Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Monday demanded a judicial inquiry into the police crackdown on people demonstrating against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh. At a press conference in Lucknow, the Congress leader said there was no place for violence, revenge and resentment in India, referring to the Chief Minister Adityanath’s statement that his government would “take revenge” against protestors.
Delhi and its adjoining areas were engulfed in dense fog in the early hours of Monday as severe cold conditions persisted. The bad weather has affected flight operations at Delhi airport while at least 30 trains have been delayed due to poor visibility. The airport authorities have asked passengers to contact their respective airlines for flight updates.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar, whose revolt against his party had precipitated a political crisis in the state last month, took oath as Maharashtra deputy chief minister on Monday as the Uddhav Thackeray-led government expanded the Cabinet. The chief minister’s son Aaditya Thackeray was also sworn in as minister.
Actor Raveena Tandon and filmmaker Farah Khan on Monday said they met and apologised to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Indian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of the Christian community during a comedy show, PTI reported. On Saturday, Khan, Tandon and comedian Bharti Singh were booked by the police in Punjab’s Ferozepur following a complaint.
The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has exonerated two former department heads at the BYL Nair Hospital, seven months after Dr Payal Tadvi – an Adivasi medical student – died by suicide after allegedly facing caste-based discrimination, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
A senior Telangana Congress leader on Monday filed a complaint against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat for saying that his organisation considered “130 crore people of the country as Hindus”, PTI reported.
In Rajasthan’s capital of Jaipur, the mercury dropped to 1 degree Celsius in the early hours of Monday, seven degrees below normal and the lowest in five decades, the India Meteorological Department said. Regional Met director Shiv Ganesh said the low temperature is the result of northerly and north-westerly dry and cold winds, PTI reported. On December 13, 1964, Jaipur’s minimum temperature had settled at zero degrees Celsius, Ganesh added.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Monday lashed out at the Uttar Pradesh Police for cracking down on people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and demanded a judicial inquiry into its “unlawful conduct”, PTI reported.
Congress MP from Kerala TN Prathapan has appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to remove Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat from his post for his comments about ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, The Indian Express reported on Monday. In a letter on Friday, the legislator from Thrissur district accused Rawat of violating the code of conduct for defence personnel.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday continued her protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and said she would not stop till the withdrawal of the legislation. On Friday, the chief minister had said the amended citizenship law would not be implemented in the state as long as she was alive.
The Central Reserve Police Force on Monday said Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s security was not breached during her recent trip to Lucknow, and accused her of violating rules and undertaking “unscheduled movement without intimation”, PTI reported. The paramilitary force provides Z-plus category of security cover to the Congress general secretary.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday urged the Rajasthan government to act with sensitivity after 10 infants died in a hospital in Kota district in a week. At least 77 children have reportedly died in the hospital this month.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar took oath as Maharashtra deputy chief minister on Monday as the Uddhav Thackeray-led government expanded the Cabinet. Pawar’s revolt against his party had precipitated a political crisis in the state last month. The chief minister’s son Aaditya Thackeray was also sworn in as minister.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday took helicopter ride for only 5 km because of ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Sarma had to attend an event to pay tribute to deceased Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rajen Borthakur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a Twitter campaign in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act with the hashtag #IndiaSupportsCAA. The legislation, passed in Parliament on December 11, has triggered protests across the country.
Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon, filmmaker Farah Khan and comedian Bharti Singh have been booked by the police in Ferozepur district of Punjab for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of a community during a comedy show. This is the third complaint against them within a week.
A former police constable was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot anti-citizenship law protestors. Rakesh Tyagi was released on bail later. He was arrested on December 26 from his residence in Uttam Nagar area after a video clip posted by him on social media went viral.
Janata Dal (United) leader and political strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday questioned Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi’s silence over the National Register of Citizens. The National Register of Citizens is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants. It was carried out in Assam earlier this year. Its final list excluded 19 lakh people, or 6% of the state’s population.
Rangolis against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens exercise were drawn in front of several houses across Tamil Nadu on Monday. Some even came up outside the homes of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam patriarch M Karunanidhi, party chief MK Stalin and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi in Chennai.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Sunday said the Centre will not tolerate educational institutions turning into hubs of political activities “at any cost” as protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act continued on campuses across India. “Anyone is free to engage in political activities, but colleges and universities should be kept out of it, as many students come to study from far-off places,” he told reporters in Kolkata. “The Narendra Modi government is not going to tolerate this at any cost.”
The Centre has amended rules to allow the chief of defence staff to serve till the age of 65. The changes have been made in the Army Rules, 1954, according to a notification published by the Defence Ministry on Saturday. According to rules, the service chiefs can serve for a maximum period of three years or till the age of 62, whichever is early. The term of the post has not yet been determined.
The Uttar Pradesh traffic police have fined the owner of the two-wheeler that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra rode in on Saturday Rs 6,100 for flouting rules, The Times of India reported. Vadra and Congress worker Dheeraj Gurjar rode to former Indian Police Service officer SR Darapuri’s residence in Lucknow on Saturday.
The Meerut Police have added the charge of sedition in the first information report filed in connection with the clashes during Citizenship Act protests on December 20, The Indian Express reported on Sunday. This came a day after a senior police officer was caught on camera telling protestors to “go to Pakistan”.
“With respect to the violence by the protesters in Meerut on December 20, several FIRs for alleged rioting have already been filed,” Meerut Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Sahni told The Indian Express. “It has come to our notice that pro-Pak slogans were also raised in Lisari Gate. Keeping that in mind, the section 124 [sedition] of the IPC [Indian Penal Code] has been added in the existing FIR. The section has been added against unknown persons. The next step is to identify the alleged accused and take action accordingly.”
Dense fog engulfed Delhi and its adjoining areas in the early hours of Monday morning as severe cold conditions persisted. The bad weather has affected flight operations at Delhi airport while at least 30 trains have been delayed due to poor visibility.
In its first decision, the Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand on Sunday dropped all cases filed against supporters of the Pathalgadi movement in 2017 and 2018, The Indian Express reported.
The Pathalgadi movement started in 2017, when stone monoliths engraved with provisions of the Indian Constitution began to be installed in the villages of Khunti. The engravings highlighted the special autonomy granted to Adivasi areas under the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Last month, Scroll.in became the first to report that more than 10,000 people in Khunti district were facing sedition charges for erecting the monoliths.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday lashed out at the Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for arresting social activist Sadaf Jafar on several charges, including rioting, attempted murder and assault on public servants, during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Lucknow on December 20.
Jafar, who is also a Congress worker, was the only woman among more than 200 people arrested in the city that day. Last week, a local court rejected her bail application, saying she was facing serious charges.
The number of tourists has massively declined in parts of India that have seen protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Tourism officials estimate that about two lakh domestic and international tourists cancelled or postponed their trip to the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh in the past two weeks. “There has been a 60% decline in visitor footfalls in December this year [compared to December 2018],” said Dinesh Kumar, a police inspector overseeing a special tourist police station near the mausoleum.
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday he would not fill the National Population Register form, Hindustan Times reported. The register is described by the Census of India as “the first step towards the creation of a National Register of Citizens”, which is a proposed exercise to identify undocumented immigrants. On Tuesday, more than Rs 3,900 crore was approved by the Union Cabinet for updating the population register.