Mild tremors felt in parts of Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu districts – 3rd time in a month news network
June 28, 2022

Mangaluru, June 28: Once again mild tremors were felt in parts of Kodagu district and Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada district today triggering panic among villagers in the region. 

In this month (June 2022), this is the third time tremors being experienced in Kodagu district and second time in Sullia taluk. 

According to reports, residents in Madikeri, Napoklu, Kukkunda, Kadu, Ballamavati, Dabbadka, Peraje, Karike, Bhagamandala areas of Kodagu felt shaking around 7:45 am on Tuesday. Many residents confirmed that they witnessed shaking of vessels and other things in their houses. 

Many households in Sullia, Sampaje, Goonadka and Guthigar areas also experienced tremors. Many villagers in Sullia taluk had felt similar tremors on June 25 and the intensity of the tremor was 2.7 in Richter scale.

Ananya Vasudev of Kodagu district disaster management authority said that tremor was experienced for five seconds. The issue has been brought to the notice of the KSNDMC.


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News Network
September 8,2023

Bypoll results in seven seats in six states gave the Opposition I.N.D.I.A enough reasons to look at future with more confidence with the bloc overcoming tough battles in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghosi and Jharkhand’s Dumri with ease, while sending signals for a realignment in West Bengal.

The Samajwadi Party retained Ghosi and JMM once again won Dumri where I.N.D.I.A parties stuck to each other, while in West Bengal’s Dhupguri, the Trinamool Congress overcame the challenge by Congress-backed CPI(M) and the BJP, a result which it will use to convince the Congress to leave its alliance with the Left.

The CPI(M) had the worst performance among the I.N.D.I.A partners, losing both Boxanagar and Dhanpur in Tripura to the BJP despite support from the Congress, while it lost Kerala’s Puthupally to the grand old party. In Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar, the BJP retained its seat.

Altogether, BJP won three seats and lost one, Congress retained its Kerala seat, Trinamool added one seat by defeating the BJP, JMM showed it still has the zeal to win, and the Samajwadi Party hung on to its seat despite its sitting MLA shifting loyalties.

The most watched fight was in Ghosi where the I.N.D.I.A alliance was tested with Congress and RLD announcing support to the SP candidate and BSP calling to vote for NOTA.

With its MLA Dara Singh Chouhan resigning and fighting from the BJP, it was a prestige battle for the SP whose candidate Sudhakar Singh extracted revenge by defeating Chouhan by 42,759 votes, binning the saffron party’s gamble. Singh polled 1.24 lakh or 57.19 per cent while Chouhan got 88,688 (37.54 per cent).

Interestingly, the number of NOTA votes was only 1,725, appearing to indicate that a section of BSP voters preferred the SP candidate. In the 2022 polls, BSP polled 54,248 votes.

Dumri saw a tough battle initially but JMM fielded Bebi Devi, the widow of sitting MLA Jagarnath Mahto whose death necessitated the bypolls, getting the better of AJSU’s Yasodha Devi.

The BJP’s calculation was that the coming together of AJSU and the saffron party would help them conquer the seat. One thing that will comfort the combine will be the decrease in margin by half from 34,000 to 17,153 votes.

The Dhupguri victory will be a shot in the arm for the Trinamool Congress as it wrests the seat from the BJP defeating its candidate Tapasi Roy by 4,313 votes. Its candidate bagged 46.28 per cent votes while CPI(M) got 6.52 per cent, a statistic that the Trinamool will surely highlight to the Congress to dump the Left.

In Tripura, BJP won both the seats, wresting one from the Congress-backed CPI(M), which had boycotted the counting alleging wide-scale rigging, and retaining its sitting seat.

BJP's Tafajjal Hossain, the first Muslim MLA for the party, defeated CPI(M)'s Mizan Hossain by 30,237 votes. The BJP nominee bagged 34,146 or 87.97 per cent of the votes in the minority dominated seat while CPI(M) got just 3,909 votes or 10.07 per cent votes.

In Dhanpur where Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik's resignation necessitated the bypoll, BJP's Bindu Debnath won by a margin of 18,871 votes. He bagged 70.35 per cent votes while his CPI(M) rival Kaushik Chanda got 26.12 per cent.
Though Tipra Motha did not announce support for anyone, the meeting of its top leader Pradyot Burman with Home Minister Amit Shah was seen by the Opposition as a tacit understanding.

In Kerala’s Puthupally where Congress and the CPI(M) came face to face, the former’s Chandy Oommen retained his father former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's seat by a record margin of 37,719 seats. Congress in Kerala is projecting a vote against the CPI(M)-led government. BJP's Ligin Lal managed to get only 6,558 votes and lost his deposit.

