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Punjab CM seeks Presidential assent for Bills on sacrilege

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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah here and sought the intervention of the Centre for getting Presidential assent for two important pending Bills of state stipulating harsher punishment for the perpetrators of heinous crime of sacrilege.

The Chief Minister informed Shah that sacrilege of holy books is a major challenge in the state. He said in this context, it has been felt that the quantum of punishment for sacrilege of holy books as per existing provisions of Sections 295 and 295-A in the Indian Penal Code is too inadequate.

Mann apprised the Home Minister that the state Assembly had passed The Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018, which stipulates punishment up to life imprisonment for injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwatgita, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people.

The Chief Minister said this amendment is in consonance with the principles of secularism enshrined in the Constitution. However, he said these Bills have been pending for assent of the President since October, 2018.

Asserting that Punjab, being a border state, it is necessary to maintain communal harmony, Mann sought the kind intervention of the Union government for getting early Presidential assent for the Bills as rigorous punishment is required to deter criminals trying to disturb communal peace and brotherhood in the state.

Flagging another important issue, the Chief Minister said as per international norms, construction can be made beyond 150 metres of Zero Line but at some places in Punjab, the border security fence is at a large distance away from the Zero Line.

Citing an example, he said “The section from border pillar no. 2/M to border pillar no. 10/12 in AOR 121 Bn BSF Madhopur in the Gurdaspur sector is about four km away from the international border.”

Mann said as a huge chunk of farming land lies between the international border and the existing fence, so a number of farmers, who have to go across the border fence to cultivate land, face a lot of hardships on a daily basis.

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EC’s song ‘Main Bharat Hoon’ to nudge voters for upcoming polls

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The Election Commission (EC) is gearing up for the nine Assembly Elections this year and the Lok Sabha polls early next year with the aim of pushing the voter percentages through innovative communication strategies.

As one of the initiatives, the EC, in collaboration with Subhash Ghai Foundation, produced a song – ‘Main Bharat Hoon, Hum Bharat ke Matdata Hain’, featuring celebrities from different walks of life, appealing to the people to cast their vote.

The song, which was screened in the presence of President Droupadi Murmu on the 13th National Voters Day — January 25, is already beginning to gain traction on social media through celebrities and influencers.

Officials said that within a week since its launch, the Hindi and the multilingual format of the song had already got over 3.5 lakh views and 5.6 lakh impressions on four major social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

The song is one of such initiatives of EC’s ‘Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation’ programme, which is the flagship voter education programme focused on inclusion strategies and action plans for enhancing participation from all categories of voters under EC’s motto of ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’.

The song is aimed not only at educating the voters regarding their rights and responsibility towards strengthening democracy, but also at enthusing them for greater participation in the electoral process.

As per EC officials, the song was finalised after a number of interactions of the team led by Subhash Ghai with the Election Commission led by Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner.

The Chief Election Commissioner said: “The song is dedicated to each voter who takes cognisance of their national duty and casts vote, beating all odds.”

The motivating lyrics of the song are written and composed by the filmmaker, Subhash Ghai, in association with Whistling Woods International School of Music, Mumbai and it is sung in Hindi and 12 regional languages including Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Assamese, Odia, Kashmiri, Santali covering the maximum geographical area.

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Mumbai: Elderly woman killed in Dharavi cloth unit fire

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Mumbai: A 62-year-old woman was killed in a massive fire that engulfed several small garment manufacturing units in Dharavi here on Wednesday, the BMC Disaster Control said.

The blaze was noticed around 1.p.m on Wednesday in four-five cloth producing units and spread quickly to two buildings of two floors standing adjacent to each other, sparking panic in the thickly congested locality.

The woman was trapped in the ground floor bathroom of one of the units and was rushed to the Sion Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The victim has been identified as one Usha Londhe, 62, said the BMC, and more details are awaited.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade is fighting the conflagration which was confined to the electric wiring and installations, bundles of textile garments and machineries.

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Hindenburg report effect: Gautam Adani out of world’s top 10 richest list

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The richest Indian and Asian in the world, billionaire Gautam Adani, has seen his fortune decrease, which has caused him to fall out of the top 10 richest people in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Adani Group lost more than Rs 5,29,865 crore in the last seven days following the publication of Hindenburg Research’s investigative report accusing Adani of brazen fraud and stock manipulation.

The Chairman of the Indian conglomerate Adani Group, Gautam Adani, has a net worth of $84.4 billion, while Jeff Bezos’ net worth increased to $124 billion as of January 31, 2023. 

With $189 billion, Bernard Arnault is still the richest man alive. According to data from Bloomberg, Gautam Adani’s net worth dropped by $8.21 billion in the past day and has lost $36.1 billion overall.

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