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‘What moral right does BJP have to condemn Kanhaiya Kumar?’: Shiv Sena

Press Trust of India

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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena said on Wednesday that the BJP has no moral right to criticise student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been charged with sedition, after teaming up with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Sena also asked the ruling BJP to refrain from taking political mileage from the sedition case against Kanhaiya Kumar, a former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students” Union.

The BJP committed a “sin” by aligning with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, it said, claiming that she considered Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as a martyr.

 

The BJP was part of the PDP-led government in Jammu and Kashmir but pulled out of the coalition last year.

The Delhi Police had on Monday filed a chargesheet in a court against Kanhaiya Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus in February 2016.

“The BJP committed the biggest sin of aligning with Mehbooba Mufti, who considers Afzal Guru a freedom fighter and a martyr. Now the BJP, for its own benefit, should not try and take political mileage out of the sedition case filed against Kanhaiya,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ”Saamana”.

A terrorist like Ajmal Kasab, convicted in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case, was given a chance by court to defend himself, it said, and expressed hope that Kanhaiya Kumar would also be given a chance to present his case.

If the allegations against him are not true, they will not stand in court, said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

“Kanhaiya Kumar speaks well. Since he represents the harried and unemployed youth, he cannot give slogans hailing Afzal Guru or independence for Kashmir. Anyway, what moral right does the BJP have to condemn Kanhaiya Kumar?” it asked.

The Sena wondered if the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, was unable to win elections in JNU as voting there was not held through the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

“Maharashtra BJP minister Girish Mahajan recently claimed he will show his ”magic” wherever he is sent and make sure his party wins polls. We request the BJP to send him to JNU to defeat the anti-nationals there. But tell him that elections in JNU are not held through EVMs,” Shiv Sena said in a sarcastic remark.


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War kills more than 100,000 babies a year, says Save the Children

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MUNICH: At least 100,000 babies die every year because of armed conflict and its impact, from hunger to denial of aid, Save the Children International said.

In the 10 worst-hit countries, a conservative estimate of 550,000 infants died as a result of fighting between 2013 and 2017.

They succumbed to war and its effects, among them hunger, damage to hospitals and infrastructure, a lack of access to health care and sanitation and the denial of aid.
It said children face the threat of being killed or maimed, recruited by armed groups, abducted or falling victim to sexual violence.

 

“Almost one in five children are living in areas impacted by conflict — more than at any time in the past two decades,” said the charity’s CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt in a statement.

“The number of children being killed or maimed has more than tripled, and we are seeing an alarming increase in the use of aid as a weapon of war,” she said on releasing the report at the Munich Security Conference.

Save the Children said a study it had commissioned from the Peace Research Institute Oslo had found that 420 million children were living in conflict-affected areas in 2017.

This represents 18 per cent of all children worldwide and was up by 30 million from the previous year.

The worst-hit countries were Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Demo­cratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The total number of deaths from indirect effects over the five-year period jumped to 870,000 when all children under the age of five were included, the charity said.

It also issued a list of recommendations to help protect children, from steps such as committing to a minimum age of 18 for military recruitment to the avoidance of using explosive weapons in populated areas.

Thorning-Schmidt said the rising number of child casualties was very worrying.

“It is shocking that in the 21st century we are going backwards on principles and moral standards that are so simple — children and civilians should never be targeted.”

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Vadra says ‘witch hunt’ against him after ED attaches assets

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New Delhi: Robert Vadra on Saturday termed as “witch hunt” the Enforcement Directorate’s action of attaching assets of a firm linked to him, and claimed that it showed “complete misuse of assertion of power”.

Vadra alleged “relentless harassment” a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it had attached assets worth Rs 4.62 crore of a firm linked to him in connection with the Bikaner land scam money laundering case.

“I have had nothing to hide and I am surely not above the law. I have deposed for almost 6 days; ranging from 8 to 12 hours per day with a 40 minute lunch break, and have been escorted to the washroom,” Vadra said in a Facebook post.

 

He said he had completely cooperated and adhered to the rules whenever called in any part of the country.

“Attachment of my work place–my office and areas that are sub judice, shows a complete misuse of assertion of power, a complete vindictive & vicious witch hunt,” he alleged.

“When truth sustains and prevails, I suppose an apology is all that will suffice. Will stay determined for justice for me,” Vadra said.

The ED has issued a provisional order for attachment of the assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It had grilled Vadra in this case in Jaipur twice earlier this week. His mother Maureen was also asked to depose but was allowed to go after completion of brief legal procedures.

Vadra was also questioned by the ED for three consecutive days last week in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad.

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Gurjars’ agitation in Rajasthan called off after signing of agreement

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Jaipur: The nine-day-old Gurjar agitation was called off on Saturday after a written draft was signed between Gurjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (GASS) and the Rajasthan government on five points of demands.

The demands include 5 per cent quota to five communities–Gurjars, Raika, Banjara, Gadariya, Rebari–and their six sub-castes in education and government jobs based on economic criteria as per the bill cleared by the assembly recently.

“GASS patron KS Bainsla and Rajasthan Tourism Minister Vishwendra Singh along with senior officers signed the draft at the agitation site of Malarana Dungar in Sawaimadhopur district,” Neeraj K Pawan, the state envoy, said.

 

The tracks, highways and roads are being cleared by the agitators on the call given by Bainsla, he said.

Among the 5-point draft, the GASS and the government agreed on 5 per cent reservation as notified on the bill passed by the state Assembly, a guarantee from the state government that if the bill gets stuck in legal tangle, the state government will immediately intervene and help the community. Backlog in services will be filled up for aspiring Gurjars, and there will be strengthening of Devnarayan Yojana and Board which were set up by the state government.

Prominent Gurjar leader Himmat Singh, who parted ways with GASS last year, told the media that Bainsla was allegedly bargaining with the Congress government for vested interests.

The trains would resume their run on original routes via Sawaimadhopur district after restoration and inspection, according to WCR sources.

While NWR’s blockade on the Jaipur-Sawaimadhopur route was also being restored, its CPRO Abhay Sharma said.

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