Ex-Kerala MLA P C George arrested for hate speech against Muslims at Hindu Sammelan

News Network
May 1, 2022

Thiruvananthapuram, May 1: Former Kerala MLA P C George was held by the police in connection with a case regarding a communally-sensitive speech.

George had made anti-Muslim comments while speaking at Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelan — an annual event that has been held in Thiruvananthapuram for the last several years  — on Friday.

A case was registered against him on Saturday for spreading hate after his remarks triggered a row and an Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) youth wing leader petitioned the state police chief Anil Kant seeking action against George. The Thiruvananthapuram city police took the former MLA into custody during the early hours of Sunday.

A suo motu case has been registered against him under section 153A of IPC.

George, a former Kerala Congress leader, was an MLA for over 30 years. He had associated with both Congress-led United Democratic Front and CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front over the years, besides a brief association with the NDA. He lost the Assembly elections in 2021.

George often invited criticism for his use of foul language. 

During the Hindu Maha Sammelan he alleged that the Muslim community was trying to reduce the population of Hindu and Christian communities by various means. He also made certain sensitive allegations. These statements triggered widespread criticism against him. The ruling CPI(M) and opposition party Congress demanded action against him.

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News Network
June 15,2022

Bengaluru, June 15: A 32-year-old doctor working in Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru died after falling from the 11th floor of his residential apartment at Amruthalli on June 15.

The deceased, Pruthvikanth Reddy, is a native of Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh. He got married three months ago and the couple moved to Godrej apartments.

Police shifted the body for post-mortem while initiating an investigation to ascertain the cause of death.

Dr. Reddy was suffering from health problems, police said.
 

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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.

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News Network
June 18,2022

agnipath.jpg

New Delhi, June 18: As anti-Agnipath agitations continued for the fourth successive day with more states joining in to protest the newly-announced scheme, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced a 10 per cent reservation for 'Agniveers' in recruitment in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles.

Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the top brass of the Army, Navy and the Air Force on the overall situation. The focus of the meeting was to ensure a quick rollout of the 'Agnipath' scheme and ways to pacify agitators.

Singh also approved the proposal to reserve 10 per cent of the job vacancies in the defence ministry for 'Agniveers' who meet requisite eligibility criteria. He further appealed to young people to apply under the new scheme.

The MHA also decided to give three years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit to 'Agniveers' for recruitment in CAPFs and Assam Rifles. For the first batch of 'Agniveers', the age relaxation will be for five years beyond the prescribed upper age limit.

As per the Agnipath scheme, jawans will be recruited on a contractual basis for four years, following which 75 per cent of them will have to take compulsory retirement sans pension while the remainder will be allowed to continue service. The selection will be made based on their performance.

Youths across the country took to the streets to protest against the new short-term recruitment scheme for entry in the armed forces.

In Uttar Pradesh, a total of 260 people were arrested and six FIRs across four districts were lodged in in connection with violent protests over the scheme.

The agitation in the East Central Railway jurisdiction resulted in eight more trains including six originating from different cities of West Bengal and two originating from cities in Bihar to be cancelled.

In Bihar's Jehanabad, agitators protesting over the Agnipath scheme set fire to a bus, truck and two other vehicles. The violent mob also pelted stones on a police party which led to a sub-inspector rank officer getting injured.

Telangana's Secunderabad Railway Station, which witnessed arson and violence resulting in the death of a protester yesterday, witnessed tight security while train services resumed. The funeral procession of the youth killed in Friday's police firing at Secunderabad railway station was under way in the Warangal district amid shutdown and protest. Hundreds of people participated in the procession which began from MGM Hospital in Warangal to Narsampet.

In Tamil Nadu, youth organised a protest against the scheme near the War Memorial in Chennai. They were later removed from the spot and detained by Police.

In Kerala, youth took out huge protest rallies in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode demanding to conduct the pending written examination for the army recruitment at the earliest.

In Karnataka's Dharwad, police had to resort to mild lathi-charge after hundreds of youth raising anti-BJP slogans organised a protest rally demanding to scrap the scheme and hold regular army recruitment. Protests raged in West Bengal, Delhi, and other states as well.

Speaking to the media about the issue, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said armed forces cannot be "contractual", it is a disciplined force.

Meanwhile, AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) MP Raghav Chadha wrote to Rajnath Singh, requesting him for "roll-back and re-deliberation" of the Scheme.

Weighing in on the matter, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and said that just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to withdraw the farm laws, he will have to accept the demand of the youth and rollback the Agnipath recruitment scheme.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi appealed to protesting youth in the country to adopt non-violent means of protest. She dubbed the scheme as "directionless", and said it is unfortunate that government has 'ignored' the voices of the youth. Gandhi also pledged to stand with the youth and work towards the withdrawal of this scheme.

Congress also announced a protest to be held on the Agnipath scheme at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Sunday. All CWC members and MPs are expected to join. 

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