Naroda Patiya riot case: Gujarat HC acquits ex-BJP minister Maya Kodnani

The conviction of Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi who had also moved the court challenging the previous ruling, was upheld

Gujarat High Court on Friday acquitted former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case in which 97 Muslims were killed following the Godhra riots.

Maya Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment.

However, the conviction of Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi who had also moved the court challenging the previous ruling, was upheld. He was sentenced to life imprisonment till death.

A division bench of the court comprising justice Harsha Devani and justice A. S. Supehiya concluded the hearing and reserved the order in the case last August.

In 2012, a special court for Special Investigation Team (SIT) cases had sentenced 32 people to life imprisonment.

Apart from this, seven accused were given enhanced life imprisonment of 21 years and the remaining were given simple life imprisonment for 14 years.

All the convicts had appealed against their conviction in the High Court.

Around 58 people lost their lives when the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was allegedly torched at the Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002.

Following the incident, on February 28, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal declared Gujarat Bandh. A total of 97 people were killed by rioters in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya area on this day.

Unnao rape case: BJP MLA Sengar killed my father, says victim; 10 updates

The BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar rejected the charge as a conspiracy by criminals

BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar

Atul Singh, the brother of a rape-accused BJP MLA, was arrested in Unnao on Tuesday. According to a police spokesperson, a crime branch team arrested Atul Singh Sengar, on the directions of the state police chief. An 18-year-old girl alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brothers. On Monday, her father died in custody in Unnao. The postmortem report, according to the police states the rape-victim’s father died of “shock and septicemia”. The girl on the other hand says her father was brutally beaten up by the BJP lawmaker’s brother while lodged in while Uttar Pradesh police custody.

The BJP lawmaker rejected the charge as a conspiracy by his opponents. He further said that the complainant belonged to a “low class”. “They are low-status people (“nimn star ke log hain”)… This is a conspiracy by criminals,” Sengar told reporters.

The woman’s father, aged around 50, was rushed to a hospital from the district jail late Sunday night. He died during treatment on 9 April, officials said. He was arrested on 5 April under the Arms Act, they added. Four accused – Sonu, Baua, Vinit and Shailu – named in the FIR registered on April 4 for beating up Pappu had been arrested. The complaint was lodged by Asha Singh wife of Surendra Singh alias Pappu. He was arrested on April 5 under the Arms Act after he was allegedly beaten up by Anil Singh, the MLA’s brother.

Here are the top 10 developments surrounding the Unnao rape case:

1. BJP MLA’s brother arrested: Atul Singh, the brother of a rape-accused BJP MLA, was arrested in Unnao on Tuesday, police said. According to a police spokesperson, a crime branch team arrested Atul Singh Sengar, on the directions of the state police chief.

2. Complainant belonged to a ‘low class’, says BJP MLA: BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar rejected the rape charge as a conspiracy by his opponents. He further said that the complainant belonged to a “low class”. “They are low-status people (“nimn star ke log hain”)… This is a conspiracy by criminals,” Sengar told reporters.

3. Want BJP MLA to be hanged till death, says alleged rape victim: “Kuldeep Singh (Sengar) isn’t being arrested. I don’t know if his brother is arrested. I demand that they be hanged till death. They’ve made my life miserable. I want justice. They killed my father”, says 18-year-old girl who was allegedly gangraped by the BJP lawmaker and his brother.

ALSO READ: SIT to probe all allegations in Unnao rape case

4. Accused BJP MLA refuses to resign: Bhartiya Janata Party Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar refused to resign from his post following the allegations of rape against him. Speaking to the media, Sengar said, “If somebody’s name crops up into some issue does not mean that he shall resign”. He further went on to dismiss the entire incident by saying that the allegations are completely wrong.

5. Rape victim’s father died of shock, says postmortem: Postmortem report states ’cause of death shock and septicemia due to peritonitis and ascending colon perforation’, says Anand Kumar, ADG Law and Order.

Chief Medical Officer of Unnao, SP Chaudhary said, “When the patient was brought here his intestine had been damaged and hence he contacted an infection, as a result he went into shock and later passed away”.

6. ‘Man died of vomiting and abdominal pain’: Earlier the police claimed that the girl’s father died of abdominal pain. “The man was admitted to the hospital last night after he complained of abdominal pain and vomiting. He passed away in the early morning hours,” Dr Atul, District hospital of Unnao said about the father of the alleged rape victim.

