|‘Geelani must declare himself Indian’|
|NEW DELHI, May 21 (Agencies): The government today said Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's passport application is incomplete, therefore, it can't be processed in its present form.
Geelani had applied for a passport to visit his ailing daughter in Saudi Arabia.
Many political parties have backed Geelani and urged the government to issue him a passport on "humanitarian grounds", while some others opposed any such move by the Centre.
On Thursday, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said Geelani should declare he is an Indian to get a passport.
"If he wants to apply for a passport, he will have to fill the form and declare he is Indian," the minister said at the "Manthan" conclave organized by Aaj Tak.
"That will be the first round of victory ... all separatists shoul...|
|‘Geelani has to follow procedures’|
|NEW DELHI, May 21: Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh on Thursday said that if Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani is granted permission to go abroad, he will have to follow the procedure like every other individual.
"Even if permission to go abroad is given, the process will be similar to what everyone is put through. Law is clear on the provisions to be made on humanitarian grounds," Jitendra Singh told a news agency.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said Geelani's passport decision has to be taken in a rational manner.
"We have to have a full discussion and a complete view about the subject, cannot comment on a matter on which the government has to take a political call. Decision has to be taken in a very rational man...|
|NDA did away with UPA's 'Jhooth, Loot Ki Sarkar': Prasad|
|NEW DELHI, May 21 (Agencies): Days ahead of marking its first year in office, NDA government today strongly rebutted the opposition's charge that it was "anti-poor" and asserted that the Narendra Modi dispensation believed in growth and social justice and had ended crony capitalism which was "rife" under UPA's tenure.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said brokers are "no longer seen in the corridors of government offices" since the BJP-led government entered office about a year ago while claiming that they had called the shots under UPA rule when party leaders sent "chits" to ministers to influence decision- making.
Taking part in an event organised by news channel Aaj Tak, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the government of "self-glorification" and said it gave an imp...|
|IAF lands jet on Yamuna Expressway as part of emergency landing trials|
|NEW DELHI, May 21 (Agencies): In a first, a Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force today successfully landed on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura as part of trials to use national highways for emergency landing.
The aircraft landed at about 6:40 am, senior IAF officers said, adding that the force has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future.
The IAF has been considering the use of national highways for emergency landing by fighter aircraft.
For today's trial, all facilities like make shift Air Traffic Control, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties and other requirements were set in place by the IAF.
"The operation was conducted in coordination with District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Agra and Mathura," an IAF s...|
|10,000 home guards court arrest in Bihar, govt acts tough|
|PATNA, May 21 (Agencies): Over 10,000 Home Guard personnel courted arrest across Bihar today as their indefinite strike continued for the seventh day, while the state government acted tough by registering an FIR against those who had blocked the bridge over the Ganga leading to the death of two patients.
Vaishali Superintendent of Police (SP) Chandrika Prasad said, "We have lodged an FIR at the Ganga Bridge police station against 150 Home Guards in connection with the blockade of Mahatma Gandhi Setu yesterday."
Seventeen of the accused have been named while the rest are unnamed. The police said no family member of the patients, who died in yesterday's 'chakka jam' while on their way to hospital, has come forward so far to lodge a complaint.
In today's 'jail bharo' agitation the home gu...|
|Union Minister's 'prosperous' remark invites criticism from Khaps|
|AMROHA, May 21 (Agencies): In an attempt to defend BJP-led NDA government of being branded as "Suit-boot Ki Sarkaar", Union Minister for Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh said if a tea-vendor can live "suited-booted" than we can say we are prosperous.
"Jab Chai bechane wala suited-booted reh sakta hai, toh hum toh prosperous hai," (If a tea-vendor can remain suited-booted then we belong to prosperous family)," Singh said during an interaction with farmers in Gajraula here, organised to make them understand about the actions and policies of union government for farmers.
He said that sons of farmers should not join army or pursue career in farming, they should make career in other fields and become prosperous like them.
"We are also from farmer's family but live a prosperous lif...|
|Awaiting court's verdict, greepeace says it was a 'humiliating' year|
|NEW DELHI, May 21 (Agencies): With its accounts frozen and forced to scale down operations, Greenpeace India today said it has been a "humiliating" year for the organisation and it is not expected from a elected government to treat "legitimate NGOs" like it in such a manner.
Days after it announced 'imminent' shutdown due to government's crackdown, the environment NGO said it will continue to run basic functions for another month by scaling back the extent of the campaign to "bare minimum" as it has seen a "surge" in support from civil society, donors and the staff, which has offered to work without pay.
