Bengaluru CAA Protest: Despite Sec 144, People gather in large

Thousands of people gathered outside Town Hall in the city to stage a peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the draconian NRC, defying prohibitory orders imposed overnight by the state BJP government.

Police detained hundreds of people including historian Ramachandra Guha and newly elected Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad.

.@Ram_Guha arretsed by @BlrCityPolice at townhall

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Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad detained by Bengaluru police for protesting against CAA.

Protesters were brutally beaten up and dragged away in police vans, leaving many injured. They were then taken to police stations in Central Bengaluru.

However, despite heavy security deployment and threats of arrests, within minutes of the police dispersing the crowd at Town Hall, a large number of people gathered in one of the nearby roads shouting anti-CAA slogans. The police were then forced to allow protestors to carry on with their peaceful demonstrations as they had planned earlier.

The BJP-ruled Karnataka government on Wednesday evening clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Bengaluru and other parts of the state starting from 6 am on Thursday till the mid-night of December 21. Over 60 organisations cutting across religious lines had planned to stage peaceful protests in Bengaluru on Thursday and Friday.

Ant-CAA demonstrators across India carried out peaceful protests defying bans as anger swells against the highly sectarian and anti-Constitutional citizenship law, following days of protests and clashes that have left at least six dead.

According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. The Act intentionally leaves out Muslims.

The BJP-led government has said the new law will be followed by a National Register of Citizens (NRC) that means Muslims must prove they were original residents of India and not refugees from these three countries. Non-Muslims listed in the law, by contrast, have a clear path to citizenship.

The religiously discriminatory mechanisms of the Act shares worrying similarities with the rhetoric and policies of the Nazi German state between 1929-1940.



Shaik Zakeer Hussain, Editor,


Eleven people were killed and 23 injured in Maharashtra accident

Eleven people were killed and 23 injured in a head-on collision between a container truck and a state transport bus, police said here on Monday.

The crash took place late on Sunday near Neemgul village, according to Dhule Control Room official A.L. Patil.

“The bus was headed to Aurangabad when the collision took place on the Shahada-Dondaiche Road. The drivers of both vehicles were killed,” Patil told .

The toll was expected to increase as the condition of at least three was said to be serious.



Six people died while 11 were injured in South Delhi fire

Six people died while 11 were injured in a massive blaze that broke out at a residential building in the national capital early on Tuesday.

According to the Delhi Fire Service, the blaze started at 2.21 a.m. in a four-storey building in Zakir Nagar area near the Jamia Millia Islamia University. Most of the injured were those who tried to jump off to safety.

“Initially five fire tenders were rushed to the spot, later more were sent to douse the flames,” Delhi Fire Services Director Atul Garg said.

The fire was finally brought under control at 5.30 a.m.

Around seven cars and eight motorcycles were also gutted in the fire.



Imran govt completes one year; people anger over inflation

Exactly a year ago Imran Khan swept to power with a promise to make a “New Pakistan,” but today, Pakistan media reports say, there is widespread dissatisfaction among the people mainly because of rising prices.

Khan promised a “welfare state,” but a derailed economy has forced him on the back foot, leading to most of his promises remaining unfulfilled, The Express Tribune said, adding in the past one year, Pakistani rupee has dropped up to 30 per cent and the inflation has soared as much as nine per cent.

Another national daily Jang quoted experts saying that today’s situation in Pakistan was worse than the days of ‘global boycott’ of the country following nuclear tests in the late nineties.

The Express Tribune quoted a common citizen Mohammad Ashfaq (60), a colour-dye seller, as saying: “To bear the daily expenses, it is necessary for me to earn at least Rs 1,000 every day. But I earn only Rs 500-600 per day”.

To revive the country’s economy, the Pakistan government has borrowed money from countries such as Saudi Arabia and from International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, the IMF’s structural development conditions for the aid have worsened the situation.

These conditions have led to a rise in the prices of essential services such as electricity.

The paper quoted Asgar Ali, an Associate Professor at Karachi University, as saying: “Around 80 lakh people are going to join the persons who are already living below the poverty line”.



