New Delhi [India], February 16 (ANI): Robert Vadra, businessman and son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Tuesday said that he is looking for legal help for climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested by the Delhi Police on Sunday for allegedly sharing a ‘toolkit’ document related to the farmers’ protest with Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg.
Vadra told ANI, “I see something incorrect happening in our country. My family is in politics so of course they do get involved in every issue related to the country, but having said that when I saw a girl of age 21 being arrested in this way, the way she was arrested, I am looking for good legal help for Disha and that she should have good counsel and it should be neutral.”
“We support people who are handled in the wrong way. We are not anti-national and are not against the country,” he said.
“I can help farmers and send them food. I can help them in whatever way is in my capacity but that’s doesn’t make me anti-national, because I am not supporting them due to something incorrect,” he added.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the arrest of Disha Ravi over the farmers’ protest, Vadra said, “You are telling everybody to be self-reliant or Atmanirbhar. When you make people Atmanirbhar, it means they do have an opinion, they do have a voice. They see wrong happening with farmers for more than 80 days, they have left their homes and are sitting at the borders. The border has been made secure as if it was India Pakistan border.”
Coming out in support of the farmers’ protest, Vadra said, “You are not willing to listen to the farmers. You have seen what happened when we had the corona pandemic around. For 4 hours at night everybody had to lock down and adhere to rules otherwise people were beaten on the roads. People want to go back to their villages because they didn’t have any earnings and they made their way back walking.”
“If you see unemployment, it is at its peak. People are without a job. If you see what’s happening with the petrol and diesel prices, people are seeing this disharmony and hence they will voice their opinion,” he added.
He said the farmers’ issue is an international issue because people have all come together saying this is incorrect. He added, “We thank farmers– because of them we eat every day but they have been on the borders.”
Raising the issue of the three farm laws, Vadra said, “Why can’t people be involved with the government whenever a new law is created so that we can understand their (concerned persons) side and the government’s side. Many people like Disha are going to rebel, revolt and voice their opinion, say things and if you trying to press them down or have another way to say this is incorrect or that is incorrect or you are anti-national. If you talk on any issue against the government it is unacceptable and this is not me saying. Everybody I meet seems unhappy and like my family, I also voice my opinion, because I have been through this for the last 10 years. They keep bringing my name whenever they like. They use my name or send agencies people here.”
He said the government should listen to the opinions of youth. “Youth just don’t want to keep quiet. I have a daughter, who is 18-year-old and I hear her opinions and my son, who is 20-year-old and I hear their opinions. Yes they are independent but if you make people independent they are going to react and we have to accept that.”
Vadra said if there is any wrongdoing, people would like to see the proof, otherwise they won’t believe it. He said he believes in the judicial system of the country. “We believe in the police but everybody who voices their opinion is anti-national. I believe if Delhi police is doing the integration, they are finding what is wrong and right.”
He said, “Serious charges have to be proved. I can’t be saying anything against the judiciary or courts or Delhi police but I will say it against the government because they can’t suppress the voice of anybody who says something, because they are going to have an opinion, because it is a democracy. In a democracy people speak what they feel and you have to accept that.”
“We should be proud of the people who are educated and who think something incorrect is there and they would like to speak they don’t need the backing of an international person; they are strong enough to speak for themselves in this country. We must fight for women for their safety for them to be able to speak as good as men and be equal and if you are going to suppress it, people will not accept it. You will have a number of people standing at India Gate and various other people doing candlelight marches and so on because nobody wants to sit back and just hear whatever the government says anymore,” he said.
“The government can’t decide who is right or wrong. There is a proper system for that. We have to follow the system, not the government saying who did wrong because you spoke against us so are anti-national. It’s unacceptable,” he said.
On the issue of whether they were talking against the government with the help of international celebrities, Vadra said, “It’s a myth. It’s incorrect. We are citizens of India. We will fight for the people of India. My family will fight politically and I will help in my own capacity and I am not anti-national. We have a right to fight for the people and we will do that.” (ANI)
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Mizoram reports only one new COVID-19 case in last 24 hrs
Aizawl (Mizoram) [India], March 3 (ANI): Mizoram reported only one new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 4,427, the state health department informed on Wednesday.
The state now has 20 active cases, while 4,397 people have recovered from the disease.
The death toll in the state stands at 10.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday kicked off the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country by getting vaccinated.
As of 9:30 am on Tuesday there have been 39 lakh registrations for COVID-19 on Co-Win 2.0 portal, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had earlier informed.
Meanwhile, India’s total COVID-19 active caseload stands at 1,68,358 on Tuesday as the country added 12,286 new cases in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (ANI)
Fire breaks out in Thane auto garage
Thane (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): A fire broke out at an auto garage in the Daighar area of Maharashtra’s Thane district on Wednesday.
As per the Regional Disaster Management Cell (RDMC) of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), a fire tender reached the spot to douse the fire but around 15 two-wheelers parked at the garage were destroyed in the fire.