The environment NGO also hoped for a "positive outcome" from the Delhi High Court, which will hear its writ petition challenging the suspension of its FCRA license on May 26.
|CPI(M) state secretariat asks Achuthanandan to 'mend his ways'|
|THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, May 21 (Agencies): Mincing no words, CPI(M) in Kerala today rejected the criticism levelled by sulking veteran V S Achuthanandan against the leadership and reminded the nonagenarian leader to mend his ways and fall in line with party decisions.
The party secretariat meeting passed a four-page resolution detailing the "indiscipline and anti-party" approach adopted by 92-year-old Achuthanandan since 2011 which had embarrassed the party and said it wanted the senior leader to comply with the party state committee's united decisions.
"This is not a warning or any disciplinary action against Achuthanandan, who is the LDF opposition leader in the state Assembly," CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters after the secretariat meeting here.
|Rahul's rating of the Modi govt on agriculture issues: '0 out of 10'|
|AMETHI, May 18 (Agencies): Taking his fight for farmers to his Lok Sabha constituency, Rahul Gandhi today said he would give "zero out of 10" rating to the Narendra Modi government on its handling of agriculture and rural issues.
Striking an aggressive note on the first day of his three-day visit to Amethi, the Congress Vice President also accused the Modi government of engaging in "politics of revenge" by cancelling a mega food park here and vowed to fight to get it back.
Hitting out at Modi, Gandhi said he was visiting foreign countries but not the homes of farmers in the country.
"The PM is visiting foreign countries, but he does not go to the houses of farmers and labourers," said Gandhi, as he met cultivators who have suffered crop loss due to unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms.
|Mumbai nurse Aruna Shanbaug dies after 42-yr coma following her rape|
|MUMBAI, May 18 (Agencies): Aruna Shanbaug, the young nurse who was raped and gagged with a dog chain that left her in a coma for 42 years and made her the face of a debate on euthanasia in India, died today, bringing to an end one of the most tragic journeys of a victim of sexual assault.
It also brought to a close the painstaking, selfless service rendered by the fellow nurses of Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital who never gave up hope and nursed her despite the Supreme Court verdict allowing "passive euthanasia".
Aruna, 66, probably one of the longest living comatose patients, was on ventilator support in the ICU of KEM Hospital after she suffered a serious bout of pneumonia last week. Aruna, whose dream of nursing the infirm and the ailing back to health had died young on Novemb...|
|Court asks CBI to verify death of one accused|
|NEW DELHI, May 18 (Agencies): Delhi court today directed CBI to verify the fact about the death of one of the accused who, along with Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, was facing trial in a 1984 anti Sikh riots case.
District Judge Rakesh Siddhartha asked the agency to verify and inform the court about it on July 17.
The court was told by CBI prosecutor D P Singh that accused Peeriya died yesterday but the agency was yet to verify this fact.
The judge also said that prosecution witness Prem Kaur, who was present in the court, could not be examined today due to death of Peeriya.
The court, however, observed "witnesses are coming and returning without being examined".
To this, the prosecutor said on one occasion the witness could not be examined due to lawyers' strike and on another hearin...|
|Draupadi Murmu sworn in as first woman governor of Jharkhand|
|RANCHI, May 18 (Agencies): Draupadi Murmu was today sworn in as the first woman Governor of Jharkhand.
Murmu succeeds Syed Ahmed, who will take over as Manipur Governor.
A two-time BJP MLA from Odisha, she was a minister in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet when the Biju Janata Dal ruled the state with the support of Bharatiya Janata Party.
She headed the BJP's Mayurbhanj district unit in Odisha and had represented Rairangpur in the Odisha assembly.
Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Virendra Singh administered the oath of office to Murmu.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, his cabinet colleagues, former Chief Ministers Shibu Soren and Arjun Munda, Union Minister of State for Rural Development Sudarshan Bhagat and a host of other dignitaries were present during the oath-taking ceremony....|
|Kejriwal govt issues notice to DCW chief over Vishwas case|
|NEW DELHI, May 15 (Agencies): The Arvind Kejriwal government today slapped a showcause notice on Delhi Commission for Women chief Barkha Singh, asking why she should not be removed from the post for allegedly abusing power in dealing with a complaint against ruling AAP leader Kumar Vishwas.
