Restoring normalcy in south Kashmir is priority: Jaitley

SRINAGAR: The finance and defence minister of India, Arun Jaitley, said on Friday that restoring
normalcy in the four districts of south Kashmir is the government of India’s priority.

“Our priority is to restore normalcy in south Kashmir,” Jaitley said in response to a question at a press
conference held on the concluding day of the 14th meeting of the Goods and Services Council in
Srinagar.

The four south Kashmir districts – Kulgam, Shopian, Anantnag, and Pulwama – have been the centre of
the popular anti-India uprising that broke out in the summer of 2016. In recent weeks, the four districts
have seen massive student protests after government troops attacked students of the degree college in
Pulwama. In the two days that Jaitley was in Srinagar, a civilian’s bullet-riddled body was found in
Pulwama and during the funeral possession militants appeared and fired in the air, even as dozens of
civilians were injured in clashes with government troops.

Asked how he differentiates between Kashmiri and foreign militants fighting Indian rule in the Valley,
Jaitley said that both are involved in the same act of “terrorism”.

“The terrorism and the militancy, both are aimed against the Indian state, its sovereignty and the people
of Jammu and Kashmir,” Jaitley said. “The security forces and the locals are affected by their actions.
Therefore, those who have taken up the violence of this magnitude will be accountable for their actions.”

Jaitley equated pro-freedom aspirations of Kashmir with sentiments of Indian people who wanted to live
free of Indian sovereignty. “Such Sentiments are in every state of the country and they have to be
addressed. The current situation (in Kashmir) emerges when you take to violence and arms, then start
killing security forces or your own people. This unleashes a cycle which does not stop. Sentiments have
to be addressed once the situation is normal here,” he said.

He said an average citizen, irrespective of his political views, will be likely to be on the Indian side in this
debate. “As for those who are killing people, they have to be dealt with as a serious problem and will be
dealt with accordingly,” he said.

When asked whether the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring more development in
the neighbouring countries of India, including on the other side of Kashmir, Jaitley said that economic
development was the Indian government’s priority. “Let nobody be envious of what happens across the
border. But there are examples in history where people have entered (another country) in the name of
connectivity and then they have established a strategic presence there,” he warned.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Majority Cannot Make Laws For Minority, Kapil Sibal Tells Supreme Court

ibal stressed on the point that how a Muslim marriage is a civil contract, which does not have any
element of sacrament in it. “The nikahnama forms the basis of marriage in Islam. There can of course be
terms and conditions in the contract by the women, but those cannot be un-Islamic terms and conditions
like no maintenance amount to be paid upon divorce by husband, etc,” said Sibal.

Sibal contended that just because a certain section of people was aggrieved by their personal laws, does
not warrant a case to seek reform in the area. He also said that uniform law was a reality in India, but it
does not touch marriage or divorce.
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Vijay Mallya’s UK extradition hearing deferred to 13 June

London: The hearing on the issue of embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya’s extradition from the UK has
been deferred to 13 June, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Friday.

The CPS will be arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities when the fugitive businessman’s extradition
case comes up for hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on 13 June. The hearing was
earlier scheduled for 17 May.

“The next hearing is 13 June for a case management hearing,” a CPS spokesperson said today. A four-
member joint CBI and enforcement directorate (ED) team had arrived in London earlier this month.

“Our aim is to build a strong, infallible case and these meetings will help resolve issues across the table.
The CPS will be arguing based on documents provided by CBI and ED, therefore a joint team is here to
address queries they may have,” officials had said.

Mallya, the 61-year-old chief of the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines who owes over Rs9,000 crore to
various Indian banks, has been living in self-imposed exile in Britain since March last year. He was
arrested by Scotland Yard last month on fraud allegations, triggering an official extradition process in the
British courts.

He attended a central London police station for his arrest and was released on conditional bail a few
hours later after providing a bail bond worth £6,50,000, assuring the court of abiding by all conditions
associated with extradition proceedings, such as the surrender of his passport and a ban on him
possessing any travel documents.

