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Rajasthan model's killer gets Mumbai police custody till October 22

10 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A Mumbai court on Tuesday remanded in police custody till October 22 Muzammil Sayed, the prime accused in the killing of an upcoming model and actress from Rajasthan, officials said. The victim, Mansi Dixit, 20, hailing from Kota, was closely known to the accused and had visited his house in Malad suburb of north-west Mumbai late on Monday night, police said. She had come to Mumbai to try her luck in Bollywood and lived in a rented flat in Andheri after managing to secure small roles in some films and also some modelling assignments. She came in contact with Sayed through social media, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-11) S.P. Nishandar. On Monday evening, Sayed - who hails from Hyderabad - had called her to his flat in Oshiwara where they reportedly had a heated argument over some business issues. Apparently, in a fit of rage, he strangled Dixit with a rope and killed her. Then, he stuffed her body in a large bag and called for a cab to the Mumbai international airport. A..
                 

Delhi signs MoU with British Council for English skilling

10 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Delhi government on Tuesday signed a MoU with the British Council to strengthen spoken-English skills among students of government schools as well as teach teachers to impart quality education, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said. The programme will also involve classes on "cultural diversity and skill development", Sisodia told the media. Sisodia signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with British Council (India) Director Alan Gemmell. Calling Delhi the heart of their story in India for the last 70 years, Gemmell said: "With this partnership, we are building a story of our next 70 years. We have been delighted to launch this new partnership at a Delhi government school. We are inspired by the teachers and students and by the ambitious vision of Sisodia for education across Delhi," Gemmell said. British Council (Global) Chairman Christopher Rodrigues was present at the event. The British Council is also working on a project 'Changing Minds Changing Moves' which inc..
                 

Suresh Prabhu: No country can benefit from global trade decline

10 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
No country can benefit from the decline in the world trade, and the slowing global economy is a concern for all nations including India, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said Tuesday. For past six-seven decades, there was a lot of predictability in doing business globally, but in the course of last few months, "we are seeing a dramatic change in global trade," he said. India is the "worst sufferer" of the declining trade and slow economic growth in the world as the country has huge stake and its share in the world trade is also increasing, he added. He stressed that slowing global economy is a concern for India as it has the potential to reach USD USD 5 trillion size before 2025 and USD 10 trillion before 2035. Imposing customs duties by the US on certain steel and aluminium products have triggered a trade war kind of situation in the world. It has also raised duties on Chinese goods. China too has hiked tariffs in retaliation. The statement also assumes significance as I..
                 

Arun Jaitley repeats 'clown prince' jibe at Rahul Gandhi

11 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Dismissing the charge that he had met absconding scamster Nirav Modi, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday again called Congress President Rahul Gandhi a "clown prince" and ridiculed him for "building false narratives" on different issues, including the Rafale deal. Giving a point-by-point rebuttal to Gandhi's charges against the Modi government, Jaitley wondered if the Congress chief's persistent lying was a "personality issue". "I do not recollect ever having even seen Nirav Modi in my life. The question of his meeting me in Parliament does not arise. If he came to Parliament, as Rahul Gandhi claims, then the reception records will show that. Where have I admitted all this Mr Gandhi?" asked Jaitley. He also posted a video clip of Gandhi's Monday addresses in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh wherein the Congress chief alleged that absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi had met Jaitley before fleeing the country. The BJP leader also dismissed as "absolute lie" Gandh..
                 

Sumitra Mahajan: Digital divide can threaten global peace

11 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Although technology offers easy access to information and connectivity, digital divide could pose a threat to global peace, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Tuesday. "Technology and innovation offer us easy access to information, improved lifestyle, connectivity, communication, social networking and entertainment but at the same time it may also lead to job losses, increased loneliness, addiction and psychological disorders. Further, digital divide can pose a threat to global peace," Mahajan said in her address to the General Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva. She is leading an Indian parliamentary delegation comprising Nagendra Singh, Anil Desai, Harish Chandra Meena, Hari Babu Kambhampati, Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh and Heena Gavit to attend the 139th IPU assembly in Switzerland. Speaking on the theme "Parliamentary leadership in promoting peace and development in the age of innovation and technological change", Mahajan said that the entire humanity is..
                 

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh confident of greater cooperation from Israel

12 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is expecting that his visit next week to Israel would open new vistas of growth and cooperation with the Jewish nation in key areas, particularly the agriculture, horticulture and dairy sectors. The chief minister, accompanied by a high-level delegation, is scheduled to leave for his five-day visit to Israel on October 21, according to an official spokesperson. At a meeting with Charge de' Affairs of Israeli Embassy, Maya Kadosh, who called on him this morning, the chief minister also hoped to share Israel's expertise in the field of internal security to further strengthen the state's defence preparedness. Seeking to position Punjab as the most favoured investment destination among foreign investors, the chief minister said his government was keen to tap the technological advancements on offer by Israel. India and Israel share glorious historical ties which should be fully harnessed through mutual cooperation to ensure overall growth and prosperi..
                 

Pinarayi Vijayan says, Devotees' rights will be protected at Sabarimala

13 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Emphatically emphasising that the Kerala government will protect the rights of all devotees, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that all those who go to pray at the Sabarimala temple will be protected. Vijayan said this after presiding over a cabinet meeting when the media pointed out that those fighting to preserve the traditions of the temple were screening all vehicles on Tuesday to see if they had women in the age group of 10-50. Two women journalists were prevented from proceeding to the temple town where their OB van was stationed. The protesters are staying put at Nilakal, about 20 km from the foothills of the temple, located at Pampa. "Yes, I have also been told that some people have started screening vehicles. Such a thing cannot be accepted. No one can take law into their hands. The government will ensure that nothing of that sort happens. Those who want to pray cannot be stopped," said Vijayan. He pointed out that the government had made it very clear that ..
                 

Indian companies to buy Iranian oil in November: Minister

14 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran next month when US sanctions on Tehran are due to take effect, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday. Reiterating India's stand, Pradhan told reporters here on the sidelines of the 3rd India Energy Forum that the current surge in global crude oil prices was more a result of the market sentiments being hit by geopolitical factors which include Iran and said there were no issues of availability. Indian Oil Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd together have placed orders for 1.25 million tonnes (MT) of crude oil from Iran, the Minister announced earlier this month. Following US President Donald Trump withdrawal from the US-Iran nuclear deal, sanctions were reimposed on the Persian Gulf nation which will take effect from November 4. According to OMC officials, the rupee option in paying for Iranian oil is under discussion and the Iranians have been accepting India..
                 

Digvijay Singh: Congress loses votes when I give speeches

15 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A video of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh has gone viral on the social media in which he says that the Congress loses votes when he gives speeches. In the video, recorded when he had gone to Congress MLA Jitu Patwari's house, Singh says: "If work is not done then the Congress will not come to power. I am not giving speeches because then the Congress loses votes." In recent days, Singh has distanced himself from election campaigning. Madhya Pradesh goes to polls on November 28. The results will be announced on December 11. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) th..
                 

Pollution control action plan comes into effect in Delhi-NCR

18 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) on Monday started implementation of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to control air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region. Under the plan, prepared in 2017 on the directive of the Supreme Court after high pollution levels in the NCR in 2016, graded measures are implemented based on the air quality of the city. The burning of paddy straw every year in October and November, and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana are among the major contributors to air pollution in the NCR. The SC-empowered EPCA is mandated to take steps to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR. According to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the Capital's air quality on Monday was 'poor' and was expected to remain so for the next three days. When the quality of air is between "moderate and poor", the measures to be taken include a ban on garbage burning in landfills, enforcing all pol..
                 

5 dead in Bengal bus accident

18 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A bus accident in West Bengal's Hooghly district left five persons dead and many others injured on Tuesday, police said. "The bus overturned and fell into the Dakatiya Khaal (a canal) on Haripal Road this morning. The injured were rushed to hospital," a police official said. The rescue operation was still underway and the cause or extent of damage due to the accident was not yet clear, he added. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever..
                 

Man falls from train, railway personnel reach spot hours later

19 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A commuters' representative alleged Monday that there was a delay by railway officials in attending to a man who fell from a train along the Diva-Kalamboli stretch in neighbouring Thane district. The Central Railway (CR), however, said there was no delay on officials' part, but the spot was inaccessible by road. The man, identified as Naushad Ali (24), died after falling from the Konkan Kanya Express around 12.50 Sunday. Advocate Adesh Bhagat, a member of Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee, a panel of commuters' representatives set up by the CR, claimed that Ali's body was attended only in the morning. "Officials of Diva railway station were alerted about the mishap at 2.30 am, but no railway police or other railway official could attend to the victim as they had no ambulance," Bhagat said. "Finally, the Jan Shatabdi Express was given a special halt at Diva station where GRP, RPF jawans along with a porter boarded it and reached the spot after 6 am," he said. Even then..
                 

