Congress first win in by-poll election after Rahul Gandhi become party president

Congress party for the first time have won though it’s just a by-poll, but still it’s a big thing. After so long finally Congress scored a perfect score somewhere. This is seen as blow for the Bharatiya Janata Party before the state elections and the national election next year. The Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary seats were won by the party. On this party president Rahul Gandhi said by tweet, “Well done Rajasthan Congress! Proud of each and every one of you. This is a rejection of the BJP by the people of Rajasthan.”

For this by-poll election though this is not so big yet Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Congress Leader Sachin Pilot put in all their energy for campaign in the seat which was vacant after the death of the lawmaker. Ms Raje also said through a tweet “We are committed to Rajasthan’s development… now we have to work very hard.” What BJP should worry about is in Ajmar Congress is leading with 84,000 votes and in Alwar they are leading with two lakh votes. In Mandalgarh assembly seat Congress party came third and won with just a margin of 12,000 votes. BJP and Ms Raje did all they could to retain their seats in Ajmar and Alwar. It is said by the party works that they went out of the way to retain it.

BJP had to witness a setback not only in Rajasthan but also in West Bengal where Trinamool Congress took over the seats. As Congress won over Rajasthan’s Ajmar and Alwar, similarly TMC of West Bengal under Mamta Banerjee won over Naopara and Ulluberia. A shocking thing that we came across was these by-polls happened just four days after the release of the controversial Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. Whereas this by-poll was seen as prestige battle for Ms Raje in Rajasthan and same was for vice president Shri Rabin Chatterjee. The number of seats in Alwar, Ajmar and Mandalgarh are 11, 23 and 8 respectively. As we know TMC won over Naopara and Ulluberia with BJP coming in the second position. This is seen critically because next year we have national elections.

Ashok Chavan who is the head of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) said, “The process of the revival of the Congress has begun. The political environment in the country is changing rapidly and it is the beginning of the end of Narendra Modi government.” The high voltage run up in all this was the Congress accused the BJP of polarizing the voters and they did nothing to stop attacks on the Muslims in incidences which were mostly linked to cow vigilantes. Sachin Pilot who lost the single seat of Rajasthan in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections today said “The people have rejected the Vasundhara Raje government and its policies. Young people have realized that the politics of polarization doesn’t work.” Whereas at the same time Ms Raje said that this by-poll won’t affect the big picture of 2019 elections.

Sources: NDTV, The Indian Express

No one killed Pehlu Khan, 6 accused cleared by Raj Police

The Rajasthan police has closed the probe in the death of Alwar farmer Pehlu Khan. In an incident earlier this year, Khan was beaten to death by a violent mob accusing him of smuggling cattle. The video of the incident went viral and caused a nationwide stir.

In a statement given to a police officer in an intensive care unit hours after the incident, Khan had named the six accused – Om Yadav (45), Hukum Chand Yadav (44), Sudhir Yadav (45), Jagmal Yadav (73), Naveen Sharma (48) and Rahul Saini (24). But now based on the statements by the staff of a cow shelter along with phone records, the police have cleared the six men.

Out of these six, three are linked to Hindu right-wing organisations. Khan’s family has expressed their outrage at the development, with his son Irshad claiming, “The police are saying this under pressure”. Irshad was present with Khan on the fateful day and was injured in the attack and asserted that he heard the names of Om, Hukum, Sudhir and Rahul during the attack.

Now, the case will be further carried on against the nine other people identified by the viral video, out of these seven have been arrested while two are absconding.

Sources – HT , India Today

Image Source – Sonu Mehta/ HT via Getty Images

Narendra Modi announces Rs 2 Lakh compensation for Assam and Rajasthan flood victims

As reported by Deccan Herald, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 31, 2017, announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakhs each for the kins of those who lost their lives during the flood havoc that struck Assam and Rajasthan. Rs 50, 000 is to be allotted to those who were seriously injured during the natural calamity in the two states. The destruction caused by the floods due to heavy rainshas claimed the lives of 50 persons in Assam and over 15 people have died in Rajasthan, according to Deccan Herald.

The two states have witnessed an epidemic damage leaving hundreds of people homeless apart from the loss of lives. The Prime Minister is expected to inspect the flood hit areas in Assam on August 1 to evaluate the situation. During the previous week, had visited the Gujarat and assessed the plight there.

Modi also added that a relief fund of Rs 50,000 will be sanctioned for each of the victims, who were wounded during the Ghatkopar building collapse that occurred in Mumbai on July 25. The death toll from the building collapse was around 17, as reported by Financial Express.

While speaking to the country on his monthly radio show ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi promised the provision of sufficient relief and assistance to the flood-hit states. He also ordered the crop insurance companies in the affected states to be considerate in settling the claims of the desperate farmers. He has also assured that the Army, the IAF, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and paramilitary forces will monitor the flood affected regions and engage in rescue operations; as reported by Zee News.

News Source: Deccan Herald, Financial Express

Image Source: Reuters

Two killed, 15 injured as fire breaks out in Kota 

The fire that broke out in Sripura Machhali Market in Kota on 18th July 2017, killed two and injured 15 others, reported Indian Express. Reports state that the fire was instigated by a short circuit that occurred in one of the shops in the scrap market at around 9.45pm. The fire instantly spread over the surrounding shops, causing the explosion of five cylinders placed in an adjacent shop owned by scrap dealers and auto mechanics.