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No need of fresh talks with Muslims on Ayodhya issue: Dalmia

Former president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Vishnu Hari Dalmia, has opposed the proposal of
starting fresh negotiations with Muslims over the Ayodhya issue and urged the Government to take
action as per the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court.

Mr Dalmia, while claiming that the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in its judgement had
made it amply clear after full investigation that a temple already existed there, said Muslim leaders had at
one time agreed that they would withdraw their claim to the Ayodhya property if it was proved that the
Babri Masjid was constructed after demolishing a temple.

''This commitment of Muslims is also contained in the White Paper issued by the then Government. So
where is the need now to start fresh negotiations with them? '' Mr Dalmia said in a statement here.

Now the Supreme Court has only to remove the wrong which the High Court had done by allocating the
land there to three parties, which was not the issue before them, the former VHP president said.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................
Mulayam Singh Yadav says making Akhilesh CM was a ‘mistake’, blames Congress for SP woes

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Sunday that it was a ‘mistake’ to make his son
Akhilesh Yadav chief minister of Uttar Pradesh while he blamed the alliance with the Congress for the
‘poor’ state of the party and said efforts should be made to strengthen it.

“Things would have been different if I had been the chief minister,” he said.

He said though the Congress left no stone unturned to ‘ruin’ his life, Akhilesh forged an alliance with the
party in the run up to the assembly polls.

Read | Yadav family feud: Akhilesh expels Shivpal aide from Samajwadi Party

“Alliance with Congress is responsible for the present poor state of the party. I had advised Akhilesh not
to go ahead with it but he did so. The SP is itself responsible for its defeat and not the people of the
state”, he told reporters.

Mulayam was here to unveil a statue of martyr Dharmendra Yadav in Junesa village in Karhal area here.

But he made no mention of the ‘secular morcha’ declared by his brother Shivpal Yadav and reiterated
what he told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview on Saturday. He admitted that anger was the
reason why Shivpal distanced himself from the party but exuded confidence that all the issues would be
sorted out to keep the Yadav family and Samajwadi Party united.

Mulayam admitted that Shivpal was angry but stressed that the latter had worked hard for the party. “We
all know who is the ‘Shakuni’ (a villain in Mahabharat)’ he said, in a veiled attack on his cousin Prof
Ram Gopal Yadav who had backed Akhilesh during the family war.

The Samajwadi Party founder said the leadership of the party would be in the hands of youth in future
and added that he would again talk to Shivpal to sort out the issues.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Shivpal announces new party, Mulayam to head it

Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav on Friday announced he was floating a new political party to be
headed by his elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The new outfit will be called the Samajwadi Party Secular Morcha, said Shivpal Yadav, the estranged
uncle of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Sidelined since 2016 when Akhilesh Yadav ousted him from the cabinet first and then divested him and
Mulayam Singh of their posts in the Samajwadi Party, Shivpal Yadav said he was forced to form the new
party to "restore Mulayam's honour".

Over the last one week, Shivpal Yadav had been attacking his nephew Akhilesh Yadav, asking him to
return the Samajwadi Party's National President's post to Mulayam Singh.

Akhilesh Yadav had said after becoming the National President that he would restore the post after the
assembly elections.

The Samajwadi Party suffered a huge setback in the assembly polls of February-March. It won just 47
seats as against the 228 it held in the outgoing 403-member assembly.

Shivpal Yadav has been daggers drawn with his nephew for many months after a bitter family feud and
power struggle broke out in the 25-year-old Samajwadi Party.

He had threatened twice in the past to quit the party and float his own if "respect" was not shown to
Mulayam Singh.
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China keen on helping resolve Kashmir dispute due to CPEC investment: report

New Delhi: Close on the heels of Turkey calling for a “multilateral dialogue” to resolve the Kashmir
dispute between India and Pakistan, a publication linked to the Communist Party of China on Tuesday
said the Asian giant has a “vested interest” in mediation between the South Asian neighbours due to its
huge investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through disputed
Kashmir.