Mumbai road accident deaths: Two-wheelers account for most fatalities

20 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
It's hardly a surprise but we now have a proof that two-wheelers account for maximum deaths in road accidents in Mumbai. A statistics with the Mumbai police has put motorcycles in No 1 spot in maximum fatal incidents in Mumbai in the last four years, followed by cars which are not far behind. fatalities in hit and run cases are at number three. In hit-and-run accidents, the vehicles involved speed away from the spot, making it difficult to know the type of vehicle. Apart from the three categories, lorry, dumpers, auto-rickshaws, tempos and public transport buses and private buses contributed to other fatal accidents in the city from 2015 to 2018 (till May) as per the statistics from Mumbai police under RTI. While fatal accidents in the city have reduced from 586 in 2015 to 529 in 2016, 467 in 2017 to 157 till May end in 2018. Two wheelers/cars - As per the stats, 162 people died in road accidents involving motorcycles in 2015, in 2016 the death toll in motorcycle accidents in Mu..
                 

Govandi to New York: Teen raises local issues on global platform

21 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Saleha Khan was in Std VIII when her family urged her to discontinue her studies owing to financial constraints. Her story isn't uncommon in Govandi, where girls are married off early and discouraged from completing school, let alone pursue higher education. But, even then, Saleha, now 18, had dreams that couldn't confine her to her neighbourhood in Bainganwadi. And she is seeing those through, bit by bit, by convincing her parents to allow her to go to college. Last month, she was selected as one of the delegates for the Goalkeepers '18, an event organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in New York on September 25-26. The second-year B.Com student at Oriental College of Commerce in Sanpada was among the five picked from India and one of the 250 young leaders selected from 55 countries. She also attended the 73rd United Nations General Assembly meeting during her stay there. Saleha Khan with Melinda and Bill Gates Making wavesAt the event, work carried out by the delegate..
                 

Mumbai: Govt steps in to handle crowds at Lalbaugcha Raja

22 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
After conducting an enquiry into the manhandling of a senior cop by volunteers at the Lalbaugcha Raja and further altercations between the two sides, the charity commissioner's office has formed a three-member committee, which would look into the functioning of the mandal and take decisions regarding management of the queues for darshan. Not just this, the mandal authorities will also have to disclose the amount of donations they receive during the festival. According to sources, a number of complaints were registered regarding the functioning of the mandal with the charity commissioner's office over the past couple of months, but the authorities concerned did not take any step. However, commissioner Shivkumar Dige took the decision after visiting the mandal last month and conducting an enquiry in the matter. Sources further said the enquiry mainly focused on crowd management, what the mandal did to avoid untoward incidents and whether overcrowding happened due to lack of planning. I..
                 

Goa BJP's web site hacked, 'Pakistan Zindabad' message posted

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
An old website of BJP's Goa unit was hacked Monday by unknown persons, who posted the message 'Pakistan Zindabad' on it, a party functionary said. The identity of the group which possibly carried out the cyber attack "Team PCE" and an individual's name "Mohammad Bilal" were also posted on the web page, after it was hacked. The hacker, after defacing the website, left the message "mailto:catch.if.you.can@hotmail.com". A BJP functionary attached to the party's IT cell said the website in question was an old one. He added that the new website has anti-hacking security measures in place. He said the BJP had integrated its state units with the new website, which remained unharmed in the cyber attack. BJP Goa general secretary Sadanand Tanavade refused to divulge details in connection with the cyber attack. The party has not filed a police complain as yet, functionaries said. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day ..
                 

Minister Harsh Vardhan urges people to join fight against pollution

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday launched an air quality early warning system for the capital and urged the people to participate in the fight against pollution. "Along with the initiatives taken by the government, the participation of the society is an imperative," he said. Calling the 41 teams of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as the "eyes and ears" of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF and CC), the Minister said that these teams have been deployed in Delhi and NCR cities to monitor and supervise dust mitigation and other air pollution abatement measures to ensure effective compliance. He also pointed to the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), started by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to control air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region. Under the plan, prepared in 2017 on the directive of the Supreme Court in the wake of high pollution levels in the national capital in 2016..
                 

Kerala High Court grants bail to rape accused Bishop Mulakkal

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested in September on charges of raping a nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. The bishop secured the bail with strict conditions that he should not enter Kerala. He must also surrender his passport and should appear before the police once in every two weeks. Mulakkal was arrested on September 21 after three days of questioning. On September 24, he was sent to two weeks judicial custody. Mulakkal has been languishing in the Pala sub-jail since. Earlier on October 3, the high court had denied the bishop bail as Justice V. Raja Vijayaraghavan observed that there was evidence against him. Mulakkal, who heads the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar in Punjab, is the first bishop in the country to be jailed for rape. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from..
                 

#MeToo: Alok Nath files Re 1 defamation suit against Vinta Nanda

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Bollywood actor Alok Nath on Monday filed a civil suit in a court here against writer-director Vinta Nanda in connection with her rape accusations against him and sought Re 1 as damages for allegedly defaming him. Alok Nath's wife Ashu, meanwhile, recorded her statement before a magistrate in connection with her complaint against Nanda and sought that defamation proceedings be initiated against the writer-director. Responding to the development, Nanda's lawyer Dhruti Kapadia said they are going to fight the matter legally. Alok Nath moved the Dindoshi sessions court here with a civil suit seeking Re 1 as damages and an apology from Nanda for defaming him. The actor and his wife had Saturday filed an application before the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate, seeking a direction to the suburban Amboli police station to take cognisance of the letter sent by them in which they sought defamation proceedings against Nanda. The actor's wife on Monday appeared before Magistrate R M Nerlikar, wh..
                 

FIR filed against Kanhaiya Kumar for misbehaving with doctor, nurses

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A case was lodged on Monday against former JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and his dozens of supporters over their alleged misbehaviour with a doctor, nurses and a security guard of AIIMS-Patna, police said. "An FIR was lodged following a directive from state Health Department after AIIMS-Patna doctors threatened to go on indefinite strike if action is not taken against them soon," said Phulwarisharif Police Station Officer-in-Charge Mohd Qaiser Alam said. After an emergency meeting on Monday morning, the doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here issued an ultimatum to the government to take action against Kanhaiya and his supporters by 5 p.m, failing which they would go on strike. Protesting doctors have communicated about the incident to the Union Health Minister and the Bihar government. According to doctors, Kanhaiya along with his dozens of supporters, visited the hospital here on Sunday night to meet an AISF leader Sushil Kumar, undergoing treatme..
                 

'Narendra Modi's Beti Bachao campaign mere slogan'

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of merely sloganeering about women's safety but actually "protecting" a BJP MLA in Uttar Pradesh who has been charged with rape and murder. Picking on Modi's slogan of "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao", he said they also felt good about it. "But when BJP MLA (Kuldeep Singh Sengar) rapes a girl in Unnao, the UP Chief Minister and the Prime Minister tried to save him. Neither was he expelled from the party nor did the PM speak a word about him. The actual slogan should be 'Beti Padhao aur Beti ko BJP ke MLA se Bachao' (educate daughter and save her from BJP MLA)," Gandhi said addressing a public meeting here. Gandhi's attack on Modi and his government comes in the midst of the raging #MeToo campaign in which Union Minister M.J. Akbar has been accused of sexual harassment and wrongdoing by women journalists who had worked with him and demands that he be removed from the Cabinet. Gandhi said even in Madhya Pradesh, ..
                 

NGO files PIL in Delhi HC to regulate Netflix, Amazon Prime Video conte

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking framing of guidelines to regulate the functioning of online media streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime video, alleging that they show "uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar" content. The petition was listed for hearing on Monday before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao, but was not taken up as the judges did not sit.The petition, by an NGO, has been listed for hearing on November 14. NGO Justice for Rights Foundation, in its plea, has claimed that online media streaming plaftforms, also including Hotstar, show content which is "unregulated and uncertified" for public viewing. In its petition filed through advocate Harpreet S Hora, the NGO has said that television series like Sacred Games, Game of Thrones and Spartacus, shown on online media streaming platforms like Netflix, contain "vulgar, profane, sexually explicit, pornographic, morally unethical and virulent" content which often "depict ..
                 

