IRCTC shares to be listed on stock market on Monday, 14th October


“The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which recently concluded its Initial Public Offering (IPO) will be list its shares on the stock market on Monday, 14th October. The shares will be listed on both, the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and the NSE (National Stock Exchange).

“Effective from Monday, October 14, 2019, the equity shares of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited shall be listed and admitted to dealings on the Exchange in the list of ‘B ‘ Group of Securities,” the BSE said in a circular issued on 11th October 2019.

The IPO was oversubscribed 112 times at a price band of Rs 315 to Rs 320 per share. State-owned IRCTC, which sells tickets for Indian Railways and manages its catering services, is expected to raise Rs 500-600 crore through its IPO. The government is looking to offload up to 20 million shares in IRCTC, following that the government’s stake in IRCTC will come down by 12.5 per cent.

IRCTC’s business is divided into four segments — internet ticketing, catering, packaged drinking water under the ‘Rail Neer’ brand, and travel and tourism. While its sales rose 25% to Rs 1,899 crore, its profit grew 23.5% to Rs 272.5 crore in the fiscal year 2019, compared to last fiscal.

Read: Tejas Express is the REAL reform: Indian Railways on road to privatisation

IRCTC is the subsidiary of Indian Railways and handles online ticketing, catering and tourism operations. The IRCTC is one of the most visited websites in the Asia-Pacific region, with a transaction volume of more than 25 million per month, and 7.2 million logins per day. About 800,000 tickets are booked every day through the IRCTC website and Rail Connect.

However, catering has been the company’s biggest contributor to sales over the years. While more than half of its revenues at Rs 1,044 crore came from its catering business in 2019, internet ticketing business contributed about 12% of its revenue. The remaining Rs 444 crore came from its tourism and travel-related services and Rs 176 crore from its Rail Neer packaged drinking water business.”

Chandrababu Naidu regrets decision to quit BJP-led NDA, says joining hands with Congress was a big mistake

N Chandrababu Naidu, Courtesy:

After facing a humiliating loss in the 2019 Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh state assembly elections, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu has now openly regretted his decision to quit the BJP-led NDA government.

According to the reports, former Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu while addressing a public rally at the coastal district of Visakhapatnam hosted by party members regretted over his decision to quit the BJP-led NDA government.

In several closed-door meetings, Naidu had also expressed similar kind of regrets with regard to joining hands with the Congress in the Telangana elections, where both the parties suffered humiliation at the hands of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

On Saturday, the TDP party president also acknowledged that his decision to pull out of the Narendra Modi-led government in May 2018 dealt a big blow to his TDP in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections this year.

“We pulled out of the BJP-led government and withdrew our Ministers from the Union Cabinet to press our demands on Amaravati, Polavaram and Special status for Andhra. This move has backfired and the party has suffered a lot because of that decision,” said Naidu.

Reportedly, Naidu also spoke about the real meaning behind the friendly caution thrown by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a debate on the no-confidence motion proposed by TDP in Parliament. He was quoted saying, “The PM has said that TDS has fallen into the trap of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP). PM had also warned me not to take a hasty decision and stay in the NDA.”

Expressing regret over joining hands with the Congress, the TDP chief had earlier said that people have not accepted his affiliation with the Congress. “I have taken the decision to share seats with Congress in Telangana. We fared miserably. Halfway through I have realized that it was a grave mistake, but it was too late,” Naidu had said.

Interestingly, the BJP has made no comments on the reconciliation efforts made by former ally Naidu. “BJP President Amit Shah has then told Naidu that the doors are closed for him and his regional party with the NDA,” a senior leader from BJP has pointed out.

The disastrous results in the 2019 elections have pushed the TDP into a corner as it is now facing an existential battle as most of its cadre and senior leaders have left the party to join the BJP post the 2019 elections rout. Recently, in a huge setback to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, nearly 60 prominent national, state and district level leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) along with thousands of party workers had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In June, four out of the six Telugu Desam Party MPs had resigned from the party. S Chowdary, CM Ramesh, TG Venkatesh, the TDP MPs from Andhra Pradesh and lone party MP from Telangana Garikapati Mohan Rao had passed a resolution following their decision to quit the party and had joined BJP.

Gandhis’ security protection may be downgraded to ‘Z plus’, may lose SPG cover if Centre accepts intelligence agencies inputs

Congress supremo Rahul Gandhi

“The intelligence agencies, after a detailed review of threat perception of the Gandhis, have advised downgrading of security protection accorded to them from SPG cover to “Z plus security”, reports The Sunday Guardian.

If at all centre accepts the centre’s recommendation, then the Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi would lose their SPG cover and will be replaced with a ‘Z plus’ security.  At present, only Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the three Gandhis are recipients of proximate security by SPG personnel.

The agencies intelligencies have concluded that while evaluating the danger posed to the Gandhis, that their safety would be ensured by replacing the SPG with ‘Z plus’. As of now-former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top BJP leaders LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi, as well as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are under ‘Z Plus’ protection. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been accorded with a ‘Z special’ category security.

Read: ‘Possible assassination attempt’ on Rahul Gandhi turned out to be camera flashed by AICC photographer

However, the withdrawal could be controversial as some argue that two members of the Gandhi family, both former Prime Ministers were brutally assassinated and that the withdrawal of the SPG could have wide-ranging political ramifications. While former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards following Operation Bluestar in 1984, ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 when he was not holding the post.

The threat perception to individuals is annually evaluated and a decision is taken based on the appraisal arrangements for security after evaluation. An expert committee from various intelligence agencies put forth their recommendations to the Home Ministry and the Cabinet Secretariat, where the final decision is taken after due consultation with the government.

Recently, in a bid to strengthen the security cover provided to the Gandhis and to keep track of their movements, the Special Protection Group (SPG), which provides protection to them, was also tasked with a fresh mandate by the Centre. The Gandhi family has been notified that they should allow SPG personnel to accompany them all the time when they travel abroad. In case, if they are not willing to accept the mandatory SPG protection then there could be curtailment on their foreign visits on account of security considerations.

The Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi would earlier travel with the SPG till their first location abroad, who would then send the SPG personnel back to the country, preferring their own privacy. The Gandhis would then travel to destinations of their choice, thereby making themselves susceptive to risks.

Read: Before claiming ‘assassination attempt by sniper rifle’, Congress should have at least understood it could not have been a sniper rifle at all

For instance, if any of the Gandhis was travelling to Thailand, the SPG would escort them till there and thereafter fly back to New Delhi. From Thailand, the family of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi would be on their own with Indian missions coordinating with the local police for ensuring their safety.

The SPG was formed in 1985, as a protection unit for the Prime Minister, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her own security guards. It was set up after the submission of the Birbal Nath committee report and formalised under an Act in 1988. In the beginning, sharpshooters from the IPS, as well as other ranks from various state police organisations, paramilitary outfits and the intelligence agencies were inducted into the elite squad. S. Subramaniam was made its first director. Presently, the SPG has more than 3,000 personnel who guard Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi and her son and daughter, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, respectively.

With centre issuing new guidelines, the Gandhis have to now submit every minute detail of their travel plans. They have been asked to supply information of their past few tours as well. The direction will also enable the Centre to keep track of their movements while ensuring their protection.

Presently, the standard operating procedure is whenever a protectee arrives in any country, the Indian mission will coordinate with the local police and other authorities to ensure the security cover. The SPG only provides proximate protection. This arrangement will remain unaltered except that the SPG would have a more noticeable and pronounced role. The arrangement of the SPG being ever-present with their protectee had existed in the past as well, but the financial implications had compelled the then government to review the terms of engagement.

Recently, the central government had also made some changes in the security cover provided to former PM Manmohan Singh. As per reports, the SPG security provided to Dr Manmohan Singh was replaced with CRPF staff. The Gandhi Parivar was given the SPG protection after the assassination of both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

Reportedly, senior police officials and security experts had held that if the SPG cover had not been withdrawn from Rajiv Gandhi by the VP Singh government, an attack against him would have not been possible. After his death, a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi had stated that Sonia Gandhi had lost complete faith in the Indian security apparatus and till the SPG was provided to her, she continued to be guarded by private security personnel hired by her well-wishers.

In the past, the SPG has also been used to keep surveillance on the protectee. Reportedly, former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had deployed the SPG personnel comprised of IB officials at 10, Janpath, to keep tabs on the visitors of Sonia Gandhi.

The Centre is also considering a proposal to amend the SPG Act to include only the serving Prime Minister and perhaps the President under its jurisdiction.”

Fact Check: Read the truth behind viral video showing a Pune electric bus charged by a diesel generator

A video went viral on social media today showing an electric bus belonging to Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited is seen being charged by a diesel generator. Electric vehicles are being used to reduced pollution from induction combustion engine vehicles, therefore, this was a big irony that such an eco-friendly bus was charged by a polluting diesel generator.

