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Congress MLA alleges being ‘tricked’ to donate for Ram Temple

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New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): After a photo of Congress MLA from Perumbavoor in Kerala, Eldhose Kunnappilly, has gone viral on social media with claims that he has donated money to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the construction of Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya, the MLA on Wednesday shared a video on social media stating that he was ‘tricked’ into donating for the Ram Mandir by the RSS.
The viral photo shows the MLA holding a card with the image of a building on it along with three men, which is being widely shared on social media.
However, Kunnappily claimed that ‘out of his innocence’ he donated Rs 1,000 for the temple construction.
He alleged that some people had contacted him asking for donations for the construction of the temple but ‘did not reveal’ that they were associated with the RSS or whether the donation was for the Ram Mandir.
Hitting out at RSS, the Perumbavoor MLA said, “I am a secular person and it is disheartening that they fooled me. You (RSS) should engage in politics ethically.”
“I express my grief over this RSS propaganda if that has in any way hurt religious sentiments of some communities,” he said in the video posted.
Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust is conducting a mass contact and contribution campaign for the construction of the grand temple in Ayodhya, which began on January 15 and will go on till February 27.
After the Supreme Court gave the verdict for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan for the temple on August 5, 2020, at the temple site in Ayodhya. (ANI)

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Tibetan govt in-exile requests Dalai Lama’s Covid-19 vaccination

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Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 3 (ANI): The Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) request for COVID-19 vaccination of the Dalai Lama is currently under consideration of the state government, said Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, Chief Medical Officer of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, two months after the CTA claimed the request was sent.
According to Palden, the Health Secretary of the CTA, requests have been made to both the central and Himachal Pradesh government to get the 85-year-old spiritual leader and the staff around him vaccinated.
“We had written to the Government of India and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Kangra district about two months back but have not received any response. Our request was for His Holiness (HH) the Dalai Lama, the people living around him, and the Tibetan community in India to be vaccinated,” Palden told ANI.
Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, CMO of the district, meanwhile said the request had been received and was under the consideration of the government.
“COVID-19 vaccination has been going on since January 16 and the first priority group, as per the Government of India’s guidelines, was healthcare and frontline workers… The request was received from the central Tibetan government regarding vaccinating HH the Dalai Lama and the people living around him. It has been sent to the government, modalities are being worked out to vaccinate them,” Dr Gupta said.
He further said a specific request had been made for the Dalai Lama to be vaccinated on his own premises.
“HH has been in self-quarantine for quite some time so a request has been received to vaccinate him in his own premises. It is under the consideration of the government and the final decision will be taken when it is received from the government. It will be done as per protocol,” the CMO added.
The first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive against the coronavirus had begun on January 16 with frontline and healthcare workers. The second phase began on February 13. In this phase, people above 60 and those with comorbidities above 45 will be vaccinated.
Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research at AIIMS, Delhi. (ANI)

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Hearing in SC over UP govt’s plea seeking transfer of Mukhtar Ansari from Punjab jail

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Supreme Court is hearing a transfer petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking its direction to transfer alleged gangster and don-turned politician, Mukhtar Ansari from Roopar Jail in Punjab to jail in Uttar Pradesh.
Former Attorney General (AG) and senior Supreme Court lawyer, Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the accused, Ansari, submitted before the Apex Court bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that he had earlier applied for a transfer and the Court had passed an order that transfer was not necessary in the case and that he could go for video-conferencing.
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, the senior lawyer appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, told the Supreme Court that nothing has been done so far by the Punjab Police even after two years had been passed.
“Nothing has been placed before the Court. The Punjab Police in alleged collusion with this man is dodging the judicial system,” Mehta Submitted to the Apex Court bench.
“He manages to dodge the judicial system. He is in jail since 2005, but he is operating from the jail allegedly and running his illegal activities from there,” Mehta told the Apex Court.
“He is in the judicial custody under the supervision of the court,” Mehta said and added that look at his alleged activities from the jail.
The SG Mehta said that the accused, Ansari, procured a medical certificate saying that he cannot travel. But, he has been attending other proceedings. “Facts are being suppressed,” he said.
“We are not a mute spectator to it if a prisoner is not shifted to another jail. The state does it on behalf of the victim. The state will proceed. Fundamental rights of the society are to ensure that justice is being done as quickly as possible,” Mehta told the Apex Court. (ANI)

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SC posts for March 4 hearing on Amazon Prime India head’s anticipatory bail plea over ‘Tandav’ row