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar advised week's rest

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has been advised to take a week's rest by doctors, a statement by his office said on Monday. Parrikar, who has been undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, was suddenly discharged and arrived in Goa on Sunday. "Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's condition has improved further. He had a chat with his family members today morning. Doctors have advised him to take rest for a week," the statement said. Parrikar was admitted to AIIMS on September 15. He has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, New York and now Delhi for the last seven months. On Sunday, state Power Minister Nilesh Cabral told the media here that he was awaiting a miracle to ensure Parrikar's quick recovery. "However he may be, we only hope that he recovers fast, a miracle happens and he leads us in the future. That is all we ask," Cabral said. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International ..
                 

Rahul Gandhi prays at Pitambara Peeth in Madhya Pradesh

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday started his two-day tour of the Gwalior-Chambal region in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh after offering prayers at the Pitambara Peeth temple in Datia district. Gandhi reached Gwalior by a special plane and went to the Pitambara Peeth. He was accompanied by Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Gandhi will address three public meetings during the day, besides holding a roadshow. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever..
                 

Hundreds throng Shilpgram on Day 1, but it will be open only for 6 hrs

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
At least 1,000 people turned up on Sunday evening for the grand opening of the Shilpgram, the city's first arts and crafts village at Jogeshwari East. While the authorities had dilly-dallied on the inauguration for more than a year after the park's completion, fortunately, nobody was left waiting yesterday, as Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray turned up two hours early for the opening ceremony. While the park was finally opened after mid-day's sustained coverage of the delay, the handicraft stalls are yet to begin business. That, however, did not diminish the pleasure for visitors, who enjoyed the sprawling grounds immensely. Visitors take selfies with life-size sculptures depicting village life Some visitors had come with their entire family after hearing that a "fancy garden" was being opened in the area, while others sauntered in out of sheer curiosity, after observing the large crowds outside the Meenatai Thackeray Udyan, or Shilpgram. The light and sound show at the fountain a..
                 

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, granted bail

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Kochi: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun, was on Tuesday granted bail by the Kerala High Court. The court has laid down conditions for the bail, directing him to surrender his passport and asking him not to enter Kerala.  The prelate, who was in charge of the Jalandhar diocese, was arrested three weeks ago- on September 21 after three days of questioning in Kerala, over the charges of raping a nun of his congregation, Missionaries of Jesus, repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. He became the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a case of the alleged sex crime against a nun. He, however, refuted the allegations, terming them "baseless and concocted." After the arrest, the senior Catholic priest was sent to police custody and was produced before the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court in Kerala's Kottayam, where he was sent to judicial custody till October 6. Bishop Mulakkal's bail plea was rejected by a lower court last week, following which he moved the hi..
                 

'Modi govt should show courage and start Ram temple construction'

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Narendra Modi-led government should "demonstrate courage" and start the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, BJP ally Shiv Sena said Sunday. If the Muslims agreed to allow construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, it will end the vote-bank politics, said the Sena's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut in an article in the party mouthpiece "Saamana". The Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute is pending before the Supreme Court. Raut, the executive editor of "Saamana", said the fear that there would be riots if the construction of Ram temple began in Ayodhya was baseless. "The Narendra Modi government should demonstrate some courage and commence Ram Temple construction by issuing an ordinance," he said. Raut argued that there have been instances of razing of mosques even in Islamic countries such as Iran and Pakistan. "This truth should be accepted by the Muslims who wish the Babri mosque to remain as it is. The day this takes place, it will be a big blow to the vote-..
                 

'Padmaavat' returns as Durga puja theme in two pandals

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Chittorgarh fort as seen in the period film 'Padmaavat' was recreated by two crowd-pulling Durga Puja pandals here. Both the Sribhumi Sporting Club and the Md Ali Park puja committees modelled their pandals on the famous fort of Rajasthan, but the idea behind it was different, officials of the two organisations said. When anti-Padmaavat protesters threatened to stall the film's release all over the country in January, the film maker was assured of security by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the film had a smooth run across Bengal, Sribhumi Sporting Club president and MLA Sujit Bose said. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film created controversy during its making as well as before its release with several Rajput organisations claiming that the film distorted history. The film sets were damaged more than once and the director was assaulted. "The theme was chosen to deliver the message that Bengal stands for tolerance and peace," Bose said. The setting of a song sequence in ..
                 

Sabarimala row: Malayalam actor booked for his remarks against women

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Malayalam actor Kollam Thulashi has been booked by the Kerala police for his controversial remarks against women during an NDA protest meeting over the Sabarimala Temple issue, police said on Sunday. Addressing the protesters in Kollam on Friday, Thulashi, a BJP supporter, had allegedly said, "Women in the restricted age group who visit the Lord Ayappa Temple should be ripped apart." An FIR was registered on Saturday against Thulashi under IPC section 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), and section 119 (A) of Kerala Police Act, which deals with acts in public places degrading the dignity of women. He was booked on a complaint from local DYFI leader Rateesh, police said. Facing condemnation over his remark, the actor later had claimed that he made it in an emotional state of mind and expressed regret. The BJP-led NDA had organised the protest against the LDF government's decision not to file a review petition against the Supreme Court's ve..
                 

MMRDA invites tenders for security of monorail again

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Though the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has plans to start the Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail Phase 2 in the coming months, it is not getting a response from contractors for the installation of an explosives scanner and bomb suppression blankets for the stations. MMRDA has therefore invited tenders for contracts for the same, a second time. Speaking to mid-day, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, "The monorail phase-II between Jacob Circle and Wadala will be thrown open for the public by February 2019. We have invited a second call for tenders for an explosives scanner and bomb suppression blankets, and this time we are expecting a positive response." In the month of July, MMRDA had invited tenders for the installation, testing and commissioning of hand held explosives detectors at the stations of monorail Phase 2, along with an X-ray baggage inspection system and bomb suppression blankets. The MMRDA is expected to spend over R4 cror..
                 

What a rollercoaster week!

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
It was a crazy and super volatile week at the bourses. On two days, Thursday and Friday, the BSESENSEX moved by more than 700 points on a net basis. The total daily change on five days was 2,225 points with a gain of 1,231 points on three days and a loss of 934 points on two days. The net change for the week saw BSESENSEX gain 356.59 points or 1.03% to close at 34,733.58 points. Similarly on NIFTY the gain was of 428.50 points and a loss of 272.45 points for a cumulative change of 700.95 points. NIFTY gained 156.05 points or 1.49% to close at 10,472.50 points. The broader markets saw the BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 1.46%, 1.49% and 1.55% respectively. BSEMIDCAP gained 1.98% and BSESMALLCAP was up 2.25%. The top sectoral gain was BSEOIL&GAS up 8.53% followed by BSEBANKEX 4.23% and BSEPOWER 2.44%. The top sectoral loser was BSEIT down 7.03% followed by BSETECK 1.79% and BSEMETAL 0.45%. In individual stocks the top gainer was HPCL up 24.38% followed by Yes Bank 16.42% and Eicher M..
                 

mid-day campaign: How pedestrians can reclaim their footpaths in Mumbai

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
With the majority of the footpaths in the city being used illegally for parking vehicles, as shown by mid-day's two-week series, we managed to find two areas that have kept the law-breakers off the pedestrian space – one at Bellasis Road in Mumbai Central and the other on the Mahim-Matunga stretch. After numerous examples of footpaths outside prominent places turning into parking spots, we end our series on a hopeful note - presenting two fine examples of ideal pavements, which are built in such a way that there is no scope (rather, space) for two-wheelers to even get on them. Bellasis Road, Mumbai CentralRecently, the Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with the help of an NGO expert group, World Resources Institute (WRI), finalised Bellasis Road to have it developed as a 'model road'. The civic body is spending about Rs 30 crore on this project, which includes a sizeable footpath along this stretch. WRI, after conducting a study of several city roads, suggested some meas..
                 

AAP names Lok Sabha in-charge for last two Delhi seats

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday announced its candidates for the last two Lok Sabha seats in the capital, completing the process for all the seven constituencies. While Brijesh Goyal will be in-charge of New Delhi constituency, Rajpal Solanki will hold the seat of west Delhi, Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai told the media. Goyal has played an active role in the anti-sealing drive and is a key part of the AAP's traders wing, Rai said. Solanki has been working in the education and health sectors and was managing the Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka and many other schools in the area, Rai said. The other five Lok Sabha in-charges of AAP are Pankaj Gupta (Chandni Chowk), Dilip Pandey (North East Delhi), Raghav Chadhha (South Delhi), Atishi Marlena (East Delhi) and Guggan Singh (North West Delhi). Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been source..
                 