ALSO READ: Unnao rape case: Accused BJP MLA’s brother arrested in UP; top developments

7. ‘Victim’s father killed by police’: Surendra Singh, whose daughter accused BJP legislator from Unnao Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping her, was picked up by police late on Sunday and was apparently beaten mercilessly by four aides of the legislator as well as police personnel. An official said the man had serious injuries on his body and was not taken to a hospital till late in the night. A doctor at the district hospital, where he was eventually taken, told the media that he was brought with serious abdominal pain and vomiting.

The 18-year-old girl claimed that her father sustained multiple injuries after he was beaten up by the BJP MLA’s brother and some of his accomplices a few days ago. The victim’s family further alleged that the MLA’s brother had thrashed the woman’s father on April 3 for refusing to withdraw the FIR, but the police booked the father instead and locked him up.

Click here to read → Unnao rape case

Babri demolition, 25 years on: BJP’s transition from Ram to reform to Ram

BJP’s political narrative has been re-defined after 2014, with a new Hindutva mascot

babri masjid, ayodhya

Today’s Paper : The year was 1989. The first general election in which the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) manifesto explicitly talked about reconstructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya. “By not allowing the rebuilding of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, on the lines of Somnath Mandir built by the Government of India in 1948, it has allowed tensions to rise, and gravely strained social harmony,” the party’s manifesto that year stated.

The year 1989 was in many ways the BJP’s chance at redemption after its predecessor Bharatiya Jana Sangh got its first shot of power along with its socialist allies after Emergency. In 1984, the party had managed to win just two seats in the parliamentary elections. The Congress, riding high on a sympathy wave following Indira Gandhi’s assassination, swept the country by winning 404 out of the 533 seats.

So, BJP’s redemption song in 1989 was going to be the Ram Mandir. With mandir on its mind, the BJP won 85 seats, and so began the party’s push for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, with none other than L K Advani leading the charge with his Rath Yatra.

The VP Singh-led National Front government that tried to throw a spanner in Advani’s Rath Yatra was derailed after the BJP withdrew support following Advani’s arrest at Samastipur in Bihar while galvanising foot soldiers for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The BJP’s egression from the National Front government set the stage for yet another election in 1991. The 1991 elections, widely dubbed as the Mandir vs Mandal elections, was perhaps when the Ram temple pitch in the BJP reached a crescendo.

Yes, 1989 was the year when Mandir found a mention in BJP’s manifesto for the first time. But its decibel still hadn’t reached the feverish pitch that came in 1991. The BJP’s electoral push was largely powered by the ammunition it had against the then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi. And Gandhi had given his principal opposition quite a few of them – Bofors, India’s humiliation in Sri Lanka and economic regression, among other things. The BJP minced no words while describing him in the run-up to the 1989 elections in its manifesto, “Everything Rajiv Gandhi touches ends up in a bloody mess. A man who waded to his office through the blood-soaked streets of Delhi will be leaving behind a gory legacy. This country is not safe in the hands of such a man or such a party.”

Click here to read → Babri Masjid Demolition


Prices of subsidised LPG zoom 16 per cent since Modi took charge

Global crude oil prices have slumped by 49 per cent during the same period

LPG prices slumped by 49%

Today’s Paper : The prices of subsidised cooking gas zoomed by 16 per cent, from Rs 414 per cylinder when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in May 2014 to Rs 479.77 in August 2017, despite global crude oil prices dipping by about 49 per cent.

The Narendra Modi-led government had stormed to power in 2014 on the back of serious corruption charges against the Congress-led regime and the rise in prices of commodities like cooking gas, against which the BJP had raised its voice. Interestingly, the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was revised 22 times by oil marketing companies (OMCs) like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) since May 2014, when the BJP government took charge.

However, on the back of a 49 per cent drop in international crude prices, from $102.71 a barrel on May 30, 2014, to $52.16 (Brent crude) on August 3, 2017, prices of non-subsidised cylinders dipped 44 per cent, from Rs 928.50 per cylinder in May 2014 to Rs 524 in August 2017.

