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Calcutta HC stays WB panchayat poll process till further orders. Is this a good decision ?

Kolkata : The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal.

While staying the election process, Justice Subrata Talukdar also sought from the State Election Commission by Monday a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, amongst other information.

The court said it would hear on April 16 the pleas challenging the SEC’s decision to withdraw its April 9 notification, which had extended the date for filing nominations by a day.

Justice Talukdar had on April 10 stayed the withdrawal of SEC’s April 9 notification, directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance.

Justice Talukdar also imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the BJP for misrepresentation.

He held that the BJP had moved both the high court and the Supreme Court on similar pleas and likened its conduct to “forum hopping”.

The apex court had on Thursday directed the BJP to approach the Calcutta High Court with its grievances over the deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal.

Apart from the BJP, the CPIM and the Congress too has moved the high court challenging the SEC’s decision.

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Haryana’s Khattar must stop profiling students; Is it good to collect personal information for study ?

Chandigarh : The Haryana government must recall the 100-question form, which has been sent out to parents all across schools in the state. It seeks out an Orwellian list: Aadhaar numbers, bank details, information on genetic disorders, parents’ educational qualifications as well as details of their religion and caste.

At a time when the Supreme Court has pronounced right to privacy as a fundamental right, this kind of intrusive 360 degree profiling of children and their families is absolutely unacceptable – and also a deeply worrying signal of the state’s priorities and mindset.

For example, why is the government asking “whether parents of students are engaged in unclean occupation”? Perhaps this is a reference to manual scavenging, which like untouchability is prohibited by law but persists in society. But the questionnaire does not suggest that progressive help is at hand. While modernity is about the freedom to inhabit fluid identities, the state’s interrogation seems an attempt to lock everyone into hidebound categories of class, caste and religion.
Raising learning outcomes across schools is an urgent need in India. It is ill-served by a thoughtless educational bureaucracy going off on ill-thought operations like this. The Khattar government must withdraw the questionnaire urgently.

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Dust storm, rain create havoc in Rajasthan; 11 killed in Dholpur, 5 in Bharatpur; Does nature became Cruel these days ?


  • Dholpur-Bharatpur rail route remained closed for almost 2 hours and it was restored by 1am on Thursday.

  • At least 100 people were injured in rain-related mishaps in the two districts.

JAIPUR/ALWAR : Unprecedented rainfall created havoc late on Wednesday night when at least five people were killed in Bharatpur and 11, including five children, in Dholpur districts. At least 100 people got injured during the dust storm and rainfall in the two districts.

The death toll in Dholpur was seven till Thursday morning, but with four more succumbing to their injuries, it has increased to 11, confirmed Dholpur SDM.
The district administration has said that the toll figures might increase as they were collecting figures from both the districts where thousands of trees were uprooted and phone lines got damaged.

“Most of these deaths happened due to collapse of houses in the storm. At most of the places victims were sleeping," said a senior officer of Dholpur district administration. The heavy rainfall also affected railway services where trees fell down on the tracks. “The Dholpur-Bharatpur rail route remained closed for almost 2 hours and it was restored by 1am on Thursday,” said a railway officer.

At Sepau in Dholpur, a portion of wall collapsed in the house of Jagdish Baghela. This killed his seven-year-old daughter. At Rajpur village in a separate incident, a five-year-old girl was killed due to wall collapse. “At Basai Nawab village a two-year-old boy and his two-and-a-half-year old sister were killed,” said an officer. Other deceased included Laxman Kushwah(10) of Magwara village and Suman Sharma(25) of Baseri village in Dholpur.

In Bharatpur, many villages were in dark after electric polls and transformers were damaged. The deceased included Vishambhar Jat(65), Kamla(60), Arun Singh(50), Ramshree(70), Yogesh Kumar(32) all belonged to different villages in Bharatpur, police said.

Hospitals in Bharatpur and Dholpur were packed where the patients were seen lying in the corridors as at least 100 people injured in rain-related mishaps in these districts.

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Rains lash parts of Punjab, Haryana; worry farmers;

Chandigarh : The rains lashed most of Punjab and parts of Haryana on Wednesday, leaving farmers a worried lot over the fate of their wheat crop nearing the harvesting stage.

According to the MeT office here, Punjab had widespread rains on Wednesday, covering almost the entire state, while Haryana had it in places like Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Palwal, Kaithal, Jind, Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar and Hisar.
Chandigarh too received some rainfalls today morning.

The rains, which lashed the two states on Monday too, have increased the worries of wheat farmers as heavy showers are harmful for ripening wheat crop.
Both Punjab and Haryana are the key wheat producing states in the country.

The rains, which are unusual during this time of the year for Punjab and Haryana, were caused by western disturbances.
Farmers say the rainy conditions are detrimental for their wheat harvest.

“The rains are unusual during this time of the year. During the past three days, the weather has been either rainy or overcast, which may delay the wheat harvest,” said Santokh Singh, a farmer from Jalandhar district.

 Another farmer from Kurukshetra said some agriculture experts have suggested that they should not harvest their crop for a week, so that the moisture content subsides.
There were reports that the winds accompanying the rains have slightly flattened the crop at a few places in the two states.
A MeT Department official, meanwhile, told that weather will be clear from tomorrow and temperatures, which have fallen around two to four notches due to rains, would start rising from Friday.

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Farmers demand relief for crop loss; Were their demand is fair ?

Jhajjar : Farmers of hailstorm affected eight villages here led by Beri MLA Raghuvir Singh Kadian on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to DC Sonal Goel demanding a compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for their crop loss.

The farmers belong to Majra-B, Majra-D, Dubaldhan Kriman, Dubaldhan Bidhyan, Mangavaas, Palda and Pahadipur villages. They claimed their standing crop of wheat suffered a loss ranging between 50 to 90 per cent due to hailstorm that wreaked the havoc on the crop on Monday morning.

Beopar mandal demands relief for rain-hit farmers

Hisar : Beopar Mandal president Bajrang Dass Garg has demanded adequate compensation for farmers who suffered crop loss due to untimely rains. Garg said the farmers’ produce of wheat and mustard lying in the open had got damaged. The market committee has been caught ill-prepared in making arrangements for the procurement.

He demanded that the farmers must be provided a bonus of Rs 300 in addition to the minimum support price to their yield.

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