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SPG withdrawal: Congress may move court citing Verma report

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New Delhi, Nov 8 : Withdrawal of SPG cover to the Gandhi family has made the Congress angry, with the party alleging the Gandhis are being targeted by the Prime Minister and Home Minister. The Congress, which has termed the move as “sinister and vindictive politics”, may take legal recourse in the matter, said sources.

Party leader Randeep Surjewala said, “We will see what we can do on this”.

The Congress has made it clear that there was a rumour a month ago about the SPG security to be withdrawn. Taking cognizance of it, former prime minister Manmohan Singh had written to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on November 4.

In the letter, the former PM alleged that “the consistent pattern of leakage of sensitive security-related information regarding these SPG protectees to the media, including daily press and television media, is a direct breach of security from within the Government.”

The letter also cited the Justice J.S. Verma report of 1992 in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case that found that apparent security lapses led to the killing of the former Prime Minister.

The party intends to use the Verma report to make a strong case against withdrawal of SPG cover.

The J.S. Verma report says: “Failure of the IB to fully and properly calibrate this threat, foresee the attack made and disseminate the information with the requisite further guidelines and instruction to the state agencies, was a lapse of the IB and the MHA amounting to the contributory factors.”

The party says that if in the case of Rajiv Gandhi, the IB was unable to gauge the threat perception, it may not be able to judge properly in the current scenario too.

The Congress has also cited letters from SPG on four occasions in the past — two in 2018, one on June 6 this year and another in August A — on the threat perception to Rahul Gandhi.

Party’s chief spokesperson Surjewala said on Friday that Rahul Gandhi has threat from Al Qaeda, Khalistani terror groups and Naxals. He said, sarcastically, that the Modi government, which advised the SPG to accompany the Gandhi family on foreign tours has now taken a U-turn.

Surjewala also rubbished BJP’s allegation of the Gandhi family not following the SPG protocol.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself “travelled in open car and walked for a few hundred meters on his return from the US. He also ensures that no SPG personnel come in his way.”

The Congress plans to make this a big issue and will raise it in the winter session of Parliament.

The youth wing of the party has also started protests against the government decision.

India

Pan India NRC to exclude more Muslims: Badruddin Ajmal

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Badruddin Ajmal

Guwahati, Nov 21 : A day after Union Home minister Amit Shah announced that pan India National Register of Citizens (NRC) will include Assam as well, Chief of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Badruddin Ajmal said that the ruling party is unable to digest that a large number of Muslims have made it to the final NRC.

Ajmal, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Dhubri constituency, said this on Thursday while talking to newsmen and added that the BJP is unhappy as large numbers of Bengali Hindus, Koch Rajbonshi and Buddhist people were excluded from NRC due to non acceptance of refugee certificate issued prior to 1971.

The final NRC published on August 31 this year had left 19,06,657 people outside the citizens’ registry, triggering large scale unhappiness.

The BJP government in Assam has welcomed the Union Minister’s announcement about a pan India NRC and said that the BJP as well as the Assam government has not accepted the final NRC published on August 31.

“BJP is not happy as large numbers of Muslims in Assam could make it to the NRC with all their relevant documents relating to their citizenship,” Ajmal said terming the latest announcement as a political move to exclude more Muslims from the proposed NRC.

“Otherwise what could be the reasons for NRC again after spending about Rs 1,600 Crore for the exercise and engaging over 50,000 government employees in the exercise,” he said.

The LOk Sabha MP further said that many people even died while standing in queues for NRC hearings and many committed suicides after not finding names in the draft NRC.

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Kashmir region returning to normalcy, Centre tells Supreme Court

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Lockdown in Kashmir
Indian security forces patrol a deserted street during restrictions after the Indian government scrapped special status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 7, 2019.

New Delhi, Nov 21 : A day after Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in the Parliament on Kashmir, the Centre, through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, gave the Supreme Court a detailed account of “normalcy” returning to Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Valley.

The Solicitor General, in a counter to petitions challenging the restrictions imposed on Kashmir after revocation of Article 370, said these petitions have outlived their relevance as the erstwhile state is returning to normalcy.

“The region is under diktats is a serious allegation levelled by petitioners… post August 5, rights have been conferred on citizens and not taken away,” he said. He insisted the narrative suggesting the entire seven million population is under the shadow of doubt, in the backdrop of these restrictions, is a false notion pedalled by a minority.

Elaborating on the nature of terrorism, Mehta, supporting the restrictions imposed on the access to internet in the region, said: “We are victim of cross border terrorism, who infiltrate digitally and not only physically.”

Mehta presented the latest data, on the situation of Kashmir as on November 18, before a bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana. “Orders under section 144 CrPC have been removed from all 195 police stations. There has been a decrease in incidents of stone pelting, 190 incidents reported after August 5 as compared to 802 in 2018. And, all 20,411 schools are open. Nearly 99 per cent students appeared in senior secondary examination,” he told the court.

The Solicitor General added all hospitals and medical centres are open in the Valley. Large volumes of fuel have been consumed which indicate vehicular movement in the region. “The government purchased apples through NAFED at a cost of Rs 38 crore. Out of 59,76,359 mobile phones, 20,05,293 post-paid mobile phones (voice) are functioning. But, restrictions continue on pre-paid, as identities can be forged to get a connection,” he added.

The government has facilitated 280 e-terminals for access to internet in 11 districts, and arrangements have been made in tourist spots. The Centre insisted that newspapers are being published, banking services are functional, nearly all shops and markets are open in the Valley, government offices are functional, and public transport is also functioning.

The SG told the petitioner, who is the editor of a newspaper, deliberately chose not to publish newspaper from Kashmir. “The narrative everything is blocked and journalists do not do anything is not true,” he contended.

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Supreme Court to hear PIL seeking deportation of illegal immigrants

In his plea, Upadhyaya has supported the Centre’s stand to screen and deport 40,000 illegal Rohingya Muslim, who have sought shelter India, to Myanmar.

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Nov 21 : The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea seeking identification and deportation of all illegal immigrants from the country, including of Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingyas.

BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay made the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, stating that the matter is very crucial and the court should hear it.

“The illegal Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants are actually taking away the bread and butter of many citizens in the country” Upadhyay submitted before the bench.

After his brief submission, the court listed for hearing after four weeks.

“List it for hearing after four weeks,” said the bench, which also included Justices Surya Kant and Sanjiv Khanna.

The plea said that a large influx of illegal migrants, particularly from Myanmar and Bangladesh, is a matter of concern, which has threatened the demographic structure of bordering districts. The illegal migration has also seriously impaired security and national integration, and they can be viewed as a potential threat.

In his plea, Upadhyaya has supported the Centre’s stand to screen and deport 40,000 illegal Rohingya Muslim, who have sought shelter India, to Myanmar.

The plea seeks directions to Centre and state governments to identify, detain and deport all illegal immigrants and infiltrators.

The plea alleged that large-scale movement of immigrants from Myanmar into the country is a nexus involving agents and touts who facilitate Rohingyas’ entry.

The points of illegal entry into India are through Benapole-Haridaspur and Hilli (West Bengal), Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati which has created a very serious situation, the plea submitted.

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