Archive | January, 2016

Rahul Gandhi on day-long fast along with agitating students

Posted on 30 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 31st January 2016

Hyderabad, Jan 30 (PTI) Stepping up the offensive on Dalit scholar suicide issue, Rahul Gandhi today commenced a day-long fast along with agitating students of Hyderabad Central University here after participating in a candle light vigil in the wee hours.

The Congress Vice President spent about two hours with agitating students past midnight and participated in the candle light vigil along with 2,000 students to mark the birthday of Rohith, who would have turned 27 today.

Rahul returned to the protest site this morning to begin the fast, expressing solidarity with them.

“Rahulji is on fast,” NSUI President Roji M John said.

Rahul, who is visiting the campus for the second time in as many weeks, tweeted, “I am here today at the request of Rohith’s friends and family, to stand with them in their fight for justice.

“A young life full of dreams and aspirations was cut short. We owe it to him, to the memory of (Mahatma) Gandhiji and to every single Indian student who dreams of an India free from prejudice and injustice,” he said in another tweet.

Rohith’s mother Radhika and brother Raju were also present at the protest site.

Gandhi, who arrived here at 12.10 AM, spoke to the agitating students and lit candles before Rohith’s picture.

As students raised slogans against Irani and Dattaretreya, Rahul intervened and politely told them not to shout ‘murdabad’ (a slogan wishing death to).

“Let us not say ‘murdabad’ to somebody. That will not do justice,” he said.

Velpula Sunkanna, one of the research scholars whose suspension was revoked recently, said Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile should be removed from the VC post.

“On January 17, we have filed SC/ST Atrocities case against Appa Rao and (five) others. These six people should be arrested immediately. Thats the only demand,” Sunkanna, who is on an indefinite fast along with Vijay Kumar (another scholar whose suspension was revoked), said.

On Rahul Gandhi’s second visit to the campus, he said, “I look at it the way others..Arvind Kejriwal, Sitaram Yechury, CPI leaders and many people who came and supported us do. The same way we see Rahul Gandhi”..

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Jaitley pitches for reforms, not populism, to push growth

Posted on 30 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 31st January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Making a case for 8-9 per cent growth rate, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today indicated that his upcoming Budget will not resort to “sheer populism” for good ratings and will focus on structural reforms.

He also expressed hope that the Congress will “see reason” and help the government pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in the Budget Session of Parliament beginning next month.

“Indian economy has to be out on sounder platform. Don’t forget India is one of the few economies of the world that survived 2001, 2008 and 2015 (global crises),” he said.

Stating that fundamentals have to be strong enough, the finance minister said, “The Budget has to weigh the areas of weaknesses where investments are required. Therefore, I have to pitch in that direction. If a Budget for the cause of ratings goes in for sheer populism, it’s not necessary that the cause of economics or even sounder politics that we are aiming at (is served).”

Jaitley said the government would not pursue retrospective tax claims and added that he would like the remaining two or three disputes to get resolved “as expeditiously as possible”.

Taxes which are payable must be collected but “there must not be unfair taxes” as unfair assessments bring “bad name” and no revenue, he said at the ET Global Business Summit here.

Hoping that the Congress would support GST that aims to create a unified market across India, he said, “It (GST) is the important reform of the UPA. If I have to credit the authorship of it, I have to give credit to them. Now, If the author turns against his own script, what do I make?

“I have reached out (to the Congress), I have spoken to them. I have explained to them and I hope they will see reason… see the rationale behind passing GST.”

“The UPA allies like RJD, NCP and JD-U are openly supporting it,” Jaitley said, adding that even the Congress-ruled states are for the uniform tax regime.

“I don’t see a reason why they (the Congress) should have a rethink on the Bill. If there is a discussion on a particular idea in the Bill, I am willing to discuss with them. But anything that makes it a flawed legislation…

certainly, we can’t bound future generations to a flawed legislation,” the minister clarified. .

