Drop false case against farmers; over 700 farmers already murdered: BJP MP Varun Gandhi taunts PM Modi in open letter

News Network
November 20, 2021

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New Delhi, Nov 20: BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has been increasingly offering views divergent from his party, on Saturday posted online a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, listing four big demands following the centre's surprise cancellation of the controversial farm laws.

Reminding the Prime Minister that over 700 farmers would have still been alive had he taken the decision earlier, the MP demanded ₹ 1 crore compensation for those who died in the course of the year-long protest.

He also demanded that all "all politically motivated false" police cases filed against farmers must be dropped and their calls for widening the programme of guaranteed prices for farm produce known as Minimum Support Price or MSP be accepted, saying their movement wouldn''t end without it.

Mr Gandhi also raised the deaths of protesters in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri last month where a BJP minister's son and aides have been accused of running over a group of farmers, triggering violence and leaving eight people dead.

"I thank you for your large-heartedness in announcing that these three laws will be repealed. More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost," he wrote.

"All politically motivated false FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers during this movement must immediately be quashed," Mr Gandhi said.

"This (farmers') movement will not end without the resolution of this demand and there will be widespread anger amongst them, which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for the farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops. The MSP should also be based on the C2+50% formula of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices," he wrote.

On Lakhimpur Kheri, he wrote, "Many leaders sitting in senior positions have given provocative statements against our agitating farmers. It is the result of such statements and the adversarial atmosphere created around the movement, that on October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri. This heartbreaking incident is a blemish on our democracy. It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the Union Minister who has been connected to this incident, so that there is a fair enquiry."

The sharp critique for the BJP is the latest from Varun Gandhi who was dumped from his party's National Executive after calling for justice for the families of farmers killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri and speaking out in support of other farmers protesting the centre's new laws.

A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family that controls the opposition Congress, Varun Gandhi and his mother joined the BJP in 2004 just months before the party went out of power but are believed to have fallen out of favour with the leadership in recent years.

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News Network
February 17,2024

Udupi, Feb 17: In a shocking incident, a 19-year-old student died by suicide by jumping off a building after going through the question paper during an examination in Manipal town of Udupi district in Karnataka.

The deceased student has been identified as Satyam Suman from Bihar. He was studying in the second year in the MCHP division at Mahe University.

The incident occurred during an ongoing examination in the college on Friday afternoon. 

Satyam had entered the examination hall and appeared visibly tense after receiving the question paper. He was reportedly found using a mobile phone, in violation of examination rules, by an invigilator. Upon being caught, he was asked to leave the examination hall. 

Overwhelmed by distress at being caught, the made the tragic decision to leap from the sixth floor of the college, resulting in his death, sources said. 

A case has been registered with the Manipal police station. However, the police said that the exact reason for the student’s action is yet to be ascertained. “It is unclear whether the victim was struggling with exam fear or was going through any other issue. We have initiated an investigation,” police said.

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News Network
February 16,2024

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Bengaluru: Asserting his government's commitment to implement various irrigation and drinking water projects related to inter-state rivers including Mekedatu over Cauvery, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday in the state Assembly detailed clearances and approvals pending with the Central government.

Presenting the 2024-25 budget in the Assembly, he listed out steps to implement various projects such as Mekedatu, Kalasa-Banduri, Upper Krishna, Upper Bhadra and Yettihanole, among others.

A separate project division and two sub-divisions have already been set up to implement the ambitious Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and drinking water project of Cauvery river valley, Siddaramaiah said, adding that a survey to identify land that will be submerged under this project and the counting process of trees have already been initiated.

He also said action will be taken on priority to commence work early after obtaining remaining necessary clearances from the competent authorities.

The Chief Minister said that the Central Water Commission has given clearance to the Detailed Project Report for utilising 3.9 TMC water under Kalasa-Banduri Nala Diversion Project and the state government has begun the tender process anticipating forest clearance from National Board for Wildlife.