At least Thirty Two people killed by lightning in Bihar

At least 32 people, including women and children, were killed and over a dozen injured in incidents of lightning strikes across Bihar in last 24 hours, an official said on Wednesday.

Eight deaths were reported in Jamui, seven in Aurangabad, five in Banka, three each in Bhagalpur and Rohtas districts followed by two deaths in Nalanda and one death each in Gaya, Munger, Katihar and Araria districts.

“The state government has ordered ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives,” said an official of the Disaster Management Department.

According to the weather office, lightning strikes occur in the state during the June-September monsoon season.




15 people were killed killed in Pune wall collapse on Saturday

At least 15 people were killed and three others injured on Saturday when the compound wall of a building collapsed here, officials said.

The incident occurred early Saturday morning trapping the victims as they slept in their huts, the police and NDRF officials said.

Teams of rescuers which rushed to the spot have managed to rescue three people including two minors.

The victims comprise 10 men and five children. Work is on to save others still feared trapped in the rubble.



At least 30 people were killed, lightning strikes across Bihar

At least 30 people were killed and over a dozen others injured in incidents of lightning strikes across Bihar in the last 24 hours, an official said here on Thursday.

The deaths occurred in Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Saharsa, Purnea, Araria, Katihar, Jamui, Khagaria, Madyepura, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Mitigari and Gaya districts, the state disaster management department official said.

“The state government has ordered an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the victims’ kin,” the official added.

According to the weather office, lightning strikes occur in the state during the June-September monsoon season.



Prime Minister Modi performs yoga with 30,000 people in Ranchi

Prime Minister Narendera Modi performed yoga along with around 30,000 people in Ranchi on Friday on the occasion of the fifth International Yoga Day.

The session continued for around 45 minutes at the Prabhat Tara ground here. The Prime Minister first addressed the participants before the session began.

“Yoga has always been associated with peace and harmony. I thank people for adopting Yoga. I urge people to embrace it,” Modi said in his address prior to the session.

He also spoke in English for a few minutes to reach out to the global audience.

Saying “Yoga is beyond caste, religion, region and any boundaries”, the Prime Minister added “there is a solution to alcoholism and diabetes in Yoga”.

“This year, Yoga’s theme is Heart Care. There has been a manifold increase in the heart-related problems in the country, particularly among the young generation. Yoga should be adopted as preventive measure,” the Prime Minister added.

The session was conducted by M. Baswa Reddy, director of the New Delhi-based Morarji Desai National Yoga Institute.

Different forms of yoga postures, including how to control blood pressure and strike metal peace, were performed.

After the session was over, the Prime Minister spent time with the participants, where children and youth even clicked selfies and shook hands with Modi.

“IT was a great moment for us to see our prime Minister from nearby,” said a participant.

Echoing her view, another woman said: “I could not shake hand with the Prime Minister but his aura was enough.”

Modi was accompanied by Jharkhand Governor Draupdi MUrmu, Chief Minister Raghubar das, Ayush Minister Sripad Naik, state Health Minister Ramchandra Kesari, along with other senior government officials.

International Yoga Day is celebrated annually since its inception by Modi in 2015.



BJP bribing people in Amethi, says Priyanka Gandhi 

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of giving Rs 20,000 bribes to people in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

While addressing a gathering here, Gandhi said: “This is wrong… While the Congress is distributing its election manifesto, the BJP is sending Rs 20,000 each to the village heads.”

She said that the BJP is under the misconception that it can buy the people’s love and the practice of truthful politics in Amethi.

She said: “The BJP’s intentions are bad and their policies are limited to benefitting some industrialists. They don’t waive off farmers’ debt, but in five years the party has waived off the Rs 5.50 lakh crore debt of these industrialists.”



Over 40 people detained in Wednesday night raids in J&K

Over 40 people were taken into preventive custody by the police in raids in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama districts late on Wednesday night. The raids were carried out in villages in Tahab, Chewakalan, Vehil, Narwah in the two districts.

Around 30 people were taken into preventive custody by the police in similar raids Pulwama two days back.

Although the police did not give any reason for the detentions, it is believed that the people taken into custody had been involved in disturbing law and order in these two districts in the past.

