Owaisi blames Modi govt, NIA for 2007 Mecca Masjid blast acquittals; Is he right ?
Hyderabad : MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday blamed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the acquittal of five accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast, saying it deliberately failed to produce evidence against them.
Owaisi, who is the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, said it was a malicious and biased prosecution done by the NIA which is why the accused could not get conviction. He also claimed many witnesses had turned hostile after 2014, when the BJP came to power at the Centre.
On May 18, 2007, a blast near the Charminar in Hyderabad killed nine persons and injured 58. Five others were killed in police firing in the violence that followed the explosion.
An NIA court today acquitted five of the 10 accused named in the charge sheet. The court said the evidence against them was not satisfactory.
“The NIA deliberately did not pursue the case. When the accused got bail, the NIA did not appeal seeking cancellation of bail within the mandatory period of 90 days. This itself shows the prosecution was so biased,” said Owaisi.
He questioned the fate of the criminal justice system in the country if this kind of situation continued.
“I blame it entirely on the Narendra Modi government and the NIA for failing to bring the accused to book and let the criminal off. It is a failure of the Modi government,” he said.
Asked whether he would appeal in the Supreme Court against the NIA verdict, the Owaisi said when the NIA was not coming forward to produce the evidences, what else one could do. “We cannot expect anything better from the government,” he said.
Medical college site sparks off turf war among Cong leaders; Is Congress is doing vote-bank politics by this decision ?
Gurdaspur : The site of the proposed government medical college and hospital has sparked off a turf war among senior Congress leaders, including MLAs.
MP Sunil Jakhar, who has been asked by the CM to finalise the location, has said that it would be equidistant from all major towns of Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.
Party insiders, however, claim that the MP is under pressure from his own party leaders who are demanding that the prestigious entity be established in their respective Assembly seats.
Qadian MLA Fateh Jung Bajwa’s logic is that since the Dhariwal woollen mill has almost shut down, leading to the loss of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, the college should be established near Dhariwal. “The PAU has 25 acres in Dhariwal on the Gurdaspur-Batala highway. The site is equidistant from Sri Hargobindpur, Qadian, Batala, Fatehgarh Churian and Dera Baba Nanak,” he said. Dhariwal forms part of Bajwa’s Qadian seat.
Pathankot legislator Amit Vij wants the location to be in Pathankot. “That way, the hospital can also cater to patients of HP and J&K. At present, patients -- in emergency cases -- have to be shifted to Amritsar, 110 km away,” he said.
Former Batala MLA Ashwani Sekhri said that as Batala catered to five Vidhan Sabha seats, the government should buy land on the Batala-Amritsar highway.
“Batala is the biggest sub-divisional town in Punjab and is a known industrial hub. It is also vying for district status. Keeping in view the poor healthcare facilities available, it is high time the hospital is set up here,” said Sekhri.
A powerful section of residents want the hospital to come up adjacent to the Verka milk plant on the Gurdaspur-Pathankot road. This move has the blessings of the local MLA Barindermeet Singh Pahra.
It remains to be seen whether Jakhar will be able to stick to his stand of “no vote-bank politics will be allowed to come in the way” when the final decision is made.
Tough call for Jakhar
MP Sunil Jakhar, who has been asked by the CM to finalise the location, has said that the medical college will be equidistant from all major towns of Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency. It remains to be seen whether Jakhar will be able to keep vote-bank politics out of the way when the decision is made.
Haryana to give Rs 1.5 cr to CWG gold winners; Is this amount is sufficient for players ?
Chandigarh : Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medal winners hailing from Haryana will get Rs 1.5 crore each, Sports Minister Anil Vij said on Sunday. He congratulated athletes from Haryana for winning 22 medals — nine gold, six silver and seven bronze.
Every silver medallist will get Rs 75 lakh, while a bronze medal winner will get Rs 50 lakh. India’s new shooting sensations Anish Banwala (15) and Manu Bhaker (16) hail from Haryana.
Every gold medal winner would be entitled to a Class A job in the Haryana Government, while a silver and bronze medallist will get Class B and C jobs, respectively, Vij added.
Don’t teach how to rule state: Punjab CM to Sukhbir; Is the political battel between these leaders are on peak ?
Chandigarh : Reacting to Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s statement on his style of functioning, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday said he did not need any lessons from the former Deputy CM, who had “devastated the state with his misgovernance during the 10-year SAD-BJP regime”.
In a statement issued here, the CM alleged that given his own total failure on the governance front, Sukhbir had no locus standi to comment on anyone’s governance style.
Capt Amarinder said unlike the Akalis, led by the Badals, he believed in giving a free hand to his civil and police administration to function efficiently without fear or favour. Among his achievements, the CM counted lesser number of gang wars and targeted killings. He said the bureaucracy was now functioning more transparently.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal also lambasted Sukhbir for “trying to mislead the people with his false statements on state’s financial situation”.
‘Unclean job’ junked, only in name; Were Congress is on back foot in this issue ?
Chandigarh : A week after a controversy erupted around the mention of “unclean occupation” in the admission form to identify beneficiaries for a pre-matric scholarship among school students, its nomenclature stands changed.
The “Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme for Children of Those Engaged in Unclean Occupation” 2011, in the latest circular from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has been referred to as “Pre-Matric Scholarship to the Children of Those Engaged in Occupations Involving Cleaning and Prone to Health Hazards”. The circular about continuation of the scheme is dated April 2, 2018.
The Manohar Lal Khattar government hoped that the change in name would silence opposition parties, essentially the Congress, which had raised the issue. The BJP had already gone to town to drive home the point that “unclean occupation” was borrowed from the name of the pre-matric scholarship scheme and coined by the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in 2011.
While the changed nomenclature found mention in the ministry’s latest circular, it was unclear when this had been effected. Though the Education Department maintained that the change had been conveyed in the circular for continuation of the scheme, it could well be an oversight that the change in name and use of “unclean occupation” went unnoticed in the past and got noticed only after the Congress raised a red flag.
Government sources maintained that though the controversial name of pre-matric scholarship for children of parents in “unclean occupation” was conceived during the UPA regime, they admitted that it did not find its way into admission forms till the BJP government assumed power in Haryana.
“It was after the BJP government came to power in the state that emphasis shifted to use of information technology, MIS portal was set up and online admission forms conceptualised. It was during the present government’s tenure that the question pertaining to unclean occupation found its way into the form,” said a government functionary, adding that it had been in admission forms for the past three years, but went unnoticed, even by the Congress.
Former Education Minister and Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal insisted that the term was not used by the previous Congress government during its term to identify beneficiaries under the scheme. “The scheme may have been named so during the UPA tenure, but it was never circulated in admission forms,” she pointed out.
Rajya Sabha member Kumari Selja said the UPA government did not introduce any such questionnaire during its tenure and the “100-point student admission” form seeking Aadhaar number of students, besides religion and caste, was violative and demeaning.
Congress caught on back foot
The term (‘unclean occupation’) was not used by the previous Congress government during its term. The pre-matric scholarship scheme may have been named so during the UPA tenure, but it was never circulated in admission forms — Geeta Bhukkal, Congress MLA