The fire fighters took six hours to extinguish the fire due to the narrowness of the streets. The fire was completely doused only at the crack of dawn. According to Rajasthan Patrika, the two victims identified were Sizaaudin (age 30) and Akbar Hussain (age 26).  While three victims suffered severe burns, a dozen of them succumbed to first-degree burns. The injured were treated at ABS hospital with over 50 doctors at the emergency ward.

Eyewitnesses stated that the fire escalated once it gained contact with the diesel canisters stored in almost every shop in the market.  There are over 300 shops, although most of them were closed by the time the incident occurred. As per reports from Indian Express, around 150 police personnel were deployed to vacate the residents and shop owners from the affected area and escort them to safer places.

3000 cheated in Mount Abu Ponzi scam

Arbuda Credit Co-operative Society Ltd. in Mount Abu has come under the eye of Rajasthan and Gujarat police for allegedly cheating 3000 members in both the states. In the last few days, four FIRs have been filed in Rajasthan and 12 in Gujarat against this company. A few days ago, a similar incident took place in Noida wherein a scam worth 3,700 was busted.

According to earlier reports, the Ponzi scam is worth 100 crores. The co-operative society is said to have collected 50 crores each as deposits from 47 branches in Gujarat and Mount Abu head office respectively.

The two main suspects, in this case, are Rakesh Agarwal and his wife Asha Agarwal, who are absconding sinceJanuary 20, this year. A day before, the couple had made an announcement in the newspapers that they will be returning all the maturity amounts to all the stakeholders. With many lucrative offers of soft loans and investment plans, the co-operative society, which was founded in 2012, trapped many innocent people.

On Sunday, Hard disks, laptops and files were recovered from the head office in Mount Abu. Simultaneously, Gujarat police has also set up a special team, that is investigating the case in the state. The scam was unearthed in the wake of demonetization, as many people started demanding their money back.

Sources: TOI, Inuth

The curse of the male child

The word foeticide has largely been associated with female fetuses over the years, owing to the widespread practice of illegal sex-determination to abort them. However, female fetuses aren’t the only victims in the cruel practice. While there has been considerable reportage of female foeticide, the darker side that is unknown to most is the practice of male foeticide.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau data, more cases of male foeticide were reported over female foeticide in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. As per the data, 53 cases over male foeticde were reported as against the 50 cases of female foeticide. This clearly indicates a gross miscalculation in the reportage of foeticide as a larger issue.

An All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) study revealed that around 238 foetuses and newbrons had been disposed off in the posh South Delhi area between 1996 and 2012, of which 115 were males and 110 were females.

However, female fetuses outnumbered male fetuses in the five month gestational period. “Owing to the societal bias in favour of a male, this could mean that selective female foeticide happened during this period. In India, medical abortion is allowed only up to 20 weeks of gestational age and criminal abortions and selective female foeticide subsequent to antenatal sex determination are more likely before 20 weeks of pregnancy,” said Dr C Behera, one of the co-authors to PTI.

Sporadical cases of male foeticide have been reported by the Indian media in spurts every now and then. In 2006, the police busted an illegal foeticide racket in Punjab, where doctors were fooling couples into aborting their male fetuses, in the ruse of them being females in order to make quick money. During investiagation into the case, the police found close to 50 foetuses discarded in Patiala of which at least 20 were male.

Similarly, in 2010, a doctor in Ahmedabad was arrested for indulging in sex-determination and illegal foeticide. Of the 13 abandoned fetuses found near his clinic, six were male; three were female while the sex of the rest could not be determined.

A recent report in Indiaspend reported that Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the worst states to be a woman.  In Rajasthan, the Barmer district in particular indulges in male foeticide, while celebrating the birth of the girl child, but for the wrong reasons. In many villages of this area, the women are involved in sex-traffcking and trade.

This is the alleged reason behind the rampant practice of male foeticide in the area, so as to bring in more girls into the trade. Some villages in this district have only 30% male population, while the women work as sex workers and earn money.

While these are just some instances from over the years, there are still numerous cases that go unreported with respect to male foeticide. And till such time that male foeticde gets the space it needs in the media , it will remain something that ‘does not exist’, in the eyes of many in our masochist society.


Madhukar Gupta committee submits Pathankot review

The Madhukar Gupta lead committee set up in the aftermath of the Pathankot attack has submitted its report to the government. The Air base which was attacked this year in January, has been recommended the use of technology and an increase in security around riverine borders to counteract any further attacks.

According to a report in The Times of India, the panel has marked out gaps, as well as the most vulnerable areas which ought to be fenced. Sources in the Home ministry according the the panel has expressed its discontentment over not making the use of laser walls in areas prone to intrusion because of dangerous and marshy territory.

An India Today report added that there was a detailed study made through dialogues on perceiving threat, visits to the area and meetings with stakeholders. Four states – namely Jammu and Kashmir (including the Line of Control), Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat encompass 3,323 kilometers of the Radcliffe Line which demarcates the border between India and Pakistan.
This committee was set up three months after a heavily armed group attacked the air base which is a part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Their objective was to propose solutions to the issue of border fencing.

A five-layer plan has been accepted by the government to prevent illegal entry into the western border. This includes CCTV cameras, thermal imaging and night-vision devices, battlefield surveillance radar, underground monitoring sensors and laser barriers.

Also present at the meeting, were Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijijju, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Secretary Border Management Susheel Kumar among other senior officers.

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