2012 Assam violence :
In July 2012, violence in the Indian state of Assam broke out with riots between indigenous Bodos and Bengali-speaking Muslims.The first incident was reported to have taken place on 20 July 2012. As of 8 August 2012, 77 people had died and over 400,000 people were taking shelter in 270 relief camps, after being displaced from almost 400 villages. Eleven people have been reported missing.
On 27 July 2012, Assam's Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi blamed the UPA led national government for a "delay in army deployment to riot-hit areas". The next day, Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh visited the relief camps in Kokrajhar and called the recent violence a blot on the face of India. Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram visited the state on Monday, 30 July to review the security situation and the relief and rehabilitation measures being taken.
Lok Sabha member from Bodoland, Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary blamed illegal immigration for the violence in the state.The Election Commissioner of India, H.S. Brahma, said that of the 27 districts in Assam, 11 of them will be shown to have a Muslim majority when the 2011 census figures are published. Singh was criticised for not dealing with the flood of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The violence and exodus of thousands of people from Northeast India reportedly led to a series of incessant protests in Assam, at multiple locations, during the months of August–September. The protesters' main demand was expeditious detection and deportation of illegal infiltrators from Assam. On 15 September, at a convention of non-political tribal groups, organisations representing Bodo, Dimasa, Tiwa, Deuri, Karbi, Garo, Rabha, Sonowal Kacharis and other tribal communities decided to form a coordination committee for the cause. The tribal leaders said that illegal immigration has threatened the existence, right to land and resources to all indigenous people of the entire state, and it was not limited to Bodoland alone.
Source : Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Assam_violence
Picture S0urce: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-18964871
Congress led UPA government silently supported illegal Bangadeshi Muslim people to do whatever their wish against tribal people in India. UPA government even stopped all media from telecasting and publishing this Riot news of Assam in 2012.
Assam violence continues, CM blames Centre :
While the death toll in the ethnic violence in Assam went up to 44, the blame game within the political arena was on. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi defended his government against allegations that it was slow to react to the rioting, and failed to anticipate the violence. He said a reduction in Central forces has made his task tougher. Gogoi also ruled out resignation, saying that his resignation over the issue was not going to help matters.
"If they had the intelligence reports, why did they not act on their own then?" Gogoi asked. He further said, "It is my responsibility to get the normalcy back in the area. Had there been full forces there, the situation could have been controlled, I agree. I did not have sufficient forces. I requested the Centre but they had requirements across the country... So I cannot do anything there... It takes time to make movements..."
Gogoi did not spare the Opposition either, saying that the violence flared up in Assam because of the NDA regime. "This situation has flared up because of the NDA regime. They played the politics. I know Advaniji. They are responsible and they keep accusing us. It is not me who is playing votebank politics. I do not need a single vote of the illegal migrants," he said.
"Media keeps asking me if I am resigning. Will my resigning not create chaos?" he asked, adding, "Like that, administration officers will say they are going to resign. Then security officers will also say they want to resign... This cannot go on... That is not the way," he added.In a strong signal to the three-time Chief Minister, the Congress has set up a 10-member coordination committee for the state. Some Congress MPs like Rehman Khan had openly criticised Gogoi, seeking his replacement.
This came even as Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh had defended the Assam Chief Minister saying his performance should not be judged by one incident.The violence, that entered the sixth day on Friday, has left over 2 lakh people homeless in 400 villages. The people were taken to relief camps. Gogoi had visited the relief camps in Kokrajhar on Thursday
Supreme Court cancels all 122 2G licences given by A Raja
Dealing a major blow to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government the Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled all 122 telecom licences allotted under the 2G spectrum on or after January 10, 2008. All additional spectrum given to incumbents on or after January 10, 2008 have also been cancelled.
While cancelling the licences the Supreme Court ruled that 85 out of the 122 licences were outside the eligibility criteria for allocation. The apex court said that the 122 licences for 2G spectrum were granted in an arbitrary and unconstitutional manner.
The licences, which were allotted by former telecom minister A Raja, will be cancelled in four months from now and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) must go in for a fresh issue of licences during this period, the apex court observed.
Coalgate: CAG reports slam UPA government, BJP demands PM's resignation:
Three key CAG reports were tabled in Parliament on Friday indicting the government of causing a combined loss of crores of rupees to the national exchequer.
The much-awaited CAG report on coal block allotment said private firms are likely to gain Rs 1.86 lakh crore from coal blocks that were allocated to them on nomination basis instead of competitive bidding.
The audit report on Delhi airport slams the levy of development fee on passengers and says the civil aviation ministry violated the bid conditions for the benefit of GMR-led DIAL to the tune of over Rs 3,415 crore.
The third CAG report flays post-bid concessions to Reliance Power and says the Anil Ambani-led firm got undue benefit of Rs 29,033 crore when the government allowed use of surplus coal from blocks alloted to Sasan power plant for its other projects.
Reacting to the CAG reports, minister of state in Prime Minister's office V Narayanasamy said that the govt auditor was not following its mandate.
Meanwhile, the BJP demanded resignation of the government alleging that scams in the coal, power and airport sectors had exposed the "loot and plunder" of the country. "
The party sought Prime Minister's resignation as he headed the coal ministry at the time of alleged irregularities.
CAG's coal report
The CAG in its report, tabled in Parliament, names 25 companies including Essar Power, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Tata Power and Jindal Steel and Power which have got the blocks in various states.
