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Prez, Modi, Rahul pay tributes to Ambedkar on his birth anniversary

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Ram Nath Kovind

New Delhi, April 14 President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday paid tributes to the architect of the Indian Constitution B.R. Ambedkar on his birth anniversary.

“Tributes to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. Our nation’s icon and Chief Architect of the Constitution, he strived for a society based on justice and equity. Let us all take inspiration from his vision and values, and resolve to imbibe his ideals in our lives,” the President said in a tweet. The President also paid floral tribute to Ambedkar at the Rashtrpati Bhawan.

The Prime Minister also took to twitter and wrote, “A humble tribute to Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar on his birth anniversary from all the countrymen.” He also attached a video highlighting the achievements of Ambedkar.

Rahul Gandhi wrote on twitter, “My tributes to the great social reformer and chief architect of our Constitution, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkarji on his Jayanti.”

Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow. Every year, Ambedkar’s birth anniversary is celebrated to honour his countless contribution in the making of the present-day independent India.

His birth anniversary is also known as the Bhim Jayanti and is celebrated as a public holiday across India since 2015.

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Did Vikas Dubey reach Ujjain himself or was he brought there?

After Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra announced his arrest, the Congress is raising questions.

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Vikas Dubey.

Ujjain/Bhopal, July 9 : After gangster Vikas Dubey, who had been on the run for the last seven days, was arrested in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on Thursday morning, a controversy erupted over how he managed to reach the temple town. Questions have been raised whether he came on his own or was brought here, and also as to how he manage to cross many districts of Uttar Pradesh without being recognised.

Dubey, accused of killing eight police men in Bikaru village of Kanpur, was constantly changing his location for the past seven days. Though the Uttar Pradesh Police continued to raid various possible locations, he still reached Ujjain, dodging the police of several districts of UP and Madhya Pradesh.

Dubey, whose in-laws are also from Madhya Pradesh, has been coming to Ujjain every year. His mother Sarala Devi had admitted that he used to go to Ujjain every year to offer prayers at Mahakaal temple. It is being said that he reached Ujjain by road and also offered prayers at the temple on Thursday morning.

After Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra announced his arrest, the Congress is raising questions.

Police sources said that Dubey came to Ujjain in a car from Uttar Pradesh and he also stopped at a residence of a person known to him in Nagjhiri area where he stayed for some time. He reached the temple for ”darshan” on Thursday morning. However, the security guards posted at the temple got suspicious and stopped him for questioning. He reportedly had a brief scuffle with the security guards who then informed the police post. Dubey was later arrested there.

But if Dubey did actually come to Ujjain by road, then he must have covered a distance of about 200 km in Madhya Pradesh seemingly without attracting police attention. Before entering Madhya Pradesh, he must have passed through several districts of Uttar Pradesh as well. Apprehension has been expressed that he reached Ujjain via Rajasthan”s Kota. The police is investigating this also.

Mishra said that Dubey came to Ujjain driving his own vehicle. “Two of his accomplices — Bittu and Suresh have also been arrested. The entire state police was on alert after the Kanpur incident. The surveillance was carried out and finally MP police succeeded in arresting him.”

However, questioning the government, Congress Rajya Sabha member and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh said: “It looks like a sponsored surrender to avoid an encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police. My information is that this has been possible with the courtesy of a senior leader of Madhya Pradesh BJP.”

However, it was not immediately known whether Dubey reached Ujjain on Thursday morning itself or had come a day before.

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Existence of NDR fund does not prohibit PM-CARES: Centre to Supreme Court

The petitioner argued that the entire funds collected in PM-CARES till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

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New Delhi, July 9 : The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that there are several funds which were either established earlier or now for carrying out various relief works, and PM-CARES is one such fund with voluntary donations.

The affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said “It is submitted there exists a fund stipulated under section of the DMA (Disaster Management Act) which is called NDR fund. However, mere existence of a statutory fund would not prohibit in creation of a different fund like PM-CARES fund which provides for voluntary donations.”

The Centre contended that the petition seeking a direction that the funds received by PM-CARES to be credited to NDRF (National Disaster Response Fund) is neither maintainable on merits nor is maintainable under Article 32 as all funds other than the funds stipulated under section 46 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 are separate, different and distinct, created separately under separate provisions.

On June 17, the apex court issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking to transfer funds from PM-CARES to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks. Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), in the plea claimed that in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, NDRF is not being utilised by the authorities, and establishing the PM-CARES fund is outside the scope of the Disaster Management Act.

