Watch: Congress leader misbehaves with Indore police after being denied entry into a meeting

A screen grab of the incident where Congress' Sunny Rajpal is seen misbehaving with an on duty police officer. Courtesy: News State

Congress leader, Sunny Rajpal, Monday, was caught on camera misbehaving with a police officer in Indore. He allegedly assaulted the cop after being denied entry into a meeting which was being chaired by the Public Works Department minister, Sajjan Singh Verma.

In the video, Rajpal, who looks visibly irked, can be seen shouting and pushing the officer on duty, who in-turn politely requests the leader to cooperate. The officer can be heard saying “mein aapse nivedan karta hoon” (I am requesting you).

Despite being clearly caught misbehaving, Sunny Rajput, brazenly denied the allegations, “There was no such assault. I was just not allowed to enter the meeting,” said the Congress leader, furthering “I was in the meeting. I went to the washroom for five minutes. When I reached the gate, I was denied to re-enter”.

Rajpal stated that complaining to the authorities was out of the question since there was no assault. He furthered that he was later allowed to get inside the meeting venue.

However, this particular incident does not come as a surprise. Such acts of arrogance are very much an integral part of the Congress ecosystem. Recently we reported how Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former CM in the state of Punjab, had slapped a young man at the Bussehra village during a public event.

In April, Tripura Congress President Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman reportedly slapped a man inside Khowai police station in Tripura after he had allegedly obstructed the convoy of Pradyot Kishore’s sister Pragya Deb Burman who is also Tripura Congress candidate.

In the CCTV footage, Pradyot and his men were seen entering the police station and resorting to vandalism against a man in a red shirt sitting on a bench in a police station. The man rises to his feet and greets the Congress chief but Pradyot suddenly slaps him across the face. Police officials present at the spot separate them immediately, following which Pradyot Dev Burman can be seen threatening him.

In a similar incident of high-headedness, Congress leader DK Shivakumar, was last year, seen slapping a young man who was trying to take a selfie with him. However, this was not the only incident. The year before last also he was caught doing something similar.

He was speaking to media at a college in Belgaum when a student standing behind him tried to take a selfie with his mobile phone. Shivkumar got agitated and suddenly hit the student on his arm. Following this, the student lost control of his phone and it crashed on the ground. The student was then seen rushing to retrieve his mobile, while Shivakumar nonchalantly went back to addressing media. When confronted by media persons, Shivkumar brazenly termed the incident as ‘normal’ and went back to talking to media persons as if nothing happened.

Sonia Gandhi gets miffed with Kerala MP who started to take oath in Hindi, 2 other MPs change their mind and take oath in English instead

MP scolded by Sonia Gandhi
Kodikunnil Suresh Congress MP from Kerala (Image Source: Manorama Online)

Today, a Congress MP from Kerala, Kodikunnil Suresh, took oath in Hindi as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha. He chose Hindi instead of his mother tongue Malayalam. Reportedly, Sonia Gandhi scolds him for doing so. Hearing this, two other Kerala MP’s change their mind to give their oath in Hindi.

Kodikunnil Suresh is a Member of Parliament who was elected from the Mavelikkara constituency. In September 2018 he was elected as the working president of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).

He surprised everyone by taking the oath in Hindi. This was welcomed by the BJP with a loud thumping of desks. However, this had irked Sonia Gandhi. She reportedly got miffed and asked why he couldn’t take the oath in his mother tongue or English.

As per reports, Congress MP Rajmohan Unnithan and V K Sreekantan, both from Kerala, had also decided to give the oath in Hindi. After Sonia Gandhi lost her cool with the MP, both of them change their mind and took oath in English

Today, Rahul Gandhi who was absent from Parliament for the whole day arrived at Lok Sabha today after 3 PM, just in time for his turn to take oath as the MP from Wayanad constituency in Kerala. BJP MPs from Bengal took oath as Members of Lok Sabha amidst chants of “Jai Shri Ram” making a statement against the oppressive policies of the TMC. Smriti Irani while taking oath as the MP of Amethi, gets the longest applause by members of Parliament for slaying dynastic politics at Amethi.

Opposition MPs create ruckus in parliament over Sadhvi Pragya Singh’s name as she took oath as Lok Sabha MP

The newly elected BJP MP from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur again made news today while taking oath as a Lok Sabha MP, when objections were raised on her name.

While taking oath of duty in Sanskrit, Pragya Singh mentioned her name as “I, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Swamy Poorna Chetanandand Avdheshanand Giri”, including the name of her Guru. But before she completes hare oath, the officials of Lok Sabha interrupted her saying that she has to take oath in the name of God or Constitution, as they thought she was taking oath in her Guru’s name.

To this, the Sadhvi objected saying that she was merely taking her name, and she had written the same in the forms also. But the Pro-term Speaker Videndra Kumar intervened at this point, reiterating the objections by the Lok Sabha officials. He said it is clearly mentioned in the rules that you have to take oath either in the name of the god or in the name of the constitution. To this Sadhvi stuck to her point insisting that it is her full name.

After this, the speaker asked her to say her full name, and she against started the oath with her full name as the first time, but this time the Congress MPs started shouting, objecting to the ‘wrong’ name used by the MP to take oath. The speaker asked them to keep quiet, saying that he will get the records checked. He asked the officials for a copy of the victory certification issued by the Election Commission to check the correct name. He said that the name mentioned in the certificate will be considered as the official name which will go in records.

Amid this ruckus, Sadhvi Pragya Singh said ‘first let me take oath in the name of God’, and the speaker stood up from his chair and silenced the Congress MPs. In this opportunity, Pragya Singh restarted her oath for the third time and completed without any further interruptions. But the opposition MPs again started shouting after she had finished, and the speaker again had to reassure them only the official name as per the Election Commission certificate will be kept in the records of the parliament.

It may be noted that her name is mentioned as Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur on the Election Commission website, and her affidavit also mentioned this name. Pragya Singh Thakur was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bhopal parliamentary constituency defeating Congress veteran leader and two-time Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. She is an accused in Malegaon blast case of Maharashtra in which six people were killed more than 10 years ago.

Kerala government intervenes to stop removal of illegal crosses planted at Panchalimedu near Sabarimala: Reports

Govt intervenes to stop removal of crosses
The Trishul placed in front of an illegally planted cross in Panchalimedu, image via Twitter

Today the Kerala government intervened to stop the removal of crosses planted by a Church on encroached land in Panchalimedu, a hill near Sabarimala. Last week a village officer had ordered to demolish and remove the crosses. An FIR has also been registered against a group of unidentified men who had placed a Trishul in front of the illegally planted crosses.

Reportedly, the Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s office directly intervened to stop the removal of the crosses. The Revenue Departement officials had previously ordered the church to remove around 14 crosses from the encroached land, the deadline which ends today.

The St. Mary’s church based at Kanayankavayal in Idukki has claimed to have installed the crosses 65 years ago. The district collector H. Dineshan has said that the crosses would not be removed, despite them being planted on revenue land, as it is a matter of faith. He also added that since this matter involved both the faiths, more pondering is required before making a decision.

Panchalimedu a sacred place for local Hindus named after Panchali/Draupadi, is believed to be a place inhabited by Pandavas during the 12 years of exile. Ayyappa devotees at times choose to climb up this hill to catch a glimpse of the Makaravilakku (holy flame).

The revenue land also includes an ancient Bhuvaneswari temple, under the Travancore Devaswom Board. The board President A Padmakumar said, “the Bhuvaneshwari Devi temple at Panchalimedu is the original location (Moolakshetram) of Valliyangattu temple. Only remnants of the temple are left at the place. We had 269 acres at Panchalimedu which we lost over a period of time. I had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister to initiate steps to recover the land. There are some issues at the place. But the board and the government had been making arrangements for Sabarimala pilgrims to view Makaravilakku from Panchalimedu every year. We have plans to retrieve the land and restore the temple”.

Yesterday, as reported by The New Indian Express, the Idukki RDO M P Vinodh said that a demolition order would be sent to the temple as well. He said, “the crosses and the temple will be demolished with support from the temple and church authorities and if they are not willing, the department will take action”. He said that it was important to remove encroachments so as to better facilitate security arrangements for the Ayyappa devotees.

Two days ago, several images went viral on Twitter that showed a Trishul being placed in front of the crosses. A group of men reportedly came in a vehicle and had placed the Trishul as a sign of protest against the Church. An FIR has been filed by the police, the men are yet to be identified.

Meanwhile, a Hindu activist Prateesh said, “There are not just 14, but hundreds of crosses at Panchalimedu. We have obtained all official records regarding the ownership of land and will file a writ petition before the Kerala High Court for removal of encroachments”.

It is being alleged that the Church was able to encroach upon these sacred lands with the help of the communist government in Kerala. Christian organisations had made a similar attempt to grab the Sabarimala lands in Nilakkal by claiming that they had unearthed a stone cross established by Jesus’ apostle Saint Thomas in 57 A.D.

Bihar Health Minister displays insensitivity, inquires about India-Pakistan match score during meeting on Encephalitis deaths

Mangal Pandey. Image Credit: www.jagran.com

In a shocking display of apathy towards the rising distress over the deaths due to the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, its Health minister, Mangal Pandey was caught on camera being more concerned about the India-Pakistan match rather than the deteriorating situation in the state.

Republic TV broke visuals showing Pandey, during a press briefing held by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Sunday, casually asking how many wickets had been lost by India, in the presence of Vardhan and Choubey, while discussing the ongoing treatment during his visit to the state-owned Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) to review the current health situation on-ground.

While doctors were seen sitting and discussing in the same room along with other media persons, Pandey was visibly more worried about whether the match would continue or not due to the onset of rain in Manchester, UK.

The outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar has become severe as twenty more children succumbed to the fever in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in Muzaffarpur and other districts of Bihar close to 100.

Last week, Pandey had said that according to the team which was formed to ascertain the cause of this disease concluded that sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach were some of the primary causes of AES.

This syndrome is locally called the ‘chamki’ fever. Encephalitis, a rare disease, is an inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the brain. In most cases, a virus causes this inflammation. Most cases happen in children, the elderly, and people with a weakened immune system. It causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches.

Breaking several days of silence, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has also today called an emergency internal meeting to take stock of the situation arisen due to the outbreak of the disease. Reports say that health department senior officials are to be present in the meeting.

Meanwhile, there are reports that a case has been filed against Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey in a court in Muzaffarpur district on charges of negligence leading to the deaths of 82 children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the past fortnight.

Another jolt to Mamata Banerjee as TMC’s Nowpara MLA Sunil Singh, 12 councillors join BJP

Nowpara MLA Sunil Singh and 12 councillors joined BJP
Image via Twitter

In another big blow to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, another local strongman and Nowpara MLA Sunil Singh has joined the BJP, reports ANI.

According to reports, Sunil Singh had flown to New Delhi on Sunday along with 12 Trinamool councillors of the Garulia municipality. Sunil Singh is also the chairman of Garulia municipality. Sunil Singh will join the BJP with the 12 councillors at the BJP headquarters on Monday in the presence of BJP West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior BJP leader Mukul Roy.

Sunil Singh joining the BJP was on the cards after his brother-in-law Arjun Singh, who was earlier a Trinamool MLA of Bhatpara and chairman of the Bhatpara municipality, had also left the party to become a BJP MP. Arjun Singh was given BJP ticket from Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency.

Reportedly, the Garulia municipality has 21 councillors, out of which 19 were from the TMC. As 12 TMC members have decided to join the BJP, the municipality will fall into the hands of the BJP, which already has a majority in Bhatpara and Darjeeling civic bodies.

The trouble for Mamata Banerjee began after her party lost space to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the latter had won 18 seats, increasing its tally from just 2 seats in 2014 elections. Soon after the elections, the MLAs, senior TMC functionaries began to join hands with the BJP. TMC’s Bijpur MLA Shubhranshu Roy joined the party with a Congress and a CPM MLA last month.

Another TMC lawmaker Manirul Islam had also joined the saffron party in presence of BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy recently. Along with Manirul Islam, president of TMC’s youth wing Gadadhar Hazra, the secretary of the same unit Mohammad Asif Iqbal and TMC leader Nimai Das also switched sides to join the BJP.

BJP also took control over three municipalities after the councillors joined the BJP. The municipalities are, Kanchrapara, Halisahara and Naihati.

Uttar Pradesh: Now a 13-year-old boy gang raped by four men in Shahjahanpur

Image Source: Indian express
Minor gang rape

After a series of horrific rapes and murders over the last few days, another case of child rape has been reported from Uttar Pradesh as a teen boy has been allegedly raped this time by four men of his village in the Puwaya area in Shahjahanpur, reported Times Now.

The incident took place on Saturday evening when the four accused forcibly took the 13-year-old boy to an orchard and allegedly raped him, said the police.

According to a report, the victim narrated his ordeal to his family members, who approached the police with a complaint against the four accused, identified as Rehman, Ravi, Gulli and Wasim, the officer said.

Senior police officer Jasvir Singh said a case has been registered against the four accused, who are absconding. The police have launched a manhunt to nab the culprits. The victim was sent for a medical examination.

Over the last few days, reports of crimes, especially sexual abuse against children have been on a rise in the country.

On June 9, a man named Shahnawaj was caught red-handed after he raped a 9-year old Dalit girl. Shahnawaj, a native of the town, had called the victim to his place on the pretext of giving her some clothes. As soon as the victim reached his place, he took her inside a room and allegedly raped her.

Similarly, on June 14, a 55-year-old man, Kalam Ansari was caught raping a 10-year-old girl Meera (name changed) on June 10.

In a similar deplorable incident at Aligarh, a Muslim man named Zahid had brutally choked a minor girl, Tina Sharma (name changed) to death over an argument with her family regarding a small loan amount. The brutal incident had shocked the conscience of the nation.

Zahid had brutally choked Tina with a dupatta (scarf) and hid the body in his house in a straw bag. After three days when the corpse started emitting a foul smell, Zahid threw Tina in a pile of trash. Tina’s body was completely decomposed with her eyes gouged out.

Rahul Gandhi finally arrives in Parliament, but stays true to form and goofs up while taking oath as MP

Ending speculations, Congress president Rahul Gandhi finally arrived at Lok Sabha today after 3 PM, just in time for his turn to take oath as the MP from Wayanad constituency in Kerala.

But the oath taking by the four-time Lok Sabha MP didn’t go smooth. As can be seen on video capturing the moments, after taking oath, Rahul Gandhi forgot to sign on the register. Immediately after reading his oath statement in English, Rahul Gandhi started to walk away from the spot towards his right. While all the other MPs sat down at the table in the middle of the house after reading the statement, signed on the register kept there, and then walked towards their left to the speaker’s chair where they greeted the pro-term speaker. After that, they went behind the speaker’s chair to enter the hall from the other side, in front of the opposition benches.

But Rahul Gandhi was not in the Parliament for the whole day, and perhaps that’s why he didn’t know the protocol. When he started to walk away, a Lok Sabha official had to intervene, who stopped him and told him that he has to sign the register. Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who was sitting next to the PM’s seat on the front row of the treasury benches, was also seeing indicating Rahul Gandhi to return and sign the register. After Rahul Gandhi comes back does the same, the official again instructs Rahul Gandhi that he has to go towards the speaker, and this time the Congress president follows the instructions correctly.

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Interestingly, the official Twitter handle of Congress posted the video of Rahul Gandhi taking oath in Lok Sabha, but they posted an edited video. The Congress party removed the part where the Congress president was leaving after taking the oath and the Lok Sabha official stopped him.

Church in Thanjavur prevents residents of Nirmala Nagar from constructing a Ganesha temple on community land

Thanjavur Church opposes temple construction
Representational Image, source: Facebook-priest of Thanjavur Diocese)

Tamil Nadu: A few days ago, a Church in Thanjavur opposed and prevented the construction of a Ganesha temple by the residents of Nirmala Nagar. The temple was to be constructed on a plot reserved for the residents of Nirmala Nagar as ascertained by the judgement of the Madras High Court. Despite this, the Church opposes the construction claiming that it is their private property.

Reportedly, the residents of Nirmala Nagar had made all the preparations required for constructing the temple and were digging the ground to lay down the first stone. However, the Church forced them to stop the work, flaring up communal tensions. The police hoping to resolve the situation amicably arranged talks between the two communities. Currently, the Hindu Munnani is in talks with the Church and as of now, they are yet to settle the dispute.

The Thanjavur Diocese Society had filed a petition against the residents of Nirmala Nagar in an attempt to prevent the residents from using the plot. The disputed plot is divided into three parts- A, B and C and was earmarked for usage by the residents of Nirmala Nagar. The plot-A with an area of 8,057 sq.ft was used by the petitioner to build a Church. The plot-B (26,400 sq.ft.) and plot-C (30,710 sq.ft) continued to be the reserved area for community use.

The reserved plot has a playground, Municipal bore well and also a summer storage tank for storing drinking water for the residents. The residents filed an injunction suit after they found out that the Church had tried to put up a fence in an attempt to convert the reserved plot and to sell them to third parties.

The Madurai district bench of the Madras High Court in 2008 had delivered a judgement in favour of the Nirmala Nagar residents. It said that the disputed plot has been clearly used for several public purposes such as the opening of a vegetable market and the drinking water arrangements made by the Municipality. The Church knew of this fact and never objected to it before. The court also noted that as per Article 21 “Right to live with human dignity” of the Indian Constitution, which includes protection of health and right to clean environment, the disputed plot should be kept open for community use so that the children and other residents of Nirmal Nagar may have a healthy life.

Following this, the Thanjavur Diocese Society had filed a review petition in 2009. The High Court in 2017 had dismissed the petition saying that the courts had come to a clear finding that “the petitioner made an attempt to convert the plot reserved for community purpose for a private purpose”.

Several churches in India have been accused of land grabbing. In Kerala, a Church has been accused of planting crosses over the sacred forest land of Panchalimedu near Sabarimala, allegedly with the help of the communist government. Recently, a village officer has ordered that the crosses are to be demolished and removed by Monday.

West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee’s fiefdom crumbling as first doctors now teachers take to streets against state authorities

Image Courtesy: International Business Times

Trouble seems to be mounting for West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, as first the state doctors and now the state teachers, have taken to the streets to protest against the authoritarianism under Mamata Banerjee’s regime.

Today, the Mayur Bhawan island in Bidhannagar/ Salt Lake area, a municipal corporation of North 24 Parganas district, Kolkata, turned into a battlefield as unnumbered teachers heading towards the State Education Minister’ office in Bikash Bhavan were interrupted by the Bidhannagar police. Ugly clashes ensued between the teachers and the state police.

The teachers broke barricades and charged at the police who were trying to stop them from proceeding towards Bikash Bhawan to meet the Partha Chatterjee, the Minister for Education and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs of the Government of West Bengal to demand a salary hike. The police, in turn, resorted to lathi charge in order to intimidate the mob.

Though few teachers have reportedly been injured in the onslaught, they managed to reach Bikash Bhawan, and currently are protesting and sloganeering in front of the building, demanding their requirement of a hike in salary, which was promised to them by Mamata Banerjee but not yet fulfilled, is met.

On April 3, 2019, 350 government school computer had agitated with the state police in Minto Park area in Kolkata. They were also there to demand higher pay when the cops wielded lathis at the agitators turning the protest into a violent one.

