Delhi MCD polls: Amit Shah has final say in BJP’s first poll list

BJP President Amit Shah. (File Photo) BJP President Amit Shah. (File Photo)

THE DELHI BJP unit on Sunday released its first list of 160 candidates for the polls to the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCD), slated to be held on April 23. BJP national president Amit Shah had the final say on the selection of candidates, sources said.

The BJP, which has decided not to field its sitting councillors in the elections or allow candidates to jump wards, has given tickets to a lot of mandal and district-level workers. Nearly 75 women candidates have made the cut in the first list. Besides, five seats have been kept aside for candidates belonging to Shiromani Akali Dal.

Among those whose names feature in the first list are three who hold posts in the state unit. Two are Shikha Rai and Kamaljeet Sehrawat, who are vice-presidents in the state unit. They would be contesting from Greater Kailash and Dwarka respectively. Rajesh Lawodia, the secretary of the Delhi BJP unit, will contest from Karol Bagh.

Three district presidents too have got tickets — Pravesh Sharma, who will contest from Ram Nagar, is the president of the Naveen Shahdara district; Santosh Kumar Pal, district president Shahdara, will contest from Laxmi Nagar ward; and Tilak Raj Kataria, the polling booth coordinator of Panch Pramukh, will contest from Shalimar Bagh (south).

Kailash Sakla, who lost the MLA elections, will now fight from Punjabi Bagh. Kiran Vaidya, wife of late ex-MLA Sunil Kumar Vaidya, too has been given a ticket.

Kunwar Radio (Zakir Nagar), Famudin Saudi (Delhi Gate), Sartaj Ahmed (Chauhan Banger) and Sabra Malik (Mustafabad) are four Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP. The five seats that have been given to the Akalis are Pratap Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Kalkarte , GTB Nagar and Rajendra Nagar. However, the candidates will contest elections on the BJP symbol.

Former Mahila Morcha post holders too have got tickets. Many Mandal presidents, such as Subhash Bairana from CR park and Gagan Sahni from Subhash Nagar, have also got tickets.

Asked about the selection process, a senior party leader said, “It has been most thorough, with Shah himself eliminating those who do not deserve a candidature. Even MPs were asked to explain why the names proposed by them should get tickets. For the first time, many workers who have been with the party for a long time have got tickets.”

Many aspirants, however, protested after the list came out. Monika Chopra from Kishan Ganj alleged that she was not selected even though she has given 10 years of her life for the party. She also said Anuradha Sharma, wife of former councillor Anil Sharma, who allegedly switched from the Congress to BJP recently, was given a ticket from her ward. “ We were told only karyakartas will get tickets. But I will still work for the party,” she alleged. Senior leaders, including Manoj Tiwari, were not at the office on Sunday.

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Tamil Nadu: German woman alleges rape, police detain two suspects

A German woman has alleged that she was raped after which the police detained two suspects in Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram. The police has also formed special teams and has launched an investigation, reports news agency ANI.

More details awaited

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Liquor haven Mahe finds bylane to apex court highway restriction

62 liquor outlets and bars dot a 9 sqkm stretch in Mahe 62 liquor outlets and bars dot a 9 sqkm stretch in Mahe

The coastal town of Mahe in Puducherry is not ready yet to lose its spirit — whether in the bottle or in the mind. With 62 liquor outlets and bars dotting a 9 sqkm stretch, Mahe has the highest density of liquor vends in the country. It is also bordered on three sides by Kerala’s Kannur and Kozhikode districts. Yes, Mahe is where Malayalis from the two districts thirsting for a sundowner go.

The Supreme Court order stipulating no liquor vends within 500 metres of a highway could hit Mahe’s liquor shops that dot the sides of National Highway 17. A day after the order, 32 liquor outlets along a 1-km stretch of the national highway were closed. The narrow highway, otherwise a show of wobbly legs, was deserted Saturday. Several liquor shops had removed their display boards.

But scratch the surface and it is clear Mahe won’t give up its peg so soon. About 4 km away from the highway, another 30 bars are doing brisk business in the safe zone in the Panthakkal, Koppalam areas, also in Mahe.

Mahe Liquor Dealers Association president Arun Sebastian said: “The SC decision was unexpected. Dealers thought the court would grant exemption or give more time to shift the shops away from highways.’’

