Police have become puppets in the hands of BJP: U T Khader

News Network
August 19, 2022

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Mangaluru, Aug 19: Condemning the protests by Sangh Parivar activists against former CM Siddaramaiah in Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts, Deputy Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly U T Khader has come down heavily on the ruling BJP of Karnataka and the police department. 

Addressing the press in Mangaluru, Mr Khader, who is also Mangaluru MLA, alleged that the government was attempting to suppress the voice of opposition leaders by sponsoring such protests.  

Khader accused the government of failing to take stringent action against those who tried to create unrest in society. He went on to say that the police have become puppets in the hands of the BJP. 

"The Opposition leader is considered a shadow chief minister. It is the duty of the opposition leader to listen to the woes of people in distress and awaken the government for its negligence. Several people were affected by recent rain in Kodagu. Inspite of the Chief Minister’s visit, relief has failed to reach the rain victims," he alleged.

Should opposition not raise their voices when the government fails to discharge its duty, he asked. The act of the BJP workers cannot be justified and has revealed the mindset of the party, the Congress leader said, adding that this act is against democratic values.

 “If a banner/flex is mounted with good intention by taking permission from authorities concerned, then none will object to it or ask authorities to remove it. Intention of those who mounted the banner is also important. None had asked to remove the flex on Savarkar mounted in Mangaluru constituency. The police only removed it,” Khader said.

To a query on Veer Savarkar, Khader said, “Congress has only ideological differences with Savarkar. We never said Savarkar was not a freedom fighter. All are well aware that Savarkar was imprisoned in Andaman along with others. Savarkar had begged the British for mercy and was released later. After 1924, he did not take part in the freedom struggle,” he said.

“Should we consider those who had laid down their lives as patriots or the one who begged for mercy as patriots?” he asked.

Khader said that the BJP is scared of Congress and is worried that it will not come back to power in the state. As a result, they are supporting those acts that aim at creating unrest in the state, he alleged.

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News Network
September 20,2022

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Bengaluru, Sept 20: Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh has announced that the Bhagavad Gita will be taught as part of the moral education syllabus in schools and colleges across the state from December, 2022.  

Responding to a query in the Legislative Council on Monday, BC Nagesh said, "We are contemplating the introduction of the Bhagavad Gita in schools from this academic year. It will be taught under a moral education subject. The discussion is ongoing. A committee will be formed and we will take a decision soon," he said.

BJP MLC MK Pranesh had asked if the state government is hesitant to introduce the Bhagavad Gita in schools, despite “no opposition”. He asked, "The government says there is no proposal to implement teachings of Bhagavad Geeta to students in Karnataka. Is the government hesitant to teach Bhagavad Geeta? Why has the interest shown by the government earlier while issuing statements evaporated?" Earlier Nagesh had stated that as per the National Education Policy (NEP), on the lines of Gujarat state, Bhagavad Geeta will be introduced in Karnataka after consulting educational experts.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had also said that it was his government's stand to include the Bhagavad Gita in the syllabus as a part of the moral education subject. Minister for Large and Medium Industries, Murugesh Nirani, stated in Council that the Bhagavad Gita has “human values” and children need to learn about those values. “The government of Gujarat has taken a decision to add Bhagavad Gita to the syllabus and a decision should be taken in Karnataka also to introduce Bhagavad Gita to children,” he said.

However, senior Congress leader and former minister from Mysuru, Tanveer Sait, said that introducing the Bhagavad Gita in the syllabus "is more dangerous than COVID-19 pandemic".

Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy questioned the state government on the proposal, and added that teaching the Bhagavad Gita won't fill empty stomachs. "The state is facing thousands of problems and the teachings of Bhagavad Gita won't provide food for people. Emotional matters are gaining importance in the country. The innocents are being misled. There is an end to this trend and we will wait until then," he said.

Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, "We believe in Hindu religion and give equal respect to other religions. We do not have any objection to teaching Bhagavad Gita, Bible, or Quran to children. But, children should be given quality education."

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News Network
September 22,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: After a marathon hearing over a period of 10 days, the Supreme Court today reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court's judgment which upheld the ban on wearing hijab by Muslim students in educational institutions.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi and Addl Solicitor General KM Nataraj for the State. Senior Advocates R Venkataramani, Dama Seshadri Naidu and V Mohana appeared for college teachers. The Petitioners' side had concluded its arguments on Tuesday.