Over 30000 teachers employed in Shishu Shiksha Kendras (SSKs) and Madhyamik Shiksha Kendras (MSKs) had earlier on March 7, 2019, also blocked the road to Bikash Bhavan, the office of the Education Minister, West Bengal, demanding that their honorariums be increased.

Around 10,000 SSK and MSK teachers had been agitating at Bidhan Nagar, Kolkata since March 1, protesting against the current government’s refusal to increase their honorariums since the past seven years. All Bengal Teachers’ Association has extended their support to the protesting SSK and MSK teachers.

Rekha Das Giri, an SSK teacher, or ‘sahayika’, as they are called had then said, “I have been working as an SSK teacher since 2003. Back then, our honorarium was Rs 1,000. The Left Front government gradually hiked it to Rs 5,954 by 2010. Our dearness allowance was also increased every three years. But the Trinamool Congress government has even stopped paying us the DA.”

She had also stated that, seven years ago, during the Left Front government in the state, the honorarium for the SSK and MSK teachers was Rs 5,954 and Rs 8,854, respectively. The amount has remained the same since then.

The state government’s position in West Bengal under Mamata’ autocracy, seems to be crumbling as previously the doctors and now the teachers raise their voices of dissent against the state leadership.

Congress shields the clown prince, Praveen Chakravarty becomes the scapegoat for Rahul Gandhi’s electoral disaster

Congress President Rahul Gandhi

The Sunday Guardian article which made startling revelations that the Congress party and the party president was allegedly conned by his own team of trusted lieutenants into believing that the party was clearly winning the Lok Sabha elections and Rahul Gandhi was definitely becoming the Prime Minister of India.

The report revealed how his ‘Big Data’ head, Praveen Chakravarty billed the party Rs 24 crore for his services and has since been untraceable. Not only he ended up providing dubious and misleading data to the party president but also never gave a copy of the disc where he had collected the data, said the report. Chakravarty was the founding trustee of the dubious database with faulty ‘fact-checker’, IndiaSpend.

Since the news of his allegedly conning the Congress party went viral on social media, more and more stories and claims relating to him have since come forward. A report published by Economic Times throws more light on the same. As per the ET report, Chakravarty sent an email to the data analytics department of Congress detailing his reflections on how his shady data failed to give correct projections for Congress. Chakravarty washes his hands off the poll debacle and says how there is nothing much we (data analytics department) could have done. The mail reportedly did not mention the failure of Shakti app, Congress’ data app, from trying to read the Modi wave in the second term.

ET report mentions how Congress has become an echo-chamber where everyone concerned tells the party president what he wants to hear. As per a party functionary, about 30-40% data in an earlier variation of Shakti app was fake in Karnataka, where it was launched before the May 2018 state assembly elections. Three months later, when Shakti app was launched, focus was on volume of data collected. A competition was also held where the one who collected most data would get to meet the party President Rahul Gandhi. Without checks in place, more fake data was collected. As per the report, about 50-70% of the data collected through Shakti app was fake.

As per the report, the access to the Shakti app was tightly controlled and even within the team members didn’t know what the other member was working on. The article then states how a private individual, one William Chitla, an associate of Chakravarty’s and a Bengaluru based IT-entrepreneur along with Chakravarty was at one point calling the shots regarding Shakti app. However, as per ET, Chitla has denied having been associated with Shakti app. ET journalist who reported this story shared on Twitter the questions he had sent to Chakravarty as well but he claims he has not received any response yet.

So much was the lack of coordination that the Congress IT cell, which didn’t get any data from the data analytics team, ran its own parallel data research and even hired a British polling agency, ‘You-Gov’. The report, without naming any senior functionary within the Congress, says that Chakravarty fed the Rafale controversy into Rahul Gandhi’s head but a lot of senior leaders didn’t really follow the Rafale bogey Rahul was riding on.

Meanwhile, Robert Vadra’s relative and Congress supporter Tehseen Poonawalla took to Twitter to reveal how he had once red-flagged Chakravarty’s grip over Congress.

He even floated conspiracy theory that some people within Congress itself want Rahul Gandhi ousted and hence set him up for it.

He even suggested Rahul Gandhi’s teammates are afraid of ‘alpha humans’, perhaps referring to himself as one.

Meanwhile, after maintaining stoic silence for almost a month over social media, Praveen Chakravarty today took to Twitter to refute all the allegations in the media and said that he and his team continue to operate out of the Congress headquarters as usual.

He called these reports ‘lies’ and ‘plain rubbish’.

From the report in Sunday Guardian and the current Economic Times report and everything which is being discussed on social media, one thing comes out clearly is that the grand old party seems keen on pushing the blame on to someone, anyone except the party leadership. In Chakravarty, they seem to have found a perfect scapegoat. Rahul Gandhi is portrayed as the gullible one who got taken for a ride by Chakravarty and everyone else. How does he then expect the voters to take him seriously as a leader who could lead a country of 1.3 billion? That he is so weak that he cannot apply his own brains?

How does the so-called fake data in Shakti app and said data mainpulation by Chakravarty explain Rahul Gandhi’s loss from Amethi, a place which voted for the Nehru-Gandhi family, election after election, purely out of emotional connect? How does this explain Congress losing all the seats in Rajasthan, where the party is in power in state? And what explains the other high-profile leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijaya Singh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily losing?

To quote Congress President himself, the emperor was naked but nobody around him had the courage to tell him.

Afternoon session of the first day of 17th Lok Sabha session is here, and Rahul Gandhi hasn’t made an appearance yet

Congress President Rahul Gandhi

As the first session of the newly elected Parliament and the 17th Lok Sabha began from Monday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, a member of parliament from Wayanad constituency did not attend the parliament, raising questions over his respect for democratic values and traditions.

Rahul Gandhi, the President of the principal opposition party, was found missing during the morning session on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha session. Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with senior party members in his residence, including his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi. It was reported that the Congress President may visit the parliament later in the day to take oath as the member of the parliament.

It was expected that Rahul Gandhi, being the leader of the largest opposition, would be attending the parliament in the afternoon session despite giving a miss to the most important morning session of the first day of the newly elected parliament. However, Rahul Gandhi is absent even in the afternoon session of the Lok Sabha.

Reportedly, Rahul Gandhi has now returned back to India from his week-long vacation to London. After the humiliating defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had flown to London to ward off any criticism post the Lok Sabha election defeat.

Rahul Gandhi’s absence from the lower house was widely criticised on social media. Even Congress friendly journalists and political commentators had questioned the move. Reacting to such criticism, Rahul Gandhi tweeted to inform that he will attend Parliament today afternoon and take oath as an MP from Kerala.

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Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind administered the Oath of Office to Virendra Kumar as Pro-tem Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Virendra Kumar will oversee the oath-taking of newly elected Lok Sabha members on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, as soon as a new speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha is elected, his role will cease to exist.

Interestingly, Kodikunnil Suresh, a Congress MP from Kerala, was the second member of the house to take oath after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also surprised everyone by taking oath in Hindi. It is speculated that Suresh could be the leader of the Congress Party in Lok Sabha. He was followed by senior ministers of the government to take the oath, after which MPs started taking oath state wise.

The prime minister addressed the media before the inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha said, “We are working to fulfil people’s aspirations. New friends will join today and they will bring new energy. The role of an active Opposition is important. The opposition need not bother about their numbers. I hope they will speak actively and participate in house proceedings.”

BJP MPs from Bengal take oath as Members of Lok Sabha amidst chants of “Jai Shri Ram”

New Bengal MPs take oath amidst chants of Jai Sri Ram
West Bengal Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee, Courtesy: firstpost.com

Members of the 17th Lok Sabha took oath today in the Lower House of the Parliament. The elected representative of the Bharatiya Janata Party from West Bengal took their oaths amidst chants of “Jai Shri Ram”.

Debasree Chaudhuri, Minister of State for Ministry of Women and Child Development, too, took her oath amidst rousing chants of “Jai Shri Ram” in the Lok Sabha.

“Jai Shri Ram” has become a battle cry in West Bengal with Bengalis raising the slogan in protest against the oppressive policies of the Trinamool government in the state. The BJP was able to increase its tally to a whopping 18 from a mere 2 in the previous general elections.

Political violence against those who chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become increasingly frequent too in the state. As a consequence, Bengalis have started chanting the slogan in front of Mamata Banerjee as she passes by. She has displayed a tendency of becoming overly agitated with the slogans and even had the Police arrest those who raised the slogans.

While the Mamata government is currently busy fighting Doctors on the streets, the chants being raised in the Parliament while BJP leaders from Bengal are being perceived as a symbol of the state slipping away from TMC’s hold.

Allegations of ‘Savarna Brahmin conspiracy’ and ‘Coup attempt’ against protesting doctors is an indictment of Democracy itself

Image Source: Indian Express

The Bengal Health Crisis is into its seventh day. After antagonizing the medical fraternity with her threats, Mamata Banerjee will finally be meeting with representatives of various medical institutions at 3.00 p.m. on Monday.

Under such circumstances, as normal services in hospitals across the country have been affected, numerous narratives are being peddled by people from expected quarters to shield the West Bengal Chief Minister and whitewash the events of Monday night. Past crimes that have been committed by members of the medical fraternity are being highlighted at the moment to tarnish the intentions of the current protests.

A lie that is being spread is that Emergency Services have been shut down in Hospitals. It’s completely untrue and Hospitals in even West Bengal have not shut down Emergency Services. Through the entire series of protests, they have been kept open contrary to the claims that are being made.

