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‘Stop posing for cameras, save miners trapped for 2 weeks’: Rahul to PM Modi

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save 15 people trapped in a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya since December 13, alleging the government was not organising high-pressure pumps for the rescue operation.

He accused PM Modi of instead posing for cameras and strutting on the Bogibeel bridge on the mighty Brahmaputra river in neighbouring Assam after inaugurating it on Tuesday.

“15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks. Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras. His government refuses to organise high-pressure pumps for the rescue. PM please save the miners,” Gandhi tweeted.

 

The Congress chief said this amid reports that the operation to rescue the 15 miners is hampered by lack of equipment.

The miners were trapped after water from the nearby Lytein river suddenly gushed into the pit.

A senior Meghalaya home department official has said the police force in East Jaintia Hills district, where the mine is located, do not have adequate personnel to deal with the problem.


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National

3-judges’ panel set-up to probe, first meet today

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New Delhi: Justice SA Bobde, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was appointed to conduct an in-house inquiry into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
When contacted, Justice Bobde, who is next to the CJI in seniority, confirmed the development.
He said being the number two judge, the Chief Justice of India has appointed him to look into the allegations of sexual harassment charges levelled by a former woman staff.
Justice Bobde told PTI that he has decided to form a panel by inducting two apex court judges — N V Ramana and Indira Banerjee.
“I decided to have Justice Ramana in the panel as he is next to me in the seniority and Justice Banerjee as she is a woman judge,” Justice Bobde said. He said he has already issued notice to the woman who had written letters to the judges and sworn on affidavit about the alleged sexual harassment.
The first hearing will be conducted on Friday and the apex court secretary general has also been asked to be ready with all documents and materials.
“This is going to be an in-house procedure which does not contemplate representation of advocate on behalf of parties. It is not a formal judicial proceeding,” Justice Bobde said.
He clarified that there is no time frame to to complete the inquiry and future course of action will depend on “what comes out of the inquiry” which will be “confidential”.
A three-judge bench headed by CJI on Saturday had held an unprecedented hearing in the wake of allegations made against Justice Gogoi.
Describing the allegations of sexual harassment against him as “unbelievable”, the CJI had convened the extraordinary hearing at the Supreme Court during which he said a larger conspiracy was behind it and he would not stoop so low even to deny these allegations. Justice Gogoi had said some “bigger force” wanted to “deactivate” the office of the CJI.
After the Saturday’s hearing, some lawyers body and jurists had criticised the CJI for constituting the bench comprising him, though he had recused himself in the middle of the hearing leaving it for justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna to pass the order.

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Entered politics so that no woman should be tortured: Pragya

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Bhopal: BJP candidate from Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur said that she entered the political arena to put an end to the numerous atrocities being committed on women.
She also said she is the “the living example of the numerous atrocities committed on women” and that she does not want any woman to go through the same pain that she did.
The BJP leader was addressing a public rally in Bhopal on Tuesday in which former Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan was also present.
“Women are being tortured and numerous atrocities were committed upon them. They are being exploited and raped. I am a living example of the pain inflicted on women. I have gone through that pain,” said Pragya Singh
“Now I have come because I want that no woman should be tortured by these criminals,” she said.
Thakur filed her nomination papers from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency. She was accompanied by three supporters and her advocate.
Thakur is among the seven accused facing trial in the Malegaon blast case, wherein six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008. BJP is defending Sadhvi saying that a false case was registered against her and others.

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Indian man used multiple names to smuggle 400 foreigners into US

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Washington: A 61-year-old Indian has been jailed in the US for five years for smuggling foreigners, including a majority of Indians, into America, the Department of Justice has said.
Yadvinder Singh Sandhu pleaded guilty early this year, saying he personally assisted around 400 aliens to unlawfully enter the US between 2013 and 2015, according to the Department of Justice statement.
The human smuggling carried out by him resulted in at least one death and endangered the lives of many, it said.
Sandhu, charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico on March 15, 2017, used multiple names including Yadvinder Singh Bhamba, Bhupinder Kumar, Rajinder Singh, Robert Howard Scott and Atkins Lawson Howard.
According to admissions in Sandhu’s plea agreement, since 2013, he had a leadership role in a human smuggling conspiracy operating out of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, India and elsewhere. He also oversaw and directed co-conspirators operating out of the Caribbean.
Sandhu and other members of the conspiracy made flight arrangements for foreign nationals to travel from India through other countries including Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Iran, Panama, Venezuela, Belize and Haiti – to the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic was used as a staging area, where foreigners were housed before being transported to the US.
The organisation brought groups of foreigners from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico or Florida by boat.
They were then picked up by co-conspirators and taken to stash houses until flights could be arranged to California, New York, or elsewhere.
Sandhu and others arranged for fraudulent identifications for some aliens to use in the US, prosecutors alleged.
The boat trips organised by Sandhu and his co-conspirators to transport foreigners from the Dominican Republic to the US were perilous as old, damaged, cracked, unlicensed, overcrowded and unsafe boats were used to make the journey, they said.
In at least one instance, a foreign national died in a boat on his way to the US, the Department of Justice alleged.
At times, the smugglers would take passports from the foreigners during their journeys, physically assault them and threaten their families to collect money.
Foreigners paid between USD 30,000 and USD 85,000 to be smuggled from India to the US. From at least 2013 to 2016, human smuggling was Sandhu’s primary source of income, the federal prosecutors alleged.

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