Fuel prices continue to rise, PM Modi to meet oil company heads

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Fuel prices continued to rise across the four major metros on Sunday even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to meet oil company chiefs here on Monday to take stock of the global energy scenario. In the national capital, petrol was priced at Rs 82.72 per litre, up from Rs 82.66 on Saturday, data on the Indian Oil Corporation website showed. Similarly, petrol prices in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai also rose on Sunday -- to Rs 88.18 in Mumbai, Rs 84.54 in Kolkata and Rs 85.99 per litre in Chennai. The prices vary from region to region due to local taxes, as the product is excluded from the Goods and Services Tax regime. Delhi has the lowest tax rate among the four metro cities. The increase in transport fuel prices comes amid a continuous surge in global crude oil prices. UK Brent crude has gone upwards of $85 per barrel. Earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a cut in excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre. Additionally, the state-owned oil marketing compani..
                 

Rahul Gandhi concerned as activist fasting for Ganga hospitalised

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday expressed concern over the deteriorating health of Gopal Das, who is on a fast for the conservation of river Ganga and currently in a hospital. Das was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, on Saturday, two days after environmentalist G.D. Agarwal died following a fast for over 100 days. Agarwal, popularly known as Swami Sanand, had been on a hunger strike since June 22 for a pollution-free Ganga and an uninterrupted flow of water in the river. "The deteriorating health of Gopal Das is a concern for the whole country. He has been on hunger strike since June 24 seeking prevention of mining in Ganga. Gopal Das is now the voice of Agarwal and this voice must be strengthened," Gandhi said on twitter. The Congress has attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "neglecting" the repeated pleas of Agarwal, who had written several letters to the Prime Minister voicing his concern over Ganga pollution. Catch up on all th..
                 

'Rahul Johri dropped his pants, assaulted me'

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A Supreme Court-appointed committee has demanded an explanation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri, after he was accused of sexual assault by a female author. Johri, who was the executive vice-president and GM (South Asia) for Discovery Network Asia Pacific, before joining as BCCI CEO in 2016 was accused of taking advantage of the writer by offering a job opportunity. Johri has been named in a Twitter post by author Harnidh Kaur, who shared screenshots of a detailed account of the victim on her Twitter handle @PedestianPoet. Johri was not available for comment. The victim levelled allegations against Johri saying he had taken her to his place where he said "the final part" of an interview would take place. "Rahul Johri: Currently the CEO of BCCI - Ex Discovery Channel. Rahul was an ex-colleague. Through the times of partying at Raj's house, then building a successful media business, and then wading through other channels - Rahul kept in touch with me..
                 

Judge's wife dead, son critical, gunman arrested

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The wife of an Additional District Judge in Haryana, who was shot at by her husband's Haryana Police security guard on Saturday, succumbed to her injuries in a hospital, police said on Sunday. Ritu, 38, died overnight, forensic expert and doctor Deepak Mathur told IANS. The judge's son Dhruv, 18, who too was shot at, was very critical and admitted to a private hospital. Haryana Police Constable Mahipal Singh, who fired the shots, hailed from Mahindargarh and was attached to the judge, Shrikant, for nearly two years. He was arrested while trying to flee to Faridabad. The judge was not in the government car when the incident occurred in Sector 49 on Saturday. "Ritu suffered two bullet injuries in her chest. She died of excessive blood loss," Mathur told IANS. To investigate the killing, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the DCP East of Gurugram has been set up, a police officer said. The SIT will also include three ACPs and SHO of Sector 50 police station. Catch up on ..
                 

Mastermind of fake Indian Territorial Army recruitment racket arrested

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A 39-year-old mastermind of a fake Indian Territorial Army recruitment racket was arrested from Uttarakhand's Haridwar, police said Saturday. Yogender alias Bunty, a resident of Charkhi Dadri, Haryana, was heading an inter-state racket that was cheating the unemployed rural youths on the pretext of arranging jobs in the Army, the Indian Railways and the ONGC, they said. On May 3, one Sudheer, a resident of Charkhi Dadri, registered a complaint alleging that he was cheated of Rs 5 lakh by the gang for a job in the Army, said Ram Gopal Naik, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime). The gang used to take fake physical tests in Army grounds and fake medical examination in Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt area, along with the fake interviews, Naik added. They would also give fake joining letters, he said. Police zeroed in on the gang and arrested its five members -- Amit Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Pradeep, Devender and Sandeep. During their interrogation they disclosed that Yogender was the mastermin..
                 

Delhi air pollution: Emergency plan to kick in from Monday

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
An emergency action plan will be implemented from Monday to combat air pollution that has begun to show a trend towards poor category, the Central Pollution Control Board said. Under the emergency plan called Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), stringent actions are implemented based on the air quality of the city. If the air quality lies in moderate to poor category- measures like stopping garbage burning in landfills and other places, and enforcing all pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries would be implemented, an official official said. If the air quality falls in the very poor category, additional measures of stopping use of diesel generator sets, enhancing parking fees 3-4 times and increasing frequency of metro and buses would be implemented, he added. If the air quality falls in the severe category, additional measures would be implemented of increasing frequency of mechanised cleaning of roads, sprinkling of water on roads and identifying road stretches ..
                 

Jyotiraditya Scindia: Congress still in driver's seat in Madhya Pradesh

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Unfazed by the BSP's decision to not align with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said Sunday the party is "still in the driver's seat" and in touch with all "possible partners" in the poll-bound state. Scindia, who is spearheading the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh, also said the entire state leadership and party cadre was "working cohesively" to chart out the party's plan to dislodge the BJP government after "14 years of misrule". Asked if the BSP could cut into the Congress' vote share, he told PTI in an interview that: "I don't think so. Obviously, the alliance would have had its own benefits, but as things stand today, support for the Congress is running deep in Madhya Pradesh. The workers are motivated and the people are looking to us for change. So, we are definitely still in the driver's seat." Replying to a query about a possible tie-up with the Samajwadi Party and the Gondwana Gantantra Party after Bahujan Samaj Party's decision to not ..
                 

Rajnath Singh to celebrate Dussehra along Indo-Pak border

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will celebrate Dussehra and perform 'shastra puja' in Bikaner along the highly sensitive Indo-Pak border, officials said Sunday. Perhaps this is for the first time that a senior minister of the central government will conduct 'shastra puja' or worship of weapons along India's border with Pakistan, with whom India fought full scale wars. The home minister will celebrate the Dussehra festival with the jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) posted in Rajasthan's Bikaner along the Indo-Pak border on October 19, a home ministry official said. Singh will also perform the 'shastra puja' at the Border Out Post (BOP) located at the forward areas. 'Shastra puja' is part of the 'Dussehra' festival which is celebrated for the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana. During the two-day visit, the home minister will arrive in Bikaner on October 18, stay the night at the BOP, before celebrating the festival with the jawans on October 19, the official said. Singh is expected t..
                 

55 cases of Zika virus confirmed; WHO team to visit Jaipur soon

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A total of 55 cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in Jaipur, making it the country's biggest outbreak of the disease to date. Officials sources said that a WHO team will be visiting the city soon to monitor the measures being taken to check the virus outbreak in Jaipur. Govind Pareek, Public Relations officer, medical and health department, could not confirm when the WHO team is arriving at city. "The team will visit the virus-affected areas of Jaipur and monitor the overall situation," he said. State health officials have issued directions that starting Sunday, the residents of houses where larvae are found will be penalized. Those not permitting anti-larva measures in their houses will also be penalized. Health officials have issued strict directions asking doctors to monitor the health of pregnant women who are in their first trimester and are suffering from fever. This is because the virus can impact the growth of foetus's brain in pregnant woman. A review meeting chaired b..
                 

Crawford Market's fountain restoration coming apart due to apathy

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The first phase of the restoration of Crawford Market is not even done, and it is already coming apart, thanks to vandalism and next to no maintenance. One of the three fountains at the market, restored just last year, is already damaged. Some have dumped garbage on the 153-year-old fountain, while others have spat on it and even scribbled on the stone plinths. Just last year, the fountain was restored at a cost of Rs 5 lakh. At the time, there were several layers of oil paint that had to be scraped off before the structure could be refurbished, said an official from the civic body's building maintenance (BM) department. The fountain, restored just last year, is already laden with garbage, scribbles and spit stains (circled) The ornamental artefact dates back to 1865, and is the only one of three fountains at Crawford Market that is located inside the market building; the other two stand on either side of the 147-year-old structure. Today, the fountain is laden with discarded plasti..
                 

Bombay High Court stays MERC's decision on its hearings and recordings

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
In a major setback to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has stayed its (the commission's) resolution to stop recording its hearings and to destroy existing recordings. On Friday, the HC acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activist Anil Wadpalliwar through his counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar. All three members of the commission – chairman Anand Kulkarni, IM Bohari and Mukesh Khullar – on September 4 had unanimously passed a resolution to stop recording the public hearings and to destroy the archives. MERC had said that the decision was taken in accordance with the rules on safekeeping and destroying documents/office records based on their utility and importance. Advocate Bhandarkar told the court of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice MG Giratkar that the practice was illegal. MERC counsel Sudhir Puranik justified the resolution but when the court did not agree, he requested a ..
                 