Uttarakhand Bageshwar was retained by BJP’s Parvati Dass, who defeated Congress’s Basant Kumar by 2,405 votes. Though Congress supported SP in neighbouring Ghosi, SP did not reciprocate it in Bageshwar but could bag only 637 votes.


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News Network
September 21,2023


New Delhi, Sept 21: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the women's reservation bill with near-unanimous backing, setting it on course to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha possibly by Thursday evening.

It was the first time that the women's quota bill, the Constitution (128th Amendment) Bill in Parliament's terminology, had been put to vote in the Lok Sabha and it glided past the 2/3rds bar with a massive 454-2 leap, with only both members of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, who had demanded a quota for Muslim and OBC women within the larger quota, voting against the affirmative action measure, which has been decades in the waiting.

The landslide support came in spite of the opposition failing to secure acceptance of its demands - that it should be implemented immediately rather than by 2029 as the government has proposed, quota for OBCs and Muslims within the general quota, and for clubbing a caste-wise headcount with the decennial census. This showed that the bill is likely to cruise through the RS as well on Thursday, bringing the prospect of enactment of a law reserving one-third seats in Parliament and legislatures tantalisingly close.

Government sources stressed that once the bill was passed by Parliament and got the President's assent, it would automatically apply to all state assemblies without having to secure ratification by them.

Criticism fails to turn into opposition

Parliament has the prerogative to decide the number of seats in state assemblies, which have no role to play in this regard," a senior government functionary said.

PM Narendra Modi, who vigorously pushed for the long-delayed legislation, was jubiliant. "Delighted at the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2023 in Lok Sabha with such phenomenal support. I thank MPs across party lines who voted in support of this bill," he posted on social media site X.

"The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam is a historic legislation which will further boost women's empowerment and will enable even greater participation of women in our political process," he tweeted.

Given the bill's troubled history - it was brought to Parliament five times only to be cast aside in view of resistance which would often take an aggressive turn - its smooth passage came as an anti-climax to many and a pleasant surprise for legions of women activists.

The opposition parties, which unanimously saw the bill as a move timed to coincide with the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, refused to give the government a free pass. Congress and others pressed for immediate rollout. Congress also reversed itself on the issue of "quota within quota". It had refused to concede the demand of OBC parties in 2010, leading to the demise of the bill after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Congress also demanded tagging a caste census with the decennial enumeration exercise, in a marked pivot towards the "social justice" platform.

But the criticism did not translate into opposition, something that appeared to be testimony to the PM's sense of timing as well as the influence that women have begun to wield in many parts.

It was home minister Amit Shah who parried the opposition's insistence on immediate rollout by saying that for anything to be considered, the bill had to go through first. "Yesterday was Shri Ganesh Chaturthi, so let the bill have an auspicious beginning," he said.

A few amendments moved by the government relating to the numbering of the Constitution amendment bill were also cleared by the House. When the proposed legislation goes to the Rajya Sabha for consideration, it will be called the Constitution (106th Amendment) Bill, officials said.


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News Network
September 19,2023


New Delhi, Sept 19: In a major embarrassment to India, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian parliament on Monday that his country’s security agencies had “credible” intelligence that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of India was behind the June 2023 murder of a pro-Khalistan leader in British Columbia, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Trudeau’s charge was followed up by an official announcement from foreign minister Melanie Joly that Canada had expelled a senior Indian diplomat.

“Over the past number of weeks, Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the Government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau told the House of Commons, adding that he raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in “no uncertain terms”.

He asserted that “any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty”.

So far, the Canadian government has not made public any of the evidence it has for its claim of an Indian government hand in Nijjar’s killing.

Joly’s office said that the expelled Indian diplomat is Pavan Kumar Rai, identified by them as the head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, in Canada. A 1997 batch Indian Police Service officer, he was posted to Ottawa as minister (eco, coordination, community affairs) in the Indian high commission.

It is likely that India will also expel a Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said it rejected the allegations made by Canada’s prime minister and foreign minister. “Allegations of Government of India’s involvement in any act of violence in Canada are absurd and motivated,” the statement said.

The statement also confirmed Trudeau’s claim that he had brought up this allegation with Modi. “Similar allegations were made by the Canadian Prime Minister to our Prime Minister, and were completely rejected,” MEA’s statement said.
India also alleged that Canada had sympathised with Khalistani terrorists and was trying to deflect from the real issue with these allegations. “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The inaction of the Canadian Government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern,” the statement reads. “That Canadian political figures have openly expressed sympathy for such elements remains a matter of deep concern.”

India’s statement 

CBC News reported that Trudeau had already briefed “the leaders of some of Canada’s closest allies about the case, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden.”

Joly also stated that she will be raising the assassination issue with her G7 counterparts at the United Nations in New York on Monday evening.