The viral video soon made it to mainstream media, which claimed that PMPML is charging its e-buses using diesel generators. News18 gave a benefit of doubt to PMPML, saying it may be done by the driver on his personal capacity. A report by Pune Mirror of the Times group claimed that Pune does not have required infrastructure to charge the electric buses, hence alternatives like generators are used. They also quoted drivers saying that diesel generators used to charge the buses consume more diesel than diesel buses.

Also Read: GST Council reduces tax on Electric Vehicles and their chargers in a view to curb pollution

But soon several social media users pointed out that the video seems to be old, and it is before the bus was inducted into service, as there is no registration number plate on the electric bus seen in the video. The location also seemed to be not from inside the city, where the buses run. Several users from Pune also noted that PMPML has dedicated facilities to charge the electric buses using power from the grid, and generators are not used.

In response to the video, BJP leader from Pune Siddharth Shirole has clarified why the bus was charged using a generator. He informed that the e-buses procured by Pune are manufactured in Hyderabad, and they were driven to Pune. The typical range of the buses is 250 km, which is not enough to cover the distance between Hyderabad and Pune. As there are no charging stations on the highway, the buses were charged at Solapur using diesel generators. Shirole clarified that every bus inducted into service in Pune is charged using grid power only, and generators are used only for the transit on the highways.

The same was also said by other prominent persons from Pune, who confirmed that the buses were charged using gensets during the transit from Hyderabad to Pune, and gensets are not used for in-service e-buses in the city. Solapur is located almost halfway between Hyderabad and Pune, and it is logical that the buses need to be charged there to complete the journey on battery power. In the absence of a charging station in Solapur, diesel generators are used by the manufacturer to charge the buses to deliver them to Pune. This is just a single use of gensets during transit, and diesel generators are not used during their regular service in Pune.

PMPML charges its electric buses at its two depots, located at Bhekrai Nagar and Nigdi, where high capacity charges charge multiple buses at a time using power from the grid. Five more charging points are being installed at Baner, Ravet, Moshi and Katraj depots, as there are plans to induct more electric buses for the city.

Uttar Pradesh: BJP corporator shot dead in Deoband, third BJP leader murdered in last one week

In yet another horrific incident, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has been shot dead by unidentified assailants in Uttar Pradesh, making it third such murder in the state in the past one week.

According to the reports, 47-year-old BJP corporator Dhara Singh, who was also employed as a sector-in-charge at a local sugar mill, was killed by two bike-borne assailants near a railway crossing while he was on his way to work from his residence in Deoband. The assailants opened fire, killing the BJP leader on the spot.

Saharanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar said, “Unidentified assailants opened fire at Dhara Singh near Rankhandi railway crossing. Fatally injured Singh was declared brought dead at a community health centre. His body has been sent for post-mortem.”

The police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the murder. The SSP added that they are in touch with the family members of the deceased and are trying to ascertain the possible motive behind the murder.

Read: West Bengal: Another party worker killed in Nadia, ‘Debnath shot dead by TMC criminals’, says BJP

On October 8, BJP leader Chaudhary Yashpal Singh was gunned down in a similar manner in Deoband. Prior to that, another BJP leader Kabir Tiwari, also a former student leader, was shot dead in Basti. The murder of Tiwari had led to student groups going on a rampage and burning down government vehicles. Later, Basti SP Pankaj Kumar was transferred and a departmental inquiry was initiated against him.

Speaking to the media Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avanish Awasthi had said that the initial findings suggested Pankaj Kumar’s negligence in handling the cases. Awasthi had said that Kumar has been found guilty of irresponsible functioning and was found that he did not properly ensure the checklist issued by the DIG Range.

BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga books a psychiatrist appointment for ‘mythologist’ Devdutt Pattanaik after prolonged meltdown on Twitter

psychiatrist appointment for Devdutt Pattanaik
Devdutt Pattanaik having a complete meltdown on Twitter (representational image of mental hospital)

BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Bagga has booked a psychiatrist appointment for ‘mythologist’ Devdutt Pattanaik following his prolonged meltdown on Twitter.

In last few days, Pattanaik has been having an epic meltdown on Twitter where he has been abusing any and everyone indiscriminately. He has referred to women as ‘bitch‘ and ‘chudail’ and has gone on to justify the usage by stating he was only describing her.

Bagga, as a well-wisher, booked an appointment on behalf of Pattanaik with a psychiatrist in Mumbai for tomorrow. “Get well soon bro,” he tweeted.

Read: When ‘mythologist’ Devdutt Pattanaik had a Twitter meltdown

Recently, Devdutt Pattanaik had displayed similar derangement by hurling abuse at another woman and calling another woman ‘chudail’. It is rather uncouth and vile to call a woman ‘chudail’ (witch) for a mere difference of opinion, but it is very much expected from a person as brainsick as probably Pattanaik is.

Apart from Devdutt Pattanaik’s atrocious conduct on social media, his books has been criticized heavily for errors, manipulations and outright lies. He has been accused of misinterpreting Sanskrit texts and many believe he does so on purpose to peddle a particular version of Leftist political ideology.

Muslims are happy in India because we are Hindus. Hence, India is a Hindu Rashtra: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that India is a land of Hindus and hence it is a Hindu Rashtra.

Addressing a meeting of intellectuals, RSS chief said that people think we progressed after the British came to India. It is incorrect. “We could have established a classless society in India even without the British intervention on basis of the Vedas,” he said.

Read: Mohan Bhagwat was right when he said ‘Lynching’ is a Western concept and here is why the Left is so outraged

Adding that the politics of India which changed after the second world war revealed the vested interest of various parties. They changed their tunes, otherwise, the fact is India is a country of Hindus and it is a Hindu Rashtra. “Hindu is not a name of any Puja or language or any region. It is a name of culture and it is a heritage for everyone who lives in India. It embraces and respects other cultures. Hence whenever any country stumbled, they came to India to know the truth. This land has welcome all and helped everyone grow. This has been our history.”

He further added that the Jews were roaming everywhere but only in India did they get refuge. “The Parsis and their places of worship are safe only in India. Muslims in India are the happiest than anywhere else in the world. Why is it so? Because we are Hindus. And hence ours is a Hindu Rashtra,” said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Devdutt Pattanaik is like a dog chasing a car, he wouldn’t know what to do with it once he caught it

Devdutt Pattanaik

‘Mythologist’ Devdutt Pattanaik has been having an epic meltdown on Twitter. The ‘Devi’ author has referred to women on Twitter, complete strangers, as ‘chudail’ and ‘bitch’. Continuing his bizarre rant from last night, Pattanaik today morning tweeted a morphed image of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as Goddess Lakshmi and asked for a movement to get Dr Subramanian Swamy to be appointed as Finance Minister in place of Sitharaman.

Sitharaman, visibly bewildered at this bizarre behaviour of Pattanaik, took to Twitter to wonder what is he up to.

At this, Pattanaik then said he may have crossed the line and ‘apologised’.

Only to explain how Sitharaman should have never ‘allowed’ this morphing of image.

He then claims how this image was ‘bad Vastu’ for the economy and he knows it because ‘he reads scriptures’. Wonder which scriptures condone the language in the following tweets of Pattanaik.

Once he realised perhaps ‘reading scriptures’ may not make him learned, he again went on an offensive.

The ‘Shikhandi’ author even resorted to making a homophobic comment, asking someone to go to a dating site for homosexuals.

Which is weird, considering he himself came out of the closet and had openly admitted he’s gay. Pattanaik, in his book ‘Shikhandi: And Other ‘Queer’ Tales They Don’t Tell You’ writes about LGBTQ stories in Hinduism.

Read: Two-tier free speech: the magical hypocrisy of Javed Akhtar

Devdutt Pattanaik has metamorphosed into this proverbial dog chasing a car made popular by Heath Ledger who played the role of Joker in The Dark Knight. He continues to froth around his mouth, bark and run but doesn’t quite know what to do once the car stops.

He probably needs medical intervention for the psychotic meltdown he is having. Twitter has been a great leveller in more than one ways. These ‘celebrities’ one had put on a pedestal growing up because of their way with words, like Javed Akhtar and now Devdutt Pattanaik, have fallen from grace because of the way they interact with the ones who are actually their end consumers.

Perhaps it is time Pattanaik uses his gift of words and stops being a bitch.

Scam-accused Karti Chidambaram shares fake image to target PM Modi cleaning Mamallapuram beach

The top court asks Karti Chidambaram to pay attention to his constituency
Karti Chidambaram(Source: Kannada Prabha)

The Congress party seems to be unhappy about the informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping as they are now attempting to discredit the Narendra Modi government by indulging in fake propaganda to discredit the event.

