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PM Modi’s silence on key issues : Shashi Tharoor




The silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on key issues of communal tension and violence is baffling for a leader who is hailed as a great communicator, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Saturday.

“The prime minister’s silence is baffling for one termed a great communicator. He takes frequently to the microphone, TV and Twitter on various matters. Even before (BJP leader) Navjot Singh Sidhu’s operation, he is wishing him well, but on key issues there is no communication,” he said at a press conference at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

“Soon after he became prime minister, a Muslim techie was lynched in Pune, there have been several other incidents but Modi was silent. Even in this incident (suspended Dalit research scholar’s suicide in Hyderabad), it took him a week to respond. I believe his grief was genuine but it was delayed,” he said.

On the suicide of Rohith Vemula, Tharoor said that in an ideal world, there will be no caste, but it cannot be denied that there is caste consciousness in India, and education is not exempt.

He said he has, in the recent past, received several messages from Dalit students and teachers about the discrimination they face, and even if they all may not be true, it is clear there is a perception of discrimination.

He refused to answer a query about the investigations into the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

“I’m not commenting on the matter by principle and policy till police complete investigations and the case goes before a court,” he said.

About his presence at the JLF where he was involved in several sessions already during its first three days, he said he was only a recent politician, and had a longer stint as a writer.

“I had a longer and significant career as a writer, and came into politics only to do something which was earlier manifested in my writings. Whereas I had undertaken studies of India’s course, I now got the opportunity to influence it.”

Tharoor confessed the transition had not been “easy” but signalled that he was not going to quit.

“The challenges I faced would have been easier had I not been in politics. There is a saying ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I’m not going to leave the kitchen,” he said.

About the recently-revealed letter, purportedly written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1945, claiming Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was on Russian soil, Tharoor dismissed it as a “complete fake”.

“It is a complete fake, circulated by RSS types. One it is unsigned, and then it is in atrocious English which Panditji could have never written,” he said.

wefornews bureau



Andhra extends IPS officer’s suspension period

Last month, the Central Administrative Tribunal had also dismissed the petition by the IPS officer challenging his suspension.




AB Venkateswara Rao IPS

Amaravati, April 7 : The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday extended suspension period of senior police officer A.B. Venkateswara Rao for another four months.

Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney issued a Government Order to continue the suspension of the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer till August 5 or till further orders.

It was on February 8 the state government had suspended Rao on grounds of serious misconduct in the process of procurement of security equipment while he was working as Additional Director General of Police, Intelligence.

Last month, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had confirmed Rao’s suspension on the request of the state government.

The decision to continue suspension of the IPS officer was taken after Director General, Anti-Corruption Bureau recommended the same in its interim report. According to the GO, the Review Committee had also recommended extending Rao’s suspension.

The officer allegedly committed irregularities in the procurement of aerostats and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the cost of Rs.25.50 crore under the modernization of police force scheme.

He was also accused of “endangering national security’ by disclosing intelligence protocols to an Israeli defence manufacturing firm.

The IPS officer of 1989 batch while working as Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) during the previous government, colluded with Israeli defence equipment manufacturer RT Inflatables Pvt. Ltd to illegally award critical Intelligence and surveillance contract to his son Chetan Sai Krishna, CEO, Akasam Advanced Systems Pvt. Ltd, primary bidder on behalf of RT Inflatables.

Considered close to then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Rao was removed as the intelligence chief after Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy assumed office in May last year. He was since then waiting for a posting.

Last month, the Central Administrative Tribunal had also dismissed the petition by the IPS officer challenging his suspension.

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42 new cases in Rajasthan; total tally at 343

A total of six deaths have been reported due to coronavirus in the state out of which two are from Bhilwara, one in Bikaner, and one each in Jaipur, Alwar and Kota.




Coronavirus Scare

Jaipur, April 7 : Rajasthan on Tuesday reported 42 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 343 in the state, said health officials.

Bikaner reported three new cases which include a 13-year-old boy, the second is 35-year-old female and third is 15-year-old male who are all family members of a positive case who was in contact with Tablighi Jamaat. Overall, Bikaner had 13 new cases on Tuesday.

Jaisalmer had 6 new cases reported in evening which were in the age group of 17 to 85. They are all positive Tablighi Jamati contacts. On Tuesday morning, the city registered seven cases — all of them tested positive after contact with a corona patient.

Jodhpur had 9 new cases while Banswara has seven new cases, said Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.

Rajasthan has witnessed a steep rise in cases in the last few days. Till Saturday, the state had reported 200 cases which has touched 343 in just four days. The state crossed the 100-mark on April 1, said health officials.

Singh also instructed that all Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani Medical Officers and compounders of the state will work under the Medical and Health Department till the issuance of further orders.

It will help in the work being done for the prevention of coronavirus, he said.

Also, the police headquarters has decided to reinstate suspended policemen (from constables to police inspectors) in the state amid lockdown when police is engaged in different tasks including maintaining law and order, distributing food, providing security to medical teams going for screening in different areas and taking suspects to hospitals for isolation.

Director General of Police Bhupendra Singh on Tuesday issued guidelines for restoring suspended policemen.

It has been clarified in these guidelines that the suspension will not be resumed in cases of ACB, cases of criminal tendency and serious cases such as custody deaths. Only police personnel suspended for more than 6 months of normal service will be reinstated, he said.

A total of six deaths have been reported due to coronavirus in the state out of which two are from Bhilwara, one in Bikaner, and one each in Jaipur, Alwar and Kota.

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Four Tablighis in 12 new Covid-19 cases in Karnataka




coronavirus infection
File Photo

Bengaluru, April 7 (IANS) Karnataka registered 12 new Covid-19 positive cases, including four Tablighi returnees during the last 19 hours, an official said on Tuesday.

“Till date, 175 Covid positive cases have been confirmed. This includes 25 discharges and four deaths,” a health official said. The 12 new cases emerged from Monday 5 p.m. to Tuesday noon.

Among the new cases on Tuesday, four are Tablighi returnees and three are contacts of earlier Tablighis. Karnataka’s 164th Covid positive case is a 33-year-old Tablighi returnee from Mudhol, Bagalkot.

A 41-year-old woman, neighbour of the state’s fourth Covid fatality, is the 165th case. A 80-year-old woman from Gadag with a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARS) has emerged as the 166th case.

The state’s 167th case is a 29-year-old man from Benglauru and a Tablighi.
Similarly, the 168th case is a 50-year-old Tablighi from the same place.
A 35-year-old Tablighi from the same place is the 169th case.

Next, a 68-year-old man from the city with travel history to Dubai has emerged as the 170th case. A 32-year-old man from Mandya and a contact of five earlier Tablighis is the 171st case.

Similarly, a 36-year-old man from Mandya and also a contact of the same Tablighis is the 172nd case.

Likewise, a 65-year-old man from the same place and a contact of earlier Tablighi returnees is the 173rd case. A 28-year-old woman from Kalaburagi, daughter-in-law of 124th case is the 174th case.

The last case for Tuesday morning and Karnataka’s 175th case is a 57-year-old man from Kalaburagi with SARS history.

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