A caste angle is also being pushed. Some people on social media are questioning why there was no protest from the medical community when Payal Tadvi, a junior doctor, committed suicide allegedly after suffering casteist abuse from her seniors. Ostensibly, it appears to be a case of comparing apples and oranges. In the case of Tadvi, arrests were promptly made and the law would take its own course. The Police was quick to act as well.

In Kolkata, on Monday night, the Police stood by and watched as a Muslim mob arrived in Trucks at the NRS Medical College and Hospital and attacked the doctors and interns. Two interns suffered life-threatening injuries while numerous others were injured. Imagine a situation where the family of a patient who passed away due to natural causes owing to his old age triggered them enough to attack the medical fraternity and they could actually summon truckloads of people to attack a medical institution while the Police simply watched.

It’s a catastrophic failure of the state machinery and the medical fraternity has every right to feel angry. Since then, numerous other attacks have occurred in medical institutions across the state and more doctors and students have suffered injuries. Two rooms were actually set on fire at the Calcutta National Medical College. Since the events of Monday night, the state government has done absolutely nothing to assuage the concerns of the medical fraternity and the Chief Minister actually threatened them instead. Therefore, to even compare the situation with Payal Tadvi’s unfortunate death is quite absurd.

Attempts are also being made to portray the entire medical fraternity as casteist with some even insinuating that doctors discriminate against their patients on the basis of caste. Some call the strikes a ‘Sanghi Conspiracy’ while others have labelled it ‘Savarna-Brahmin Conspiracy’. It has also been branded a ‘coup attempt by Savarna Medical students’ to enforce a regime change in Bengal at the behest of the Central government’. ‘The doctor vanguards of savarna counter-revolution’ must be defeated, we are told, and Mamata Banerjee ought to “deploy the TMC affiliated labour unions to cut off food and water supplies to these reactionaries”.

And all of this for what? Because doctors want the state machinery to do its job of protecting them and punish the guilty, they seek accountability from the state government that has failed them. It again brings me to an argument I had made in an earlier article where I had asserted that our culture has been so corrupted by democratic politics that we cannot look beyond our petty political concerns even in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.

The concerns of the doctors are quite legitimate. How is it that truckloads of people could have the audacity to attack a medical institution and escape without any repercussions at all? What was the Police doing the entire time? Why is the state government so hesitant to address the concerns of the medical fraternity? Why did the Chief Minister threaten them into submission?

Was it vote-bank politics the reason why the Police were allegedly so hesitant to take action against the mob as they belonged to the Muslim community? What action has been taken against the perpetrators of the attacks? Why is it that since Monday night, a series of attacks have been carried out at medical institutions across the state? There are allegations that Trinamool leaders are themselves threatening the medical fraternity and are involved in the series of attacks, do these allegations hold any merit?

These are the questions everyone ought to be asking in one voice at this point. Instead, some people are comparing the brutal mob attack with the Payal Tadvi case, something that was entirely different, and others are calling it a Sanghi and a Savarna-Brahmin conspiracy. Lies are being spread that Emergency Services have been shut down. Why is it that the intellectual elite that constantly boasts about speaking truth to power choosing to attack the protesting doctors instead of the state government?

There is no doubt that patients are indeed suffering as a consequence of the strikes. However, the sole responsibility for it lies at the feet of the state government. It’s the government’s responsibility to provide safety and security to everyone. When they fail, and they clearly have failed here, questions will be raised. The situation could have been resolved instantly if the state government had chosen to act swiftly, punish the guilty and hold the incompetent Policemen accountable.

Instead, the Chief Minister chose the path of confrontation and intimidation. She actually derailed ongoing discussions for a speedy resolution. There should be no doubt about who the guilty party is here. But some people due to their personal politics are casting aspersions on the medical fraternity instead.

It is indeed one of the fundamental flaws of Democracy that the system itself provides incentives for chaos and unruly behaviour. It also causes people to play Politics with matters that shouldn’t be politicized. The events that have transpired in Kolkata since Monday night and the ever deteriorating state of law and order in West Bengal reflects the institution of Democracy in extremely poor light and captures its inefficiencies at its worst.

Supreme Court to hear plea for safety, security of doctors at government hospitals on June 18

SC to hear doctors' plea for safety tomorrow
Supreme Court of India

The Supreme court on Monday confirmed that it will hear the plea seeking safety and security of doctors in government hospitals across the country on June 18.

A vacation bench comprising of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the matter for Tuesday hearing after the counsel appearing for the petitioner, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, sought an urgent hearing of the plea which was filed on Friday in the wake of protests by doctors in West Bengal.

West Bengal has turned into a hornet’s nest after doctors from various state-run medical colleges and hospitals resigned en masse following the apathy shown by the state authorities towards the assaulted and agitating doctors of West Bengal.

Initially, the West Bengal doctors crisis began as a small protest by a group of junior doctors at the state-run SSKM Hospital after doctors and interns at the NRS Hospital were brutally attacked by a mob on the premises of the hospital because a patient named Mohammed Sayeed reportedly died of natural causes.

However, due to the state government’s insensitivity towards the assaulted doctors, the protest gradually took a nationwide dimension with doctors from all across the country pouring in with their support and raising voices of dissent against the West Bengal government.

The CM aggravated the situation by threatening the doctors and by asserting that the doctors protesting are ‘outsiders’. Following which there were mass resignations from doctors across the state. Adding insult to the injury CM Mamata Banerjee had also accused protesting doctors of hurling abuses at her.

Both the West Bengal governor and the Calcutta High court had intervened asking the CM to resolve the issue at the earliest.

Moreover, the petition filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava also sought directions to Union ministries of home affairs and health and West Bengal to depute government-appointed security personnel at all state-run hospitals across the country to ensure safety and security of doctors.

Due to the protests, the healthcare services in the country have been badly disrupted and many people are dying because of the absence of doctors, the plea states.

In his PIL, Srivastava contended as per a study conducted by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), more than 75% of doctors across the country have faced at least some form of violence. This study concluded that 50 per cent of violent incidents took place in the Intensive Care Unit of hospitals, and in 70% of cases, the relatives of the patients were actively involved.

“The doctors are our saviours and particularly those working in government hospitals are doing great national service, especially to the poor and downtrodden of this country, in extremely adverse circumstances,” the petition stated.

Seeking stern proceedings in Kolkata incident, the petitioner pointed out that grave injury was being caused to the public at large due to “legislative vacuum and inaction” on the part of the government in such cases.

Match Preview, Bangladesh vs West Indies: Both teams in a tight spot to keep hopes alive

Its a do or die match for both the Bangladesh and West Indies
Image courtesy: ICC

A crucial match between the two teams as a win here will keep the hopes alive for the semi-final spot. Both the sides have 3 points each after playing four games in the tournament.

Bangladesh must be pretty disappointed as their last game was washed out against Sri Lanka, one of the weakest team of the tournament. But since the weather is not in their hands, they must perform on the field and win the match.

Bangladesh certainly looks to be a better team than West Indies, as they have better batsmen (if not the hardest hitters of a cricketing ball), an excellent combination of pace and spin attack. They beat West Indies in similar conditions last month in tri-series in Ireland.

West Indian players need to apply their minds before going full monty against the bowlers. They have lost too many wickets in the middle overs in search of boundaries. They can’t have a better chance to uplift their game. Bangladesh is a good team, but the West Indies can beat them if they don’t play for the gallery and think from a team’s perspective.

Players to watch out

Shakib Al Hasan, the inform batsman, and bowler too. He has scored 260 runs already in the tournament and Bangladesh would be expecting him to perform once again for the team in a do or die situation.

Andre Russell, who had an outstanding IPL but an average World Cup so far. He had thrown his wicket when the team was cruising for a victory against Australia. He must play sensible cricket and wait for the right time for the onslaught against the opposition, and if he does, Bangladesh will be in big trouble.

The weather at Taunton is expected to be sunny and windy.

Bangladesh v West Indies in ODIs:

Overall: Matches 37, Bangladesh Won 14, West Indies 21 No Result 2

World Cup: Matches 4, Bangladesh won 0, West Indies won 3, No Result 1

Recent Form (most recent first): Bangladesh NR L L W W, West Indies L NR L W L

ICC Rankings: Bangladesh (8), West Indies (7)

Upcoming Records:

Mahmudullah has scored 491 runs in World Cup and needs nine more to reach the 500 runs milestone in the World Cup.

Shakib has taken 26 wickets in World Cup and needs four more to become the 1st Bangladeshi bowler to reach the 30 wickets milestone in the World Cup

Squads:

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal.

West Indies – Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.

Watch: Giant slayer Smriti Irani takes oath as MP of Amethi, gets the longest applause by members of parliament

Smriti Irani courtesy: thewire.in

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, many a giants and dynasts were slain. The one battle that stood out was that of Amethi, the constituency that has been the bastion of the Gandhi dynasty. Smriti Irani fought a valiant fight and defeated the reigning MP from Amethi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi. On the first day of the Parliament session today, Smriti Irani was greeted with a long spell of applause when she walked up to take oath as an MP.

As can be seen, while Smriti Irani walked up to take the oath, the lower house erupted in applause for the MP of Amethi.

This would be Smriti Irani’s debut in the Lower House. While she was nominated as the MP in Rajya Sabha, this is the first time that the BJP leader has won an election.

In 2019, she defeated Rahul Gandhi from Amethi which is notably a key Congress bastion, by 55120 votes. In Modi Cabinet 2.0, she has been appointed as the Union Minister of Women and Child Development. Previously, she was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha in 2011 and was re-elected to Rajya Sabha in 2017.

Besides Smriti Irani, Prime Minister Modi too was greeted with thundering applause as he took oath as a Member of Parliament.