After Shashi Tharoor posted a photoshopped image on Twitter, it was now multi-crore scam accused Karti Chidamabaram’s turn to further his propaganda, who tried to take a dig at PM Modi by tweeting a misleading image to target PM Modi for ‘plogging’ at a beach in Mamallapuram.

On Sunday, the scam-accused Karti Chidambaram posted an image on his Twitter account which showed an image of videographers shooting an event. The next two images showed Prime Minister Modi’s recent leisurely walk on a Mamallapuram beach, where he picked up trash that was strewn on the picturesque beach.

Also Read: Congress leader Digvijay Singh shares a fake image to target the Modi government

The Sivaganga MP also tried to mock PM Modi by tweeting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ on his Twitter post. He suggested that while PM Modi was followed by a large camera crew to video record him picking up garbage at the beach.

Congress spokesperson and Supreme Court lawyer Brijesh Kalappa also posted the same image of the camera crew to claim that they were shooting PM Modi on the beach.

But actually, the first image shared by Karti Chidamabaram in which some video and photojournalists recording an event at a beach is seen is nowhere connected to PM Modi’s Mamallapuram event. The image was taken from a PR website called Tayscreen. The firm produces films and videos for advertisement and promotional activities, and the image is a still photo from such a shoot.

The image Karti Chidamabaram tweeted actually belongs to website Tayscreen

By tweeting these unrelated images, Karti Chidamabaram resorted to fake propaganda to insinuate that the PM Modi’s beach ‘plogging’ event was actually staged.

Earlier in the day, senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor had also resorted to similar propaganda after he had deliberately shared a photoshopped image of Times of India headline mocking the informal summit. The headline read, “Modi, Xi will mate 6 times in 24 hours”.

Also Read: Maharashtra Youth Congress uses 2012 Indian Idol audition contestants to depict them as ‘unemployed youth’

Karti Chidambaram is currently facing investigation in a number of cases including money laundering and having undisclosed foreign assets. He has been charged in cases like INX Media case and Aircel Maxis case and is facing probe from the central agencies. His father P Chidambaram has also been facing an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel Maxis case.

Delhi: One suspect arrested in PM Modi’s niece Damyantiben Modi’s purse-snatching case, items recovered

PM Modi niece

Delhi Police has arrested a suspect, Nonu, in connection with the purse-snatching incident of Damyantiben Modi, Prime Minister Modi’s niece in Delhi yesterday. The snatched items have been recovered. Based on her complaint, a case was registered and the police later identified two snatchers.

In a shocking incident, some unidentified miscreants snatched the purse of PM Modi’s niece while she was on her way to Gujarati Samaj Bhawan in Delhi on Saturday. PM Modi’s niece was attacked right outside the gate of the Bhawan while she was paying the auto fare.

The DCP(north) Monica Bhardwaj had informed that a case of robbery has been registered based on the victim’s statement. The victim, Damyantiben Modi, along with her husband had travelled from Amritsar to reach Delhi today morning. They were supposed to stay at the Gujarati Samaj Bhawan before leaving in the evening.

Read: PM Modi’s niece attacked: Robbers snatch her handbag from autorickshaw near Gujarat Samaj Bhawan

Damyantiben in her statement said that she was ambushed by the attackers when the auto had stopped in front of Bhawan and she was about to pay for the fare. At around 8:10 am, two bike-borne men waylaid her from behind and snatched her purse which was kept on her lap. Following the incident, she went to the Civil Lines Police station and filed a complaint.

As per reports Damyantiben Modi also fell down from the auto during the struggle and suffered some injuries. She was later taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre.

Damyantiben Modi is the daughter of PM Modi’s elder brother Prahlad Modi. She has stated that she was carrying Rs 56,000 in cash, two mobile phones and some important documents in her handbag that was snatched.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor shares a photoshopped image of TOI headline to undermine Modi-Xi meet

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor

Senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday attempted to pull off a cheap trick of taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi by deliberately posting a fake image of Times of India headline.

In a hurry to target the Prime Minister for his informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Congress MP Shashi Tharoor shared an image which showed headline of a Times of India article mocking the meet. The headline read, “Modi, Xi will mate 6 times in 24 hours”.

The now-deleted tweet by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor

As social media users pointed out that Shashi Tharoor was indulging in spreading fake images, the Congress MP had to delete the misleading image. However, he did not apologise for spreading fake images targetting PM Modi on social media.

This is not the first time that the same image has been doing rounds in the social media. The Congress ecosystem has been time and again have spread this image on social media platforms. Last year, the usual suspects like Vinod Jose, the Executive Editor at the Caravan and disgraced former IPS Officer, Sanjiv Bhatt had shared the same image to discredit PM Modi’s Wuhan visit.

Times of India had also tweeted an explanation in 2018 that the image doing the rounds on social media where the purported Times of India headline read ‘Modi, Xi will mate 6 times in 24 hours’ is fake and malicious.

“A photoshopped image of our headline on the Modi-Xi meet is doing the rounds. All our editions carry the correct headline. You can see the difference when the correct & fake headlines are placed together. The one on the right is the photoshopped image with the word ‘mate’ tilted”, Times of India had tweeted with the screenshot of the original headline and the photoshopped image.

Read: Congress’ Shashi Tharoor caught lying on cow-related violence in an interview with Swati Chaturvedi

A trend has emerged in the recent years where the usual elements try to undermine Prime Minister Modi’s meets with leaders of powerful nations by concerted attempts at mocking Narendra Modi.

Last year, the Congress party had attempted to undermine Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to India by tweeting a juvenile video of the Indian PM hugging world leaders. Congress had also attempted to drag domestic politics into Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s diplomatic visit to India while claiming credit for the Bullet Train and slamming Narendra Modi for it simultaneously.

PMC Bank Scam: MD Joy Thomas became Junaid Khan, married his assistant per Islamic rituals and owned properties with her

Former MD of PMC Bank, Joy Thomas aka Junaid Khan

Former MD of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank, Joy Thomas, converted to Islam, married his assistant at the bank as per Islamic rituals in 2012, changed his name to Junaid Khan and owned 10 properties in Pune with his second wife allegedly as part of the Rs 4,355 crore scam, reports have revealed.

Investigation agencies have discovered documents that suggest that Junaid Khan had several investments under that name as well as his second wife. According to Mid-day, Khan’s second wife owns nine flats and a boutique in Pune. The total value of these assets hasn’t been ascertained yet but is estimated to be around Rs. 4-5 crores.

Read: Nirav Modi financial fraud: All you need to know

While investigating Khan’s investments, the agencies found four flats in Mumbai and Thane registered under his and the first wife’s name. They also discovered a café registered under the name of his son from the first marriage. Soon, documents under the name of Junaid Khan and a woman who wasn’t known to be his wife at that point of time were also discovered. Later, it was discovered that the woman was his wife and Joy Thomas had changed his name to Junaid Khan.

As per reports, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) discovered that all these properties were purchased since 2012, which coincides with the time period when the accused Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) began the non-payment on loans while borrowing additional amounts from PMC Bank.

Read: Maharashtra Cooperative Bank scam: All you need to know why ED filed an ECIR against Sharad Pawar

“The properties are jointly owned by Thomas and his second wife and we are yet to find out the share percentage of ownership of the ten properties. As it is jointly owned, the attachment could be difficult but if we are able to prove those bought from the proceeds of crime then we can initiate proceedings and attach these properties,” a senior police officer told India Today. “Besides the ten properties, Thomas also owns a flat in Thane and a commercial property which is under the control of his son from his first wife,” the officer added.

Former MD of PMC bank, Joy Thomas aka Junaid Khan was arrested by a special investigation team (SIT) of the EOW of Mumbai Police on the 4th of October. He had been absconding until then. The EOW had filed an FIR on September 30 (Monday) against HDIL and PMC Bank officials in the PMC bank fraud case. The persons named in the FIR include PMC bank’s former chairman Waryam Singh, former Managing Director Joy Joseph Thomas, Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) group promoters Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Wadhawan.

The RBI has already dismissed the board of governors of PMC bank and has appointed an administrator. The bank has been put the bank under restrictions, putting a limit of ₹1000 withdrawal by depositors initially, which was later raised to ₹10000 and ₹25000. The bank is also not allowed to give any loan without the prior approval of RBI. The restrictions have been put for six months after RBI was informed about the PMC Bank fraud by a whistleblower inside the bank.

Nirbhaya gangrape victim’s friend demanded money for appearing on interviews, claims journalist

Journalist alleged that Nirbhaya’s friend and sole witness to her tragedy charged money for his interviews
Nirbhaya’s friend(Source: Twitter)

In a shocking new revelation, a journalist, Ajit Anjum, former managing editor of India Today and News 24 had alleged that the friend of Nirbhaya, who was brutally gang-raped in a moving vehicle in December 2012, demanded thousands of rupees from news channels for appearing for interviews. Anjum contended that the sole witness of the Nirbhaya gangrape case had shamelessly monetised the tragedy that befell on her girlfriend.

