New Delhi [India], February 9 (ANI): Railways registered the highest loading figures with 119.79 MT in January 2021. Earlier the highest figure was recorded in March 2019 with 119.74 MT.
According to the press information bureau, on mission mode, Indian Railways’ Freight loading for the last few months had crossed last year’s loading and earnings for the same period. It was expected that cumulative freight loading would surpass last year’s freight loading figures.
As per the statistics till Monday for February, the railways loading was 30.54 million tonnes which were including 13.61 million tonnes of coal, 4.15 million tonnes of iron ore, 1.04 million tonnes of food grains, 1.03 million tonnes of fertilizers, 0.96 million tonnes of mineral oil and 1.97 million tonnes of cement (excluding clinker).
It was worth mentioning that a number of concessions/discounts were also being given in Railways to make its freight movement very attractive, the statement said.
It also stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had been used by the Railways as an opportunity to improve all-around efficiencies and performances. In order to attract new business and incentivise other existing clients, the Ministry of Railways held meetings with the top leadership of iron and steel, cement, power, coal, automobiles, and logistics service providers. (ANI)
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Congress leader Veerpal Kaur Khosa joins SAD in presence of Sukhbir Singh Badal
Firozpur (Punjab) [India], March 5 (ANI): Former Congress leader Veerpal Kaur Khosa on Thursday joined Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the presence of party president S Sukhbir Singh Badal at Punjab’s Badal village.
Welcoming her into the party, the party president assured her due respect and responsibilities in the SAD.
The SAD chief also said that “More and more people were now dumping the Congress party as it had failed to fulfil even a single promise it had made to Punjabis, prior to 2017 Assembly elections.”
He also said that people were eagerly awaiting the 2022 Assembly elections to teach the Captain-led government a lesson for betraying the cause of the state.
Meanwhile, SAD members, yesterday staged a walkout from the ongoing budget session in Punjab Vidhan Sabha at the end of zero-hour after raising slogans against the ruling party to reduce the Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel in the state.
Speaking to the media, SAD leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said that the state government should reduce the 27 per cent tax imposed on petrol and diesel and not pass on the entire blame to the central government. (ANI)
Thane police seizes over 44 kgs ganja, but accused manage to flee
Thane (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): The Kopri Police in Thane district of Maharashtra seized 44.36 kilograms of ganja worth over Rs 9.57 lakh but failed to arrest the alleged drug traffickers, a police statement said on Thursday.
According to the police statement, around 3 am, a police patrolling team spotted two persons carrying six bags on a rickshaw near the railway station in the district.
When the police questioned them, they said that it was just clothes and rice. When they told them to open it, the accused duo fled away.
A case has been registered against the accused under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Acts.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)
TMC MP writes to chief election officer, seeks removal of assembly poll incharge for ‘illegal actions’
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 5 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament (MP) Derek O’Brien on Thursday wrote to West Bengal Chief Election Officer (CEO) seeking removal of state Assembly polls in-charge Sudeep Jain over his alleged “irregular/illegal actions”.
O’Brien alleged that Jain worked in a partisan manner in Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar statue vandalism matter.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Officer of West Bengal, O’Brien said, “At a roadshow/rally in Bengal during Lok Sabha elections in 2019, led by Amit Shah, a mob of supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party attacked Vidyasagar College, and vandalised Vidyasagar College as well as a statue of Shri lshwar Chandra Vidyasagar. In the aftermath of the same Sudeep Jain furnished an erroneous and biased report based on which, the Election Commission of India in an unprecedented manner, barred election campaigning two days prior to the polling date. Only one political party, Bharatiya Janata Party, was allowed to complete its election campaigning for that day before such a bar was announced.
Referring to the above incident, O’Brien in his letter further alleged, “No explanation was sought, no show-cause was issued, no action was taken by the Election Commission of India against the perpetrators Amit Shah or his entourage. Jain’s actions were completely biased, partisan, reeked of partiality and tainted.”
In another such allegation on Jain over “illegality regarding Quick Response Team”, O’Brien in his letter stated, “During the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, Sudeep Jain introduced the concept of Quick Response Team comprising state police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to be led by an officer of CAPF. The scheme of the Constitution of India mandates that a State shall have the right to deal with ‘Public Order’ and ‘Police’, under Entries 1 and 2, respectively, of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
“Any deviation from the same would tantamount to an attack against the ideals of federalism, which have been recognised as an essential feature and a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. There is no provision anywhere to give power to the CAPF to control or command the State Police. The State Police functions under the exclusive superintendence of the state government as per relevant laws applicable to it, including but not limited to the Code of Criminal Procedure,” said the TMC leader in his letter.
Obrien’s letter further stated there is a functional dichotomy between the CAPF and the state police and the training and knowledge of both the forces including the purview of their operation differs largely and therefore cannot be compared.
The TMC leader also said in his letter that other than during the times of elections, such forces should operate in aid of the state police and in cooperation with the civil administration and cannot supplant or usurp the civil-police power of a state.