Rafale Deal: Dassault-Reliance venture is just 10% of offset obligation

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier has said that the company's joint venture with Reliance in Nagpur represents only about 10 per cent of the offset obligations in the deal to purchase 36 fighter jets from France and it is in negotiations with about a 100 Indian companies to meet the requirements under the Defence Procurement Procedure of the Indian government. "In full compliance with this regulation, Dassault Aviation decided to set up the DRAL joint venture with Reliance and build a plant in Nagpur, which should enable us to meet about 10 per cent of these offset obligations. We are in negotiations with about a 100 Indian companies and partnerships have already been concluded with about 30 of them," Trappier said. He again made it clear that Dassault Aviation, which manufactures the Rafale jets, chose its offset partner. "The reference is the contract we signed and which is called 'offset contract'. With regard to the staff and trade union organisations, Dassault Aviation uses th..
                 

Mumbai Congress leaders meet Rahul Gandhi, demand Nirupam's removal

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A movement within the Mumbai Congress, for demanding city unit chief Sanjay Nirupam's removal, has gained momentum with senior leaders making a plea to party president Rahul Gandhi, that a change in command would be good for the party. Nine leaders met Gandhi in the capital on Friday afternoon for over 40 minutes in which they read out reasons for raising the demand. State in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot were present at the meeting. The first step in the anti-Nirupam drive was completed in Mumbai a fortnight ago, when the local leaders had met here. Kharge had collected the inputs to take the issue before the party president. According to sources, senior leaders Eknath Gaikwad, Naseem Khan, Kripa Shankar Singh, Janardan Chandurkar, Amin Patel, Baba Siddiqui, Bhai Jagtap, Madhu Chavan, and city youth unit president Ganesh Yadav interacted with Gandhi. 'Doesn't consult seniors'One of the attendees said the meeting was very positive. "The party pres..
                 

Jain women to march in silence for holy mountain

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Women from the Jain community are planning to take to the streets in protest to save Mount Shikharji, in Jharkhand. The Jain community across the country is planning to come together to appeal to save the mountain. Entangled in red tapeIt has been three years and the Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das's commitments are still entangled in red tape and bureaucracy, the community said, and there has been no formal action by the government to move the matter further. The lack of action by the Jharkhand government in declaring Shikharji 'a place of worship' is leading to the commercial exploitation and unplanned, rampant urbanisation of the mountain, violating the spiritual sanctity of the place, the community said. On Saturday, Jain women will be stepping out in a silent protest. On Monday, the entire community members will take out a silent march in Pune city beginning 8.30 am from Oswal Bandhu Samaj area in Swargate till Council Hall in Pune. Yogesh Parmar, a Jain community member,..
                 

Separatist shutdown hits life in Valley over killing of Ph.D scholar

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Life across the Kashmir Valley was affected by a separatist-called shutdown on Friday protesting the killing of a Ph.D scholar-turned-militant commander in a gunfight in Kupwara district. Separatist conglomerate Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik called the protest shutdown after Hizbul commander Manan Bashir Wani was killed on Thursday. Wani was a scholar at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh before joining militancy in January. He belonged to Lolab area of Kupwara district where hundreds of mourners attended his funeral on Thursday. Restrictions have been imposed in the district to prevent protests. Wani and his associate, another Kashmiri militant Ashiq Zargar, were killed by the security forces in Shatgund village of Handwara tehsil during a cordon and search operation. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to g..
                 

Deccan Queen and Panchavati Express passengers to get library

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
If you've forgotten to carry a book to read while traveling, you could borrow one from the Central Railways. In the first experiment of its kind, passengers on the iconic Deccan Queen and Panchavati Express will get a library with the choicest of books for reading. Books will be freeGiving details of the project, Maharashtra Culture Minister Vinod Tawde said the 'Library on Wheels' will be inaugurated on October 15 onboard both the trains, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The kiosks will be available in the compartments reserved for monthly season ticket holders in both the trains. The Marathi books will be free and a 'book messenger' from the state Marathi Department will be in-charge on the train to hand them during the journey. Passengers will have to return them before de-boarding. The project will be inaugurated in the Deccan Queen leaving Mumbai for Pune at 5.10pm and the Panchavati Express leaving for Manmad at 6:15pm. 'It ..
                 

mid-day Impact: Mahalaxmi kids won't be relocated to Gorai yet

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Hours after mid-day highlighted the plight of 30-odd schoolchildren and their families who were being shunted out of their homes just days before their exams, the state housing authority has granted them relief. Vinod Ghosalkar, Shiv Sena leader and chairman of MHADA's repairs board, said nobody will be asked to vacate until a proper hearing procedure is conducted. This paper had reported yesterday that with semester exams just around the corner, around 30 children living at Mahalaxmi Sadan were living in the fear of losing their homes. The 25 families residing in the building only have a couple of days to obey a notice issued to them by the Maharashtra Affordable Housing and Development Authority (MHADA), instructing them to vacate the building and move to Gorai. Ghosalkar's intervention will mean the children can at least appear for their exams The notice, issued on October 8, had given them a week to leave the building, to make way for Metro III construction nearby. The residents..
                 

Shashi Tharoor's counsel tells Delhi court that few files inaccessible

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Certain files in the hard disk relating to Sunanda Pushkar death case were inaccessible, counsel for Congress leader Shashi Tharoor informed Delhi's Patiala House Court on Friday. Earlier, the Delhi Police had handed over the copies of documents, including electronic evidence, to the counsel of Tharoor in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. Tharoor had earlier requested for the documents. Earlier on May 14, the Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet in the court, in which it named Tharoor as an accused, under sections 306 (Abetment of suicide) and 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Tharoor, however, had dismissed the charge sheet terming it "preposterous". Sunanda was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel in Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014. On June 5, the trial court had taken cognisance of the police charge sheet and issued summons to Tharoor. On May 14, police charge-..
                 

Everyone must treat women with respect and dignity, says Rahul Gandhi

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Friday came out in support of the #MeToo movement, saying it is time for the truth to be told "loud and clear in order to bring about change". He did not comment on the charges of sexual harassment against Union minister M J Akbar. It’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I’m glad the space for those who don't, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change. #MeToo — Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 12, 2018 It is about time that everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity, Gandhi said on Twitter.The #MeToo movement has gathered pace over the last fortnight with scores of women speaking out on sexual harassment at the workplace and support pouring in from various quarters. It's about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I'm glad the space for those who don't, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to..
                 

Narendra Modi pays tribute to Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia on her birth

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid tributes to Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia on her 99th birth anniversary, saying she was blessed with a futuristic vision and was a source of inspiration for several people. "We remember Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia on her Jayanti. She devoted her entire life to public service. Formidable, compassionate, always accessible to people and blessed with a futuristic vision for the nation, she is a source of inspiration for several people," Modi said in a series of tweets. For Karyakartas of the Jana Sangh and BJP, no words can do justice to Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia's monumental efforts to build these parties.She resisted the Emergency tooth and nail, overcoming all forms of intimidation, bullying and dirty tricks of those in power then. pic.twitter.com/ob1NjMzo7E — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 12, 2018 Hailing Scindia for her efforts to build the parties, Modi said: "For Karyakartas (workers) of the Jana Sangh and BJP, no wor..
                 

Air India diverts flight to Mumbai after freak accident in TN

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The wheels of an Air India Express flight to Dubai from Tiruchirappalli or Trichy in Tamil Nadu hit the airport's compound wall while taking off with 136 passengers on Friday. All passengers and crew are safe, an official said. The flight IX-611 which took off at around 1.20 a.m., was then diverted to Mumbai where it made an emergency landing safely around 5.40 a.m. An alternative flight was arranged to take the passengers to Dubai. Air India has taken the pilot and co-pilot off duties pending an investigation and the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation has been informed of the incident, the airline tweeted. While the damage to the Boeing B737-800 airplane's wheels is not known, a portion of the nearly five foot compound wall at the Tiruchirappalli Airport was damaged, an airport official told IANS. The airport authorities have started a probe into the freak accident while technicians in Mumbai are examining the damaged aircraft. On hearing about the incident Tamil Nadu Tourism Min..
                 