In a series of tweets posted by Anjum, the journalist asserted that Nirbhaya gangrape victim’s friend charged exorbitant money from news channels for narrating the ghastly sequence of events of the dreadful night of December 16, 2012, when his friend Nirbhaya was fatally assaulted and gang-raped by 6 men in a private bus. Anjum claimed that he had conducted a sting operation on Nirbhaya’s friend where he is seen dealing with a TV channel and accepting money to give it an interview.

Ajit Anjum tweeted that the incident is from September 2013 when the accused in the Nirbhaya rape case were sentenced to death by a fast track court. There was continuous coverage of Nirbhaya gangrape case on all channels so I asked reporters to get Nirbhaya’s friend to the channel’s studio for an interview but they informed me that he was demanding money for his appearance on news channels,” Anjum alleged.

He further added, “I asked my reporters to bring Nirbhaya’s friend to the studio. However, I was informed that his friend goes to the studio with his uncle and charges thousands for an interview. I could not believe it at first. It was insane.”

Expressing his anguish over the man’s brazen attempts to monetise a cruel and lethal assault on his own friend, Anjum asserted that he was baffled at the moral bankruptcy of the boy, watching him broker deals with channels for telling her poignant story. “I constantly saw him on television. I never saw the pain in his eyes,” Anjum said.

Deciding to conduct a sting operation on Nirbhaya’s friend, Anjum said, “I made my reporter sit in front of me and asked him to talk to boy’s uncle on phone. He demanded Rs one lakh for coming to the studio but the deal was finalised for Rs 70000. I wanted that money to be given in front of Nirbhaya’s friend. Rs 70000 was offered to uncle right in front of the boy. Everything was recorded. He was then taken to the studio. After ten minutes into the conversation, the boy was asked why does he take money from channels to narrate the story. The boy kept refusing that he charges money for his appearance on interviews.”

“Then during the recording, the boy was shown part of his sting on screen. It was then he apologised in front of the cameras,” the journalist tweeted.

Anjum said that the decision to not broadcast the sting operation was taken considering that the case was ongoing in the court. The journalist was concerned that the explosive nature of the sting operation could have been used by the lawyers of the accused in their favour and thus he decided against the broadcasting of the sting operation.

Abusive author Devdutt Pattanaik calls a woman ‘bitch’, Twitter finds no violation of its rules

The micro-blogging site, Twitter which had earlier conceded to its left-leaning bias and had recently vexed several of its users by displaying its selective targeting based on ideology has now said that an abusive author, Devdutt Pattanaik hurling abuse at a woman and calling her a ‘bitch’ does not violate its conduct rules.

The abusive troll today took to Twitter to call a woman named Kanchana Premkumar ‘bitch’, for simply pointing to him the difference between a ‘lungi’ and ‘veshti’ (a Tamil outfit).

SS of Devdutt Pattanaik’ Tweet

The ‘mythologist’ Devdutt Pattanaik, however, did not stop there. After being called out for his horrid mindset, he posted a Tweet defending his act. In his defence, he equated his scornful comment to ‘Sarama’ a mythological being referred to as the female wolf of the Gods.

This sought of trifling behaviour is something which is very much expected from the author who has several times in the past resorted to using language that could only ever be construed as evidence of his deteriorating mental health.

Recently, Devdutt Pattanaik had displayed similar derangement by hurling abuse at another woman and calling another woman ‘chudail’. It is rather uncouth and vile to call a woman ‘chudail’ (witch) for a mere difference of opinion, but it is very much expected from a person as brainsick as probably Pattanaik is.

As it so happens, it’s not the first time that Pattanaik has had a meltdown on social media. During the Padmavat controversy, the author believed it was a good idea to demonize the men of the society in which women performed Jauhar to avoid being defiled by Islamic barbarians. He accused Hindus who understood and respected the motivations of the women who performed Jauhar of being ‘marital rapists’ and claimed they just liked burning women.

Apart from his atrocious conduct on social media, his work has been criticized heavily for errors, manipulations and outright lies. He has been accused of misinterpreting Sanskrit texts and many believe he does so on purpose to peddle a particular version of Leftist political ideology.

Alka Lamba returns to Congress after a brief 5 year stint with AAP, joins party in presence of PC Chacko

Lka Lamba joins Congress back
Alka Lamba(Source: India Today)

After serving the Indian National Congress (INC) in various capacities for more than 20 years, Alka Lamba quit the grand old party to join the Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party in December 2014. However, within 5 years of being in AAP, Lamba grew disillusioned with the party leadership and finally resigned from the party in September 2019 after rumbling for over a year that she would leave the party. Today, the MLA from the Chandni Chowk joins Congress fold in presence of party leader, PC Chacko.

Last month, Alka Lamba had taken to Twitter to inform her followers that she had given her resignation from the AAP party. Lamba had tweeted in early September that it is time to bid farewell to the party and give up its primary membership. Days after her tweet, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had on September 19 disqualified Lamba from the House. Today, in the presence of PC Chacko, Alka Lamba joins Congress.

Read: Finally, AAP’s Alka Lamba quits, a month after AAP spokesperson taunted her that they will accept her resignation on Twitter too

Before her resignation last month, Alka Lamba had gained the notoriety of announcing her resignation arbitrarily without actually submitting it. Her threats of resignation were so pervasive that senior leaders in AAP were ready to accept her resignation but she was yet to officially tender her resignation. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj had stated that Lamba has ‘announced’ her impending resignation over a dozen times but is yet to actually resign. He had added that the party will accept her resignation even on Twitter.

A former President of Delhi University Students’ Union, Lamba began her career as a student leader and also served as the National President of the National Students’ Union of India. She had also offered her services as General Secretary of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee and Secretary of All India Congress Committee.

Alka Lamba’s relations with AAP had turned sour when in last December Arvind Kejriwal had allegedly asked her to resign from the party after her refusal to support party’s resolution on Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna. Earlier this year, Lamba had claimed that proposal of joining Congress would be a matter of respect for her.

Malpura, Rajasthan: Arson during curfew imposed after stone-pelting during Durga Puja procession, police launches probe

Curfew in Malpura was marred by Arson
Curfew imposed in Malpura(Source: The Pioneer)q

Incident of arson has been reported from the town of Malpura in Rajasthan which has been on tenterhooks after clashes broke out after stone pelting at the Durga Puja procession. Aggrieved by the incident, the locals in the town sat on a dharna outside Malpura police station, refusing to burn the effigies of Ravan till their demand of arresting the miscreants was met. However, seeing no end to the impasse, the district administration burnt the Ravan effigies on Wednesday morning and imposed Section 144 in the region to avoid escalation.

On Friday, the local administration relaxed the curfew restrictions for two hours in the morning for people to stuff necessary provisions. The curfew had been in place since stone pelting on Durga Puja procession. At around 10:30 am, the blaring sirens intimated people of the reimposition of the curfew restrictions. However, in the afternoon, panic set in among the local authorities as two shops on the road leading to truck stand caught fire. This sparked tensions among the residents who surrounded police officers in their area and expressed anger over the incident of arson.

Read: 8 attacks on Durga Puja and Dussehra processions in just 2 days, Durga idol vandalisation reported across India

On being informed about the arson incident, Inspector General of Ajmer Police Sanjeev Nirjari, Superintendent of Police Adarsh Sidhu, Additional Superintendent of Police Gordhan Lal rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. The officials tried to assuage the seething anger among the people by assuring them that swift and punishable action would be taken against the culprits. The police also detained a few youths from the locality for questioning.

BJP leader shot dead by bike-borne assailants in UP’s Deoband, second such murder in less than a week

Representational Image

Marking the second such incident in a week, a local Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was shot dead in Deoband area of Saharanpur on Saturday morning. Dhara Singh, a corporator in the Deoband municipal corporation, was driving to a local sugar mill, where he worked when he was stopped near the railway crossing by two bike-borne unidentified assailants who then shot at the BJP leader from a close range, confirmed the police.

Locals took him to the Community Health Centre, Deoband, where he was declared brought dead.

“According to eyewitnesses, the assailants were on a bike and their faces were covered. We have formed two teams and combing operation has started,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Saharanpur, Dinesh Kumar who also confirmed that as of now, police have not been able to ascertain the motive behind the murder.

The dead body of the BJP leader has been sent to the Saharanpur mortuary for the post-mortem examination.

Read: Revisiting Sainbari, a blot on Indian Democracy: When Communists made a mother eat rice with her dead sons’ blood

“We are talking to the family members of the deceased. Investigation in the matter is on. We are trying to solve the case as early as possible, added Kumar.