Obrien’s letter stated that during elections, their deployment is to work under command and in aid of the state police for local area domination, static duties etc, adding that even under the plenary powers of Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the Election Commission cannot take a decision of such nature since the same is completely beyond the realm of law.
“For such reasons, the such decision as introduced and/or communicated by Sudeep Jain was bad in law. Subsequently, the Election Commission of India realised it was wrong and the decision for QRT to be led by an officer of the CAPF was withdrawn,” stated O’Brien in his letter.
Obrien’s letter further read, “Under the circumstances, we have serious doubt that Sudeep Jain would be impartial, fair and his approach towards all parties would be equal for the reason that all his actions were favourable to/and are titled towards BJP and/or are undue, illegal and/or unconstitutional. We have no confidence in Sudeep Jain.”
“In light of the above, we call upon you to withdraw Sudeep Jain as in-charge on behalf of Election Commission of India for West Bengal Assembly elections, 2021,” stated O’Brien in his closing remarks in his letter to the West Bengal Chief Election Officer. (ANI)
Delhi HC directs UP police to give post mortem report of farmer, who died during tractor rally
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued direction to the Uttar Pradesh police to give an original post mortem report of the 25-year-old farmer, who died during the tractor rally on January 26 in the national capital.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna asked Uttar Pradesh police to provide both the original documents to the Delhi Police on March 5 and said that the document shall be retained in safe custody.
The Court listed the matter for further hearing on March 17.
The Court was hearing a plea-seeking court-monitored probe into the death of a farmer Navreet Singh, who died during the tractor rally on January 26 in the national capital. The family had approached Delhi High Court and raised several questions on the death and sought a post mortem video and X-ray report of the deceased.
The plea alleged that the cause of death was by bullet injury but, according to the Delhi Police, Navreet Singh died in the accident after the tractor he was driving overturned after ramming into a barricade near ITO in Delhi.
Lawyer for petitioner Advocate Vrinda Grover submitted that various medical/forensic experts who have reviewed the description of injuries in the post mortem report have independently made statements reported by various media houses, opining that the injuries are consistent with firearm/gunshot wounds and that the said injuries could not have resulted from the tractor overturning, as has been repeatedly asserted and announced by the Delhi police including senior officers, the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The plea moved by the grandfather of the deceased has stated that he has sufficient reason to mistrust and not accept the hasty, unverified and self-serving conclusion of the Delhi Police, which has publicly and without any investigation stated that the death of his grandson was a motor vehicle accident.
According to the Delhi Police, Navreet Singh died in the accident after the tractor he was driving overturned after ramming into a barricade near ITO.
Delhi Police and UP Police told the Delhi High Court that the cause of death of Navreet Singh, a farmer who died on January 26, is shock and haemorrhage as a result of ante-mortem head injury and not due to any gunshot injury.
Delhi Police had released CCTV footage showing the farmer’s tractor overturning after ramming into barricades at ITO.
Protesters broke barricades to enter New Delhi and clashed with police in several parts of the national capital during the January 26 ‘tractor rally’ protest organised by farmers.
The protestors also had entered the iconic Mughal era monument Red Fort and unfurled their flags from its ramparts.
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. (ANI)
New rules for OTT platforms focus on self-classification of content instead of censorship, says Javadekar
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Referring to the new guidelines laid down by the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry for the Over-the-top (OTT) platforms, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday said that the new rules focus on self-classification of content instead of any form of censorship.
Javadekar made these statements at an event held in the presence of representatives of various OTT platforms including Alt Balaji, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Jio, Zee5, Viacom18, Shemaroo and MXPlayer.
Addressing the representatives of the industry, the minister mentioned that the government has done several rounds of consultation with the OTT players in the past and stressed the need for self-regulation.
Javadekar further stated that he had received representations from cinema and TV industries that while there were regulations for them, none existed for the OTT industry. Thus, it was decided that the government would come out with a progressive institutional mechanism for OTT players and develop a level playing field with the idea of self-regulation. The minister also appreciated that many OTT platforms had welcomed the rules.
Informing the industry representatives about the provisions of the rules, the Union Minister said it merely requires them to disclose information and that there is no requirement of registration of any kind with the Ministry.
Javadekar also added that a form for this will be ready soon. Furthermore, OTT platforms are expected to develop an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
Dispelling certain rumours, Javadekar clarified that in the self-regulating body, no member will be appointed by the Government.
Speaking on the power of the government, under the rules, Javadekar informed that the government will create an Inter-Departmental Committee to look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level.
The industry representatives welcomed the rules and thanked the Minister for addressing most of their concerns, said the I&B Ministry in a statement released on Thursday. (ANI)
Javadekar in his closing remarks added that the Ministry is open to any clarification or queries from the industry. (ANI)
Nandikanti Sridhar appointed as Medchal – Malkajgiri District Congress chief
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Congress leader Nandikanti Sridhar has been appointed as the president of Medchal – Malkajgiri District Congress Committee in Telangana on Thursday.
“Congress President has approved the proposal of the appointment of Nandikanti Sridhar as the president of Medchal – Malkajgiri District Congress Committee in Telangana with immediate effect,” read an official release issued by All India Congress Committee (AICC). (ANI)
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