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Kashmir Times Editor moves SC for hearing on Valley curbs

The petitioner said that such restrictions were curbing the rights of journalists under Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution and the right to know the condition of residents of the Kashmir Valley.

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Kashmir Times Anuradha Bhasin

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The Executive Editor of the Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin, on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking early hearing on her plea seeking relaxation of curbs on movement to media personnel and photojournalists to cover news in the Kashmir Valley.

The top court directed Bhasin’s lawyers to give details of the petition to the Registrar.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Bhasin seeking directions to ensure that an enabling environment be created for journalists and all media personnel in Jammu and Kashmir to practise their profession.

It also sought that the debilitating restrictions imposed through the complete shutdown on Internet and telecommunication services and severe curbs on the movement of photojournalists and reporters be immediately relaxed in order to ensure the freedom of the press.

The petitioner’s counsel, Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee, Ratna Appnender and Sumita Hazarika, sought directions to the Jammu and Kashmir government to relax restrictions and to allow journalists to report freely from the Valley after the clampdown in the state.

The plea was filed by Hazarika, who said that Bhasin had not been able to print and publish the Kashmir edition of the Kashmir Times due to the stifling restrictions on all communication services and movement, leading to a blockade on media activities.

The petitioner said that such restrictions were curbing the rights of journalists under Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution and the right to know the condition of residents of the Kashmir Valley.

The petitioner said the absolute Internet and telecommunication shutdown, severe curbs on mobility and sweeping curtailment on information sharing in the Kashmir valley, at a time when significant political and constitutional changes were being undertaken on the status of Jammu and Kashmir, was fuelling anxiety, panic, alarm, insecurity and fear in the state.

The government has revoked Article 370 of the Constitution which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and has broken up the state into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. These were accompanied by, among others, curbs on the media.

The petitioner called it an information blackout and said that it was a grave violation of the right of the people as the media cannot report on the ongoing developments and neither can the opinions of the residents of Kashmir be reported about.

“From August 4, mobile phone networks, Internet services and landline phone connectivity were all discontinued and shut down, leaving Kashmir and some districts in Jammu completely isolated and cut off from all possible modes of communication and information,” the petitioner said.

“The communication blockade and strict restrictions on movement of journalists resulted in a virtual blackout, and media reporting and publishing is grievously impacted.”

India

Unnao incident shames entire humanity: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress leader also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior government leaders who took to streets earlier as why they were silent now.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 7 : Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi here on Saturday condoled the Unnao rape victim’s death, saying it “shames the entire humanity” as a daughter lost her life awaiting justice.

The Congress MP from Wayanad twitted, “I am angry and shocked at the unfortunate death of a daughter of Unnao and this incident shames the entire humanity. Another woman lost her life while demanding justice and security. In this hour of grief, I express my condolence to the suffering family.”

His remark came a day after the 23-year-old Unnao rape victim died at Safdarjung Hospital, here on Friday. She was set ablaze by five men, including the rape accused, near her village when she was on her way to a Rai Bareilley court for a hearing in the rape case she had filed.

She suffered 90 per cent burns. After being treated in Lucknow, she was air-lifted to Safdarjung Hospital due to critical condition.

During the day, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is on two-day visit to Lucknow, met the victim’s family members in Unnao.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “The rape victim, who toiled to get FIR lodged for four months and could manage it at a court’s instructions, has passed away. she wanted to live. She wanted the rape accused punished.”

Srinate said we had just “failed” her as a society. Also, the UP government should take the responsibility, the law and order had collapsed there, she added.

Slamming the UP Police, the journalist-turned-politician said, “The UP DGP (O.P. Singh) says the court should not have released them in two months. My question to the DGP and the Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) is, why did your officers not register an FIR for four months. What action will be taken against them.”

Taking a jibe at the Chief Minister, Srinate said, “The Chief Minister says he is upset with what has happened. But it’s not the first and it will indeed not be the last if you don’t wake up to the kind of crimes that are happening against women in the state.”

It seemed that UP was in “dying hurry” to become the “rape capital” of the world, if it had not already, she said.

The Congress leader also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior government leaders who took to streets earlier as why they were silent now.

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Accused harassing victim’s family for one year: Priyanka

The victim’s father told Priyanka Gandhi that the family has been harassed for a year.

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Priyanka Gandhi at Unnao

Unnao, Dec 7 : After the death of the Unnao rape victim, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi met her family members here on Saturday. The family told Gandhi that the accused had been harassing and threatening them for the last one year.

“It is clear from the Maakhi incident and now the rape victim’s death that women are not safe in Unnao,” she said.

The victim’s father told Priyanka Gandhi that the family has been harassed for a year.

He said: “I have also heard that the culprits are linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party. There is no fear among criminals in the state.”

The Congress General Secretary said: “The incidents of female harassment are increasing under the BJP government in the state. The rape victim and her family were receiving threats, but the police did not take any action.”

“The Chief Minister should answer the question that what is the place of women in the state. The way Maakhi and another daughter died yesterday, has raised questions about the system.”

Hitting out at the BJP government in the state, the Congress General Secretary said: “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says that there is no place for criminals in the state, but I think there is no place for women here. The administration has to answer why it is happening? “

The sister-in-law of the Unnao victim informed: “Priyanka said that she will fight for justice with us. Our only demand is that the culprits should be hanged, only then the soul of our girl will get peace.”

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India

Onion price zooms to Rs 200 a kg in market

As a result, the most common and staple vegetable was conspicuously missing from the menu in homes and restaurants across this tech hub.

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People buy onion

Bengaluru, Dec 7 : Price of onion shot up to a whopping Rs 200 per kg in Bengaluru due to severe short supply in the market, an official said here on Saturday.

“Onion price touched Rs 200 per kg in some retail shops of Bengaluru, after its wholesale rate ranged between Rs 5,500 and Rs 14,000 per quintal,” state agricultural marketing officer Siddagangaiah told IANS.

As a result, the most common and staple vegetable was conspicuously missing from the menu in homes and restaurants across this tech hub.

According to Siddagangaiah, skyrocketing onion prices and the bulb’s shortage is expected to last until mid-January.

India has an annual onion requirement of 150 lakh metric tonnes, with Karnataka chipping in with onion production of 20.19 lakh metric tonnes. Almost 50 per cent of the onion production gets lost after factoring in crop loss and post-harvest loss, leaving only the balance to arrive in the market.

Heavy rains during the harvest also led to the rotting of a good share of the onion production.

In November, Karnataka markets received 60-70 quintals of onion a day, which fell by 50 per cent in December, leading to the crisis.

Aiming to increase the availability of onion, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) has issued a circular that onion trade should happen even on holidays.

“There is not much stock left with the wholesalers and retailers. Surprisingly, Karnataka does not have well defined onion storage facilities,” Siddagangaiah said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka department of food and civil supplies is conducting raids to crack down on hoarders.

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