MP found dead as violence intensifies in Sri Lanka – Here’re latest developments

News Network
May 9, 2022

srilanka.jpg

Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as his loyalists went on rampage today, injuring more than 100 anti-government protesters in Colombo. A ruling party MP was killed in the clashes, many were hospitalised.

Here are the latest developments:

>> MP Amarakeerthi Athukorala opened fire and critically wounded two people blocking his car in Nittambuwa, and was later found dead after trying to take refuge in a nearby building, officers said. Athukorala, an MP from the Polonnaruwa district, was surrounded by anti-government groups at the north western town of Nittambuwa, the police said. The protesters said the bullets were fired from his SUV first. Following this, when the angry mobs toppled the car, he fled and took refuge in a building and committed suicide by pulling his own revolver, the people said.  Later, the lawmaker and his personal security officer were found dead, the police said.

>> Mr Rajapaksa, 76, had sent his letter of resignation to his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, clearing the way for a "new unity government".

>> "I am resigning with immediate effect so that you will be able to appoint an all-party government to guide the country out of the current economic crisis," the Prime Minister said in the letter, reported news agency AFP.

>> The cabinet now stands dissolved. The largest opposition party has refused to join any government headed by a member of the Rajapaksa clan.

>> The biggest clashes since the economic crisis hit the island nation started this morning when supporters of the Rajapaksa family went on the rampage.

>> The loyalists had attacked unarmed protesters camping outside the President's office in downtown Colombo since April 9.

>> In a first, the riot squad was called in to reinforce the police. Earlier, soldiers were pressed into service to protect deliveries of fuel and other essentials but never to prevent clashes.

>> At least 100 injured people have been hospitalised, police sources have said.

>> The police fired tear gas shells and water cannon and declared an immediate curfew in Colombo, which was later widened to span the country of 22 millon people.

>> Sri Lanka has suffered months of blackouts and dire shortages of food, fuel and medicines in its worst economic crisis since independence, sparking weeks of overwhelmingly peaceful anti-government demonstrations. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
June 21,2022

 

thakrey.jpg

Mumbai: Maharashtra Minister and top Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde has reportedly moved to a hotel in Gujarat's Surat with 11 other party MLAs, setting off alarm bells in the Uddhav Thackeray government.

Latest developments 

>> Targeting the BJP, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said there is a conspiracy to topple the Uddhav Thackeray government in the "same pattern as in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan". "Shiv Sena is a party of loyalists. We won't let that happen," he said. 

>> Sources say Mr Shinde, who is reportedly upset, is "unreachable". Palghar MLA Srinivas Vanga, Aligarh legislator Mahendra Dalvi and Bhiwandi Rural Shantaram More are also "unreachable", it is learnt.

>> Opposition BJP's sources have claimed that besides the 12 MLAs from Sena, there are five Independent MLAs at the Surat hotel too.

>> This comes hours after the Maha Vikas Aghadi ruling alliance and the BJP won five seats each in the Legislative Assembly elections. Opposition BJP won all five seats it contested. Congress candidate Chandrakant Handore lost in a setback for the ruling alliance. 

>> Mr Shinde, it is learnt, may address the media at noon. The situation may turn into a major crisis for the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.

>> A prominent Sena leader in Thane, Mr Shinde has played a key role in strengthening the organisation in the region. His son, Dr Shrikant Shinde, is Sena's Member of Parliament from Kalyan.

>> Seen as a mass leader, Mr Shinde was named Leader of the Opposition in 2014 after the Shiv Sena parted ways with the BJP. When the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was formed, he was appointed cabinet minister for Urban Development and Public Works (Public Undertakings).

>> Of late, there have been reports that Mr Shinde is upset with the leadership and has been feeling sidelined.

>> Former Sena leader Narayan Rane, who is now with the BJP, had a cheeky response. "No comments should be made on such things, else what is the point of being unreachable," he said.

>> Mahesh Tapase, spokesperson for the Nationalist Congress Party, said that the future of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is "absolutely safe".

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
June 17,2022

Secunderabad, June 17: One person has died and over 15 have been injured in Telangana's Secunderabad as violent protests against the new military recruitment policy, Agnipath, spread to the southern state after entering the third consecutive day in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. Protests have also been reported in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

Telangana police resorted to aerial firing to disperse the angry crowd at the Secunderabad railway station as protests escalated into large-scale violence and arson, news agency PTI reported.

Protestors are demonstrating on railway tracks and have halted all train movement for the last three hours. Security forces are outnumbered as the railway station has been overrun by angry youth, who have already set three trains on fire.

Suman Kumar Sharma, an AC Power Car mechanic, narrated the horrifying scenes while the trains were being vandalised. He said there were around 5,000 people at the station and around 40 of them entered the train he was in. 

"They tried setting fire in the coach. They desperately tried to set fire to the power car, but we saved it. The passenger's things have been left behind and broken. Two gates were open, so we let the passengers go from one side. We told them, that the Railway Protection Force will keep them safe. We took the passengers out from here," he said.