Also, in an effort to reduce the subsidy burden or to completely do away with the subsidy, OMCs are authorised to increase prices of subsidised domestic LPG cylinders by Rs 4 per month till March 2018. “The government stands committed and will continue to provide subsidy assistance to the needy and poor households,” said an official close to the development. | Readmore…

Lalu calls for ‘Desh bachao, BJP bhagao’ rally; urges Sharad to join fight

News has come from various mediums of Sharad Yadav being unhappy with what Nitish Kumar has done

Lalu Yadav

Today’s Paper : The Congress Party on Monday welcomed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s intention to invite Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) co- founder and leader Sharad Yadav to take part in the fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“News has come from various mediums of Sharad Yadav being unhappy with what Nitish Kumar has done. Any self-respected person would be unhappy with the same. Lalu Yadav’s statement is worth welcoming. If he (Lalu) has plans to unite different forces against BJP, which has a communal mentality and plays divisive politics then are is welcoming,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI.

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal spoke on the same lines, opining that it looked as if there was an attempt by the JD (U) to vanish Sharad Yadav’s existence.

The RJD supremo further said that they are going to launch “Desh bachao, BJP bhagao” movement. | READMORE…

Kapil Mishra vs AAP: Money laundering allegations fly thick and fast

Mishra accused Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of money laundering using hawala channel


Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra’s indefinite fast against the AAP on Saturday saw high drama with a ruling party legislator attempting a counter fast outside the former’s house, but was detained by police.

Sanjeev Jha, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator from Burari, attempted to hold a counter hunger strike outside Mishra’s Civil Lines house to demand that he present proof of his bribery allegations against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Jha was detained by the police, who said the legislator did not have the requisite permission.

Mishra, who began his hunger strike on Wednesday, accused Kejriwal of using Jha as a pawn to disrupt his agitation. He insisted that he will present proof of his allegations only to investigative agencies.

He is on fast demanding that Kejriwal reveal the source of funding of the foreign trips of five AAP leaders – Sanjay Singh, Ashish Khetan, Satyendar Jain, Raghav Chadhha and Durgesh Pathak – in the last two years.

“I would like to advise Jha against sitting on a hunger strike as he is being used as a pawn,” said Mishra, and alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will resort to “new drama” to distract attention from the “foreign trips controversy”.

“They must know that I will handover the evidence only to investigative agencies. But Kejriwal wants that I hand them over to the ‘thief’ who then will judge himself and then proclaim himself to be innocent (referring to Kejriwal). That is not going to happen,” he asserted.

AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia dubbed Mishra’s hunger strike as “BJP facilitated”.

Mishra declared that Kejriwal’s attempts to foil his “Satyagraha” will not be successful.

Mishra alleged that the Chief Minister has asked “at least 20” MLAs to launch hunger strikes to counter him “but only one (Jha) was willing”.

He said that Jha should be provided security, alleging that there could be an attack on Jha to portray Mishra in bad light. | READMORE…

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After Adityanath’s slaughter house ban, women police battalions for UP?

Yogi Adityanath has made BJP’s Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra the state’s Magna Carta

Swearing-in of UP Chief Minister

With Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath handing over the BJP manifesto (Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra) to bureaucrats to be implemented over the next five years, there may be many more surprises in store in the times to come.One of the first things his government did after being sworn in was to declare a ban illegal slaughter houses.

One of the other things in the BJP’s manifesto that was handed over to the state’s top bureaucrats is a proposal to raise women police battalions across the state. These women battalions are to be christened as Jhalkari Bai battalion, Uda Devi battalion and Avanti Bai battalion. All three women soldiers were part of separate rebellions against the British empire in what is called the Great Indian Revolt of 1857.

Hindi poet Srikrishna Sarala describes Jhalkari Devi in Volume 1 of his five-volume series chronicling Indian revolutionaries between 1751 to 1961 as the soldier who fought disguised as Lakshmibai, the queen of Jhansi against the British. Raising these three battalions named after Dalit women soldiers would also signal an acknowledgment to the Dalit community in the state. All three women soldiers were Dalits.

Mutiny at the Margins: New Perspectives in the Indian Uprising of 1857 edited by Crispin Bates from the University of Edinburg captures the narrative around these Dalit women warriors of the time. The book notes, “In many popular Dalit histories viranganas (women warriors) are reinvented as part of a movement to define Dalit identities. Thus, women like Jhalkari Bai of the Kori caste, Uda Devi a pasi, Avanti Bai a lodhi, Mahabiri Bibi a bhangi and Asha Devi a gurjari, all stated to be involved in the revolt of 1857 have become the symbols of bravery of particular Dalit castes and ultimately of all Dalits.”(read more…)