Voting in the third and final phase for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat is scheduled on May 6



Yogi Adityanath and Akhilesh Yadav urge people to vote

As voting began across 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday urged the people to cast their ballots.

“For a prosperous and powerful India, for a strong and decision-making government, to fulfil a dream, make sure you go out of your home and vote. Hope you remember, first vote and then refreshment.

The mercury during summer is high, take care of yourself, but do vote. The government is formed by every one vote,” Adityanath said in a series of tweets.

Yadav appealed to the people to vote for a ‘mahaparivartan’ (great transformation), saying their ballots will prove decisive for the future.

“For a ‘mahaparivartan’ and to save democracy, unite and exercise your right to fulfil your civilian rights. Today’s elections will prove decisive for tomorrow,” he tweeted in Hindi.

The seats where polling in underway in the state are Shahjahanpur (SC), Kheri, Hardoi (SC), Misrikh (SC), Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah (SC), Kannauj, Akbarpur, Jalaun (SC), Jhansi and Hamirpur.

A total electorate of 2.38 crore is eligible to exercise their franchise at 27,513 polling booths.



Badals trying to divide people says Amarinder Singh 

Putting the blame squarely on the Akalis for the spate of desecrations, and the police firing incidents of Bargari and Kotkapura that rocked the state during their regime, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday accused the Badals of trying to divide the people and polarize the communities in Punjab.

“They did nothing to control the situation and allowed it to get out of hand, which clearly indicated their involvement in the Behbal Kalan and other incidents,” Amarinder said while addressing a public rally in support of Congress candidate from Fatehgarh Sahib, former IAS officer Amar Singh, who filed his nomination papers on Thursday.

“They should remember they cannot escape their sins forever. Sikhs would never forget or forgive them for the defilement of their holy scripture.
Just one more month for you to enjoy, and then you will meet your fate,” Amarinder warned the Badals.

He said the present leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), led by the Badal family, was a “farce”.

The original Akali Dal, formed during the Gurdwara Movement, was committed to sacrificing itself to safeguard Sikhi, unlike the present Akali Dal which had looted the state for 10 years and eroded the dignity of Sikh institutions like the Akal Takht, he said.

Amarinder also accompanied Congress candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring for filing of nomination papers for the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat.





People have named BJP as Bhagti Janata Party; Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said that people have coined a new name for the BJP as the ‘Bhagti Janata Party’ as Prime Minister Narendra Modi refuses to hold a press conference.

“Have you heard anything new? The people have heard that the BJP’s new name is ‘Bhagti Janata Party’ because the Prime Minister avoids to hold a press conference while his leaders run away from the questions of the media journalists and their workers run away after seeing the people as they question them about the Rs 15 lakh and employment,” Yadav said in a tweet.

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s remarks comes a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party clarified that Modi was not going to hold any press conference in Varanasi.

On Wednesday, the BJP described a letter that was doing the rounds on social media about Modi holding a press conference in the temple town as fake.

The fresh attack comes the same day when Modiwill hold a road show in the Varanasi, ahead of filing his nomination papers on Friday.

Modi, who is re-contesting from the Varanasi parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh, had won the 2014 elections from the seat by defeating Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Ajay Rai of the Congress.

The high-profile seat will go to the polls on May 19 in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections.



BJP creating divisions among people, says Akhilesh Yadav

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is creating frictions among people.

Addressing an election rally here in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party President said: “BJP is thriving on a ‘divide and rule’ policy. The party wants to spread hatred. People are losing trust on the party, hence it is creating divisions among them.”

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “Last time (in 2014) he collected votes by offering tea. He made us see dreams that black money would disappear. Money is never black, transactions and dealings are.”

Hoping that “Mahagathbandhan”, an alliance of opposition parties, would defeat the BJP, the former Chief Minister urged the people not to trust those dividing the people.

“Mahagathbandhan will bring ‘maha-parivartan’ (a massive change),” he said.


Science & Technology

NASA invites people to share picture on Earth Day

Sharing your best photo showing a detail of Earth on social media with #PictureEarth on Earth Day on April 22, can win you a chance to get that photo featured in NASA videos or composite images.

“We’ll check Instagram, Twitter and our NASA Earth Facebook event page to find your images and select photos from around the world to showcase later in videos and composite images,” NASA said in a statement on Friday.