The petitioner argued that the entire funds collected in PM-CARES till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

“Centre may be directed to utilise National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the purpose of providing assistance in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in compliance with Section 46 of the DM Act, all the contributions/grants from individuals and institutions shall be credited to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) rather than to PM-CARES fund and all the funds collected in the PM-Cares till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF”, said the PIL.

The petition argued that there is need to put in place a broader and well thought out national plan outlining inter alia a detailed coordination mechanism between the Centre and states. “Section 11 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the “DM Act”) makes it mandatory for a national plan to be drawn up for disaster management for whole of the country but currently, there is no such national plan in place to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”, argued the plea.

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Cattle smuggling on Bangladesh border to go up before Eid: Intel

So far in 2020, 16 personnel of BSF’s South Bengal Frontier have been injured in various scuffles with trans-border criminals.

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New Delhi, July 9 : With just three weeks to go for Eid-ul-Adha, the Islamic festival of sacrifice, the Border Security Force (BSF) has deployed more force on India-Bangladesh border apprehending surge in cattle smuggling — an annual affair, but which dropped by 96 per cent last year.

As the festival — which is also called ”Qurbani Eid” — will be celebrated on July 31 this year, the BSF’s intelligence wing has alerted its border units about activities of cattle traffickers, considering the rising demand from Bangladesh.

The BSF, which guards the India-Bangladesh border, said the price of animals is higher than before this time due to rains being in full force and high water level in rivers flowing along the border.

Every year, a BSF official said, incidents of animal trafficking increase before Eid-ul-Adha along the 4,096 km India-Bangladesh border, the fifth-longest in the world, and spanning Assam (262 km), Tripura (856 km), Mizoram (180 km), Meghalaya (443 km), and West Bengal (2,217 km).

The business of cattle smuggling has been flourishing in West Bengal since many years because influential people are said to be involved. But since last year, the BSF”s South Bengal Frontier has almost stopped cattle trafficking.

It has been learned from reliable sources that the process of licensing ”Cattle Haats” in the border areas of Bangladesh is going to be completed soon. These ”Cattle Haats” see trade of most of the cattle smuggled from India.

The price of cattle in Bangladesh has increased significantly during this time of the year. At present, a buffalo of large size which is available in India for Rs 50,000 is priced in Bangladesh at about Rs 1.50 lakh and a bull of large size at Rs 80,000, an official said.

“Cattle smugglers who are involved in this nefarious and illegal business have several hundred crores (rupees) and put the lives of many poor, illiterate and unemployed youths at stake by luring them for a few thousand rupees,” the officer said.

Another officer said the more strict the border, the more money is paid to these youths who are called ”Rakhals” in the local language.

For every head of cattle taken across the international border, a ”Rakhal” gets Rs 8,000-10,000. For this money, the kingpin cattle smuggler puts the life of ”Rakhal” at stake.

Many of these ”rakhals” lose their lives while doing these illegal acts by drowning during floods, getting bitten by snakes, hit by lightning, being trampled by cattle, getting killed in a gang war or in BSF firing, BSF spokesperson Krishna Rao told IANS.

Rao said the BSF have made all their preparations to meet the challenge of cattle smuggling this year in the run-up to Eid.

“Border Security Force battalions deployed in Malda and Baharampur sectors have completed their preparations and are committed to thwart the nefarious designs of smugglers,” the officer said.

In the most vulnerable Border Out Posts (BoPs) such as Neem Teeta, Harudanga, Madanghat and Sovapur in Malda and Murshidabad districts, additional troopers and resources have been deployed, he said.

“In fact, the Ganga river enters Bangladesh from India under the responsibility of these border posts. When the water is released from the Farakka Dam, this river gets flooded which is exploited by cattle smugglers,” the officer said.

Explaining the method, the official said, the traffickers put the cattle in the river upto 8 to 10 km upstream.

“Before putting them in the river, they tie the legs of the cattle, put a bandage over the eyes and finally tie two banana stems on either side of the animal to keep it afloat.”

The BSF top brass took several calibrated measures to curb the menace last year as the trade promotes an approximate Rs 10,000 crore beef export industry of Bangladesh.

During this rainy season, the BSF has increased the deployment of night cameras, tractors, and speed boats to prevent animal trafficking before Eid-ul-Adha.

”Rakhals” of India and Bangladesh, at times, try to smuggle up to 400-500 heads of cattle, and attack the border guards with sharp-edged weapons, sticks and stones and bricks. Many times, they also fire with home-made firearms and hurl explosives

So far in 2020, 16 personnel of BSF’s South Bengal Frontier have been injured in various scuffles with trans-border criminals.

Its new Inspector General, Ashwani Kumar Singh has given clear instructions that attack on BSF personnel by these smugglers would not be tolerated and that trans-border crimes will be stopped at any cost.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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