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Govt is facilitator, private sector driver of growth: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Bengaluru: The Union Budget 2021-22 is about the role of government as a facilitator and the private sector as a key driver of economic growth, without which the country would be losing a big opportunity, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday.In her post-Budget address to members of PHD (Progress, Harmony and Development) Chamber of Commerce in Bengaluru, Sitharaman said, “The most important component or input required here is the participation of the private sector. Unless the private sector is energised enough, facilitated enough, India is just losing a very big opportunity.” According to the Finance Minister, the coronavirus vaccine was a big example of a government-private partnership. Sitharaman noted that the budget was about setting the path for the decade. She said, “… It is a Budget not just for this year, it is a Budget for setting the path for the decade.” ANI

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Farmers’ protest enters 100th day; Western Peripheral Expressway blocked for five hours

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Sonipat/Palwal (Haryana) [India], March 6 (ANI): The farmers have blocked Western Peripheral Expressway in Kundli, Sonipat following their announcement of blocking the Expressway on Saturday for five hours from 11 am-4 pm.
The 136-km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, also known as Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway is facing a five-hour blockade, called by farmers to mark the 100th day of their protest against farm laws.
Farmers marched on the expressway while carrying farmer unions’ flags in their hands. Few farmers were also seen on tractors. They were also raising slogans against the government.

The farmers’ protest against the Central government’s three farm laws has entered its 100th day on Saturday. The protesting farmer unions have decided to observe March 6 as ‘Black Day’.

Heavy deployment of police has been ensured in Haryana’s Palwal to avoid any unusual incident.
“We are fully prepared to avert any unprecedented situation. We have deployed enough police force. Nobody is allowed to break the law. If anybody does so, they will face the law,” Vijaypal, Deputy SP, Palwal told ANI.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is leading the protests, had on Friday requested the common people to wave black flags at homes and offices to support the movement and protest against the government.
On February 25, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated that the central government is ready to talk to protesting farmers at any time.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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Farmers protest: Govt torturing ‘annadata’, says Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday once again criticised the Centre over the controversial farm laws, alleging that the government is torturing the farmers, who are fighting for their rights.
“Nails have been laid at the Delhi borders for sons of those who sacrifice their lives on the borders of the country. ‘Annadata’ ask for their rights, government tortures!” Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
Last month, the Delhi Police had cemented nails near barricades at Ghazipur (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh) and Tikri (Delhi-Haryana) borders. Barbed wire and cement barricades were also planted on the roads to restrict the movement of the protesting farmers.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
In January, the Supreme Court had put on hold the implementation of the farm laws. (ANI)

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Well-known personality likely to join BJP’s rally with Nadda in West Bengal

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): A well-known personality from West Bengal is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of the party’s national president JP Nadda on Saturday, sources said.
On reports of actor Mithun Chakraborty sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his rally at Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on March 7, BJP National General Secy Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “There will be only public and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the biggest celebrity. We’ll welcome those coming in, If Mithun Chakraborty comes, we will welcome him.”
“I believe this will be the biggest rally in the history of Bengal. Mamata is now afraid of losing. Last time, she gave 57 tickets to minorities, but this time she gave 42 tickets to them,” he said.
Speaking to ANI, West Bengal BJP vice president Arjun Singh said, “If Mithun Chakraborty comes, it will be good, both for Bengal as well as our party. If he comes on a stage where there is Prime Minister, the people of Bengal will be happier.”
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going the extra mile to ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on March 7 witnesses a historical crowd. It is going to be the first rally of the Prime Minister after the announcement of Assembly poll schedules in West Bengal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold the first rally in West Bengal on March 7 after the announcement of the assembly poll schedule. The rally will be held at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata.
According to party sources, many folk artists have been invited to perform at the event.
The elections for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27. The state is going to witness eight-phase Assembly polls this year.
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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Hearing adjourned till April 27 on suit seeking to restore temples in Qutub Minar complex