This is the second murder of a BJP leader in the area in the last five days. On October 8, Chaudhary Yashpal Singh, former district vice president of BJP Kisan Morcha, and brother of the local village headman was shot in a similar manner by bike-borne assailants in Miragpur village of Deoband.

Naseeruddin Shah stands by his fear-mongering remarks, says ‘open hatred in society is disturbing’

Naseeruddin Shah trots out th
Naseeruddin Shah(Source: The Hindu)

Last year, Naseeruddin Shah had stirred a furore when in a TV interview in reference to the Bulandsheher incident he said that the death of a cow was being given more importance than the death of a police officer.  Today, Shah asserted in an interview that he stands by the remarks made by him then and that open hatred is still pervasive in the country.

Read: I agree with you, Naseeruddin saheb. I am scared in today’s India too

In conversation with actor Anand Tiwari at the India Film Project, Shah stated that the open hatred in the society is disturbing while responding to a question about whether his views about political and social issues have adversely affected his ties with film fraternity.

“I have never had any close relationship with the film industry and fraternity in any case. I don’t know whether it has affected my standing or not because I don’t often get offered work very much. I endured a lot of abuse by people, who have nothing better to do, but it doesn’t affect me at all. What is disturbing is the open hate. What I felt I said and I stand by it,” Shah said.

Besides, Shah also voiced his opinion on the complaint filed against 49 celebrities for being signatories to an open letter written to PM Modi. On Monday, a new letter was issued by 180 people including Naseeruddin Shah and historian Romila Thapar asking how writing an open letter to the Prime Minister can be treasonous. It is noteworthy to mention that the Bihar police had dismissed the FIR filed against 49 celebrities and booked the complainant for filing a ‘false’ case. The complainant was an advocate and the Modi government had nothing to do with the complaint filed against the individuals.

In December 2018, violence erupted in the Bulandshahr town of Uttar Pradesh after locals found carcasses of cows hanging in their locality. Things took a violent turn after the police opened fire at the protesters. It is claimed that the police was forced to open fire after the protesters attacked them with stones. In the chaos, inspector Subodh Kumar Singh lost his life. A youth, Sumit, too, succumbed to injuries. Citing this incident, Shah indulged in fear-mongering saying that he is concerned about the lives of his children in the country where a cow was given more importance than the life of a police officer.

A few days later, Shah collaborated with Amnesty International to depict that the country is in the throes of an unprecedented constitutional crisis with the civil rights of people trampled upon and their liberties curtailed. A video was posted in which Naseeruddin Shah was seen portraying India in a bad light and raising false alarms against the purported deterioration of law and order in the country.

Read: The Life and Crimes of Amnesty International: Its links to Radical Islam and the British government

The video starring Naseeruddin Shah painted a gloomy picture of the country in which people’s Freedom of Expression is curtailed, poor people are subjugated by the rich and powerful, those who speak out the truth are suppressed, journalists gagged. The video essentially wanted to show that the establishment in the country is bent on violating the rights of the people and organisations and coercing them to toe the government’s line.

Read: If opposing Modi means supporting Amnesty International, Naxals and Terrorists, I am a ‘Bhakt’

Shah has never shied away from exhibiting his left-liberal tendencies. Last year, he sided with the liberals in portraying a dim view of the country months before the General elections. This time around too, just a few days before the all-important assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, Shah has not hesitated from extending his verbal support to the liberals. Enunciating the liberal standpoint, he maintained that the situation in the country remains volatile and disturbing and that the society is marred with ‘open hatred’.

Telangana RTC strike: The 48,000 dismissed employees refuse to budge, say will take government to court

Telangana RTC strike enters its 8th day today, On Sunday, the government had announced the dismissal of the 48,000 employees
Telangana RTC strike enters its 8th day today, Image via Twitter, image courtesy: India TV

The Telangana RTC strike which began on October 5 by its employees has entered its 8th day today.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC), spearheading the strike by over 48,000 employees, made it clear that they will not resume their duties until the government accepts their major demands. JAC leader Ashwathama Reddy announced after a meeting with leaders of various political parties and mass organisations that the strike would continue. He asked the employees not to get scared by the government’s threats.

Confirming that no employee has received a dismissal order yet, Reddy said, “If we are served the orders, we will challenge the same in the court of law.”

The demands put forth by the unions, which are functioning under a joint action committee (JAC), include increasing staff salaries, maternity leave for women employees, exemption of various taxes, women bus conductors not to work beyond 9 pm, and the merger of the TSRTC with the state government as it is an autonomous organization, whose employees are permanent.

Though there have been reports that the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is suffering a loss of Rs 11-12 crore per day owing to the indefinite strike by its employees, the Transport Minister P Ajay has claimed that the strike is not having much impact on bus services as the TSRTC continued operating bus services in Hyderabad and other parts of the state with the help of temporary drivers and other staff.

As uncertainty looms over the RTC employees, they are under constant pressure from their respective families to end the strike due to the impounding financial burden on them due to the indefinite strike.

Earlier on Sunday, in a surprising move, the Telangana government had dismissed over 48,000 striking employees of the Telangana State Road Transportation Corporation (TSRTC).

On the third day of the strike, the state government acted on its prior warning that employees should join work by 6 pm on Saturday or lose their jobs. The state government had set the deadline in view of the ongoing festive season. With the employees not relenting and continuing with their strike, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) took the decision of dismissing all the employees who kept away from work.

Clearing that TSRTC will not be merged with the government, in a statement on Sunday evening, KCR condemned the strike, calling it “illegal, irresponsible and based on wrong thinking.”

The RTC employees have called the government’s decision ‘undemocratic’. The opposition parties too, have criticised the move. The BJP has said that It’s the government’s incompetence & escapist attitude, which led to the RTC employees strike. Congress has stated that the employees were only demanding what was promised to them.

In the immediate aftermath, the government has ordered that 2500 buses be taken on lease and 4114 buses to be given permission to operate as public transport. Authorities have been directed to restore normalcy within 15 days. CM Rao has stated that he hopes the RTC will become a profit-making entity within two to three years.

West Bengal: Another party worker killed in Nadia, ‘Debnath shot dead by TMC criminals’, says BJP

BJP leader Harlal Devnath shot dead in West Bengal's Nadia district

West Bengal has still not come to terms with the spine chilling incident where a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, his pregnant wife and their six-year-old son were found murdered in Murshidabad district recently when reports of yet another ghastly incident have come to the fore. Today it has been reported that yet another BJP worker hailing from Ranaghat in TMC ruled West Bengal’s Nadia district has been brutally shot dead last night.

According to reports, 50-year-old BJP leader Harlal Debnath of booth number 21 of Habibpur Panchayat of Ranaghat police station was returning home after closing his shop late at night when he was shot dead on Friday night by some miscreants.

BJP President Manvendra Rai of Nadia district said that the deceased BJP leader was the sole architect of the growing mass base of the BJP in the area. He played an important role for the BJP in the last two elections and that is why the people of TMC have killed him.

Read: Not all of India is suffering from a ‘Super Emergency’, Mamata Banerjee, only West Bengal is

After receiving the information, police officers of Ranaghat police station reachedthe spot and immediately took Debnath to a hospital in Kalyani where doctors declared him brought dead.

The West Bengal state BJP general secretary, Subrata Chatterjee took to Twitter to share this news on Saturday. He Tweeted: “Another BJP worker has had to sacrifice while protecting democracy in West Bengal. Debnath has been shot dead by Trinamool Congress (TMC) criminals”.

At the same time, BJP’ National general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya tagged West Bengal’ CM Mamata Banerjee and wrote: “While protecting democracy in West Bengal, another brave worker of the BJP fell prey to TMC’ hooliganism”, adding that this “sacrifice will not go in vain”.

BJP cadres have long being targetted in Mamata Banerjee’ TMC in West Bengal. Following BJP’ successful inroads in the state, TMC goons have constantly unleashed atrocities on BJP workers under the behest of their supremo.

Yesterday, in yet another incident, a BJP worker was injured after he was shot allegedly by TMC workers. Ramprasad Mondal, a member of Bharatiya Janata Party, was allegedly shot at by a local TMC worker at Baruipur at South 24 Parganas in West Bengal for chanting Jai Shri Ram.

On October 10, Bandhu Prakash Pal, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker, his pregnant wife and their six-year-old son were found brutally murdered in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. Bandhu’s wife Beauty Pal was eight-months pregnant.

Read exclusive details: ED crackdown on Dawood’s India network, Praful Patel’s firm revealed to have links

Praful Patel Dawood Ibrahim
Dawood Ibrahim, CeeJay House and Praful Patel, representational image

The Enforcement Directorate has launched a massive crackdown on properties linked with Dawood Ibrahim and his associates. As per sources in the Mumbai Police several politicians, through numerous firms and private companies, are found to have links with those properties.

