Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the manner in which national probe agencies are handling the gold smuggling case, claiming it was not in tune with generally accepted norms, and sought his urgent intervention.
Vijayan, earlier this this month, had hit out against the course of the probe and had said that he will soon write to Modi expressing the state government’s displeasure.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, which came a day after the ruling Left Democratic Front bucked the anti-incumbency trend to retain the edge in the civic polls that it had in 2015, he sought Modi’s intervention to rein in the agencies, which, he said, are going in the wrong direction and have caused lot of heartburn for committed state government officials who feel they are being hunted.
“It now appears these agencies are on a fault-finding mission on a few social projects which will bring solace to the people of Kerala. We have no issues with the probe, but what we oppose is the manner in which it is going forward, as they are crossing all the accepted norms,” Vijayan said.
“The problem is that when such an unprofessional probe takes place, the credibility of these national probe agencies gets seriously eroded and we seek your intervention in this regard,” he added.
“It has also now surfaced that even before the person who is asked to appear before the agency knows it, the media comes to know and it has even come out that statements given by people before magistrates are flashed in the media,” Vijayan said.
“It has been five months this case surfaced and so far there is no clue of who has sent this gold and who was the final recipient. Likewise some accused and suspects continue to be abroad, but no action has been taken… instead what’s happening is that attempts to shame the government are going forward,” he said.
Vijayan, who sought to remind the PM that it was he who had written to him seeking a probe by any national agency when the gold smuggling case surfaced in July, noted that when he came to know that his own secretary had links with the prime accused in the case, he removed the official from his post and subsequently suspended from service.
In the Gulf, workers and diplomats join hands to celebrate India’s Independence Day
Thousands of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) across the Gulf on Monday proudly celebrated India’s Independence Day, amid the unfurling of the tricolour and distribution of sweets.
The commemoration of Independence Day and flag hoisting is customary at Indian missions. However, the display of tricolour has assumed special significance this year as it has docked with the viral ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign.
Numerous patriotic Indian workers engaged at different work sites have celebrated the event by cutting cakes and distributing sweets. In early morning hours several NRIs thronged to Indian missions by leaving their work aside to commemorate Independence Day and singing to the tune of the national anthem.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the largest number of Indian nationals live and work, Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir led the celebrations by hoisting the Indian tricolour at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. He paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi.
Sudhir pointed out that under the visionary leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the tricolour has gained further respect globally. He added: “Today, wearing the tricolour, or flashing the Indian passport, evokes respect for Indians.”
Sudhir read out excerpts from the speech made by Indian President Droupadi Murmu.
The tricolour was also unfurled by the Consul General of India in Dubai by Aman Puri, at the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
The event marked with zeal as part of ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ with a variety of programmes in Dubai despite adverse weather conditions. In the Dubai ‘Marina a Yacht’ that displayed the tricolour was conspicuous. In Sharjah, blue collar workers participated in an exclusive event held by the Indian Association.
In Saudi Arabia, which houses the second highest number of Indians, Indians celebrated Independence Day with enthusiasm and joy, with DCM N. Ram Prasad hoisting the national flag and paying floral tributes to the father of the nation.
The Indian employees working in a key infrastructure project in Ras Al Khair, seashore town, among others celebrated Indian Independence Day by cutting a cake and distributing sweets.
“Though away from home, we took part in ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ ,” said Riyadh-based Ch. Shiva Reddy, hailing from Hyderabad.
In Jeddah, Consul General Md. Shahid Alam hoisted the national flag. Enthusiastic celebrations were also held in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
(Irfan Mohammed is a Jeddah-based journalist. Views expressed are personal and exclusive to India Narrative)
(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)
NSE phone tapping: Delhi HC issues notice to ED on ex-Mumbai top cop’s bail plea
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the bail plea of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey, who was arrested in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to the phone tapping and snooping of the employees of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) between 2009 and 2017.
Hearing the matter, Justice Jasmeet Singh also issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a separate petition moved by Pandey seeking quashing of FIRs against him in offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, and cheating under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), under various provisions of the Information Technology Act, Indian Telegraph Act, and Prevention of Corruption Act.
