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Chilean Prez sacks entire Cabinet amid protests

“I’ve asked all of the Ministers to resign in order to create a new cabinet to confront these new demands,” he said from the La Moneda presidential palace.



Chile curfew clashes

Santiago, Oct 27 : Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has sacked his entire and an end to the state of emergency in the country amid the anti-government protests that have claimed the lives of 19 people since it began on october 18.

On Saturday, Pinera said that he “heard the profound message from citizens, from the Chilean men and women asking for and demanding a more just society” during the march on Friday, which mobilized around 1.2 million people in Santiago alone, the largest popular mobilization in Chile since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship in 1990, reports Efe news.

“I’ve asked all of the Ministers to resign in order to create a new cabinet to confront these new demands,” he said from the La Moneda presidential palace.

Justice Minister Hernan Larrain said: “We are all at the disposal of the President and as ministers we have told him to have our posts so that he can structure with those he deems fit.”

Labor Minister Nicolas Monckeberg noted that Chile had “changed” over the past week and hoped that these changes were positive.

The opposition acknowledged that Pinera had decided to renew his Cabinet, although it called for wider changes, such as a new Constitution.

“This Cabinet was already worn out. It must have a Cabinet with new ideas, with changes (and that) summon a new Constitution,” said Senator Guido Girardi of the progressive Party for Democracy.

Left-leaning Social Convergence party lawmaker Gabriel Boric stressed that the public had been calling for deeper structural reforms, and advocated a referendum as the best way to achieve a new Constitution.

The President also denounced the “brutal and destructive violence” perpetrated by some opponents of the government and defended his decision to declare a state of emergency and deploy the army.

Pinera intends to lift the state of emergency around the country from Sunday midnight.

His statement followed announcements by the military commanders administering the state of emergency in Santiago, Coquimbo, La Serena and Concepcion that no curfews would be in effect in those jurisdictions on Saturday.

On Saturday, five Santiago metro lines and almost all of the bus service reopened. Although many large supermarkets were closed, restaurants and shops reopened and the atmosphere returned to normal in the streets.

As evening approached, demonstrations began again in the Plaza Italia and other places, although not as big as those over the past week.

Incidents arising from the demonstrations have left at least 19 dead, including five people allegedly killed by police and soldiers, while 582 others have suffered injuries, more than half of them from the impact of rubber bullets or tear-gas canisters.

The National Human Rights Institute (NHRI), an autonomous public agency that monitors the actions of security forces, put the number of arrests at 2,840 and said that it has verified reports of torture and other abuses by police and soldiers.

The NHRI has so far filed 70 complaints: 15 for sexual violence, five for homicides, 50 for torture, and others for cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It has asked the government to clarify the number of deaths.

A UN mission will arrive in Chile next week to investigate possible human rights violations during the protests.

Long-simmering discontent over growing economic inequality boiled over last week after the Santiago metro raised fares to the equivalent of more than $1 a ride, a level that could have forced minimum-wage workers to spend up to a quarter of their monthly income on transportation.

Though Pinera moved quickly to rescind the fare increase, the protests continued, driven by anger over low pensions and salaries and the high cost of electricity, gas, university education and health care.


HC asks trial court to decide on pleas against Kapil Mishra, Thakur

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.



Anurag Thakur Parvesh Verma Kapil Mishra

New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the trial court to decide, “in accordance with the law”, on a petition by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat seeking lodging of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and others for their alleged hate speeches in relation to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while disposing of Karat’s application, asked the magistrate concerned at the Rouse Avenue court to decide on the matter.

The direction came after Karat’s counsel Tara Narula requested the court to dispose of the matter with directions to the trial court to consider it.

Narula further apprised the bench that the magistrate’s court had earlier reserved its judgment on the application after hearing the arguments of all sides but did not pronounce its order as similar issues were pending in the High Court.

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

After hearing the matter briefly, over video conferencing, the court posted the matters for further hearing on August 24.

Recently, the Delhi Police, in its affidavit filed before the court, had stated that the statements of various political leaders are being examined and necessary action will be taken if evidence is found against them.

“Speeches of political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Waris Pathan, and others are being examined by the Delhi Police and necessary action in this regard will be taken in due course of time if it is found that their speech had any nexus with the riots,” the affidavit said.

Meanwhile, after a brief hearing, the division bench, headed by Chief Justice Patel, also adjourned, till August 24, the batch of matters relating to the violence in and around the campus of the Jamia Milia Islamia in December last year.

On Tuesday, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves told the bench that the alleged police brutality unleashed on the Jamia students then “was to tell the students to drop the idea of going to the Parliament”.

“The beating was really serious and severe like the police was going against their enemies. Students are not certainly enemies, I suppose…. This was to tell the students that they should forget the idea of marching to the Parliament,” he said.

During the course of hearing, senior counsel Salman Khurshid, appearing for another petitioner, supported Gonsalves’s argument that the police action was intended to stop the students from carrying out a march to the Parliament, saying that while the police can regulate such a march, but here, they decided to not to allow it at all.

Khurshid further said that the gathering of students was intended to be peaceful. “Such march is an ethos of our democracy even if it’s dissent towards the government,” he argued.

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RJD chief Lalu Prasad moved to RIMS director’s bungalow amid Covid-19 fear, BJP cries foul

Prasad’s moving was being speculated ever since a dedicated Covid-19 ward started functioning in RIMS after the pandemic broke out.