Elderly people were also terrified. Some have left behind suitcases, spectacles, Aadhaar cards, and half-eaten packets of mixture strewn around inside the train, he added.

The railways are diverting trains so that they don't go through the Secunderabad station. The disruption began at 9 am when over 350 protestors took over the railway station. 

East Coast Express, Rajkot Express, and Ajanta Express were set on fire by violent mobs. 71 trains - 65 from Hyderabad Multi-Modal Transport System and six express - have been cancelled so far.

In Bihar, where the protests entered the third day, the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked as the new recruitment scheme that has set off a firestorm. "Such type of violence is very dangerous for the society. The protesters should remember that this is a loss for the society," Ms Devi, who is currently in Patna, said.

Two coaches of the Jammu Tawi Express train were set on fire in Bihar's Samastipur district, officials told NDTV, adding no one was hurt in the incident. A BJP office was also attacked in the Lakhisarai district. A mob set fire to the Islampur-Hatia express train which was stationed at the Islampur station in Nalanda. Three AC coaches are completely burnt down and several other coaches have been damaged.

In Uttar Pradesh, a mob entered a railway station in Ballia this morning and set a train coach on fire, and also damaged railway station property before the police used force to disperse them.

Over 200 trains have been affected - 35 trains have been cancelled while 13 short-terminated- since the protests erupted on Wednesday, according to the Railways.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
June 24,2022

Mumbai, June 24: Even before the Bharatiya Janata Party could officially speak about its support to Eknath Shinde’s revolt in Maharashtra, the rebel leader himself admitted on Thursday that he has been promised all support by the ‘mahashakti’ that has taken on Pakistan, giving clear indication of the BJP’s involvement. 

After his meeting with the party MLAs, MPs and leaders, Sharad Pawar confirmed the BJP as Shinde’s partner. Shinde made the reference while addressing the rebel Sena MLAs at the hotel they are staying put in Guwahati, Assam, after he was elected as their Legislative Party leader.
 
Shinde’s speech was recorded and the video was released by his office, after a few NCP leaders sarcastically commented that they didn’t see the BJP’s hand in the entire episode. “Let’s be together in happiness and in trouble. The victory is ours. A national party, a mahashakti that has taken on Pakistan…has told me that the decision I have taken is historic for the country. It has promised to provide us all help. You will see it,” Shinde says.

It was evident that Shinde and his group had already made up their minds to align with the national party [BJP]. The statement was seen as a rejoinder to the chief minister’s faction that appealed through party’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut, and gave the rebels 24 hours to return home. Thackeray would consider their demand for exiting the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, they were told.

“If you are Sainiks, be brave and show guts to land in Mumbai,” said Raut. It sounded like an appeal laced with warning and instruction for the party workers to be ready to give a Sena-style welcome to the rebels.        

The video from Guwahati was released immediately after the Nationalist Congress Party leaders, including Ajit Pawar and state president Jayant Patil, commented sarcastically that they didn’t see the BJP’s hand in the entire episode. Congress party’s state chief Nana Patole, however, saw the BJP as a driving force. Patil wondered who was making all the arrangements, like the luxury stay and the aircraft, for Shinde’s group. Ajit Pawar and Patil said their party would stand by Thackeray to save the government. 

An hour before Shinde’s footage was made public, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis left for New Delhi, in a signal that the BJP would come out with guns blazing to topple the Thackeray government. So far, the BJP has maintained a stoic silence. In fact, it issued a gag order to its leaders, especially the verbose ones. Sources said the BJP high command is in full control of Operation Lotus, and Fadnavis has been playing an important role. Neither Fadnavis nor other BJP leaders were available for a comment.   

After his meeting with the party MLAs, MPs and leaders, NCP chief Sharad Pawar confirmed the BJP as Shinde’s partner. “I have seen the video in which Shinde says a national party has supported him.” He then took out a list of Election Commission-approved seven national parties, and said that only the BJP among them could do it (because others are anti-BJP or have no stakes in Maharashtra).

“Ajit Pawar does not know about the situation or the (BJP) people in Gujarat and Assam. But I know people who are managing (the rebels) in Assam and helped them out in Gujarat,” the NCP boss said. He then went on to name Gujarat BJP president C R Patil, the BJP-led Assam government and the party leaders there.

On the crisis, Sharad Pawar said the rebels will have to come to Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan. “The BJP may not guide them here. The majority will be proved on the floor of the House. We know why the MLAs went to Assam only after they were here.”

Cautioning the rebels about disqualification, the NCP president said their action was against the anti-defection law. “History proves that those who defected have lost by-elections as well. Similar possibilities cannot be denied in this case as well,” he said, recalling the defeats of Chhagan Bhujbal and others who had quit the Sena to join the Congress.

He also dismissed the Congress’s allegation of injudicious allotment of funds by Ajit Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio. “The complaints are not factual,” he said while responding to Nana Patole’s accusation.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.