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Plea in SC seeking separate human rights bodies for J&K, Ladakh

The petitioner argued that these seven different commissions were dealing with different aspects of rights.

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New Delhi, Sep 19 : A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre to immediately set up separate Human Rights Commissions for the two Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

The plea filed by advocate Asim Sarode said that after abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019, the government divided Jammu & Kashmir into two separate Union territories and reportedly the general administration department has shut down seven State Commissions with effect from October 31, 2019 – Jammu & Kashmir Human Rights Commission (SHRC), State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights (SCPWCR), State Commission for Persons with Disabilities (SCPwD), State Information Commission (SIC), State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC), State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) and State Accountability Commission (SAC).

The petitioner argued that these seven different commissions were dealing with different aspects of rights.

“It is mentioned that upon repeal of the Acts related to these Commissions by the Jammu & Kashmir Re-organisation Act, 2019, sanctions have been accorded to winding up these Commissions. The terms of all office holders of these Commissions also came to an end on October 31, 2019,” said the PIL. According to the Supreme Court website, the matter is likely to come up for hearing on September 24.

The plea contended that the rights have to be exercised in continuity and rights cannot be curtailed abruptly for uncertain time without any due process of law. “In all these seven Commissions mentioned above wherein cases were pending before passing the order of their dissolution and the people who are seeking justice from these Commissions as well as the other people who might be suffering rights violation are deprived from accessing the justice mechanism,” argued the plea.

The petitioner contended that if the rights of the people from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have not been taken away after abrogation of Section 370, then it becomes the duty of the Centre and its agencies to discharge the Constitutional obligations to protect the citizens and re-establish various commissions where citizens can approach for protecting their rights.

The petitioner cited that 41,866 persons lost their lives in 71,038 incidents of terrorist violence, which include 14,038 civilians, 5,292 personnel of security forces and 22,538 terrorists. “Even if the figures are considered as true or in the absence of statistics, data or information about how many people are killed in violence, it becomes the duty of the government to set up all required machinery to demand protection of rights and accountability on the part of the government,” said the plea.

The petitioner urged the top court to issue directions to the Centre to set up a separate State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights for Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh. Besides the Centre, the petitioner has made National Human Rights Commission and Law Commission as respondents in the matter.

Cities

Maharashtra extends ongoing Covid-19 lockdown till November 30

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Lockdown in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government on Thursday extended the ongoing lockdown by another month as cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continue to rise in the state. It will now remain in effect till November 30, officials said.

The government issued a statement about the same and said, “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the powers, conferred under The Disaster Management Act. 2005. the undersigned, in his capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee, hereby issues directions that the guidelines issued vide orders dated 30’h September, 2020 and 14° October. 2020 to operationalize MISSION BEGIN AGAIN for casing of restrictions and phase-wise opening, will remain in force till 30th November 2020 for containment of COVID- I 9 epidemic in the State and all Departments of Government of Maharashtra shall strictly implement these guidelines.”

“The activities already allowed and permitted from time to time shall be continued and all earlier orders shall be aligned with this order and shall remain in force up to 30th November, 2020.”

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India

West Bengal Dy-Speaker Sukumar Hansda Dies Of Cancer

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Sukumar Hansda

Kolkata: West Bengal Legislative Assembly deputy speaker and Trinamool Congress MLA from Jhargram constituency Sukumar Hansda died of cancer at a private city hospital on Thursday. He was 67.

The Trinamool lawmaker was admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital but was shifted to a private medical facility a few days ago. Earlier, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Deeply grieved to hear about the passing away of West Bengal Assembly Deputy Speaker and Jhargram MLA Shri Sukumar Hansda. He was also serving as All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) state vice-president. His relentless service for people shall always be remembered,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, condoling Hansda’s bereaved family members.

A doctor by profession, Hansda took charge as the Deputy Speaker in December 2018 after the demise of former deputy speaker Haider Aziz Safwi.

He became the minister for Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs between 2011 and 2016 after the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government stormed to power in Bengal in 2011. But he was included in the state cabinet despite being re-elected for the second term.

His father, Subodh Chandra Hansda, was a Union minister in a Congress government during 1957-62.

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India

National Lost A Stalwart Leader: President On Keshubhai’s Death

The BJP leader was the Chief Minister of Gujarat twice — in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He was a six-time MLA. He was replaced by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.

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keshubhai patel

New Delhi: Conveying his condolence to the kin of former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the nation has lost a stalwart leader.

The President took Twitter to express his condolence, saying “Keshubhai Ji’s dogged determination for social service and committment to Indian ethos will remain exemplary for all. My condolences to his family and friends”.

“With the demise of Keshubhai Patel, former Gujarat Chief Minister, the nation has lost a stalwart leader. His long public life was dedicated to improving the lives of millions, especially in villages. As champion of farmers’ causes, he enjoyed extraordinary rapport with masses.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressed sorrow over the death of Patel who breathed his last at a hospital in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning at the age of 92 years.

The Prime Minister expressed deep sadness at the death of Patel, calling him an “outstanding leader” who devoted his life towards the progress of Gujarat.

Mentioning as “our beloved and respected Keshubhai”, Modi in a series of tweet said, “I am deeply pained and saddened” on his passing away.

“He was an outstanding leader who cared for every section of society. His life was devoted towards the progress of Gujarat and the empowerment of every Gujarati.”

The Prime Minister said that Keshubhai travelled across the length and breadth of Gujarat to strengthen the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“He resisted the Emergency tooth and nail. Issues of farmer welfare were closest to his heart. Be it as MLA, MP, Minister or CM, he ensured many farmer friendly measures were passed,” Modi said.

Modi reminded how Keshubhai mentored and groomed many younger Karyakartas including him.

“Everyone loved his affable nature. His demise is an irreparable loss. We are all grieving today. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers. Spoke to his son Bharat and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”

Expressing condolence at the sudden demise of Patel, Shah said: “While in the BJP, Keshubhai played an important role in strengthening the organization in Gujarat. As a trustee of Somnath Temple, he always supported the development of the temple. Keshubhai will always remain in our memory with his actions and behaviour.”

In his condolence message, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Keshubhai Patel ji was an effective administrator who left an indelible mark in public life.

“I offer my tributes to the departed leader. In this hour of grief, I express my heartfelt condolences to his family and well-wishers. Om Shanti,” Singh said in a series of tweets.

Singh said that Keshubhai Patel will always be remembered for his unwavering commitment to serve the people.

“Former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai was a political stalwart who played a significant role in strengthening the BJP in the state. Deeply pained by his demise today.”

Patel was hospitalised after he complained of difficulty in breathing on Thursday morning. He breathed his last during treatment.

The BJP leader was the Chief Minister of Gujarat twice — in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He was a six-time MLA. He was replaced by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.

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