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Naroda Gam massacre case: ‘Amit Shah’s statement defending Maya Kodnani should be discarded’

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August 2 : In the trial of the Naroda Gam massacre case of the 2002 post-Godhra riots, the Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team (SIT) argued before a special court that the deposition of BJP president Amit Shah “should not be considered believable” as it was done merely to “support” key accused former BJP minister Maya Kodnani.

“AMit Shah’s statement should be discarded as he recorded the statement 15 years after the incident which is not relevant now. It was done only to support Maya Kodnani as both were MLAs back then,” Special Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas said.

Shah gave the statement in September 2017

Vyas argued that “Amit Shah’s presence at Sola Civil hospital is also doubtful as despite being an MLA (back in 2002) nobody, even the accused like Babu Bajrangi, Jaideep Patel ever mentioned his presence.”

Sola civil hospital is the place where the bodies of karsewaks had been brought from Godhra.

In her defence, Maya Kodnani has said that she was at this hospital with Amit Shah when riots broke out in Naroda Gam area on February 28, 2002. She had got summons issued to Shah for his deposition. Shah appeared in court and recorded his statement that he saw Maya Kodnani.

Shah had said that he saw Kodnani first at Vidhan Sabha at 8.30 am. From Vidhan Sabha he left for Sola civil hospital where angry relatives of the Godhra train carnage had gathered to collect the bodies.

In his statement, Shah had said: “Since slogans were being shouted against the incident and there was chaos, a police team escorted me and Mayaben out of the hospital and took us to a police jeep since my vehicle was parked a little far. I can’t say exactly but it was around 11 am to 11.15 am. I was dropped near Gota chowkdi where I got into my own vehicle.”

Vyas argued that Shah’s presence at the hospital never came into the case records until two of Kodnani’s defence witnesses Natubhai Vaghela and Bharat Kantibhai Patel deposed last year.

Last year, the accused including Kodnani had brought more than 50 persons in their defence for the first time.

The SIT will continue examining the deposition of two more defence witnesses of Kodnani. Meanwhile, lawyer Shamshad Pathan sought permission from the court for arguing on behalf of the victims. The court asked him to file an application. It will be heard on Friday.

In the Naroda Gam case, 82 accused are facing trial including former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi who are accused of killing 11 Muslims.

India

Those opposing agri-related Bills anti-farmer: Yogi Adityanath

We are dedicated to development and in this by-election you all have to think about who will bring development and who will provide employment, he said.

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Yogi Adityanth

Jaunpur/Deoria (UP), Sep 26 : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said those opposing the Centre’s agriculture-related Bills are “anti-farmer”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to double the income of farmers and the Bills have been passed with this aim in mind, he said, addressing BJP workers at a school auditorium in Jaunpur.

The chief minister said the legislations will free farmers from the grip of middlemen and provide them with an option to sell their produce as per their choice.

The opposition is misleading people but they will not be allowed to succeed, he said, terming those opposing the Bills as “anti-farmer”.

Without taking names, the chief minister in Deoria said: Those who exploited farmers and mocked migrants… those who don’t know whether sugarcane is grown on land or trees are pretending to be warriors of farmers and labourers.”

Speaking about the work done by his government during the coronavirus pandemic, he said those who have been with the people in the most difficult times will be in power and claimed that in the last six months, the state government has distributed free foodgrain 12 times so that no one faces hunger.

Referring to the upcoming bypolls in the state, he said there will not be any big rallies or public meetings.

So, every BJP worker and office-bearer will have to take the responsibility of every booth.

If you win a booth, you will win an election, he said, exhorting party workers to win the Malhani (Jaunpur) and Deoria Sadar assembly seats for the BJP.

We are dedicated to development and in this by-election you all have to think about who will bring development and who will provide employment, he said.

Bypolls to eight Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh are likely to be held soon.

Enumerating the achievements of the BJP-led government at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh while speaking in Deoria, he said: “We took the development work forward with establishment of Medical College in Deoria… by next year classes will also start with 100 students and people will get high quality medical facilities.

He said that due to government focus on water drainage, potable water and cleanliness, the number of deaths due to encephalitis has reduced substantially in comparison to 2014.

The world is appreciating our management during COVID-19 challenge and the government not only provided employment to 40 lakh migrant workers but also provided them free food (ration), he said.

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PM Narendra Modi asks United Nations to change with changing times

While recounting how India has been dealing with its challenges, the Prime Minister explained his vision for self-reliant India and how it would be a force multiplier for the global economy.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi/New York, Sep 26 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, at the United Nations General Assembly’s 75th session, advocated institutional reforms of the international organisation and inclusion of India in its Security Council.

In a 20-minute pre-recorded speech which was delivered virtually in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister recalled the historical context in which the UN was set up in 1945. Though he acknowledged that the UN had several accomplishments to its credit but he pointed to the failure of the world body to prevent dozens of wars, civil wars and terror attacks in the last seven decades.

