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#* Hardik Patel detained before 'Ekta Yatra', says Gujarat govt wants to muzzle them
Ahmedabad: Police today detained Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel along with 35 of his supporters from Varachha area here for trying to take out the 'Ekta Yatra' without taking prior permission from authorities.
"We detained Hardik Patel along with his 35 supporters from Mangadh chowk in Varachha area of the city ahead of their rally today," Surat Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana told PTI.
"They were detained in the interest of law and order as they did not seek any permission from the state authorities to take out this rally," added Asthana.
Hardik and others were taken to police headquarters after the detention, he said.
Hardik Patel. Image courtesy CNN-IBNHardik Patel. Image courtesy CNN-IBN
Speaking to reporters condemning the police action, the 22-year-old firebrand leader said, "The Gujarat government wants to muzzle our voice. They want to harass us. The Gujarat government and the state police wants violence in the state. This act is against the spirit of democracy."
Hardik had till yesterday kept his plans secret about the Ekta rally after being denied permission to hold it from Dandi to Ahmedabad.
Earlier today, Hardik's associate and the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in Surat- Alpesh Kathiria-announced that they will take out the rally from Mangadh chowk in Varachha area of the city.
Hardik, who has emerged as the prominent face of Patels in Gujarat, has been spearheading the agitation to get reservation for Patel community under Other Backward Class (OBC).
In past two weeks, Hardik had announced to take out the "reverse Dandi March" twice, but canceled the plan after Navsari district administration denied permission to them.
Hardik has been hogging limelight after his aggressive speech in a rally on August 25 and the subsequent violence that gripped the state after his detention which left 10 people dead in Gujarat.
#* Snooping on kin, confusion on Netaji's death: What the new files say
The West Bengal government declassified 64 closely-guarded files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at a low-key event at a police museum in Kolkata on Friday.
The firebrand freedom fighter may have survived a purported air crash in 1945 and his family was under widespread surveillance after Independence, the files made public by the Trinamool Congress dispensation indicated.
Bose, the leader of the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army), is said to have died on August 18, 1945 at Taihoku in Taiwan in a plane crash.
The 12,744-page dossier showed several people writing to members of Bose’s family saying they were told the freedom fighter was alive but experts said the documents — thrown open for public viewing at the Kolkata Police Museum — contained no conclusive proof.
Bengal CM Mamata says Netaji did not die in 1945 air crash
A reading of the declassified files by HT showed that Swiss journalist Lilly Abegg wrote to Netaji’s brother Sarat Bose on December 9, 1949, saying she was told by Japanese sources that the freedom fighter was alive in 1946.
And on March 5, 1948, Chou HriangKuang — an officer of the publication division of the Union information and broadcasting ministry — wrote to Netaji’s nephew Amiya Nath Bose, saying, “I am still believing he is alive.”
Fuelling speculation, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee added said she believed Bose didn’t die in the 1945 crash and urged the Centre to declassify all Netaji-related files. “I have gone through a few pages and it indicates Netaji was alive after August 19451945,’’ she said.
The firebrand Bose was one of the tallest leaders of the freedom movement but left the Congress following differences with Mahatma Gandhi. He then escaped from India in 1941, travelling to Germany and Japan, where he strengthened the Indian National Army to free India from the British.
His sudden disappearance after 1945 has fanned several conspiracy theories over the years, especially in West Bengal, where he is seen as a hero amid simmering discontent over supposed hostile behaviour by the Centre.
A fact that is certain is: anyone connected with Subhas Chandra Bose was under intense surveillance from both central and state intelligence agencies even after 1947. They include Bose family members, former members if Netaji’s Indian National Army and even the Chinese community in Kolkata.
Almost all the files declassified Friday contain enough evidences of the surveillance that was carried on till as late as 1968, a good 23 years after Bose’s purported death and 21 years after Independence.
