IAS officer Niyaz Khan, who tweeted ‘minority community members are not insects, but citizens’, gets notice

News Network
March 23, 2022

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said on Wednesday said that the sate government would issue a notice to IAS officer Niyaz Khan, who had aired his opinion on social media on recently released movie "The Kashmir Files".

In one of the tweets, Mr Khan, who is deputy secretary with the MP Public Works Department, had last week urged makers of "The Kashmir Files" to also make a film on the "killings of large number of Muslims across several states" in India, and said members of this minority community are "not insects, but citizens of the country".

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Mr Mishra said, "I have seen Khan's tweets. This is a serious issue...he is crossing and violating the lakshman rekha (limit) set for (government) officials...the state government will issue a show-cause notice to him and seek his reply." 

Mr Khan had also said that he was planning to write a book highlighting the "massacre of Muslims" so that a movie like "The Kashmir Files" could be produced by someone to bring the "pain and suffering of minorities" before Indians.

Later, had also appealed to "The Kashmir Files" producer to transfer all earnings from the movie for the education of the children of Kashmiri Pandits and construction of homes for them in Kashmir.

After his tweets became viral, the film's director, Vivek Agnihotri, had sought an appointment with Mr Khan for "exchanging ideas".

Later, state Medical Education Minister Sarang had said he was going to write a letter against Khan to the personnel department, alleging that the IAS officer was talking about "firqaparasti" (sectarianism).

Produced by Zee Studios, "The Kashmir Files" selectively exaggerates the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir following systematic killings of people from the community by Pakistan-backed terrorists.

The film, which was released on March 11, has sparked a debate among political parties. Several BJP-ruled states, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka have exempted the film from entertainment tax.

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News Network
September 15,2022

Lucknow, Sept 15: Six men were arrested on Thursday after bodies of two Dalit teenage sisters, hanging from a tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district, drew public outrage. According to sources, the accused have admitted to murdering the girls after rape.

The accused have been identified as Chotu Gautam, Junaid, Sohail, Hafizul, Karimuddin and Arif. SP Lakhimpur Kheri Sanjeev Suman said that Junaid was nabbed after an encounter, where he was shot in his leg.

The main accused, Chotu Gautam, had reportedly introduced the sisters to other three accused. One of the accused wanted to marry one of the sisters, they added. Police, meanwhile, has denied kidnapping theory and said that the sisters went on their own.

Late on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh police revealed that two teenage sisters were found hanging from a tree in a sugarcane field located about a kilometre away from their house in Nighasan police station limits of Lakhimpur Kheri. As soon as the news broke, political reactions began pouring in.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked the Uttar Pradesh government over “increasing" crimes against women in the state and compared the twin deaths with the Hathras gang-rape and murder.

The mother of the two girls alleged that they were murdered and accused three youths from the neighbouring village in Nighasan police station limits of abducting and killing them. Police said their bodies were sent for post-mortem to ascertain the exact cause of deaths.

Meanwhile, villagers held a demonstration at Nighasan Cross to protest the killings. Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Suman and Assistant Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh talked to the irate villagers in a bid to console them, while a heavy police forced was deployed in the village to ensure law and order.

Comparing Wednesday’s case to the Hathras incident, SP president Akhilesh Yadav said in a tweet, “Murder of two Dalit sisters after kidnapping them in Nighasan police station area. Their father’s allegation on the police is very serious that they carried out ‘panchnama’ and post-mortem without the family’s consent. After farmers in Lakhimpur, the killing of Dalits is now a repetition of the murder of ‘Hathras’ daughter’."

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took to Twitter to condemn the incident. “The killings of the two sisters in Lakhimpur is heartbreaking. Family says the girls were abducted in broad daylight. Law and order in the state doesn’t improve by giving false advertisements in newspapers and TV everyday. After all, why are heinous crimes against women increasing in Uttar Pradesh? When will the government wake up?"

A 19-year-old Dalit woman was raped allegedly by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.

The victim was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on September 30. Her family members had alleged that they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. Local police officers, however, said the cremation was carried out “according to the wishes of the family".

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News Network
September 17,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 17: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying eight cheetahs have come and now he should tell why 16 crore jobs weren't created in eight years.

Prime Minister Modi turned 72 on Saturday. It was a busy day for the PM who, among other things, released eight cheetahs brought from Namibia at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh under a landmark project seven decades after the animal was declared extinct in the country.

In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said, "Eight cheetahs have come, now tell why 16 crore jobs didn't come in eight years."

"Yuvaon ki hai lalkar, le kar rahenge rozgaar (It is the cry of the youth that they will have employment)," the former Congress chief said, using the hashtag 'Rashtriya Berozgar Diwas'.

The Congress on Saturday claimed that in view of the "worrying" job situation in the country, the youth are marking the prime minister's birthday as "National Unemployment Day", and demanded that he provide employment to them as promised.

Modi promised to provide two crore jobs annually but instead only seven lakh people have been given employment in the last eight years, it claimed, adding that 22 crore people had applied for jobs. 

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News Network
September 19,2022

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London Sept 19: Britain said farewell to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at a state funeral attended by world leaders, before a historic last ceremonial journey through the streets of London packed with sorrowful mourners.

The funeral brought to an end 11 days of national mourning across the United Kingdom that has seen the personal sorrow of the royal family play out in the glare of intense international attention.