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Telcom Secretary Rakesh Garg shunted out to Minority Affairs

Posted on 29 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 30th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg was on Friday shunted out to Minority Affairs Ministry as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle, ten months ahead of his retirement

J S Deepak has been appointed as the new Secretary, Department of Telecommunications. Deepak, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is at present Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology

Garg, a 1980 batch IAS officer, has been appointed Secretary in Minority Affairs Ministry in place of Amarendra Sinha, who is holding additional charge of the post, an order issued on Friday by Personnel Ministry said, without mentioning the reason for Garg’s exit from the high-profile ministry

Garg had taken over as Telecom Secretary on July 17, 2014 and he is due to retire in November

Aruna Sharma, at present working in her cadre state — Madhya Pradesh, has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, in place of Deepak, it said

As many as 10 new Secretaries have been appointed in various central government ministries and other organisations

Krishan Kumar Jalan, who is Central Provident Fund Commissioner in Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, has been appointed as Ministry of Labour and Employment Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Shobhana K Pattanayak has been made the new Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, in place of Siraj Hussain, on his superannuation in the end of this month

Avinash K Srivastava, a 1982 batch IAS officer, has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing, the release said. Srivastava is Special Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare

Vinod Agrawal, Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), has been made Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Shyam S Agarwal, Secretary of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), has been appointed as Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Tribal Affairs Secretary Arun Jha has been appointed new Secretary of NCSC. Agarwal has been given additional charge of NCST for a period of three months or till the appointment of a regular incumbent, it said.

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Digvijay disagrees with Prez on temple opening site issue

Posted on 29 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 30th January 2016

Hyderabad, Jan 29 (PTI) The decision to open the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya was not made by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi but based on a Court order, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said here today, disagreeing with President Pranab Mukherjee’s “error of judgement” statement in his memoir.

“Opening of the gate was not done by Rajiv Gandhi. It was a decision of the court. Laying the foundation stone (shilanyas at a temple site) may be an error of judgement (by Rajiv Gandhi). Decision to open the gate was not that of Mr Rajiv Gandhi’s,” he told PTI here in an interview.

Mukherjee has said in his memoir that the opening of the site was an “error of judgement” by Rajiv Gandhi and the demolition of Babri Masjid an act of “absolute perfidy” that destroyed India’s image.

Singh, a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, however, agreed that the demolition was the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s “biggest failure”.

“I totally agree with it”, he said.

“The opening of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple site on February 1, 1986 was perhaps another error of judgement.

People felt these actions could have been avoided,” the President said in the book titled “The Turbulent Years: 1980-96″, released by Vice President Hamir Ansari yesterday.

“The demolition of Babri Masjid was an act of absolute perfidy…It was the senseless, wanton destruction of a religious structure, purely to serve political ends. It deeply wounded the sentiments of the Muslim community in India and abroad. It destroyed India’s image as a tolerant, pluralistic nation,” the President says.

Asked as to when Rahul Gandhi would become Congress President, Singh said, “this is a million dollar question that’s being asked for quite some time. Hopefully it should happen this year”.

On whether he personally want to see Rahul at the helm early, he said: “Whatever this…I would say this kind of situation of indecisiveness should not be there”.

As for whether the Congress would aggressively take up the issues of Arunachal Pradesh and the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula here in the coming budget session of Parliament, Singh said, “yes” and added that the party’s core group would decide on the strategy to be adopted in Parliament.

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Kirti to move court against govt, Jaitley, CBI

Posted on 28 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 29th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad on Thursday dragged the Modi government into his campaign against alleged corruption in DDCA and said he will move court against it besides Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, claiming that the CBI remains a “caged parrot”

At a press conference here, he also released a letter written by him to Jaitley in September last in which he alleged that the senior BJP leader played a “nefarious role” in messing up the DDCA and Hockey India

“The day is not far when you will have to be answerable for all the loot that took place right under your charge..

