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Telangana RTC union leader continues fast in hospital

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Telangana RTC strike

Hyderabad, Nov 18 The indefinite strike by employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) entered its 45th day on Monday even as their leader Ashwathama Reddy continued his hunger strike at a hospital here.

The TSRTC Joint Action Committee (JAC) leader continued his fast at the government-run Osmania Hospital, where he was shifted by the police after arresting him on Sunday.

The leader was picked up by police from his residence, where he had launched the fast after being denied permission to undertake the fast at Indira Park. He made it clear that he will not end the hunger strike till the government comes forward to hold talks with the striking employees to address their demands.

As Reddy’s condition had started deteriorating on Sunday, police forcibly shifted him to hospital. Doctors had advised him to cooperate in view of his falling sugar and blood pressure levels. According to sources, he was forcibly administered saline late Monday.

However, Reddy is refusing to take food and told those who met him that he continued to be on hunger strike.

Those who called on him at the hospital on Monday included Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) president M. Kodandaram.

Police on Sunday had also shifted another JAC leader Raji Reddy. Policemen broke open his house as he had locked it from inside since launching the fast on Saturday.

Though the JAC announced temporarily dropping the main demand of TSRTC’s merger with the government, the latter has given no indication of any imminent talks to break the impasse.

Sunil Sharma, MD in-charge, TSRTC said in his affidavit that the employees may again raise the merger demand in future.

The High Court will resume hearing on the petitions relating to the case on Monday. At the previous hearing, the division bench headed by Chief Justice R.S. Chauhan refused to declare the strike illegal and at the same time also declined to issue orders to the government to hold talks with the employees.

India

Bombay HC confirms life sentence for mafia don Arun Gawli

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Arun Gawli

Mumbai, Dec 9 : The Bombay High Court has confirmed the life imprisonment awarded to mafia don Arun G. Gawli under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) by a trial court in 2012 for the murder of a Shiv Sena municipal corporator, here on Monday.

A division bench comprising Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari and Justice Swapna Joshi confirmed the sentence on Gawli – a former MLA – and some other associates involved in the crime.

In a sensational operation, some assailants sent by Gawli had barged into the Ghatkopar home of the Sena corporator, Kamlakar Jamsandekar in March 2008 and killed him.

After two months, Gawli – who had taken the contract to kill Jamsandekar – was arrested and a Special Court awarded him a life sentence in 2012, which has now been confirmed by the Bombay High Court.

The mafia don has been imprisoned since then and is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail.

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India

Delhi police shuts all JNU gates to stop students’ march

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Delhi Police JNU Gate

New Delhi, Dec 9 : With barricadings set up and security forces deployed on every gate of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the students’ planned march to the President’s house has been contained in the varsity.

The students are though trying to convince the security forces to let them go ahead with the march.

A march from JNU to President’s house was called by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) after their month long protest failed to bear fruits as the administration rejected their demand of complete rollback of proposed hike in hostel charges.

The JNUSU has though emailed a letter of their demands to the President.

In the letter, the students have demanded complete rollback of proposed fee hike, resignation of the Vice-Chancellor, withdrawal of police cases on the agitating students.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi police along with other security forces sealed all gates of the varsity which could have been used by students to march to the President’s house to present their demands.

Heavy deployment of forces was seen outside the varsity gates as water cannons, forces with lathi and tear gases guarded the roads outside.

Meanwhile inside the campus, students scuffled with a section of teachers who the students alleged were supporting the university administration on the proposed fee hike issue.

A hostel draft manual, introduced by the varsity, has become a bone of contention between students and varsity administration since October 28 when the administration didn’t allow the JNUSU to attend the IHA committee meeting that was to clear it.

The varsity administration argued the JNUSU had not been notified due to flouting of election rules. The draft hostel manual proposed to hike hostel charges from Rs 10 for double occupancy to Rs 300, and Rs 600 for single occupancy from the earlier Rs 20.

However, after student protests, the varsity administration announced a 50 per cent concession for the BPL category students, but it failed to pacify students. The issue is being handled by a MHRD’s high-powered committee, which has given its recommendations to the varsity administration after several meetings with students and their representatives.

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Cities

Onion prices ease in Delhi amid increased arrivals

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People buy onion

New Delhi, Dec 9 : Wholesale prices of onion eased in Delhi on Monday after an increase in local produce arrivals as well as the bulb sourced from the overseas.

“Around 24,000 bags of onion, each containing 55 kg of the crop, arrived at the Azadpur Mandi that brought down the prices as compared to the previous week,” Rajendra Sharma, President Onion Merchant Association told IANS.

Azadpur Mandi is the biggest vegetable market in the country.

Apart from domestic produce, around 200 tonnes of imported onion also arrived at the Mandi on Monday, he added.

Wholesale prices of onion were quoted in between Rs 50-75 per kg at the mandi on Monday. Hence, prices were down by Rs 5 per kg against the previous week, a source said.

Onion from Afghanistan and Turkey was also arrived here, the source said.

“Over 80 trucks of onion came from Afghanistan in past two days. A large quantity of Afghani onion is being supplied in the border state of Punjab,” the source said.

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