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Farmers fight for rights equal to second freedom struggle: Anna Hazare

He demanded crop prices which were 1.5 times the cost of agricultural inputs.



Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday dubbed the farmers’ fight for their rights and demands as the “second freedom struggle”.

“When a farmer reaches the age of 60, he should be given a pension by the government. Our fight for the (rights of) farmers has begun. Fighting for farmers’ rights is equivalent to a second freedom struggle,” Hazare said at ‘Jai Kisan Samabesh’ in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur.

The convention was held by Navnirman Krushak Sangathan to demand remunerative prices for farm produce and pension for farmers at the Jagatsinghpur Collectorate.

Hazare said going to jail for the welfare of the country and its people is a badge of honour.

“Farmers gatherings have been organised in eight states. I will tour the country in the coming days. The fight has started and going to jail for the welfare of farmers and the country is a pride for us,” the social activist said.

He demanded crop prices which were 1.5 times the cost of agricultural inputs.

Hazare also paid tributes to former Odisha Chief Minister and freedom fighter Nabakrushna Choudhury on his 116th birth anniversary on Thursday.

“We have to take a solemn decision on materialising Gandhiji and Choudhuryji’s (Nabakrushna Choudhury) dream. We’ve to re-install true democracy of the people, by the people, for the people,” said the social activist.


Will back ordinance on Ram temple: Muslim litigant in Ayodhya dispute



Lucknow, Nov 20 Amid growing chorus to build Ram temple at Ayodhya by bypassing the Supreme Court and bringing in an ordinance, a Muslim litigant in the matter, Iqbal Ansari, on Tuesday said he had no problem if this was done.

Talking to local media in Ayodhya, Ansari said if the Union government brought an ordinance for a Ram temple, he would not oppose it.

“If the country would be happy in doing so, I am for it,” he said. “Agar isse mulk mein aman our khushhaali aayegi to main iske liye tayyar noon” (if this brings peace and prosperity in the country, so be it, am ready), he said.

He also pointed out that he was doing so as he was a law-abiding citizen of the country. “We want good of this country and if ordinance route is the way, I support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” Ansari said.

He, however, voiced his concern over the gathering of activists belonging to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena and other organisations in the temple town ahead of the November 25 ‘dharma Sabha.’ He said he had apprised the district administration of his viewpoint.

Sometime back, Ansari had aired his apprehensions at the congregation and said the build-up was like what it was prior to the demolition of Babri mosque in 1992. He had also threatened to migrate from Ayodhya due to “fear and feeling of insecurity”.

Uttar Pradesh DGP, OP Singh had however allayed his fears and said police would protect all citizens of the state. Security cover has since been given to the litigant.

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Odisha: 12 killed as bus falls from Mahanadi bridge in Cuttack




Odisha, Nov 20 : At least twelve people were dead after a bus carrying around 30 passengers fell from the Mahanadi bridge near Jagatpur in Odisha’s Cuttack on Tuesday.

Several passengers have also been seriously injured in the accident, reports said. Rescue teams were present at the spot. District administration officials and local police have also reached the accident site. Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams, as well as fire brigade personnel and local residents, were carrying out the rescue operations at the accident site.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed deep grief at the death of some passengers in the accident and announced ex-gratia of Rs2 lakh each to next of the kin of the deceased, and free treatment for those injured.

The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained. The bus driver lost control of the vehicle after the bus hit a buffalo, veered off and fell 30 feet below the bridge. The accident took place when the bus collided with a buffalo. Buffalo also died and its body was recovered.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reportedly expressed his grief over the tragic incident while minister Chandrasarathu Behera is set to visit the accident spot immediately.

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Nagrota terror attack: NIA chargesheet names JeM chief’s brother, 13 others




New Delhi, Nov 20 : The NIA on Tuesday named Pakistan-based UN-designated terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) deputy chief Maulana Abdul Rouf Asgar, the brother of outlawed organisation’s founder Maulana Masood Azhar, and 13 others in its chargesheet in 2016 Nagrota terror attack case.

The NIA chargesheet was filed in Jammu.

The National Investigation Agency revealed that four Kashmiri JeM members –Mohd Ashiq Baba, Syed Munir-Ul-Hassan Qadri, Tariq Ahmad Dar and Ashraf Hamid Khandey — had facilitated a group of three heavily armed Pakistani terrorists and transported them from International Border in Samba-Kathua sector to Hotel Jagdamba in Jammu.

The three were taken to Nagrota by the accused in their vehicles for the attack on the November 28, 2016 on Officers’ Mess complex, 166 Medium Regiment of Indian Army in Nagrota Cantonment (near Jammu).

All the four Kashmiris were arrested by the NIA later.

The anti-terror agency said the three JeM terroists — identified as Khalid, Numan and Aadil — were highly trained and equipped with AK-47 rifles and explosives. Seven Army personnel were killed and three suffered injuries in the attack carried out by the terrorists.

The terrorists were killed in retaliatory action by the security forces.

Investigation conducted by the NIA revealed that Maulana Abdul Rouf Asgar was the mastermind of the attack.

“Asgar worked out the plan of Fidyeen attack and provided training to the three slain JeM terrorists. He also directed Mufti Asgar, launch commander of JeM in Kashmir region, to provide training, funds, equipment and mobile and other logistics to local JeM member Mohd. Ashiq Baba,” said the NIA in its chargesheet.

The NIA said that Ashiq Baba had visited Pakistan many times and met JeM terrorists Waseem (operational commander), Abu Talha (a commander in Jammu region) and Qari Zarar (launch commander for Jammu region).

He was taken for a meeting with Mufti Asgar at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, said the NIA.

“On reaching there, he was received by Abdullah and Tariq Mir, both JeM terrorists who are close associates of Mufti Asgar,” the chargesheet said.

“During the meeting with top leadership of JeM commanders Mufti Asgar chalked out a detailed plan including the modus operandi to be adopted for infiltration of JeM terrorists and he asked Ashiq to activate local JeM network in Jammu and Kashmir for Jehadi cause.”

Ashiq Baba was trained by JeM at Manshera in Pakistan and given money for arranging logistics along with a GPS-enabled Huawei mobile phone for communication with JeM leaders in Pakistan, the NIA said.

According to the NIA, it has collected evidence on the basis of disclosure of the accused, detailed social media analysis, digital evidence through requests under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and analysis of data extracted from the seized digital devices.

The agency said that further investigation is continuing.

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