As per sources, the ED has zeroed in the properties of a key Dawood associate named Iqbal Memon alias ‘Mirchi’. While tracking Mirchi’s business ventures and properties in India and the UK, the ED has discovered links with a firm that is linked to former UPA-era civil aviation minister Praful Patel and his wife Varsha Patel.

As per the list of Mirchi’s properties located in India and the UK, A 15-story building in Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli, named ‘Ceejay House’ was constructed as a JV between Mirchi and M/S Millenium Developers Pvt Ltd in 2006-07.

In 2007, the third and fourth floors of the building were given to Mirchi’s family by Millenium Developers.

Former Union Minister Praful Patel and his wife Varsha Patel own a significant number of shares in Millenium Developers Pvt Ltd. In the documents, the 12th floor of the CeeJay House is mentioned as the address of Praful and Varsha Patel.

Praful Patel and Wife

It is notable here that NCP leader Praful Patel’s family owns the CeeJay Group, a large tobacco conglomerate in India.

The ED has named Mirchi as an international drug dealer, smuggler, extortionist and criminal involved in anti-national interest. In 2004, Mirchi was listed as one of the foreign drug kingpins by the US state department. He had an Interpol red corner notice against him. Mirchi had died in the UK on 14 August 2013.

Mirchi and his family members had amassed huge wealth in India and abroad. The family had fled to Dubai and had shifted their empire overseas. Haroun Yusuf, chairman of Mirchi’s trust has been named by ED as the facilitator of many of the shady property deals. The ED has listed 25 properties in the UK owned by Mirchi’s family and business partners.

Read: Pakistan testifies Dawood aide’s ‘good character’ as the UK rejects his bail plea for the second time

ED had yesterday arrested Haroun Yusuf and one Ranjit Singh Bindra who had brokered a deal with Mirchi’s trust and Sunblink Realtors Pvt Ltd. Mirchi’s Mumbai assets alone are speculated to be worth more than Rs 500 crores. Based on the Mumbai Police’s FIR on Yusuf, Mirchi and others, the ED has filed a PMLA case on Yusuf and Bindra.

The NCP has stated that the land on which CeeJay House stands was purchased from the Maharaja of Gwalior by Patel’s family in 1963 and there was a property dispute with some illegal occupants who were then granted the third floor of the building by order of the High Court. NCP had stated that Ceejay House is not owned by Praful or Varsha Patel.

Siege at Sahibgunj, Jharkhand: Stone pelting during Visarjan procession, slogans of Nara-e-Taqbeer and two completely different versions

Police deployment at Sahibgunj, Jharkhand

Since 10th October, hushed conversation and anonymous tips flooded my messages. There were several people talking about unrest in Sahibgunj, Jharkhand. However, nobody wanted to speak about it openly. The information was hard to come by. Attempts to reach the SP and DM of Sahibgunj failed miserably. News has not finally trickled in that there was indeed unrest between the Hindu and Muslim community of Sahibgunj that started with the Durga Puja visarjan procession. While the information has finally come in, the versions by both the Hindu and Muslim communities regarding what transpired that day vary vastly.

What the Muslim community of Sahibgunj says:

The Muslim community of Sahibgunj says that on the day of the procession when the Krishna Nagar Durga Puja procession was passing through the Sahibgunj college, a Hindu youth entered the shop of a Muslim man and attacked the store with a sword. The sword hit the counter of the shop and the shopkeeper allegedly escaped narrowly. This was, according to the Muslim community, done because the Muslim shopkeeper had refused to give ‘chanda’ for the Durga Puja. The Puja committee rejects these claims flatly.

The Muslim community also alleges that while the visarjan procession was passing through a Muslim dominated lane, the Hindu youths shouted ‘provocative statements’ and even played ‘provocative songs’ in the procession.

The Muslim community further claims that the Hindus were bursting firecrackers during the visarjan procession and that was damaging their property. There are several allegations from the Muslim community of Hindus attacking the house and shops of the Muslims. Though no injury in the process has been reported, the Muslims have alleged that the Hindus even attacked the front of their Mosque with swords, damaged shops, threw the merchandise our and destroyed property belonging to the Muslim residents.

What the Hindu community of Sahibgunj, celebrating Durga Puja says:

The Hindu community of Sahibgunj says that the Muslim community pelted stones at the Dussehra procession after they took offence to the music being played during the procession. The Hindu community thus retaliated after the Muslim community started pelting stones at the Durga Puja visarjan procession. The stone-pelting started when the Durga Puja visarjan procession proceeded from Bata road towards LC road of Sahibgunj.

Prabhat Khabar, a local newspaper has also reported that before the procession reached LC road too, there was stone-pelting that was reported on an Arya Samaj temple right before the Muslim area starts in Sahibgunj. While as of now, there is no evidence to suggest this is true, the claims have been reported by the local media.

According to the Hindus, it was only after the stone-pelting by the Muslim community that the Hindu community retaliated and a fight between both Hindus and Muslims ensued.

Slogans galore

Talking to local journalists, OpIndia gathered that while the Hindu community were raising Jai Shree Ram slogans, the Muslim community were raising Allah-hu-Akbar and Naara-e-Taqbeer slogans while the Durga puja visarjan procession passed the Muslim dominated areas.

Police calm situation at Sahibgunj after Durga Puja unrest

As soon as the police got wind of the clashes in Sahibgunj, several police officers along with RAF were deployed in the area. According to local journalists, the police did lathi charge and tear gas was also used to control the situation. Thereafter, the police halted the Puja procession and later, in the night, escorted the Durga Murti for visarjan. When the police reached the area, the procession was also asked to stop playing music.

After getting the situation under control, the police conducted extensive flag marches in the area to ensure that no further fight breaks out between the two communities.

On Friday 11th October, according to a report in Dainik Jagran, the Muslims of the area protested by keeping their shops closed. Interestingly, it is on Friday itself that the SP had called representatives of the Hindu and Muslim community for peace talks. According to this report, the Muslim community boycotted the meeting and demanded that the SP hold the meeting at LC road itself. It was after this demand that the SP of Sahibgunj reached LC road and help peace talks between the Hindu and Muslim community.

SP of Sahibgunj sets new norms for religious processions including Durga Puja

According to a local media report in Prabhatkaran newspaper, the SP of Sahibgunj has set new norms for all religious processions in the area. The SP, while speaking to people from Shibgunj said that he will be setting a new norm where all religious processions can happen only in broad daylight. He also said that all processions would be confined to only one day.

Stone pelting the next day too

According to local reporters, while the peace meeting was being held by the SP of Sahibgunj, another incident of stone-pelting came to light, due to which the SP then cut short the peace meeting and headed to calm to the situation there on Friday.

According to a local journalist, this incident of stone-pelting occurred where the Durga Puja pandal was set up. The stone-pelting was initiated by the Muslim community and then, it says retaliation from the Hindu community too. According to a report in Prabhat Khabar, some rounds were also fired by the police to calm the situation. Once the situation was under control, there was heavy police presence deployed in the area.

Rumours make situations worse

The people of Sahibgunj started running scared after rumours in the wind that some youth were roaming around on bikes with weapons in Habibpur. Several rumours of scuffles also gathered wind from different parts of the city. To quell the rumours, the SP took out a flag march through the area with his police force and also instructed to take action if any misguided rumours were being spread.

A violent Dussehra for Hindus

While the Hindus celebrated the divinity, some Muslims were busy perpetrating violence on the devotees and desecrating their faith. In this article, we will highlight how in just two days, eight incidents of violence, stone-pelting on procession as well as breaking of idols of Maa Durga. Not only that, pieces of meat were also thrown on the route of the procession. Many devotees fast during the nine days of Navratri and give up on consumption of meat and alcohol.

You can read about the 8 attacks perpetrated against Hindus in 2 days here.

Following Income Tax raids, Congress leader G Parameshwara’s personal assistant Ramesh commits suicide

Congress leader and Karnataka former Dy CM G Parameshwara's personal assistant Ramesh commits suicide

The Income Tax Department along with conducting raid at former Karnataka Deputy CM and premises of Congress leader G Parameshwara, also searched his personal assistant Ramesh’s residence yesterday. Now it is being reported that Parameshwara’s personal assistant, Ramesh has committed suicide on Saturday morning here in Bengaluru. Rs. 4.52 crores cash was seized during the raids at Parameshwara’s premises.

Ramesh, who was reportedly questioned by the IT sleuths during the raids, hanged himself to a tree in Gyanabharati premises today.

According to the media reports, Ramesh, assistant to G Parameshwara allegedly informed one of his close aides that he was committing suicide as he was unable to face raid by the IT department.

