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US H-1B visa suspension should be revoked: Rahul Gandhi

The Trump administration suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 2 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demanded that suspension of the H-1B visas should be revoked as it will impact millions of Indians. He also said that America has benefited from India’s talent.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, “America has benefited enormously by embracing India”s vast talent pool through its H-1B program.”

“Its suspension will impact millions of Indians and US firms. It should be revoked,” added Rahul.

The former Congress president was reacting to US Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, who said that he will lift the temporary suspension of the H-1B visas if he wins in the November Presidential elections.

The Trump administration suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

“He (Donald Trump) just ended H-1B visas the rest of this year. That will not be in my administration,” said Joe Biden, who was responding to a question in a town hall meet.

India

Thin line between free speech, contempt: Supreme Court

In response, Justice Mishra had replied that the court would have to resume the hearing. When Sibal pleaded that he needed time to prepare, Justice Mishra said the court would give him enough time for the purpose.

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Prashant Bhushan Lawyer

New Delhi, Aug 4 : Taking up the 2009 contempt of court case against lawyer Prashant Bhushan, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday that there is a thin line between free speech and contempt, adding that the issue now is how to save the system’s grace and bring the matter to an end as well.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra asked Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Bhushan, to suggest ways to resolve this matter.

Justice Mishra told Dhavan: “Can you suggest some way to avoid this rigmarole? You can resolve it.” In response, Dhavan said that Bhushan had already provided an explanation on the matter.

After a brief hearing on the matter through videoconference, the hearing was turned into in-camera proceeding. But before that happened, the bench had asked Dhavan for solution to the case.

The contempt case pertains to Prashant Bhushan’s comments on the judiciary during an interview to the Tehelka magazine in 2009.

In the previous hearing on the matter, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Tarun Tejpal from Tehelka magazine, had submitted that since the last hearing was held in 2012 he was yet to go through the documents in the case.

In response, Justice Mishra had replied that the court would have to resume the hearing. When Sibal pleaded that he needed time to prepare, Justice Mishra said the court would give him enough time for the purpose.

Dhavan too had said that time was required to go through the records and prepare for the hearing. He pointed out that Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani, who appeared for Bhushan earlier, had passed away last year.

Incidentally, the same bench has also issued notice to Prashant Bhushan on July 22 in a suo motu case taken up by the apex court over his two tweets in connection with the higher judiciary.

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People behind the Ayodhya movement: Known and unknown

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Babri Demolition

Ayodhya, Aug 4 : The movement for a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya over the years has seen many key players from time to time carrying forward the campaign. The known faces are the one that have received their share of fame and publicity but there are some who remain in the realms of oblivion.

One of the initiators of the temple movement was Mahant Raghubar Das who filed a petition in the Faizabad Court for permission to build a Ram temple adjacent to the Babri mosque.

Several saints in Ayodhya still give credit to Mahant Raghubar Das for initiating the legal battle that is culminating in the construction of the Ram temple. However, there are many who prefer that he remains unhonoured and unsung.

Then there was Gopal Singh Visharad who filed the first case on the temple dispute in Independent India in 1950.

Visharad was a resident of Balrampur district and the head of the Hindu Mahasabha in the district. He had been stopped by the police from going to the Ram Janmabhoomi and he submitted a petition seeking unhindered access to Hindus to the Janambhoomi.

K.K. Nair, a 1930 batch IAS officer, was district magistrate of Faizabad when the idol of Ram Lalla was placed in the disputed complex on the night of December 23, 1949.

Nair refused to get the idol removed even though he was asked to do so by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Govind Ballabh Pant. Nair had told his political bosses that they would have to remove him before the idol could be removed.

A resident of Alleppey in Kerala, Nair opted for voluntary retirement in 1952 and was elected to the fourth Lok Sabha in 1967 from Bahraich on a Jan Sangh ticket. His wife, Shankuntala Nair was also elected twice from Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat.

In 1949, Mahant Digvijay Nath, the chief priest of the Goraksh temple in Gorakhpur led the temple movement after the idol was placed in the disputed complex. The Mahant brought all saints and seers on one platform and drafted the blueprint for the movement which later spread across the country.

