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Court Refuses To Protect Jamia Students From Arrest

Protesting students of Jamia Millia Islamia will not get any relief for now, the Delhi High Court said today in response to a clutch of petitions filed regarding Sunday's violence. Many of the students were allegedly injured during the police crackdown at the university late on Sunday evening. At least six petitions had sought medical treatment and compensation for them.

A bench of Justice DN Patel, however, refused to provide any interim relief to student protesters from any coercive action, including arrest. As the order was read out, lawyers present in the court chanted "shame, shame".

The court, which was hearing  petitions requesting the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the violence at the Jamia Millia Islamia on  Sunday, has issued notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and the police.

The order came amid a nationwide protest against the Centre's new citizenship law, which is meant to expedite citizenship for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who settled in India before 2014.

A protest on the same on Sunday - organised by the Jamia students -- had ended in a pitched battle with the police. Later, the police had barged into the university without permission and detained around 100 students. There were allegations that they had targeted the university's staff and students, setting off a string of protests in the campuses across the country, some of which went on overnight.

One of the petitions, filed on behalf of the Imam of Jama Masjid, said the students and teachers were holding a peaceful protest against the amended Citizenship Act, but the police disrupted it and used "unjustified, excessive, arbitrary and brute force" against them, reported news agency Press Trust of India.  

Immediate action was required against the erring police officers so they "do not get any time to fabricate and manufacture facts and evidence against the protestors", the petition read.

It also said that every citizen has the right to peacefully hold protests and police assault on such protesters was a violation of their fundamental right.

Do court grant protection from arrest?

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Buses Set On Fire With People Still Inside

Petrol was taken out of two wheelers parked on the roadside and used to set fire to buses filled with passengers, an eyewitness of Sunday evening's violence in Delhi has told NDTV. The hour-long pitched battle outside a posh colony between the police and a mob was the culmination of a protest march against the new citizenship law.

By the end of it, three buses were set ablaze, a fire tender was damaged and two firemen were injured and the police had used batons and tear gas on the mob.

Video footage from the area showed the mob being chased by the police through the streets.

The Jamia students have distanced themselves from the violence and senior officers of the Delhi police admitted that local thugs had hijacked the march, setting vehicles ablaze and throwing stones at policemen when they tried to stop them from marching to Jantar Mantar.

"The men took out petrol from two-wheelers and set fire to a bus, which still had passengers inside," Ravi, a man who works as a domestic help in the area told NDTV. "There was much panic. A young woman was sobbing loudly," he said.

The Jamia students have distanced themselves from the violence.

Asked how many men were involved, he said 15 to 20. When the police arrived, they scattered. "One of them threw a stone at a policeman. I saw him bleeding from the head," he added.

Protests escalated at Jamia when a march led to clashes between protesters and the police. The police later entered the Jamia Millia Islamia campus without permission and detained around 100 students, who were released around 3:30 am.

In addition to students, several policemen including senior officers were injured. One of them is in the Intensive Care Unit with severe head injuries.

Is burning buses in Delhi while the CAA protest correct?

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4 Telangana Rape-Murder Accused Shot Dead By Cops, "Tried To Escape"

In a stunning twist to a crime that horrified the nation, all four men accused in the gang-rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Telangana were shot dead in the early hours of Friday by the police, who claim they were trying to escape during investigations at the spot where the woman's body was found.

The four men, Mohammed Arif (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20), had been taken to the scene of the crime at 3 am for a reconstruction, the police said. They were at the spot near a bridge where the charred body of the woman was found, around 50 km from Hyderabad, when, the police claim, one of the men signalled to the others, possibly to escape.

The police claim they fired in self-defence after two of the men attacked them, snatched their weapons and fired.

"They were killed in crossfire. They tried to snatch weapons from the guards but were shot dead," Prakash Reddy, a deputy commissioner of police in Hyderabad, said, adding that the men died before any medical help could arrive.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said it will send a team led by a senior police officer to Telangana to investigate the matter. The team will give a report soon, the NHRC said.

