhat is widely believed to have succeeded Burhan Wani, whose killing last year sparked months-long unrest and violence in Kashmir.
 
Apart from Bhat, two more militant have been killed and at least one is believed to be trapped in the area under barrage of heavy fire from the Indian security forces.

Based on specific inputs by military intelligence, the 42 Rashtriya Rifles and the Jammu and Kashmir police launched cordon and search operations in Saimuh near Hardumir, Tral in Pulwama district at around 7:30 pm on Friday. The security forces were then fired upon while placing the cordon at around 9:15pm. Since Saturday morning, security forces and the terrorists had been exchanging heavy fire.

Search operations are still underway as of Saturday afternoon.
  
Bhat’s death was confirmed by SP Vaid, the director-general of Kashmir police.
 
Sabzar Bhat was seen by many as a successor to Wani, a young militant commander whose death triggered anger among many Kashmiris.

At least 100 civilians have been killed in protests and clashes with security forces since Wani died in July last year.

Wani belonged to the Hizbul Mujahideen, an outfit that leads the militancy in Kashmir separatism and is considered a terrorist outfit by India, the United States and the European Union. He joined the outfit when he was 15 and went on to become the poster boy of Kashmir militancy.

After his death, the Hizb named Mehmood Gaznavi as the new commander in Kashmir.

While there was no information available on Ghaznavi, speculations were rife that his real name was Sabzar Ahmed Bhat. 
 
Saturday also saw 6 militants killed along the Line of Control, the de-facto border with Pakistan.

The army said in a statement that it engaged them as they tried to enter Indian territory in the Rampur sector.
 
It may be noted that there has been an increase in border tensions between India and Pakistan. While India has put its Air Force on the ready, Pakistan has also alerted its forward operating bases along the LoC. And this is not counting the continued ceasefire violations along the border by Pakistan, which has resulted in thousands having to leave their homes in villages along the LoC and go to live in refugee camps.




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Six militants killed in J&K, as Army foils another infiltration bid along LoC
27.05.17 - TEAM PT
Six militants killed in J&K, as Army foils another infiltration bid along LoC



Six terrorists were killed by the Indian Army today as it foiled an infiltration attempt along the Line of Control or LoC in Rampur sector in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district. The operation was carried out after the alert soldiers noticed suspicious movement along the LoC in the early hours of the morning.
 
The area has been cordoned off and is being sanitised by the army to ensure that there are no other terrorists in hiding. "Six terrorists were eliminated after an exchange of fire between them and the army. A search operation is being carried out," the official confirmed.
 
According to an Army statement, forces laid an ambush for the militants at around 7.30 pm on Friday after receiving specific input about their movements inside Indian territory.

The ambush was laid around 10 kilometers south of Rampur and on making contact, the militants engaged Indian soldiers in a fierce fire fight.


The bodies are yet to be reached, the Army said. Search operations are in progress to recover the bodies.
This was the second infiltration attempt in 24 hours.
 
On Friday, an Army patrol was attacked by a Pakistan Border Action Team (BAT) in Uri, which is adjacent to the Rampur sector where the four militants were killed today.

The Army shot dead two BAT personnel in response on Friday. BAT is the same unit that has previously been involved in the mutilation of Indian Army jawans.
 
Infiltration attempts have increased in the past few weeks, no thanks to the onset of summer, which has led to snow-blocked mountain passes opening up making them easier to traverse, the Army said recently.

"With the mercury rising and snow-melting in the valley, the chances of infiltration increase from the Pakistani side. The Army is all geared up to counter such threats," said Major General Ashok Narula earlier in the week.
 
On May 1, Pakistani BAT teams had beheaded two Indian soldiers in the Krishna Ghati sector near the Line of Control. BAT teams are said to be composed of highly-trained Pakistani Special Services Group (SSG) commandos in addition to jehadi fighters.
 
On Tuesday, the army had said it launched "punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the LoC, inflicting "some damage”.




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EVM Hackathon: Deadline to apply ends in hours, But no takers yet
26.05.17 - TEAM PT
EVM Hackathon: Deadline to apply ends in hours, But no takers yet



The deadline for the political parties to register for participation in the Election Commission’s hack EVM challenge ends on Friday and interestingly, till Friday night, nobody had applied, sources close to Election Commission informed.
 