Bihar: After 20 more children succumb to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in the last 24 hours, death toll rises to 100

Children showing the symptoms of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) being treated at a hospital in Muzaffarpur. Courtesy: Livemint

The outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the country has become severe as twenty more children succumbed to the fever in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in Muzaffarpur and other districts of Bihar close to 100.

This syndrome is locally called the ‘chamki’ fever. Encephalitis, a rare disease, is an inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the brain. In most cases, a virus causes this inflammation. Most cases happen in children, the elderly, and people with a weakened immune system. It causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions and headaches.

Last week, Bihar Health Minister, Mangal Pandey said that according to the team which was formed to ascertain the cause of this disease concluded that sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach were some of the primary causes of AES.

According to the Superintendent of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) Sunil Kumar Shahi, “death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur has risen to 100”. Most of the casualties are between the age group of 1-10.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the SKMCH in Muzaffarpur on Sunday where the maximum number of children have died in the last two weeks due to the Syndrome.

Sources confirmed that almost three children died during Vardhan’s four-hour visit, leaving the minister and other official terrified.

“The doctors here at the hospital are doing their best under such a difficult situation in treating the children. A multi-disciplinary institute will be set up here in the next year to identify the reason behind this disease,” Harsh Vardhan said.

The Union Minister, in another review meeting, which took place before he left for New Delhi, assured the relatives of the affected children that, “The government will leave no stone unturned to contain it at the earliest. All possible measures are being taken for the purpose,” he said.

According to the official data, while 83 children had died at the SKMCH, 17 deaths had been recorded at the Kejriwal Matrisadan since January this year. Currently, 290 patients were being treated at the two hospitals. In 2014, a similar AES outbreak had claimed 379 lives.

In the wake of this epidemic, the Cheif Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar had earlier announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to families of the deceased.

He had also given directions to the health department, district administrators and the doctors to take necessary measures to fight the disease.

That you have lost readership and your peers doubt you, is not our problem: Read our response to Swati Chaturvedi’s defamation notice

Read OpIndia.com's response to the defamation notice served by Swati Chaturvedi

Recently, OpIndia.com got a legal notice from abusive media troll Swati Chaturvedi. Reproduced below is our response to the legal notice in full. At the onset, we would like to reiterate that such intimidatory tactics won’t work with OpIndia. We reject the charges made by Swati Chaturvedi and will fight the case in court if push comes to shove. 

We are in receipt of the ‘defamation notice’ served on M/s Aadhyaasi Media & Content Services Private Limited, OpIndia.com, Editor Nupur Jhunjhunwala Sharma and others on behalf of your client Ms Swati Chaturvedi.

In the legal notice, you mention that your client is a ‘journalist of high repute, standing and eminence’. In support of this claim, you have mentioned names of various publications where Swati Chaturvedi has worked in the last 20 years. You have also highlighted the fact that she has not faced any charges throughout her career as an ‘investigative journalist. You also cite the instance of her winning an award in 2018.

Part of legal notice sent by Swati Chaturvedi

While we are not contesting that her career could be over two decades long – which is quite an achievement for her – but we want to humbly submit that mere instance of winning an award does not make someone of high repute, standing, and eminence. We rely on the thinking of Ms Chaturvedi herself to make this submission. We want to bring to your notice that Ms Chaturvedi has on many occasions, especially on social media, mocked awards like Philip Kotler award to Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Padma Bhushan award to renowned actor Anupam Kher, National Film Award to renowned actress Raveena Tandon, and even awards to fellow journalists, thus signalling that just winning an award is no proof of repute, standing and eminence.

Furthermore, we are assuming that by mentioning that “she has not faced any charges”, you mean that there are no legal cases pending against Ms Chaturvedi in any court of law. However, this is not true. She has been slapped with a defamation case for accusing a man of “being arrested for sexual harassment” when he never was.

If we leave aside legal cases, Ms Chaturvedi actually faces many charges – in general parlance and not in legal terms – of using foul language, of bad journalism, and of bad practices – some of which are mentioned hereafter in the course of replying to your legal notice.

In your notice, you have alluded to a specific article called “Swati Chaturvedi may be delusional: Sources”. You have accused OpIndia.com, saying that we “falsely stated that Swati Chaturvedi works with the Leftist propaganda website, The Wire, with an intention to defame our client”.

Since Swati Chaturvedi has on several occasions written for The Wire, we do not think the assertion that she works with The Wire is a defamatory statement. In fact, your notice itself puts the name of The Wire among the list of publications she has “worked with”.

Part of legal notice sent by Swati Chaturvedi

However, if Swati Chaturvedi thinks that being associated with The Wire defames her irreparably, we sympathise and apologise for the same.

You have further stated in your legal notice that our article, alleging that she gets accused of plagiarism or gets called out for blatant lies and fabrication is incorrect, and that we had no basis to put that information, and that our intent was to defame your client in the eyes of her peers. You had also mentioned that according to us, your client runs an extortion racket and that is untrue as well.

We would like to contest each of your points separately.

1) Plagiarism

Stanley Pignal a journalist with The Economist, had accused Swati Chaturvedi of plagiarising excerpts of his tweets. Pignal put out a tweet to provide proof for his accusations. You can read the details here. Interestingly, Swati had allegedly plagiarised content in an article that spoke of journalistic integrity. We have merely reported the charges levelled by Stanley Pignal and we did not sit in any judgment. Further, this proves that there was a basis when we wrote that Swati Chaturvedi had been accused of plagiarism.

2) Blatant lies and fabrication

Your client published a news report about actor Leonardo Di Caprio being invited to an RSS event, which had no real basis. Expectedly, it turned out to be false. She falsely claimed an image of a girl beaten up by a jilted man as being an image capturing violence in Benaras Hindu University. She has fabricated statements of a national leader on national television.

She has spread lies about a simple speech by Amit Shah, the BJP Party President. She has given credence to fake news, from a dubious website. She earlier spread false claims that Kanhaiyya Kumar attacker was a BJP office-bearer.

Therefore, it indeed is true that she gets accused of blatant lies and fabrication often, however, we are willing to concede that most of the charges against her are not of legal nature because the affected parties never deemed the case or her important enough to send her legal notices.

3) Extortion Racket

The extortion charge was made by a website named PGurus, not by OpIndia. The PGurus article was published in April 2018 and our original report covering this charge was published around the same time. This is not a charge levelled by OpIndia, and we want to reiterate that we have just reported charges made by another portal.

You can read our report here, that cites PGurus. The original PGurus report can be read here (this hasn’t been retracted yet). In fact, several other people including Director Vivek Agnihotri had tweeted the PGurus article and pointed out that Swati Chaturvedi’s name appeared in the list. However, no legal action was taken against any of the parties involved. We will update our article when the original source, namely PGurus, updates theirs.

4) Defame Swati in the eyes of her peers

Some of Swati Chaturvedi’s peers have claimed to us in private that she was fired from Hindustan Times for faking an interview of former Defence Minister George Fernandes. If our intention was to damage her reputation among her peers, we’d have always included this claim while mentioning her in our reports, crediting this claim to “sources” as your client often does in her reportage.

However, we have not done that, because we are not on any mission to damage her reputation. Further, this also suggests that her reputation among her peers was not so great, to begin with, and OpIndia can’t be deemed responsible for any perceived loss of that by your client.

Your notice further refers to one of our articles “The Wire and its ‘star journalist’ peddles another absurd lie about RSS and it’s not the first time” and claims that it was published with definite intentions to defame our client.

Part of legal notice sent by Swati Chaturvedi

We would like to assert, unequivocally that OpIndia.com stands by this article, and the intention was to critique the article and not defame the author.

In the aforesaid article, your client had written:

“The RSS has been told by Modi and Shah that when the BJP comes back, the constitution will be tweaked to reflect India’s new majoritarian ethos and the secularism which they all hate will be excised.”

Your client provides no proof to back her allegations other than rhetoric and of course, her famed “sources”. Our article is actually far less defamatory if at all one can argue it to be, than the original article by your client, which accuses a very prominent social organisation of working on some grand conspiracy. Our claim that it was lie can be gauged from the fact that one of the first decisions of the new Modi government was about minority welfare, in complete contrast with any majoritarian ethos.

When our article said that “It is not the first time”, that aspect is also true and we stand by it. In 2018, your client had written that with RSS’ second in command Suresh Joshi’s term coming to end in March, he was likely to be replaced by Dattatreya Hosabale who is supposed to be close to PM Modi.

In the resultant analysis, your client claimed that the implications of this change would be “huge” for RSS and the BJP. One such claim made was that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Suresh Joshi share the view that RSS cannot play second fiddle to the BJP, but if Hosabale became the second in command then the balance of power will skew towards PM Modi. The author even alleged that Hosabale has risen meteorically through the ranks after Modi became PM.

As we know, in 2018, Suresh Joshi was re-elected as RSS’ General Secretary or “Sarkaryavah” by the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, which is the organisation’s highest decision-making body.

In your notice, you mention that even in this article of ours, we have reiterated the charges of plagiarism. We reiterate that the charges of plagiarism were levied by another journalist and we only reported that.

Further, you mention that after reading the articles published by OpIndia.com, Swati Chaturvedi was pained to learn that her peers doubted her bonafide and that she has lost readership because of our articles. We would like to thank Swati Chaturvedi yet again for confirming that her peers read and trust OpIndia.com.

Part of legal notice sent by Swati Chaturvedi

In so far as the amount of Rs. 50,00,000 demanded by your client in way of ‘damages’ for ‘mental agony’ and ‘loss of reputation’ unless we delete our articles, we would like to categorically state that since the allegations against us are not valid, we don’t consider it relevant that any money should be paid to your client.

Part of legal notice sent by Swati Chaturvedi

We are given to believe that Ms Swati Chaturvedi believes in freedom of express, freedom of the press and does not believe that articles written by journalists in criticism can cost anyone their reputation.