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): A Delhi court on Saturday adjourned till April 27 hearing on a civil suit seeking restoration of 27 Hindu and Jain temples in the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli, a lawyer familiar with the development said.
On December 24 last year, the Saket court had sought to know the locus of the plaintiff and maintainability of the civil suit and had listed the matter for hearing for March 6.
The court was hearing a civil suit filed on behalf of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and others through next friend advocates Hari Shankar Jain, Ranajna Agnihotri and Vishnu Shankar Jain.
“That this suit is being filed to preserve and protect the religious and cultural heritage of India and to exercise the right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 and 26 of Constitution of India by restoring 27 Hindu and Jain temples with respective deities which were dismantled, desecrated and damaged under the command and orders of Qutub-Din-Aibak, a commander of invader Mohammad Gauri, who established slave dynasty and raised some construction at the same very place of temples naming it as, Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque,” the suit said.
It has claimed that according to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), 27 Hindu and Jain temples were demolished and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex reusing the materials.
The suit has sought to declare that Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, Lord Sun, Goddess Gauri, Lord Hanuman, Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishab Dev have the right to be “restored” within the temple complex at the site of Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque Complex, Mehrauli, south-west Delhi “after rebuilding it with the same honour and dignity”.
It has also sought to issue an injunction directing the central government to create a trust, according to the Trust Act 1882, and hand over the management and administration of the temple complex, situated within the area of Qutub Complex in Mehrauli, after framing a scheme of the administration to such trust.
“Pass a decree in the nature of a permanent injunction, restraining the defendants permanently from interfering in making necessary repair works, raising construction and making arrangement for the pooja, darshan and worship of deities in accordance with Sections 16 and 19 of `The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958` by a trust, to be created by the Central government within the area,” the suit said. (ANI)

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Delhi witnesses significant drop in crime including rape cases in 2020

