New Delhi: The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for its failure to take appropriate steps to protect and preserve of the iconic Taj Mahal.
The apex court also expressed concern over Taj Mahal being infected by insects and asked the authorities, including the ASI, what steps they have taken to prevent this.
“This situation would not have arisen if the ASI would have done its job. We are surprised with the way the ASI is defending itself. You (Centre) please consider if the ASI is needed there or not,” a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, who was appearing for the Centre.
Meanwhile, Nadkarni told the bench that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was considering the apex court’s suggestion to appoint international experts to look into the issue of protection and preservation of Taj Mahal.
The counsel for ASI told the court that the problem of insects was due to stagnation of water of river Yamuna.
In March this year, the apex court had asked Uttar Pradesh government to place before it a draft of vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj and the environment in the Taj Trapezium Zone, which is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
The top court has been monitoring developments in the area to protect the monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631. The mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
‘People will not forgive Oppn’: PM after Pitroda raises questions on strike
New Delhi: Reacting to Pitroda’s comment, PM Modi said, “Opposition insults our forces time and again. I appeal to my fellow Indians- question Opposition leaders on their statements. Tell them- 130 crore Indians will not forgive or forget the Opposition for their antics. India stands firmly with our forces.”
“Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew- Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer militants in a language they understand and with interest,” read another tweet posted by PM Modi.
Minutes after PM Modi’s attack, Pitroda clarified his remarks stating that he was speaking in personal capacity and not on the behalf of the Congress party.
“I just said as a citizen I am entitled to know what happened. I am not talking on behalf of party, just speaking as a citizen. I have right to know, what is wrong in it,” news agency ANI quoted Pitroda as saying.
The prime minister also hit out at Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who on Thursday said that Pulwama attack was a “conspiracy” in which “soldiers were killed for votes”.
“Opposition is the natural habitat of terror apologists and questioners of our armed forces. This reprehensible statement by a senior leader like Ram Gopal Ji insults all those who have given their lives in protecting Kashmir. It humiliates the families of our martyrs,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.
A CRPF convoy was targeted in a suicide bombing on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama killing 40 soldiers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
On February 26, the IAF carried a strike at a camp, believed to be the biggest training centre of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pakistan’s Balakot. The IAF later said that the mission was “successful”, which Pakistan denied.
Three fake campaigns of ‘compulsive contrarians’ busted in a single day: Jaitley
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said fake campaigns of ‘compulsive contrarians’ on three issues – the Hindu terror theory, the Godhra incident and Nirav Modi case – were busted in a single day.
In the Samjhauta Express blast case, the trial court on Wednesday dismissed the UPA government’s theory of Hindu terror; while in the Godhra case, the court convicted one more person. Also, the fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was arrested in the United Kingdom on the same day.
“…a fundamental difference between truth and falsehood is that truth holds together and falsehood falls apart. To each fake campaign of the ‘compulsive contrarians’ over a period of time, ultimately the truth has prevailed. Either it is the electoral mandate or the judicial process which gives the final verdict,” Jaitley said in his blog titled ‘Three Fake Campaigns Busted in a Single Day.’ Jaitley said Nirav Modi started cheating the public sector banks in 2011.
Modi’s crime was detected in 2018 by the banks and investigating agencies under the present government, Jaitley said, adding that Modi’s assets have been frozen, are being auctioned, criminal prosecution against him has been filed, recovery action for the dues owed to the banks and creditors are being pursued.
“On our request, he has now been arrested and denied bail. There is a strong unanswerable case against him and hopefully India will get him back. Whoever cheats India and its institutions cannot get away. He will be found out. This also busts the fake campaign that the present government had anything to do with him,” Jaitley said.
The minister said there is an inherent danger in relying only on fake issues. “I hope the manufacturers of fake campaign learn some lesson. They don’t seem to be considering their brazen attitude,” he added.
BJP denies Lok Sabha ticket to 6 UP lawmakers including Union Minister
Lucknow: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, six BJP lawmakers from Uttar Pradesh, including Union Minister Krishna Raj and National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Ram Shankar Katheria, have been benched.
The BJP announced its first list of 184 candidates for the national elections , fielding Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.
The party also nominated Smriti Irani from Amethi to take on Rahul Gandhi.
Others who have been refused party nominations are Anshul Verma from Hardoi, Babulal Chaudhary from Fatehpur Sikri, Anju Bala from Misrikh and Satya Pal Singh from Sambhal.
The new candidates who have been given tickets from these constituencies are SP Singh Baghel in Agra, Parameshwar Lal Saini in Sambhal, Raj Kumar Chaher in Fatehpur Sikri, Jai Prakash Rawat in Hardoi, Ashok Rawat in Misrikh and Arun Sagar in Shahjahanpur.
In the previous elections, with 5.8 lakh votes PM Modi had defeated AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal who had received 2 lakh votes in Varanasi.
In Lucknow, Rajnath Singh with 5.6 lakh votes defeated Rita Bahuguna Joshi of Congress by 2.7 lakh votes.
However, in Amethi, BJP’s Smriti Irani lost to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi by over one lakh votes.
In the first list in UP, the candidates who have got the ticket are: Raghav Lakhanpal (Saharanpur), Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan (Muzaffarnagar), Kunwar Bhartendra Singh (Bijnor), Rajendra Agrawal (Meerut), Satya Pal Singh (Baghpat), Vijay Kumar Singh (Ghaziabad) and Mahesh Sharma (Gautam Buddh Nagar).
Of them, VK Singh is Minister of State for External Affairs, Mahesh Sharma is the Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Culture, while Satya Pal Singh is the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development. The current Lok Sabha MP from Bijnor is Kunwar Bharatendra Singh.
The parliamentary constituencies in the state, which will vote on April 11 in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections are Baghpat, Bijnor, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Kairana, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur.
Results will be declared on May 23.
Pak PM Imran says no room for ‘jihadi outfits, culture’ in Pakistan
Islamabad: There was no room for “jihadi outfits and jihadi culture” in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said amidst...
India boycotts Pak Day event as Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders invited
New Delhi: The government Friday decided to boycott the Pakistan National Day event to be held at its high commission...
Gautam Gambhir begins political innings with BJP, says ‘impressed by Modi’s vision’
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday with weeks to go for the Lok...
Hajin gunfight: Two militants, minor killed, 2 Ak 47 recovered
Srinagar: One more militant and the minor who as per police officials was held hostage have been killed in Hajin...
Mirwaiz placed under house arrest ahead of protest call
Srinagar: Hurriyat (M) chairman and Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house detention on Friday morning. The...
New Zealand women don headscarves to support Muslims after shootings
CHRISTCHURCH: Women all over New Zealand put on headscarves on Friday to show solidarity with Muslims a week after 50...
Trump says US recognises Israeli control of Golan Heights
Washington: President Donald Trump said that it’s time for the United States to recognize Israel’s control over the disputed Golan...
Blast at Chinese chemical plant kills 47, injures 64
Beijing: A massive explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China killed 44 people and injured more than 600, state...