Recently, Ms Chaturvedi had slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for arresting a former journalist for making derogatory comments against the UP CM Yogi Adityanath.

We would like to reiterate the famous quote she plugged that read: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.

We surely are guilty of telling your client Swati Chaturvedi and many other journalists things that they do not want to hear. As demonstrated by your client herself, this is liberty and not defamation.

In the end, we’d like to reiterate that we are not running any personal agenda against Swati Chaturvedi, but the same can’t be said with surely about Swati. She has been relentlessly commenting about OpIndia and people connected with OpIndia in a disparaging and abusive way on social media and in her book. We’ve got a list of over a 100 (and counting) links of her social media posts and book that we could produce in a court of law in support of our claims.

In all our articles on OpIndia that feature her, we have only highlighted her hypocrisy (of using abusive language while terming others ‘trolls’) and various issues with her reportage (her reports often turning out to be untrue) and conduct in the virtual world, which are based on publicly available material.

Here is how PM Modi mocked Congress and Rahul Gandhi while calling for an all-party meeting

PM Modi's statement of 'parties without presidents' might have been a jibe against Congress
Rahul Gandhi, PM Narendra Modi

While encouraging all parties to attend the June 19 meeting, PM Modi has stated, “Even parties without a president should attend.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be chairing a meeting of presidents of all parties represented in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha on June 19 to discuss the issue of ‘one nation, one election’.

While PM Modi’s words were viewed by some as a dig at the Congress after Rahul Gandhi’s decision to quit as AICC chief, others felt it was to clarify that outfits like CPI and CPM, which do not have the president post, were also invited.

The fate of the Congress party is still in a state of flux. Uncertainty still looms around the post of its party President. Nearly three and half weeks after the declaration of Lok Sabha results, there is no clarity over whether Rahul Gandhi will continue as Congress President or not. While the CWC has refused Rahul Gandhi’s resignation, Gandhi scion is sticking to his stance and wants the party to choose a new chief.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Parliament session, Congress has maintained that Rahul will continue as the party president. Last week, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had said, “He was, is and will remain as the President of the Indian National Congress.”

These remarks were made after the party met, under the leadership of AK Antony to discuss the party’s strategy and preparation for the upcoming assembly elections in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

Reiterating the same, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi later said, “I will not say anything more than what my party said earlier. Take this as my repetition, adoption, endorsement and reaffirmation of Shri Surjewala’s statement made on Wednesday.”

Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi, who wanted to resign as the party president earlier and had tendered his resignation to the Congress Committee, of which, he is the Chairperson too, was not present at this strategy meeting and neither was his mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

For weeks after the Congress failed to stop PM Narendra Modi’s electoral march, Rahul Gandhi had played out an elaborate drama where he had pretended to want to take responsibility for the poll loss. He had tendered his resignation which was rejected. He had then reportedly said that he was steadfast in his decision to resign. However, now it is apparent that the Congress party doesn’t seem to mind sacrificing its electoral relevance as long as a member of the Gandhi Dynasty is spearheading the sinking ship.

India-Pak match: Rohit credited success to newly born daughter while Sarfaraz refuses to blame the seniors for the defeat

On and off field, Rohit enjoys the day ©Getty Images

In the post-match press conference, Sarfaraz Ahmed looked dull and disappointed but confident of making into the World Cup semis.

Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, was relaxed and his cheeky reply to the Pakistani reporter made everyone laugh.

In the 90s, other than the World Cup, Pakistan won most of the contest against India. The fortunes have now turned in India’s favour. “In the ’90s Pakistan had the upper hand, but definitely at the moment India is a better team than Pakistan that’s why India wins more matches,” said Sarfaraz

On asking if he had also wanted to bat first after seeing the result, Sarfaraz backed his decision of bowling first in overcast condition.

“I think we won a good toss. I think we didn’t capitalize on that; when we saw the pitch, there was a little bit of moisture on the pitch, we (wanted to use) the conditions. I think we didn’t hit the right areas,” said Sarfaraz.

Sarfaraz refused to blame the seniors for the loss against India, “I don’t think you can talk about only the senior players, I think you have to talk about the whole team. I think the whole team is not performing well in all three departments, not fielding, not bowling, and not batting.”

From the Indian side, Rohit Sharma attended the press conference.

Rohit’s cheeky reply upon asking what will he suggest to Pakistani batsman to come out from the present crisis, prompted the whole room to burst into laughter.

“Agar main Pakistan ka coach bana to main bataunga, abhi kya bataunga! (If I become the coach of Pakistan then surely I will tell you. What can I say now!),” he said to everyone’s amusement.

Rohit is the most successful IPL captain; he has won 4 IPL titles, including the one he won in May this year. Rohit gave credit to his newly born daughter for the recent success.

“It’s just the space I’m in right now; having a newly born daughter in my life has put me in a really good space. I am enjoying my cricket coming off from a great IPL campaign. Here we were focussed on starting well, and I think as a team, we are heading in the right direction,” said Rohit.

LokSatta and Karan Thapar scolded by Press Council of India for peddling fake news against the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Lok Satta, the Marathi daily of the Indian Express group and journalist Karan Thapar were pulled up by the Press Council of India (PCI), the self-regulatory watchdog of the press, for publishing fake news about RSS chief Dr Mohan Bhagwat.

According to Organiser, the PCI has slammed the media group for spreading fake news after it had published a hit job article written by journalist Karan Thapar, one of the oldest members of the Congress-backed Lutyens system against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat by attributing fake quotes to him.

Along with Karan Thapar, the editor of the Loksatta Girish Kuber wrote an editorial containing a fake quote of the RSS chief.

The Sangh had organised a three-day lecture series named ‘Bhavishya ka Bharat’ in New Delhi in 2018, where RSS chief had participated in an interactive session. The ‘non-partisan’ media group deliberately misquoted Mohan Bhagwat in an editorial, on September 21, 2018. In the article, Girish Kuber had written that Mohan Bhagwat had said that, “The Vedas order the killing of the sinner who kills a cow,” in reaction to the death of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was allegedly killed on suspicion of consumption and storing beef. LokSatta later issued an apology, albeit in small fonts.

Soon, Karan Thapar stepped into the scene to propagate his usual propaganda against RSS. In an article titled “Has the RSS ground shifted?” in Indian Express, Karan Thapar wrote, “In fact, Bhagwat himself is not averse to making inflammatory statements. In 2015, when Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched on suspicion of consumption and storing beef, he’s reported to have said: “the Vedas order the killing of the sinner who kills a cow.”

An Indian Express article written by Karan Thapar, dated September-21-2018, with attributing fake quotes to RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat.

However, In reality, there is no reference of any such statements made by RSS chief Bhagwat. In fact, RSS chief had strongly condemned the violence and mob lynching. But both the newspapers and the columnists wrongly attributed the words to Mohan Bhagwat that were never expressed by him or other leaders of the RSS.

As Indian Express and Karan Thapar resorted to propaganda with attributing fake quotes to RSS chief Bhagwat, a complaint was registered at the Press Council of India by an individual named Akshay Phatak, a resident of Dombivali. The Press Council had issued show cause notices to the editors of both newspapers.

The matter was heard finally on March 29, 2019, by the Press Council, the respondent newspapers had ‘contended that they assumed that the attribution was correct and that it was a bona fide mistake’. The respondents had also questioned the ‘locus standi’ of the complainant.

However, the PCI found that the mistake was not bona fide. Taking a tough stand on Karan Thapar, the Council had accepted the report of the inquiry committee, which had opined, “had the mistake been bonafide and committed by a junior correspondent could have been accepted and the proceedings dropped. Here such a mistake has been committed by none other than a senior columnist having long experience. In the facts of the present case, the Inquiry Committee is of the opinion that the mistake is not bonafide. This was a verifiable fact and while attributing the statement of such a magnitude to the head of an organization, the columnist ought to have been more careful and taken due care. He has failed to do the same.”

With respect to locus standi of the complainant, “Even a reader has a right to approach the council if he finds some mistakes in the newspaper,” said the Press Council of India.

The PCI also rejected the apologies published by both newspapers, holding that “the corrigendum and the apology in the facts of the present case have been tendered only with a view to get out of the net of law and do not deserve acceptance.”

The Press Council decided to censure ‘The Indian Express’ and ‘Loksatta’ and directed that a copy of the order be forwarded to the DAVP, The Director of Public Relations, Government of Maharashtra and The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mumbai.

Twitter diplomacy: Imran Khan made a thread on India-Pak world cup match but zero tweets by PM Modi

PM Modi has not tweeted about the India Pakistan cricket match
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Credit: PTI)

India vs Pakistan cricket matches have always been bigger than any other cricket match, even tournament finals. Such matches have been seen as part of diplomacy and the emotions often reflect the relationship between the two countries.

Once Imran Khan, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan and former cricket captain of Pakistan, had famously and cockily said that he could solve Kashmir dispute on the cricket pitch.

Even the current match was under lots of controversy as both the nations were meeting for the first time after Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan backed terrorists and the ensuing Balakot airstrikes by India. There were demands from various quarters earlier that India should boycott the match against Pakistan.

The match finally took place, though, despite the calls for a boycott and unreliable English weather. India beat Pakistan easily by 89 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method. Even if the rains had not curtailed Pakistan’s chase, Pakistan was set to lose the match.

India’s victory immediately triggered a wave of congratulatory messages, which included tweets from common fans, cricketers, celebrities and politicians. Home Minister Amit Shah and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh also tweeted to congratulate the Indian team for their clinical performance.

But one name was missing, that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In fact, PM Modi has not tweeted about the match at all, either before the match or after the results. Both the personal Twitter handle of Narendra Modi as well as the handle of Prime Minister’s Office had zero tweets on the India-Pakistan match.