"Delay in introduction of the process of competitive bidding has rendered the existing process beneficial to the private companies. Audit has estimated financial gains to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore likely to accrue to private coal block allottees," CAG said in a report on allocation of coal blocks. The CAG said it has arrived at the estimates based on the average cost of production and average sale price of opencast mines of Coal India in the year 2010-11.
"A part of this financial gain could have accrued to the national exchequer by operationalising the decision taken years earlier to introduce competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks," CAG said.
1st coalgate FIR to name fraud firms:
CBI is giving final touches to its first set of FIRs in the coalgate case, based on findings of the preliminary inquiry which reveal that allocations were made arbitrarily without running elementary checks on claims made by applicants.
"Several companies were given coal blocks simply on the basis of their financial status and without evaluating their competence vis-a-vis others to operate a coal mine," said a source familiar with the findings of the preliminary inquiry which will form the basis of the FIR. In some other cases, the allottees have been found to have fudged facts to bag coal blocks."Some of the beneficiaries misrepresented their stage of network preparedness, joint venture group details and other facts," said the source. "Some other companies were given coal blocks even when they had not been recommended by state governments."
The first set of FIRs will be against six private companies under sections for cheating and forgery, and under the Prevention of Corruption Act against unknown officials. Sources added that more than one company could be named in one FIR. Companies under the scanner are from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, said the source.The FIRs will add to the political temperature over coalgate, although government has distanced itself from those who may be accused by the agency of any wrongdoing. Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said on Friday that the minister was responsible only for formulation of policy, and that it is the bureaucrats who carry out the implementation.
CBI has questioned screening committee members, secretaries and several joint secretaries, apart from state officials, to learn about the eligibility of companies which are under the scanner and the selection criteria.The agency has examined allocation of 64 coal blocks for which 1,422 applications were received by the coal ministry between 2006 and 2009. "We have primarily zeroed in on at least 24 companies but major anomalies have been found with 6 to 10," the source said.
"There may be some cases where companies may have provided wrong information. It is also possible that there was shortcoming on part of officials in scrutiny (of applications), wittingly or unwittingly. It is a matter of investigation by CBI... The facts will soon come out," Jaiswal had said at a press conference he addressed last Friday, along with finance minister P Chidambaram and law minister Salman Khurshid, to denounce the government auditor's report on allocation of coal blocks.
Coal scam: CBI registers two new cases against private companies:
CBI on Saturday registered two fresh cases against two private companies in its ongoing probe into the coal block allocation scam and carried out searches at seven locations across the country.
The probe agency has charged Grace Industries and Vikash Metals and Powers Limited for alleged misrepresentation of their net worth and joint venture to illegally get coal blocks, CBI sources said.The sources said raids are being carried out at seven locations in Kolkata, Nagpur, Purulia and few other places.The Managing Directors of these companies and unknown government officials have been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy and under sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.
Earlier, the CBI had registered five cases this month in this connection.The cases were registered against AMR Iron & Steel Private Ltd, JLD Yavatmal Energy Ltd, Navbharat Power Private Limited, Vini Iron & Steel Udyog Ltd and JAS Infrastructure Capital Private Ltd.
Kejriwal accuses Robert Vadra of corruption in land deals:
Days after floating a political party, activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan Friday accused Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, of corruption in property deals and questionable ties to realty major DLF.The Congress termed the allegations "wild" while the BJP demanded a probe.
Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal and his colleague Prashant Bhushan alleged that Vadra bought property in Gurgaon and other places at prices much below market rates and sold them at huge profit."Robert Vadra acquired properties worth hundreds of crores (of rupees) for nothing. What is the source of these funds," asked Kejriwal.He distributed scanned copies of documentary evidence to back his claim and also circulated documents which included the list of 31 properties said to belong to Robert Vadra."This massive property buying spree by the son-in-law of the ruling dynasty in the country gives rise to several important questions," he said.
Kejriwal, who launched his political party last week, alleged that the Haryana government had acquired 350 acres of land in Wazirabad in Gurgaon for public interest but gave it away to DLF for building flats, in which Vadra owns seven flats.Vadra, 43, is married to the Congress president's daughter, Priyanka Gandhi."In the last four years, Robert Vadra has gone on a property buying binge and has purchased at least 31 properties, mostly in and around New Delhi, which even at the time of their purchase were worth several hundred crores (of rupees)," Bhushan alleged.Bhushan said the balance sheets of five companies set up by Vadra and his mother show that the "total share capital of these companies was just Rs.50 lakh".Team Kejriwal also alleged that all the property transactions were done in Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi, which are ruled by Congress governments.Slamming Team Kejirwal for the allegations, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari termed it "political chicanery of the worst kind".Tewari said Kejriwal and his associates were "up to same old tricks on the eve of polls. It is clearly evidence that the so-called civil society that is trying to morph as a political outfit is the B team of the BJP. They are the same side of the coin".
"I don't want to dignify with a response, and dismiss (the charges) with the utter contempt they deserve," said Tewari, adding that Vadra has a "right to private remedy" in case he wants to file a complaint.Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit said the story "had come out in The Economic Times earlier. This is an old strategy of Kejriwal... Vadra had explained the position at the time... He pays his income tax and has a right to live as he wants. It is unfair to drag the Congress into it"."Why should anyone have to answer to anyone about any property they have unless there is anything illegal about it," Dikshit asked, terming the allegations "wild and completely unfair".
