New Delhi: Supported by two aides while entering the court, Thakur appeared before the special NIA Judge as per the direction of the court which is conducting trial in the 11-year-old case.
Besides her, other accused in the case also attended the court.
The judge read out his order to the accused where he directed them to be present in the court at least once a week.
He said the court has till now examined 116 witnesses, including doctors and ‘panchas’ (a category of witnesses).
During most of the hearings in the past, the accused were represented in the court by their advocates.
After reading out his order, the judge called Thakur and another accused Sudhakar Dwivedi to the witness box.
Citing statements of witnesses, the judge asked them whether they were aware that a bomb blast had taken place at Malegaon in North Maharashtra in September 2008 where six people were killed.
To this, Thakur replied, “Mujhe jankari nahi hai (I have no information about it).” Dwivedi gave a similar answer.
When asked about the proceeding in the case, the 49-year-old MP said she was not aware about the number of witnesses examined by the court.
A red velvet cloth was put on the bench, where the accused sit, for Thakur to sit comfortably. When the judge called her to the witness box to stand till the order is passed she said she will stand leaning by the window instead of sitting in the chair given by the court.
This was Thakur’s first appearance before the court after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Bhopal last month. The last time was during the framing of charges in the case in October last year.
Judge Padalkar had last month directed all the accused, including Thakur, to appear before the court at least once a week.
The judge then had said an exemption from appearance would be granted only if cogent reasons were submitted.
The court is currently recording the testimony of witnesses in the case.
Seven persons, including Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, are facing trial in the case.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
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.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
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.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
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.