Mumbai: Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for raking up the Emergency, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said “contribution” of former premier Indira Gandhi for the country cannot be ignored just because of her 1975 decision. He also said that Gandhi was “pro-democracy” as she called for elections in 1977 after lifting Emergency which she lost.
In his weekly column in party mouthpiece “Saamana”, Raut said it would be “treason” to reject the contribution of national leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, B R Ambedkar, Netaji Bose and Veer Savarkar.
“Nobody else performed so greatly in this country like (late) Indira Gandhi did. Her one decision of Emergency cannot wash away her contribution. It is a treason to reject the contribution of Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Dr Ambedkar, Netaji Bose and Veer Savarkar. Every government has to take some practical decision as per the situation. Who will decide what is wrong and right? Emergency ought to be forgotten,” Raut said.
He said, “If the day when the Emergency was proclaimed by (then PM) India Gandhi is to be called ‘Black Day’, then there were many such ‘black days’ under the Central government. The day demonetisation was announced should also be called ‘Black Day’, as it created the economic anarchy”.
Raut said many poor people lost their jobs for some days due to the note ban under which bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations were banned from circulation in November 2016. “Small traders incurred heavy losses. The cash with rich people turned ‘white’. Prime Minister had claimed that the note ban will bring out the black money, however, instead of black money coming out many people died while standing in queues,” he said.
Raut said the BJP government’s promise that violence in Jammu and Kashmir would end has turned out to be hollow. “It was also said that violence in Kashmir will be ended. But, on the other hand, the violence in Kashmir has gone up. A bank, where BJP national president Amit Shah is one of the directors, received old notes of Rs 575 crore within five days from the announcement of the scrapping of the high value notes,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
He said the economy has not yet been recovered fully from the demonetisation impact. “The freedom of press was suppressed during the Emergency. Whatever is happening now a days is not different from the four-decade-old emergency.
“During the Emergency, BJP leader L K Advani was put behind the bars. Today, (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee is bed-ridden and Advani could not say anything. There are others who have now become mute. Have they become so on their own?” Raut asked.
In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sena leader said, “Only those who suffered like George Fernades during the Emergency have the right to speak against the measure. Fernandes not only went to jail but he was trying to attempt a revolutionary plan to topple the authoritarian regime of Indira Gandhi”.
The Shiv Sena leader also taunted Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had given a critical speech on June 26 on the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency in Mumbai, ahead of the PM. “Those who were not even born or were not even toddlers are today talking against Emergency and late Indira Gandhi. I am not a supporter or opponent of emergency. Even late Balasaheb Thackeray had supported the Emergency saying ‘if is makes the country more disciplined, then emergency is needed’. Despite that the printing press run by Thackeray was sealed during the emergency. It is a kind of sacrifice but Thackeray never sought credit for it or demanded pension,” Raut said.
Raut said that in the earlier days of Emergency, all types of mafias, local goons and extortionists had been arrested which was appreciated by people.
“During the Emergency period, civil servants started attending office on time. There was over activity in implementing mass sterilisation. Compulsory family planning of Muslims has been the agenda of Sangh Pariwar,” he said.
He said underworld dons like Haji Mastan, Kareem lala, Yusuf Patel and Varada Rajan were sent to jail during the Emergency. “In contrast today, people like Nirav Modi and (Mehul) Choksi, both accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, and Vijay Mallya have fled the country after looting it,” Raut said.
NIA raids locations in western UP, Punjab over ISIS-inspired module probe
New Delhi:The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday morning conducted raids at several places in western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in connection with the investigation into a suspected ISIS-inspired module. A case was recently registered against the suspected module.
Sources said that the police officials detained two persons for questioning from Athsaini village in Garhmukteshwar tehsil. They were being interrogated by the police till last report came in.
The agency rounded up a 50-year-old resident of Bulandshahr, who runs a general store and has spent over 25 years in Saudi Arabia.
Notably, this is the third time that raids have been conducted by the NIA in Hapur area of Uttar Pradesh while the searches in Amroha have been carried out for the second time.
Several teams of the counter-terror probe agency launched the searches simultaneously in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha and Bulandshahr besides Punjab’s Ludhiana, and several places early in the day, a senior NIA official said.
The raids that were still underway, kicked off after the NIA got leads from those arrested during their interrogation. The agency is looking into the role of a foreign mastermind behind the new module.
The action comes in the wake of a case it registered on December 20 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Armed robbers loot passengers onboard Jammu-Delhi Duronto Express
New Delhi: Unidentified assailants, carrying guns and sharp-edged weapons, barged inside two coaches of Jammu-Delhi Duronto Express and looted the passengers on Thursday morning.
A group of about seven to ten armed assailants robbed passengers onboard B3 and B7 coaches. The incident took place in the early morning hours in Badli station, on the outskirts of Delhi.
The incident came to light after a passenger filed a complaint through the railways’ complaints portal. Passenger Ashwani Kumar, in his complaint, claimed that passengers of B3 and B7 coaches of the train were targeted by the armed men as it neared the Delhi Sarai Rohilla station.
“As train number 12266, which stops only at its source and destination stations, was approaching the Delhi station, stopped at around 3:30 am awaiting signal, seven to 10 miscreants entered coaches B3 and B7 of the train,” Kumar said.
The miscreants snatched mobiles, gold jewellery, cash and other valuable items from multiple passengers. The entire robbery took place within 10 to 15 minutes.
A case has been filed.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) has initial leads in the case and action will be taken against culprits, said the Chief Public Relation Officer (CPRO) Northern Railways.
“The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has initial leads in the matter. The culprits will be nabbed soon and stern action will be taken against them,” a Northern Railway spokesperson said.
Kumar later added that the passengers tried to reach the train attendant and TT after the incident and found them after 20 minutes. “The irony is that neither staff nor security personnel were available there at the time of the mishap,” the passenger claimed.
The complainant claimed that when he could not find the TT or the attendant, he contacted the Delhi Police after which an FIR was registered at the destination station.
“… The attendant told us that there was no security personnel available in the train. We are not safe even in AC coaches and imagine the security in sleeper class and general coaches where passengers enter the train even without tickets… ,” Kumar wrote in his complaint.
Several persons took to social media questioning rail security and safety of passengers again with this incident.
The Jammu Tawi-Delhi Sarai Rohilla Express (Train no 12266) has a travel time of 9 hours with one halt at Ludhiana.
The Duronto Expresses are one of the fastest trains in India. It has only AC coaches.
SC partially strikes down stringent rules on Maharashtra dance bars
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside certain provisions of a law imposing restrictions on the licensing and functioning of dance bars in Maharashtra.
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri quashed certain provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels, Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women (Working therein) Act, 2016.
The top court allowed orchestra and added that tips can be given but showering of cash and coins is not allowed inside bars.
SC upheld the condition of fixed timings of dance bars in Maharashtra from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.
Supreme Court said, “There cannot be a total prohibition on dance bars. No licence has been granted by Maharashtra since 2005. There may be regulations but that should not amount to a total prohibition.”
The court quashed conditions of Maharashtra government of putting CCTV cameras in dance bars of Mumbai, giving licence to people of good character as ‘vague’.
It also repealed a rule that segregated dancing stage from the bar area where drinks are served.
The Court has also struck down a condition by which dance bars should be 1 km away from educational and religious places.
The top court has upheld a rule of Maharashtra government by which working women should have a contract so they can’t be exploited, however, quashed a rule of monthly salary for bar dancers.