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Modi used soldiers’ sacrifices to garner votes: Congress

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New Delhi, Sep 28 : The Congress on Friday accused the Narendra Modi government of politicising the 2016 surgical strikes and alleged that the BJP was using “soldiers as a tool to garner votes”.

The party made the comment on the day “Parakram parv” is being observed by the Central government to mark the second anniversary of the surgical strikes carried out on the intervening night of September 28-30 across the Line of Control (LOC) on terror launch pads.

The Congress said the 2016 attack was not the first time that India had undertaken surgical strikes and listed a number of such attacks carried out in the past.

“We are proud that our forces have successfully conducted multiple ‘surgical strikes’ over last two decades, particularly post the year 2000 — January 21, 2000 (Nadala Enclave, across the Neelam River); September 18, 2003 (Baroh Sector, Poonch); June 19, 2008 (Bhattal Sector, Poonch); August 30-September 1, 2011 (Sharda Sector, across Neelam River Valley in Kel); January 6, 2013 (Sawan Patra checkpost); July 27-28, 2013 ( Nazapir Sector); August 6, 2013 (Neelam Valley); January 14, 2014 (Army Chief, General Bikram Singh’s statement qua surgical strike on December 23, 2013); September 28-29, 2016 (DGMO’s statement),” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said.

Besides Surjewala, the press conference was also addressed by Major General (Retd.) Satbir Singh, President of the Ex-Servicemen Movement, Rohit Chaudhary and Sudesh Goyat, OROP activists.

Surjewala accused the Central government of “compromising national security”, saying that in 52 months of its rule, Jammu and Kashmir alone has lost “414 security personnel and 259 civilians in Pakistan-sponsored terrorism”.

The Congress leader challenged Modi to concede that he has “failed” in keeping the borders secure by allowing a “500 per cent increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan, since May 2014”.

“Where is the ’56-inch chest’ missing as Pakistan commits more than 3,000 ceasefire violations at the LoC and international border?” he questioned.

He alleged that Modi “squandered national interests by arbitrarily reducing the number of (Rafale) fighter aircraft required by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 126 to 36”, and buying the aircraft at 300 per cent higher price than its original cost at the time when the deal was struck by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Surjewala accused the government of meting out “step motherly treatment” to the armed forces by slashing the defence budget to 1.58 per cent of the GDP, which was the “lowest since 1962”, and also of neglecting a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, which exposed that “68 per cent” of the Army’s equipment was “vintage” and that there was no money to buy emergency weapons.

Singh slammed the government for politicisng the surgical strikes and said why is thare no celebration on December 16, every year?

“On December 16, 1971, we formed a new country. Why that day is not being celebrated?” he questioned, adding that the ex-army personnel had earlier written to the Prime Minister to celebrate December 16 in the way the country celebrates Republic Day and Independence Day.

“You all must remember how we captured 93,000 Pakistan prisoners. At that time we used to cross the border and captured them,” he said.

Rohit Chaudhary also questioned the government’s intention over the non-implementation of the one-rank-one-pension (OROP) scheme.

“If you want to be seen standing with the soldiers then why did you not implement the OROP? Today the soldiers are victimised and want to tell the government that it should immediately implement OROP without delay and without dilution,” Chaudhary said.

Major (Retd.) Ajmer Singh Goyat’s wife Sudesh Goyat said that the soldiers were protesting the Parakram Divas. “The reason is that Sandeep Singh, who was one of the members in the surgical strikes, died three days ago.

“If Prime Minister would have visited his home instead of visiting Rajasthan. PM Modi is only showing off instead of working for the welfare of the soldiers,” Gayot said.

India

Reporters clash outside NCB, Republic’s Pradeep Bhandari blames ‘NDTV, ABP’ goons

Videos surfaced across social media platforms where a heated exchange among the reporters resulted in one of them slapping the other.

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Journalists Clash

As journalists thronged outside the Narcotics Control Bureau office near Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai, the chaos to cover Simone Khambatta ensued into a scuffle.

Videos surfaced across social media platforms where a heated exchange among the reporters resulted in one of them slapping the other. Many tried to sort it out and keep the two parties apart, until the cops intervened.

According to Republic TV reporter Pradeep Bhandari, he was attacked by ‘NDTV and ABP’ goons for ‘speaking the truth’.

Sharing the video on Twitter, he wrote, “Know what is the cost of speaking the truth in Maharashtra? As the well-known faces of the cartel are getting exposed, their anger continues to grow. When the police didn’t do anything, NDTV and ABP goons sent journalists to assault me. But I am not someone who breaks easily.”

