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251 sedition cases filed in Assam since BJP came to power

Press Trust of India

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Guwahati: Assam government has registered a total of 251 sedition cases since the BJP-led alliance came to power in the state in 2016, the Assembly was informed on Monday.

In a written reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said 251 sedition cases were filed against various individuals and banned organisations since May 26, 2016 when the present coalition government took charge.

Replying to the query by Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress, Patowary said sedition cases have been filed against militant groups such as ULFA(I), NDFB (S), NDFB(B), KLO, NSLA, NSLA(AT), UPLFS, DHD, DHNA, NSCN(IM), ZUF and ATF among others.

 

Such cases were also registered against several individuals, Patowary said on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal who also holds the Home portfolio.

Two sedition cases were slapped on RTI activist-cum- peasant leader Akihil Gogoi in Dibrugarh district and Guwahati city.

Along with Gogoi, sedition cases were registered last month against eminent intellectual and Sahitya Akademi awardee Hiren Gohain and journalist Manjit Mahanta for their comments on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and entered India before December 31, 2014.


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

Agencies

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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National

Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

Agencies

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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National

Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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