Real estate giant DLF declined to comment. Law Minister Salman Khurshid termed Kejriwal's outfit "a party without a cause".He said the attack on private individuals, because of their association with eminent people in the Congress, was in poor taste.Khurshid said the party would reflect on the matter and give a "befitting reply".However, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the country "is entitled to know what is the source of funding of Vadra's ventures"."The BJP demands a proper fair investigation of all these things should be done," said Prasad.He said it should be probed why DLF would "do such charity for Vadra"."It's a quid pro quo. Wherever there were Congress governments, the company (DLF) got land. It is important to tell the nation what business Robert Vadra's company does."In a statement, the Delhi government said it "is not in the business of allotting land to private entities" and described Kajeriwal's allegations as "mischievous and misleading"."The Delhi chief secretary has clarified that the allegation that Delhi Government allotted land to DLF is factually incorrect, mischievous and misleading as alleged by Kejriwal. The allegation is aimed at maligning and vilifying the Delhi Government and has no substance," the statement said
Salman Khurshid's Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust comes under CAG scanner:
The Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG), in its latest report, has pointed out irregularities in the functioning of Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid's trust, sources said on Friday.The development comes as a setback to the minister as he and his wife Louise Khurshid, who happens to be the chief functionary officer of NGO Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, as both of them had vehemently denied any wrongdoing after a Headlines Today-Aaj Tak report highlighted the alleged forgery of Rs.71 lakh, meant for physically challenged people.The CAG report also points out that despite knowing about the alleged malpractices, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment did not hesitate in giving funds to Khurshid's NGO in 2011.The ministry is being audited by the CAG. In the audit it has found that the funds given to the trust did not reach the desired destination. The audit began almost one-month-and-a-half ago and the report would be ready in the next eight months.
Documents procured in course of investigation and a sting operation carried out by Headlines Today-Aaj Tak reporters had revealed that
Swamy to file plea before Election Commission seeking derecognition of Congress:
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy today said that he will be filing a plea before the Election Commission of India seeking derecognition of Congress party for giving an unsecured loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journals.
The Congress admitted on Friday that the party had indeed made "interest-free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to the Indian National Congress". The statement said, "The Indian National Congress has done its duty... to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the law of the land."
Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul) floated a private company Young Indians to acquire a public limited company Associated Journal, which published National Herald, for Rs. 50 lakhs. The company they acquired, he said had property worth Rs. 1600 crore in Delhi.Swamy also alleged that the Congress gave an unsecured loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journals.Congress spokesperson P.C.Chacko on Friday challenged Swamy to prove allegations of wrongdoings against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.He said: "We are now ready, the person (Swamy) who made this allegations should prove it. We have sent a letter from Rahulji's office and that amounts to legal notice."Swamy should have the guts to go to court. This is very strange, he wants us to file case against him...it is insensible. If there is a violation of rules, we challenge him to prove it. There is no commercial transaction here, people are trying to create confusion," he stressed.
Joining Swamy's battle with the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family, the Bharatiya Janata Party launched a blistering attack and demanded a clarification from the Congress regarding the allegations of fraud levelled by Swamy.Addressing a press conference in Shimla, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the Congress leadership must explain the issue, and charged the Congress with violating provisions of the Representation of People's Act.He also highlighted the Associated Journals board document produced by Swamy, which says that AICC gave them an unsecured loan of Rs 90 crores.Jaitley termed it "grossest impropriety besides being a gross illegality. The country expects a fair answer from Congress on Swamy"s allegations." (ANI)
Arvind Kejriwal targets 'blackmoney list', 'govt incapable of bringing it back':
In his fresh expose against the 'corrupt' in the Indian system, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal raked up the issue of blackmoney at a press meet in New Delhi on Friday afternoon.
Kejriwal said HSBC's Geneva branch has accounts of 700 Indians. He said France had given this list to the central government five years ago. The figures are till 2006.
Kejriwal said the names include:
1. Mukesh Ambani – Rs 100 crore.
2. Anil Ambani – Rs 100 crore
3. Motech Software Pvt Ltd (Company has shareholding by Mukesh Ambani`s Reliance) – Rs 2100 crore
4. Reliance Industries – Rs 500 crore
5. Late Sandeep Tandon (former IRS officer)– Rs 125 crore. (Kejriwal said Tandon was close to Mukesh Ambani. His two sons are also in the reliance). His wife Anu Tandon has Rs 125 crores too, Kejriwal said. She is the Congress MP from Congress. Kejriwal also said she is a core group member of Rahul Gandhi)
6. Kokila Dhirubhai Ambani has no money but has an account.
7. Naresh Goyal From Jet Airway- Rs 80 crore
8. Dabur Group - 25 Crore
In his last expose on October 31, Kejriwal had termed RIL's D-6 block in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin deal as a "classic case of crony capitalism" and said both the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Congress-led UPA governments were responsible.
Asserting that the government is succumbing to illegitimate demands of Reliance Industries, Kejriwal had said Mukesh Ambani is running the country and not Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh.He had demanded that Reliance should be stopped from exploiting national wealth and an end should be put to "crony capitalism".