In comparison, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had a series of tweets wishing the best for his team. Imran Khan also tweeted some tips for the Pakistan cricket captain, which were incidentally not followed by the captain. He has not tweeted after the results, perhaps he is still shocked. And for sure, he will now not offer to solve Kashmir dispute on a cricket pitch.

Given that Prime Minister Modi is online savvy and doesn’t miss an opportunity to connect with the masses on popular topics, the absence of any tweet on such a big match where everyone was hooked on to, is not something that can be missed.

Prime Minister Modi had tweeted only once before the world cup began, wishing the best for team India, hence he, by not tweeting before or after the match, decided to not treat the India-Pakistan match as any special event, even though it was a crucial match. This is in contrast with tweets of Imran Khan, who clearly thought this was important enough an event for him to tweet.

Given that India-Pakistan cricket has always been seen as a part of “Track 2 diplomacy”, perhaps it won’t be too exaggerated to conclude that there was some signalling involved when Prime Minister decided to simply treat this India-Pak encounter as a ‘routine event’ not worth taking note or be excited about.

Has Prime Minister Narendra Modi signalled that his priorities or outlook on India-Pakistan relationship is way different than those of Imran Khan? Or has he signalled that the days of “Track 2 diplomacy” are officially over? Prime Minister Modi has been in favour of de-hyphenating India and Pakistan and focus on India as an independent global power despite the ‘bleed India by a thousand cuts’ policy that Pakistan employs as the state’s strategy to counter India. By not acknowledging the match, one wonders if PM Modi is trying to do just that.

In an era when tweets of world leaders comprise diplomatic strategy, the absence of some tweets surely can hint at things going on.

India refuses to be mediocre and docile, if that is ‘cold hearted’ for this Guardian writer, so be it

India won by 89 runs in their WC match against Pakistan
Via Twitter

India has scored another magnificent win in the ICC World Cup and as we Indians always feel, wins against Pakistan are bit extra special, extra sweet. However, there are some people who have grown uncomfortable with the new Indian team of the last few years, that has been carefully developed into a lean, mean win machine, their excuses are varied and colourful.

Team India has the love and admiration of more than a billion people, maybe more, considering overseas fans. But there are some who hate this team, no, we are not talking about the men in Green who looked particularly tomato deficient yesterday, there are certain gems on social media whose reasons for hating team India are so spectacular, even Virat Kohli would not run out of his choicest swear words in shock and awe. Sample below:

Via Twitter

After yesterday’s rain-soaked thrashing of Pakistan, while admirer’s worldwide are busy hailing a team India for winning a match despite having injured players, last-minute replacements, losing the toss and rain halts, some people, who have clearly run out of issues to find faults, have come up with a brilliant demonstration of what   Hindi Twitter knows as ‘Naraaz Fufa’.

Randeep Ramesh, who claims to be the “leader writer” for the Guardian quotes from a fan named Fahd Masood who has stated that he doesn’t like the ‘cold-hearted ruthlessness’ of the present Indian team. Mr Masood apparently prefers the old Indian team of Sehwag, Tendulkar and Kumble.

We don’t know which matches the quoted ‘fan’ has watched but to claim that Sehwag, Tendulkar and Kumble were ‘milder’ in their game is another concept that deserves a Virat Kohli swear word.

Sehwag was the one who has beaten Pakistan bowlers to a pulp, and he did it with an effortless style and yes, with that “big goofy grin”. Tendulkar did the same, and he did that for a much longer period of time. It might have looked ‘mild, and loving’, but to guess the number of heartbreaks and pain it had caused, the ruined careers and stunted reconds of many Pakistani bowlers will provide some clarification.

Yes, Anil Kumble looked less like an ‘aggressive’ cricket player and more like a blue collared corporate hunk, with his mild mannerism and gentle persona. But claiming his game against Pakistan was not ‘ruthless and cold-hearted’ is laughable. Proof? Firozshah Kotla stadium, February 7, 1999, the scorecard read something like Anil Kumble: 26.3  9  74  10. He was called the smiling assassin, and rightly so.

The thing is, a large number of people whose thought processes are yet to gain freedom from the British Empire, want to see an India that is subdued, mediocre and docile. Well, that is not the case anymore, the truth is, “Ye Naya India hai,” this India will not fall for the old tricks of guilt trapping and servile mediocrity. It will thrash its opponents, be it in cricket or across the LoC.

Priyanka blaming ordinary Congress workers for defeat is the lowest point for Congress and for Nehru-Gandhis

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi

This should rank as one of the most shameful statements ever made in Indian politics.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra ‘warns’ party workers.

 

The proud entitled Nehru-Gandhi princess on a stage, taking out her anger on the humble Congress worker.

I am not a Congress supporter, but this cannot stop me for feeling bad for the Congress workers who would have been listening to her speech and would be expected to raise their hands in agreement at the end of it.

And where does she make this statement? In Raebareli! The bastion that has voted for the Congress for decades. By all accounts, the neighbouring seats of Raebareli and Amethi are among the least developed places in India. Yet, for election after election, these would be the people who sacrificed their own future because of an emotional attachment with the Nehru-Gandhi family. They lived in extreme hardship every day of their lives only to catch a glimpse of the family once every five years.

And now, for the princess to waltz in and “talk tough” with them. It hurts to see any human being treated this way.

And it’s not even smart politics. At least we settled one debate here. We now know which of the siblings has worse political instincts. Observe at least two minutes of silence for every commentator, every columnist and courtier who waxed eloquent about the political genius and charisma of Priyanka Gandhi. No, she wasn’t the Congress’ trump card, hidden away all these years for use at the most opportune moment. If anything, being more sheltered from active politics than her brother has made her more entitled and arrogant.

Speaking of which, where is Rahul Gandhi? I have no idea. I read some people saying that he is holidaying abroad. He was reportedly sulking for a while, but those reports evaporated after he received a 3-page letter of appreciation from Sonia ji for his efforts in the election.

Untitled.png
Rahul Gandhi continues to be an exemplary leader.

This is bad form. It seems Rahul is not even here to dwell on the reasons for the defeat. As temperatures soar all across India, they say he is off to cooler climes. And for the humble Congress worker, as if the heat and dust of Raebareli was not enough, they are facing the heat from Priyanka Gandhi’s tough talk.

Again, it hurts to see any human being treated like this.

On top of that, there are “reports” of this kind that are now surfacing. This article went viral yesterday.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi was set up by his own team of trusted lieutenants for a humiliating defeat, reveals a Sunday Guardian report

 

The article suggests that some members of Rahul’s team presented bills of crores of rupees, fed him with absurd claims of 180+ seats and disappeared after the election. Even worse, it alleges that top Congress leaders who might have a better ground picture were either ignored or made to feel small. And that many were scared to tell the prince the truth.

Because of the speculative nature of this “report”, it is impossible to know whether any or all of this is true. But if true, it would say more about the feudal culture of the Congress and how the party came to be so out of touch with the masses. We also do not know if such reports are being planted to put the blame on “members of the team” rather than the family itself.

The one thing that stands out is that the family won’t take any blame. And they might even believe this in their hearts. That it was really all the fault of others.

Untitled.png
Everyone is to be blamed for the 2019 loss except for the top leadership.

It was clear on the day Rahul Gandhi blamed party chief ministers such as Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot. That the blame would keep rolling downhill. Shortly thereafter, CM Ashok Gehlot put blame on his Deputy CM Sachin Pilot. Not surprisingly, the buck finally stopped with blaming the ordinary Congress worker. Because the Congress worker is the most voiceless, the least powerful of all.

India is changing. The Gandhis ruled for 60 years by passing the buck downwards. Why did India become an economic basket case under Nehru? Nothing to do with Nehru or his central planners or the quasi-Communist state they set up. It was all the fault of ordinary Hindus and their passive attitude towards life. The “Hindu rate of growth” kind of explanation might have worked then, but it won’t work now. Passing the buck downwards won’t work any more. Because those at the bottom will leave in droves.

Even Raebareli is gone for Congress in the 2024 election. That is a given.

Video and statistics highlight from Australia versus Sri Lanka match

4 wins in matches for Australia ©ICC

As it was expected, Australia beat Sri Lanka the way comfortably by 85 runs.

After winning the toss Sri Lanka, surprisingly opted to bowl first on a batting friendly wicket. Finch and Warner have started belting the bowlers from the very first ball. Finch was mainly in a mood to smash everything coming in on his way. The pair added 80 runs for the first wicket before losing Warner in the 16th over. Soon they lost Khawaja, but then the inform batsman, Steve Smith came out to bat. Finch and Smith added 173 runs for the 3rd wicket. Finch reached his hundred with a six, and he didn’t stop there. He went on to make 150 in the innings, third highest World Cup score for Australia.

Maxwell did some firework with the bat, in the end, smashed 22 runs in an over, but Lankan bowlers made a brilliant comeback. At one time the project score was 350+, but bowlers did a great job in restricting them under 340.

Australian Innings 

For a while, it looked like the chase was well and truly on! A superb 97 by Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka to a quick start. The openers added 115 runs in just 15.3 overs, but once Perera (52 off 36) got out, the match turned into Australia’s favour. The wickets fell on regular intervals. Lanka bowled for just 247 runs in 45.5 overs.  

Sri Lankan Innings (Fall of Wickets)

STATS

  • Finch became only the third Australian to 150 or more runs in World Cup innings. Warner (in 2015) and Hayden (in 2007) have also scored 150+ in World Cup.
  • Starc has now 35 wickets in the World Cup, only Mcgrath (71) has taken more wickets in for Australia in World Cup.
  • Malinga has 47 wickets in the World Cup, only McGrath (71), Murali (68), Akram (55) and Vaas (49) have more wickets than Malinga in the World Cup.