The Global Times in an article said that China had mediated between Myanmar and Bangladesh over the
Rohingya refugees issue “given that Myanmar is a key point along the One Belt, One Road route”.

The “One Belt, One Road” reference is to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s landmark programme to invest
billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa
and Europe.

Part of it, i.e. the CPEC that cuts through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is a sore point with India.

This is one of the rare instances of China’s official media airing Beijing’s interest in playing a mediatory
role to resolve the Kashmir issue. New Delhi has always been wary of mediation efforts by any third
party, preferring to resolve the issue bilaterally with Pakistan, though Islamabad has been in favour of
third-party mediation.

Given China’s status of being Pakistan’s professed “all-weather friend” and ally, the Global Times article
is likely to cause discomfiture in New Delhi.

China’s official stand on Kashmir is that it is a dispute left over from history and should be resolved
between India and Pakistan though Beijing has been stepping up its investments in Pakistan-occupied
Kashmir.

India’s ties with China are at present tense given Beijing’s support for Pakistan’s candidature for a
Nuclear Suppliers’ Group seat, its blocking of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar from
being designated a terrorist at the United Nations and several other irritants. Ties between the Asian
giants have been riddled with suspicion following their 1962 border war and an unsettled frontier.

China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,
“but that doesn’t mean Beijing can turn a deaf ear to the demands of Chinese enterprises for protecting
their overseas investments,” the Global Times article said.

“Given the massive investment that China has made in countries along the One Belt, One Road, China
now has a vested interest in helping resolve regional conflicts including the dispute over Kashmir
between India and Pakistan,” it said.

“With China’s rise, Beijing gradually has gained ability to mediate in conflicts outside the country. For
instance, China could strengthen the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of
Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar,” it said.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Rahul Gandhi ready to take over as Congress president

NEW DELHI: The new Congress president should be appointed through consensus and not election as it
helps bind the party and Rahul Gandhi+ is certainly up to it, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said
on Sunday.

He also said that it was up to Sonia Gandhi+ whether she will continue as party chief for another term
and the party will be happy if she decides so.

Amarinder, however, favoured projection of regional leaders in Congress and making them the party's
face in each state ahead of assembly elections.

"Elections are always bitter and consensus keeps the party together. There should be a consensus on the
party president.

"You don't have any bad blood. It is all happening in a happy way," he told PTI in an interview.

The organisational election process within the Congress party is underway and the new party chief has
to be elected by October 15.

On Sonia Gandhi, he said it will be entirely her call on whether to continue for another term till 2019.

"She has worked very hard. If she wants to stay, I think the party will be too happy. If she wants to go,
I think Rahul is in a position to take over... . As party Vice President, I have been dealing with him for 2-
3 years, I find that he is certainly up to it," he said.

He, however, said his impression is that she feels she has done enough.

She has not had time off for the last 20 years, which is a long time, ever since she took over as party
chief in 2017, Amarinder said.

Asked whether he prefers someone other that a member of the Gandhi family to lead the party, he said
traditionally the Congress has been headed by a member of the Nehru Gandhi family.

From Motilal Nehru to Jawaharlal Nehru and then Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, except
for some leaders in between, he said.

"I am going to vote for Rahul. Who else do we have," he said.

Asked what is holding Rahul back from taking over, the Punjab leader said he is already going through
the process.

"I think one must not write off Rahul. People are trying to write him off. They are trying to fob him off,
calling him childish names. That is unnecessary. I think he is very perceptive and very decisive," he said.

On promoting regional talent within the party, Amarinder said every state has regional leaders unlike in
the past and the Congress has to project them ahead of elections, as people these days vote for a face.

He said all states have regional parties and regional leaders and everyone knows if they win, who will be
the chief minister. This was not the case earlier when it was Jan Sangh or Congress.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Centre Releases Rs 19K Cr From PM's Package For JK

New Delhi: The Centre has released an amount of Rs 19,000 crore out of the Rs 80,000 crore
development package for Jammu and Kashmir announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This was disclosed at a high-level inter-ministerial meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in
New Delhi on Thursday, Home Ministry officials said.

