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CBI books ex-CM Harish Rawat, others

They have been booked for criminal conspiracy, taking gratification in order to influence public servants.

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Harish Rawat Congress

New Delhi, Oct 23 : In more troubles for the Congress, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday registered a case against former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat for allegedly buying support of rebel MLAs in 2016.

Besides Rawat, the CBI has also booked his then cabinet colleague Harak Singh Rawat, who is now a member of the state’s BJP-led government, for alleged attempts at horsetrading in 2016, which was caught on tape by Umesh Kumar, CEO of a Hindi News Channel.

Harak Singh Rawat had later joined the BJP and is now a minister in the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led cabinet in the state.

They have been booked for criminal conspiracy, taking gratification in order to influence public servants.

The case pertains to a 2016 sting video shot in the VIP lounge of Dehradun airport that purportedly showed Rawat negotiating a deal to buy the support of rebel MLAs.

A senior CBI official said the case was registered after the Uttarakhand High court gave its nod on September 30, after the probe agency submitted a report in a sealed cover on its preliminary inquiry.

The preliminary inquiry was registered in April 2016 when the state was under President’s rule. The CBI said the agency had sent the tape of the sting operation to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, which opined that the recording was “genuine” and that there was no evidence of any tampering or morphing in the video files.

Several senior Congress leaders are facing the heat of the central investigative agencies. In August the CBI arrested former Finance Minister and senior party leader P. Chidambaram in INX Media case, while in September, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested former Karnataka Minister and party leader D.K. Shivakumar in a money laundering case.

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Manipur: Bandh called by AMSU in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill hits normal life

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Citizenship Bill Protest

In Manipur, the 15-hour long bandh called by All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 affected normal life today.

Streets and markets of Imphal and its adjoining districts wore a deserted look. Vehicles stayed off the roads.

However, no unwanted incident has been reported so far due to bandh. The bandh concluded on 6 PM.

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Protest over Citizenship Amendment Bill affects normal life in northeast

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NESO Protest Tripura Mizoram

Agartala/Aizawl, Dec 10 : Normal life was badly affected across the northeast excluding Nagaland on Tuesday due to the shutdown and agitations organised by various tribal parties and youth organisations including the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, following a marathon debate which continued past midnight on Tuesday.

In Tripura, four policemen and several protesters were injured during clashes between the agitators and the security forces in at least five places in Sepahijala, north Tripura and Dhalai Districts.

“The agitators burnt down and attacked some shops in Dhalai and north Tripura districts. Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob,” a police official said in Agartala.

The Tripura government, apprehending ethnic violence, stopped the mobile based internet and social media services in the entire state for 48 hours.

NESO Chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa said that among the seven northeastern states, Nagaland has remained out of the purview of the 10-hour long shutdown on Tuesday in view of the 10-day long traditional ongoing ‘Hornbill Festival’.

“The NESO members only organised sit-in-demonstrations in front of the Raj Bhavan in Kohima,” Jyrwa told IANS.

The Northeast Frontier Railway, which operates trains in some parts of Bihar and West Bengal besides entire northeastern region, either cancelled or rescheduled many trains including Humsafar Express and Kanchanjunga Express.

Road and rail traffic were badly affected and thousands of passengers were stranded as the picketers did not allow the plying of vehicles and trains in Tripura.

Tripura Police spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said that no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the state’s 10,491 sq km area, and home to over 12 lakh people, mostly tribals.

“Shutdown was observed by the tribal based parties in the TTAADC areas while the picketers held road blockades and demonstrations outside of it. Police either evicted the picketers or detained them for blocking the roads and holding protests in important locations in different parts of Tripua,” Chakraborty told IANS.

An unprecedented contingent of security forces including the central para-military and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) were deployed to deal with the situation.

Senior police officials in Agartala quoting reports from the various districts, said that government offices, banks, educational institutions, shops and markets were closed in most places under the TTAADC areas.

The Education Department, Tripura Board of Secondary Education and the two universities – Tripura University and Maharaja Bir Bikram University – postponed their examinations due to the strike.

The Joint Movement Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (JMACAB), a conglomeration of many tribal local and regional parties, NGOs and student and youth organisations of Tripura, including Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) has called for an indefinite strike across the state against the CAB.

The NESO, an apex body of eight students and youth outfits, had called for a 10-hour shutdown on Tuesday in the entire region, comprising all the seven states.

In Mizoram, the 10-hour long shutdown crippled normal life. Government offices, banks, educational institutions, shops and markets were closed in the Mizo National Front (MNF) ruled state.

All kinds of vehicles except those of the security forces remained off the roads.

According to the police, the NESO and the NGO Coordination Committee leaders organised picketing in the district headquarters of Aizawl, Kolasib, Lunglei and Serchhip.

“The shutdown was peaceful in all the 11 districts of Mizoram,” a police official said in Aizawl.

After passing in the Lok Sabha, the Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

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DTC gets 100 more new buses

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DTC Bus Depot

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot here on Tuesday flagged off 100 buses from the Rajghat Bus Depot to be included in the DTC fleet. The new buses are equipped with GPS trackers, panic buttons, CCTV and hydraulic lifts for the convenience of the differently-abled.

The government has flagged off 429 buses in the previous months by the government.

He said the safety features in the 37-seater buses, include three CCTV cameras on each bus, a panic button on every alternate seat. “If a panic button is pressed, a large hooter goes off activating the command center,” he said.

“There are marshals on every bus in Delhi,” he reminded.

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