Delhi court grants bail to climate activist Disha Ravi in toolkit case

Agencies
February 23, 2021

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New Delhi, Feb 23: A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested in connection with the toolkit case.

The Delhi Police had accused Ravi of creating the online toolkit - a Google document - in support of ongoing farmers' protest in the country and claimed she is part of global conspiracy to create unrest and trigger violence in the guise of farmers' stir against the three agriculture laws.

On Monday, she was sent to one-day police custody after a three-day judicial remand and spending five days in police custody. Ravi was arrested on February 13.

The police sought her custody again yesterday saying they want to confront Ravi with other accused in the case - activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk. She was brought to the Delhi Police Cyber Cell for the same earlier on Tuesday.

Both Muluk and Jacob were booked for alleged sedition along with Ravi, but got transit bail from Bombay High Court. They were both on Monday questioned at the Delhi Police's Cyber cell office in Dwarka, a senior police officer said. The probe agency said that they may arrest Jacob and Muluk as well in the future if there is a requirement.

Ravi was volunteering for Fridays for Future (FFF) India, an organisation founded by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, and used to help with the organisation's event management work in Bengaluru. The contentious toolkit was first shared by Thunberg on Twitter but later deleted. However, the teen activist extended support to Ravi and tweeted, "Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy." The tweet was posted with the hashtag 'StandWithDishaRavi'.

Meanwhile, Muluk on Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail. His application is likely to come up for hearing Wednesday before Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana.

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News Network
September 14,2022

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Panjim, Sept 14: Eight Congress MLAs in Goa joined the BJP on Wednesday, according to reliable reports.

"We have joined BJP to strengthen the hands of PM Modi and CM Pramod Sawant... 'Congress chhodo, BJP ko jodo'," said former Congress MLA Michael Lobo. 

Those who joined the BJP include Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, Delilah Lobo, Rajesh Phaldesai, Kedar Naik, Sankalp Amonkar, Aleixo Sequeira and Rudolf Fernandes. 

In the 40-member Goa Assembly, the Congress had 11 legislators and the BJP has 20. With the recent development, Congress's strength in Goa Assembly has now been reduced to 3. 

This year's election in the coastal state was a tight contest between the BJP and Congress. The saffron party contested on all 40 seats while the Congress was in alliance with the Goa Forward Party (GFP).

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News Network
September 23,2022

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 23: A Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus was vandalised as sporadic incidents of violence were reported in various parts of Kerala as the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) was underway in the southern state on Friday.

In Thiruvananthapuram, one auto-rickshaw and a car were damaged allegedly by people supporting the state-wise bandh.

The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the NIA and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country, a charge rubbished by the outfit as a blatant lie. 

Local media reported that a petrol bomb was hurled at a vehicle which was carrying newspapers for distribution at Narayanpara in Kannur in the morning. In Alappuzha, KSRTC buses, a tanker lorry and some other vehicles got damaged in the stone pelting allegedly by those supporting the hartal call.

A 15-year-old girl and an auto-rickshaw driver suffered minor injuries in the stone pelting allegedly by PFI activists in Kozhikode and Kannur respectively. Meanwhile, Kerala police beefed up security in the state and issued directions to the district police chiefs to ensure law and order after the PFI called for a day-long state-wide hartal.

A statement issued by the police said stern action will be taken against those who violate the law. "All the policemen in the state will be deployed for the maintenance of law and order," the statement said. The PFI on Thursday had said a hartal will be observed in the state today "against the RSS-controlled fascist government's attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies".

The hartal would be held from 6 am to 6 pm, A Abdul Sathar, state general secretary, PFI, had said in the statement.

On Thursday, PFI workers had taken out marches to the places where raids were carried out and raised slogans against the Centre and its investigating agencies. However, central forces were already deployed in all such places as part of strengthening security. Multi-agency teams spearheaded by the NIA had arrested 106 functionaries of the PFI on Thursday in near-simultaneous raids at 93 locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Kerala, where PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests, officials said. PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national chairman O M A Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, former chairman E Abubacker and others were among those arrested. 

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News Network
September 16,2022

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Kasaragod, Sep 16: Seeking to guard his children from stray dogs, a man carries an air-gun while escorting young ones to their school in Kasaragod, the northernmost district of Kerala.

Amid reports of increasing stray dog menace across the State, the video of an armed Sameer escorting a group of children to school has gone viral on social media.

He could be seen walking in front of the children with the gun and saying he will shoot any stray dog if it attacks.

He later told a television channel that it was his responsibility as a father to ensure the protection of his children.

Sameer pointed out that he was forced to carry the gun as his own children and those of his neighbours stopped going to school for fear of stray dogs, which has been an issue in the area for some time.

“A madrasa student was bitten by a stray dog the other day. So, all the children here were scared to go out and walk to the madrasa. So, I decided to give them security,” he said, adding that his son shot the video and posted it on the social media.

A native of Bakel here said no licence is needed to carry an air-gun.

“I’m not afraid of legal action, as I don’t kill any dog. But if any dog attacks, I will have to shoot it for self-protection,” the man added.

When contacted, police said they were aware of the incident but no complaint has been received in this regard so far.

Of late, the State has been seeing a rise in attacks by strays. The Kerala High Court had then intervened to issue a slew of directions for proper implementation of Animal Birth Control (ABC) measures and vaccination of dogs.

Despite that, it had to intervene this time as well to remind the State of its obligation to protect the citizens and to caution the general public against taking law into their hands.

Amid mounting criticism of the government’s inability to control canine population or instil confidence regarding efficacy of the anti-rabies vaccine, the State government and its various authorities have initiated steps to address the menace on a war-footing.

In an effort to allay public fears, the government announced measures including a State-wide mass vaccination campaign from September 20 to October 20 for vaccinating stray and pet dogs and opening more Animal Birth Control centres.

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