"However, in the meeting of the National Board for Wildlife headed by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the forest clearance has been deferred," he noted.

He also said that priority will be given to land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation as well as to complete sub-schemes under North Karnataka's ambitious Upper Krishna Phase-III Project, and that all necessary legal measures will be taken up along with pursuing the Central government to notify the final award of Krishna Tribunal-II.

Pointing out that the Central Government had announced grants of Rs 5,300 crore for implementation of Upper Bhadra Project in its 2023-24 Budget, Siddaramaiah said that no grant has been released so far.

The previous state government congratulated the Prime Minister in its Budget for declaring Bhadra Project as a National Project, he said.

"However, this has been proved false as the Central Government has not yet declared the project as a national project. Under this project, the State Government is planning to bring about 75,000 acres of land in Chitradurga district under irrigation and pursue with the Central Government to release the grants as announced in its budget to provide benefits to farmers."

To address the problem of reduction in water storage capacity of Tungabhadra reservoir due to silt accumulation, and to also fulfil a long-standing demand of farmers of the area, a detailed project report has been prepared for constructing a balancing reservoir near Navali in Koppal district at a cost of Rs 15,600 crore, Siddaramaiah said.

Consultation with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regarding implementation of the project has been started, he said, adding that priority will be given for execution of the project.

Further, a pre-commissioning test has been conducted by discharging water to a delivery chamber near Doddanagara under Yettihanole Integrated Drinking Water Project, he said. Balancing reservoir work will be taken up in the current year along with completing all the lift components under the scheme as well as discharging water into the gravity canal.

The Chief Minister also said a plan to make Brindavan Gardens at the prestigious Krishnarajasagar dam a world-class tourist attraction will be taken up under public-private partnership.

A scheme will be implemented under public-private partnership for installing solar parks in back waters and lands owned by the Water Resources Department on the lines of Pavagada Solar Parks.

Several lift irrigation projects will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 7,280 crore in the current year. Irrigation potential of 97,698 hectares will be created from these projects.

In the current year, 115 works of lake development, check dam and bridge-cum-barrage at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore will be taken up to ensure adequate supply of water for drinking purposes, agriculture and industry.

The ongoing 272 tank filling scheme under KC Valley-2nd Phase will be completed in the current year at an estimated cost of Rs 455 crore, Siddaramaiah added.

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News Network
February 15,2024

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Rajkot: Sarfaraz Khan made his long awaited debut memorable by smashing a half-century in just 48 balls in Rajkot. His whirlwind knock on debut helped India cross the 300-run mark on the first day of the third Test played between India and England.

Sarfaraz was looking nervous at the start but he got into the grove later and started playing his natural game to attack the bowlers. The right-handed batter completed his half-century in quick time and wrote his name in the record books with such performance.

Yuvraj of Patiala stands atop the list as he completed his fifty in just 42 balls in 1934 against England. Hardik Pandya is the one with whom Sarfaraz shared the second spot as both the batters achieved the milestone in just 48 balls.

Sarfaraz had a memorable debut with a knock of 62 runs from 66 balls. His brilliant knock helped the team get to a decent total.

Tragic run-out 

An incredible innings by Sarfaraz Khan had an anti-climatic end on day one of the third Test between India and England as he was run-out following a terrible mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja.

India captain Rohit Sharma slammed his cap against the door after Sarfaraz Khan was run out following a brilliant 62 on his Test debut against England on Day 1 of the ongoing third game at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday. The incident took place on the fifth ball of the 82nd over. 

Batting on 99, Ravindra Jadeja drove a James Anderson delivery to mid-on, called for a single and took a couple of steps down. However, seeing the ball at Mark Wood’s hands, Jadeja turned the single down with no chance for Sarfaraz to get back. Wood took aim and hit the single stump on view.

Reacting to the dismissal, an angry Rohit was on display soon as he flung his cap in disgust and utters the famous Ben Stokes expletive while taking out his frustration. Sarfaraz took 66 balls for his knock, that included nine fours and one six. 

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