Making rejoinder submissions in the matter today, Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave and Huzefa Ahmadi today submitted that the arguments of Solicitor General regarding involvement of Popular Front of India are wholly irrelevant and are made to cause prejudice. They argued that no material has been shown on record regarding this.

The Petitioners argued that unlike triple talaq and cow sacrifice, Hijab is mentioned in Quran and it is the farz of Muslim women to retain the same. Further, it was contended that in absence of State showing that hijab affects the fundamental rights of others, any restriction on wearing the same affects the freedom of conscience and "behavioural privacy" of Muslim women. It also hampers their education prospects, it was argued.

Allegations about PFI conspiracy false: Dave

The Solicitor General had alleged that till the year 2021, no girl student was wearing any hijab. However, an agitation was started by the Popular Front of India to create 'social unrest' and that the students were made part of this conspiracy.

Dave said he "regrets" such allegations have been imputed sans any pleadings in that regard.

He took the bench through the impugned circular of the Karnataka government, to point out that there is no mention of any PFI activity and rather, the circular cites observance of religious practices as a "hindrance" to unity and equality.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi also submitted that argument of PFI was not raised before High Court. "They can't rely on documents not on record. It is an argument introduced to create a prejudice." 

Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat said that though State made a "grandiose statement" that till 2021 nobody wore hijab, there is no pleading to that context.

Justice Gupta agreed that in one of the writ petitions, there is a mention that the Petitioner was wearing hijab. "And there is no counter-affidavit controverting this fact," Kamat added.

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News Network
October 2,2022

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New Delhi, Oct 2: India is likely to add nearly 80 airports in the next four to five years, the aviation regulator has said. However, aerodromes need to fulfil certain requirements to start the operation of flights.

In the last eight years, the number of airports in the country has increased from 74 to 141, and as per the Ministry of Civil Aviation, this will grow up to 220 in the next four to five years.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has given 'in-principle' approval for setting up of 21 greenfield airports across the country, including Mopa in Goa; Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra; Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan and Shivamogga in Karnataka; Dabra in Madhya Pradesh; Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh; Dholera and Hirasar (Rajkot) in Gujarat; Karaikal in Puducherry; Dagadarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh; Durgapur in West Bengal; Pakyong in Sikkim; Kannur in Kerala; and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.

So far, eight greenfield airports -- namely Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Orvakal and Kushinagar -- have been operationalised.

As per the Aviation Ministry, in the financial year 2022-23, the Centre has granted site clearance to the Himachal Pradesh government for development of a new greenfield airport at Nagchala, Mandi. Besides, 35 airports, helipads and water aerodromes are targeted for development during FY 2022-23 under RCS-UDAN.

An official said that for safety purposes, an aerodrome needs to meet the specifications regarding its management systems, operational procedures, physical characteristics, assessment and treatment of obstacles, visual aids, rescue and fire-fighting services, as per the DGCA CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement).

While these guidelines are for the licensing of the aerodrome from the technical point of view, the licence for operation of airports is granted by the Central government as per the Civil Aviation policy.

As far as site clearance for a greenfield airport for public use is concerned, prior to commencing the construction, the owner or developer of the greenfield aerodrome will have to file applications to the steering committee at the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The request for site approval and issuance of in-principle approval in respect of these aerodromes will be dealt by the concerned department in the Ministry as per the greenfield airport policy.

Licence for the aerodromes is given in two categories, including for private use and for public use and usage of private use aerodromes excludes the operation of scheduled flights.

For the public use category, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will grant site clearance and 'in-principle' approval for all proposals as per the greenfield airport policy.

On the other hand, for the private use category, site clearance as well as 'in-principle' approval will be granted by the regulator as per technical assessment of the site and based on usage of the airport.

The 'in-principle' approval granted by DGCA indicates that the proposed airport is essentially meant for non-commercial operations by the licensee and by individuals specifically authorised by the licensee only, said the DGCA, as per the new guidelines.

Explaining the procedure for converting the usage of airports, the guidelines said that the government approvals as per the prevailing policy will be required for this.

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