Mid-day.com impact: Garbage collectors get safety equipment from BMC

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
mid-day.com impact>> In the ongoing mid-day.com series 'Heroes of Mumbai,' we showcased  BMC cleanup marshal, Dadarao Patekar, who has been sweeping and cleaning the streets of Mumbai for over two decades. In the interview, the sweeper-turned cleanup marshal, Dadarao Patekar shared his grievances of how the sweepers and the garbage collectors lacked basic safety equipment such as face masks and hand gloves required for their daily job.  The interview had a huge impact after it was showcased online on mid-day.com, with BMC, the civic body of Mumbai where Dadarao is employed taking notice of the ordeal and swinging into action. As a result, Dadarao and many other sweepers and clean up marshalls were provided with face masks and hand gloves by the BMC. The video of Dadarao's story in 'Heroes of Mumbai' series has gone viral. After receiving the face mask and hand gloves an elated Dadarao said, "After seeing our interview on mid-day.com, Satyajit Patil, who..
                 

I-T dept searches premises of media baron Raghav Bahl

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Income Tax Department searched media baron Raghav Bahl's home and office on Thursday in connection with a case of alleged tax evasion, officials said. A team of I-T sleuths raided Bahl's premises in Noida early morning and are looking for documents and other evidence related to a case of "bogus long term capital gains (LTCG) received by various beneficiaries", they said. Bahl, who was in Mumbai, said in a statement that he was on his way to Delhi and his wife and mother were confined to the residence and not allowed to speak to anybody. "I have got little else to go on right now," he said in a statement to the media. Apart from Bahl, three other "beneficiaries" and professionals, J Lalwani, Anoop Jain and Abhimanyu, are also being searched as part of the same action, officials said. Officials said their business links to offshore entities are being investigated. Editors' Guild saysThe Editors Guild of India expressed concern saying it believed that "motivated" I-T raids would se..
                 

'PM Narendra Modi is a corrupt man'

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded an investigation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his role in the Rafale deal, alleging that he was a "corrupt man" who helped Anil Ambani pocket Rs 30,000 crore in the purchase of 36 aircraft. Gandhi's demand for a probe came a day after a report in a French publication that said Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, had to choose Ambani's firm Reliance Defence as its offsets partner in India as a trade-off for getting the deal. The Congress president did not provide any evidence to back his allegations. The government has been insisting it had no role in Dassault's choice of Reliance Defence. The Congress president also described Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's three-day trip to France from Thursday as part of a "huge cover-up" by the government on the Rafale deal. "Why has suddenly the defence minister rushed to France? What is the emergency?" Gandhi asked at a press conference. "The reality is the prime m..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
She's mineKajol seems in a hurry to leave with veteran artiste Asha Bhosle after the screening of her upcoming film. Pic/Shadab Khan Canadian consul general for a dayOn International Day of the Girl yesterday, a 17-year-old from Kalwa walked through the doors of The Consulate General of Canada not with a visa application, but to take over the role of Consul General for the day. Shimpi Paswan, who is persuing a bachelors degree in accounting and finance from JK College, Ghansoli, Navi Mumbai, is a change-maker with the Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action (SNEHA), Mumbai, as part of the United Nations Population Fund programme on empowering adolescents. It was a packed day for Paswan, as the Consulate General had partnered with municipal schools for a film screening. It was also part of a panel discussion that took place at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The day ended with Paswan participating in a photo-op against important city buildings that were lit up in pin..
                 

Vadodara based Parul University offers 4-year BSc Agriculture program

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
With India and the world's focus on agriculture, there has been a growing need for colleges offering agriculture courses. There are few Universities across Gujarat too which offer this course. Among them is Vadodara based Parul University that has been conducting a 4-yearBSc Agriculture (Hon) programme since 2016-17. Last year, there was some objection raised by State Agricultural University about the autonomy of Parul University to undertake Agricultural courses. However, under Section 22 of UGC Act, the University has been empowered to grant a BSc degree in Agriculture. This enabled the Gujarat High Court to rule in favour of the University. Also, in an RTI application it was made clear by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) that ICAR is a body which discharges the function of framing curriculum for agricultural courses and awarding accreditation to Government Agricultural Universities. It was also made clear in this RTI application that ICAR had nothing to do with ..
                 

Mumbai: 38-year-old man commits suicide by hanging himself

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A 38-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself by using a wire at his residence in Vasai. The incident was reported to the Manikpur police station on Tuesday. The man identified as Vijesh Mohan, was an Ex-Deputy Manager At Tata Housing Development Company but was jobless since the last two months, said the police sources.  Around 2 pm his son came and took the key to his house from his neighbor and opened the door. He came out weeping and told his neighbor "Uncle Mere Papa Mar gaye" (Uncle my dad has passed away) please come and see what has happened to my father. The neighbor immediately rushed to his house and saw Vijesh's body hanging from the ceiling. The neighbours immediately called Vijesh's wife but her phone was found unreachable after which they called the Manikpur police station and informed them about the incident. A police team arrived and they took the body for the postmortem after conducting the panchnama. Vijesh was living along with h..
                 

Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, crosses coast

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Very severe cyclonic storm Titli which is being referred to as a Category 2 hurricane, made landfall in Odisha's Gopalpur on Thursday with surface winds reaching 126 kmph, the Met said. There has been no casualty yet. Heavy rains were dumped in at least eight districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore as Titli with high-velocity winds crossed the south Odisha-north Andhra Pradesh coasts leaving behind uprooted trees and displacing three lakh people. Gajapati district is the worst affected till now. Road communication from district headquarters to various parts like Mohana and Kashinagar was disrupted, said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi. Odisha's Balasore received very heavy rainfall of 117 mm and Paradip recorded 111 mm of rains. Gopalpur, where the cyclone made its landfall, has so far received 97 mm of rain, and hefty showers were further expected over the region, said Skymet Weather. Power supply and telephone line..
                 

Mumbai: St Xavier's accused of mishandling student's harassment plaint

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
With the #MeToo movement gaining momentum, a former student of the prestigious St Xavier's College has come forward to allege that the college mishandled her harassment complaint in 2015. The newly-appointed principal of the institution told mid-day that he supports the student and will be taking a review of her case. 'Most malicious'The student, Kripa Fernandes, who is now based out of Bangalore, wrote a Facebook post about her experience, which occurred in 2015. Back then, she was an arts student in a relationship with a boy from the science stream, which turned physically and mentally abusive. She complained to the college's Women's Development Cell (WDC). Fernandes wrote in her post, "The WDC took up my case but handled it in the most malicious way possible. Ever heard of the abuser's statement being taken before the victim's? I have. I went through it. Ever heard of the abuser's witnesses being called upon but not the victim's? No prizes for guessing if I went through it." ..
                 

Nirmala Sitharaman leaves for France, to visit Dassault plant

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday evening left for France on a three-day visit that would see her visiting the Dassault Aviation production plant that manufactures Rafale fighter jets besides other engagements. Sitharaman, who will be in France till October 13, is leading a high-level delegation, which includes the Secretary, Defence Production. The Minister will be holding talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly on various bilateral issues pertaining to defence cooperation including expanding bilateral maritime security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, sources in the Defence Ministry said. Last year, the French Defence Minister had visited India. Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, whose party has been levelling allegations of crony capitalism and compromising national interest in the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal against Narendra Modi government, raised questions over the timing and purpose of Sitharaman's visit. "The Supreme Court has asked ..
                 

Congress won't make false promises, says Rahul Gandhi

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday promised to poll-bound Rajasthan that if elected, the Congress chief minister would go to all sections of society to know their 'mann ki baat' and not make "false promises." Gandhi was addressing the party's 'Sankalp Maha-rally' in Bikaner. The Congress chief dismissed Prime Minister Modi's assertion that the country had not witnessed any growth before he ascended to power, taking potshots at the ruling BJP on a host of issues -- from demonetisation to Rafale fighter jet deal and farmers' demands. "Modi-ji has a misconception that he runs the country, this is his arrogance," said Gandhi. "Our country is not being run by BJP or Congress, Modiji or Rahul Gandhi," Gandhi said, adding, the country is being run by farmers and youths. "It is our duty to help waive their loans and stand with them." "When our government comes to power, our leaders will not make false promises; they will neither promise Rs 15 lakh in your account nor claim to gen..
                 

Rahul Gandhi raises questions on Nirmala Sitharaman's France visit

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday raised questions on Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's France visit, alleging that work has begun to justify the prime minister's decision to buy Rafale fighter aircraft.He took to Twitter to say while the Supreme Court has asked for the details of the Rafale decision-making process, the decision to buy the fighter aircraft was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi alleged that processes to justify Modi's decision are being invented."The Supreme Court has asked for the RAFALE decision making process. It's quite simple really..."The PM decided. The processes to justify his decision are yet to be invented. But work has begun."Ps. In this connection, Raksha Mantri is leaving for France tonight," he said.Defence Minister Sitharaman leaves for France tonight on a three-day visit, which comes in the backdrop of a big controversy over the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation. Officials sources said S..
                 