However, the dealers said they were planning to relocate all the closed outlets to pocket roads along the highway. Of the 32 closed ones, 15 would spring up on other roads in a few days, keeping in mind the 500-metre stipulation.

“It would be foolish to think Mahe would say goodbye to ‘Cheers’,” said resident P Soman. Hundreds of tipplers from neighbouring Kozhikode, about 62km away, and Kannur, 30km from Mahe, make the frequent pilgrimage by train or bus to cash in on a price advantage. As there is lower sales tax on liquor in Mahe, traders can sell any liquor brand at nearly half the price of the same bottle in Kerala. On the sidelines of counter sales also thrives a trade of smuggling liquor via sea, road and rail.

Tipplers are the least bothered. “The relocation from the highway will not deter me from coming to Mahe for my daily peg. It is only a matter of getting off at a different bus stop in Mahe town to buy the liquor,’’ said K M Baby, who came from Nadapuram in Kerala, 18 km from Mahe.

T Ashok Kumar, the legal adviser of Mahe Liquor Dealers, said: “The liquor business contributes to 40 per cent of Mahe’s revenue. If this business is ruined it would affect the financial health of Mahe.”

As most of the liquor is sold without any sales bill, no one knows the volume of the business in the smallest district of the country. Kumar said the annual sales could be to the tune of Rs 250 crore. The closure of bars in Kerala in 2015 contributed to a boost in the liquor business in Mahe. Last year, it grew by 30 per cent.

Mahe legislator Dr V Ramachandran said what mattered for Mahe was a peaceful life, not income from liquor. “The government can find other sources of income. Most people welcome the decision to close down liquor outlets along the highway. Our roads would be safe now. But, we are equally apprehensive about the move of the dealers to shift to residential areas in the district.’’

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Mohali: Daily average of challans now 400 per day

THE MOHALI district traffic police have decided to go tough against traffic violators. On the one hand, the number of traffic nakas has increased due to which the daily average of traffic challans has gone up to 400 per day while on the other, the police have decided to write to the transport department to cancel the driving licences of traffic violators which are nearly 2,000 in number.

Traffic police officials said that most of the challans have been issued for not wearing helmet and jumping red light. The officials also claimed that the increase in the number of traffic nakas has also reduced crimes like snatching as not a single case has been registered in the last one month.

“We have decided to go tough against the violators. We will get their licences cancelled. Iin the last month, we have observed that people have started wearing helmet. Our main aim is to reduce violations as well as crimes committed by criminals using two-wheelers which primarily include snatchings,” said SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal.

He added that he has instructed his officers to write to the transport department as well as the concerned court to cancel the driving licences of traffic violators so that others think twice before flouting rules.

According to information, the traffic police have issued more than 12,000 challans for various traffic violations in the last one-and-a-half months. The officials added that in the coming days, they are going to be more stringent against drunk drivers especially on the airport road.

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Resolution demands Bangladesh set up ministry, commission for minorities

Bangladeshi MP Ushatan Talukdar (second from right) at the event. (Partha Paul) Bangladeshi MP Ushatan Talukdar (second from right) at the event. (Partha Paul)

Days ahead of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, a resolution, demanding an end to “atrocities” against Bangladeshi minorities, was adopted at an international conference in Kolkata on Sunday. The resolution will be forwarded to the governments of India an Bangladesh.

The two-day event that ended on Sunday, organised by Campaign Against Atrocities on Minorities in Bangladesh (CAAMB) in association with Centre for Research in Indo-Bangla Relation, Kolkata, saw protests by students from Jadavpur University on both days. They claimed that the event was held under the sponsorship of the BJP and RSS, which were involved in “attacks against minorities” in India.

“The minorities in Bangladesh are suffering atrocities and we are seeking help from governments of India and Bangladesh and other organisations which work to protect the rights of people,” Arun K Dutta, president of Bangladesh Minority Rights Alliance (Canada), who participated in the conference.

The declaration reads, “We propose that the Bangladesh government ensure the prevention of all violence against Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Ahmedias, Atheists, progressive Muslims and all other ethnic minorities in Bangladesh … bring perpetrators of past communal violence to justice and provide compensation to the victims… create a similar ministry or a commission (for minorities)… We propose that the Indian government put pressure to bar upon the Bangladesh government so that it stops its appeasement of the Islamic section of the society and stop the ethnic cleansing of the minority communities.”

