Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 20 (ANI): Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said that every crime is being politicised, every action of an elected government is being seen from a political angle. This kind of atmosphere is one of the biggest threats to the pace of development and peace in the country, the chief minister said.
“Elections are an essential feature of democracy. However, the hallmark of a mature democracy is that once elected, governments are meant to work for people, beyond the party line,” Patnaik said addressing the NITI Aayog’s governing council meeting on Saturday.
“It is high time that we, as a country, have serious introspection on whether we are able to do the same,” said Patnaik.
It’s high time the country gets out of this election mode and allows elected Governments to function, the Odisha CM said.
Patnaik was speaking at the sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
Patnaik further addressing the meeting said, “My speech has been circulated which deals with the agenda points and requirements for our State and the people. It speaks of the just demands of our State relating to Railways, Telecom, Banking, reduction in a central fund, special focus States in view of frequent disasters, the inclusion of some of our important languages in the 8th schedule, etc. However, I would utilize this time to reflect on some of the issues/concerns that affect us as a country today and the NITI Aayog in dealing with them.”
He also stated that national parties had promised women’s reservations both in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, adding that history will not forgive the renegement on this commitment and therefore it calls for serious deliberation and taking it forward.
“If the country has to really move forward, regions that are neglected and populations that are vulnerable have to be taken along. Committed and targeted action is needed for that. NITI Aayog has a major role to play in this. Specific sections that need focus like malnutrition, connectivity, sex ratio imbalances, etc,” stated the Chief Minister.
Stating that lakhs of young people appear for national level exams every year – the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), etc, he added that a critical look is needed to re-evaluate the examination pattern for these prestigious and highly sought-after exams.
“Should not we have exams that focus on equality and attracting merit as opposed to exam patterns that are heavily dependent on highly paid coaching classes?” questioned the Chief Minister.
He said that this will truly eliminate merit in the long run and deny justice to lakhs of children who live in rural areas and don’t have physical or economic access to coaching classes, asserting that the NITI Aayog should look into this very serious issue or else in a few years’ there will be serious distortions.
“NITI Aayog should develop into a repository of innovations drawn from the country and across the world and help replicate it. Futuristic technologies, a new world economy, solutions for climate change, inclusive governance models are some areas that can be focused on. Many critical issues are being raised in the NITI Aayog deliberations and excellent suggestions are also being made. It would be appropriate for NITI Aayog to share the action taken report with everyone concerned. This will make our deliberations more meaningful and action-oriented,” Patnaik said.
He also remarked that a number of proposals of different states relating to the inclusion of tribal communities in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list have been pending from 1978 onwards and many of them are subsets on phonetic variations of the names of existing ST communities, pointing that it is unjust to keep these pending for years without a decision.
“Covid-19 was a challenge for the world and India showed with its unified response what is possible. European countries and the United States could not put up a unified front. The same unified response and inclusive approach should be adopted for all major challenges facing the country in the true spirit of cooperative federalism,” said the Chief Minister.
“History will remember us for what our response has been on critical issues affecting our people and the country, raising above political considerations,” he said. (ANI)
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Fuel price hike: Youth Congress stages protest outside petroleum ministry
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Youth Congress workers on Tuesday staged a protest outside the petroleum ministry over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists assembled outside the petroleum ministry office with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the central government. The police, meanwhile, arrested a few of the protesters to control the situation.
The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel.
On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she won’t be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.
“I won’t be able to say ‘when’. It is a ‘dharam sankat’ (dilemma),” Sitharaman said at an event in Ahmedabad after being asked when would the central government reduce fuel prices.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has also said that price of fuel will decrease once the winter season ends.
“Increase in petroleum price in international market has affected consumers too. Prices will come down a little as winter goes away. It is an international matter, price is high due to increase in demand, it happens in winter. It will come down as the season ends,” Pradhan had said on February 26. (ANI)
Why is Modi govt charging common people for COVID-19 vaccine, asks Prithviraj Chavan
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the central government’s decision to charge for COVID-19 vaccine in phase-II that began on March 1.
In phase-II, people over the age of 60 and over the age of 45 with co-morbidity can get inoculated at the designated centres by paying Rs 250.
