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Monday,10-August-2020

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Today is special day, says Amit Shah on Puri Rath Yatra verdict

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As the Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Puri Rath Yatra with conditions and asked the Odisha government and the Centre to work in tandem, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the verdict made the day special for all and the entire nation is delighted by the decision.

His response came after a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde noted that the court is willing to modify its June 18 order which put a stay on the Rath Yatra in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rath Yatra is scheduled on June 23.

“Today is a special day for all of us, particularly our Odia sisters and brothers as well as devotees of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath Ji. The entire nation is delighted by the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court to ensure the Rath Yatra goes on,” Shah said in a series of tweets.

“It makes me, as well as crores of devotees across India happy that PM Narendra Modi not only understood the sentiment of the devotees but also initiated consultations which ensured that the great traditions of our land are observed.”

On Sunday evening, Shah said, he spoke to Gajapati Maharaj — the King of Puri– and Shankaracharya of Puri and sought their views on the Yatra as per the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“This morning, I also spoke to the Solicitor General,” Shah said.

Considering the urgency and importance of the matter, the Home Minister said the matter was placed in front of a vacation bench of the Supreme Court and the hearing took place this afternoon, which paved the way for the important decision by the Supreme Court.

While announcing the decision, Chief Justice said that the Jagannath Temple management committee and state government can conduct the Rath Yatra in accordance with the guidelines and directed that the Yatra would be in a very restricted manner without allowing any congregation.

He noted that the state government has the freedom to stop the Rath Yatra, if it observes a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Puri.

The Odisha government agreed to coordinate with the Centre.

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BJP MP Anil Agarwal urges Modi to table Population Control Bill in Parliament

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi busy working on his mobile phone. (Photo: IANS)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Anil Agarwal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the Population Control Bill in the next session of the Parliament.

In a letter addressed to Modi, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP said “population explosion” needs to be checked, and the only way to make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ or self-reliant to is to introduce the population control law.

“Everyone wants the population control law… be Hindu or Muslim. This law will eliminate most of the country’s problems. China (the world’s most populous country) will soon be left behind by the rate at which the population in India is increasing,” Agarwal told IANS.

“Arable land in the country is also continuously decreasing. If there is no population control law in time, many problems will arise,” the BJP MP said.

The letter addressed to PM Modi reads: “On August 15, 2019, you talked about population control while addressing the country from the Red Fort. The time has now come… I urge you to bring an effective population control bill in the next session of the Parliament.”

Agarwal said Modi stays firm on his promise — whether it is on Triple Talaq, Article 370 or Ram temple.

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Rajnath Singh promised a bang, but ended with whimper: Chidambaram

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Rajnath-Singh

After Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced an import embargo on 101 defence items, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram took a dig at him on Sunday and called his announcement a “whimper”.

“The Defence Minister promised a ‘bang’ on a Sunday morning and ended with a ‘whimper’!” Chidambaram said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath said: “The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The MoD will introduce an import embargo on 101 items beyond the given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.”

Chidambaram pointed out that the only importer of defence equipment in India is the Defence Ministry. “Any import embargo is really an embargo on oneself.”

“What the Defence Minister said in his historic Sunday announcement deserved only an office order from the minister to his secretaries!” he added.

The Congress leader also said that the ‘import embargo’ is “high-sounding jargon”.

“But what it means is we will try to make the same equipment (that we import today) in 2 to 4 years and stop imports thereafter!” the former Finance Minister said.

Rajnath on Sunday announced the ban on import of 101 items to make Indian defence industry self-reliant and boost indigenisation.

The list of 101 embargoed items comprises not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, and radars.

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Mukhtar Ansari’s aide, accomplice shot dead by STF in Lucknow

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Mukhtar Ansari.

A dreaded shooter, said to be a close aide of mafia don turned politician Mukhtar Ansari, was gunned down along with an accomplice by a team of Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on the outskirts of Lucknow on Sunday morning.

Officials said that shooter Rakesh Pandey aka Hanuman Pandey carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head.

STF IG Amitabh Yash said Pandey was gunned down in retaliatory firing when the STF team tried to arrest him after he went to an area falling in Sarojini Nagar police station limits to meet one of his accomplices.

Police said Pandey was involved in a number of murders and shootouts carried out by the Ansari’s gang in the past 23 years. He was also accused of hatching a conspiracy to kill BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, who was shot dead in 2005.

Pandey was, however, acquitted after a trial in a subordinate court.

The police officer said Pandey had at least 10 criminal cases registered against him between 1993 and 2010. He said the criminal was untraceable for the last 10 years or so.

Police was continuously trying to track him down for the past many months, the IG said.

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