It adds: “West Bengal should not be a safe sanctuary for Islamic fundamentalists from Bangladesh. We demand that West Bengal government must take action against the elements in the state openly supporting the Razakars and mass murders of the Bangladesh liberation struggle”.

President of Bangladesh Minority Watch Rabindra Ghosh expressed shock at the JU students protests. “I am very shocked at the way they tried to disrupt the conference. Such behaviour was unwarranted,” Ghosh said.

On Saturday, a clash between some JU students and RSS members broke out on the varsity campus, the venue of day one of the conference. On Sunday, the students protested outside Academy of Fine Arts, the second day venue.

“We are surprised to see BJP and RSS organising seminars on atrocities of minorities in Bangladesh. In our country, minorities are targeted every day and yet the ruling party or the government is doing nothing to stop it,” said Soumya Mondal, general secretary of USDF.

Convener of CAAMB and convenor of BJP’s refugee cell, Mohit Ray said that RSS was not involved in organising the seminar. “I have been associated with CAAMB for last 15 years. I joined BJP later. But that should not become the topic of discussion. We had earlier organised similar seminars. The event was aimed at raising awareness on the atrocities of minorities in Bangladesh and how to put an end to it. This has nothing to do with RSS,” Ray said.

Various organisations such as- Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (Dhaka and Chittagong), Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (USA, UK and France), Bangladesh Minority Forum, Bangladesh Minority Rights Alliance (Canada) and others participated in the conference.

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IPL 2017: Delhi Daredevils to be without Angelo Mathews for better part of the season

Apart from hamstring injury, Angelo Mathews’ return will be delayed by calf strain. (Source: Reuters/File) Apart from hamstring injury, Angelo Mathews’ return will be delayed by calf strain. (Source: Reuters/File)

The Delhi Daredevils are unlikely to get the services of Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews for the better part of IPL as he is yet to recover fully from his hamstring injury.

Mathews is not a part of the Sri Lankan T20 side that will host Bangladesh in a two-match T20 series starting April 4 in Colombo.

Apart from hamstring injury, Mathews’ return will be delayed by calf strain.

“At this stage I think I can say Angelo will not play the T20s,” SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha told ESPN Cricinfo.

“The IPL will be affected because he has to wait for the physio and the trainer to give him the green light. He has to be 100 percent fit. Angelo has to make that call with the physio, because if he’s not 100 percent fit, we will not let him go.”

SLC is reluctant to release Mathews unless he has fully recovered because they would like him to be available for the Champions Trophy in the UK in June.

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Man arrested for stalking JNU student

(Representational Image), 26-year-old Shailesh Kumar was arrested yesterday from outside a girl’s hostel inside JNU (Representational Image), 26-year-old Shailesh Kumar was arrested yesterday from outside a girl’s hostel inside JNU

A 26-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly stalking a JNU student, police said today. The accused, Shailesh Kumar is a resident of Munirka village, and was arrested yesterday from outside a girls’ hostel located inside JNU campus, they added.

A few days back, he had tried to talk to the victim but she refused. Infuriated, he started stalking her. The victim told the police that he followed her for a fortnight and even came outside her hostel, breaching the security of the college campus.

On finding the accused outside her hostel, she immediately alerted college security. The youth was detained and later handed over to the police. “On Saturday, we received a PCR call from a girls’ hostel in JNU campus about a stalker.

A police team reached the spot and arrested him. The arrested person is a college dropout and works at a shop in the locality,” a senior police officer said.

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Research shows common pesticide exposure may spur puberty in boys

Previous research shows that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men. (Source: Pixabay) Previous research shows that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men. (Source: Pixabay)

Exposure to pesticides commonly used both indoors and outdoors to kill mosquitoes and other insects on crops may result in boys reaching sexual maturity earlier, researchers have found.

The class of pesticides studied, pyrethroids, accounts for more than 30 percent of global insecticide use, said lead investigator Jing Liu, Associate Professor at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. These chemicals are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones.

“We recognise pyrethroids as a new environmental contributor to the observed trend toward earlier sexual maturity in boys,” said Professor Liu.

Previous research shows that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women.