NDTV’s Saurabh Gupta denied the claim and said the NDTV crew behaved responsibly.

Fashion designer Simone Khambatta is being questioned by the NCB in their ongoing probe related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Khambatta reached the NCB’s south Mumbai guesthouse on Thursday morning.

As the agency widens their probe in alleged drug procurement by Bollywood personalities, many actors, producers and other members from the film fraternity are likely to be questioned.

The ambit of the probe has now widened from investigating the death of the actor to alleged procurement and consumption of banned narcotics substances.

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Nehru’s Policies, Ayodhya Dispute, Gujarat Riots Dropped From Assam Class 12 Syllabus

The chapters were deleted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) to apparently reduce the load by 30 percent on account of loss of academic schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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CMAT, GPAT Exam

The Assam government has excluded lessons on Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies, the Ayodhya dispute and the Gujarat riots among topics from the Class 12 syllabus of the state examination board to “ease burden on students.” The chapters were deleted by the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) to apparently reduce the load by 30 percent on account of loss of academic schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to officials, topics have been cut short in all the subjects of the three streams- Science, Arts and Commerce.

“The main objective is to reduce the exam stress of the students of the session 2020-21, due to the pandemic and to prevent learning gaps. This syllabi will be the academic portion for the preparation of upcoming final exams of Higher Secondary 1st and 2nd year to be held in 2021,” AHSCE Secretary Manoranjan Kakati said in a recent report. The decision to trim the syllabus was taken on the recommendation of the selected subject experts from various reputed institutions of the state, he said.

In Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru’s approach to nation-building and his foreign policy, politics of ‘Garibi Hatao’ and the first three general elections have been struck off. The reduced syllabi also excluded the implementation of Mandal Commission report, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, the central governments under the United Front, earlier regimes of NDA and UPA, Ayodhya dispute, Gujarat riots, famine and suspension of five-year plans. Topics like the cold war, rise of China as an economic power in post-Mao era, conflicts and efforts for peace in South Asia, politics of disarmament, consequences of globalisation and anti-globalisation movements have also been done away with.

The salient features of the National Policy of Education 1986 and the units on women empowerment have been dropped from Class 12 syllabus. In Sociology, the experts have deleted the chapters on the struggle for women’s equality, minority rights and nation building, panchayati raj and challenges of social transformation, globalisation and social change, land reforms, secularisation and tribal movements.

For the History examination, the students will not require to study the Mughal court, Jesuits at the Mughal court, peasants, zamindars and the state, difference and conflict, religious ferment in North India and reconstructing histories of religious traditions. There will not be any material on liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation and industrial development in India.

Likewise, measures of government deficit, foreign exchange rate and determination of exchange rate in a free market and progress of nationalisation of banks and lead bank scheme from Banking were removed, the report said.

In the Swadesh Adhyayan subject, which was introduced in 2018 to study Assam and North East, changes in religious and linguistic demography, population explosion of Assam and the foreigners’ issue have been deleted.

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“Like East India Company”: Sharad Pawar’s Party Slams New Farm, Labour Bills

“The BJP government is in a way setting up an East India Company in the country by diluting farm and labour laws and protecting capitalists,” NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said.

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Mumbai: Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today hit out at the Centre over the passage of farm sector and labour reform bills, accusing it of being a “government of capitalists”.

The bills were passed in a hurried manner, said NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase.

“The Centre has again proved it is a government of capitalists and not of common people,” he alleged.

“The BJP government is in a way setting up an East India Company in the country by diluting farm and labour laws and protecting capitalists,” he added.

The farm sector laws do not clearly mention minimum support prices and that is why the farmers in northern states are protesting against these reforms, Mr Tapase said.

“The NCP is completely with farmers. (NCP chief Sharad) Pawar himself has said so,” he added.

On labour reforms, the NCP spokesperson said the Union government was bringing in the “hire and fire” work culture of the West.

Talking about Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey opting for voluntary retirement, Mr Tapase said the Election Commission and Department of Personnel and Training should make a two-year cooling off period compulsory before former officials can join politics.

Mr Pandey was under attack from Maharashtra politicians for seeking CBI probe in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

“Such officials can join politics after their cooling-off period is over,” Mr Tapase said.

He also demanded that the Centre disburse to Maharashtra its Goods and Services Tax share of ₹ 22,000 crore.

Parliament passed Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill last week.

On Wednesday it approved three key labour reform bills.

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