“Be sure to tell us where your photo was taken in the text of your social media post,” the US space agency added.

To be considered for the NASA videos and composite images, people can post a close-up photo on social media of their favourite natural features, such as crashing waves, ancient trees, blooming flowers, or stunning sunsets.

You need to use the hashtag #PictureEarth and upload the photo on April 22.



Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati urge people to vote

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati urged people to vote on Thursday to bring about major changes in politics.

“Today is the first-phase of ‘big change’ (mahaparivartan) process,” Yadav tweeted.

“Those who want healthy democracy for themselves and their families, want to empower Constitution and protect harmony should come out of their houses and use their right to make this day historic,” he said.

Mayawati issued a similar appeal.



Mehbooba asks people to defy highway ban in Jammu and Kashmir

Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked people to defy ban on highway in Jammu and Kashmir and also warned India of a Palestine-like situation in Kashmir.

Protesting against the national highway ban on civilian traffic on the national highway on Sundays and Wednesdays, Mufti said in Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar on Wednesday: “Jammu and Kashmir’s relation with New Delhi is not like a Palestine-Israel relation. If New Delhi wants to convert our relation like the Palestine-Israel, then they have to be ready for a Palestine like situation as well.”

She told people to defy the highway ban order as it amounted to subjugation of Kashmiris and their economy.

“People should drive their vehicles on the highway to defy the order. We will see who takes action against them,” she said during the protest.

The decision to ban civilian and public transport on the national highway on Sundays and Wednesdays was taken by the state government to ensure safety of security forces convoys on the highway.

The decision was taken in the aftermath of February 14 terror strike on the highway in Pulwama district in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed.

Authorities have said the ban would not apply to medical emergencies, movement of lawyers, doctors, tourists, government employees, school buses and agriculturalists.

Authorities said magistrates have been deputed on all crossings on the national highway to permit bona fide civilian movement.

The decision to selectively allow civilian movement has not been able to address the common man’s anger.

Local traders dealing in perishable items like vegetables, mutton and other such items argue their goods perish on storage as they are unable to carry on normal business during Sundays and Wednesdays in markets on the flanks of the national highway.



Priyanka Gandhi urges people to be serious about politics

With hundreds of activists holding Congress flags and shouting “Chowkidar Chor Hai”, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday urged people to get “serious about politics” as it was a serious issue.

Gandhi’s road show in support of party’s candidate Dolly Sharma here started from Jawahar Gate and continued for about two kilometres before ending on Ambedkar Road in Nehru Nagar.

“It is in your hand if you want to do politics of caste or politics where your representatives work for you earnestly,” she said. “A representative who will help you to raise your voice or one who will beat you up for speaking.

“Those in power (right now) have never let people raise their issues, be it farmers or others.”

Priyanka Gandhi asked people to question those who come to them seeking votes.

“No one is doing a favour by working for you… You are superior, not the leaders… Those in power have forgotten that you have the power. You have let them forget that you are superior.”

She slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not talking to people even in his constituency Varanasi while “he roamed around the world hugging people”.

“Every time he went to Varanasi, he gave only speeches, never went to a single house to meet people.”

Speaking to IANS, Priyanka Gandhi said the Modi government has repeatedly lied to the people on various fronts.

“He (Modi) always says Nehru did this, Indira did that. Can he speak about what he has done in the five years? After being in power for five years, he has nothing to count as his achievement,” she said.

Gandhi received a boisterous welcome during the road show.

Gandhi, the party in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, stood with Dolly Sharma in her car with the sunroof open, while constantly waving at people.

She stepped out of her car to meet a group of women standing outside their house. One of them was 18-year-old Shivangi Gupta.

“I told her about the congestion in the area and lack of security. I also told her that the area is not usually this clean. It was only because she was coming that it is clean,” Gupta told IANS after speaking to Gandhi.

The Congress is campaigning hard to give a tough fight to BJP’s sitting MP and 2019 candidate from Ghaziabad V.K. Singh, a former Army chief, for the elections to be held on April 11.




Congress, BJD conspire to keep people poor; Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the Congress and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha have hatched a conspiracy to keep the people poor for their vote bank politics.