“I am a poor person and I was living an honest life. I am constructing a house for myself now and the IT department raided my house recently. I am unable to face them and answer their questions”, Ramesh told his aide before switching off his cellphone and committing suicide.

A case in this regard has been registered at Gyanbharati Police Station.

Meanwhile, the IT sleuths who had carried out raids at around 30 premises of former deputy chief minister of Karnataka on October 11, seized cash to the tune of Rs 4.52 crore from the Congress leader’s premises.

Apart from searching former Karnataka Deputy CM and Congress leader G Parameshwara’s premises and his assistant Ramesh’s residence the IT officials reportedly searched the premises of Siddhartha Medical College in Bengaluru which is run by a trust related to G Parameshwara and his brother’s son, Anand’s house.

As per reports, these raids are in connection with multi-crore tax evasion case linked to NEET exams.

Like Jewish people, Hindus need to tell the world about centuries of our suffering

By now, we have all become familiar with the “Day of outrage” phenomenon. It all begins like this: an innocuous headline tucked away in some newspaper or some news portal that seems deliberately vague on the details. Something like “Delhi man dies in mob attack” or “Place of worship attacked by unknown miscreants from a certain community.” Everybody has learned how to decode terms like this anyway.

In an age of social media, such attempts are futile. So their cover is blown in no time. And it is revealed, yet again, that some Hindu somewhere has been the victim of a horrific hate crime. Or a Hindu temple has been desecrated or some such thing.

Then, social media does what it does best. Going into peak outrage mode for an extremely short span of time. The Hinduphobic lobby senses the bad weather and stays indoors, waiting for the storm to blow over. Usually, within 24-48 hours, everything is calm once again.

This is why those insulting headlines never recede even after being ‘exposed’ a hundred times over. Because social media outrage blows over quickly. Nothing is left for future reference. Except stories with headlines like “Delhi man spontaneously evaporated” or something…

Journalism they say is the first draft of history. And so, it must be remembered that anti-Hindu bias in reporting cannot be ‘exposed’ by merely one day of social media outrage. Yes, it is a positive development that nowadays they do get exposed on the day. But unless the writing of history itself is changed, there is no real long term benefit to this.

You might remember those ‘hate crime databases’ and those ‘studies’ that draw from them. Inevitably, their conclusion is the same: something like 95% or so “victims” of hate crime are non-Hindus.

Read: Ready to dance on dead bodies of Hindus: How Raghav Bahl’s website whitewashed Islamist attack on Durga visarjan

It’s easy to see why this happens. Because if some thief breaks into a missionary school in Delhi and manages to steal Rs 8000, it gets reported as a hate crime. If a mob of ‘seculars’ vandalizes a temple in the same city and even desecrates the idols, it is reported as a ‘parking dispute.’

The ones who write these ‘parking dispute’ reports know very well that they will get exposed on social media. Then, why do they do it? Because they also know that the written record of the incident as a ‘parking dispute’ will always remain. The angry tweets will be forgotten. So when history is compiled, every instance of hate crime against Hindus will either be forgotten outright or recorded as disputed. The most effective example of this would be the Godhra carnage, which is still reported as if there is doubt about who was behind the attack. It has now been years since the convicts, all of them from the ‘peaceful religion,’ have been convicted and their sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Let me remind you how ‘secular’ forces achieved this remarkable feat of lying about the Godhra carnage. Just days after the incident, a team of activists and left wing politicians ran to Godhra on what they called a “fact finding mission.” It was they who sowed every vicious rumour about karsevaks not paying for tea, even a rumour about a girl being molested. In small but sure ways, they began undermining the real facts about the carnage and its victims. As soon as UPA came to power in 2004, they created the Banerjee Commission which said the fire was an accident. It didn’t matter that these claims were later debunked in High Court and Supreme Court. As a general rule, historians, even with best of intentions, generally try to present “all sides” of an event. In the case of Godhra carnage, the lie was seeded alongside the truth from Day 1. And it worked.

Like Hindus, the Jewish people have been persecuted for centuries. After World War 2, the Jewish people stood up and resolved that this would never happen again. And they worked hard to cement the memory of the holocaust into history. Memorials were built all across Europe, museums were constructed. The stories of holocaust survivors were documented for all of humanity to remember. International organizations and academic disciplines were created to document the history of anti-Semitism as well as its presence in contemporary society.

India became independent around the same time as Israel was established. However, the Hindus of India, self-governing for the first time in 1000 years, were unable to establish a similar intellectual infrastructure. A Sikh employee at the BBC recently resigned after the organization forbade him to tell the story of Guru Tegh Bahadur, who was executed by Aurangazeb for refusing to convert to Islam. In other words, we have neglected this history for so long that it is going away from us. ‘Secularists’ have come in and rewritten the narrative completely. Startlingly, it is now being suggested that Aurangazeb is a misunderstood man, that he should be credited for the idea of separation of religion and state!

I will wait for the day when there are museums in India and all across the world that show the history of how Hindus were treated at the hands of oppressors. How temples were destroyed, idols broken, places of worship desecrated. How Hindus were made to pay Jaziya tax. How Hindus were massacred in 1947 and chased away from the lands their ancestors had lived in for thousands of years. I will wait for the day when Hinduphobia is studied as an academic discipline, its history and practice is documented by scholars.

For Hindus, social media was only the first step. One small battle has been won. But the war is still very much going against us. Can we turn it around?

PM Modi’s niece attacked: Robbers snatch her handbag from autorickshaw near Gujarat Samaj Bhawan

PM Modi's niece's purse snatched outside Gujarati Samaj Bhawan in Delhi
PM Modi's niece Damayantiben Modi, image courtesy: India Today

In a shocking incident, some unidentified miscreants snatched the purse of PM Modi’s relative while she was on her way to Gujarati Samaj Bhawan in Delhi on Saturday. PM Modi’s niece was attacked right outside the gate of the Bhawan while she was paying the auto fare.

The DCP(north) Monica Bhardwaj has informed that a case of robbery has been registered based on the victim’s statement. The victim, Damyantiben Modi, along with her husband had travelled from Amritsar to reach Delhi today morning. They were supposed to stay at the Gujarati Samaj Bhawan before leaving in the evening.

Damyantiben in her statement said that she was ambushed by the attackers when the auto had stopped in front of Bhawan and she was about to pay for the fare. At around 8:10 am, two Scooter-borne men waylaid her from behind and snatched her purse which was kept on her lap. Following the incident, she went to the Civil Lines Police station and filed a complaint.

The Delhi Police has reportedly employed all its resources to nab the snatchers. According to the reports, Anti-Terror units and Crime Branch are out in the field to ascertain the whereabouts and identities of the snatchers.

As per reports Damayantiben Modi also fell down from the auto during the struggle and suffered some injuries. She was later taken to AIIMS Trauma Centre.

Damayantiben Modi is the daughter of PM Modi’s elder brother Prahlad Modi. She has stated that she was carrying Rs 56,000 in cash, two mobile phones and some important documents in her handbag that was snatched.

Mathura Police debunks anti-RSS propaganda being peddled on social media claiming attack on Christians

Mathura Police calls out Twitter user for sharing fake news about an immolation attempt
Representational Image, via twitter

A Twitter user who goes by @NotMukerji had yesterday shared a macabre video in which a burned couple was seen being rescued by the local people even as the son was heard wailing in the video. The Twitter user alleged in the post that a Christian couple in Uttar Pradesh was set on fire by “Hindu radicals RSS after they resisted the forcible occupation of their land”.

The post instantly went viral with as many as 5500 retweets as of now and several thousand likes to the post.

However, today morning Mathura Police posted a tweet refuting the allegations made by @NotMukerji in the post. Debunking the claims made by the anonymous Twitter user, Mathura Police rubbished the allegations that the couple was set on fire for opposing the forced occupation and asserted that the news is completely untrue and baseless. The police further clarified that both the sides are Hindu and none of them is a Christian.

Furthermore, the police said that the incident is from August 28, 2019, when a couple-Jogendra Singh and his wife Chandravati along with their son Mohan Singh came to Surir police station and set themselves on fire after pouring petrol over themselves. The police personnel present at the occasion rescued them from the engulfing fire and immediately rushed them to the primary health centre nearby.

It is alleged that the couple had tried to commit suicide in protest against the police inaction on their complaint. The couple had lodged a complaint with the police that they were being harassed by a local influential man, who had illegally occupied their house and was repeatedly threatening them.

The police have asserted that based on the complaint filed by Jogendra Singh under various sections, all the accused who were threatening him and his family have been arrested and sent to jail.