Singh reviewed the progress in the implementation of the mega package and works of various
development initiatives announced for Jammu and Kashmir, which has been witnessing unrest lately.

It was conveyed in the meeting that 25 percent of funds from the total package, around Rs 19,000 crore,
has been released so far and related works were going on, an official said.

The meeting was attended by representatives from various central ministries and departments, and the
state government.

The successful implementation of the mega package is key to assuage the feeling of alienation in Jammu
and Kashmir, the officials said.

Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed violence during the 9 April bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seats in
which eight people lost their lives in more than 200 incidents.

There have been protests by students in the Valley last fortnight against alleged police excesses.
Students, including girls, were seen pelting stones on security personnel in these incidents.

Massive protests erupted in Kashmir after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an
encounter in July last year which continued for nearly four months. More than 90 people lost their lives,
while scores of security personnel and civilians were injured.

The Rs 80,000-crore package for Jammu and Kashmir was announced by the prime minister in
November 2015. So far, Rs 17,000 crore has been released to the state government by the Centre.

Around Rs 40,000 crore out of the Rs 80,000-crore package have been earmarked for improving road
infrastructure, including semi-ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar, upgradation of important highways
besides others.

An amount of Rs 7,854 crore has been earmarked for flood relief, reconstruction and flood management.

A total of Rs 2,241 crore is meant for promoting tourism by developing new projects and tourist circuits,
and setting up of 50 tourist villages.

In addition, Rs 11,708 crore is for power, new and renewable energy. This includes augmentation of
power infrastructure and distribution systems, solar power, and small hydro projects.

An amount of Rs 4,900 crore has been earmarked for improving healthcare facilities in the state which
includes creation of two AIIMS-like institutions in both major cities of the state, and support for creation
of infrastructure in hospitals and primary health centres.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Home Ministry convenes meeting of Naxal-hit State CMs on May 8

Chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are expected to attend.

Ten chief ministers and top civil and police officers of Naxal-hit States were invited to attend a meeting
convened by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on May 8.

Chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are expected to take part in the crucial meeting where the
anti-Naxal strategy will be reviewed, a senior Home Ministry official said.

Chief secretaries and directors general of police of the 10 states will also attend besides chiefs of
paramilitary forces.

The official indicated that the meeting was planned a few days ago.

The Home Minister on Tuesday said in Raipur that the meeting will review government’s strategy on
battling Naxalites.

As many as 25 CRPF personnel were on Monday killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma
district.

On March 11, 12 paramilitary personnel were killed by the Naxals in the same district.
.............................................................................................................................................................................................

Indian visa-holders see hope in Trump review

When Gokul Gunasekaran was offered a full scholarship for a graduate programme in electrical
engineering at Stanford University, he saw it as the chance of a lifetime.

He had grown up in Chennai, India, and had a solid job offer with a large oil company after getting his
undergraduate degree. He came to America instead, got the Stanford degree and now works as an
engineer at a data science startup in Silicon Valley.

But for the past five years, he has been waiting for a green card that would give him full legal rights as a
permanent resident. In the meantime, he is in a holding pattern on an H-1B visa, which permits him to
live and work in the United States but does not allow him easily to switch jobs or start his own company.

"It was a no-brainer when I came to this country, but now I'm kind of regretting taking that
scholarship," said Gunasekaran, 29, who is also vice president with a non-profit group called
Immigration Voice that represents immigrants waiting for green cards.

Immigration Voice estimates there are some 1.5 million H-1B visa holders in the country waiting for
green cards, many of whom are from India and have been waiting for more than a decade.

Many of these immigrants welcomed President Donald Trump's executive order this week to the federal
departments overseeing the programme to review it, a move that may lead to H-1B visas being awarded
to the highest-paying, highest-skilled jobs rather than through a random lottery.