In a press conference, Prithviraj Chavan said that in phase-I, the union government had procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccine at a cost of Rs 210 per dose.
“According to the budget speech delivered by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2021, Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs 210 per dose more than 1.5 billion doses can be procured which can inoculate 75 crore population twice covering almost the entire adult population of India. If budgetary provisions are made then, why charge common people?” Chavan asked.
Comparing to the vaccine drives in countries like the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK), the Congress leader said, “Large countries such as the USA, UK or Canada are providing free vaccines to their citizens either through insurance scheme or by budgetary provisions.”
He further demanded that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given a free COVID-19 vaccine.
“I demand all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplier of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Modi government is digging into the common man’s pocket.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to central government sources.
Last Friday, the health ministry had said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres. The beneficiary will have to show a photo ID document for proof of age (preferably Aadhar card or EPIC card) and a certificate of co-morbidity (if required).
Those taking the COVID vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge.
States and UTs were explained the simplified process of registration, which shall be through three routes: Advance Self-Registration: In this, the beneficiaries will be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu etc. (ANI)
BJP chief asks officials in Rajasthan to strengthen party cadre, do self-analysis
Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Jagat Prakash Nadda on Tuesday advised party officials to strengthen the cadre and do self-analysis.
Addressing the ‘State Executive Meeting’ at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur, Nadda asked the officials to complete the formation of booth committees by September 24.
“A lot of people among us have stopped self-analysis. This reduces our productivity. You all need to start doing self-analysis. You need to analyse –what you are giving to the party, how much contribution are you making to the party, at what level are you accepted in the party,” he said.
“The formation of our booth committees should be completed by 25th September i.e. Deendayal Upadhyay ji’s birth anniversary. There should not be any booth where our booth committee is not formed and every booth should have women, youth, Dalit brothers, people from backward caste in our committees,” he added.
Nadda asked the party officials to ensure BJP’s victory in Rajasthan in the next Assembly polls.
“Ashok Gehlot government’s priority is to not have a well-governed state. Seeing this, it is our responsibility, to say ‘namaskar to this sarkar’ and make sure that the lotus blooms here,” he said.
Commenting upon the goal of the party in 2021, Nadda said, “We have a good image in public, but we are a cadre-based party. Therefore, it is our responsibility to strengthen the cadre. Strong mandals, active booths and active panna pramkukhs, these are the three goals we have to complete in 2021.”
Lauding the Prime Minister’s role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP chief said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination has begun. We have sent the Made-in-India vaccines to over 20 countries.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi by taking the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday has given a clear message that we must take the vaccination drive ahead,” he added.
Nadda also slammed Opposition parties over the protest against the three farm laws saying that farmers are our ‘annadata’ and “we need to bring them in the mainstream. But, many parties are exploiting the protest for their own gain.” (ANI)
‘Hundred suspicion don’t make a proof’: Court cites Russian Novelist to drop murder charges against two in Delhi violence case
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Tuesday dropped attempt to murder charges against two accused in connection with north-east violence case quoting Russian Novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky that “from a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof.”
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dropped the attempt to murder charges and Arms Act against two accused- Imran alias Teli and Babu and said that there must be some material against the accused persons to frame a charge.
“Presumption can’t be stretched to take the shape of proof/evidence. The chargesheet depicts nothing for charging them under Section 307 Indian Penal Code (IPC) or Arms Act,” the court said.
The court said that Dostoevsky in, “Crime and Punishment” says from a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof”. Thus, both the accused persons are discharged of the offences under Section 307 (attempt to murder) IPC and Arms Act.
Delhi Police has alleged that Imran alias Teli and Babu were members of unlawful assembly armed with weapons and participating in the rioting on February 25, 2020, near Maujpur Red Light. Delhi Police has booked them under Section 143/144/147/148/149/307 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of Arms Act.
The Court noted that the gunshot injury is stated to be caused to one Rahul but he is missing and his statement is also not on record.
The police have, after a long investigation, concluded that Rahul, who is stated to have been shot by the mob/rioters comprising the accused persons, had given a wrong address as also a wrong mobile phone number in his Medico Legal Case (MLC).
