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Uttarakhand: Municipal Corporation asks RTI applicant to pay Rs 1.49 lakh as cost of printouts

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Haldwani, Sep 17: Haldwani Municipal Corporation asked an RTI Right to Information applicant to pay Rs 1.49 lakhs as the cost of more than 73,000 printouts.

The Activist identified as Hemant Gaunia, had filed an application under the RTI Act on August 28, to seek information about municipal tax defaulters details and action taken by the civic authorities against them.

Through his RTI, Gaunia also sought details about how many shopkeepers have not paid rentals to the municipal corporation and what action had been taken.

According to Hindustan report, in response to the application on September 7, the corporation asked him to pay an amount of Rs 1,47,938 for the printing of around  73,969 pages, keeping the rate at Rs 2 per page.

“I was shocked at the exorbitant amount asked for; I think that this is a ploy to dissuade me from seeking any information in future,” Gauniya told the newspaper.

The activist further said he would not able to pay such amount for the prinouts.

“Presently there is no provision for giving information in pen drive or CD; digitised data is not available now,”  Guaniya added.

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Delhi riots: Opposition leaders meet President, demands independent probe into police role

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Delhi Roits Judicial Enquiry

Opposition leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and demanded an independent probe by a commission headed by a retired or sitting judge into the role of the Delhi police in the February riots and the ongoing probe into the incident.

Congress Treasurer and MP Ahmed Patel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D. Raja, DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi and RJD leader and MP Manoj K Jha were part of the delegation.

The Delhi police have set up special investigation teams, and its Special Cell has been probing the aspect of conspiracy behind the riots, in which 53 people lost their lives.

In a memorandum, the leaders voiced concern over the probe being conducted by the police. “The entire investigation appears to be aimed at arriving at a pre-meditated theory about a conspiracy propounded by the Home Minister in the Lok Sabha in March 2020, before any investigation had even begun into the riots,” it said. The memorandum said the investigation by the police did not inspire confidence as there were serious questions about its “impartiality”.

“A credible and unbiased probe is crucial to restore public trust in the law and order machinery of the State. The investigation cannot be allowed to become a fishing and roving expedition aimed at causing a chilling effect on dissent and protest in the country. We, therefore, urge you to call upon the Government of India to institute an inquiry into this investigation under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, headed by sitting/retired judge(s),” the memorandum said.

It criticised the police for the reference made to Mr. Yechury in a supplementary charge sheet, citing disclosure statements made by the accused. “This is a disturbing trend that raises serious questions over the manner of such investigations,” it said.

The leaders said there were several publicly documented accounts and videos of the police being “complicit in the violence, directing mobs pelting stones or looking the other way when mobs were indulging in violence”. “During the violence, a disturbing video emerged showing uniformed policemen assaulting young men lying injured on the road and forcing them to sing the national anthem while repeatedly beating them with lathis. One of the men, Faizan, succumbed to his injuries a few days later,” the memorandum said. It also highlighted other such instances, including the one in which the “DCP stood quietly next to a BJP leader who was instigating violence against the protestors, warning that if they did not vacate the road, he would do it himself”. The memorandum said that despite several complaints about the involvement of police officials, no action had been taken.

The leaders also criticised the police for being a mute spectator to the alleged hate speech of BJP leaders and turning a blind eye to the role of its own personnel in the violence. The probe appeared to be pursuing a line of inquiry “criminalising the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and portraying them as a conspiracy which resulted in the riots in Delhi,” they said.

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Congress Leader Ahmad Patel Raises Digital Divide Issue in Rajya Sabha

Digital India should not increase the barrier between students. The government should regulate it for the poor and help the poor : Ahmed Patel on students facing difficulties in online classes

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Ahmed Patel Rajya Sabha Online Education

Congress leader Ahmed Patel raised the issue of digital divide amid online schools during the pandemic while BSP’s Rajaram raised the issue of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes in the Jammu region in the Upper House.

It is causing financial and mental trouble to some weaker sections of the society. Digital India should not increase the barrier between students. The government should regulate it for the poor and help the poor.

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3 LeT men arrested in J&K, weapons sent by Pak drones recovered

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Three suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists have been arrested by the security forces from Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir with a large cache of arms and ammunition they had received through drones, officials said on Saturday.

All three belong to South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and have been identified as Rahil Bashir, Amir Jan and Hafiz Younis Wani. Police said they had gone to Rajouri to receive the weapons sent by drones from Pakistan.

IG Police Jammu Mukesh Singh told IANS that the three belonged to the proscribed terror outfit LeT. The weapons recovered include two AK-56 rifles, 6 AK-Magazines with 180 rounds, two Chinese pistols, three pistol magazines with 30 rounds, four grenades and Rs 1 lakh in cash.

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