The Commission had on May 20 announced that it would conduct the hackathon from June 3 where technocrats and representatives of political parties would be invited to try and hack into its EVM. The seven recognised national and 49 state parties have until 5pm on Friday to apply.
 
The poll panel is preparing for a scenario where it will have to call off the challenge simply because there are no takers.
 
Though the Trinamool Congress on Thursday wrote to EC asking for more time to nominate members or experts to demonstrate that EC's EVMs could be tampered, the Commission has turned down the demand and asked the party to submit its interest in participation within the original May 26, 5pm deadline.
 
Only yesterday, EC had rejected AAP's demand to allow it to change or tamper with the motherboard of EVMs during the challenge, terming it "implausible and irrational".
 
According to sources in EC, if no confirmations are received from any party evincing interest in being part of the EVM challenge by 5pm today, the poll panel is likely to issue a press note formally calling off the challenge on grounds of non-participation by those who have been questioning reliability and infallibility of EVMs.
 
The Aam Aadmi Party, which is at the forefront of an opposition allegation that EVMs were rigged in recent Assembly and Delhi municipal elections, has asked the EC to reconsider the terms set for the challenge and allow it to be an open 'hackathon' where tampering of any kind can be demonstrated.

The poll panel has already rejected the party’s demand that it allow participants to tamper with the motherboard of the machines. The EC said that a change in circuits would mean the EVM is no longer the one used by the Commission.
 
The reliability of the EVMs was questioned by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) soon after the results of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls were announced. Later, the Election Commission was requested by several Opposition parties to revert to ballot paper to conduct the elections.
 
Interestingly, the very parties who had been alleging that EVMs were tampered with in the recent state polls and demanding a 'hackathon' to prove this, are yet to come forward to show interest in the challenge.

The list of EVM doubters includes the BSP, AAP, Congress, Samajwadi Party, Left, Trinamool Congress and RJD, etc.
 
While BSP and Congress have remained silent, AAP has questioned the "pre-conditions and rules" set by EC for participation in the challenge.




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4 Sikhs beaten up in Rajasthan, Probe ordered after video goes viral
26.05.17 - TEAM PT
4 Sikhs beaten up in Rajasthan, Probe ordered after video goes viral



A mob drags four Sikh men out of a Bolero SUV and thrashes them mercilessly. Some villagers watch sullenly, others kick one of the four who has fallen and is lying face down. Next to him, the widely-shared video of the mob violence in Rajasthan's Ajmer last month shows another elderly man groaning as he too appears unable to get up.

The Rajasthan State Minorities Commission has taken note of the horrific video taken on 24 April and sought a report from detailing the sequence of events and the action taken by the Ajmer police.
 
The 51-second video shows four members of the Sikh community being abused and thrashed by a mob as people witnessing the incident filmed the entire episode.

"The matter has come into my notice. The incident location was unidentified. In fact, I got a vehicle number traced and found that the incident happened somewhere in Ajmer. I have asked the Ajmer police administration to check the matter. A factual report has been sought within 10 days,” chairman of the state minorities commission Jasbir Singh said, adding that after receiving the report, appropriate action will be taken.
 
"We will be summoning all parties: the district police, the local residents and those who were assaulted, to ascertain the facts. The police have informed us that the incident took place on April 24. The Sikh men were asking for some dhaan (paddy) from locals. They approached a woman and she started feeling drowsy. Thereafter, the local residents accused them of witchcraft and assaulted them.”
 
 
But the person who took the video and posted it online may also get into trouble."This should not be seen as a communal incident. It seems one party was aggrieved and so acted the way they did," the minorities commission chairman Jasbir Singh said.

"However, we will not only take action against the perpetrators but also against persons who made these videos and posted them online... leading to tension between communities," Singh, who heads the panel to protect rights of minorities in the state said.
 
SP Rajendra Singh said, "The matter is over a month old. It took place in the Nasirabad Sadar police station area. No FIR was lodged, but police took appropriate action.”
 
According to the police, the four men who faced the wrath of the mob were a group of sevadars, or volunteers, from a gurudwara in Alwar's Khairtal locality. They stopped at Rajgarh village on the Ajmer-Nasirabad highway to seek alms for the gurudwara's langar, or free kitchen.

But one of the women in the village felt she had been hypnotised by them.
The villager later took the four to the police and insisted that the police register a case against them.

However, according to police, the Sikh men were not found involved in any kind of molestation and were asked to file a cross FIR against those who thrashed them but apparently did not do so.




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