BJP finally chooses Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly

News Network
November 17, 2023

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Bengaluru, Nov 17: After more than six months since the assembly elections in Karnataka, the opposition BJP has elected the Leader of the Opposition. R Ashoka, leader of Vokkaliga community, former Deputy Chief Minister, MLA from Padmanabhanagar constituency in Bengaluru, has been given the responsibility of the Leader of Opposition. 

This decision was taken at the BJP Legislature Party Meeting (BJP Meeting) held at the ITC Hotel in Bangalore on Friday evening. Just last week, BY Vijayendra was appointed as the president of the BJP state unit.

High command observers Nirmala Sitharaman and Dushyant Kumar were present in the BLP meeting held at ITC Hotel in Bangalore under the leadership of state BJP unit president Vijayendra. Former CMs BS Yeddyurappa, Basavaraja Bommai, former minister Kota Srinivasa Pujari and state BJP unit organizing secretary Rajesh and others participated.

Dushyant Kumar Gautam and BS Yeddyurappa implicitly mentioned the High Command's instruction regarding the opposition leaders during their speech to the MLAs. Former CM Basavaraja Bommai suggested the announcement of Ashok's name, while former minister Sunil Kumar approved it.

No one is disappointed, Bellad said that the meeting was not boycotted

Responding to the outburst of discontent before the BJP legislative party meeting, Aravind Bellad said that no one was upset, the BLP meeting was not boycotted, observers got a one to one opinion. He said that there are more MLAs from North Karnataka.

Other than them, Bengaluru's Yeshwantpur constituency MLA ST Somasekhar was absent from the legislative party meeting. 

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News Network
February 26,2024

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Bengaluru: A professor of Indian origin at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom who was invited by the Karnataka Government to attend an event here was denied entry when she landed at Bengaluru airport and was then deported, according to her posts on social media platform X. 

Professor Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London, in a series of posts on X claimed she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

There was no immediate comment from the Karnataka government, which had organised a two day 'Constitution and National Unity Convention -2024' on February 24 and 25, to which Kaul was invited as a speaker.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London wrote, “Denied entry to #India for speaking on democratic & constitutional values. I was invited to a conference as esteemed delegate by Govt of #Karnataka (Congress-ruled state) but Centre refused me entry. All my documents were valid & current (UK passport & OCI)."

Kaul claimed that she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Narendra Modi-led Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

“I spent 12 hours in a flight from London to Bangalore, several hours at immig where they shuttled me here & there, provided no info on process, then 24 hours in a holding cell (no BA flight back until next day) under direct cctv w restricted movement, a narrow area to lie down," she said.

“…and no easy access to food and water, made dozens of calls to airport for basic things as a pillow and blanket, which they refused to provide, then 12 hours on the flight back to London," she added. 

Reacting to the development, the Karnataka BJP was quick to label the professor an "anti-India element" and a part of what it called a 'Break India Brigade', criticizing the Karnataka Government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for extending an invitation to Kaul. 

The BJP also went on to label Kaul a "Pakistani sympathiser" and posted headings of a couple of her writings on X. 

The saffron party claimed the Congress government was "threatening the unity & integrity of India" by extending an invitation to the Kashmiri Pandit professor -- who has written and spoken extensively on Kashmir, Bhutan, and other topics.

The BJP used the opportunity to claim that the Congress is "now using Karnataka as its laboratory to prepare the ground for its divisive agendas". "Thanks to our security agencies, one such anti-India element was caught suspiciously entering India and detained at the airport", it further said.  

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News Network
February 22,2024

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The Manipur High Court has deleted a paragraph from its controversial March 27, 2023 order that directed the state government to send a recommendation on Scheduled Tribe status for the Meitei community.

The order had led to massive ethnic violence in Manipur, with the tribal Kuki community opposing the court's direction.

A bench of Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu stated that the judgment was passed in a "misconception of law" as the "petitioners failed to assist the court properly at the time of hearing of the said writ petition due to his misconception of fact and law".

Justice Gaiphulshillu noted that the order was contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision in the State of Maharashtra vs Milind & Ors, in which the top court had observed that courts cannot modify, amend or alter the ST list.

"Accordingly, the direction given at Para No. 17(iii) needs to be deleted and is ordered accordingly for deletion," the High Court directed in its judgment delivered on Wednesday.

The now-deleted para in the judgment stated: "The first respondent shall consider the case of the petitioners for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order in terms of the averments set out in the writ petition and in the line of the order passed in W.P.(C) No. 4281 of 2002 dated 26.05.2003 by the Gauhati High Court."

In October last year, the High Court allowed tribal organisations in Manipur to file an appeal against the March 27 order. Following this, an appeal was moved by All Manipur Tribal Union.

On January 20 this year, the Manipur High Court admitted a review petition seeking to modify its March 27 order and issued notices to the Centre and the state government, seeking their response.

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News Network
February 20,2024

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United Nation's (UN) experts have raised concern over reports of human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza and the occupied West Bank since Israel launched its war on Gaza on October 7.

In a statement on Monday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that it had received information that Palestinian women and girls have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault at the hands of Israeli army officers, reported Al Jazeera.

"We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence," the UN experts said.

The experts also said that the OHCHR has received reports of 'arbitrary execution' of Palestinian women and girls, often with their families.

"We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces", they said.

Israel waged a brutal war on besieged Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 29,092 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 69,028 others.

In the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem too, Israeli forces intensified raids, killing hundreds of Palestinians and detaining thousand others.

UN experts raised alarm over the arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinian women and girls, human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers in Gaza and West Bank.

Many women have reportedly been subjected to inhuman treatment, denied menstrual pads, medicine and food. The OHCHR said that they have also suffered severe beatings and on at least one occasion. Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food.

UN experts noted that photos of the detainees in 'degrading circumstances' were taken by Israeli forces and then posted online.

An unknown number of Palestinian women and children have gone missing since Israel began its war on Gaza, the experts said.

“There are disturbing reports of at least one female infant forcibly transferred by the Israeli army into Israel, and of children being separated from their parents, whose whereabouts remain unknown,” they said.

The experts have called for an 'impartial, independent and effective' investigation into the allegations and for Israel to cooperate.

The experts further expressed, "taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute."

"Those responsible for these apparent crimes must be held accountable and victims and their families are entitled to full redress and justice."

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