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Punjab Assembly adopts resolution against CAA

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Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, Jan 17 : After Kerala, Punjab on Friday became the second state to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The Congress-ruled government moved the resolution in the Assembly that got the support of the main opposition AAP.

However, the Shriomani Akali Dal (SAD), an alliance partner of the BJP in the state, opposed the resolution but protested against the non-inclusion of Muslims under the CAA.

The resolution was moved by Local Bodies and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra on the last day of the two-day special session.

He favoured doing away with the CAA, saying it was “against secular values”.

AAP legislator Aman Arora said the law was enacted to divert attention from “bigger issues”, while SAD’s Sharanjit Dhillon said that the Muslims should not be left out of the CAA ambit.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the issue of CAA had shaken the entire country.

Describing the controversial legislation as ‘inherently discriminatory’ and a negation of the very secular fabric on which the Constitution of India is based, the Assembly adopted by voice vote a hard-hitting resolution seeking immediate repeal of the unconstitutional CAA, which the Chief Minister compared to the ethnic and religious cleansing in Hitler’s Germany.

Clearly, no lessons had been learnt from history, said a visibly anguished Chief Minister during the discussion on the resolution, which also urged the Central Government to put on hold the work on the National Population Register (NPR), till forms or documents associated with it are amended suitably, in order to allay apprehensions that it is a prelude to the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Talking informally to the media outside the House, the Chief Minister said the Centre would have to make the necessary amendments to the CAA if it had to be implemented in Punjab and other states opposing the legislation.

Like Kerala, his government would also approach the Supreme Court on the issue, he added.

In response to a question, he made it clear that the census in Punjab would be conducted on the old parameters and the new factors added by the Centre for the purpose of the NPR would not be included.

Terming the divisive Act as a tragedy that he was unfortunate to witness in his lifetime, the Chief Minister earlier said in the House that “what happened in Germany under Hitler in 1930 is happening in India now.”

“Germans did not speak then, and they regretted it, but we have to speak now, so that we don’t regret later,” he asserted, urging the Opposition, particularly the Akalis, to read Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to understand the dangers of the CAA.

He said he would get the book translated and distributed so that all could read and grasp the historical mistakes that Hitler made.

“What is happening in India is not good for the country,” said Amarinder Singh, adding that people could see and understand, and were protesting spontaneously without any instigation.

Making an impassioned plea to the Akalis to rise above politics and think about their own country before deciding on their vote, he said he had never imagined such a tragedy could happen in a secular nation like India, which had more Muslims than Pakistan.

“Where will all those people, who you brand as non-citizens, go? Where will the 18 lakh people declared illegal in Assam go if other countries refuse to take them? Has anyone thought about it? Has the Home Minister even thought about what has to be done with the so-called illegal people? Where will the poor people get their birth certificates from?” asked the Chief Minister, declaring that “we all have to live together as citizens of secular India in our own interest.”

People of all faiths have lived harmoniously together in this country all these years, and Muslims have given their lives for this country, said the Chief Minister, citing the example of Indian Army soldier Abdul Hamid, who received the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his actions during the Indo-Pak war of 1965, just like many others.

The Cellular Jail in Andamans was full of Muslim names, he pointed out.

“Why have Muslims been excluded? And why have they (Centre) not included Jews in the CAA?”, asked Amarinder Singh, pointing out that India had a Jew Governor, General Jacob, who also fought for the nation in the 1971 war.

Those responsible for this situation should be ashamed of themselves, said the Chief Minister, even as he lashed out at the Akalis for supporting the legislation in Parliament and then speaking on it in different voices to promote their political agenda.

Pointing out that Punjab had just celebrated the 550th Prakash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev, who taught that “koyi Hindu nahin, koyi Mussalman nahin, sab rab key bandey,” Amarinder Singh asked the Akalis if they had forgotten the Guru’s teachings.

“You should be ashamed, and you will repent this one day,” he said, adding that he felt bad about speaking in such language but circumstances had made it necessary.

