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NC delegation seeks release of Abdullahs before local polls

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Srinagar, Oct 6 The National Conference delegation met detained party President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah and sought their release for the participation in the Block Development elections. Devender Singh Rana said “See, there is a complete lockdown.Let them (the leaders) be released, then the working committee of the party will meet and discuss and formulate a strategy for the future.”

The 15-member delegation was led by party’s provincial President for Jammu, Devender Singh Rana met Farooq Abdullah for the first time in 2 months after he has been put under detention since August 5 when the Central government abrogated Article 370. .

Farooq Abdullah, is under house arrest under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), came out of the Gupkar Road house to greet the delegation.

The senior leader flanked by his wife Molly waved to the reporters outside his residence, flashing victory signs.

Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, the political leadership of the state must be released.”There is anger about the lockdown,” he said.

Rana said that his party appeals that for the revival of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir, “all leaders from mainstream and others groups without any criminal record should be released to initiate the political process and win the hearts and the minds of the people”. The delegation enquired about Farooq Abdullah’s health and discussed the situation after the revocation of Article 370 with him and Omar Abdullah.

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BHU students continue protest, Muslim prof feels ‘insulted’

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Varanasi, Nov 20 : The students’ protest against the appointment of a Muslim professor in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) entered its 14th day on Wednesday with the students refusing to give up on their demand.

The BHU administration continues to maintain that the appointment of professor Feroz Khan is in accordance with the prescribed norms and there is no question of his removal.

The BHU administration has issued a statement, saying, “The idea behind the establishment of the university was to contribute in nation-building by providing equal opportunity of study and teaching to all deserving people without any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender and sect.”

The statement also said that Khan’s appointment was a unanimous decision made by a selection committee under a transparent process.

The Muslim professor Feroz Kahn, meanwhile, said that he felt ‘insulted’ by the incident and added that he would have never applied for the job if the university had mentioned in the advertisement that they did not want a Muslim.

Students sitting on dharna, on the other hand, have started reciting Hanuman Chalisa to underline their opposition to a Muslim faculty member.

Chakrapani Ojha, a student leader leading the protest since November 7, said: “The appointment of a Muslim faculty member has hurt the sentiments of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya who established the BHU. This appointment has been made as part of a conspiracy. The entire process, including the interview, was rigged in favour of Feroz Khan. The stone inscription installed in BHU clearly states that no non-Hindu can either study or teach in our department. Then why was a Muslim professor appointed in the faculty?”

The university spokesman Rajesh Singh said that there is no stone inscription on the premises that says non-Hindus cannot study or teach in BHU.

Shubham Tiwari, another student leader, said, “In this department, there are no teachers, all are our gurus. Everyone keeps a ‘choti’ on their head, we touch their feet and participate in ‘havan’ which is a regular ritual. If a Muslim professor is accorded a place in the department, then he will not be able to perform rituals and teach us our dharma.”

Umakant Chaturvedi, the head of the department, said that the deadlock continued and no classes were being held in the Sanskrit department.

Sources said that some faculty members in the department were instigating protest and provoking students.

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After BSNL, MTNL rings in strong VRS response

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Delhi: After BSNL, MTNL rings in strong VRS response; says over 13,500 employees have opted for scheme so far.

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Internet Curb In Kashmir Will Be Lifted When local administration is convinced: Amit Shah

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New Delhi, Nov 20: Speaking on the situation in Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah said that decision on resuming internet services in Kashmir – where internet has been snapped for over 100 days – will be taken when the “local administration is convinced”.

Amit Shah said in parliament today, adding that no person has died in Jammu and Kashmir due to in police firing since August 5 when the government made the big announcement of ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

All Urdu/English newspapers and TV channels are functioning, banking services are fully functional as well. All Govt offices and all Courts are open. Block development council elections were held, 98.3% polling was recorded

Amit Shah dares Ghulam Nabi Azad to counter facts, says, “Availability of petrol, diesel, kerosene, LPG and rice is adequate. 22 lakh metric ton apples are expected to be produced. All landlines are open. I challenge Ghulam Nabi Azad Sahab to counter these facts which I presented, why don’t you object to these figures on record? I am willing to discuss this issue for even an hour.”

12.26 pm: “As far as internet services are concerned, the decision can be taken by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities. There are activities by Pakistan too in Kashmir region, so keeping security in mind, whenever the local authority deems it fit, a decision will be taken,” Amit Shah.

11.46 am: A meeting of Congress Lok Sabha MPs, to discuss Parliament strategy, took place at the Congress parliamentary party office in Parliament. Party interim president Sonia Gandhi is chairing the meeting. In the meeting, Congress has decided that the party will raise in Parliament the issues of economic slowdown, unemployment and detention of Kashmiri political leaders.

11.44 am: Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives at Parliament. He will be speaking in Rajya Sabha today and tabling documents pertaining to proclamation of President’s rule in Maharashtra

11.15 am: JP Nadda, BJP, in Rajya Sabha: There is nothing political, security hasn’t been withdrawn. Home Ministry has a very set pattern & there is a protocol. It is not done by a politician, it is done by the Home Ministry and according to threat perception, the security is given & withdrawn.

11.10 am: Congress MP Anand Sharma raises the issue of withdrawal of SPG cover to party leaders Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi & Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in Rajya Sabha. Says “We urge govt that issues of security of our leaders have to be beyond partisan political considerations

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