Their hope is that merit-based H-1Bs might then lead to merit-based green cards.

"I think less random is great," said Guru Hariharan, the CEO and founder of Boomerang Commerce, an e-
commerce startup. Hariharan, who was previously an executive at Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc, spent
10 years waiting for his green card and started his own company as soon as he got it.

Green cards can be a path to naturalization and Hariharan expects to become a U.S. citizen soon.

H-1B visas are aimed at foreign nationals in occupations that generally require specialised knowledge,
such as science, engineering or computer programming. The U.S. government uses a lottery to award
65,000 such visas yearly and randomly distributes another 20,000 to graduate student workers.

'INDENTURED SERVANTS'

The H-1B and the green card system are technically separate, but many immigrants from India see them
as intimately connected.

The number of green cards that can go to people born in each country is capped at a few percent of the
total, without regard to how large or small the country's population is. There is a big backlog of Indian-
born people in the line, given the size of India's population - 1.3 billion - and the number of its natives in
the United States waiting for green cards.

That leaves many of those immigrants stuck on H-1B visas while they wait, which they say makes them
almost like "indentured servants," said Gaurav Mehta, an H-1B holder who works in the financial industry.

Mehta has a U.S.-born son, but he could be forced to take his family back to India at any time if he loses
his job and cannot find another quickly. "He's never been to my country," Mehta said of his son. "But
we'll have no choice if we have to go. Nobody likes to live in constant fear."

No plan to lower VIP security, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
No plan to lower VIP security, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
No plan to lower VIP security, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
Narada case probe: Lodging FIR against 12, CBI closes in on Trinamool Congress

Setting the stage for another bitter showdown between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee
government in West Bengal, the CBI Monday booked 12 Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders,
including MPs and state ministers, and an IPS officer and unidentified “others” for alleged
corruption in the Narada ‘sting’ case involving visuals of money changing hands.

Maintaining that its inquiry revealed “prima facie material for registration of a regular case”, the CBI
said an FIR had been lodged under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code
section 120B on criminal conspiracy.

TMC leaders booked by the CBI include Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata
Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.

Others named are West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Transport Minister
Suvendu Adhikari, Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development
Minister Subrata Mukherjee, former Minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer
SMH Mirza.

The FIR also mentioned “unknown persons” and CBI officials claimed there were “many others
who were a part of the conspiracy but were not shown in the footage’’.

The Narada News tapes, released ahead of the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal, showed
TMC leaders allegedly receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company for future
favours.

Also Read: What is the Narada News tapes? All you need to know

Last month, the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI probe but this was challenged by the state
government. The Supreme Court gave the CBI a month to conduct a preliminary enquiry and see if
there was need for an FIR.

CBI officials said they had examined video clips containing footage of TMC leaders and a
Superintendent of Police who featured in the ‘sting’ operation.

Mathew Samuel of Narada News had told the court that the ‘sting’ recording was done on an
iPhone, transferred to a laptop and then stored in a pen drive. A committee had taken possession
of all devices after the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI probe.

In the first set of tapes released by Narada News, the leaders were shown accepting wads of cash.
It was in the second set, mostly featuring Firhad Hakim, in which favours were promised. Hakim
was filmed saying there were “lots of infrastructure projects coming up in West Bengal… especially
roads.’’ He also said that the quality of MLAs in the TMC had dropped and all that investors
needed to do was apply for projects, and that he would ensure these were passed.

Although he declined comment when the tapes were released, Hakim, after the 2016 elections, said
of the Narada tapes: “It was completely false, I have not done anything unethical throughout my
life… it is a political conspiracy, they were unable to fight with us on a political agenda, they
indulged in all these things.’’