HAL officer's wife, daughter commit suicide following domestic row

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The wife and the elder daughter of an officer with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) committed suicide in their house here following a domestic row, police said on Wednesday. Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said Prema Bist, 46, hanged herself from the ceiling fan of a room while her daughter, 28, was found dead with injury marks on her throat.Prema was married to Balwant Singh Bist and the incident took place in Nyay Khand in Indirapuram. The dead daughter worked with a company in Greater Noida.Superintendent of Police Shlok Kumar said the police found a suicide note written by the mother, addressed to her younger daughter Monika, who works in Gurugram: "Please excuse me for this harsh step. I love you too much. Take care of yourself and settle (down) after finding a good boy. I didn't want to leave you alone but I am forced by circumstances to do so. I will protect you from all miseries. I will be present whenever you remember me."Kumar said the suicide note ind..
                 

Police officer commits suicide; shoots himself with service revolver

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A police officer in Ghaziabad shot himself dead with his service revolver early on Wednesday, the police said. The incident occurred at Sub-Inspector Vijay Kumar Thenua's residence in Kavi Nagar police station compound. The police said that as Thenua, posted at the Kavi Nagar police station, shot himself, the gunfire was heard in the police station. The staffers rushed to his quarter where he was found lying unconscious with a gunshot injury in his head. The police rushed him to the Sarvodaya Hospital from where he was referred to Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital where doctors declared him dead. "The officer was under stress as he was facing a criminal case registered against him under section 307 of IPC," said Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna. In a another incident, a minor rape victim in Odisha's Balasore district allegedly committed suicide due to vulgar comments made against her by some people in her locality. The incident took place at Abajuna village on Sunday ..
                 

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi demands sacking of MJ Abkar

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday demanded removal of M J Akbar from the Union Council of Ministers following allegations of sexual harassment against him. As the #MeToo campaign gathered momentum in India, some women journalists have come out and accused Akbar, a former editor and now the minister of state for external affairs, of sexually harassing them during his stint as a journalist. "@mjakbar shame on you and you stood in parliament during T Talaaq Bill & spoke about Muslim women empowerment & to stop their exploitation..," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief tweeted. "@PMOIndia sack this Minister of yours if you truly believe in Beti Bachao," the Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP said in another tweet. Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also, download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get the latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Except for the c..
                 

Three Kashmiri students nabbed in Punjab with AK-47, explosives

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
In a joint operation, the Punjab Police and Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday arrested three students after busting a terror module of Kashmiri terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) in Punjab's Jalandhar city. Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora said in Chandigarh that the students were nabbed from the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology, located in Shahpur on the outskirts of Jalandhar city. The joint team, which conducted a raid at the hostel early this morning, also recovered two weapons, including an assault rifle, as well as explosives from the hostel room of B. Tech (Civil) Student of second semester Zahid Gulzar of Rajpora. Zahid was detained along with Mohd Idriss Shah and Yusuf Rafiq Bhatt, both of Pulwama, a statement from the DGP said. The DGP said the arrests followed the development and corroboration of various leads and inputs about the presence and activities of certain militant..
                 

I'm not a harasser, being attacked and vilified, says Chetan Bhagat

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat, who has been facing a lot of flack after screenshots of his WhatsApp conversations were leaked on social media, asserted on Wednesday that he is being "attacked and vilified". "I want you to know that I am suffering because my name is being dragged into needless controversies, and my family and I are being harassed. In the garb of the #MeToo movement, which definitely has genuine cases, I am being attacked and vilified. Let me tell you upfront -- I am not a harasser. Never was, never will be," Bhagat said in an elaborate four-page statement. The bestselling author, whose latest book "The Girl in Room 105" released on Tuesday, said that the screenshots in question were of "a flirtatious, but friendly and polite conversation". He maintained that such "baseless allegations" affect his wife, 70-year-old mother, his elderly in-laws and his twin teenaged sons. "Each of them suffer in their own way," he added, before mentioning that #MeToo movement "is le..
                 

Himalayan vulture Booboo rescued in Reay Road gets blessing from Church

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
It was Tuesday with a twist for St John the Evangelist Church (Ballard Estate) yesterday morning. The church had an unusual parishioner. Fr Joe D'Souza said with a laugh, "I have been holding Blessing of the Pets for 21 years now all over parishes in the city. Yet, one of the most unusual pets I have had to bless is this vulture called Booboo, which was brought into my church yesterday." Beak tapedThe Blessing of the Pets, the annual ritual will be held on October 14 at this SoBo church, yet the D'Souza family (no relation to Fr Joe D'Souza) brought in their pet, the vulture 'Booboo' yesterday, "as the forest department in Nashik has instructed them that Booboo has to be released in the wild today [Wednesday]. They will be taking the vulture to Nashik," explained Fr. Joe. He said he blessed Booboo, "after I was assured that his beak is taped," he added mirthfully. "I put my hand on the big bird's head and blessed the vulture. I made the sign of the cross thrice, for the Father, the So..
                 

SC asks Centre for details of Rafale decision making process

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the Centre to provide details of the decision making process in the Rafale deal with France in a sealed cover by October 29 but clarified that it does not want information on pricing and technical particulars.  A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogo said it was not issuing a formal notice to the Centre as it has not considered the averments with regard to the allegations of corruption made in two PILs filed by two separate lawyers. At the outset, the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, asked the Centre what if it sought details of the decision making process without the technical details and the prices of the Rafale fighter jets. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said details on the deal cannot be shown to anybody in the interest of national security and other issues involved in the defence procurement process.The court sought information from the Centre on the decision making process in the deal ..
                 

TISS director: We've committed ourselves to raising more funds

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Dr Shalini Bharat, the new director of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), is set to make it a global choice as an institute for higher education in the field of social transformation. She is also focused on resolving pending issues, foremost among them being a funds crunch. In an interview with mid-day, Dr Bharat speaks about her 34-year association with the institute, changing times and challenges, and her vision for the coming years. The past few months have been very difficult for the institute, considering the students' protest. What are your future plans?The protest prepared us for the kind of challenges that we should be expecting. Some of the problems are because our finances are not in very good shape. The purpose is to bring in security for faculty as well as students. No student should feel that he/she cannot continue education due to a funds crunch. We have committed ourselves to raising more funds so that students who are not in a position to pay for their educa..
                 

'Alok Nath stripped in front of me and manhandled me'

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
After decades of playing the 'Sanskaari Babuji' on screen, Alok Nath has turned out to be the complete opposite of that persona. A day after Tara writer Vinta Nanda opened up on her sexual assault by him, an associate who worked on Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) has now spoken exclusively to mid-day, accusing the actor of misconduct and assault on the set of the family drama, nearly two decades ago. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, recalled her ordeal during the last schedule of the film in Mumbai. She stated, "We were shooting for a night scene and I had taken a change of costumes to him. Once I handed him the clothes, he started stripping in front of me. I was taken aback, and tried to make my way out of the room as soon as possible. When I tried to run out, he grabbed my hand and manhandled me. I remember yanking my hand out of his grip and rushing out of the room." Though shocked and traumatised at the turn of events, the survivor added that she refrain..
                 

Here is what ails footpaths outside two major city hospitals

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Heavy parking on footpaths seems to be the norm outside major city hospitals with no space to walk on it, and along many stretches, even blocking access to the main gates of hospitals. Forget ramps or safe passages for the disabled, there seems to be little space even for pedestrians, with most taken up by parked vechicles. Bombay hospital, Marine linesPedestrians walking in the lane next to Bombay Hospital at Marine Lines have to risk walking on the road, keeping a wary eye out for vehicles zipping past, because the pavement running along the boundary wall of Pratishtha Bhavan is full of parked cars. In front of a 'no parking' sign; cars parked on footpath opposite Bombay Hospital Footpaths along the entire stretch near Metro theatre, too, are crowded with bikes. "Two-wheelers are parked on the footpath around Harvic restaurant and opposite Metro theatre, while another set of motorbikes stands on a no-parking stretch along Anandilal Podar Marg," a resident said. Kandivli resident K..
                 

Sushna Swaraj mum on MJ Akbar allegations; media groups clean house

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The #MeToo movement has thrown down the gauntlet to the very top of the media industry as well as the central government, as several new allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against M J Akbar, a renowned former editor and now Minister of State for External Affairs. At least six women journalists and writers have spoken out against Akbar, alleging that he would call them to his hotel room at night for interviews, or sometimes turn up at their homes uninvited. Meanwhile, Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, has dodged all requests for comments on whether any inquiry or action will be initiated against the central minister. Hotel room predatorAmong other publications, Akbar was the founding editor of the Asian Age, and it was during his tenure there that these alleged incidents took place. The floodgates opened after a senior journalist revealed that Akbar was the subject of 'To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world', an article she had written last year, when the #MeToo moveme..
                 