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US is “deeply concerned” about Canada’s allegations. “We remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners. It is critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” Watson said.

Before the Ministry of External Affairs’ public statement, the Globe and Mail reported that the Indian government had denied all responsibility for Nijjar’s shooting and was insisting that pro-Khalistan activists in Canada had misled Canadian investigators. The newspaper said it had learned of this Indian response from sources that it was unable to identify “as they could face prosecution under the Security of Information Act” for discussing the issue.

Earlier in June, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who headed the pro-Khalistan outfits Khalistan Tiger Force and the Canadian arm of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), was shot dead at a parking lot of a gurdwara in Surrey, Canada. He was wanted for the shooting of a priest in Punjab and was the third pro-Khalistan activist to die abroad in a month and half. Immediately after his death, his supporters had claimed that the Indian government was behind the killing.

Relations between India and Canada have been tense over the activities of pro-Khalistian groups in Canada and Ottawa’s perception that New Delhi was interfering in its internal affairs. The meeting between Trudeau and Modi last week at the G20 was visibly frosty, going by the scowls on display during the photo-op and the divergent statements each side issued.

This is the first time in recent memory that any foreign government, barring Pakistan, has directly accused New Delhi of being involved in an act of violence on their territory, let alone a murder.

At the same time, allegations that Indian security forces and intelligence agents have acted abroad in contravention of international law have been made recently in two high profile cases. 
The first concerned the capture and rendition of Sheikha Latifa, daughter of the ruler of Dubai, by Indian special forces on the high seas off Goa in March 2018, and the second the attempted abduction of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in Antigua in May 2021.

Trudeau’s appeal

Government sources cited by the Globe and Mail newspaper in Canada privately ruled out the severing of diplomatic relations with India but said Ottawa was considering measures to respond to what it considers a serious violation of Canadian sovereignty.

Trudeau also told Canadian MPs that India was urged “to get to the bottom of the matter” when top Canada’s intelligence and security officials “declared [their]–  deep concerns” to New Delhi.

“I also expect it (India) to reiterate that its position on extra-judicial operations in another country is clearly and unequivocally in line with international law,” he said. “It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open, and democratic societies conduct themselves.”

Trudeau told parliament that he had already briefed Canada’s opposition leaders about the Indian government’s involvement. The opposition in Canada has stood by the Canadian government in its stance.

“These allegations, if true, are an outrageous violation of Canada’s sovereignty. More disturbing is that this was perpetrated by another democracy,” shadow foreign affairs minister Michael Chong said.

“If these allegations are true, they represent an outrageous affront to Canada, to Canada’s sovereignty. Our citizens must be safe from extrajudicial killings of all kinds, most of all, from foreign governments,” Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre was quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying.  “Canadians deserve to be protected on Canadian soil. We call on the Indian government to act with utmost transparency as authorities investigate this murder, because the truth must come out.” “Let us lock arms and join hands in condemning this murder, standing with the family and the friends of this victim. Let’s put aside our difference to stand up for the rule of law. One law for all our people,” CBC reported him saying.

New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh reacted to Trudeau’s disclosure by saying the Modi government has pursued “division, violence, persecution” and was “attacking those who are critical” of it.

Canada’s public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc announced that David Vigneault, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and Trudeau’s national security adviser, Jody Thomas, had also recently visited India several times to discuss the assassination.

The Canadian prime minister was in India for the G-20 summit, during which he had short and tense meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was the only leader who didn’t attend the official banquet hosted by the Indian president on Saturday evening.

During the meeting on Sunday (September 10), the Indian readout said that Modi raised “strong concerns” over the activities of pro-Khalistan extremist groups. Trudeau told reporters that he had raised the issue of “foreign interference” with the Indian leader.

Earlier this month, the Indian ambassador to Canada had revealed that Ottawa had sought a pause “within the last month” on negotiation for a free trade agreement, but had refused to give any reasons.

Last week, Canada postponed a pre-scheduled trade mission which was to be led by Minister Mary Ng for five days from October 9 in Mumbai. There was no official explanation given for the postponement.

Quoting a Canadian government source, CBC reports that Trudeau’s NSA, who was in Delhi for the G20, “quietly” flew to London instead of Ottawa where she “informed the UK government that Canada’s relations with India were about to get worse now that Canada had credible evidence linking India’s government to Nijjar’s death, the source said.”

India has summoned the Canadian high commissioner at least twice this year to protest the activities of Khalistan activists in Canada. In March, India protested the “actions of separatist and extremist elements against our diplomatic Mission and Consulates in Canada” after rallies organised by them. In July, the Ministry of External Affairs again summoned the Canadian high commissioner over the issue of pro-Khalistan posters – bearing photos of Indian diplomats – that accused the Indian government of being behind the killing of H Nijjar.


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