Devendra Fadnavis’s chopper crash-lands in Latur; CM tweets ‘I’m safe’

Went to Latur for a statewide campaign to reach out to farmers; chopper developed a technical snag


Breaking News : Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis‘ helicopter crash landed at Nilanga in Latur district on Wednesday after it suffered a snag, but he escaped unhurt.

“Our helicopter did meet with an accident in Latur but me and my team is absolutely safe and ok. Nothing to worry,” Fadnavis tweeted after the mishap.

A senior official of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) said it was an accident and the chopper suffered substantial damage.

Fadnavis had gone to Latur in Marathwada for the BJP’s ‘Shivar Samwad Sabha’, a statewide campaign to reach out to farmers.

“I am safe. There was a minor accident involving the helicopter. People shouldn’t believe in rumours,” Fadnavis later told media persons.

The chopper developed a technical snag while taking off from the helipad at Nilanga where the chief minister had gone for an event.

“Nobody got hurt. My media advisor Ketan Pathak has suffered minor injuries. With the blessings of 11 crore people of Maharashtra, I am safe,” he told reporters at Nilanga. ReadMore…

Caste politics in Saharanpur: As violence escalates, Yogi suspends DM, SSP

The caste violence has led to a political slugfest with chief Mayawati putting the blame on BJP


Fresh violence was witnessed in Saharanpur in which three persons were injured on Wednesday, prompting the government to suspend the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police (SSP). The Divisional Commissioner and the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) were transfered in the wake of the continuing violence in this district of Uttar Pradesh which has been hit by caste-based clashes.

Mobile internet and messaging services were also suspended in the district to prevent rumour mongering. Later on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said strong action is being taken against all those responsible for the violence and appealed for calm.

He said people should not pay heed to inflammatory speeches and should help in maintaining peace and order. Adityanath also met Governer Ram Naik late on Wednesday evening. They are understood to have discussed developments in Saharanpur.

The caste violence has led to a political slugfest with Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati putting the blame on the BJP government and a senior state minister accusing the opposition party of “shedding tears”. Earlier on Wednesday, one Pradeep Chauhan was shot at in Janakpuri area by some motorcycle-borne men, superintendent of police Prabal Pratap Singh said.

Chauhan was rushed to the district hospital, from where he was referred to a speciality centre. Members of the Thakur community protested against the incident outside the district hospital. In another incident, some persons attacked two men while they were sleeping near a brick kiln in Mirzapur village, the police said.

One Nitin was shot at, while another person Yashpal was severely beaten up by the attackers, the police said. They suffered serious injuries and have been admitted to the district hospital. The police, however, said the incident could not be linked to the ongoing caste violence.

On Tuesday, a few unidentified people had set afire 12 houses of Thakurs in Shabbirpur village ahead of the arrival of BSP chief Mayawati. A mob later attacked a group of people returning from a rally of Mayawati, killing one Ashish (24), who hailed from Sarsawa town, on the spot and injuring four others. | READMORE…

Saharanpur protests herald a new phase in Uttar Pradesh’s dalit politics

BJP is making inroads among Dalits but at the same time, Dalits come together when they are attacked

1495424440-0858[People from the Dalit community hold a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday]

Saharanpur, a district known for its woodcraft products in western UP, is in the news for two caste and communal incidents, involving clashes with Dalits. The ongoing Dalit Protest in the district, which has now reached the capital New Delhi, suggests a new phase in Dalit politics in UP, closely related to the declining fortunes of the BSP, and efforts by the BJP to bring the Dalits into the ambit of its more socially inclusive Hindutva strategy.

Dalit politics has been through a number of phases in UP related to the strategies pursued by the BSP and rapid social change in the state in recent decades. In the 1990s the construction of Dalit identity by BSP leaders Kanshiram and Mayawati, promoted a radical, anti-upper caste politics, demanding self-respect and dignity. The BSP was still a movement-party, a democratizing force moving downwards to mobilize the smaller and marginal Dalit sub-castes in the poorer regions of UP.

Also Read : Army says it conducted punitive assaults along Pak LoC, releases video

By the end of the decade two developments introduced significant change: class divisions within the community with rise in literacy and attainment of non-agricultural employment among a small better off section of the Dalits, which coincided with the weakening of identity politics and the return of a desire for development in the state. For the better-off, upwardly mobile, section of Dalits, the improvement of economic status became as important as identity and self-respect and they tended to move away from the BSP, becoming more open to parties that promised economic betterment. This shift has been more marked among the non-Jatav Dalits rather than the Jatavs who form the core constituency of the party.

The second significant change was the attempt in the 2000s by the leadership of a resurgent BJP to widen its social base and incorporate the OBCs and Dalits. While this strategy had begun in the 1990s, under Amit Shah the party began a second round of more strident experimentation with non-Brahmin Hindutva to create a ‘Maha Hindu’ identity which would enable them to both win elections and create a united Hindu force against the Muslim ‘other’. These changes have contributed to fragmentation within the Dalit community, which are visible in Saharanpur. ReadMore

Real ‘Airlift’ hero Matthunny Mathews dies in Kuwait

During the 1990 Gulf war Mathews had helped thousands of Indians to flee the gulf nation


Prominent Indian businessman in Kuwait, Matthunny Mathews, who was instrumental in the safe evacuation of stranded Indians during the Iraqi invasion in 1990, passed away in Kuwait.

81-year-old Mathews, who hailed from Kumbanad in Pathnamthitta district, was ailing for some time and passed away yesterday, media reports here said.