The Government has asked Singh, a former Congress MLA who is due to retire as DCW chief in July, to file her reply to the showcause notice within three days which it said was issued following complaints against her by a member of the panel.
Complaints have been received from Juhi Khan, member of DCW, "bringing to the notice of the government the irregular activities being carried out by you (Singh) in the capacity of Chairperson of DCW while dealing with a complaint filed by someone against Kumar Vis...|
|HC refuses interim stay on DCW summons to Vishwas|
|NEW DELHI, May 15 (Agencies): Delhi High Court today refused to give any interim relief to senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas on a party volunteer's complaint on alleged "rumours" about their illicit liaison, saying his plea challenging the Delhi women's commission summons had some "blatant" faults.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher said one "defect" in the plea was that the volunteer should have been made a party in the petition as it was on her complaint that the summons were issued.
The other "fault" pointed out by the court was that Delhi government need not be impleaded, as the plea has not sought removal of any member of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
The court refused to consider the repeated pleas of Vishwas' counsel Somnath Bharti for an interim stay on the summons, saying that grant...|
|Rahul kicks off Padyatra from Telangana village, meets farmers|
|NIRMAL (TELANGANA), May 15 (Agencies): Keeping his focus on farmers' issue, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today kicked off his 15-km 'padyatra' from Koratikal village in Adilabad district to interact with distressed farmers in drought-stricken villages.
Rahul met the family members of Velma Rajeshwar, who allegedly committed suicide due to debt burden of nearly Rs 12 lakh, and consoled them.
He handed over a Rs two lakh cheque to Rajeshwar's widow Gangavva.
The 44-year-old Amethi MP is also scheduled to meet four more families of farmers, who allegedly killed themselves after being unable to repay loans in Laxmanchanda, Rachapur and Vadial villages.
His foot march is slated to culminate at Vadial village, where he would address a farmers' meeting.
This is Rahul's first visit t...|
|AS officers get 'warning' for wearing sunglasses while meeting PM|
|RAIPUR, May 15 (Agencies): Two IAS officers of Chhattisgarh one of whom who wore sunglasses while receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit last week have been pulled up by the state government for violation of dress code and protocol.
The state government slapped notices on Bastar Collector Amit Kataria and Dantewada Collector K C Devsenapati, who had received Modi during his visit to the state on May 9, with a warning that they should follow "proper dress code" in future.
Kataria was rebuked for wearing sunglasses and blue shirt while receiving the Prime Minister. Devsenapati earned the ire of the government as he had worn a white shirt and trousers during his meeting with Modi.
The officers are supposed to be dressed in 'Bandhgala' on such occasions as they are represe...|
|Vadra hopes probe into land deal will not be used for political Vendetta|
|NEW DELHI, May 15 (Agencies): Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, today hoped that the probe launched by Haryana government into his land deals will "not be used for political vendetta" as he insisted that neither he nor anyone associated with him had anything to hide.
"An enquiry has been ordered by the government of Haryana. Let us await its outcome," he said in a statement here.
Insisting that all laws were followed in a "completely transparent manner", Vadra said, "Neither me nor anyone associated with me has anything to hide."
He added, "I sincerely hope that an enquiry will not be used for political vendetta."
His statement came a day after the Haryana government formed a commission to probe grant of license to some entities, including Vadra's company, f...|
|Farmer attempts suicide in front of minister in Patna|
|PATNA, May 15 (Agencies): A farmer today allegedly attempted suicide in front of Union minister of state Ram Kripal Yadav demanding compensation for his land acquired by the state government.
The incident took place in Bihta sub-division of Patna district, about 35 km from the town in the evening.
Union minister of State for Rural Development and Drinking water Ramkripal Yadav had gone to Bihta in support of farmers sitting on dharna for past six days demanding early payment of compensation to them for their land acquired by Bihar government for Industrial park.
When Yadav was talking to the protesting farmers, one of them climbed a nearby tree and allegedly tried to commit suicide.
"Hearing hue and cry, I came under the tree and made repeated request to the farmer to come down which ...|
|AAP starts Jan Chetna Yatra against SAD-BJP regime|
|AMRITSAR, May 15 (Agencies): Aam Aadmi Party today launched the statewide 'Jan Chentra Yatra' from here with an aim to create awareness about the alleged massive corruption, drug menace, lawlessness and sand mafia in the Parkash Singh Badal-led regime in Punjab.
