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Aseemanand granted bail in Mecca Masjid case; NIA may not contest

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New Delhi, March 24, 2017: A court in Hyderabad granted conditional bail to former RSS activist Swami Asseemanand in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case on Thursday. He was in jail since December 2010.

The fourth Metropolitan sessions court directed him to furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and not to leave Hyderabad without prior permission.

The court had earlier granted bail to three others in the case.

Nine people were killed and several others wounded when an IED exploded inside the mosque in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will get the copy of the order of bail granted to Aseemanand on Friday after which it will decide whether to challenge it or not.

Earlier, Aseemanand had confessed upon the role of right-wing activists in the attack but he later retracted his statement. He, along with six others, was also acquitted by a National Investigation Agency (NAI) special court in the Ajmer Dargah blast case earlier this month.

Aseemamand is also a co-accused in the Samjhauta Express and Malegaon blasts cases.

Wefornews Bureau

India

Another batch of farmers manages to enter Haryana

“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with the Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders.

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Delhi Tikri Border Farmers

Chandigarh, Nov 27: Bracing tear gas and water cannons, another batch of a large number of protesting farmers from Punjab on Friday breached the massive blockades comprising huge boulders, barbed fence and mounds of earth on the Bathinda-Dabwali road to enter Haryana on their onward march to the national capital.

The farmers were led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta-Ugrahan.

Simultaneously, hundreds of thousands of farmers belonging to the Kisan Sangharsh Committee started their journey from Jandiala in Amritsar district towards Delhi via Haryana.

A day earlier both groups had positioned themselves in their respective areas.

Riding more than 4,000 tractor-trailers and nearly 1,500 buses, besides cars and motorcycles, the farmers, comprising women and children, started marching towards Delhi after breaking barriers at Dabwali and Jind in Haryana.

An advance team of farmers, largely the youth, has been taking the lead of the rally, which is 10-15 km long, to clear the blockades erected by the police to make way for the protesters to move ahead without obstructions.

“We just managed to break a multi-layer police barricade on the border despite the use of water cannons by the Haryana Police,” protester Zile Singh said.

Earlier in the day, a large group of farmers from Punjab and Haryana continued their “Delhi Chalo” march from Panipat and almost reached the national capital. Marching through Haryana where they were joined by an equal number of local farmers.

Amid the protest, ‘langar’ preparations by special committees were underway to feed the scores of farmers.

Expressing solidarity, farmers have got thousands of litres of milk in the morning from Punjab and Haryana villages.

“We have enough ration with us to support the protesters in Delhi at least for two months,” said protester Rajinder Kaur.

A huge contingent of the police comprising the Rapid Action Force has been deployed at all entry points in Haryana, while residents of several towns located along the Punjab-Haryana border faced a harrowing time due to the heavy deployment of the security forces and snapping of the bus services in the past 24 hours.

The farmers affiliated to 33 organisations are part of the United Farmers Front, an all-India body of over 470 farmer unions that will participate in the indefinite protest in the national capital.

Farmers protesting against the farm laws have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has once again reiterated that voices of the protesting farmers “cannot be muzzled indefinitely” and the “Centre should initiate talks”.

“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with the Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders.

“Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?” a tweet by Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral quoting Amarinder Singh said.

In a series of tweets, the Chief Minister said the Central government “needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured MSP (minimum support price), which is the basic right of every farmer”.

“If they can give verbal assurance, I fail to understand why they can’t make it a legal obligation of the Government of India.”

“Those claiming it is the Congress that’s instigating the farmers are blind not to see the lakhs of farmers trying to enter Delhi from across the country. It is a fight for their lives and livelihoods and they don’t need any backing or provocation,” the Chief Minister added.

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India

Tikri, Singhu borders sealed as farmers rally for Delhi entry

Police was also checking vehicles at the DND e-way and National Highway-24 crossings adjoining Uttar Pradesh.

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Farmers Protest Delhi Gurgaon Border

New Delhi, Nov 27: Even as hundreds of farmers on Friday rallied at interstate borders to enter Delhi for their proposed protest against the three central agricultural laws, Delhi Police said it had decided to close Tikri and Singhu entry points.

The Delhi Traffic Police advised commuters to avoid roads and stretches on the Delhi- Haryana border due to crowds of farmers who were adamant on marching into Delhi. Hundreds of commuters have already been left stranded and stuck in traffic jams and snarls on these roads.

Earlier in the day, thousands of protesting farmers had gathered on the Delhi-Haryana borders, after which Delhi Police used tear-gas shells and water cannons to push them back.

“Tikri border is completely closed to traffic movement. Traffic intending to go towards Haryana is also closed. All motorists are advised to avoid this route in view of the protest by the farmers,” the Delhi Traffic Police advised.

Traffic was heavy on the carriageway from Peeragarhi towards Punjabi Bagh due to checking by police at Ordnance Depot. The Traffic Police requested motorists to avoid the stretch.

Heavy traffic congestion was also seen on the Delhi-Gurugram border as police along with paramilitary forces were deployed to check incoming vehicles.

“Obstruction in traffic on the carriageway from Gurgaon towards Dhaula Kuan due to checking by local police near Dhaula Kuan police chowki. Kindly avoid the stretch,” a senior Delhi Traffic Police officer said.

Police also advised people to avoid Outer Ring Road, Mukarba Chowk, GTK Road, NH-44 and Singhu border areas.

“Commuters are requested to avoid Mukarba Chowk since there is a traffic diversion and vehicles are not allowed to move towards the Singhu boarder. Interstate vehicles may take the Western/Eastern peripheral expressway,” the officer added.

Police was also checking vehicles at the DND e-way and National Highway-24 crossings adjoining Uttar Pradesh.

Around 500 organisations of farmers from various states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh etc had planned to hold protests in Delhi from November 26-27 to demand repeal of the farm laws.

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Cities

Kangana bungalow demolition smacks of malice, says Bombay High Court

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal

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Kangana Ranaut

Mumbai, November 27: The Bombay High Court on Friday has said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action of demolishing part of Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow here smacks of malafide and was done to cause substantial loss to the actor, and quashed the demolition order.

The court also said it did not approve of authorities using “muscle power” against any citizen.

A division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla noted that the action undertaken by the civic body left hardly “any manner of doubt” that it was unauthorised.

The bench was hearing Ranaut’s petition challenging the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow in suburban Bandra on September 9.

“The civic body has proceeded to act wrongfully and illegally against the rights of a citizen,” the bench said.

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal.

On the issue of compensation, the bench said it was appointing a valuer who would hear the petitioner and the BMC on monetary damages caused to her due to the demolition.

“The valuer shall by March 2021 pass appropriate orders on compensation,” the court said.

The civic body had opposed the plea and said the actor had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive alterations and additions to the bungalow in breach of its approved plan.

Ranaut had filed the petition on September 9 when the demolition process was initiated by the BMC. The court had in an interim order on September 9 stayed the demolition work. PTI

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