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Maharashtra stays ‘exorbitant’ traffic violation fines

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote urged the Centre to “reconsider and reduce” the hefty fines by making amendments to the new MVA.

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Mumbai, Sep 11 : In an embarrassment for the Narendra Modi government, Maharashtra’s ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition on Wednesday termed the heavy penalties under the new Motor Vehicles Act as “exorbitant” and stayed its implementation.

Announcing the decision, state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote urged the Centre to “reconsider and reduce” the hefty fines by making amendments to the new MVA.

Effectively, the people of Maharashtra have been spared of the new MVA and resultant stiff penalties till at least after the assembly elections, said an official of the state RTO.

The development came hours after a report by IANS earlier on Wednesday where Kishore Tiwari, Chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM), who enjoys a Cabinet Minister rank, warned that the new stiff fines had the potential to spur suicide rates across the country.

Virtually dismissing the contentions, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari stuck to his stand, and reiterated that the fines are intended to “save lives” and were being revised after 30 years.

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Delhi Police in crosshairs of traffic jams on Monday

Due to poor planning, Delhi police could control neither the JNU crowd nor the protests elsewhere, making it a worst day for commuters.

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JNU protest to Parliament

New Delhi, Nov 18 : It was a harrowing time for Delhi police on Monday in the national capital. While controlling the JNU students, who took to the streets against the fee hike, Delhi Police forgot to look after other areas where jams are commonplace.

The police had the inputs about other protests happening in the city, but it chose to ignore them which ultimately resulted in massive jams in central and north Delhi.

In an incident in central Delhi, the ‘Halla Bol’ brigade of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to the streets at Turkman Gate, Jama Masjid, IP Estate and outer Ring Road near Nigambodh Ghat, to protest against the Delhi government. As a result the areas of ITO, Rajghat, Geeta Colony witnessed massive jams for several hours with long queues of cars stuck on the road.

A roving IANS reporter did not find even a single traffic personnel in these areas to control the traffic. The situation turned worse when the traffic, stuck for a long time, started moving in the wrong direction.

In a similar incident in the Karkardooma area of east Delhi, Sikhs protesting at the Staff Selection Commission’s Office, led to a massive jam. They were protesting against the Commission’s decision to bar a Sikh from appearing in the examination as he was wearing a ‘kada’ (metal bangle worn by Sikhs as a religious symbol). As the Sikhs surrounded the Commission’s office, the officers inside had a harrowing time, as very few police personnel were present to control the crowd.

These incidents were happening in various parts of Delhi at the same time when the police were trying to stop the JNU students’ march to Parliament. The protest resulted in massive traffic snarls in central Delhi leading to jams at various locations. The situation became so bad that Delhi metro closed operations at Udyog Bhavan, Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat metro stations, though temporarily.

Due to poor planning, Delhi police could control neither the JNU crowd nor the protests elsewhere, making it a worst day for commuters.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Centre bans Meghalaya-based insurgent group HNLC

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Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council

New Delhi, Nov 18 : The Central government on Monday banned Meghalaya-based insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and declared it and its factions, wings and front organisations as “unlawful associations”.

In the wake of increased activities of violence and other subversive acts of HNLC, the Union Home Ministry issued a notification, saying the group continues to intimidate and bully civilians to extort funds, maintains links with other insurgent groups of the Northeast to carry out acts of extortion and intimidation, and maintains camps in Bangladesh to give sanctuary and training to its cadre.

Noting that the HNLC along with all its factions, wings and frontal organisations have openly declared as its objective the secession of the state’s areas, which are largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals, from the Indian Union, the Ministry said the activities of the group are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

“If these are not immediately curbed and controlled, the HNLC will regroup and rearm itself, expand its cadre base, procure sophisticated weapons, cause loss of lives of civilians and security forces, and accelerate its anti-national activities.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the central government hereby declares the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful association,” the notification said.

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NESO opposes amendment of Citizenship Act, warns of stir

On Monday, several students’ bodies and other civil society groups staged a protest in their respective state’s capital opposing the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955.

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North East Students Organisation

Shillong, Nov 18 : The North East Student’s Organisation (NESO) on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, reiterating its strong opposition to the proposed amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955 during the winter session of Parliament which began on Monday.

The apex student’s body of the indigenous student groups across the seven Northeastern states cautioned the central government that “such an undesirable step by Parliament will once again agitate the entire North East region.”

On Monday, several students’ bodies and other civil society groups staged a protest in their respective state’s capital opposing the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure but could not push it through due to vehement protests by opposition parties and it lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.

The bill seeks to remove hurdles in the way of eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from getting Indian citizenship.

“We oppose the objective of the Bill and it should not be adopted by Parliament under any circumstances. Such an undesirable step by Parliament will once again agitate the entire North East region. We all have a responsibility to avoid such a potentiality,” the NESO letter noted.

However, the apex student’s body demanded the introduction of the Inner Line Permit system across the Northeastern states, implementation of the National Register of Citizens with a Base Year for each states and constitutional safeguards for the people of North East states that must delegate vast federal authority including the right over land and its natural resources.

Informing the Prime Minister and Home Minister that the North East region is infested with foreigners from the erstwhile East Pakistan and now, Bangladesh, NESO alleged that “politicians have supported them which threaten the identity of the indigenous peoples of the region.”

“All the states of the region have suffered badly due to the illegal flow of the foreigners without any hindrance.”

Noting that many states of the North East have taken the load of Hindu refugees who migrated due to the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, the student’s body said, “This Citizen (Amendment) Bill is again an attempt to impose the burden of the post-1971 Hindu Bangladeshis in the entire North East region which is not justified to say the least and North East is not a dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis and to us… a foreigner is a foreigner irrespective of his religion.

“It should be common sense that the proposed Bill will defeat the very purpose of signing the Assam Accord. The NESO fully supported signing of the Assam Accord by the All Assam Students’ Union setting 25th March 1971 as the cut off year for detection and deportation of the foreigners from Assam,” the letter stated.

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