Cities

JNUSU yet to speak on prosecution sanction against Kanhaiya

On February 9, 2016, anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on the campus during a protest against the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru in the 2002 Parliament attack.

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Kanhaiya Kumar

New Delhi, Feb 29 : A day after Delhi government’s sanction to Delhi Police for the prosecution of former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 sedition case, JNU Students Union (JNUSU) on Saturday was silent on the development.

Repeated calls and WhatsApp messages to Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union President Aishe Ghosh and Vice-President Saket Moon went unanswered.

Union General Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav responded to the call and targeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the decision, but maintained that these were his personal views and not of the JNUSU.

“The decision proves that Kejriwal projected just a fake image during the election campaign. The decision to not give any prosecution sanction before the campaigning ended was to protect his vote bank,” Satish said.

“Now that the Delhi Assembly elections are over, he has decided to betray us,” Satish claimed.

Asked if was speaking for the Union, Satish said, “I am out of the campus and unable to discuss with fellow JNUSU members. So these are my views,” he added.

The JNUSU has for long defended Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.

On February 9, 2016, anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on the campus during a protest against the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru in the 2002 Parliament attack.

The 1,200-page charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police Crime Branch named 10 JNU students, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, and seven Kashmiri students as the main accused in the case.

Later JNUSU office-bearers maintained that these people were targeted on false charges and that the charge sheet was an effort by the BJP-led central government to muzzle students’ voice.

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India

Nigerian gets 5 years in jail for cheating Kolkata man

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arrest

Kolkata, Feb 29 A Nigerian national has been sentenced to five years in prison by a court here for cheating a man of nearly Rs 20 lakh by impersonating as a European and falsely promising to produce a short film in India.

The chief judicial magistrate, Alipore court, also ordered the accused Vincent Collins Otto to pay Rs 20 lakh as compensation to the complainant Anutosh Dey or otherwise undergo six more months of imprisonment in the five year old case.

The accused befriended Dey through the social media by impersonating as a European Barry Williams and allured him with a false assurance of investing 30,000 UK Pound for producing the film.

Believing Otto, Dey paid Rs 18,79,600 to different bank accounts provided by the fraudster.

When Dey became suspicious that Otto was defrauding him, he lodged a complaint at the Garfa police station, which registered a case on February 13, 2015.

The case was then handed over to the detective department, and the sleuths arrested Otto with a woman Indian accomplice from Mehrauli, Delhi, in July 2015.

He was charged under different sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to impersonation, cheating and criminal conspiracy and also under the Foreigners Act.

The CJM on Friday sentenced Otto to five years in prison and fined him Rs 10,000 for cheating as also under the Foreigners Act, besides handing him a three-year jail term for impersonation.

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JNU admin, JNUSU at loggerheads over shelter for riot victims

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Jagdesh Kumar JNU VC

New Delhi, Feb 29 After the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Students’ Union (JNUSU) called for providing shelter to the Delhi riot victims inside the campus, the varsity administration has issued a warning to the union against any such step.

The move has now invited yet another turn to ongoing tussle between the administration and JNUSU.

“You have no legal right to make the JNU campus a shelter, the notice issued by varsity Registrar Pramod Kumar,” read.

The university administration has also warned the students of disciplinary actions if the students are found doing so.

“You are strictly advised against any such activity, failing which appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against you. You are also advised to uphold the need to keep an educational institution like JNU a congenial space for study and research,” it said.

It was on Wednesday that the JNUSU had put posters on social media announcing “JNU open for Shelter” and called victims of Delhi riots to get shelter in the campus.

However, the notice by the administration has left JNUSU red faced, who in return claimed that the JNU will remain open for riot victims.

After receiving the letter, the Vice-President of JNUSU, Saket Moon tweeted, “While the JNU Admin’s masters in the government burned Delhi, the JNU Admin threatens us to turn survivors of the violence from our campus.”

“JNU was open for shelter in 1984, it shall remain open today!,” Moon added in the tweet, attaching photographs of the notice by the administration and the poster issued by the JNUSU.

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