The Yatra (march) started from historic Jallianwalla Bagh here and was led by party's national convener Sanjay Singh, Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur Bhagwant Mann, AAP Punjab Convener Sucha Singh Chottepur and Delhi MLA Naresh Yadav.
The march, which saw massive support of people including women and youngsters, passed through the city where people could be seen extending warm welcome to AAP and joining it.
AAP's march will reach Pathankot district late tonight after passing through Batala, Dhariwal and Gurdaspur.
AAP leaders, durin...|
|Akhilesh, Amit Shah in blame game over farmers' relief in UP|
|LUCKNOW, May 15 (Agencies): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and BJP chief Amit Shah were today locked in a blame game over doling out relief for farmers suffering crop losses in the state.
Yadav even went on to say that BJP is the most 'chalu' (shrewd) party while Shah accused the UP government of only indulging in "bhashan baji" (making speeches).
Yadav accused the Modi government of not doing anything for farmers in the state in the wake of the agrarian crisis, a charge Shah trashed, saying it was the ruling Samajwadi Party that has done nothing for them.
"Except for indulging in "bhashan baji" (making speeches), the state government has done nothing for the affected farmers," Shah said at a public meeting in Sikandarau tehsil of Hathras, hours after Yadav's remarks in th...|
|53,000 home guards go on indefinite strike in Bihar|
|PATNA, May 15 (Agencies): Policing, law and order, security and traffic control services were badly hit in Bihar as over 53,000 Home Guard personnel went on an indefinite strike today to press for their demands of raising daily allowance and retirement age.
Bihar Home Guard and Fire Services Director General (DG) P N Rai said jawans spread across the state deposited their firearms and other weapons at their respective district headquarters before going on the strike.
"The jawans have a set of demands and the government is sympathetic towards them. We are considering their demands and what measures could be taken. Meanwhile, we have made alternative arrangements to ensure that policing, as well as, law and order services go on smoothly in the state," Rai told agencies....|
|SC directs investigation of Sinha's 'inappropriate' meets with scam accused|
|NEW DELHI, May 14 (Agencies): Terming as "inappropriate" the alleged meetings of former CBI Director Ranjit Kumar Sinha with the accused in coalgate and 2G cases, the Supreme Court today said the matter "needs to be investigated" and asked the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to assist it.
A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said there is merit in the allegations that Sinha met persons in the absence of investigating officers of the cases and asked the CVC to file a report on the entire issue on or before July 6.
"We see merits in the submission. It is inappropriate on the part of CBI Director to meet persons in the absence of IOs," said the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and A K Sikri.
It also dismissed Sinha's plea seeking prosecution of lawyer Prashant Bhushan f...|
|SC stays AAP govt's circular against media, questions Kejriwal|
|NEW DELHI, May 14 (Agencies): The Supreme Court today stayed a circular by Delhi government on filing defamation cases against media organisations for any news that causes damage to its reputation or that of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other ministers and asked him to explain why it was issued.
"Issue notice (to Kejriwal). However, as an interim measure we direct stay of the circular dated May 6, 2015 till further order of this court. Accordingly, it is stayed," said a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant.
Asking Kejriwal to explain why the directorate of information has issued "such circular", the court sought a reply within six weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on July 8.
The court's order came on an application filed by senior advocate Amit ...|
|Mamata-Modi shadow fights to fool people: Mishra|
|KOLKATA, May 14 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are engaged in shadow-fighting to fool people, according to state Opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra.
"Whom are they trying to fool? People have already understood that the so-called fight between Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi are shadow fights to fool the masses. Their policy is that they will have a friendship in New Delhi and stage a fight in Bengal," Mishra said.
Mishra also lashed out at the policies of the Centre and the state government, terming them anti-people.
"The policies of both governments are anti-people, anti-worker and anti-farmer. They don't believe in democratic rights and that is why they are against strikes," Mishra alleged.
He also accused the state gover...|
|Badal resorting to radical agenda to divert attention: Cong|
|CHANDIGARH, May 14 (Agencies): Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh today alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, having failed on all fronts, is now trying to divert the people's attention by "resorting to radical agenda".
Realising that the ground had already slipped beneath his feet, Badal was now trying to push for "radical and extremist agenda" which has the dangerous potential to push Punjab back to the dark days, Singh said.
"Since you have proved to be a complete failure as a Chief Minister both in terms of economy and administration, you are back to your favourite game of resorting to the radical agenda and playing with people's emotions at the cost of peace in Punjab," Singh said, referring to Badal's statement to claim back the artefacts and man...|