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Delhi to cancel hookah bar licenses

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Hookah

New Delhi, Oct 31: The Delhi government has banned hookah bars in the city and has asked the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporations to immediately cancel licenses of restaurants with hookah bars.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said that hookah smoking is not allowed in non-smoking zones as per Section 4 of COTPA (Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act), as well as in the smoking zones.

He said that the Centre had issued notification in May with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare completely prohibiting the use of hookahs.

“Therefore, hookah bars in any form are illegal and Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporations should cancel the licenses of such restaurants, eateries and hotels where such illegal Hookah bars are operating,” Jain said.

Jain said that the State Tobacco Control Cell has conducted several raids in various parts of Delhi, and the chemical analysis picked “has shown presence of nicotine in significant amount in almost all the samples”.

This is despite the claim that they were using herbal products.

“In this regard, a series of letters have been written to the Delhi Police and municipal bodies in the last four years to initiate action against these illegally running hookah bars and save the younger generation from the harmful effects of tobacco.

“However, the action is still awaited and the violations are still going on in many parts of Delhi,” he said.

Hookah is a popular choice of smoking, especially with the elderly, in the rural areas. But over the last few years it has gained popularity among the urban youth.

“People consider hookah a safe alternative to smoking without realising that it is even more harmful and has an adverse impact on their health.

“According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a one hour long hookah session comprises 200 puffs compared to 30 puffs of a cigarette,” Jain said.

IANS

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Delhi govt to provide essential amenities to farmers at Nirankari Maidan

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi: Farmers from Punjab have been allowed to demonstrate at the Nirankari grounds in Delhi’s Burari to protest against the Centre’s agricultural laws. At the same time, the Delhi government has decided to provide basic facilities to the farmers at Nirankari grounds, beginning with drinking water.

The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has asked its MLA and Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Raghav Chadha to take stock of the situation by reaching Burari.

The Delhi government said in a press briefing, “Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman, Delhi Jal Board, will visit the Nirankari grounds, Burari on Friday evening. Proper arrangements for drinking water will be made for farmers who are protesting at the approved protest site. Water tankers are being deployed here. To oversee the preparations, DJB vice-president Raghav Chadha is going to the dharna site.”

Chadha told IANS, “Farmers have a right to speak and cannot be treated like criminals. Our farmer brothers and sisters are reaching Delhi from all corners of the country. They have come here to protest the black farm laws passed by the Modi government. Now they have got permission to come to the Nirankari grounds. Whatever they need here, whether it is water, food, toilets, the Arvind Kejriwal government will provide it. All the officers and MLAs are keeping an eye on the arrangements.”

The Delhi Police had sought permission to convert nine stadia in Delhi into temporary jails. However, the Kejriwal government has rejected the proposal. The Delhi government has issued an official statement supporting the farmers. The state government says the farmers demands are justified and they have the right to protest.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The Centre’s three farming laws are anti-farmer. Instead of withdrawing these laws, farmers are being prevented from protesting peacefully, water canons are being turned on them. This atrocity on farmers is completely wrong. Peaceful demonstrations are their constitutional right.”

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Farmers refuse to leave Sindhu border as agitation ‘could weaken’

The meeting of the farmers at the Sindhu border was still going on on Friday evening.

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi, Nov 27 : Even as the Delhi Police on Friday allowed farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere to hold a peaceful protest against the controversial Agriculture Bills at the Sant Nirankari ground in the capital’s Burari area, the farmers refused to leave Delhi-Haryana Sindhu border fearing that their protest would be “weakened”.

Delhi Police made the announcement after using tear gas shells and water cannons on the protesting farmers, and undertaking a baton charge to disperse them as they tried to enter Delhi.

Gurpreet Singh, a farmer associated with Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta in Punjab, told IANS, “We are holding talks with our representatives as of now to decide whether we will got to Burari ground or not.”

Singh said that most of the farmers don’t want to go at Burari ground and that is the reason why they are all are sitting here.

“Till the time the government does not accept our three demands, we will sit here,” he asserted.

Singh said that the farmers have been demanding the revocation of the three Agriculture Bills that were passed in Parliament in September this year, guarantee the minimum support price to farmers and roll back the fine on stubble burning.

Another farmer said that All India Kisan Khet Mazdur Sangthan’s leadership are also sitting on the Sindhu border here and they too don’t want to go to Burari for protests.

The meeting of the farmers at the Sindhu border was still going on on Friday evening.

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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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