Kejriwal had earlier targetted Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's land deals, the then Law Minister and present External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid of allegedly misusing funds allotted to his NGO and BJP president Nitin Gadkari. Arvind Kejriwal targets HSBC, Ambani brothers
EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE France hands over list of 700 bank accounts in Switzerland
EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE Black money: Rs 565 cr stashed in Geneva accounts, says report
EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE Govt may move against HSBC, Rs 80 cr mopped up
EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE ‘Massive’ collections in Swiss black money probe
(PTI) In his latest round of allegations, Arvind Kejriwal today targeted multinational HSBC Bank accusing it of indulging in money laundering and claimed Ambani brothers, Naresh Goyal and Congress MP Annu Tandon had parked their blackmoney in its Geneva branch.Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal and lawyer Prashant Bhushan alleged around Rs 6,000 crore blackmoney was lying in 700 accounts of the Geneva branch of the bank.They claimed that people who had deposited "small amounts of money" in the bank were raided but "big fish" like Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Naresh Goyal (Jet Airways), Tandon and Burmans (Anand, Pradeep and Ratan) of Dabur were "let off" at the behest of the government. "Who is running the country? It seems that Ambani is running the country," said Kejriwal, pointing out the silence of Singh. He also provided statements of three persons, whose names appeared in the list and questioned by Income Tax officials, in which they have told interrogators that HSBC facilitated them opening accounts without them going to Geneva.
The money was handed to over to an agent here and whenever, they wanted to withdraw they used to contact a person in Geneva and the amount was delivered in India, he alleged."There is no physical transfer of money. This is money laundering. The statements by the three persons reveal that HSBCis openly and brazenly running a hawala racket in India."These statements are enough to arrest HSBC officials. Their operations should be immediately suspended as it is a fit case for charging them under sedition and waging war against India," Kejriwal said.Alleging that only about 125 of the 700 persons named in the list were raided, Kejriwal sought to question the rationale behind the pick and choose policy of the government in excluding the big fish from the raids.
News Source : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/arvind-kejriwal-targets-blackmoney-list-govt-incapable-of-bringing-it-back/1029250/6
Kejriwal said the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had even planned an amnesty for all the 700 Swiss account holders. He also demanded strict action against HSBC bank for encouraging kidnapping, corruption and terrorism in the country."Like America, we should enact a law that makes it mandatory for foreign banks operating in the country to furnish a list of all account holders to the income tax department," he said, asking the thousands of HSBC bank employees to quit their jobs.
Farmers’ protest turns aggressive in Maharashtra:
Seeking better prices for sugarcane, agitating farmers in the state of Maharashtra went on a protest on Wednesday in which the farmers and police had a scuffle with each other that sent shock waves all through Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli districts.
The protesting farmers set a police jeep on fire and also damaged several state-run buses. Police had to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters and also opened fire to restrict the irate mobs in which a farmer was injured after he was hit on the leg in the clash. Earlier on Monday, a farmer was reportedly dead after the police opened fire to contain the agitating protesters said the police.
According to the farmers, they are making a demand of Rs 3,000 for one ton of sugarcane instead of Rs 2,300 which they claim to be too less. The owners of the factory who are said to be the most powerful politicians from the ruling Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), however are not accepting the demand of the farmers.
The protest turned aggressive following the arrest of the Independent MP Raju Shetty, under whom the agitation has been led. Mr Shetty was lodged in the Yerawad central jail in Pune after his refusal to apply for a bail.
In the meantime, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, took a chance using the hot-tempered opportunity by pulling himself into the matter accusing the government of Maharashtra by saying that the farmers’ interests have been ignored as most of the owners of the sugar factory are very close to the ruling party in the state.
Extending his support, social activist Anna Hazare also condemned the act of police firing on the agitating farmers and criticized the state government for being cruel to the farming community.
CBI Director exposes Congress abuse of agency:
Former CBI director US Mishra’s allegation that he faced political pressure during investigation of the disproportionate assets case against then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati is, by itself, nothing startling. Everyone knows that the UPA Government is bartering with SP and BSP. Earlier, on the FDI retail logjam, BSP had bailed the Government out in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. UPA is repaying the debt by ensuring that the Quota Bill gets passed in Parliament.
There is nothing unusual and unprecedented in Mishra’s statement. Similar views have been expressed by another former CBI director Joginder Singh, who was asked to go slow on the Fodder Scam against Lalu Prasad Yadav by then Prime Minister IK Gujral. Singh had declined to oblige saying that he needs that thing in writing. The written statement never came but the CBI chief was transferred soon after.
According to Sunday Guardian, former joint director of CBI NK Singh who arrested Indira Gandhi in 1977 also had to face similar incidents in the past.
Remembering one such incident, NK Singh had said that because of this CBI-Congress nexus, D Sen was given two extensions by Indira Gandhi and he stayed on as CBI director for six years between 1971 and 1976. Later on Shah Commission, which was formed to look into Emergency excesses, slammed D Sen for abusing his power and authority.There is no need to give more examples to prove that the current UPA Government is completely exposed. Congress has always used CBI for their own benefits and to settle scores.
CBI – A Caged Parrot Till UPA Leaves!!
There it comes from the horse’s mouth himself. In a shocking confession to the apex court’s derisive remark, CBI director Ranjit Sinha said ‘whatever the Supreme Court has said is correct’, the Supreme Court on 6th May, while examining the affidavit submitted by the premier investigating agency of the country on coal scam, had mentioned that the Central Bureau of Investigation ‘has become a caged parrot speaking its master’s voice’.
But the callous observations of the highest court of the land, against government officials for vetting the draft status report and suggesting changes in it and against CBI for not following the court’s direction and sharing the report with the political functionary and changing the ‘heart’ of the report at the behest of its political masters, made no difference to the susceptibility of the political executive to use CBI as its handmaiden.
