Owaisi’s MIM dents Cong prospects in Hubballi-Dharwad

News Network
September 9, 2021

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Hubballi, Sept 9: Asaduddin Owaisi led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has managed to snatch Congress votes in the recent Hubballi-Dharwad municipal corporation. The MIM has three seats in the Hubballi-Dharwad East Assembly constituency, known as Congress bastion. 

Being represented by Prasad Abbayya since 2013, Hubballi-Dharwad East constituency is often considered as a Congress stronghold. The Congress was expecting a resounding victory, if not a clean sweep, in the recently concluded Palike elections. But, MIM, which fielded its candidates mainly in wards with sizable Muslim presence, ate into Congress votes.

The last-minute campaigning by Owaisi swung the tide in MIM’s favour in three wards, where it managed to stave off the Congress.

The MIM had fielded its candidates in 12 wards in its electoral debut in the Hubballi-Dharwad Palike elections. Nazeer Ahmed Honyal has won from Ward No 71, with a margin of 1,694 votes against the Congress candidate Mohammad Halwoor, who is the son of Congress city district unit president. Waheeda Khannum Kittur (Ward No 76), and Hussainbi Nalvatwad (Ward No 77) also emerged victorious defeating Congress candidates.

In Ward Nos 61, 79 and 81, AIMIM candidates finished second. Also, AIMIM candidates secured more than 1,000 votes in two wards where independents won, resulting in the defeat of Congress.

In Ward No 69, an independent candidate (BJP rebel) has won, while the number of votes secured by Congress and AIMIM candidates together was more than the votes bagged by the winner. After the results, family members of the AIMIM candidate alleged that relatives of the Congress candidate attacked them, blaming them for the Congress’ defeat.

Defeating three Congress candidates, finishing second in three wards, and eating into Congress votes to facilitate the victory of independents in two wards, the MIM certainly created hurdles for the Congress in its quest to wrest power from the saffron party in Hubballi-Dharwad Palike. 

Though Congress leaders allege that the AIMIM is the B team of the BJP, they admit that it has prevented the Congress candidates from winning in several wards.

Belagavi and Kalaburagi

In Belagavi City Corporation (BCC), MIM fielded seven candidates and managed to open its account in Ward 18, where Shahidkhan Pathan defeated Congress’ Abdulkhader Gheewale by a margin of 52 votes. Pathan polled 949 votes against Gheewale’s 897 votes. 

The remaining MIM candidates, however, failed to make any impact on the outcome.

Interestingly, the MIM fared poorly in the Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike elections, where it was expected to make inroads. The party drew blank but managed a second-place finish in six wards, where Congress candidates crossed the line. 

The Congress, despite MIM's presence, has managed to secure 26 seats in 55-member strong Kalaburagi Palike.

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News Network
October 15,2021

Dhaka/New Delhi, Oct 15: The Bangladesh government has promised swift action against those behind attacks on Hindu temples and Durga Puja celebrations amid criticism that the Muslim-majority country hasn't done enough to protect minorities.

Four people were killed in violence after some Hindu temples were vandalised during Durga Puja celebrations, prompting Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deploy paramilitary force in 22 districts on Thursday.

"The incidents in Comilla are being thoroughly investigated. Nobody will be spared. It doesn't matter which religion they belong to. They will be hunted down and punished," she said while exchanging greetings with the Hindus during an event at Dhakeshwari National Temple in Dhaka, news agency PTI reported.

"We are getting a large amount of information. This is an era of technology and those involved in the incident will definitely be tracked down with the use of the technology," Ms Hasina said.

India has sought action against the people behind the violence unleashed during the Durga Puja celebrations.

Videos on social media show large mobs breaking Durga Puja installations, throwing stones and vandalising Hindu temples. Some show idols of Goddess Durga broken by mobs.

India has called the reports of violence "disturbing". "We have seen disturbing reports of untoward incidents, involving attacks on a religious gathering in Bangladesh. We note the government of Bangladesh has reacted promptly to ensure the control of the situation including deployment of law enforcement machinery," foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, news agency ANI reported.

The authorities in Bangladesh enforced a ban on rallies in Haziganj where officials confirmed the deaths of four people with gunshot wounds, adding that two others were critically injured in the clashes, PTI reported.