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday postponed for Thursday hearing an appeal of the commercial head of Amazon Prime Video Aparna Purohit, against the Allahabad High Court order that denied anticipatory bail to her, in the ongoing investigation against the web series ‘Tandav’.
A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said it will hear the appeal of Purohit on Thursday.
The High Court on February 25 declined to give protection from arrest to Purohit by dismissing the anticipatory bail application of her.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had filed an FIR against the top Amazon Prime executive for the derogatory depiction of Hindu deities and promoting religious enmity through the series.
The High Court in its order has noted that “such people make the revered figures of the religion of majority community source of earning money in a most brazen manner taking benefit of the liberal and tolerant tradition of the country.”
Making strong observations while rejecting Purohit’s anticipatory bail plea in a case filed against her in Noida, Justice Siddharth said, “The conduct of the applicant shows that she has scant respect for the law of the land and her conduct further disentitles her to any relief from this court.”
Earlier on January 27, the Supreme Court had refused to grant interim protection from arrest to actor and makers of web series ‘Tandav’ and allowed them to approach High Courts for relief from arrest or quashing of FIRs.
Justice Ashok Bhushan while denying to grant interim protection from arrest, however, had agreed to hear the issue of transferring and clubbing several FIRs registered against them across the country and issued notice to complainants on the prayer.
‘Tandav’ actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Purohit and the makers had approached the top court seeking protection from arrest on the FIRs registered against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and telecasting objectionable content.
‘Tandav’, a nine-episode political thriller that started streaming in January this year on Amazon Prime Over The Top (OTT) platform, featuring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Ayyub, has created an uproar for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
The petitions filed in January had requested the top court that criminal proceedings initiated against them for offences including hurting religious sentiments be quashed or alternatively club all the seven FIRs registered in different states and transfer them to a court in Mumbai.
Three FIRs were registered in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Noida and Shahjahanpur. Two FIRs were lodged in Madhya Pradesh while one FIR each was lodged in Karnataka and Bihar. Apart from the FIRs, at least three other criminal complaints are pending in Maharashtra, Delhi and Chandigarh respectively.
FIRs were registered for the alleged inappropriate depiction of Uttar Pradesh Police personnel, deities and adverse portrayal of a character playing the role of prime minister in the show.
FIRs mentions that the show portrayed the Hindu deity, Shiva, in “a poor light” as the actor playing him on-screen was shown using foul language. (ANI)

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Indigenously designed, developed spectrograph can locate faint light from distant celestial objects

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Indian scientists have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical spectrograph that can locate sources of faint light from distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe, regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies, and cosmic explosions.
“Such spectroscopes were so far imported from abroad involved high costs. The ‘Made in India’ optical spectrograph named as Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC), indigenously designed and developed by Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, is about 2.5 times less costly compared to the imported ones and can locate sources of light with a photon-rate as low as about 1 photon per second,” read a release from the Ministry of Science & Technology.
The spectroscope, the largest of its kind among the existing astronomical spectrographs in the country, has been successfully commissioned on the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), the largest in the country and in Asia, near Nainital Uttarakhand.
As per the statement, the instrument, a backbone of the 3.6-m DOT for observations of extremely faint celestial sources, uses a complex arrangement of several lenses made of special glasses, polished to better than 5-nanometer smoothness to produce sharp images of the celestial sky.
Photons coming from distant celestial sources, collected by the telescope, are sorted into different colors by the spectrograph and are finally converted into electronic recordable signals using an in-house developed Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera cooled to an extremely low temperature of -120 degree Celcius. The total cost of this instrument is nearly Rs 4 crores.
Dr Amitesh Omar, the scientist at ARIES, led this project with a technical and scientific team, which together researched and developed various optical, mechanical, and electronics subsystems of the spectrograph and camera.
The spectrograph is presently being used by astronomers from India and abroad to study distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe, regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies, cosmic explosions like supernovae and highly energetic Gamma-ray bursts, young and massive stars, and faint dwarf galaxies.
“The indigenous efforts to build complex instruments like ADFOSC in India is an important step to become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ in the field of astronomy & astrophysics,” said Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, Director, ARIES.
Expertise from various national institutes, organizations, including the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and some micro-small-medium-enterprises, were involved to review and build parts of the instrument serving as an example of effective collaboration. With this expertise, ARIES now plans to commission more complex instruments such as spectro-polarimeter and high spectral resolution spectrograph on the 3.6-m Devasthal telescope in the near future. (ANI)

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Not enough for Rahul Gandhi to accept 1975 Emergency was a mistake, says Anil Vij

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): A day after Rahul Gandhi said that the Emergency imposed in the country during late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure was wrong, Haryana Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Anil Vij on Wednesday said that if the Congress leader has to atone for the imposition of emergency then he should leave the “dictatorial” party.
“It is not enough for Rahul Gandhi to accept that the Emergency imposed by his grandmother in 1975 was a mistake, because anti-democratic and dictatorship thinking is still alive in Congress. Indira Gandhi may not be here but the rest of the leaders who supported the Emergency are still active in the Congress,” Vij said in a tweet.
“Today he is also leading the same party. If Rahul Gandhi has to atone for the imposition of emergency, then he should leave the dictatorial Congress party,” he added.
Rahul, while participating in a webinar organised by US university Cornell on Tuesday, said that the Emergency imposed in the country in 1975 was wrong.
“There is a fundamental difference between what happened in the Emergency, which was wrong, and what is happening now. Congress party, at no point, attempted to capture India’s constitutional framework. Our design doesn’t allow us that. Even if we want to do it, we can’t,” said the Wayanad MP in interaction with Professor Kaushik Basu.
On June 25, 1975, Indira Gandhi had announced a national emergency in view of ‘threats to national security’.
During the emergency, opposition leaders were arrested, censorship was imposed, and a ban was announced on grassroots organisations which lasted for a period of 21 months. (ANI)

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Bengali actor Sayantika Banerjee joins TMC ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 3 (ANI): Bengali actor Sayantika Banerjee on Wednesday joined the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), ahead of Assembly elections in West Bengal.
She joined the TMC in presence of party leader and West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee and other leaders.
Sayantika Banerjee said, “I was with Didi for the past 10 years but today I officially joined TMC. I request the people of Bengal to be with us and Didi. We know Bangla wants Bengali.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kolkata. Bengali actor Yash Dasgupta has also joined BJP along with several other Tollywood actors including Papiya Adhikari and Mallika Banerjee.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. (ANI)

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