After his demise in 1969, his successor Mahant Avaidyanath played an important role in the temple movement. Mahant Avaidyanath’s successor is present Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has also played a proactive role in the temple movement.

Then there are commoners, forgotten face of the Ayodhya movement. One such is ‘kar sevak’ Suresh Baghel, a resident of Vrindavan in Mathura. He made the first attempt to bring down the Babri mosque and faced police action, courted arrest and made several rounds of courts.

Baghel, who now works in a private company on a salary of Rs 6,000 per month, refuses to even talk on the temple issue. “Now no one remembers me and I remember nothing. Please leave me alone,” he said when attempts were made to contact him.

In the 1990s when the temple movement gained momentum, leading to the demolition of the Babri mosque, the then VHP leader Ashok Singhal became the chief architect of Hindutva.

His slogan “Ek dhakka aur do, babri masjid tod do”, created a frenzy and mobilised Hindus like never before. Singhal passed away in 2015 and did not live to see the Ram temple being constructed.

Parveen Togadia, then a senior VHP leader, was also known for his proactive role in the temple movement. He lost his clout after the demise of Ashok Singhal.

L.K. Advani and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, then top BJP leaders, also played key role in the temple movement, giving it the much-needed political push with their party.

The BJP’s rise in India politics is directly linked to the temple movement and the role played by these two leaders.

Vinay Katiyar, a firebrand Hindu leader, was also the founder of the Bajrang Dal that gave a cutting edge to the temple movement. Katiyar went on to become a three-term MP from Ayodhya but later slid into political oblivion.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh was another important player in the temple movement. He was UP chief minister when the Babri mosque was demolished and his government was dismissed the same day. Kalyan Singh was convicted for contempt of court because he had promised to protect the mosque.

Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Rithambhara led the women brigade in the temple movement. Both were known for their fiery speeches. Cassettes of Rithambhara’s fiery speeches were sold at a premium in the market and were enough to ignite communal violence.

Talking to IANS, a senior saint of Ayodhya who did not wish to be named, said, ‘All these people have contributed to the temple movement which has reached a stage where the temple construction is beginning. I feel we should have made it a point to invite all those who are still alive and should have felicitated them.”

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Bihar CM Nitish recommends CBI probe into Sushant Singh case

Sushant Singh Rajput’s family on Tuesday made a formal request to the Bihar government through their lawyer, Vikas Singh, that a CBI probe should be ordered in the case.

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Nitish Kumar Sad

Patna, Aug 4 : The Bihar government on Tuiesday recommended a CBI inquiry into the alleged suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Kumar Saturday said that he was open to recommending the CBI probe into Sushant’s death if the late actor’s father requests the state government for it.

Sushant’s family on Tuesday made a formal request to the Bihar government through their lawyer Vikas Singh that a CBI probe should be ordered in the case.

“The DGP spoke to Sushant Singh Rajput’s father this morning and he gave consent for CBI inquiry. So now, we are recommending CBI probe in the matter,” Bihar CM Nitish Kumar told ANI.

Sushant’s father Krishna Kumar Singh (74), who resides in Patna, had last month lodged a complaint with the Bihar Police against actress Rhea Chakraborty, her family members and six others for abetment to suicide of his son and fraud. Singh has accused Chakraborty, the purported girlfriend of Rajput, of having befriended his son in May 2019 with the intention of furthering her own career.

He also wanted a police investigation to ascertain where the Rs 15 crore deposited in a bank account held by Sushant was transferred. However, the investigation has flared into a tug of war between the Bihar and Mumbai Police. Amid escalating acrimony between Mumbai and Bihar police over jurisdictional issues, an IPS officer who had landed in Mumbai on Sunday for leading the SIT probe in the case, was quarantined under the COVID-19 regulations in force in the city, a development Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called “inappropriate and forcible”.

Bihar police chief Gupteshwar Pandey said in Patna that the state police would lodge a formal protest with the Mumbai municipal authorities over the “forcible quarantine” of Vinay Tiwari who was on official duty.

The issue resonated in the two Houses of Bihar legislature, with lawmakers across the political divide demanding a CBI investigation into the death of the 34-year-old Patna-born actor.

Both Mumbai and Patna police are probing the case parallelly.

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