The situation is under control and no casualties have been reported so far, the RDMC added. (ANI)
BJP MP’s son shot at in Lucknow
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 3 (ANI): The son of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Kaushal Kishore was injured when he was shot at by unidentified assailants in Lucknow, police said on Wednesday.
The assailants who were riding a bike shot at Aayush, 30, in the Madiyava area of the district and fled.
Uttar Pradesh Police admitted him to the trauma centre for treatment where has been declared out of danger.
“Ayush, son of the MP, has received a gunshot injury in his chest and was brought to the hospital for treatment. His condition is stable now. The case will be investigated,” Raees Akhtar, DCP North told reporters.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)
Priority is not to let any fascist force come to power in WB: Tejaswi Yadav
Patna (Bihar) [India], March 3 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and son of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav, on Tuesday said their priority and duty is not to let any communal and fascist force come to power (in poll-bound West Bengal).
“It is our priority and duty to not let any communal and fascist force come into power (in West Bengal). We have decided to strengthen Mamata ji’s hands and give our unconditional support to her,” Tejashwi Yadav told reporters.
He said, “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called us and we will be there, wherever she needs us.”
On March 1, the RJD leader had announced his full support to her in the coming assembly polls in the state.
Addressing the media after meeting the TMC supremo at Nabanna, the state secretariat here, Tejashwi told reporters, “It is Lalu ji’s decision to provide full support to Mamata Ji. Our first priority is to stop BJP from coming to power in Bengal.”
He also took a jibe at the “baraat” of BJP leaders in the recent weeks arriving in West Bengal to campaign for the party and questioned their ability to run the government in the state better than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“The BJP is such a big party. The BJP has brought a ‘baarat’ (procession) of all the union ministers to West Bengal. Who is their groom? Name a single BJP leader who is more experienced than Mamta Banerjee in running the government. Will you hand over power to a leader who does not have any experience?” Tejashwi Yadav asked.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched an alliance for the polls.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)
Innovation should be affordable for people, accessible to masses: Piyush Goyal
New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Addressing the Global Bio-India Startup Conclave, 2021, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that innovation has to be affordable for the people, accessible to the masses, and should have an impact on society.
“Innovation has to be affordable for the people, accessible to the masses and should have an impact on society,” the Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry said at the Conclave organized by the Department of Biotechnology on Tuesday.
Piyush Goyal said in a statement that our startups, young professionals, innovators, thinkers and scientists will be at the cutting edge of technology worldwide, and at the forefront of India’s development to ensure a better future for our children.
Expressing his hope towards the growth of the country, Goyal said that newer technologies will serve the country and ensure we convert future challenges into opportunities.
Goyal complimented all the young startups for their ingenuity, their forward-looking thinking and all the good ideas demonstrated by them.
“Our startups need to be encouraged to experiment, to go beyond the run of the mill thinking. Stressing on the need to ensure they are not afraid of failure. It is only when somebody fails, he knows how not to do something, and the learning helps in the future,” he added.
Lauding the efforts of DBT, the minister said that they have demonstrated India’s capability and prowess in research, innovation and new technologies. He said that the forward-looking, contemporary thinking and professional approach of the department has ensured that there are over 4,000 startups in the country in the field of Biotechnology.
During the event, the project development cell of DBT was launched. Five new technologies were also launched. (ANI)
Ex-serviceman who won star medal during Indo-China war now drives an auto
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], March 3 (ANI): An ex-serviceman, who was a star medal awardee during the 1971 Indo-China war, now drives an autorickshaw in Hyderabad for a living and has appealed to the state government for help.
Sheikh Abdul Kareem, an ex-Army personnel is a Star Medal recipient, a special award for his contribution to the 1971 Indo-China war.
Speaking to ANI, Kareem said, “I was recruited into the Indian army after the death of my father who worked for the British Army and then for the Indian army. In 1964, I entered the Indian army.”
“I participated in the 1971 Indo-China war and was posted in Lahaul area. I was awarded with Star Medal and was the special award recipient in 1971,” he said.
Kareem said, “During the reign of Indira Gandhi, as there were surplus army personnel, many of them were removed from the postings and I was one of them. While in the army, I applied for government land and was given five acres of land in Gollapalli village in what is now Telangana.”
He said, “After nearly 20 years, the five acres land that was given to me has been distributed among seven village persons and after complaining about the same, I was offered another five acres under the same survey number but was denied the original land. Now it has been nearly about one year and till now the document of the land details are not ready.”
He said that after being removed from the army, he faced a lot of problems. He said that he does not even own a home and currently, at the age of 71, is driving auto-rickshaws to feed his family.
“I offered my services to this nation as an army personnel for nine years, but was removed and am now driving an auto-rickshaw at the age of 71. It has been difficult to feed my family. I do not even have my own house so that I can look after my family,” he said.
He also urged the government to provide ex-servicemen who are homeless with the double bedroom flats that are given to the poor.
“Despite winning a good service medal, I have not even received any sort of pension or any financial support from the government. I also request the central government to financially suport ex-servicemen who are in need of help,” he said. (ANI)
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