The son of Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was on Monday stopped by authorities from boarding a Qatar Airways flight to Greece after he arrived in a “heavily drunken” state and argued with airlines staff, officials said.Jaimin Patel, his wife Jhalak and their daughter Vaishvi were stopped from boarding the Qatar Airways flight, which was to take off at 4 a.m.When he reached Ahmedabad International Airport, he was unable to walk due to his inebriated state. He went through the immigration and other checks in a wheelchair due to his drunken state, airport officials told IANS.“Jaimin Patel was prevented from boarding the flight. He also had an argument with the staff of the airways,” the official added.
As the Jammu and Kashmir government announced dates for panchayat elections in the State, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday hoped that “people will chose ballots over bullets again”.“I’m very pleased to announce that the long-overdue panchayat elections in J&K will be held from February 15, 2018. People of the State have always chosen ballots over bullets and will continue to do so,” she said.The State has not held the local body polls in the past two years due to uncertain situations. According to an official, the elections will be held on a non-party basis as in 2011.The Congress welcomed the news.“Any announcement to strengthen the democracy at the grassroots is a welcome measure.The party is ready to jump into the fray with full confidence,” said State Congress chief G.A. Mir.“Earlier, due to the worsening security scenario the parliament by-polls couldn’t be held in Anantnag. How come the government would be able to hold the panchayat polls?” asked Mir.
The ruling Congress and the principal Opposition, the Aaam Aadmi Party, were involved in a war of words after allegations were levelled against Cabinet Minister Charanjeet Singh Channi for his alleged involvement in illegal sand mining. As the Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Monday alleged that Mr. Channi was involved in illegal sand mining through his nephew – the Cabinet Minister was quick to refute the charges, challenging Mr. Khaira to prove his accusation.“Punjab Chief Minister had recently tweeted about the illegal mining being carried out in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar… I have now provided the facts about it as one of the mine in district Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar has been allotted to a person, who is the business partner and close associate of Mr. Channi’s nephew. It’s now the turn of the Chief Minister to take action against people responsible for it,” said Mr. Khaira.“The government should order an inquiry into the case by a commission under a sitting or retired judge of the High Court,” he said, adding that being Leader of the Opposition in Punjuab Vidhan Sabha, he will continue to raise the voice of people inside and outside the Assembly.Mr. Channi denied the charges levelled against him, saying neither he nor any his family members have any link or stake in the mining business. “The allegation levelled by Mr. Khaira are baseless and false. A few days ago, Mr. Khaira had alleged that my relatives were indulging in illegal mining and later backtracked…now he is alleging that some people known to my relatives are involved in illegal mining…Mr. Khaira is in the habit of coming up with false stories,” said Mr. Channi.‘Prove allegation’Mr. Channi dared the Leader of the Opposition to prove his allegation otherwise be ready to face a legal suite. “Mr. Khaira should stop such baseless charges and instead focus on playing the role of Leader of the Opposition in a constructive manner,” he added.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed media organisations to pull down online news items disclosing the identity of an eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in J&K’s Kathua district.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar gave the direction after it was apprised that despite the court’s order, some of the news organisation were still displaying news which disclosed the identity of the victim. The bench has sought the name of the organisations who had not complied with the court’s order yet.
The situation in the violence-hit Meghalaya capital has “improved” with no fresh clash reported from any part of the city over the past 12 hours, a top district official said. Barring the 14 “vulnerable” localities, where the 24-hour curfew continued to remain in force, life was limping back to normal in other parts of Shillong, he said. “Over 90 per cent shops in Police Bazaar, and parts of Bara Bazaar opened this morning. People were seen buying supplies at the two marts. Taxis were also plying on thoroughfares, but buses still remained off roads,” he added.East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner P.S. Dkhar said the home department was yet to take a call on restoring internet and messaging services in the state capital. “There was no report of any untoward incident in the past 12 hours, but curfew would be imposed on the entire city from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m., just like yesterday (Monday),” he said.The hill town has been in the grip of violence since Thursday following a fight between the Sikh residents in Shillong’s Punjabi Lane area, also known as sweeper colony, and the Khasi drivers of state-run buses. Over 10 people, including policemen and CRPF personnel, were injured in the clashes. Altogether 15 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed at various locations in Shillong to handle the situation. The Army also conducted a flag march in the city for the second day on Monday.The BJP-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government has formed a high-level committee, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, to find a permanent solution to the issue of relocation of the sweeper colony, inhabited by the Punjabis.Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma had said on Monday that the urban affairs department has been asked to submit a detailed report on the Punjabi Lane area to the committee, including its history, legal aspects and concerns of the people living there.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has taken over the probe into alleged mental, physical and sexual exploitation of minor girls at a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur.Among the accused persons are officials of the shelter home. The case has been registered on the request of the State government. Relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act have been invoked.The investigation pertains to an FIR registered by the Bihar Police in May alleging sexual exploitation of the girls at the Balika Grih located on Sahu Road in Muzaffarpur.It is alleged that officials of the shelter home run by Seva Sankalp Evam Vikash Samiti were involved in the crime.The Muzaffarpur police have arrested 10 accused persons, including District Child Protection officer Ravi Kumar Roshan, Caretaker Brajesh Thakur and Child Welfare Committee member Vikas Kumar
Civil rights activist and academic Anand Teltumbde has written to the Maharashtra government seeking sanction to file a defamation suit against Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Param Bir Singh. The police officer had addressed a press conference in Mumbai on August 31 and mentioned Mr. Teltumbde name in connection with the arrest of activists for alleged links to banned Maoist organisations. The Pune police had raided the homes of several civil rights activists on August 28, including Mr. Teltumbde’s residence in Goa.In his letter to the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Teltumbde has said that allegations made by Mr. Singh at the press conference were “palpably false”. The letter refuted several claims by Mr. Singh including letters written to Mr. Teltumbde and, more specifically, him being involved in organising a conference in Paris. Mr. Teltumbde in his letter has said that the entire exercise had sullied his reputation before his students, academic colleagues, corporate clients and public at large. “My reputation has been irreparably damaged due to which I am also suffering professionally. Since the injury caused to me has been a direct result of Mr. Param Bir Singh’s malafide and motivated actions, and since Mr. Param Bir Singh has publicised falsehoods against me knowing them to be untrue. Therefore, I am desirous of filing a criminal defamation proceeding against him ,” the letter stated.