The UN, he said, needs to seriously introspect. “Thousands of people like you and me, were humans too. Lakhs of children vanished, lakhs became homeless. Were the efforts of the UN at that time and even now, adequate?” Modi asked in an evocative address.

For the last eight months, the world is combating the coronavirus pandemic, he pointed out while asking emphatically, “Where is the United Nations in that battle? Where is the collective and effective response to this crisis?”

The Prime Minister argued that institutional and structural reforms of the UN are a necessity of our times. The UN commands huge respect in India, he said adding that it is equally true that Indians have been waiting for the completion of the reforms for long. “Indians are worried and wondering if these reforms would ever reach a logical end. They have been asking till how long will India be kept out of the UN’s decision making structure?” he said.

In a strong pitch for granting India a seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC), the Prime Minister highlighted the nation’s role in the world and global peace. “For how long will a country which is the world’s largest democracy, a country with more than 18 per cent of the world’s population, a country with hundreds of languages, hundreds of dialects, many creeds, many ideologies, have to wait?” he asked.

“When we were strong, we did not trouble the world; when we were oppressed, we did not burden the world either,” Prime Minister Modi said adding that India’s philosophical values were in alignment with the founding principles of the UN.

“India will always use its experience as a pluralistic culture and democracy for the benefit of the world, humanity, security, progress and prosperity. We will always raise our voice against the enemies of humanity, human race and human valuesa- terrorism, arms smuggling, drugs, money laundering,” he said.

The Prime Minister assured the world community that India will continue to help the world as it has even during the current coronavirus pandemic. He informed the Assembly that India is headed towards phase three of clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine. “India will provide help to everyone,” he said.

While recounting how India has been dealing with its challenges, the Prime Minister explained his vision for self-reliant India and how it would be a force multiplier for the global economy.

Interestingly, Modi completely ignored Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s diatribe against his government at the UN on Friday.

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Pakistan wants to flood Jammu and Kashmir with weapons before winter

On September 8, alert troops recovered a AK-47, an M-4 Rifle, two magazines, six pistols which was smuggled through International Border sector.

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New Delhi, Sep 25 : Ahead of winter, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence has planned to flood Jammu and Kashmir with weapons to create unrest in the Valley, government sources said. To do so, ISI has procured a sizable number of Hexacopters from a Chinese firm associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the pretext of protecting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) assets.

The sources said that due to the strong anti-infiltration grid established by India’s security forces, Pakistan is unable to push neither terrorists nor weapons to increase violence levels in the Valley.

“Pakistan’s ISI has been given an ultimatum to push in maximum infiltrators along with weapons into Kashmir before onset of winter, when the undergrowth/bushes in most infiltration prone areas will die down due to dew and snowfall,” the source said.

It was further stated that the ISI has reportedly analysed the rules of engagement followed by Indian Security forces that they do not fire when an intruder along the Line of Control is seen without a weapon.

“Therefore, this modus operandi to infiltrate terrorists without weapons and sending weapons separately by drones or other means has been instituted to reduce the risk of terrorists getting eliminated at the Line of Control itself,” the source said

ISI has procured Hexacopters from a Chinese firm associated with the CPEC.

Recently, security forces have recovered EMEI Type 97 NSR rifles manufactured by Norinco company of China, which is a standard issue to PLA soldiers and also gifted to Pakistan Frontier Force as part of CPEC cooperation.

On the intervening night of September 23 and September 24, two suspected persons travelling in a Mahindra Bolero from Jammu to South Kashmir were arrested while transporting one Chinese-made Norinco/EMEI Type 97 NSR rifle, four magazines with 190 rounds, one AK-47 rifle with four magazines with 218 rounds and three grenades. Reportedly this consignment was dropped through a drone at Samba.

On September 23, 2020, five AK-47 rifles, and two Pistols were recovered in Ferozpur Mamdot sector. Two AK assault rifles, one pistol, three AK magazines and 90 rounds which were airdropped by a Pakistani drone in a village in Akhnoor region were seized by Jammu and Kashmir Police on September 22.

Again on September 18, two AK-56 rifles, two pistols and four grenades were recovered along the Line of Control in Rajouri Sector.

Intelligence inputs suggest that the weapons were likely to have been dropped by Pakistani drones.

On September 14, in the Gurez sector of North Kashmir when a group of terrorists attempting to infiltrate from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir were challenged, they abandoned their rucksacks before jumping into the Kishenganga river. One Chinese-made Norinco QBZ 95 rifle was recovered along with other weapons and bodies of two terrorists who drowned in the river recovered. The Chinese-made QBZ 95 is used by soldiers of Pakistan Frontier Corps.

Border Security Force troops on September 12 recovered a AK-47 rifle, a M16 Rifle and two pistols which were smuggled across the International Border fence in Ferozpur Kudian.

On September 8, alert troops recovered a AK-47, an M-4 Rifle, two magazines, six pistols which was smuggled through International Border sector.

Security forces have stated that they think before winters Pakistan would push in more weapons in the Valley through temporary underground tunnels across the LoC.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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