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Assam Bandh against Citizenship Bill 2016 : 60 groups protest, BJP govt makes attendance compulsory




Guwahati, Oct 23: At least 60 organisations, including the Congress, have called a 12-hour Assam bandh on Tuesday to protest against a meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee with the Ministries of Home and External Affairs over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.However, the BJP-led state government has made it clear that it is compulsory for its employees to attend offices.

The bill seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, drawing opposition from several organisations in Assam.

The BJP leaders who met the Chief Minister on Monday also urged the government not to accord permission to a November 17 meeting of Bengali organisations in Guwahati, supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

“The proposed meeting on November 17 is likely to result in law and order issues. We will not allow the November 17 meeting,” said Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

He said that according to a Gauhati High Court order, calling a bandh is illegal. “The court has termed the bandh as illegal. We have to follow the court’s order. Those calling a bandh will have to pay for the damages that they cause,” he added.

The BJP government in Assam, led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has made adequate preparations to maintain peace and normalcy in the state.

The bandh called by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) is supported by at least 60 organisations and pressure groups in Assam.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which is a partner of the BJP-led alliance government in the state, is organising a rally in protest against the JPC’s proposed meeting with the MEA and MHA on Tuesday. The AGP said that at least 50,000 people will participate in the rally.

The organizations have called the bandh against the JPC meeting with the officials of MHA and MEA without visiting Assam for a second time to take on board every shade of opinion. Although the JPC, led by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal, had visited Assam in May this year, not all organisations and leaders could meet it.

Sonowal on Monday held a meeting with senior ministers and BJP leaders to discuss the bandh called by different organisations. The government also issued directives to employees to report for duty on Tuesday.

Police have been asked to arrest the bandh supporters, and traders told to keep shops and business establishments open, failing which their trade licences will be cancelled.


The KMSS clarified that the organisation does not support calling bandhs, but a bandh call on Tuesday was necessitated as the BJP-led government in Assam is behaving in a dictatorial manner. “We cannot allow the government to make Assam a second Jammu & Kashmir or a Tripura, where the indigenous people have become a minority,” said KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi.


Congress summons Telangana leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy miffed over ticket denial



Hyderabad, Nov 17 : The Congress party’s central leadership on Saturday summoned senior leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy to New Delhi hours after he expressed resentment over being denied ticket to contest next month’s elections to Telangana Assembly.

With his name missing from the third list of the candidates released by the party on Saturday, Shashidhar Reddy blamed party’s state president Uttam Kumar Reddy. He alleged that Uttam Kumar misled the screening committee by stating that he will not win the election.

Addressing a news conference, Shashidhar expressed surprise over reports that Congress has left Sanathnagar seat to its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the seat-sharing agreement. He said TDP never demanded this seat.

Shashidhar Reddy urged the leadership to reconsider its decision before Monday. He also said that he will take a decision in tune with the wishes of his supporters and people of the constituency.

Son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy, Shashidhar was elected to the assembly four times from Sanathnagar. He had lost 2014 election.

Earlier in the day, Congress announced third list of candidates for December 7 election to 119-member Assembly. The list comprising 13 candidates include former minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who was miffed at being ignored in the first two lists.

The leadership announced his name after persuading its ally Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) to give up its claim for Jangaon, a constituency Ponnala had been contesting from for last three decades.

With the third list, Congress has so far announced 88 candidates. It is likely to declare six more candidates on Sunday as the party has agreed to leave remaining 25 seats for its allies – 14 for TDP, 8 for TJS and 3 for Communist Party of India (CPI).

In a related development, TJS on Saturday announced four candidates.

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Delhi University expels Ankiv Baisoya



New Delhi, Nov 17: Delhi University top officials are tight-lipped, but Delhi Police have confirmed receiving communication from the university saying that it has expelled Ankiv Baisoya after he was found guilty of faking his educational certificates.

“We got the information from Delhi University that his (Baisoya) admission has been cancelled. We wrote to the university asking them to send us a verification report that they got from the Thiruvalluvar University and told them to lodge a proper complaint so that we can proceed further,” a senior police officer said.

“We sent the letter to the Registrar the same day. We got the letter in the evening on November 15, the day Baisoya’s admission was cancelled,” the officer told IANS.

He said he was forwarded the letter sent to the Registrar by the head of the Buddist Department where Baisoya was admitted.

Sources said the police was informed of the cancellation after the university got a letter from the Thiruvalluvar University Registrar confirming that Baisoya was never a student of that university.

Delhi University Registrar Tarun Das and Proctor Neeta Sehgal could not be contacted for confirmation.

Baisoya, who was elected as the DU students union President two months back, said on Facebook on November 15, the day he was expelled, that he was resigning his post.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student group to which he belonged, too, suspended Baisoya on November 15, asking him to step down from the DUSU post.

Baisoya has been expelled for submitting fake documents from Thiruvalluvar University at Vellore in Tamil Nadu to secure admission in Delhi University where he was a student of Buddhist Studies.


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Cyclone Gaja: Death toll in Tamil Nadu reaches to 33



Chennai, Nov 17: The death toll due to cyclonic storm Gaja, which hit coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, has reached to 33, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Saturday.

Addressing media at Salem, Palaniswami stated that 20 men, 11 women, and 2 children died due to the cyclone that crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam districts between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. on Friday.

The cyclone left a trail of destruction in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts.

Due to the cyclone, 70 livestock and several goats, poultry and deer have also died.

Some 127,000 trees were uprooted by the strong cyclonic winds that touched a maximum speed of about 120 kmph, the Chief Minister added.

The state government is distributing water, milk and food to the people affected by the calamity.

About 177,500 people are staying in 351 relief camps in the cyclone-affected areas.

According to the Chief Minister, about 30,000 electricity poles were broken, and 105 power sub-stations affected.

About 10,000 personnel have deployed in the cyclone-affected coastal districts to repair the installations.


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