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Farooq Abdullah’s sister, daughter detained after women’s protest

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A Kashmiri woman shows her hand with a message
File Picture : A Kashmiri woman shows her hand with a message as others shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Srinagar, Oct 15 : A group of Kashmiri women led by former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s sister Suraiya and daughter Safiya staged a protest here on Tuesday against the scrapping of Article 370.

The 20-odd women were protesting against the scrapping of Article 370 and 35A on August 5. They were carrying placards which read, ‘Kashmiri brides not for sale’, ‘Why downgrade Jammu and Kashmir state’. Moments after the women protesters spoke to the media, the police swung into action and took them away to the nearby police station.

“We want to know the fate of those who have been detained, that’s why we are protesting,” said Muslim Jan, an academician.

“The government of India is telling the world that we are happy, somebody should speak to us to find out how we are feeling, we are not happy, there are restrictions in Kashmir, we are highlighting those issues,” said Hawa Bashir, an academician.

“We the women of Kashmir disapprove of the unilateral decision taken by government of India to revoke article 370 and 35A and downgrade the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement by the protesting women said.

“We feel betrayed humiliated and violated as people we demand restoration of civil liberties and fundamental rights of civilians. We demand demilitarisation of rural and urban areas. We demand immediate release of detainees. We express outrage against national media for their false and misleading coverage of ground realities in Kashmir.”

The Public Safety Act has been slapped against Farooq who is lodged in his house, G-40, at Srinagar’s posh Gupkar Road. Earlier his daughter Safiya had put up a black flag, seemingly as mark of protest against the revocation of special status of J&K outside her house.

The J&K administration has justified the slapping of PSA on the National Conference president on the grounds that he has “tremendous potential to create public disorder in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley”.

The administration has cited several instances since 2016 when he made statements in conflict with the law.
Farooq’s son and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is detained in Hari Niwas. Farooq’s brother and senior National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal has been detained at his home.

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Mahagathbandhan will come to power in Jharkhand: Sanjay Paswan

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Congress

New Delhi, Nov 18 Jharkhand Congress Working President Sanjay Paswan has claimed that the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ consisting of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, will come to power in the mineral-rich state as the people have witnessed that the BJP-ruled government has not been been able to deliver on any front in the last five years.

When asked why being a national party Congress was contesting on lesser seats than a regional party like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Paswan told IANS: “Congress always believed on coalition dharma. Wherever we think we are strong, we are contesting. We (JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal) share a same ideology.

“If they think we are afraid of the BJP, it is their misunderstanding. People of Jharkhand have seen them in the past five years. Infact, the BJP is themselves afraid of losing as they are contesting the elections in five phases. Once they said they will remove ‘Naxalism’ from our state, when they chaim it has been removed then why are the elections going four five phases?”

“They (AJSU) are more or less the same. I feel after the results they will again switch hands with them (BJP). We have seen them for last 19 years, we don’t know about them.”

If it comes to power, the Mahagathbandhan’s roadmap would be about taking Jharkhand on the top of the country, Paswan said.

“Firstly, we will provide employment to the youth of Jharkhand so we don’t have to go away from our state. The present BJP-led government did nothing for the youths except looting them. They have given all the mineral-rich lands to the industrialists who are getting benefitted while our youths are struggling for jobs.

“We will change whatever has happened. Every single person of Jharkhand will be happy when we take charge,” he concluded.

Jharkhand will go to polls in five phases from November 30.

Fighting in alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress is contesting 31 of the state’s 81 seats, the JMM 43, and the RJD seven.

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UP power employees strike over PF scam

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Yogi Adityanath

Lucknow, Nov 18 Employees of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), on Monday, proceeded on a two-day work boycott to protest against the provident fund scam in which their money was invested in the tainted Dewan Housing and Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL).

However, the units generating power have been exempted from the protest to prevent grid failure.

The energy department has issued directives to the officers concerned to make adequate arrangements to keep electricity supply normal in in the state in view of the 48-hour work boycott.

The state home department has also asked all district magistrates and police chiefs to ensure proper security of all vital installations in their areas.

The employees are demanding that the state government give a guarantee for safe return of their provident fund money, invested in DHFL by the Uttar Pradesh Power Sector Employees’ Trust.

The Uttar Pradesh Vidyut Karmchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, a joint forum of power employees and engineers, has warned the management against taking any repressive measures against the agitating staff during the ‘work boycott’.

The employees will report to their offices but shun work in a ‘work boycott’ as opposed to a full-fledged strike in which they may not even show up at the place of work.

Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (UPPTCL) director (operation) R. K. Singh has asked the officials concerned to outsource staff to man the transmission substations and lines in view of the proposed 48-hour work boycott.

He said ex-army men should be deployed for the security of the substations and local police should be contacted for the security of the employees who want to work. Proper arrangements of food, stay and conveyance should be made for the staff that might have to work for longer hours due the work boycott.

Similar measures, according to sources, were being taken to man and manage distribution substations and lines as well.

The power employees, meanwhile, are continuing with statewide demonstrations and meetings, protesting against investment of their provident fund worth of above Rs 2,600 crore in an unsecured private housing company.

They demanded that the state government should not only give a guarantee for the safe return of the money, but also take action against the IAS officers responsible for the scam.

Samiti convener Shailendra Dubey said the employees were also agitated over the fact that the CBI probe into the PF scam had not begun yet. “There appears to be an attempt to save the bureaucrats who actually presided over the scam,” he alleged.

Dubey said all preparations had been made to make the 48-hour work boycott successful. “We would proceed on strike if any of our agitating employees was harassed during the work boycott,” he warned.

Shailendra Dubey further said that engineers will not fix any fault in power plan and even faults in transmission and distribution system will not be attended by the power employees during the 48-hour boycott.

The employees have been up in arms against the UPPCL management, demanding the arrest of former UPPCL chairman Alok Kumar, who was also the ex-officio chairman of the Uttar Pradesh State Power Sector Employees Trust which invested more than Rs 4,100 crore in DHFL since March 2017.

UPPCL sources said the corporation was preparing to file a review petition in the Mumbai high court, which has barred DHFL from releasing money to its creditors.

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14 killed as bus collides with truck in Rajasthan’s Bikaner

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Rajasthan, Nov 18: At least 14 people were killed and 18 others injured in a collision between a bus and a truck in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district on Monday, police said.

The bus was on its way to Jaipur from Bikaner when the incident occurred near Dungargarh area early morning.

While 10 people died on the spot, four others succumbed to injuries in a hospital, police said.

The injured have been admitted to a hospital.

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