Quite often these days, it is said that the people at the Centre use, abuse and misuse CBI to push away their opponents for their benefit. Well fortunately (for the people of the country) or unfortunately (for the ones who tried protecting the ‘political masters’ but got exposed!!), we did get a true picture of the massive corruption our leaders are involved in and how power and the institution is being used to cover it up! At ‘Your’ Service
As a result of the growing relationship between the bureaucrats, government and CBI we have had several instances of travesty of justice by the CBI working under the UPA regime. The agency has had a record of restricted and politically friendly inquiries. It has now been caught red-handed working at the will of the politically powerful and saving them from being prosecuted. Because of the comfortable relationship that CBI shares with the authorities at the Centre, the Central Bureau of Investigation has had the privilege of acquiring new synonyms like the ‘Compromised Bureau of Investigation’ and the ‘Congress Bachao Institute’.
Regardless of the vastness of corruption that prominent Congress leader Late YSR Reddy was engaged in, the CBI looked the other way around, but when his son Jagan Mohan Reddy parted ways with Congress, CBI was put behind him.
Throwing some more light on this practice of the Congress, to use the CBI at its beck and call, few months ago Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that Congress led UPA government had put CBI behind him, despite the fact that he had saved UPA in times of crisis. This certainly is enough to substantiate the new names awarded to CBI.
To master this practice the Congress again treaded on the same line when DMK withdrew its support from UPA over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s son, M K Stalin’s residence was raided a day after the party withdrew its support.
The compromised position of the CBI got exposed when the “suspects” in the coal scam were given the license of making corrections in the status report. The Law Minister, Ashwini Kumar, whom the Congress defended by saying that he was making grammatical corrections to the CBI’s draft status report, thought that he was at liberty to make alterations to the basic substance of the report as he was a representative of the political sovereign. Confidence at its heights!It is because of this closeness, that the CBI tried shielding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in spite of evidences of his having direct link in the coalgate scam. As expected, he was given a clean chit by the agency. But the fact still remains in the open that he was the coal minister when the coal block allocations were made and unquestionably the allocations could not have been made without his approval. The recent review of the draft status report by the Supreme Court not only makes the Prime Minister’s position untenable but also indefensible! In a bid to get away from Opposition’s sharp attack the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die. To save its own skin the government sacked both the Law Minister Ashwini Kumar and the Railway Minister Pawan Bansal over serious charges against them in coal scam and railway bribery scam respectively. With the Prime Minster asking for their resignation, it has also been exposed that the UPA has been using CBI to protect the head of the government and abusing and misusing the CBI for brazenly saving its ministers.
Gang-rape victim fights on, rage spreads:
The rage spread, rapidly and steadily, through India's national capital Friday as students, activists and just concerned citizens gathered at various places in the city to protest the torture and gang-rape of a young woman, now battling to stay alive in a Delhi hospital.
As the protests literally reached President Pranab Mukherjee's doorstep, with angry demonstrators going right up till the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan and one even managing to enter the complex, Delhi Police finally nabbed the two men who were at large.As the evening set in, hundreds reached 10 Janpath, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's offficial residence, and held candle march and noisy protests. Police erected barricades and stopped anyone from entering her heavily fortified residence.The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, on its part, summoned union Home Secretary R.K. Singh and Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar Dec 27 to discuss atrocities against women and the law and order situation in the national capital.R.K. Singh and Neeraj Kumar later held a press conference and said they will be seeking "maximum punishment" for the accused persons. They said they will seek fast-track and day-to-day trial in the case that has shocked the nation.
But the Delhi High Court said it is not "convinced" with the status report filed by the Delhi Police which did not mention the details of police officials patrolling the area where the woman was gang-raped and tortured in a moving bus.A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: "We have gone through the report and we are not convinced. None of the details of the police officials has been mentioned," said the court expressing its displeasure at the police for not filing the detailed report.Faced with the growing outrage, with protests not just in New Delhi but also elsewhere in the country, Delhi Police arrested two more accused, including one who has claimed that he is a juvenile. The sixth man identified as Akshay Thakur has been arrested from Aurangabad in Bihar.
In scenes unprecedented in the city, multiple protests broke out - at India Gate, Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jantar Mantar and 10 Janpath in the heart of Lutyens Delhi as well as outside Safdarjung Hospital, where the 23-year-old victim of the savage gang-rape fought a valiant battle against her injuries but continued to stay critical.
Rarely, if ever, have so many people taken to the streets in so many different places for a single cause. It was an unstoppable momentum.Demanding justice and fast track courts, many people have rallied in protest in the capital in the five days since the incident Sunday night, when the physiotherapist intern was brutally assaulted and her male friend beaten in a moving bus. Both were stripped and dumped by the roadside near the domestic airport after the nearly 40-minute ordeal.
"Hang me!" So said an accused in the gang-rape of a young woman Wednesday in a Delhi court, which sent him and two others to police remand after all of them admitted their involvement in the crime.
Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, told the court that he had beaten up the gang-rape victim's male friend, but did nothing with the girl and told Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Agarwal: "Hang me!"
The other accused Pawan Gupta and Mukesh, the brother of co-accused bus driver Ram Singh, in whose vehicle the crime took place, were also presented in the Saket court.
