Jignesh Mevani, 9 others jailed for 3 months in 2017 unlawful rally case

News Network
May 5, 2022

A magisterial court in Mehsana, Gujarat, on Thursday, 5 May, sentenced Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani and nine others to three months' imprisonment for holding a rally from Mehsana in July 2017 without prior police permission. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Reshma Patel was also among those convicted. All the convicts were also fined Rs 1,000 each.

This comes days after an Assam court granted bail to Congress' Mevani in a 'manufactured' assault case. The Gujarat MLA had first been arrested in connection with a case over tweets on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate JA Parmar, who passed the judgment, said, "It is not an offence to hold a rally, but it is an offence to hold a rally without permission," reported The Indian Express. The court further said that "disobedience can never be tolerated."

The court said while pronouncing the judgment that the 10 accused could have challenged the order of the executive magistrate before appropriate higher authorities and then held the rally after receiving due permission.

Mevani and his associates had taken out an 'Azadi Kooch' from Mehsana to Dhanera in the neighbouring district of Banaskantha on 12 July 2017 to mark one year of the public flogging of some Dalits in Una.

Kaushik Parmar, one of Mevani's associates, had sought permission for the rally from the Mehsana executive magistrate under the banner of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch. The permission was initially granted but revoked by the authorities later. However, the rally was still held by the organisers.

After the rally, the Mehsana Police registered a case under Section 143 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for unlawful assembly against Mevani and others as they hadn't been granted permission to hold the march. The police had also submitted a charge sheet against 12 people in the case.

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is now part of the Congress party, had also attended the rally.

The framing of charges by the court had taken place in April 2021. However, Kumar was absent during the same. The court had passed an order to hold a separate trial against him when he appeared before the court.

The trial against the 10 accused began in April 2021. It excluded Kumar and another accused, who had died.

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News Network
June 20,2022

New Delhi, June 20: The Indian Army on Monday issued a notification for the Agniveer recruitment rally and registrations for the recruitment will open from July onwards.

The Army on Sunday released terms and conditions and related details for prospective applicants wanting to join the force under the Agnipath military recruitment scheme despite massive protests across the country to roll back the scheme.

The Centre and security forces have firmly defended Agnipath as a means to reinvigorate the army. The personnel to be recruited under the new scheme will be known as 'Agniveers'.
The Army said 'Agniveers' would form a distinct rank in the Indian Army that will be different from any other existing ranks and they can be posted to any regiment and unit.

It said 'Agniveers' will be barred from disclosing classified information gained during the four-year service period to any unauthorised person or source under the Official Secrets Act, 1923.

"With the introduction of this scheme, the enrolment of soldiers in the regular cadre of the Indian Army, except technical cadres of medical branch, will be available only to those personnel who have completed their engagement period as Agniveer," the Army said.

It said the release of an Agniveer at own request prior to completion of terms of engagement is not permitted.

"However, in most exceptional cases, personnel enrolled under this scheme may be released, if sanctioned by the competent authority," it said.

The Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14, provides for the recruitment of youths between the age bracket of 17-and-half years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. Later the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022.

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News Network
June 27,2022

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New York, Jun 27: A 31-year-old Indian-origin man was shot dead while sitting in a parked SUV down the street from his home in New York, according to media reports, days after an Indian national was killed after sustaining an apparent gunshot wound to his head in Maryland.

Satnam Singh was found sitting in the car at around 3:46 pm on Saturday in the South Ozone Park section of Queens with gunshot wounds in his neck and torso, the New York Post newspaper reported quoting New York Police Department as saying.

Singh was sitting in the black Jeep Wrangler Sahara borrowed from a friend when a gunman approached and started shooting, New York Daily News reported.

Singh was rushed from the scene to Jamaica Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Although police said the gunman approached Singh on foot, neighbours said the shots came from a silver-coloured sedan with a black trunk as it passed the Jeep.

“(Singh) was walking up 129th St. going to the car and the other car with the perp in it came up,” said neighbour Joan Cappellani.

“[It] made a U-turn, came back and then ‘Pow! Pow! Pow!’ and then went down 129th St,” she said.

The shooting was caught on her home’s security cameras, which NYPD personnel are reviewing, she said.

Detectives were trying to determine if the gunman was aiming at Singh or was hoping to kill the SUV’s owner and was unaware who was inside.

No arrests have been made.

This comes days after Indian national Sai Charan from Telangana was found injured with an apparent gunshot wound inside his SUV in Baltimore, Maryland.

The 25-year-old was immediately rushed to a trauma centre, where he was pronounced dead on June 19.

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News Network
June 22,2022

Mumbai, June 22: A Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister, who is among the dissidents led by party leader Eknath Shinde, on Wednesday said they do not have any complaints against the Sena leadership, but they have been upset with the style of function of the NCP and Congress, the other two ruling alliance partners in the state.

The Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis, arrived in Assam's Guwahati city by a chartered flight on Wednesday.

Speaking to a TV channel over phone, Maharashtra minister Sandipan Bhumare, who is among the dissidents, said, "We do not have any complaints against the Shiv Sena leadership. We have raised our complaints with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, that it was getting difficult to work with the NCP and Congress ministers. It was very difficult for us to get our proposals and work requests approved from their ministers.”

To a query, Bhumare said he was given a cabinet portfolio and was satisfied with it. "What else do I need in life. But, as a people's representative, I need to address the grievances of my people. I could not do it properly because of these two alliance partners,” he added.

Meanwhile, another dissident Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsath told a TV channel that 35 party legislators were in Guwahati. "A couple of more MLAs will join us by today evening. We also have the support of three independent MLAs,” he claimed.

Shirsath also targeted state NCP and Congress ministers and claimed their "hostile behaviour" forced the Sena legislators to revolt. 

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