“Parties like Congress and BJD conspired to keep the poor of the country poor. They deceived the poor. They treated them as vote bank,” said Modi while addressing an election rally at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district.

Modi said Odisha is going to repeat the history created by Uttar Pradesh in 2017 and Tripura in 2018 as he urged the people to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to achieve ‘double engine’ growth at the Centre and at the state.

He said that eight lakh people in Odisha got pucca houses in five years of BJP government at the Centre while 24 lakh houses got free electricity connections and 3,000 villages got electricity for the first time after Independence.

Besides, 40 lakh poor households got free gas connections under Ujjala scheme and 50 lakh toilets were built in the state, Modi added.

“All of these things were not done by Modi. It is your vote that brought positive changes in the country,” he said.

Maintaining that the BJD government is neck deep in corruption, the Prime Minister asked the people: “Do you want mining mafia and chit fund looters or a Chowkidar.”

He said the BJD is the enemy of poor farmers.

The party has been a wall between PM-KISAN scheme and farmers as Odisha has no farmer being enrolled under the scheme, he added.

“I have worked for you despite no cooperation of state government. This Chowkidar has taken advantage of Centre’s schemes to help you,” said Modi.

He said 19 years are enough for the development of the state but BJD leaders have taken the votes for granted.

“You trusted the BJD for 19 years, but it’s now time for transformation and to bring BJP again. You need to vote for double engine growth,” said the Prime Minister.

Odisha will have simultaneous polls in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29 for both the 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats.



Over 100 filmmakers urge people to oust Bharatiya Janata Party

Around 100 members of the Indian film fraternity issued an appeal urging Indians not to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The filmmakers, mostly known for their independent cinema, posted the appeal on the website, with a message stating that the filmmakers have come together to “protect the democracy of the country”.

The 103 signatories include well-known names like Vetri Maaran, Anand Patwardhan, Sanalkumar Sasidharan, Sudevan, Q, Deepa Dhanraj, Gurvinder Singh, Pushpendra Singh, Kabir Singh Chowdhry, Anjali Monteiro, Praveen Morchhale, Devashish Makhija, Aashiq Abu, and editor Bina Paul among others.

Many of these filmmakers are left leaning and their ideological predilections may have played a part in sending out the appeal.

“Our country is going through the most testing times ever. Though culturally vivid and geographically diverse, we have always stayed united. As a nation. It has indeed been a great feeling to be a citizen of this wonderful country… But all that is at stake now.

“Fascism threatens to strike us hard with all its might if we don’t choose wisely in the coming Lok Sabha election,” the statement read.

They also pointed out the reasons behind their decision to take a stand against the political party. Some of the reasons are “unleashing of polarisation and hate politics; cow vigilantism; marginalisation of Dalits, Muslims and farmers and increasing censorship”.

“As we all know, ever since the BJP came to power in 2014, things have changed. And only for the worse,” the appeal read.

The filmmakers said that patriotism is the BJP’s “trump card”.

“Any individual or institution that raises the slightest dissent is labelled ‘anti-national’. Patriotism is how they grow their vote bank.”

The statement concluded with an appeal.

“We urge all of you to do everything in your capacity to keep this harmful regime from coming back to power. Let your mandate be to choose a government that respects the Constitution of India, protects our freedom of speech and expression, and refrains from all kinds of censorship.”



People wonder why Modi insults elders; Arvind Kejriwal

Hours after BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi announced he had been denied ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that people were wondering why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “insulting elders”.

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal said insulting elders was not part of Hindu or Indian culture.

“The way Modi insulted his elders — (L.K.) Advani and Murli Manohar (Joshi), this is against Hindu culture. In Hinduism, we have been taught to respect our elders,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said that those who built the “house” — a reference to BJP — had been thrown out and questioned the loyalty of those “who are not loyal to their elders”.

“Is this Indian culture? People are discussing why Modi is insulting Advani, Joshi and Sushma (Swaraj)?”

Joshi, elected in 2014 from Kanpur, has announced that the Bharatiya Janata Party had told him not to contest the Lok Sabha election. The BJP has also denied ticket to Advani and replaced him with party President Amit Shah from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.