Ailing Goa CM Manohar Parrikar to celebrate Diwali in Goa: BJP MLA

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in a Delhi hospital, will be celebrating Diwali in Goa, BJP MLA Rajesh Patnekar said on Tuesday. Speaking to IANS on Tuesday, soon after meeting Parrikar at the national capital's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where the former Defence Minister has been admitted since last month, Patnekar, said: "It was very nice to see our Chief Minister after such a long time. He has assured me that he will be celebrating this Diwali (in November) in Goa and he will be arriving in his state soon." Interestingly, speaking to reporters last week, Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo, who is also a BJP MLA, had said that the Chief Minister's health was deteriorating. "He can hear less, it seems right now, at this stage of staying in AIIMS. We all are praying very hard that he comes out of his sickness. But till today there is no positivity that he is co..
                 

FMCG should use Hindi, regional languages on products

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday asked the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to write the names of their products in Hindi and other regional languages and print product details in bigger font in the interest of consumers. Writing the names of products in Hindi and other regional languages, besides English, and in bigger font will bring about transparency and benefit consumers, Paswan said at a FICCI event here. "(Accepted that) you cannot write everything in Hindi or regional languages, but at least you can write product names. What is the problem with that?" he asked. "Wherever there is Hindi-speaking population, label in Hindi; in Bangla in Bangla-speaking area... Similarly, in Tamil or Kannada in South." He praised Bisleri company for labelling product names in local languages. He released at the event a FICCI-Deloitte report "Consumer LEADS" that reflects on the retail, FMCG and e-commerce sectors in India. Paswan said it is "unfortunate" th..
                 

'Fight against climate change has to become a social movement'

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said that states are important partners in implementing the vision to tackle climate change in the country and asked them to come out with their own initiatives in this regard beyond implementing central policies. He underlined that both the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) had been conceptualized almost a decade ago and will be revised to reflect the current realities. The NAPCC and SAPCC guide climate actions in the country.Harsh Vardhan said the fight against climate change has to become a social movement and asked state governments to increasingly play a proactive role in implementation of climate policies. "States must create their own initiatives for climate action beyond implementing central policies. The issues of transfer of technology and finance continue to be major issues in dealing with climate change," the Minister said at the inaugural session of the national..
                 

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle biggest ocean polluters, says Report

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestle are among the companies that contribute most to ocean pollution with single-use plastics, according to a study presented on Tuesday by the "Break Free from Plastic" initiative. The environmental movement, launched in 2016, has helped clear the coasts of 42 countries around the world of discarded plastics. "These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis," said Von Hernandez, the Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic, at the presentation of the study in Manila. Between September 9 and 15, over 10,000 volunteers carried out 239 plastic cleaning actions on coasts and other natural environments in 42 countries, Efe news reported. They collected more than 187,000 pieces of plastic, of which more than 65 per cent were from products by Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestle. But companies such as Danone, Mondelez, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever, among others, were also mentioned in ..
                 

Owaisi: BJP govt in Gujarat failed to stop exodus of migrant workers

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin OwaisiTuesday accused the BJP government in Gujarat of failing to stop the "exodus" of Hindi-speaking migrant workers from that state and said it is has a responsibility to ensure their safety. "The atmosphere in Gujarat...the entire responsibility lies on the BJP government in that state. It should have been their (BJP government) responsibility to see to it that North Indians should have been given confidence. They should have spoken to them and stopped them (from migrating) and made arrangements for their security," Owaisi told reporters. But it was 'visbily clear' that the BJP government had failed to maintain law and order in that state, he alleged, adding "you can see an exodus of North Indians from that state...arguably, it is the failure of BJP and their governance". Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who support NDA, should go to Gujarat where thousands are migrating, Owaisi s..
                 

Haji Ali dargah trust gets away with mobile tower, cuts radiation risk

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The landscape around the popular and crowded Haji Ali juice centre looks transformed, thanks to an entire cluster of mobile towers atop the Haji Ali Dargah Trust office that has now been removed. The towers, which were emitting worrying amounts of radiation at that frantically busy spot, have disappeared from view. For a few years, the tower cluster seemed omnipresent and in fact, was one of the most visible signs above the famous juice centre. The Dargah office is next to the centre. The towers used to yield Rs 80 lakh annually to the dargah trust. Vanishing actSuhail Khandwani, Haji Ali dargah trustee said, "We have finished removing all the towers, sometime ago. We had been sent a notice by the Collector that the Trust needed to pay some rent to them from the proceeds of the income we got from the Towers. Then, of course, we are also aware that radiation from mobile tower antennae is harmful to health. We have thousands of devotees visiting every day, it is better if we remove the ..
                 

Vijay Rupani hits out at Rahul Gandhi over migrants leaving state

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Hindi-speaking migrants continued to flee Gujarat Tuesday after attacks on them in several parts of the state, even as the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress engaged in blame game. Police, meanwhile, intensified patrolling in areas near industrial estates and places where migrant workers stay. Since the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime, six districts, most of them in north Gujarat, have seen sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people. In a series of tweets, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asked whether Congress president Rahul Gandhi will take action against his party's "own members who incited violence against the migrants in Gujarat". The BJP has been blaming Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his outfit Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena for the outbreak of violence against Hindi-speaking people in the state. "Congress first incites violence against migrants. Congress President t..
                 

Sharad Yadav: Gujarat government must go over attacks on workers

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) patron Sharad Yadav on Tuesday said the BJP-led Gujarat government should quit for failing to protect migrant workers in the state after a worker from Bihar was held for raping a toddler. "The Gujarat government has failed to provide security to the residents of other states, especially those from the Hindi-speaking states. So this government should immediately step down," Yadav said in a statement. He said it was "extremely unfortunate" that the workers from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had been "forced to flee" from Gujarat after widespread attacks on them following the rape of a 14-month-old in Sabarkantha district on September 28. "These workers have been providing services to the people of Gujarat for the past several years. Surprisingly, the BJP is in power both in the Centre and in Gujarat, yet it is unable to protect the workers of other states." He added: "The present exodus of migrant workers from the state shows that the..
                 

Rahul Gandhi says govt must act over migrants being attacked in Gujarat

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi Tuesday said attacks on the migrant workforce in Gujarat are not good for business and the economy and that the Government must act decisively to restore peace and ensure safety of every Indian. In a Facebook post, he said "poor'" economic policies, demonetisation and a "poorly-implemented" GST has led to closure of factories and rise in unemployment that is being manifested in violent attacks on migrants across Gujarat. He said there is growing frustration and anger with the government's "inability" to create jobs. "Across Gujarat, poor economic policies, demonetisation and poorly executed GST have devastated industry resulting in shutting down of factories and industrial units, leading to massive unemployment. "Amongst the youth there is growing frustration and anger with the Government's inability to create jobs. This anger and frustration is being manifested in violent attacks on migrants, across the state of Gujarat,¿ he said in his post. T..
                 

19 smuggled exotic birds seized in Pune

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have seized here 19 exotic birds of various species which were allegedly smuggled into India for sale, an official said Monday. The seized avians include 15 birds of species Agapornis, commonly known as 'Love birds' of African origin, one Sun parakeet, two great Billed parrot of Philippines origin and one white cockatoo of Indonesian origin, he said. The birds were seized from the premises of one Dominic Sequira, a resident of Vadgaon Sheri, the DRI official told PTI. "On the basis of specific information, the Pune unit of the DRI, with assistance of officers of the Pune Customs Commissionerate, on October 7 recovered illegally imported foreign exotic birds," he said. The birds were handed over to the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park here for safe custody. "The above mentioned live exotic birds command very high price, as they are sold in illegal markets after being smuggled," said the officer. All these birds appear to have been..
                 

HC allows CBI to file closure report in Najeeb Ahmed's disappearance

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Nearly two years after JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing from campus and the police as well as the CBI unsuccessfully investigated his disappearance, the Delhi High Court Monday allowed filing of a closure report in the matter, saying the probe by the premier investigative agency was not "tardy and slow". A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel while disposing of the habeas corpus petition moved by the student's mother, Fatima Nafees, said the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was not "tardy and slow" as was contended by her and rejected her claim that it wanted to file the closure report due to "political compulsions". "This court is, for the reasons discussed hereafter, not persuaded that the CBI is tardy and slow in the investigation or that it has not taken steps that are required to be taken in the matter. "In the present case, this court has in fact monitored the investigation thus far of the CBI and has not been persuaded to agree with the pet..
                 

Sena MP Sanjay Raut fetes Hindutva lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar

7 d