The magistrate sent Gupta and Sharma to four days' police custody. Mukesh was sent to Tihar jail on 14 days' custody.Mukesh, after confessing to the crime, agreed to undergo an identification parade. Gupta and Sharma refused to do so.Gupta told the court that he did not want to undergo the identification exercise as he had committed a 'horrible act'.The court said that Mukesh would undergo the identification drill - in which an alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims - on December 20 in jail.
The bus driver, who was Tuesday sent to police remand till December 23, had refused to undergo the identification parade.The Delhi High Court took suo motu notice of the gang-rape incident and remarked: 'Nobody is safe here.' The high court told police to file a report by Friday.The rape and torture occurred Sunday night, when the woman and her male friend boarded a private bus in south Delhi after watching a movie.
Hyderabad blasts: Ammonium Nitrate used in bombs:
A day after two blasts rocked Hyderabad's busy Dilsukh Nagar area, reports indicate ammonium nitrate, a small quantity of explosives and iron nails were used in the bombs.
Initial reports on Friday copper wires used to tie several pieces of the bombs together, which were packed in aluminium containers.It is also speculated a delayed timer was used for detonating the bombs used in the blasts. The delayed timer provides ample time for the bomb-planter to escape after placing the bomb.
Police on Friday gathered vital clues in the devastating bomb attacks in Hyderabad and also announced rewards for anyone providing information about the suspects seen in Dilsukh Nagar where the evening rush hour bombings on Thursday also maimed dozens.Meanwhile, the death toll in the twin bomb blasts that rocked Hyderabad rose to 16 with two more of the injured succumbing to their injuries today while the Crime Investigation Department (CID) began the probe.The toll could mount further as the condition of some of the injured is critical.Intelligence sources on Thursday night said the modus operandi 'bombs on bicycles and choice of locations' pointed to the Indian Mujahideen, an amorphous group suspected to have carried out the May 2008 serial blasts in Jaipur, where too bombs were tied to eight brand-new sports bicycles.
Security sources said they also suspected the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which had promised to retaliate after India hanged Afzal Guru for his involvement in an attack on Parliament in 2001.Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said on Friday India had intelligence agency warnings of a security threat several days before two bombs went off in the city.Two first information reports were registered at Saroornagar police station under the limits of Cyberabad police commissionerate. The case was later handed over to the CID.National Investigation Agency with the help of Central Forensic Science Laboratory and Andhra Pradesh Forensic Science Laboratory gathered clues from the sites of both the explosions.
Police get vital clues
Police on Friday gathered vital clues in the devastating bomb attacks in Hyderabad and also announced rewards for anyone providing information about the suspects seen in Dilsukh Nagar where the evening rush hour bombings on Thursday also maimed dozens.Cyberabad Police Commissioner D. Tirumala Rao asked people for information about a young man seen in the area before the bombs went off.Claiming that police had obtained many clues, Rao said he was confident the case would be cracked. He said investigations were on at a brisk pace.Police are believed to have gathered revealing clues from CCTV footage."I don't think CCTVs have failed. Some images have been captured," Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters after a visit to the scene of attack on Friday evening.Of the three CCTVs in the area, two are believed to have captured some images which may help the police in identifying the terrorists who planted bombs near two cinema theatres.
Kerala - 'Happening' state this week:
Much national news was made in Kerala this week. The case of the diplomatic row over the trial of the two Italian marines accused of shooting dead two fishermen Feb 15, 2012 continues, even as the antics of a loose-tongued chief whip of the Kerala assembly, P.C. George, made headlines.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been on edge this past year, after the killing of the fishermen off the Kerala coast by the marines.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist in the state lost no opportunity to fish in troubled waters over the Italian marines issue, and went so far as to link Congress president Sonia Gandhi to the case, given her country of origin.Till the end of last year, Chandy played safe. He won appreciation for the tough stance he took. When the marines were granted permission to return to Italy for Christmas, many felt Chandy had succumbed to pressure from Delhi. There was apprehension that they would not return, but they were back ahead of the deadline that time.In January, however, the apex court ruled that the marines case would be tried in a special court to be set up in Delhi; the Kerala High Court did not have jurisdiction in the matter. Tongues were set wagging again, and many held that the chief minister's efforts would come to nought. The fears came true -- after the change of government in Italy, the government of that country has now decided not to send the marines back. (The two were allowed to return February to cast their votes and spend time with their families).
"There will be no laxity on our part. We have already told the centre that the marines will have to return to face trial," Chandy said, as the matter became a hugely contentious and completely unprecedented diplomatic row between the two countries.The CPI-M has been using this instance to raise emotions.
"Who does not know that all the players in this case are colluding and the fears that we raised soon after the incident took place are now coming true," said CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.As Chandy entered damage-control mode, flying to Delhi and interacting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, fresh trouble was unleashed back home by chief whip of the assembly George, a veteran six-time Kerala legislator, who alleged that Minister of Forests K.B. Ganesh Kumar was beaten up by his lover's husband.A Malayalam newspaper had earlier reported the incident, without disclosing the minister's name.As the issue hogged headlines in the state, George went a step further and unleashed a diatribe on a TV channel against two top leaders, K.R. Gowri and late T.V. Thomas, married couple that later parted ways over political differences, and both former ministers.This led to widespread protests from both the ruling and opposition legislators.Friday morning, this issue flared up in the Kerala assembly. The entire opposition was up in arms, demanding action against George for his frequent lapses into tactlessness. The uproar in the assembly came just as Finance Minister K.M. Mani was about to present the state budget.
