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Karnataka Floods: Kumaraswamy meets Rajnath Singh

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New Delhi, Oct 5: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday met Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence seeking central government’s assistance for relief work and rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure in flood-hit areas of the state.

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda was also present in the meeting.

According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, heavy rains have been forecast for Karnataka over the weekend due to a low-pressure trough that is expected to form over the Arabian Sea.

“A low pressure is expected to form over the southeast Arabian Sea, which can further intensify into depression and form into a cyclone,” IMD Bengaluru Director-incharge C.S. Patil told IANS here.

As a result of the low pressure in Arabian Sea, the coastal and south interior districts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru, are expected to receive heavy widespread rains, Patil stated.

The southern state capital has been receiving rains over the past week.

In the recent past, heavy rains had inundated several low-lying areas of Karnataka, uprooting trees and flooding arterial roads. It also witnessed landslide at several places.

More than 11,000 houses were damaged in Kodagu district.

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‘Priorities of Modi government’, says Rahul Gandhi on Fit India Dialogue 2020

The attack was a dig at PM Modi who took part in Fit India Dialogue 2020 earlier in the day and interacted with fitness icons. The event was organised to mark the one-year anniversary of Fit India Movement.

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Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi continued his attack on the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the farm bills recently passed by Parliament. Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Gandhi said that the Modi government is not talking to farmers and instead is busy in image-building exercises.

“Priorities of Modi government – instead of talking to farmers and labourers to solve their problems, they (the Modi government) are engaged in PR,” he said in a tweet posted in Hindi. The Congress leader also attached the screenshot of a news article.

The attack was a dig at PM Modi who took part in Fit India Dialogue 2020 earlier in the day and interacted with fitness icons. The event was organised to mark the one-year anniversary of Fit India Movement.

Bollywood actor and model Milind Soman, cricketer Virat Kohli and nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar were some of the participants. During the online dialogue, PM Modi also launched the ‘Fit India Age Appropriate Fitness Protocols’.

The Congress has been attacking the government since the passage of the bills, which it calls “anti-farmer”. The party has also launched a pan-India campaign against the legislations which await the President’s nod.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, representing a clutch of Opposition parties, met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to not sign the bills.

Some farmers from Punjab and Haryana are also protesting against the farm bills passed by Parliament. They have organised a three-day ‘rail roko’ agitation starting Thursday.

Another farmers’ organisation has called for a state-wide ‘bandh’ on September 25 in Punjab.

The contentious bills – Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 – were passed by Parliament despite uproar and strong protest by the Opposition parties.

These parties allege that the government had “undermined rules, regulations and procedures” in pushing the bill through both the houses of Parliament.

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3-Day ‘Rail Roko’ Agitation Starts As Farm Bills Protest Intensifies; Trains Suspended

Railway authorities says, 14 pairs of special trains will remain suspended from September 24 till 26 amidst farmers protest in Punjab against farm bills.

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Farmers Protest

Farmers in Punjab on Thursday began their three-day ‘rail roko’ agitation to protest against the three farm bills while the Ferozepur Railway division suspended the operation of special trains due to the stir.

Railway authorities said 14 pairs of special trains will remain suspended from September 24 till 26. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the safety of passengers and protection of railway property from any damage, officials said.

Among the trains which will remain suspended are Golden Temple Mail (Amritsar-Mumbai Central), Jan Shatabdi Express (Haridwar-Amritsar), New Delhi-Jammu Tawi, Karambhoomi (Amritsar-New Jalpaiguri), Sachkhand Express (Nanded-Amritsar) and Shaheed Express (Amritsar-Jaynagar), officials said.

At present, routine passenger train service remains suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The call for ‘rail roko’ agitation was given by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee and later, different farmers’ outfits also extended their support.

Activists of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) squatted on rail tracks in Barnala and Sangrur on Thursday morning.

Farmers under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee have decided to squat on rail tracks near Devidaspur village in Amritsar and Basti Tanka wala in Ferozepur.

The representatives of the committee said they were getting support from several sections including government employees and labourers.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee president Satnam Singh Pannu said that they have appealed to representatives of political parties, ministers, MPs and MLAs not to take part in the farmers’ agitation.

They vowed to gherao BJP leaders and socially boycott those who voted in favour of the farm bills.

As many as 31 farmers’ outfits have given a call for the complete shutdown of Punjab on September 25 to protest against the bills.

Farmers in Punjab have expressed apprehension that the bills would pave way for dismantling the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporates.

The Rajya Sabha has passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

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Delhi Riots: CPI Says Police ‘Trying To Frame’ Leaders Critical Of BJP

Raising doubts about the impartiality of the probe, the CPI said the investigation by the Delhi Police is a ‘conspiracy’ aimed at criminalising those who speak against human rights violations and injustice, rather than catching the real perpetrators of the violence.

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Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi: The CPI on Thursday accused the Delhi Police of “trying to frame” in the February riots cases political leaders and activists who are critical of the “anti-people policies” of the BJP-led government.

In a supplementary charge sheet filed recently by the Delhi Police in the February riot cases, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand have been named allegedly for “provoking and mobilising” anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters.

Some of those named have also been charged with — based on the statements of three students already arrested in the case — asking the protesters to go to “any extreme”, spreading “discontent” in the community by calling CAA and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) anti-Muslim, and organising demonstrations to “malign the image of Government of India”.

“The Party deplores the role of Delhi Police in investigating the North-East Delhi riots targeting leaders and activists including CPI National Executive Member Annie Raja, also General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW),” the CPI statement said.

“The peaceful and democratic protests against the CAA were a legitimate, constitutional expression of people’s dissent against the law and it was the effectiveness of the protests that shook the BJP which is now attempting to portray the protests as a conspiracy to cause riots in North-East Delhi,” it said.

The CPI said, “It is indeed shocking that the Delhi Police is trying to frame political leaders and activists who are critics of the anti-people policies and programs of the current regime.”

“The investigation by the Delhi Police itself is a conspiracy and is aimed at criminalising those who speak against human rights violations and injustice, rather than catching the real perpetrators of the violence,” it said.

CPI leader Annie Raja, leaders of other political parties including Salman Khurshid, Brinda Karat, Kavita Krishnan and activists including Prashant Bhushan, Anjali Bhardwaj, Yogendra Yadav, Harsh Mander, Rahul Roy, Apoorvanand and Saba Dewan have been named in the charge sheet citing disclosure statements of those arrested, CPI general secretary D Raja said.

“All these people extended solidarity with the peaceful protests led by Muslim women and now this is being twisted into a grand conspiracy,” the statement said.

“In contrast, the glaring absence in the charge sheets on the role of leaders associated with the BJP, who gave inflammatory speeches, is unmissable,” it said.

“The CPI along with other opposition parties had even given a memorandum to the President of India highlighting these concerns and had asked for the institution of an enquiry into this investigation under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, headed by sitting/retired judge(s),” it added.

Earlier, the Delhi Police had said the names were part of the disclosure statement of the accused which were recorded “truthfully”.

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