According to officials in Bangladesh, the police were alerted about an alleged blasphemy incident at a Durga Puja pavilion in Cumilla, about 100 km from Dhaka, after which an investigation was launched. However, violence erupted after a mob attacked temples in parts of Cumilla, neighbouring Haziganj, northwestern coastal sub-districts of Hatia and Banskhali. Social media was used largely to instigate the communal tensions.

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News Network
October 16,2021

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British Member of Parliament David Amess, 69, has died after being stabbed several times during a meeting with his constituents at a church in eastern England. A 25-year-old suspect has been arrested.

Reports said a man walked into Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, south Essex, where Amess was holding a surgery with locals on Friday and attacked the politician.

“He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene,” police said. “A 25-year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police has said that the murder Amess has been declared as a “terrorist incident”, with the investigation being led by its Terrorism Command, the agency said in a statement posted on social media.

 Detectives said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. There was no detail about the motivation for the attack but the chief constable of Essex police later said counterterrorism officers are leading the investigation.

“The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counterterrorism command,” Ben-Julian Harrington told reporters.

“It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident.”

Colleagues from across parliament expressed their shock and sorrow and paid tribute to Amess, who held regular meetings with voters on the first and third Fridays of the month, saying he was diligent in his duties to his local area. Amess leaves behind a wife and five children.

Flags in Downing Street were lowered in tribute.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he and his cabinet were “deeply shocked and heart-stricken”.

“David was a man who believed passionately in this country and in its future, and we’ve lost today a fine public servant and a much-loved friend and colleague,” Johnson said.

The prime minister would not say whether the attack meant politicians needed tighter security, saying, “We must really leave the police to get on with their investigation.”

Amess has been a member of parliament for Southend West, which includes Leigh-on-Sea, since 1997, but has been a lawmaker since 1983.

He was a well-liked member of parliament, best known for his ceaseless campaign to have Southend declared a city.

His website lists his main interests as “animal welfare and pro-life issues”.

Violence against British politicians is rare, but two other British lawmakers have been attacked this century during their “surgeries”, regular meetings where constituents can present concerns and complaints.

In June 2016, Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox was fatally stabbed and shot in her northern England constituency. A member of the far right was convicted of her murder.

In 2010, Labour lawmaker Stephen Timms survived a stabbing in his constituency office.

Jacqui Smith, chair of the Jo Cox Foundation, said in a statement on Twitter that Amess’s death is a “tragic loss for those who knew and loved Sir David”.

“I knew him as a generous and dedicated colleague in Parliament. Public life must be safe for those we ask to serve in our democracy – that is a responsibility for us all.”

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer said on Twitter that David was a “dedicated public servant”.

“Informed by his faith, David had a profound sense of duty, that I witnessed first hand in parliament,” Starmer said.

“We will show once more that violence, intimidation and threats to our democracy will never prevail over the tireless commitment of public servants simply doing their jobs.”

Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding – who knew both Amess and Cox – said that the killing of Amess would have a “chilling effect on British politics – the way in which you get that vital interchange between an elected member of parliament, part of the legislature, and the constituents that they represent.”

“There are 650 British MPs that will now be thinking ‘that could have been me’,” he said.

“They will be looking over their shoulders, they will be thinking ‘how can we improve our security. But above all of course the main sentiment is for David’s family and friends – to have lost him in such a way is just beyond belief.”

British lawmakers are protected by armed police when they are inside Parliament, but have no such protection in their constituencies. Amess published the times and locations of his open meetings with constituents on his website.

“Questions are rightly being asked about the safety of our country’s elected representatives and I will provide updates in due course,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Friday. 

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News Network
October 16,2021

Mangaluru, Oct 16: A young man was brutally murdered by his friends-turned-instant enemies during a party at a lodge in the coastal city in the wee hours of Saturday, Oct 16.

The deceased has been identified as Dhanush (20), a resident of Pachchanadi area of Mangaluru.  

It is learnt that six friends – Prameet, Jaison, Karthik, Durgesh, Prajwal and Dhanush – were having a party at a lodge near Pumpwell last night to celebrate Dasara festival.

At around 2:30 a.m. a fight broke out between Jaison Surathkal and Dhanush. When the verbal clash turned into physical fight Jaison reportedly stabbed Dhanush with a sharp weapon. 

Dhanush suffered deep injury in the attack. He was taken to a private hospital for treatment but the doctors confirmed that he was brought dead.

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