In a revealing letter on March 29, 1968, the police super, CID, SB (Delhi) wrote to the deputy inspector-general of police, IB (West Bengal): “Kindly arrange to supply up to date note on the activities of Shri Amiya Nath Bose giving his personal particulars and political proclivities, if any, for the completion of his office records.”
A potentially crucial file that could have unraveled the mystery behind the disappearance of Bose was destroyed in 1972 when Siddhartha Shankar Ray was the West Bengal CM, the freedomfighter’s grandnephew said.
We (have) found that there was a file which was destroyed in 1972 when Siddhartha Shankar Ray was the CM. The first page contains the file number. We believe this file relates to the disappearance angle of Subhas Chandra Bose. It was destroyed,” Chandra Bose said.
#* Kejriwal, Jung at loggerheads, again
A directive issued by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, which warned Delhi government officials not to follow “illegal” orders, has triggered a fresh round of confrontation between the Centre and the Delhi government. The Delhi Chief Minister, in fact, has now written to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention.
In the order, which was issued by the L-G House on Thursday, Mr. Jung warned senior officers that they would face strict action if they followed the orders of the State government which were declared “null and void” by the Centre.
A day later, Mr. Kejriwal, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Mr. Jung should not have issued a directive, which was creating confusion in the administration at a time when it was battling dengue. Mr. Kejriwal said the issue could be sorted out later once the crisis subsides, and that the Centre and Delhi governments should work closely to deal with the challenge.
The Chief Minister said Mr. Jung, in his order, had stated that the Centre had directed him to issue the directive and that he cautioned officials of cuts in salary and other action if they did not adhere to it.
“I request both the Prime Minister and the Central government with folded hands that, at this time, the people of Delhi are reeling under the menace of dengue, the disease has spread everywhere. The situation this time is worse compared to the last five years,” Mr. Kejriwal wrote.
“If the Centre wants to fight, it can do so two months later, when the crisis will subside. At least for two months, until the time dengue is in Delhi, they should not resort to such things and instead assist the government in fighting dengue. I urge you not to create confusion in the minds of the officers at this point and to let us work together as a team,” Mr. Kejriwal said in his letter.
The Union Home Ministry had earlier declared a number of orders of the State government “null and void”, including the appointment of a commission of inquiry to probe the CNG fitness scam and cancellation of the appointment of the Anti Corruption Branch chief M K Meena.
“Should any officer choose to do so, both disciplinary action for compliance of illegal orders, and recovery of financial loss caused to the government as a result of such action, would follow,” the L-G’s order said. It also said the Centre has taken note of constitutional position on various issues orders like change in the pay structure of DANICS officers and constitution of “so-called Commission of Inquiry” are not as per laid down procedures.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, lashed out at Mr. Kejriwal on Friday for “politicising” the issue of dengue threat and “misleading” people.
The party alleged that the crisis would not have reached such levels had Mr.Kejriwal spent money on raising awareness about the disease instead of self-promotion. “The L-G’s letter asks officials to follow the Constitution, but does it mean that you should not fight against dengue? Why to politicise every issue? He is linking dengue with the L-G’s letter which is misleading. Once again, he is trying to become a victim,” said Sambit Patra, BJP spokesperson.
Mr. Patra blamed the CM for failing to take preventive measures “as he was busy with DUSU polls, rock concerts and publicity drive”.
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said, “Dragging the august office of the PM into the fight against dengue is nothing short of audacity and absolutely uncalled for on the part of the CM.”
Both these issues are specific and limited in nature and have nothing to do with dengue as presumed by the Chief Minister, Mr. Gupta added.
#* ED registers money laundering case against firm allegedly linked to Robert Vadra
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case arising out of a land grab case at Bikaner in Rajasthan involving a firm allegedly linked to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
According to ED, a criminal case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which will soon issue summons and question the accused, including some unknown private entities, involved in it.
According to reports, ED has taken cognizance of the earlier media reports that had referred to a firm linked to Vadra, which had purchased some of these lands.