While cricket went to the dogs in your regime, only your trusted friends prospered,” he wrote on September 13

Jaitley has denied all the charges and filed a civil and criminal defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders for their similar accusations against him

Keeping up his attack on Jaitley, Azad suggested his role in a “mysterious” mail sent to the Delhi and District Cricket Association(DDCA) office-bearers about re-appointing a “favourite” auditor and filing of a defamation case against him and Kejriwal

“Like always there are outsiders in ‘non-executive roles’ without any accountability who keep advising DDCA office- bearers how to run it,” he told the media taking a swipe at Jaitley, who has insisted that he tenure as the DDCA president was non-executive

BJP has suspended Azad for his relentless attack on Jaitley, who the party has insisted is a man of highest probity, and served him a show cause notice, asking why he should not be expelled

Even as he targeted him, Azad claimed that BJP will revoke his suspension as he had not targeted the party or the government

The report of Justice Mukul Mudgal, who was appointed observer by the Delhi High Court for the India-South Africa cricket test in New Delhi, corroborates most of the charges made by him, Azad said, adding that he would move a writ petition after Mudgal files his second report.

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Never aspired for Prime Ministership: Pranab Mukherjee

Posted on 28 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 29th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) President Pranab Mukherjee has sought to scotch long-standing speculation about his aspiring to become interim Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi’s assassination and termed these stories as “false and spiteful”.

In the second volume of his memoir, The Turbulent Years: 1980-96, released today by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Mukherjee says “Many stories have been circulated that I aspired to be the interim Prime Minister, that I had staked claim and had to be persuaded otherwise.

“And that this created misgivings in Rajiv Gandhi’s mind.

These stories are completely false and spiteful.”

In the book published by Rupa Publications, the President has written in detail about the conversation he had with Rajiv Gandhi in a bathroom about Prime Ministership.

“Time was ticking away and I was very keen to talk to him. I went near the couple (Rajiv and Sonia) and gently touched Rajiv on the back of his shoulder to indicate that I had some very urgent work with him. He released himself from Sonia’s arms and turned around to talk to me.

“Knowing that I would not have disturbed him unless the matter was very urgent and confidential, he quickly led me to the bathroom attached to the room so that we could talk without being noticed by anyone else who may enter the room,” Mukherjee said.

The two had a discussion on the political situation then and views of partymen about appointing Rajiv as the Prime Minister, which he had agreed to become. Later, “I came out of the bathroom and conveyed Rajiv’s decision to everyone”.

Talking about circumstances that led to his ouster from Rajiv’s Cabinet and then from the party, Mukherjee admitted to “have sensed Rajiv’s growing unhappiness and the hostility of those around him and taken pre-emptive action”.

“To the question of why he dropped me from the Cabinet and expelled me from the party, all I can say is that he made mistakes and so did I. He let others influence him and listened to their calumnies against me. I let my frustration overtake my patience,” he said.

The President was forced to leave Congress in April 1986 after which he formed Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress (RSC).

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Alert at IGI airport after caller reports big balloon over it

Posted on 28 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 28th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) An alert was sounded at Indira Gandhi International airport here today after authorities received a call about a “big balloon” hovering over it.

Police said the call centre of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) received a call about spotting of the big balloon following which the airport was put on alert.

DCP of IGI airport D K Gupta said all security agencies have been informed about the information though police has not spotted the object.

“The airport was put on high alert after the DIAL call centre received a call about a big balloon spotted near the airport this evening.

“The call was received around 5 PM and the caller said that the big ballon was heading from the airport to Aya Nagar following which an alert was issued at the IGI and all security agencies have been informed about it,” Gupta told PTI.

A mysterious balloon-shaped object was shot down yesterday by a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, bordering Pakistan, after the IAF radar detected it. Defence officials today said that no no dangerous payload was found.

No one was hurt nor was any damage caused to property in the area.

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Centre promises to look into alleged fake encounter in Manipur

Posted on 28 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 28th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) The Centre today promised to look into the purported confession of a Manipur police commando that he had killed in cold blood an unarmed suspected insurgent in 2009 in an alleged fake encounter that had sparked widespread outrage in the northeast state.

“I will get the information and then I can comment…then we will look into it,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a visit to Kerala, said in Thiruvananthapuram.

Manipur police head constable Thounaojam Herojit Singh had reportedly confessed that he shot 22-year-old Chungkham Sanjit Meitei, a suspected member of the insurgent group People s Liberation Army (PLA), in a busy market area in Imphal on July 23, 2009.

Herojit Singh has reportedly accepted that Meitei was not carrying arms and that he allegedly carried out the action on the orders of his superior.

