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Kerala CM unhappy after meeting PM Modi

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Pinarayi Vijayan

New Delhi, July 19: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday expressed unhappiness after he led a 22-member delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek help on various issues concerning the state.

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, the Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, agreed with Vijayan’s assessment and said it was “a disappointing meeting and Kerala has nothing to look forward to from his (Modi’s) response”.

“The outcome was not a favourable one,” Vijayan told the media after the meeting with Modi at Parliament complex.

“One of the issues we raised was the increase in the allocation of foodgrains and it should be on par with what we used to get prior to the implementation of the Food Security Act. But the Prime Minister said … nothing else can be done,” said Vijayan.

The Chief Minister added that when they left Kerala on Wednesday, the general impression was that there was hope for a Palakkad Coach Factory. But it was clear the Centre had no such plans.

Vijayan said they also raised the issue of the widespread damage caused by the ongoing heavy rains and floods in Kerala.

“We requested that a central team be sent and he said it will be done. With regards to the decision of the proposed sale of (public sector) HNL Factory (near Kottayam), our demand was that it should be retained by the Centre or transferred to the Kerala government.

“We also wanted the Centre to allow wide-bodied aircraft to land at Kozhikode. Overall it was not a favourable response from the Prime Minister,” said Vijayan.

Chennithala said: “When we spoke about the proposed sale of HNL, the response was that the Kerala government also can bid for it. The visit has been a disappointing one.”

The delegation also included state Congress chief M.M. Hassan, Kerala Ministers K. Ramachandran and G. Sudhakaran, former state BJP chief P.K. Krishnadas, E.T. Mohammed Basheer (IUML) and Rajya Sabha member Jose K. Mani (Kerala Congress-Mani).

During the meeting, Modi handed over a list of projects for which the Centre had allocated funds but which had not been used.

He also expressed his unhappiness that the lone Keralite Union Minister, K.J. Alphons, was not included in the delegation.

India

Delhi riots: Opposition leaders meet President, demands independent probe into police role

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Delhi Roits Judicial Enquiry

Opposition leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and demanded an independent probe by a commission headed by a retired or sitting judge into the role of the Delhi police in the February riots and the ongoing probe into the incident.

Congress Treasurer and MP Ahmed Patel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D. Raja, DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi and RJD leader and MP Manoj K Jha were part of the delegation.

The Delhi police have set up special investigation teams, and its Special Cell has been probing the aspect of conspiracy behind the riots, in which 53 people lost their lives.

In a memorandum, the leaders voiced concern over the probe being conducted by the police. “The entire investigation appears to be aimed at arriving at a pre-meditated theory about a conspiracy propounded by the Home Minister in the Lok Sabha in March 2020, before any investigation had even begun into the riots,” it said. The memorandum said the investigation by the police did not inspire confidence as there were serious questions about its “impartiality”.

“A credible and unbiased probe is crucial to restore public trust in the law and order machinery of the State. The investigation cannot be allowed to become a fishing and roving expedition aimed at causing a chilling effect on dissent and protest in the country. We, therefore, urge you to call upon the Government of India to institute an inquiry into this investigation under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, headed by sitting/retired judge(s),” the memorandum said.

It criticised the police for the reference made to Mr. Yechury in a supplementary charge sheet, citing disclosure statements made by the accused. “This is a disturbing trend that raises serious questions over the manner of such investigations,” it said.

The leaders said there were several publicly documented accounts and videos of the police being “complicit in the violence, directing mobs pelting stones or looking the other way when mobs were indulging in violence”. “During the violence, a disturbing video emerged showing uniformed policemen assaulting young men lying injured on the road and forcing them to sing the national anthem while repeatedly beating them with lathis. One of the men, Faizan, succumbed to his injuries a few days later,” the memorandum said. It also highlighted other such instances, including the one in which the “DCP stood quietly next to a BJP leader who was instigating violence against the protestors, warning that if they did not vacate the road, he would do it himself”. The memorandum said that despite several complaints about the involvement of police officials, no action had been taken.

The leaders also criticised the police for being a mute spectator to the alleged hate speech of BJP leaders and turning a blind eye to the role of its own personnel in the violence. The probe appeared to be pursuing a line of inquiry “criminalising the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and portraying them as a conspiracy which resulted in the riots in Delhi,” they said.

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India

Congress Leader Ahmad Patel Raises Digital Divide Issue in Rajya Sabha

Digital India should not increase the barrier between students. The government should regulate it for the poor and help the poor : Ahmed Patel on students facing difficulties in online classes

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Ahmed Patel Rajya Sabha Online Education

Congress leader Ahmed Patel raised the issue of digital divide amid online schools during the pandemic while BSP’s Rajaram raised the issue of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes in the Jammu region in the Upper House.

It is causing financial and mental trouble to some weaker sections of the society. Digital India should not increase the barrier between students. The government should regulate it for the poor and help the poor.

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3 LeT men arrested in J&K, weapons sent by Pak drones recovered

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Three suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists have been arrested by the security forces from Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir with a large cache of arms and ammunition they had received through drones, officials said on Saturday.

All three belong to South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and have been identified as Rahil Bashir, Amir Jan and Hafiz Younis Wani. Police said they had gone to Rajouri to receive the weapons sent by drones from Pakistan.

IG Police Jammu Mukesh Singh told IANS that the three belonged to the proscribed terror outfit LeT. The weapons recovered include two AK-56 rifles, 6 AK-Magazines with 180 rounds, two Chinese pistols, three pistol magazines with 30 rounds, four grenades and Rs 1 lakh in cash.

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