The agency did not take the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR, but it has named some state government officials and some of the land mafias. Congress General Secretary and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed called it sheer political vendetta. Rajasthan Government in January this year cancelled the mutation or transfer of land of 374.44 hectares after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of illegal private persons.
#* Why a Congress rally aimed at humiliating Modi may end up embarrassing the Gandhis too
When the Congress organised a kisan rally in April at Delhi’s Ramlila Grounds to protest against the National Democratic Alliance government’s decision to dilute the 2013 land acquisition bill, it became an occasion for the warring factions of Haryana Congress to display their differences in public. Those schisms are about to be exposed again this week.
With the Congress planning a second such rally at the same venue on September 20 to congratulate farmers for having successfully forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the land ordinance, the infighting in the party’s Haryana unit is expected to resurface. Nothing has been done over the past five months to put an end to the bitter divide between the rival groups. In fact, the divisions have only become sharper.
Since Haryana is close to Delhi, the state party unit is expected to mobilise the maximum number of participants for any rally organised by the Congress in the capital. As a result, state leaders use these events to display their strength and impress the leadership while putting down their rivals in the party.
This is exactly what happened at the April rally. Not only did former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda transport a large number of farmers, but he also made sure that his supporters sported pink turbans for easy identification.
His rival Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar’s supporters, who had been asked to wear Gandhi caps, were hopelessly outnumbered by Hooda’s followers. Not just that, Hooda’s men kept up an incessant chant in his praise through the proceedings and shouted down Tanwar when he was invited to address the gathering. The two leaders had even held separate meetings to oversee the arrangements for the rally. The Congress leadership did take a dim view of this embarrassing episode then but chose to overlook it.
With Haryana Congress again at the forefront for mobilising farmers for the rally, a repeat of the last incident is not being ruled out. Having been stripped of all positions in the state unit after the party’s disastrous performance in the last Lok Sabha and assembly elections, Hooda is determined not to cede space to his rivals. Hooda has been at war with the new state unit president Tanwar and Congress legislature party leader Kiran Choudhry ever since they were entrusted with their new responsibilities, especially because his supporters were not considered for these key positions.
While tensions between the two groups have been simmering, the battle has further intensified after Congress president Sonia Gandhi recently reconstituted the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee after a gap of nine years.
The jumbo 259-member committee is dominated by Tanwar and Chaudhry’s supporters while Hooda’s camp followers are in a minuscule minority even though the former chief minister maintains he has a big following among the state legislators and party workers.
A furious Hooda has registered a strong protest with the party leadership while his supporters have decided that they will not attend any meeting of the new committee until those leaders who worked against the party in the last assembly elections were removed. A meeting of the new panel, slated for September 2, had to be hurriedly called off following this open revolt.
Tensions in state units
“The composition of the new Haryana committee is a mystery,” remarked a Haryana Congress leader. “Sarpanch-level persons and personal staff members of Hooda’s rivals have found a place in it while senior and experienced workers have been ignored.”
A Hooda supporter maintained it was ironical that on one hand, there were clear efforts to undermine the former chief minister, and on the other hand, the party leadership has turned to him to mobilise the crowds for the September 20 rally. Recognising that he can be depended upon to deliver the crowds, Hooda has also been appointed co-chair of the AK Antony-headed committee overseeing the arrangements for the rally.
The Congress wants an impressive turnout as it wants to use this occasion to send out a message to the electorate in poll-bound Bihar about how it fought and succeeded in protecting the interest of farmers.
While the infighting in Haryana Congress is raging, the party leadership is still grappling with the internal battle in its Punjab unit where former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his supporters are demanding the removal of the pradesh committee president Pratap Singh Bajwa. A series of meetings were recently held to resolve this crisis and, at one stage, it appeared an announcement would be made in a few days.