Here is what you missed when the India-Pakistan match was on

Round-up of news you missed yesterday

The 90s kids would remember how India v Pakistan cricket matches, especially the Cricket World Cup was nothing short of clash of the Titans with either side having a brilliant set of players. Yesterday’s match, though the rains threatened to dampen the spirits was more of a one-sided game.

And while everyone was glued to their TV sets, here are some of the news you might have missed:

Whitewashing the Aligarh child murder case continues

The Times of India in its article yesterday whitewashed the murder, downplayed brutality meted out to the child and blamed social media for a ‘communal spin’. It was almost as if the mainstream media took it upon itself to further the narrative after self-proclaimed faulty ‘fact-checker’ AltNews failed.

Rahul Gandhi got conned by his own men

A Sunday Guardian report reveals how the ‘Big Data’ head of Congress, Praveen Chakravarty billed Congress Rs 24 crores, IT cell head Divya Spandana billed Congress Rs 8 crores and both are reportedly now untraceable. It was perhaps his own team of trusted lieutenants which set him up for a humiliating defeat.

Ajaz, a police officer, brutally kills his colleague, Soumya Pushpakaran

Ajaz, police officer, reportedly knocked down his colleague Soumya, also a police officer, as she was returning on her scooter, hacked her with a sword and set her on fire. All because of a reported love-affair gone wrong.

One nation, one election

The first session of the 17th Lok Sabha will be convened from today. Prime Minister Modi has called for a meeting of presidents of all political parties on June 19 to discuss “one nation, one election” plan.

Pakistan cricket team captain also does not listen to the PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who himself once lost to India when he was the captain of the cricket team (1992, though Pakistan eventually won the World Cup then), had some advice for the current Pakistan cricket team captain. However, Sarfaraz went ahead and did the exact opposite.

Operation Sunshine-2

Indian Army conducts ‘Operation Sunshine-2‘ along with the Myanmar Army. Camps of North-east militants on the border regions of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam targeted.

India vs Pakistan: With India registering a thundering victory, here are some video and statistics highlights

India all the way once again ! ©ICC

Another comprehensive win for India against their arch-rivals in the World Cup. Twenty-seven years, seven games and no success for Pakistan against India. India is too strong for Pakistan in World Cup matches and this now even the Pakistani fans have started to accept it.

Pakistan won the toss and decided to bowl under overcasts condition, that was their first mistake. Pakistan brought one extra spinner in overcasts condition that too against the Indian batting line, that was their second mistake.

The golden thumb-rule of cricket in a pressure game is simple, win the toss and bat first, Sarfaraz chose the other way. Rohit has improved a lot as a player and senior batsman. He is in sublime form in this World Cup and being the senior opening partner, took the responsibility of scoring runs quickly. KL Rahul was cautious at the start, but that eventually helped India as the openers added 136 runs for the first wicket.

Rohit Sharma reached his hundred in 85 balls and with Kohli, he added 98 runs for the second wicket. Rohit smashed beautiful 140 off just 113 balls before getting out, but by that time, India had already cemented their position in the game.

Kohli (77) with the help of Pandya (28) and Shankar (15), took the score to 336 for 5 wickets in 50 overs.

Indian Innings

No team has successfully chased down 336 runs in a World Cup requiclash. Pakistan needed to score some quick runs in the first powerplay. Instead of going after the Indian bowling, Pakistani openers started cautiously. Imam-ul-Haq was plumbed in front of the wicket off Shankar’s bowling with just 13 runs on board in 4.5 overs. Fakhar Zaman and Baba Azam steadied the innings and added 104 runs for the 2nd wicket, however, they batted a little slow, and both lost their wickets in trying to score quickly. Kuldeep Yadav bowled a jaffa to Baba Azam and dismissed him in the 24th over. Pakistan was still in the game, but Kuldeep had other ideas, he got Fakhar this time, who was the main hope of the Pakistani team and its fans.

Hardik Pandya took two in two, by dismissing Hafeez and Shoaib (for a golden duck) on consecutive balls he completely shut down the hopes of the supporters of the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistan has now lost four wickets in the space of 24 balls adding only 12 runs on board.

Rain reduced the Pakistani innings to 40 overs, and the revised target for Pakistan was 302 runs. An impossible task for lower order batsmen, The Indian bowlers completed the formality. Rohit Sharma was declared Man of the Match for his 140 runs.

Pakistan Innings (Fall of Wickets)

STATS

  • Rohit took 85 balls to score his hundred; this is his 3rd fastest ODI Hundred. His fastest was off 82 balls, against England at Trent Bridge last year.
  • Rohit’s 140 runs are now his 3rd World Cup hundred, Only Tendulkar (6) and Ganguly (4) have more World Cup hundreds for India.
  • Baba Azam and Fakhar Zaman added 104 runs for the 2nd wicket; this is their first hundred runs partnership against India in World Cup history.
  • MS Dhoni has now played 341 ODIs for India, only Sachin Tendulkar (463) has played more ODIs for India.
  • Virat Kohli became the fastest man to reach 11,000 runs in ODIs. He took just 223 innings to achieve this milestone. Previous best – Sachin Tendulkar in 276 Innings.
  • 336/5 by India is the highest by any team against Pakistan in the history of World Cups, surpassing 334/9 by England in Nottingham earlier in the tournament.
  • Rohit Sharma became the fourth Indian batsman to score five consecutive 50-plus scores (95, 56, 122, 57 and 140) in ODI cricket.  The other Indians to achieve the feat are Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli (twice) and Ajinkya Rahane.

West Bengal Doctor Crisis: Protesting doctors agree to meet Mamata Banerjee in presence of full media even as IMA goes on strike

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has declared that it is going ahead with its strike on June 17 with the withdrawal of non-essential health services across the country in the wake of the recent assault on doctors in West Bengal.

Reportedly, the IMA has stated that all non-essential services, including outdoor patient department (OPD) services, will be withdrawn for 24 hours from 6.00 AM on Monday to 6.00 AM on Tuesday. Emergency and casualty services will continue to function, it said.

The medical body had launched a four-day nationwide protest from Friday and wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding enactment of a central law to check violence against healthcare workers. It had also called for a countrywide strike on June 17 with the withdrawal of non-essential health services.

The situation in West Bengal is still grave and fear of violence is present in all medical colleges and major hospitals, the IMA claimed.

“Security measures and the determinants leading to violence should also be addressed. Exemplary punishment of perpetrators of violence should be a component of the Central law,” it said.

“Suitable amendments should be brought in IPC and CrPC. Effective implementation of Law has to be ensured by incorporating suitable clauses. 19 States have already passed legislation in this regard. Hospitals should be declared as “Safe Zones”,” the IMA demanded.

The doctors have also asked for structured safety measures including 3-layer security, CCTV and restriction of entry of visitors which should be enforced uniformly across the country.

The protesting junior doctors have now agreed to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for talks at the state secretariat Nabanna at 3:00 PM today. However, the doctors have said that the meeting would have to be “in the full view of the media” and not “behind closed doors”.

The medical fraternity across the country hit the streets against Mamata Banerjee following the continuous attacks against junior doctors in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal had gone to war against the doctors by calling them ‘outsiders’ after they decided to protest against the continuous attacks against junior doctors in the state.

Initially, the West Bengal doctors crisis began as a small protest by a group of junior doctors at the state-run SSKM Hospital after doctors and interns at the NRS Hospital were brutally attacked by a mob on the premises of the hospital after a patient named Mohammed Sayeed reportedly died of natural causes.

As the protest began attacks against doctors further escalated and mobs attacked students and interns at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital as well. Due to the state government’s apathy towards the assaulted doctors, the protest gradually took a nationwide dimension with doctors from all across the country pouring in with their support and raising voices of dissent against the West Bengal government.

The CM aggravated the situation by threatening the doctors and by asserting that the doctors protesting are ‘outsiders’. Following which there were mass resignations from doctors across the state. Reports indicate that as many as 500 doctors have resigned from their posts so far. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has announced a pan-India strike from 17th June to 18th June.

As Mamata Banerjee sensed that the situation was out of her control, Mamata Banerjee decided that the impasse between the doctors and her government should be ended and has repeatedly requested the doctors to end their protest and get back to work.

Pakistani Twitter erupts in self-deprecating humour as their cricket team stares at imminent defeat

Pakistan PM Imran Khan looking sad.

India v Pakistan cricket team is one of the most exciting clashes even for non-cricket fans. India has faced Pakistan 6 times in the Cricket World Cup and won every single time. Today’s match against Pakistan was also one of the most awaited ones as Indian fans looked at registering a seventh win and Pakistani fans hoped to break the jinx and win against India for the first time.

However, as it is almost certain that the Indian Cricket team will continue its winning streak against its archnemesis on the field, Pakistani Twitter erupted into hilarious self-deprecating jokes.

Considering the rains have spoilt quite a few matches in this World Cup, these prayers seemed just legit.

Oops!

True story.

Self-enlightenment is a good thing.

‘Dolphin Police Force’ is apparently an ‘elite’ security unit of Punjab Police which was launched to ‘fight street crime’. Parody nation Pakistan has an elite security force to fight street crime.

India has given Pakistan a chasing target of 337 runs to win. Meanwhile, the play is currently suspended due to rain and Pakistan is at 166 at a loss of 6 wickets in 35 overs. Pakistan needs 177 runs to win in 90 balls.

Drawing inspiration from an eminent personality, Pakistan has lagbhag lost the game.

Update @ 11:40 pm: The match has resumed and Pakistan needs to score 136 runs from the remaining 30 deliveries.

Update @ 11:57 pm: India wins against Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup match. India continues the streak.

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