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SC asks UP govt reply in Noida journalist arrest case

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Nitish Pandey Journalist

New Delhi, Jan 9 : The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the UP government’s reply within two weeks on a plea seeking bail for a journalist arrested under the UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged extortion of Noida police officers.

A Bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant issued the notice.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan said the journalist was arrested last year but the high court was yet to decide on the bail plea.

Stating that petitioner Nitish Pandey is a journalist and not a gangster, Bhushan claimed the high court had been adjourning the matter frequently, which was allowing the state opportunity to file counter affidavit. Uncorroborated charges had been levelled against the journalist, he added.

Pandey was arrested on August 23, 2019, under various provisions of the UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.

Bhushan said the journalist had actually exposed corruption in the Noida police department through many stories on his news portal.

“The high court while adjourning the bail plea on several occasions failed to appreciate that cases concerning incarceration of an individual and jeopardising personal liberty, based on false prosecution and motivated allegations, are to be viewed seriously. Ordinarily, courts ought to lean in favour of guaranteeing personal liberty,” he said.

According to the FIR, one alleged organised gang, comprising journalists, had been acquiring pecuniary material and other benefits in an illegal manner by exercising wrongful pressure over the officers, especially officers of the police department.

The police identified the active members of the gang as Susheel Pandit, Udit Goel, Raman Thakur, Chandan Rai and Nitish Pandey and alleged that it operated largely by luring police officers to act in their favour.

Police officers, who refused to be influenced, were blackmailed and their image was tarnished by publishing baseless and fictitious information on social media.

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Shots fired in Maujpur, vehicles vandalised

Pro, anti-CAA groups clash in northeast Delhi’s Maujpur

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Maujpur anti CAA Violence
Anti CAA and Pro CAA Protest in Delhi Pic : Credit @drpandey

The Delhi Metro also closed entry and exit at Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur stations as an uneasy calm prevailed in the area.

Situation continued to remain volatile in north-east Delhi, with fresh cases of stone pelting reported from near the Babarpur-Maujpur metro station on Monday.

Several rounds of stone pelting between pro- and anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protesters took place.

After the anti-CAA protesters set their cars on fire, the pro-CAA group retaliated by setting shops and a house on fire. Around four cars were damaged and as many shops were targetted.

Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. A few policemen also attempted to pacify the groups. But the clashes were happening in several pockets due to which police force was taking time to reach the spots.

The Delhi Metro also closed entry and exit at Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur stations as an uneasy calm prevailed in the area.

On Sunday, a clash broke out in the area between the two groups around 1 km from the Jaffarabad Metro Station, where one side of the carriageway had been blocked by anti-CAA protesters since morning. After slogan shouting from both sides, the groups started pelting stones at each other, leading to chaos in the area.

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NRC will not be implemented in Bihar: Nitish

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Nitish Kumar

Patna, Feb 23: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reiterated on Sunday that the National Register for Citizens would not be implemented in Bihar and only the National Population Register would be updated the way it was done in 2010.

The Janata Dal (United) president had in December already made its stand clear that the NRC would not be implemented in the state, though the party supported the Centre’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“NRC is not going to be implemented here (in Bihar) and only NPR will be carried out the way it was done in the year 2010. It will be done on the basis of that only,” Kumar said in an official release.

He said this while addressing a function at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University at Chandanpatti in Hayaghat block of Darbhanga district, where he laid foundation stones for several schemes worth Rs 80 crore pertaining to minority welfare department.

Kumar laid stones for a 100-bed hostel at Biraul in Darbhanga, 100-bed hostel each for girl and boy for the university students, G plus three multi-storeyed building at waqf land and 560-capacity intake minority residential school, the release said.

Kumar had asked the Centre to drop new columns in NPR forms like parents’ places of birth and Aadhaar, saying they were “not necessary” and might lead to apprehensions.

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Anti-CAA protest turns violent in Aligarh, Internet blocked

The police lathicharged the protesters and also used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

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Aligharh Protest

Aligarh, Feb 23 : The protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) turned violent on Sunday evening after the women sitting on protest were asked to move from there.

Many shops, two-wheelers and police barricades were set ablaze and stone pelting was reported from Babri Mandi, Ghas-ki-Mandi and Upperkot.

The police lathicharged the protesters and also used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The administration has also blocked Internet services in the area from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.

A huge crowd has gathered to protest against the CAA and the NRC at Shahjamal Idgah here. Women protesters have been removed from Upperkot Kotwali area. The crowd has been chanting anti-government slogans.

Several Bhim Army workers were also present among the protesters at Delhi Gate and Upperkot area.

The police said the women started throwing stones at police vehicles. The police said they have identified several students of Aligarh Muslim University who are involved in the stone pelting incident.

Heavy police force has been deployed at Delhi Gate and Upperkot.

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