The Mathura police have strongly repudiated the fake news of “Christian Couple being set on fire for opposing appropriation of their land” that is being proliferated by many on social media to give a communal flair to the incident. An unfortunate self-immolation attempt by an aggrieved couple was twisted and distorted by propagandists to further their propaganda of vilifying RSS and Hindus.

Endurance and courage: Tribal children from Chandrapur district scale Mt Everest in a unique initiative by Maharashtra govt

Tribals students with The President of India

Five students from Chandrapur tribal ashram school did something, which is an ultimate example of endurance, hard work, patience and above all courage, for everyone to wake up and take notice. These kids from- what the people call as deprived and marginalized strata- has once again shown the world what stories of success are built upon.

‘Mission Shaurya’ as its name suggests, is a story of a dream which people from the tribal area of Chandrapur District had dared to dream and fulfil it. It was a joint initiative of the state Tribal department and Chandrapur Collectorate to scale Everest. The idea behind it was to mainstream the tribal student and give them exposure. In its first year in 2018, it attracted a lot of curiosity and skepticism alike from across not only India but from the entire world. Out of the hundreds that applied five students ultimately achieved the feat including a girl student and scaled the Everest to the amazement of the world and paved the way for many to follow.

Tribal Students who scaled the Mt Everest

This year too, 11 students were selected and trained for this mission’s second chapter. The training process was extensive and needed lot acclimatization. The basic training was given by the Gyan Bharati skill development centre at Wardha.

The students were given foundation course which included foundations of adventure, preparedness and teamwork after that they were tested for advanced winter training sessions in Leh and Ladakh. That was followed by the basic mountaineering course in Hyderabad and later in Darjeeling. They were trained to scale peaks as high as 17000 feet so that they can adapt to climate at Everest’s height of 29,000 feet.

They were trained to store water, edibles and techniques of controlling the respiration. In Leh, they were taught to walk in the freeze lakes and survive at a temperature as low as minus 35-degree centigrade. During this training process, students were taught to keep mental situation, diet, nutritious values and other necessary requirements under their control. 11 students out of those who performed well during all these trainings were selected for ‘Mission Shaurya- 2019’ where they have to climb Mount Everest.

Mission Shaurya

Manisha Dhurve, the tribal girl from Dewada Ashram School from Chandrapur district, who had achieved this feat and being the only girl from the team to achieve success, describes this as the biggest thing of her life. “I can dream of even bigger things in life now…and I don’t fear that I should not be dreaming these things as I now know that nothing is impossible,” said the proud girl.

PM Modi interacting with Tribal students

For Sudhir Mungantiwar, Cabinet Minister for Finance and planning and Forests, this is a cause which is close to its heart, making sure that the achievers are taken care of. The achievers were given cash prizes to the tune of Rs 25 lakhs and kids who couldn’t make it were also lauded for their stupendous efforts and were awarded Rs 10 lakhs. They were also given jobs in the state police force.

The mission now has taken a life of its own for others to follow and dream the ultimate dream.

UN faces severe cash crunch: Austerity measures in places, restricts heating and AC, stops hiring

The UN Headquarters at New York City, image courtesy: World Atlas

The United Nations is facing a severe cash crunch as most of the member nations have been defaulting on their payments. As UN chief Antonio Guterres had informed recently that the UN may run out of money by the end of this month, the organisation has been taking serious cost-cutting measures.

In the UN headquarters at New York City, after-hour meetings and late-night receptions have been stopped. The building restricts Air Conditioning after 6 pm till the 8 am in the next morning. Heating and drinking water outlets are limited too.

As per reports, the organisation is preparing for more cost-cutting measures, like cancelling the freebies like water bottles and such at conferences, and additional services like translations and prompt availability of documents are expected to be limited and delayed too.

Some reports have stated that the UN does not even have the money to pay staff salaries for the month of November

The 39-storied secretariat building has shut down many of its water fountains and escalators. As per reports, UN chief Guterres has sent a letter to all department heads, offices and special political missions informing them of the problem’s severity.

In his letter, Guterres reportedly mentioned that beginning October 14, austerity measures will be implemented and it will affect working conditions and operations until further notice. The organisation has also stopped new hirings.

The UN’s cash crisis is mainly due to member nations not paying their annual assessment bills.

India is one of the few nations that have paid all their dues to the UN, image courtesy: Twitter

“Member states have paid only 70% of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month,” Guterres had written earlier.

Read: India gifts solar panels worth $1 million to the United Nations headquarters in New York

India is one of the only 35 of the 193 member nations that have paid all their dues to the UN. Apart from this, the UN also owes India a staggering 38 million USD for contributing peacekeeping forces. India’s ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin had shared an image where the names of the nations that have made full payments to the UN was displayed at the headquarters.

The US owes the highest amount to the UN. According to UN officials, the United States owed $381 million to the regular budget as of January 1 and $776 million to the peacekeeping budget.

However, US President Donald Trump has stated recently that the US is being billed unfairly and the UN should make all the nations pay, not just the US.

Sandeep Dikshit writes letter to PC Chacko blaming him for Sheila Dikshit’s sudden demise, Sonia Gandhi refers matter to Congress panel

PC Chacko, Sandeep Dikshit

Three months ago, the longest-serving chief minister of Delhi and a veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit had passed away at the age of 81. She was reportedly ill for the last several days. Reasons for her demise has been stated as prolong illness and old age. Now, her son and Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit has written a letter to Delhi Congress in-charge PC Chacko blaming him for the sudden demise of Sheila Dikshit. Sandeep has also demanded an apology from Chacko, reports said.

Chacko and Sandeep Dikshit have both refused to reveal the full details of the purported letter, however, media reports claim that sources within the Congress party have said that Dikshit was extremely distressed about the way she was treated and the organisational changes being made in the state unit of Congress.

Sonia Gandhi, the current President of the Congress party has reportedly referred the matter to the Congress disciplinary panel for further action and probe.

At a hurried press conference, several Congress leaders demanded that PC Chacko be sacked from his position and from the party since he had leaked the contents of the private letter written to him by Sandeep Dikshit.

Read: Fresh trouble knocks at Rahul’s doors as PC Chacko overturns Shiela Dikshit’s order to dissolve Congress block committees

PC Chacko has, however, confirmed that he has received such a letter from Sandeep Dikshit. He said he had received the said letter and forwarded it to Sonia Gandhi. He alleged that Sandeep Dikshit has made some ‘wild and nasty’ allegations against him.

According to reports, Sheila Dikshit herself had written a detailed letter to Sonia Gandhi just a day before her death. According to media reports, she had claimed that she was being constantly harassed by PC Chacko and all her political decisions were being overturned by him.

Desperate times? Sonia asks West Bengal Congress to campaign with the Left, laments BJP’s rise in the state

Sonia asks West Bengal Congress leaders to plan joint movements with the left front, for an alliance for the assembly elections against the ruling TMC and fast emerging BJP
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, representational image, via Twitter

Sonia Gandhi has asked the leaders of West Bengal Congress to plan joint movements with the Left front, to challenge the ruling TMC and emerging BJP in the state. As per reports, WB Congress leader Abdul Mannan had met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi twice on Thursday to discuss the political situation in the state.

Abdul Mannan is the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly.

Following the meeting, Mannan has informed media that Sonia has given her nod for a Congress-Left Front alliance in West Bengal considering that the party is losing ground with the ruling TMC and the emerging BJP.

“We discussed the political situation with Sonia Gandhiji and she has asked us to conduct joint movements with the Left Front in order to build a public opinion about the proposed LF-Congress alliance in the state. She asked us to conduct joint movements with Left Front against Trinamool Congress and BJP in the state,” said WB Congress leader Abdul Mannan.

Read: Mamata meets Gandhis, but Bengal Congress chief calls her a ‘chameleon’, ‘trojan horse’ and ‘dictator’

Mannan also reportedly informed that Sonia was of the opinion that had the Congress-Left alliance been intact after the 2016 assembly elections, the political situation in Bengal could have been different and BJP would have never gained ground in the state.

It is notable here that Sonia had reportedly given her nod for the Congress-Left alliance in the upcoming assembly by-elections in WB back in August. There will be by-elections for 3 assembly seats in Kaliaganj, Kharagpur and Karimganj seats located in 3 different districts in the state soon.

While the Congress will field candidates in the Kaliaganj and Kharagpur seats, the CPI(M) will contest the Karimpur seat.

Read: Mamata Banerjee reaches out to Congress and CPI(M) seeking support in her fight against BJP in Bengal, rebuffed

In the 2016 assembly elections, Congress and the CPI(M) had come together but had managed only 44 and 26 seats respectively. The TMC had a clear majority with 211 seats out of the 294.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, both Congress and CPI(M) had faced a near route. While Congress managed to win 2 seats and lost deposits in 38 seats, the CPI(M) had failed to win even a single seat and had lost deposits in all the 39 seats where it had contested.

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