Lalu Yadav

Incarcerated Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, Jharkhand, was moved to the hospital director’s bungalow on Wednesday in view of his clinical safety arising from the spurt in Covid-19 infection.

Ranchi senior superintendent of police (SSP) Surendra Kumar Jha confirmed that Prasad was moved to director’s bungalow. “RIMS and the jail administrations had decided to move Prasad from the paying ward and it was carried out today,” Jha said.

Prasad’s moving was being speculated ever since a dedicated Covid-19 ward started functioning in RIMS after the pandemic broke out. It gained momentum after one of his caretakers tested positive Covid-19 recently. However, the former Bihar chief minister underwent a Covid-19 test which came out negative on July 26.

Several rooms on the floor where Prasad was admitted were also occupied due to security reasons, which were now needed for the treatment of coronavirus patients, a RIMS official said requesting anonymity.

Jharkhand’s total Covid-19 tally crossed 14,000, of which Ranchi accounts for over 2,500 cases. The number of active cases was registered at 1,802 in Ranchi till Tuesday evening.

Superintendent of Birsa Munda Central Jail, where Prasad was imprisoned before he was admitted to RIMS, Hamid Akhtar said, “We had received a request from the RIMS administration regarding Prasad’s movement to the bungalow. They said as Covid-19 cases are rising, they wanted to use other rooms which were occupied due to security reasons for Prasad.”

Finally, it was decided that Prasad would be moved to the director’s bungalow, which is also a part of the RIMS campus, Akhtar added.

The official residence of the RIMS director has been vacant after former director Dr DK Singh left RIMS last month. The incumbent director, Dr Manju Gari, is yet to move in.

Earlier, the police administration carried out the security audit of the bungalow on receiving the request letter from the RIMS administration.

Lalu Prasad Yadav is serving a jail term after being convicted in the fodder scam cases and was admitted to the RIMS paying ward with stage-3 kidney problems in December 2018. Meanwhile, he applied for a regular bail in July.

The state BJP termed Prasad’s shifting to director’s bungalow as special treatment by the incumbent Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress-led government in Jharkhand in the view of upcoming Bihar election. “Now, the director’s bungalow would turn into an RJD headquarter where Bihar poll strategies would be chalked out,” said BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo.

The JMM, however, rubbished the allegation describing it as the BJP’s stunt to get political mileage. “Prasad is imprisoned. How can the director’s bungalow turn into RJD headquarter? Since BJP has no work, it is levelling baseless allegation,” JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said.

He said the jail and the RIMS administration took the decision in view of Prasad’s age and rising cases of Covid-19.

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Ex-Maha CM Patil-Nilangekar cremated with full state honours

AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge, other former CMs such as Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan in separate messages, also condoled the demise of Patil-Nilangekar.





Latur (Maharashtra), Aug 5 : Veteran Congressman and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar died due to age-related issues in Pune on Wednesday, family sources said here.

He was 90 and is survived by four sons – Dilip, Ashok, Vijay, Sharad, and a daughter Chandrakala Dawle, besides grandchildren including two who are Bharatiya Janata Party politicians.

Last month, Patil-Nilangekar tested Covid-19 positive and had fully recovered from it.

His body was taken to his native Nilanga village where he was accorded a funeral with full state honours in the evening in the presence of his family, Congress party workers and other leaders and officials.

Born in Nilanga village in the erstwhile Hyderabad State, Patil-Nilangekar took part in the freedom struggle and later served as the 10th Chief Minister of Maharashtra between June 1985 and March 1986.

However, he was forced to resign following Bombay High Court strictures in the MD exams marks scandal involving his daughter.

A voracious reader, classical music lover and sports enthusiast, in 1968, he had founded the Maharashtra Education Trust which runs over two dozen schools, colleges and specialised education institutions.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari condoled the demise of Patil-Nilangekar who he said spent all his life in the service of the people, especially the rural poor and farmers.

“He remained a popular man of the masses. As a legislator and later as CM, he made invaluable contributions to the progress and development of the state,” Koshyari said.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also expressed condolences, describing Patil-Nilangekar as “a leader who connected and guided two generations” making immense contributions to the development of the state.

“A freedom fighter with commitment and firm views, he was among the leaders who were at the forefront of the state’s development and progress of the Marathwada region,” said Thackeray.

Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said Patil-Nilangekar’s life symbolised the struggle through which he rose and the state has lost a stalwart who helped build the state with his strong political and intellectual leadership.

Congress state President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that in Patil-Nilangekar’s demise, the state lost “a visionary and a disciplined leader” who strived for the state’s development.

Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi said that during his long political journey, Patil-Nilangekar remained fiercely committed to pro-people development.

“His involvement in India’s freedom struggle at a young age shaped his conviction to empower people. His remarkable contribution to the cooperative movement shall be remembered, and his legacy will continue to guide us,” said Gandhi.

NCP President Sharad Pawar, described Patil-Nilangekar as a tough, no-nonsense leader who created several educational institutions to provide good education to the youth in rural areas.

Ex-CM and BJP’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said Patil-Nilangekar fought for the country’s freedom and was recognised as a dedicated leader.

AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge, other former CMs such as Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan in separate messages, also condoled the demise of Patil-Nilangekar.

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