George, however, said it was all because of a mischievous TV channel that had aired what was meant to be a private chat. "If anyone feels hurt, I apologise," he said.
Speaker G. Karthikeyan intervened to assure the house that he would look into the rules and procedures of the house to deal with the issue.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been a legislator for four decades, and realises that some of the pressures he faces comes from running a coalition government. What compounds the problem is the thinness of the majority -- just three legislators separate the rival fronts in the 140 member assembly.
"Those who occupy public positions should be careful when they make statements," remarked Chandy.As a new session of the assembly begins Friday and extends till the second week of next month, Chandy braces for more punches from the opposition.
Haryana IAS officer Khemka transferred again:
Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who had ordered a scrutiny of land deals of UPA chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, was Thursday transferred by the Haryana government to an inconsequential post. Khemka, now managing director of the Haryana Seeds Development Corp (HSDC), will now be secretary of Haryana Archives, which is responsible for preserving public and private records in the state.The latest transfer came after Khemka highlighted irregularities in HSDC, leaving the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government embarrassed.
Khemka has been transferred almost 45 times in his two-decade-long career as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.
He hit national headlines in October last year when he cancelled a mutation of a multi-crore-rupee land deal between Vadra's company Sky Light Hospitality and realty giant DLF.The officer even ordered a probe into all land deals done by Vadra and his companies in Haryana's Gurgaon, Faridabad, Mewat and Palwal districts since 2005.After Khemka's action Oct 8, the Hooda government went into an overdrive to undo it. Within days, the district authorities of four districts gave a "clean chit" to the land deals done by Vadra and his companies.
The Hooda government set up a committee of bureaucrats to look into the action taken by Khemka. The committee held that Khemka's actions as director-general of land consolidation were not in accordance with laid down procedures.Khemka questioned the rationale of the committee in submitting its report without even seeking his views on the action taken in the land deals.An unfazed Khemka also claimed that action taken by him as director general of consolidation could only be reviewed by the high court and the state government did not have the jurisdiction to undo it.Khemka was removed from his post Oct 11 by the Hooda government, which sought to project it as a routine transfer.Vadra and his companies had made land purchases of nearly 170 acres in Gurgaon, Palwal, Mewat and Faridabad districts since 2005.
Rajiv Gandhi middleman for Swedish jets in 1970s: Wikileaks :
Was Rajiv Gandhi a middleman in the 1970s for a Swedish company that was looking to sell fighter jets to the Indian Air Force?
A sensational claim to that extent has been made in a new round of WikiLeaks expose of US diplomatic cables relating to “the Henry Kissinger era”, published in India in collaboration with The Hindu.
One of the stunning cables (read here), sent by the US embassy in New Delhi in October 1975 (when India was under Emergency), records in telegraphic language that: “Swedish Emboff has informed us that main Indian negotiator with Swedes on Viggen at New Delhi end has been Mrs Gandhi’s oler (sic) son, Rajiv Gandhi. Latter’s only association with aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as pilot for Indian Airlines and this is first time we have heard his name as entrepreneur.”The allegation against Rajiv Gandhi as an arms dalal relates to the mid 1970s. Getty Images.This is arguably the most sensational of the claims relating to India in the first tranche of the Kissinger Cables, which The Hindu has begun serialising from Monday.
There is no independent confirmation or denial of the claim that the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son, who was then a pilot with Indian Airlines, did in fact negotiate on behalf of the Swedish company Saab-Scania, which was looking to sell 50 Viggen fighter aircraft to India. The very cable that mentions Rajiv Gandhi as an “entrepreneur” also states explicitly that US officials have “no additional information to either refute or confirm the above information.”In any case, Saab-Scania lost out on the deal, having been forced to withdraw from the “fighter sweepstakes” by the US; the deal was eventually secured the British SEPECAT Jaguar.Nevertheless, the allegation that Rajiv Gandhi, the man who would later become Prime Minister and become embroiled in another scandal relating to another Swedish arms manufacturer in the Bofors howtizer gun deal, may have served as a middlemen of sorts in a fighter jets deal has the potential to send political feathers flying in India.
Nor is this the only suggestion that Rajiv Gandhi was engaged in negotiating on behalf of Saab-Scania. The Hindu report (here) cites another cable from the US embassy in New Delhi from February 1976 (read here), which quotes Swedish embassy officials as waxing eloquent on Rajiv Gandhi’s merits in pushing the dealThe cable notes: “The Swedes here have also made it quite clear they understand the importance of family influences in the final decision in the fighter sweepstakes. Our colleague describes Ranjiv Gandhi (sic.) in flattering terms, and contends his technical expertise is of a high level. This may or may not be. Offhand we would have thought a transport pilot not the best expert to rely upon in evaluating a fighter plan, but then we are speaking of a transport pilot who has another and perhaps more relevant qualification.”The Kissinger Cables relating to India also have other sensational claims, including that at the height of the Emergency, Socialist labour leader George Fernandes, who was then organising a campaign of violent sabotage activities, sought funds from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the French government. (Read The Hindu report here and the US Embassay cable here.)But the bombshell relating to Rajiv Gandhi is arguably the most sensational.
Bomb blast near BJP office in Bangalore, Centre orders probe:
At least 16 people have been injured in a bomb blast near BJP office here in Malleshwaram on Wednesday morning. The injured include 8 cops, according to TV reports.