However, Amarinder Singh’s camp is not happy with the leadership’s proposal to appoint the former chief minister as the head of the campaign committee and Congress general secretary Ambika Soni as Punjab Congress chief. The rebels are insisting that this key post be given to Amarinder Singh or his nominee. Unable to find an amicable solution, party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are still weighing various options.
#* No special concessions for special trains in Bihar: EC tells Railway Ministry
The Election Commission (EC) has warned the Railway Ministry against giving special concessions for special trains being run to and from poll-bound Bihar till the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
The EC was responding to complaints made by the Congress-RJD-JD (U) alliance that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using state machinery to seek political gains in Bihar. The EC has asked the chairman of Railway Board to ensure that no special concessions are allowed for any special train leaving or entering to any station in Bihar without prior permission of it.
It also sought to know why no special permission was taken regarding such movement even after the model code came into force at 2.30 p.m on September 9, when EC had announced the Bihar election schedule. The term of the 243-member Bihar assembly comes to an end on November 29. Polls in the state will begin on October 12 and end on November 5. Counting of votes will take place on November 8.
#* After Aylan Kurdi, another drowned toddler washes up on Turkish beach: Report
Istanbul: A four-year-old Syrian girl`s body washed up on a beach in western Turkey on Friday, state media said, just weeks after images of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi shook the world.
The yet-to-be identified girl was found lifeless on a beach in the Aegean town of Cesme in Izmir province after a boat carrying 15 Syrians to the Greek island of Chios sank, the official Anatolia news agency said.
It said the Turkish coast guard rescued the remaining 14 Syrians, including eight children, from the inflatable boat. The girl appeared to be the only casualty.
Harrowing pictures of three-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose body was found washed up on a Turkish beach after the boat carrying his family to the Greek island of Kos sank, caused an outpouring of emotion around the world, pressuring European leaders to step up their response to the refugee crisis.
But two weeks later EU members are still at odds over how to accommodate the tens of thousands of new arrivals.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Friday that the Turkish coast guard had rescued over 53,000 migrants from stricken boats since the beginning of the year.
He said around 274 migrants have lost their lives in Turkish waters this year seeking to leave the country by sea for Greece.
In the latest tragedy, 22 people who had left Turkey drowned on Tuesday when their wooden boat sank off Kos.
Migrants have in recent days turned to Turkey`s land borders with Greece and Bulgaria to avoid the sea voyage that has cost over 2,600 people their lives in the Mediterranean this year.
Several hundred refugees spent a third day camped in and around the Turkish border city of Edirne, which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Greek border and is being promoted on social media as a safer route out of Turkey than sea journey in overcrowded dinghies.
Under an "open-door" policy championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has taken in 2.2 million Syrian refugees since the conflict in Syria erupted in 2011.
Kurtulmus said Turkey has so far spent almost USD 7 billion (EUR 6 billion) to provide for Syrian refugees.
#* Russia sends fighter jets to Syria, raises possibility of confrontation with US amid talks
Russia has sent fighter jets to Syria, US officials said, raising the stakes in a military buildup that has put Washington on edge and led Friday to the first talks between US and Russian defense chiefs in over a year.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, eyeing the possibility of rival US and Russian air operations in Syria's limited airspace, agreed in a call with his Russian counterpart to explore ways to avoid accidental military interactions.
The coordination necessary to avoid such encounters is known in military parlance as "deconfliction."
"They agreed to further discuss mechanisms for deconfliction in Syria and the counter-ISIL campaign," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said after the call, referring to the campaign by the US and its allies against Islamic State militants.
The former Cold War foes have a common adversary in Islamic State militants in Syria, even as Washington opposes Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, seeing him as a driver in the nation's devastating, four-and-a-half-year civil war.
A senior US defense official, recounting details of the conversation, said Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had described Moscow's activities in Syria as defensive in nature. Shoigu said Russia's military moves "were designed to honor commitments made to the Syrian government," the US official said.
It was unclear, however, what those commitments to Syria are or how Russia's military buildup was relevant to them.
