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Those opposing CAA, NPR should come together: Chidambaram

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P Chidambaram

Kolkata, Jan 18 : Urging all parties opposing CAA and NPR to come together, the Congress on Saturday extended the olive branch to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other leaders who skipped January 13 Delhi deliberations hoping they would turn up in some other meeting that might be convened on the twin issues.

“For the sake of the country, all parties which are opposing the CAA and NPR should come together… What is at stake are far more important issues… One shouldn’t miss the larger picture.

“The larger picture is we are fighting to save the Constitution of India, we are fighting to save the enduring values embodied in th cConstitution of India. So all those who fight for these values must eventually come together on one platform. And I am confident, they will,” Congress Working Committee member P. Chidambaram told media.

Apart from Banerjee, Samajwadi Party, DMK and the BSP did not attend, while Shiv Sena and the AAP said they were not invited for the meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Chidambaram said Gandhi made an attempt to invite as many parties as possible, and 20 of them participated.

“Some did not. That doesn’t mean that is the final word. Maybe there well be another meeting, maybe they will attend. What is important is we are fighting, not that we are fighting together always. But fighting separately is also fighting, fighting together is also fighting,” he said.

“The fact is we are trying to build a united opposition to the CAA and NPR. We have succeeded substantially. Some parties are fighting separately. Hopefully, some day they will all come on a united platform,” he said.

Asked whether the Congress would invite to future meetings leaders like Banerjee who stayed away from Monday’s deliberations, Chidambaram said he was certain invitations will go out.

“If somebody asks my view, I’ll say of course we send an invitation. What is the harm? I invite you to my house once, you do not come. That doesn’t mean I don’t invite you again,” he said.

To repeated queries about the lack of unity of the anti-CAA parties in Bengal, Chidambaram said: “In Bengal or in any other state, there are some domestic factors at play. Purely intra-state factors, though the big picture should not be missed”.

He pointed out that the Congress was working with the Left parties in the state, and they were carrying on the movement together at the district level too.

On questions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi sending an invite to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan, Chidambaram said it only means the government has modified its earlier position “about no engagement with Pakistan”.

He disagreed with a scribe who said that many parties now find the Congress unreliable”.

“In the last Lok Sabha election, 19 per cent Indians relied on the Congress and voted for it. The Congress also got votes in the recent assembly polls in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand.

“But I do admit, we need to do more, we need to get more people on our side. But that doesn’t mean nobody relies on us,” he added.

Cities

Over 15 people sustain bullets wounds in pro- and anti-CAA violence

“we have received a total of 93 injured persons and there are five deaths as of now. Fresh data will be released by tonight.” Said Dr Kalra GTB

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CAA Violence

New Delhi, Feb 25 : Casualties were piling up at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital amid violent clashes between pro- and anti-CAA protesters in northeast Delhi.

One of the doctors at the hospital who treated the injured told IANS that more than 15 people have sustained bullet injuries.

GTB Hospital has confirmed five deaths till Tuesday. Speaking with IANS, Dr Rajesh Kalra, Additional Medical Superintendent of the hospital said “we have received a total of 93 injured persons and there are five deaths as of now. Fresh data will be released by tonight.”

Dr Kalra also said “mostly they are blunt trauma injuries and firearm injuries. One is a petrol victim also. Most minor injuries but 2 to 3 persons were operated on Monday and few more to be operated today.”

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India

Yusuf Chopan grants bail in Pulwama attack conspiracy case

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CRPF troopers killed in suicide attack in Pulwama

New Delhi, Feb 25 : A Delhi court has granted bail to an accused in the Pulwama attack conspiracy case after the National Investigating Agency (NIA) failed to file the chargesheet within the prescribed period.

Special NIA Judge Parveen Singh, in an order pronounced on February 18, observed that accused Yusuf Chopan is entitled to statutory bail.

The bail was granted after Chopan’s counsel apprised the court that his client is in custody since the last 180 days and the time for filing chargesheet has elapsed.

The accused has been asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of like amount. Inter alia, he has also been directed to join the investigation as and when called.

He has been directed not to commit any similar offence, tamper with evidence, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case.

Forty CRPF personnel, travelling in a convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama district, were killed on February 14 last year when a suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into a CRPF bus in Awantipora’s Goripura.

Following the attack, banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility and even released a video of the purported attacker.

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Cities

Delhi Violence: Petrol bombs, bullets, stones rain over Maujpur

The Delhi Police have currently closed the metro stations in the violence-prone areas. The entrance and exit gates of Jaffarabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar metro stations have been closed.

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Maujpur anti CAA Violence

New Delhi, Feb 25 : The Maujpur-Babarpur metro station has become a battle ground with rival groups pelting each other with stones and throwing petrol bombs with bullets being fired intermittently.

As the day wore on, the ambulances were frequently seen transporting the injured.

Helmets are in huge demand as stone pelting from both sides is incessant. Armed with iron and wooden rods, the rioters let out a “war cry” when a projectile hits someone in the rival camp.

Policemen continue to fire tear gas shells even as rioters cover their faces with wet handkerchiefs.

A small bridge over a drain is the only link between both sides.

Journalists covering the violence are heckled and forced to delete pictures or videos.

Glass bottles, a piece of cloth and petrol are just the things they need to make a petrol bomb.

Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar, who is leading his force, told IANS, “The situation is tense. We are trying to bring it under control.”

But the “war cries” echo across the area as Kumar tells his men to fire tear gas shells and protect themselves from petrol bombs and bullets. He himself ducked as stones were flung towards him.

On Tuesday afternoon, stone-throwing was reported from Kardampuri area near the Maujpur metro station area.

Locals claimed that four bullets were fired by an unidentified person in which a person was injured and taken to a hospital.

A journalist covering the protest got a bullet injury. He was shifted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

At Maujpur metro station, a large number of people carrying the Tricolour and sticks have gathered to protest against those sitting near the Jaffarabad metro station over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The protest over the CAA and the NRC started on Saturday night when women protesters staged a sit-in near the metro station.

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