According to Singh, he pumped bullets into the former PLA militant acting on orders from his senior, the then Additional Superintendent of Police in Imphal. He said that he shot at Meitei with a 9mm pistol on chest.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the Centre has taken “cognisance” of the said reports on the purported confession.

“I was little disturbed to see this news and confession which has been reported. We have taken cognisance of this revelation and necessary steps will be taken,” Rijiju said.

Congress leader R P N Singh questioned the silence of the police commando in the matter for all these years but said it needed to be investigated if the reported confession was true. Ibobi Singh of the Congress was the chief minister at the time of the alleged fake encounter.

Asked by a TV channel why he had not reported the matter at the time of the encounter, the commando said he had feared for his life.

Meitei’s mother had later filed a police complaint accusing the police of staging a fake encounter involving his son and the case was subsequently transferred to CBI in 2010 for a thorough probe.

She today demanded justice from authorities failing which Singh be handed over to her.

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R-Day celebrations pass off peacefully amid unprecedented security

Posted on 27 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 27th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) With intelligence inputs warning of a possible terror strike, unprecedented security measures were put in place across the country for Republic Day celebrations that passed off peacefully today.

However, a few incidents including an encounter in South Kashmir where an unidentified militant was killed, and a bomb scare sparked by an unclaimed bag at a Pathankot railway station set off alarm.

The national capital was brought under an unprecedented ground-to-air security cover with thousands of armed personnel keeping a tight vigil for the 67th Republic Day celebrations where French President Francois Hollande was the Chief Guest.

The area around Central Delhi was turned into a virtual fortress in view of intelligence inputs that terror groups may target some important installations in the city.

The measures were adopted in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase.

Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, central security agencies and NIA busted a module by arresting 14 militants linked to terror group ISIS, who, officials claimed, had planned to carry out strikes at important installations.

Commandos with light machine guns were deployed at 10 strategic locations and anti-aircraft guns remained positioned at two vantage points in the capital.

The entire region of Central and New Delhi had nearly 50,000 security personnel drawn from Delhi Police and central security forces guarding every nook and corner.

Special arrangements were made at the historic Rajpath where India’s military might was on display.

Hollande was seated along with President Pranab Mukherjee and host of VVIPs including Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The VVIP enclosure was put under a multi-layer security ring with Presidential Guards and officials of SPG and NSG guarding the two inner-most orbits and Delhi Police entrusted with guarding the outermost circle, said a senior official.

Senior officials said snipers have been put atop 45 buildings overlooking Rajpath besides providing a similar cover along all the buildings along the parade route.

Gunners have been given clear instructions to bring down any aerial object flying without permission. A ‘NOTAM’ (Notice to Airmen) has been declared from 10.35 AM to 12.15 PM during which no flight will land or take off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. .

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Arunachal comes under President’s rule

Posted on 27 January 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 27th January 2016

New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) Arunachal Pradesh today came under central rule with President Pranab Mukherjee giving assent to the Union Cabinet’s recommendation on such a course following political instability in the state.

Official sources said the President signed the proclamation two days after the cabinet held an unscheduled meeting on Sunday to recommend that the northeasten border state be brought under central rule.

Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju had said the cabinet was forced to take the decision because of a Constitutional breakdown as six months had lapsed between two sessions of the state Assembly.

Yesterday Mukherjee called Home Minister Rajnath Singh and put some queries to him on the need for the imposition of President’s rule even as Congress, the ruling party in the state, met him and opposed the cabinet decision.

The party urged the President not to give assent to the cabinet decision saying the issue was before the Supreme Court which has decided to hear the Congress petition tomorrow.

Other major opposition parties had also attacked the Centre’s decision saying it amounted to “murder” of democracy while the BJP said the crisis was of Congress’ making because it had lost numbers in the Assembly.

Arunachal Pradesh has been rocked by a political crisis since December 16 last year when 21 rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with 11 of BJP and two independents to ‘impeach’ Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia at a makeshift venue, in a move branded as “illegal and unconstitutional” by the Speaker.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court decided to hear on January 27 the Congress plea challenging the Cabinet decision.

The petition seeking urgent hearing was mentioned before Chief Justice T S Thakur, at his residence, who directed the matter to be listed for hearing on Wednesday. .

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