Huge crowds gathered in near silence to watch as the queen's flag-draped coffin, topped with the Imperial State Crown, her orb and sceptre, was carried slowly to a gun carriage from parliament's Westminster Hall where it had lain in state since Wednesday.

To the tune of pipes and drums, the gun carriage -- used at every state funeral since Queen Victoria's in 1901 -- was then drawn by 142 junior enlisted sailors in the Royal Navy to Westminster Abbey.

The thousand-year-old church's tenor bell tolled 96 times at one-minute intervals -- one for every year of her life -- stopping a minute before the service began at 11:00 am (1000 GMT).

In his funeral sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the queen's life of duty and service to the UK and Commonwealth.

"People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer," he told the 2,000 guests, who included US President Joe Biden and Japan's reclusive Emperor Naruhito.

"But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered," the Anglican leader added, before the coffin was borne on another procession towards her final resting place in Windsor Castle, west of London.

The longest-serving monarch in British history died at Balmoral, her Scottish Highland retreat, on September 8 after a year of declining health.

Her eldest son and successor, King Charles III, dressed in ceremonial military uniform, followed the solemn processions, alongside his three siblings.

Charles's eldest son Prince William accompanied them alongside William's estranged brother, Prince Harry, and other senior royals.

William's two eldest children, George and Charlotte, who are next in line to the throne, also walked behind the coffin inside the abbey.

Late Sunday, Charles, 73, and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, said they had been "deeply touched" by the public's flood of messages.

"As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you," he said.

Britain, a country much changed since the queen's coronation in the same abbey in 1953, has dug deep into its centuries of tradition to honour the only monarch that most of its people have ever known.

"It's once in a lifetime," said student Naomi Thompson, 22, camped out in the crowds at London's Hyde Park.

"It's a moment of history... She's everyone's granny," added engineer Alice Garret, 28.

Others unable to be in London gathered in cinemas and churches around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to watch the service and procession on big screens.

Auto engineer Jamie Page, a 41-year-old former soldier, stood on Whitehall to observe the funeral procession, wearing his military medals from service in the Iraq war.

"Sixteen years old, I swore an oath of allegiance to the queen. She's been my boss. She means everything, she was like a gift from God," he said.

But on Charles, the oldest person yet to ascend the British throne, Page added: "Who knows, time will tell."

The funeral lasted just under an hour, brought to an end by a bugler playing "The Last Post", before two minutes of silence and the reworded national anthem, "God Save the King".

After an hour-long procession that was to go past Buckingham Palace, the coffin was to be taken west by road to Windsor Castle, where thousands had lined the route since early morning.

Some 6,000 military personnel have been drafted in to take part in proceedings in what Britain's highest-ranking military officer has called "our last duty for Her Majesty the Queen".

The queen will be buried alongside her father king George VI, her mother queen Elizabeth and sister princess Margaret, reuniting in death the family who once called themselves "us four".

The coffin of her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will also be transferred to lie alongside her.

Elizabeth's funeral could not be more different from Philip's at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in April 2021.

Coronavirus restrictions limited mourners to just 30, led by the queen, a solitary figure in mourning black and a matching facemask.

The contrast was profound on Monday, the abbey packed with dignitaries and some ordinary Britons who were honoured for their military or community service, especially during the Covid pandemic.

"You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years; we all were," Biden said on Sunday after signing a book of condolence. "The world is better for her."

In the abbey pews was Liz Truss, whom the queen appointed as the 15th British prime minister of her reign just two days before her death, in her last major ceremonial duty.

All of Truss's living predecessors were there plus her counterparts and representatives from the 14 Commonwealth countries outside Britain where Charles is also head of state.

Whether they remain constitutional monarchies or become republics is likely to be the defining feature of Charles's reign.

The queen's death has prompted deep reflection about the Britain she reigned over, the legacy of its past, its present state and what the future might hold, as well as the values of lifelong service and duty she came to represent during her 70-year reign.

Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have queued, sometimes for up to 25 hours and overnight, to file past the queen's coffin as it lay in state.

Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the Royal Air Force who joined the marathon queue twice, was the last person through the doors and described the experience as "amazing".

"When they came to me and said, 'right, you're the last person', I said, really?!" she told AFP, before heading off to join the crowds for the coffin's procession through London.

Throughout the procession after the funeral, Big Ben, the giant bell atop the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament, tolled and military guns fired at one-minute intervals.

At Windsor, the Sebastopol Bell -- captured in Crimea in 1856 -- and the Curfew Tower Bell also sounded.

A vast television audience was expected to watch the funeral worldwide and live online, in a sign of the enduring fascination with the woman once described as "the last global monarch".

Those lining the streets of London -- already jammed at sunrise on Monday -- said they had to bear witness.

"I will talk about this moment to my children," said Jack Davies, 14, camped out for the procession with his parents at Hyde Park Corner, where the coffin will be transferred from the gun carriage for the drive to Windsor.

"I'll say: 'I was there!'"

At Windsor, the queen's crown, orb and sceptre will be removed and placed on the altar.

The most senior officer of the royal household, the lord chamberlain, breaks his "wand of office" and places it on the coffin, symbolising the end of her reign.

The lead-lined oak casket, draped with the queen's colours, will be lowered into the Royal Vault as a lone bagpiper plays a lament.

A private interment ceremony will take place at the adjoining King George VI Memorial Chapel at 1830 GMT.

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