A huge crowd gathered on the bridge overlooking the spot and flashed thumbs-up signs at the police; some showered flowers.

The four, arrested a day after the crime, had been in custody of the police since Wednesday.

All the four accused in the Telangana rape and murder have been killed in an encounter

On November 27, the men, all truck-drivers and cleaners, saw the 27-year-old woman park her scooter near a toll-booth on a busy highway. They allegedly deflated her scooter tyre and waited. When she returned from a dermatology appointment, they took her to a truck yard with the promise of fixing her scooter, gang-raped her, strangled her and burnt her body to destroy evidence, according to the police.

Amid spiralling outrage, the Telangana Law Department had approved a fast-track court to try the case.

The woman's father told news agency ANI: "It has been 10 days to the day my daughter died. I express my gratitude towards the police and the government for this. My daughter's soul must be at peace now."

The incident has been passionately debated for days and now the controversial shooting has divided opinion.

Locals showered rose petals on Hyderabad Police personnel.

Several celebrities and even politicians praised the police though there were many voices of caution.

A former police officer suggested public anger had left the police with little choice. "Although it's totally unprofessional, but I think this was what was expected. I knew something like this was going to happen," said Swaranjit Sen, a former Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh.

Lawyer Vrinda Grover denounced the police shooting and said an FIR must be filed. "This is absolutely unacceptable. We don't want this form of trigger happy justice. There must be an independent judicial enquiry into this 'encounter'. There must be accountability of the police," said Ms Grover.

In parliament, several MPs had called for quick trial and hanging of the accused. In some emotional statements, MPs called for lynching of the men for the horrific crime.

Do you think instant justice have been served in this case?

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Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-NCP-Cong alliance wins floor test in Maharashtra assembly

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance won the floor test in the Maharashtra Assembly on Saturday.

Altogether 169 MLAs vote in favour of the motion of confidence, pro tem Speaker Dilip Walse Patil informed the House.

Four MLAs abstained, he said.

Nobody voted against the motion as all the 105 MLAs had walked out of the 288-member House, boycotting the floor test, before head count of MLAs began.

In the October 21 Assembly elections, the BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively in the October 21 polls.

Does Maharashtra deserve a CM like Uddhav Thackeray?

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Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Chief Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah met this morning, immediately after the Supreme Court ordered Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority tomorrow, sources say. Not long after that meeting, Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Chief Minister.

The two top leaders of the ruling BJP reportedly discussed the options after the Supreme Court order, whether Devendra Fadnavis should face the test of strength or whether he should quit.

The supreme Court had ordered the Fadnavis government to face a floor test "immediately", saying if it was delayed, "there is a possibility of horse-trading, it becomes incumbent upon the Court to act to protect democratic values".

PM Modi and Amit Shah, who were at a function in parliament to mark the Constitution Day, met soon after to discuss the verdict.

Mr Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were sworn in on Saturday morning in a deeply controversial oath ceremony that suddenly flashed on TV screens a few minutes before 8 am.

To facilitate the unscheduled oath, a central government order revoking President's Rule in Maharashtra was issued at 5.47 am after PM Modi used a rare clause to approve it without consulting the cabinet.

The manner in which the government formation took place was challenged by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in the Supreme Court. 

The BJP claimed it had handed the Governor a letter of support from 170 MLAs before being invited to form government.

After joining hands with the BJP, Ajit Pawar had claimed the support of all 54 MLAs of his party NCP, but his uncle Sharad Pawar had contested it.

Over the past three days, however, NCP MLAs who had gone "missing" returned, some of them accusing Ajit Pawar of misleading them.

Yesterday, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine paraded their MLAs at a five-star hotel in Mumbai and said, "We have 162."

Do you think its a tactical move by BJP and NCP to remove Shiv Sena from power?

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