Upset over police treating his son’s ‘unnatural death’ as suicide rather than a murder, a Muslim man has embraced Hinduism along with 12 of his family members, according to officials here.Akhtar, a resident of Badarkha village under Chhaprauli police station area, has submitted an affidavit to the sub-divisional magistrate, testifying to voluntary change of religion, officials said.Mr. Akhtar later told reporters that he felt the change might spur police to “properly investigate his son’s murder”.Baghpat District Magistrate Rishirendra Kumar confirmed that the family members said they had changed their religion as they were not satisfied with the police probe into the death of Mr. Akhtar’s son.The family changed their religion amid requisite religious rituals, including a ‘hawan’, said Yuva Hindu Vahini (Bharat) state chief Shaukendra Khokhar on Tuesday.SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey said he received information about some members of the Muslim community changing their religion. “The matter is being looked into,” he said.
A BJP legislator from Pune district was booked along with two others by the city police on Friday for allegedly attempting to extort money from the director of a private firm. An FIR was lodged Yogesh Tilekar, MLA from Hadapsar, his brother Chetan Tilekar and another person for threatening and demanding ₹50 lakh as extortion money from Rahul Gangote, director of Evisions Teleinfra Pvt. Ltd. – a company engaged in laying fibre optic cable for a number of government and private establishments across the city.The MLA allegedly demanded the money for permission to laying fibre optic cable in his constituency.The Kondhwa police, acting on a complaint filed by a company official, lodged a case against Mr.Yogesh under Sections 379 (theft), 384 (extortion), 427 (damage to property) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) .According to the police, the incident took place in August when an accomplice of the MLA stopped the company’s employees from laying cable network in the Katraj-Kondhwa area.His henchman further told the employees to inform Mr. Gangote that the latter had to allegedly cough up ₹50 lakh a month if the firm wanted to finish laying the cables.The complaint said the MLA’s henchmen stole fibre optic cable worth ₹40,000 when the company ignored his threats. This is not the first time that the MLA, a history-sheeter, has courted controversy. In March this year, he was booked for threatening and assaulting a man and his family.
The Congress would be banking on the sentiment against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to stop the BJP from winning the 25 Lok Sabha seats across the eight States in the Northeast.On February 17, less than a week after the Congress claimed to have stalled the Bill from being tabled in the Rajya Sabha, BJP president Amit Shah said that his party would bring it again if voted to power in the upcoming parliamentary polls.“Only through manipulation can the BJP hope to win 21 out of 25 seats in the region. The Congress is the only hope for the people of the Northeast against the BJP’s plan that will be disastrous for their culture, identity and tradition,” Luizinho Faleiro, Congress general secretary in-charge of Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, told media persons on Wednesday.Unemployment crisisApart from the Bill, the Congress would also focus on the unemployment crisis in the region as well as the rest of the country. Mr. Faleiro ribbed the regional parties that are partners of BJP in the North East Democratic Platform, an anti-Congress forum otherwise labelled as a platform for developmental issues.“The NEDA members cannot fool the people of the Northeast with their opportunist politics. If they had any values left and if they were truly concerned about the cause of the people of the region, they would have resigned the very day Amit Shah announced that the BJP would bring back the Citizenship Bill if voted to power,” Mr. Faleiro said.NEDA members such as National People’s Party had threatened to pull out of the forum as well as sever political ties with the BJP if it went ahead with the citizenship Bill. The Congress has eight Lok Sabha members form the Northeast, three from Assam which has a total 14 constituencies. The BJP too has eight seats while its NEDA partners have three. The other seats are held by All India United Democratic Front, the CPI(M) and an Independent.