“So by the time, police arrived at the hospital, the alleged victim Rahul had vanished. It is not as if Rahul gave an initial statement and then vanished. The State is categorical in saying that the police never saw Rahul,” the court said.
“That being the case, who is going to say that who shot whom and by whom and where,” the Court added.
The court further said that the alleged victim has never been seen by the police. He has never given any statement about any gunshot injury or about any mob or rioters.
“So how is Section 307 IPC made out against the accused persons when the victim is absent from even the police investigation. How is the gunshot injury established? There is no murmur of that,” the court further added.
The Court said that there is ground for presuming that the accused persons have committed the offence but not exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions.
Therefore, the Court transferred the matter back to the magistrate Court to decide on the issue of framing charges under unlawful assembly and others.
The Court asked Imran and Babu to mark their appearance at the magistrate court on March 8. (ANI)
Delhi court seeks voice samples of AAP MLA Jarwal in doctor’s suicide case
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Monday directed Delhi Police to deposit the voice samples of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Prakash Jarwal with Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report immediately in connection with a doctor suicide case.
Jarwal is accused of abetment to the suicide of a 52-year-old doctor.
Additional session Judge Geetanjali Goel also pulls up Delhi Police and said, “Quite clearly at every step, the matter is sought to be delayed. The investigation officer is directed to deposit the voice samples of accused Prakash Jarwal and co-accused Harish Kumar Jarwal with FSL immediately and place the report on the record before the next date of hearing. Put up on March 20, 2021, by which date it is hoped that necessary steps would be taken failing which, the court would be constrained to take necessary action.”
“Despite the order dated February 15, 2021, it is now stated that the voice samples of only accused Prakash Jarwal and Harish Kumar Jarwal had been taken and the said samples had also not been sent yet to FSL for obtaining the report for which there is no explanation,” the Court noted.
The Court also noted the submission made in the report of Additional DCP that due to heavy law and order arrangements in January in connection with Republic Day Celebrations and in February 2021 for ongoing Farmer’s protest, the services of the maximum staff were utilised but the same does not inspire confidence, in view of the fact that even prior to that no cogent steps were taken for completing the investigation and obtaining the voice samples.
AAP’s sitting MLA from Deoli assembly area Prakash Narwal is currently on regular bail in the matter granted by the Delhi High Court and had denied the charges made against him in the matter.
He through his lawyer had submitted that suicide note in different pen ink, different handwriting, the second portion of the suicide note not bearing the signature of the deceased.
Jarwal’s lawyer also argued that the wife of the deceased gave one complaint to the DJB just one week before the suicide but there are no allegations of extortion and the name of Prakash not mentioned anywhere. The deceased family had a motive to implicate Prakash as the deceased and his son were disengaged from DJB from carrying out any water tanker activities.
The deceased doctor’s son, in his complaint to the police, had said that his father supplied water tankers to the DJB and was upset because of monetary loss as the accused had demanded money from the victim, failing which his payment was stopped. (ANI)
Karnataka HC refuses to stay proceedings against Kangana Ranaut over her remarks on protesting farmers
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the proceedings initiated against actress Kangana Ranaut by a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) at Tumkur, which had on October 9, 2020, directed the jurisdictional Police Station (Kyathasandra) to register FIR against her for her tweet on farmers opposing the agri laws.
Ranaut had moved the Karnataka High Court seeking to quash an First Information Report registered against her. Justice H P Sandesh granted one week time to the petitioner to comply with office objection and posted the matter for further hearing on March 18.
Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee appearing for Ranaut sought for a stay on the proceedings initiated. To which the court said, “First you comply with the office objection then only we can consider your submissions.”
The complaint was filed by advocate Ramesh Naik L under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure alleging that Ranaut has posted a message from her Twitter account ‘@KanganaTeam’ on 21st September 2020 saying: “People who spread misinformation and rumours about CAA that caused riots are the same people who are now spreading misinformation about Farmers bill and causing terror in the nation, they are Terrorists. You very well know what I said but simply like to spread misinformation”.
The plea alleged that the above content posted by the accused in her Twitter account has a clear intention to injure the people who are opposing the Central laws, wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riots and promote the culture of non-violence in the young minds of society. (ANI)
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