Expressing his condolence, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday that during the 1990 Gulf war Mathews had helped thousands of Indians to flee the gulf nation and his services would always be remembered.

By not taking efforts to save his own life and property, Mathews had done yeoman service to bring his countrymen, who had lost everything in the war, safely back, Vijayan said.

“He provided food and drinking water to the stranded Indians and we remember it with gratitude,” Vijayan said.

The V P Singh government had in 1990 carried out the biggest evacuationduring the gulf war when over 1.50 lakh standard Indians had been safely brought back by flight. At that time Mathews had functioned as the Central Government’s “unofficial representative” in Kuwait to coordinate the evacuation process, the Chief Minister said. Popularly known as ‘Toyota Sunny’, Mathunny Mathews was said to be the inspiration of Akshay Kumar’s character in Bollywood film ‘Airlift’.

“Extremely sad news, was an honour to portray him on screen. Thoughts and prayers with his family”, Akshay Kumar said in a tweet.

Mathews, left for Kuwait 1956 at the age of 20 in search of job. He joined as a typist in the Toyota company and rose to become its Managing Director when he retired in 1989. (readmore…)

Like Kulbhushan Jadhav, Sarabjit could also have been saved, says sister

ICJ stayed the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on Thursday

Farewell function for the retired and retiring Members of Rajya Sabha

“It is a victory of crores of Indians,” said Dalbir Kaur on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday staying the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav ordered by a Pakistan military court.

Kaur is the sister of Sarabjit, who was convicted in a case of alleged spying and carrying out four bomb attacks that killed 14 people in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Faisalabad in 1990.

Who was Sarabjit?

The unfortunate tale of Sarabjit has often been told and retold. His tragic death became all the more famous after a biographical film directed by Omung Kumar was made last year. Actress Aishwarya Rai essayed the role of Singh’s sister, Dalbir Kaur, while, Randeep Hooda and Richa Chada played the roles of Sarbjit Singh and his wife, Sukhpreet, respectively.

Sarabjit Singh was a resident of Bhikhiwind, located along the Indo-Pakistani border in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. In 1990, he was arrested for illegally crossing over to Pakistan. Since then, he spent over 19 years in solitary confinement. On April 26, he was brutally beaten up in a Lahore jail and he succumbed to his injuries in May 2013.


Narendra Modi Vs Manmohan Singh

On Sarabjit’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat had said, “Truth about Sarabjit Singh’s death in Pakistan must come out”.

“Centre is unable to give a strong answer to Pakistan’s inhuman acts”.

Modi, then BJP’s PM candidate, added, “The Indian government had the time to take the Sarabjit issue on the international level. But they left it on the family to fight.”


Voicing his opinion, Dalbir too lashed out at the UPA regime and called for Manmohan Singh’s resignation.

In case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, while the likes of Sitaram Yechury criticised the NDA government for running to ICJ for help, others are mostly pleased. (READMORE…)

After India-Pak face-off, ICJ says ruling on Jadhav ‘as soon as possible’

India has demanded that Pakistan annul Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence

India and Pakistan on Monday clashed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the fate of alleged spy Kulbushan Jadhav with New Delhi invoking the court’s jurisdiction to see that the death sentence against him was annulled immediately.Pakistan rejected the plea on the ground that India had no right to invoke the jurisdiction of the UN’s highest court because the Vienna Convention does not provide for matters relating to spies, terrorists and those who indulge in espionage.

However, Islamabad suffered a jolt when it was not allowed by the court to play the video containing a purported confession by Jadhav, a former navy official, who India says was abducted from Iran and taken to Balochistan.

At the end of the day’s proceedings, ICJ President Ronny Abraham announced that the verdict in the matter would be given “as soon as possible” and the date delivered in a public sitting.

The Indian case was put up strongly by noted lawyer Harish Salve who demanded that Pakistan should annul Jadhav’s death sentence and see that he was not executed as his trial was held under “farcical” circumstances in violation of the Vienna Convention.

“I urge the ICJ to ensure that Jadhav is not executed, Pakistan reports to this court that the action (of not executing him) is taken and that no action is taken that might prejudice the rights of India in the matter of Jadhav,” Salve said in his over 90-minute presentation.

The ICJ had last week “stayed” the execution on a petition by India, which approached the UN court after 46 years on an issue with Pakistan. (READ MORE)

Full text: Govt using CBI to target my son, alleges Chidambaram post raids

Chidambaram alleged that the Modi govt was trying to muzzle his voice


Former Union minister P Chidambaram said that Tuesday’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids at his and his son, Karti Chidambaram’s, residences were an attempt by the Modi government to muzzle his voice.

While no official word has come from the CBI, sources have said that the raids were conducted in connection with the Aircel-Maxis probe, where Chidambaram’s role as then finance minister in granting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to the deal has been called into question. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also searched Chidambaram’s house.

In his official statement regarding the Tuesday morning raids, Chidambaram said that the Modi government was using the CBI and other agencies to target his son. The Congress leader alleged that the government was trying to silence his voice and stop him from writing against its policies and actions.

“FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases,” the statement said, adding, “Every case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIPB consisting of five secretaries to the Government of India.”


Below is the full text of his official statement:
FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases. The five Secretaries who constitute the FIPB, the officials of the FIPB Secretariat and the competent authority in each case are the public officials. There is no allegation against any of them. There is no allegation against me.

Every case was processed according to law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIBP consisting of five Secretaries to the Government of India.

The government, using the CBI and other agencies, is targeting my son and his friends. The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of Opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organizations. All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write. |READMORE…

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