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Kohinoor issue: Sukhbir Badal asks SGPC to file caveat in SC

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Chandigarh, April 20 : Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to file a caveat in the Supreme Court so that the committee could be heard before the court gives a judgment on the return of the Kohinoor diamond to India.

“The SGPC would represent the Sikh community in the PIL and demand that the diamond, which is presently a part of the crown jewels of the Queen of England, be returned to the religious body,” Jangveer Singh, media adviser to Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Badal, said here.

“This assertion was being made on the basis that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the head of a Khalsa Raj. In the absence of any such system now, the SGPC is the representative of the Sikh community to which the diamond rightfully belongs,” he said.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had on Tuesday demanded that the Kohinoor be returned to the Sikh community as it was part of the Sikh kingdom in the 19th century.

In another decision on this issue, the ruling Akali Dal decided that a deputation of party leaders will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to make a representation on behalf of the Sikh community to highlight the wrong version given to the court by the union culture ministry earlier this week on the Kohinoor.

“The Akali Dal delegation will impress upon Sushma Swaraj that Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Sikh sovereign ruler of Punjab, was robbed of the Kohinoor,” a party statement said.

“The Akali Dal feels this aspect has not been appropriately put before the apex court. The party will present the facts of the case to the external affairs ministry detailing how the Maharaja was forced to present the Kohinoor to Queen Victoria after being christened and that he had no option in the matter.

“It cannot be regarded has being given as compensation or as a gift in any manner,” the party said.

“The party is confident that the Centre will rethink its stand on the issue as there was no doubt that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the absolute owner of the Kohinoor and that after its death it was taken away by the British in a deceitful manner.

“It feels this wrong can only be righted by the return of the diamond to the Sikh community,” the statement said.

“To say that the Kohinoor was neither stolen nor forcibly taken away by the British but was given as a present by Maharaja Duleep Singh to the East India Company is a gross misrepresentation of historical facts. This stand seems to support the deceitful ways and means of the British,” Makkar said in a statement.

The 108-carat diamond was presented to the then British monarch, Queen Victoria, after the Anglo-Sikh wars, in which Britain gained control over the Sikh empire in the then undivided Punjab.

The Kohinoor diamond, kept under tight security at the Tower of London, is claimed by India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

Cities

Gujarat govt renames ‘dragon fruit’ as kamalam

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Gandhinagar Jan 20: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while interacting with the media on Tuesday, said that the government has applied for a patent to change the nomenclature of dragon fruit to ‘Kamalam’.

According to the CM, the word dragon for the fruit sounded inappropriate and so the Gujarat government had decided for the fruit to be called as Kamalam.

While interacting with the media on Tuesday during the launch of the Chief Minister Horticulture Development Mission, Rupani said, “We have applied for the patent of the Dragon fruit to be called as Kamalam. But as of now, we the Gujarat government have decided to call the fruit as Kamalam.”

“Even though the fruit is known as dragon fruit, it doesn’t sound appropriate. The word Kamalam is a Sanskrit word and the fruit does have the shape of the lotus, so we have decided to call it Kamalam, and there’s nothing political about it,” Rupani added.

According to the CM, the fruit has long since been grown as a form of cactus in the country. “Nobody has to be alarmed by the word Kamalam,” Rupani added.

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Cities

Another fake social media news racket on temple attack busted

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

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Fake News

Amaravati, Jan 20: Police in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district on Tuesday busted another fake news racket regarding temple attack in Eluru town and clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident was an old one.

“It came to our notice that some persons are using this 2014 incident as propaganda material to spread fake news on the social media,” said a district police official.

Police later registered a case under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Police clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident occurred in 2014 and a case was registered then under Sections 295 and 427 of the IPC at Eluru town police station.

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Prakasam district police arrested one more person for allegedly dubbing the damage due to corrosion to the Singarayikonda temple arch idols as an ‘attack’.

In this particular case, police identified 33 persons for spreading false information on the social media, of whom six were arrested from different places in the southern state.

Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal on Tuesday visited multiple places to strengthen surveillance system, 24×7 beat and patrol systems for the security of all temples and religious places.

He met with members of village and mandal defence committees and gave suggestions on their security.

On Tuesday evening, Director General of Police Goutam Sawang held a videoconference with all districts police officials over the temple incidents in the state.

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Cities

Gurugram: Farmers to hold tractor rally ‘rehearsal’ on Wednesday

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Tractor March Delhi

Gurugram, Jan 20: The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha in Gurugram has announced that they will conduct a tractor rally ‘rehearsal’ in Gurugram on Wednesday ahead of Republic Day, in support of the farmers’ protests against the three farm laws.

SKM president Chaudhary Santokh Singh said that on Wednesday the rehearsal of the tractor rally will begin from the Bajghera flyover and will end at the protest site on the Delhi-Jaipur highway.

About 100 tractors will take part in the rehearsal. All tractors will have Morcha members present and will carry the national flag.

“The central government is aware of the flaws in the agricultural laws but is not ready to accept its mistake and is continuously harassing the innocent farmers at several borders of the national capital. The government must let go of its arrogant behaviour and roll back the black laws,” Singh said.

He said that on January 26, the farmers will join Republic Day by affixing the tricolour in front of their tractors and will proceed towards the national capital if permitted.

The protesting farmers said that it will be good if the Centre repeals the farm laws immediately, because the farmer movement has become a mass movement and people of other classes have also started supporting the farmers.

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