Early puberty also can stunt growth and cause behavioural problems.

For the study, presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, the team examined 463 Chinese boys aged 9 to 16 years.

They found the evidence of recent exposure to pyrethroids in human urine as a metabolite, or molecule, called 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA).

The results showed that a 10 per cent increase in 3-PBA was associated with a four per cent increase in the boys’ levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) — hormones that spur production of testosterone in males.

Having an increased urinary level of 3-PBA raised the odds of a boy being at an advanced stage of genital development by 73 to 110 per cent, Liu said.

Further, when the researchers exposed male mice to cypermethrin — a widely used pyrethroid insecticide — they observed an accelerated onset of puberty in the mice.

“Given the growing use of pyrethroid insecticides, we must prudently assess these chemicals for their risks to children’s health,” Liu said.

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Extra MR vaccine dose for kids aged nine months to 15 years

AS PART of the national strategy to eliminate measles and control rubella in the country, all children, aged nine months to less than 15 years, will be given an additional dose of MR vaccine, regardless of any previous vaccination status or history of measles. The government plans to eliminate measles and control rubella by 2020.

Measles is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. An estimated 49,000 children die of measles annually, making it one of the leading causes of death in India. Every school-going child will be given two doses of measles vaccine, which is safe and effective. The campaign will target 100 per cent children.

Under the campaign, the departments of health and education are partnering schools. Both the teachers and students of private and government schools, including other institutions, will take part in the orientation campaign, which will guide them about the diseases. The education department has been told to make a list of students in the age of 15 years.

“The programme will be started as soon as the health department receives the vaccine for the students,” said an education department official. The campaign will also include raising of awareness in society through posters, handouts and banners.

Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) leads to deafness and blindness in children. The country witnesses 30,000 cases of CRS annually in the country. The programme has to be conducted in three to four weeks’ time and then will reach the community through outreach programmes.

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PM focus on technology use of judiciary, CJI talks about triple talaq

At the 150th year celebrations of Allahabad High Court on Sunday. PTI At the 150th year celebrations of Allahabad High Court on Sunday. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the use of technologies to ease judicial processes and Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar spoke about expeditiously dealing with cases related to triple talaq at the valedictory function of the 150th year celebrations of Allahabad High Court on Sunday.

The Prime Minister assured the CJI of complete cooperation from the government to strengthen the judicial system.

Modi said the use of technology would save time and ensure that lawyers made arguments in court with sharpness that would help judges in taking decisions faster. In his speech as the chief guest, Modi said the “janjaal” of laws were created by governments earlier and the common man suffered its burden.

He said he was happy that even before completing the term, his government had scrapped around 1,200 laws. Modi stressed on the use of advanced technologies in the judicial system and suggested why dates for cases could not be given on mobile phones and how use of video conferencing for asking questions from a government official would save time if that officer has been transferred to another place.

“Expenditure is made on security as well as while taking prisoners from jails to the courts. Aur us marg mein kya kya nahin hota hai, yeh sab jaante hain.. ab Yogiji ayen hain, toh shayad woh bandh hoga (On this path what all happens everyone knows. Now that Yogji has come, maybe all that will be stopped),” Modi said.

In his speech, CJI Khehar said three Constitution benches had been formed for the coming summer vacation. There were so many serious cases which will make impact on the life of people. One case was of triple talaq, he said. “Do not know what will be the judgment but rights of the people will be defined,” the CJI said about that case.

The CJI further said, as on January 31, 2017, there was pendency of 7 lakh cases in Allahabad HC whereas pendency of 2 lakh cases in its Lucknow bench. The CJI said the Prime Minister speaks his Mann ki Baat and the entire nation listens to him. Today he was there to tell his ‘dil ki baat’ to the PM, he said.

Union Minister for Law & Justice, Electronics and Information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said the government and judiciary would function in coordination for faster justice delivery. The government was close to finalising the National Litigation Policy and he had written to CMs of all states on the directive of the PM to make efforts that government litigation be reduced to minimum, Prasad added.

The minister further said that digital governance was good governance. There were 2.5 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) across the country and a paralegal entrepreneur will be trained to be associated with these CSCs so deprived sections could get pre-litigation legal advice. On a pilot basis, it will be started at 200 CSCs each in UP and Bihar, he added.

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