Mirza, the IPS officer in the tapes, was the former SP of Burdwan. He was taped saying he had
access to top TMC leaders and could get work done. In another instalment of the ‘sting’ operation,
Samuel of Narada News is taken to Minister Subrata Mukherjee by MLA Iqbal Ahmed.
................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Poorest of poor should have a house in next 5 years: Modi

A series of functions have been organised to mark Ambedkar Jayanti across Maharashtra,
including at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur and Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai, where the Dalit icon was
cremated following his

Nagpur, April 14: Addressing a large gathering at Nagpur on Friday Prime Minister Narendra
Modi said that every Indian should have a house by 2022 and the government was working in this
direction.

The Prime Minister, who inaugurated various development works in Nagpur to mark the birth
anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, said, "The people of the country should strive to fulfil the dreams of
freedom fighters."

He said each and every Indian should have a house in the next five years. "We have a dream for
2022 and that house must be equipped with electricity, water and other facilities. There should be
hospitals and schools in the neighbourhood," Modi said.

Referring to Ambedkar, Modi said that "He did not have a trace of bitterness or revenge in him
despite facing struggles in his life."
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Kulbhushan is our son, will go to any extent to save him: India

NEW DELHI: Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday cautioned Pakistan
of “consequences” if it proceeded with the death sentence of RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav.

Speaking in parliament on Yadav’s death sentence, Swaraj said India would go to any extent to
“save” Yadav, whom she termed a “son of India”, the Indian media reported.“I would caution the
Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on
this matter,” she said, as quoted by the Indian media.

The external affairs minister labelled the charges against Yadav as “concocted” and claimed there
was no evidence of wrongdoing by him.On Monday, Pakistan sentenced Kulbhushan Yadav to
death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence awarded by the
Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act.In response, India lodged a formal
protest with Pakistan over Yadav’s death sentence and announced that in case the punishment was
carried out it would regard it as ‘premeditated murder’.

Pakistan, however, rejected the Indian objections to the RAW agent’s death sentence, saying the
country’s national security is Islamabad’s utmost priority.“You can’t sponsor terrorism and then
summon an ambassador to protest over the sentence of terrorists. Nothing matters more than
national security,” Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit told the Indian media after meeting
officials of India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.  speaking with Geo News said that
India should now get it clear that they can’t dominate Pakistan on the basis of their artillery.

“We will never compromise on our national security. It’s a law practised in every single country to
give death sentence to spies. We are following the same rule. We have always aimed for better
bilateral relations but India is adamant to stick with anti-Pakistan rhetoric.”

Chaudhry said that the entire parliament, people of Pakistan will never make a deal or compromise
on the national sovereignty. “Let a strong message be given to New Delhi, we will continue to take
strict action against espionage in light of domestic and international laws.” The PML-N leader said
that Indian reactions would not change any policy decision related to Kulbhushan.
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Ready to function from streets, says Kejriwal over cancellation of AAP's office

A day after Lt Governor Anil Baijal cancelled the allotment of his party's office bungalow, Aam
Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal today said that they are ready to operate from streets for
the common people and alleged that by levelling baseless allegations the BJP and the Congress
want to finish AAP.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Kejriwal said, "This is very saddnening that the party (AAP)
which rode to power in Delhi by winning 67 out of 70 Assembly seats, their office allotment was
cancelled while the parties (Congress and BJP) which won zero and three seats have office in the
city. I want to ask why is AAP discriminated."

"Even other political parties have offices in Delhi. The question is that why we are treated in a
different way. What is our fault? That we are fighting for the rights of the poor and common people
or because we have started a fight against different 'mafia's'. Let them snatch everything from us but
we will continue our struggle. We are ready to work from streets, nothing can stop us," the Delhi
Chief Minister asserted.

Attacking the BJP-Congress parties for allegedly levelling baseless allegations against AAP, Mr
Kejriwal accused both the parties for attempting to finish it and said that they can't succeed.

"We are following the path of truth. We didn't do anything wrong," the AAP convenor claimed.

He also said that people of Delhi will teach them a lesson on March 23 MCD elections by voting
for AAP.

Close on the heels of the Shunglu committee raising questions on the allotment of the bungalow at
206 Rouse Avenue for the Aam Aadmi Party office, Mr Baijal yesterday cancelled the allotment.
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