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Delhi witnessed a significant decline in crime including rape cases, molestation and eve-teasing of women in 2020 as compared to 2019, according to data by Delhi Police.
2,05,324 IPC cases were registered in 2020, as against 3,01,085 in the previous year. Total Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes per lakh of the population were 1,259 during 2020 in comparison to 1,544 in 2019, the police said.
In 2020, there was a decline in cases pertaining to rape by 21.63 per cent (2,168 rape cases in 2019 and 1,699 rape cases in 2020). In about 98 per cent of rape cases, the accused were known to the victim. Strangers were involved in only about 2 per cent of cases.
The cases of molestation of women also dropped by 25.16 per cent (2,921 cases in 2019 and 2,186 cases in 2020) and eve-teasing by 12.32 per cent (495 cases in 2019 and 434 cases in 2020).
“Though there is a rising trend in registering of total IPC crime, however, the heinous crime percentage of the total IPC cases has shown a declining trend from last 6 years from 5.84 per cent in 2015 to 2.16 per cent in 2020. The dynamic and scientific strategy to control crime has resulted in a sharp decline in heinous crimes,” Praveer Ranjan, Special Commissioner of Police, Crime and Economic Offences Wing said.
Cases of dacoity decreased by 40 per cent in the national capital, murder by 9.40 per cent and kidnapping for ransom by 26.67 per cent in 2020.
There was a steady increase in the registration of IPC from the last 3 years mainly on account of 65 per cent to 80 per cent registration of online FIRs for MV theft and other thefts, Delhi Police said.
472 cases of murder were registered during 2020, as compared to 521 cases in 2019.
“Out of these, 89.62 per cent cases were solved. Incidents of murders per lakh of the population have shown a significant decline during the last fourteen years coming down to 2.37 per cent in 2020 from 3.05 per cent in 2005.
According to Delhi Police’s data, 1,799 attempt to murder and hurt cases were registered in 2019 as compared to 1,634 cases in 2020.
“An analysis of the motive behind these murders reported in 2020 reveals that 21.19 per cent of the cases were due to sudden provocation or trivial issues, 43.86 per cent due to enmity or dispute. Only 7.20 per cent of the murders were crime related,” the Special Commissioner of Police said.
In 2020, Delhi Police solved 90 per cent of murder cases and 96 per cent of attempt to murder cases. 11 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported in 2020 as against 15 cases of the corresponding period of the previous year showing a decline of 27 per cent. All cases have been solved.
120 cases of extortion were reported in 2020 as against 179 cases of the corresponding period of the previous year showing a decline of 32.96 per cent and 87 per cent cases have been solved.
According to Delhi Police, the use of Fire Arms in crime has shown a decline. During 2020, there were 672 cases in which firearms (736 cases in 2019) were used in which 85 cases of exchange fire took place while apprehending criminals, the police said.
During 2020, 1963 cases of robbery were reported as compared to 1956 cases in the previous year. 1,810 of these cases were solved with the arrest of 3,533 persons. 9 cases of dacoity were reported in 2020 as compared to 15 cases in the corresponding period of 2019.
As many as 7,965 cases of snatching were reported in 2020 as compared to 6,266 cases in 2019. Of these 4,796 (60.21 per cent) cases were solved with the arrest of 6,496 persons in 2020. About 92.98 per cent of total arrested criminals were first-time offenders and 42.71 per cent of them were illiterates or school drop-outs in 2020.
35,019 Motor Vehicles theft cases were reported in 2020 as against 46,215 cases in 2019. Among the stolen vehicles, 25,153 (71.83 per cent) were two-wheelers, 7,157 (20.44 per cent) cars and 2,709 (7.74 per cent) other vehicles. 4,183 (11.94 per cent) stolen vehicles were recovered and 5,211 auto lifters were arrested.
The major percentage share of total IPC is due to e-FIR. These e-FIRs include FIR of MV thefts, property theft and other theft. During 2019, 2,33,191 e-FIR were registered which contributed aout 77 per cent of total IPC cases. During 2020, 1,64,308 e-FIR were registered which contributed about 66 per cent of the total IPC registered in Delhi.
Praveer Ranjan said 2020 saw some massive seizures of narcotics and busting of various peddling networks. A total of 748 FIRs under the NDPS Act were registered all over Delhi and 912 persons were arrested as compared to 712/909 being the corresponding figures for the previous year, he said.
He said the year 2020 was turbulent witnessing agitation against CAA legislation across Delhi followed by North-East Delhi violence.
“Hardly had the heat receded when COVID-19 spread its tentacles and brought even the data to day life process to a standstill. The capital city saw a new spike in the COVID-19 pandemic particularly after cases among the Tablighi Jamaatis were detected. Even towards the end of the year, the city was put on alert especially along the bordering areas keeping in view of farmers’ agitation,” Ranjan said.
A total of 2,414 cases of gambling were registered in Delhi last year in comparison to 2,339 cases in 2019.
In 2020, Delhi Police arrested a total of 120 ‘rewarded’ criminals including a gangster carrying a reward of Rs 6.5 lakhs, 2 desperate criminals carrying individual rewards of Rs 5 lakhs each, 3 other criminals carrying rewards of Rs 2 lakhs each.
The police also came down heavily on bootleggers in 2020 and registered 5,186 cases under the Excise Act. 6,33,549 bottles of country-made liquor, 62,425 bottles of IMFL and 14,176 bottles of beer were recovered and 566 persons were arrested. (ANI)

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Dalai Lama gets 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine, urges people to get vaccinated

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Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Spiritual leader The Dalai Lama, who on Saturday received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, has appealed to the public to get vaccinated for the “greater benefit”.
“In order to prevent serious problems, this injection is very helpful and good. Other patients also should also take this injection for greater benefit. I just took it and more people should have the courage to take this injection,” he said.
The 86-year-old, who has been undergoing self-quarantine since January last year, came out of his residence on Saturday after over a year. He received the dose at the Zonal Hospital here at 7:10 am. He was kept under observation for about half an hour.
There are currently 589 active COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh, as per the union health ministry. As many as 57,428 recoveries and 997 deaths have been reported in the state so far.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus commenced on March 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had got himself vaccinated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, on Monday.
Several prominent political leaders in the country, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, have already taken the first jab of the vaccine against coronavirus. (ANI)

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