Russia's latest deployment has added significant airpower to a buildup that, according to US estimates, also includes helicopter gunships, artillery and as many 500 Russian naval infantry forces at an airfield near Latakia.
One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four tactical Russian fighter jets were sent to Syria. Another US official declined to offer a number but confirmed the presence of multiple jets. In London, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was looking to find "common ground" with Russia.
Kerry said it was important to forge a political agreement in Syria and end the hardship of Syrian people.
"Everybody is seized by the urgency. We have been all along but the migration levels and continued destruction, the danger of potential augmentation by any unilateral moves puts a high premium on diplomacy at this moment," he said.
Carter told Shoigu that future consultations would run in parallel "with diplomatic talks that would ensure a political transition in Syria," Cook said.
"He noted that defeating (Islamic State militants) and ensuring a political transition are objectives that need to be pursued at the same time," he said. The last time a US defense chief spoke with Shoigu was in August 2014, the Pentagon said, saying high-level communications were halted following Russia's annexation of Crimea and its intervention in Ukraine.
Kiev and the West accuse Moscow of driving a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in east Ukraine, which started shortly after the Crimea annexation. Russia denies this.
#* Burkina Faso: Military takes over after presidential guards detain President, PM
(CNN)Elements of Burkina Faso's military declared they were in control of the nation after presidential guards stormed a Cabinet meeting and seized the President and the Prime Minister -- days before the general elections.
Guards detained interim President Michel Kafando and other government ministers during the raid in the capital Wednesday, the United Nations said.
It's unclear where the guards took the President, Prime Minister Isaac Zida and the other officials.
Hours after their detention, an unidentified military official took to the airwaves Thursday and said the group, now calling itself the National Council for Democracy, "decided to put an end to the deviant transitional regime."
The official announced that the country's new leader would be a former general, Gilbert Diendere. He was an adviser to former President Blaise Compaore, who stepped down under pressure by protesters in 2014 after ruling for 27 years.
The interim government failed to establish a "democracy based on consensus," the military official said on national television.
The official highlighted a series of steps the military is undertaking that include removing the transitional president from office, dissolving the government and forming a broad coalition that will focus on policies that will lead to inclusive elections.
Demonstrators gathered outside the presidential palace in the capital, Ouagadougou, on Thursday in apparent opposition to the takeover.
Soldiers fired guns into the air in an apparent effort to contain the crowd, said Mathatha Tsedu, director of the journalists' trade group South African National Editors Forum, who was in the city for a conference.
The United Nations condemned the leaders' detention.
"This incident is a flagrant violation of Burkina Faso's constitution and transitional charter," U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. "The United Nations stands firmly behind the transitional authorities and President Kafando."
French President Francois Hollande appealed for the release of the leaders and the reinstatement of the transitional authorities.
Days before the raid in Ouagadougou, a commission had recommended the disbanding of the presidential guard unit, which is loyal to Compaore, the former president.
Protesters toppled Compaore last year after he expressed a desire to extend his 27-year rule. He stepped down after days of mass protests and the military briefly took over before Kafando was appointed.
Burkina Faso is scheduled to hold general elections on October 11.
#* Want to know your future? Ask Google. The answer will leave you thinking
New Delhi: Search engine giant Google has launched a fortune telling app that claims to predict your future.
Dubbed Google Fortunetelling-Predict your future, the app lets users to ask any questions that they might have regarding their future.
But the moment a user tries to type something, a series of questions pop up by itself. And when you click on the 'Predict My Future', it directs you to another page.Well don't be stunned. The new initiative is an effort by Google to draw people's attention towards the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe with a message that says:
OF COURSE WE CAN'T PREDICT YOUR FUTURE!
But 60 million refugees ask themselves every day if they have a future at all. So we used a fake Google-site to get your attention because apparently you were interested in your own future. Please take a moment to think of their future. Google further encourages users to spread the word about the initiative.