During the course of the hearing, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared on behalf of the petitioner.
The matter will be heard on September 16.
Pandey was knocking the doors of the high court challenging a trial court’s August 4 order which denied him bail in the money laundering case.
The former top cop who was arrested on July 19 is currently undergoing judicial custody.
According to the CBI, “Pandey ran iSec Securities Pvt Ltd. It has been alleged that NSE’s former CEO and MD Chitra Ramkrishna used this firm to tap the phones of NSE’s employees. The phone calls made by NSE employees between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. were tapped and recorded by iSec Securities. It has been alleged that Pandey helped in tapping the phone calls illegally”.
In the last hearing, Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, who represented the petitioner, argued that his client was in fact a ‘whistleblower’ at the NSE.
Opposing the bail plea, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S.V. Raju and Special Public Prosecutor N.K. Matta, appeared on behalf of the ED, pointed out that Pandey is an influential person.
Ramkrishna is already in the custody of ED in the same case on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.
The case was lodged by the probe agency on the directions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Earlier, the CBI had recorded Pandey’s statement at CBI’s Mumbai-based headquarters.
After questioning, he was allowed to leave.
The CBI had also conducted raids in Mumbai, Pune and in several other parts of the country in connection with the case.
The poet who first called for complete independence, coined ‘Inquilab Zindabad’
Syed Fazal-ul-Hasan, popularly known as Hasrat Mohani was born in 1875 in Mohan, a town in Unnao district of the United Provinces of British India. He proposed complete independence for the first time before the Congress in 1921. He also proposed the abolition of foreign goods, the idea which Gandhiji later developed into a movement.
Hasrat was his pen name under which he wrote Urdu poetry and his last name ‘Mohani’ refers to his birthplace Mohan. Hasrat Mohani received his initial education at home and earned his BA degree from Aligarh in 1903.
In 1904, Hasrat Mohani joined Indian National Congress and joined the national movement. In 1905, he also took part in the Swadeshi Tehreek run by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
He was an active participant in the Khilafat movement of 1919. In 1921, he coined the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad”, and went on to participated in the Ahmedabad session of the Congress in the same year. The phrase “Inquilab Zindabad” was later popularised by Bhagat Singh.
Professor Ajay Tiwari, who retired from Delhi University, said: “Hasrat Mohani had proposed complete independence for the first time in the Congress in 1921, which was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi. The two were friends but there was also an ideological conflict between them. When Mahatma Gandhi started the Khaddar (Khadi) movement, Mohani opposed it. He believed that the indigenous industry would be ruined and the workers would be punished.”
When Mohani proposed to boycott foreign goods, Gandhiji eventually accepted the idea and 10 years later, the Swadeshi movement began. Gandhi mentioned this in his autobiography that due to Mohani’s insistence, he was “compelled”. He wrote: “I was compelled to include the non-cooperation movement in the Swadeshi movement.”
It is said about Hasrat Mohani that, when he went to study in Aligarh, he did not wear the kind of pajamas people there popularly wore, he used to wear a normal kurta and carried a paan daan with him and wrote poetry. The orthodox people of Aligarh were annoyed by his dressing and the way he walked.
Mohani came out with a newspaper (Urdu-e-Mualla) that he used for furthering the cause of freedom. This angered the British who imposed a fine of Rs. 3,000.
When Mohani got his property assessed to pay the fine, his possessions summed up to a value of 50 Rupees. Because of this he went to jail. After being released from jail, he kept writing against the British and was imprisoned repeatedly.
Hasrat Mohani opposed fundamentalists, irrespective of their religion. He was secular and such people were few in the freedom movement. While living in Aligarh, he opposed the ideas of Sir Syed. This was no minor thing.
When the Constituent Assembly of India was formed in 1946, he was elected as a member from the state of Uttar Pradesh. He opposed the partition of India in 1947 and preferred to stay in India.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani died on 13 May 1951 in Lucknow.
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