‘Peak of dictatorship’: 36 cases, 6 arrests over 'Modi-Hatao, Desh Bachao' posters in Delhi

News Network
March 22, 2023

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New Delhi, Mar 22: Awareness posters targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, put up in various parts of Delhi, have triggered a police crackdown in which dozens of FIRs have been filed and six people have been arrested. Two of the arrested men own a printing press.

In a massive operation on Tuesday, the police took down nearly 2,000 posters from several places in Delhi. Most of these posters had the slogan "Modi hatao, desh bachao (Remove Modi, save the country)".

Police said that the arrests were made for defacing public property and under the law that requires posters to have the name of the printing press. Delhi police said that they registered 138 FIRs on Tuesday, out of which 36 were for anti-Modi posters.

Some 2,000 posters, which were allegedly being delivered to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s office, were seized by the police. Cops found the posters when they intercepted a van in the IP Estate area in Central Delhi. The driver told police that he had been instructed to deliver the posters to the AAP headquarters.

He said that he had delivered a similar consignment on Monday too.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in a tweet, questioned the FIRs and asked what was objectionable in the posters. The party also said that this was the "peak of Modi government's dictatorship".

The arrested printing press owners told the Delhi Police that they had received an order to print 50,000 "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao" posters. The owners have been arrested as the posters did not have the name of the printing press.

The arrests have become the latest flashpoint between Centre and AAP. The Bharatiya Janata Party accused AAP of not following the law while putting up the posters.

"AAP doesn't have the courage to say that they put up the protests. They broke the law while putting up the posters," Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said.

The Aam Aadmi Party, on the other hand, has announced a protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar tomorrow to demand the ouster of PM Modi.

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News Network
February 19,2024

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New Delhi, Feb 19: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will once again skip the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) summons, marking the sixth time he has failed to appear for questioning in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. The AAP has reiterated its stance, declaring the summons as "illegal" and asserting that the matter is now before the court.

In a statement released today, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emphasised that the ED had approached the court itself. The party suggested that instead of repeatedly issuing summonses, the ED should await the court's decision on the validity of the matter.

The ongoing legal battle between Mr Kejriwal and the ED has escalated, with the probe agency persistently summoning the Delhi Chief Minister, who has consistently refused to comply. The sixth summons comes in the wake of a Delhi court's directive to Arvind Kejriwal to appear and explain his non-compliance with the previous summons.

Mr Kejriwal's refusal to appear before the ED raises the possibility of him becoming the first sitting chief minister to face arrest.

The ED, investigating money laundering charges, has been probing allegations related to the Delhi liquor excise policy. The case revolves around accusations that the AAP government's revamped alcohol sales policy allowed it to receive kickbacks from cartels, allegedly funneled into funding election expenses in various states, including Goa.

While Mr Kejriwal has not been named as an accused in the case, two senior AAP members, including ex-Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, have faced arrests.

The AAP vehemently denies all charges, asserting that the BJP is manipulating investigative agencies to target the party.

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News Network
February 10,2024

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People living in the isolated north of Gaza have revealed that children are going without food for days, as aid convoys are increasingly denied permits to enter thanks to Israeli army’s inhuman blockade. Some residents have resorted to grinding animal feed into flour to survive, but even stocks of those grains are now dwindling, they say.

People have also described digging down into the soil to access water pipes, for drinking and washing.

The UN has warned that acute malnutrition among young children in the north has risen sharply, and is now above the critical threshold of 15%.

The UN's humanitarian coordination agency, Ocha, says more than half the aid missions to the north of Gaza were denied access last month, and that there is increasing interference from Israeli forces in how and where aid is delivered.

It says 300,000 people estimated to be living in northern areas are largely cut off from assistance, and face a growing risk of famine.

A spokesman for the Israeli military agency tasked with coordinating aid access in Gaza said in a briefing last month that there was "no starvation in Gaza. Period." The agency, Cogat, has repeatedly said it does not limit the amount of humanitarian aid sent to Gaza.

The BBC spoke to three people living in Gaza City and Beit Lahia, and viewed footage and interviews filmed by local journalists in Jabalia.

Mahmoud Shalabi, a local medical aid worker in Beit Lahia, said people had been grinding grains used for animal feed into flour, but that even that was now running out.

"People are not finding it in the market," he said. "It's unavailable nowadays in the north of Gaza, and Gaza City."

He also said stocks of tinned food were disappearing.

"What we had was actually from the six or seven days of truce [in November], and whatever aid was allowed into the north of Gaza has actually been consumed by now. What people are eating right now is basically rice, and only rice."

The World Food Programme (WFP) told the BBC this week that four out of the last five aid convoys into the north had been stopped by Israeli forces, meaning a gap of two weeks between deliveries to Gaza City.

'Serious risk of famine'

"We know there is a very serious risk of famine in Gaza if we don't provide very significant volumes of food assistance on a regular basis," said the WFP regional chief, Matt Hollingworth.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said there had been a sharp increase in the number of aid missions denied access to northern Gaza: with 56% of deliveries denied access in January, up from 14% in October to December.

It also said the Israeli military "at times required justifications" for quantities of fuel destined for health facilities, and "imposed reductions on the volume of assistance, such as the quantity of food".

A famine risk assessment, carried out by several UN agencies, estimated that almost a third of residents in northern areas could now be facing a "catastrophic" lack of food, though restrictions on accessing the area make real-time measurements very difficult.

Families in northern areas are also struggling to find reliable water supplies.

"Many of us are now drinking unpotable water. There are no pipes; we have to dig for water," explained Mahmoud Salah in Beit Lahia.

Video filmed in the Jabalia neighbourhood north of Gaza City shows residents sitting among the rubble of bombed out streets, digging down into the earth to tap large underground water pipes.

"We get water here once every 15 days," Yusuf al-Ayoti said. "The water is dirty. Our children are inflamed and their teeth are eroded from the dirty water. There is sand in it, and it's very salty."

After four months of war, the makeshift solutions for bridging the hunger gaps are wearing thin. And there are few ways to restock Gaza's larder.

The territory was reliant on food aid before the war; now much of its agricultural industry has been ruined or abandoned.

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News Network
February 12,2024

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The Israeli regime has conducted extensive air raids and artillery strikes on the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children.

According to Palestinian media, the regime’s brutal attacks on people's homes and mosques in Rafah have so far killed nearly 100 civilians while leaving at least 230 others wounded. Dozens of people are also trapped under the rubble.

A Palestinian Health Ministry official said Gaza's hospitals cannot handle the large number of casualties caused as a result of the Israeli attacks.

The new strikes came after Palestinian media reported that at least 11 Israeli soldiers had been killed in an ambush by Palestinian resistance fighters near the city of Khan Yunis, also in the southern part of Gaza.

The strikes occurred at a time that more than one million people, above five times Rafah's usual population, have fled to the city amid Israel's brutal onslaught on the coastal territory.

The regime's aggression against Gaza has so far claimed the lives of over 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, leaving more than 67,700 others wounded.

Israel's genocidal war started after Gaza's resistance movements carried out a historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

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