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AAP suspends 2 Punjab MLAs for ‘anti-party activities’

Khaira was an MLA from Bholath while Sandhu represented Kharar constituency in the Assembly.

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Aam Aadmi Party

Chandigarh, Nov 3 : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday suspended senior leaders and legislators of the Punjab unit Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu from the party.

A statement issued from the party headquarters said that “Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kanwar Sandhu have been consistently indulging in anti-party activities and have continuously attacked central and state leadership”.

The statement, issued by the party’s Core Committee of Punjab, said the committee “has decided to suspend them with immediate effect after exhausting all the available avenues to assuage them and make them see reason”.

“Indiscipline and anti-party activities cannot be tolerated at any level and the leaders and volunteers have to follow the rules set by the party,” it said.

The Punjab unit of the party had seen a virtual revolt in August this year after the AAP central leadership suddenly removed Khaira as the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly.

Infighting among party leaders has been to the fore since then in Punjab.

The Khaira camp, which has the support of some AAP legislators, has been demanding autonomy for the AAP Punjab unit. The rebel leadership had, in August this year, announced its eight-member ad hoc political affairs committee (PAC) for Punjab.

Khaira had also announced dissolution of the organisational structure of the AAP Punjab unit at a rebel convention held in Bathinda on August 2.

He had, however, said that he was not trying to break the party.

Khaira was an MLA from Bholath while Sandhu represented Kharar constituency in the Assembly.

The AAP central leadership had picked up Dalit leader Harpal Singh Cheema as the Leader of the Opposition after Khaira’s removal. Eleven out of the 20 AAP legislators in the Punjab Assembly visited Delhi in August first week and had a breakfast meeting with AAP National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The AAP became the main opposition in Punjab Assembly after the elections in March last year, winning 20 seats in the 117-member house.

One legislator, H.S. Phoolka, who is a lawyer-activist, had resigned from his Assembly seat in October due to personal reasons.

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NRC Assam coordinator says names of ineligible persons figure in final list

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Statelessness in Assam NRC

Guwahati, Feb 22 : Nearly six months after the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the state coordinator of the exercise has indicated that a few names of “ineligible persons” were present in the list and that he has written to officials of all 31 districts seeking details of such people.

In an official letter dated February 19 to all Deputy Commissioners (DC) and District Registrar of Citizen Registration (DRCR) under the subject ‘Regarding presence of ineligible persons in the final NRC’, NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma said the matter was of utmost importance as the details have to be submitted to the Registrar General of India urgently.

“With respect to the subject cited and the correspondences under reference, it has come to the knowledge of the undersigned that after publication of final NRC on 31st August 2019, a few names of ineligible persons are found present in the final NRC, particularly who are DV (Doubtful Voters), DF (Declared Foreigner), PFT (those with cases pending in Foreigners’ Tribunal), DVD (descendants of DV), DFD (descendants of FD) And PFTD (cases of declared foreigners pending in foreigner tribunals),” said Sarma.

“A list of such persons has already been shared from your end through the medium mentioned at sl. 2 above (webform).

“As such, you are requested to share the details of such persons who are ineligible for inclusion in NRC but whose names got included in NRC in addition to the list shared earlier…,” the letter said, directing that the responses be given by February 20.

The letter came days after a police complaint was lodged against former Coordinator of the NRC in Assam Prateek Hajela for allegedly tampering with records related to the citizenship exercise, sources said on Friday.

The complaint was lodged by an NGO Assam Public Works, the original petitioner to the Supreme Court about the NRC updation.

Over 19 lakh people in Assam were left out of the final NRC list, which named 3,11,21,004 people as Indian citizens.

The citizens’ registry was released online ending six years of speculation over the mammoth exercise involving 52,000 state government officials working on it for identifying illegal foreigners living in Assam.

The NRC has immense significance for the people of the northeastern state which witnessed a six-year-long movement from 1979 to 1985 seeking detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshis.

The movement finally led to the Assam Accord of 1985 signed by the then Congress-ruled Centre in the presence of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the leaders of the agitation belonging to the All Assam Students Union and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad.

The NRC updation process, started in the state on orders of the Supreme Court in 2013, was carried out by the Registrar General of India under the monitoring of the apex judiciary.

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Shaheen Bagh protesters clear part of road

The move comes four days after the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors met the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.

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New Delhi, Feb 22 : The passage between Kalindi Kunj to Nodia (via Road No. 9, Okhla) which was blocked for more than two months due to the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests at Shaheen Bagh was opened on Saturday.

The passage was opened after the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors assured the protesters that their demands would be taken up before the Supreme Court.

DCP South East R.P. Meena visited the site to review the situation. However, the barricades are partially placed and the police are checking every car passing through the passage.

The passage was blocked after protests continued in the Shaheen Bagh area of the national capital against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The move comes four days after the Supreme Court-appointed interlocutors met the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.

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Serviceman opens fire in Andhra over spurned love

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Gun Fight

Amaravati, Feb 22 (IANS) A woman was injured when a serviceman opened fire after she rejected his marriage proposal for her daughter in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district on Saturday.

According to police, the incident occurred in Nadimpalli village. Balaji, working as a soldier, opened fire from a country-made revolver as soon as the girl’s mother opened the door. The alert woman moved quickly but the bullet pierced through her right ear.

Hearing her screams, locals rushed to the scene and tried to catch Balaji. He threw the bag and the revolver and escaped.

Injured Rama Devi was shifted to a hospital. Police detained an auto rickshaw driver who allegedly helped the attacker.

Police said they registered a case and launched a hunt for Balaji.

According to police, the accused, hailing from another village in the same district, was in love with the girl and wanted to marry her. However, the girl had rejected the proposal. As he continued harassing her, the family lodged a complaint with the police. Enraged over this, Balaji came to her house on Saturday morning and opened fire.

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