Investigators probing the blast say that a bomb was fitted on a motorcycle parked near the BJP office.Police sources said the blast occurred in a black Ind Suzuki motorcycle parked next to a Maruti Omni on the pavement diagonally opposite to the BJP office.As the bomb went off in the motorcycle, the Omni and another Santro car parked next to it went up in flames. A Honda Dio and Bajaj Chetak scooters parked to the left of Santro car too caught fire.Two KSRP vans, with policemen, parked near the two scooters also took the brunt of the attack. The front window panes of one of the vehicles was shattered. Initially, the police had suspected that the explosion was due to the blast of a LPG cylinder placed in the boot of a car.However, the city police chief ruled this out after initial inspection.
"It's not a LPG cylinder blast as suspected," Bangalore police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar told reporters after visiting the site.Raghavendra Aurandkar said that police suspect the blast was caused by explosives strapped to a bike, parked near BJP office.However, this can be confirmed only after investigations, he added.The motorcycle used to place explosives was completely destroyed in the explosion.The police have launched a manhunt to trace its owner.The extent of damage suggests that the bomb was strapped to the bike, sources added.Cops are questioning mechanics to find if they fitted anything suspicious on to any bike in the recent past.The police are also focusing on around half-a-dozen phone numbers on which calls were made to and from in the area between 10 and 11 am during which the blast took place.Meanwhile, the Centre has ordered an inquiry into the blast."I have ordered an inquiry. The secretary home department will look into it," Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters in Kolkata.
Railway bribery scam: PK Bansal resigns:
Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal resigned on Friday after a bribery scam involving his family members hit the ministry.Bansal met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the latter's official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence.Bansal's resignation comes after Sonia Gandhi's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Congress President Sonia Gandhi had asked the PM to take a final decision on the ministers. According to news channel CNN-IBN, Sonia Gandhi felt that allegations against the minister's kin may damage party's image and that the damage must be controlled.Congress Party earlier in the day made it clear that 'it is not going to spare anybody mired in corruption'."The Congress is examining the issue very seriously," Congress spokesperson Bhaktcharan Das told reporters here, when asked about the bribery allegations against Bansal.Earlier in a possible sign of things to come, Bansal had skipped a cabinet meeting on Thursday and also did not attend office on Friday.
CBI investigation next?
Bansal is likely to be quizzed soon by the CBI in connection with the alleged Rs 10 crore bribery scandal involving his nephew Vijay Singla and Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar, both of whom reportedly met at his residence. According to a CNN IBN report, although there are no direct evidences of Bansal's direct involvement in the scandal, he may come under scrutiny of the CBI if enough leads are found to warrant his questioning.
The CBI on Thursday had questioned Bansal's private secretary in connection with the alleged Rs. 10 crore bribery scandal that involves minister's nephew V Singla.A Delhi Court had earlier sent five accused, including Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla, to judicial custody till 20 May in connection with the Rs 10 crore railway bribery case.The Special CBI Judge Swarna Kanta Sharma sent Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla, suspended Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar, and three other accused-Singla's close aide Ajay Garg, businessman Sandeep Goyal and Managing Director of GG Tronics India Pvt Ltd, Narain Rao Manjunath-to judicial custody after they were presented in court.The CBI, which moved an application seeking to send them in judicial custody, said the investigation in this case is in progress and it is still at an initial stage.The investigating agency told the court that crucial witnesses are yet to be examined and some documents are to be collected from various departments.The court while accepting the CBI's plea sent all the five accused to judicial custody.Bansal had earlier told the Congress leadership, including the Prime Minister, that he has no business links with his nephew.64-year-old Bansal, who was made Railway Minister in October last year, also sought an expeditious CBI inquiry into the issue."I have always observed highest standard of probity in public life and look forward to an expeditious investigation by CBI in the matter," he said.
Govt says ‘terror' attack after blasts at Mahabodhi Temple:
A series of explosions in and around Buddhism's holiest shrine in Bihar injured two persons early on Sunday, in what the government described as a “terror” attack. The Mahabodhi Temple complex is located in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.
“It is a terror attack ... no outfit has claimed credit for these attacks,” junior home minister RPN Singh told reporters.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and said such attacks on religious places “will never be tolerated”.The explosions, which occurred between 5:30 am and 6 am, injured two persons, Bihar police chief Abhayanand told reporters in Patna.Four blasts occurred inside the Mahabodhi Temple premises, three blasts at Tergar monastery and another near the famous 80-foot Buddha statue, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said, adding a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the explosions.
One blast occurred where a tourist bus was standing, Home Minister Sushil Shinde informed reporters.An eyewitness monk told a TV channel he heard explosions near the Bodhi tree, a sacred fig near the Mahabodhi Temple which is said to be a descendent of the one Buddha sat under for three days and nights in the sixth century BC, before finding enlightenment.“The place where we offer butter lamps, there was one explosion there. The incident occurred behind the Bodhi Tree,” he said
Narendra Modi condemns terror attack on Mahabodhi temple:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi condemned the terror attack on Mahabodhi temple in in Bihar's Bodh Gaya district.
"Cowardly attack on Mahabodhi Temple is a matter of great sadness for the people of India and the Buddhist community around the world," Modi wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.Nine serial explosions rocked the internationally renowned temple town of Bodh Gaya, including four in the Mahabodhi Temple complex, injuring two monks in the blasts.
The Mahabodhi Temple is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Japan and the whole of southeast Asia. A total of 52 countries have established their monasteries here.