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MIDDAY NEWS

1400 HRS

24th November, 2017

tHE HEADLINES:

  • Winter session of Parliament to begin from the 15th of next month; To continue till the 5th of January.
  • By-poll for five state assembly seats including high profile R K Nagar constituency in Tamil Nadu to be held on the 21st of December.
  • Three killed and 8 injured in a train accident in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Mumbai attacks mastermind and Pakistan based JuD Chief Hafiz Sayeed walks free after over nine months of house arrest in Lahore.
  • Stage set for historic Parliamentary and Provincial Elections in Nepal.
  • and in Nagpur cricket test, Sri Lanka were 131 for 4 against India a short while ago.

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Winter session of Parliament will be held from the 15th of next month to 5th of January. Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar announced this after the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi today. Mr Kumar said, parliament session and assembly elections date should not overlap. He said, earlier also many a times Parliament session has been scheduled, considering assembly elections in state.

The Minister said, Government requests and seeks cooperation from all parties, including the opposition, for smooth functioning of both Houses to make the session fruitful.

चौदह दिन का सत्र होगा तो हम उम्मीद करते हैं जो सत्र होगा वो सार्थक होगा और विपक्ष से और सभी पार्टियों से हम अभी अपील भी करते हैं इस सत्र में कई महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दें चर्चा करना होगा जनहित में। कई महत्वपूर्ण विधेयक भी आएंगे उसके बारे में भी हमको चर्चा करके उसको पारित करना होगा।

The Minister said, key bills on triple talaq and constitutional status to the backward class commission will be taken up for passage.

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Election Commission today announced by-poll to R K Nagar assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu, Sikandra in Uttar Pradesh, Sabang in West Bengal and Likabali and Pakke- Kasang constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh. Notification for the polls will be issued on the 27th of this month. Voting will take place on 21st of December and counting will be held on the 24th. The high-profile RK Nagar Assembly constituency is vacant since the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalitha. The Election Commission had earlier cancelled the by-election to the seat in April based on evidence of large scale bribing of voters. A report from our Chennai correspondent:

The Election Commission earlier fixed April 12 last as the date of bye-poll. The two factions of the AIADMK led by Mr Panneerselvam and Mr TTV Dhinakaran then opposed each other, and the other contenders. However, the bye-election notification was rescinded following charges of large scale distribution of cash for votes, as corroborated by the Income Tax raids in the properties of certain key political personalities and their associates. The December 21st bye-poll is considered a high-stake contest as a win in this seat will be interpreted as a pointer to the pulse of the people in a dramatically changed political  environment in the state. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai.

Sikandra seat in Kanpur Dehat fell vacant due to the death of sitting MLA Mathura Prasad Pal. Sabang seat in West Bengal was vacated due to resignation of MLA Manas Bhunia who was elected to Rajya Sabha.

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BJP today released the fifth list of thirteen candidates for the Gujarat Assembly Election. While Chief Whip of party in Gujarat Assembly Pankaj Desai has been fielded from Nadiad, sitting MLA Nayan Patel will contest from Unjha. With this the party has released the name of 148 candidates so far for the 182 member Assembly which will go to polls in two-phases on 9th and 14th of next month.

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Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that Congress should introspect about the steps that they have taken during their regime in the state. Talking to media persons at the BJP media center in Ahmedabad she said that Congress has not played the role of a responsible opposition.   

On the other hand, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi  today  addressed Fishermen in Porbandar and said if Congress  wins the elections in the state, government's doors will be open for people. He said  Congress party and he does not want to tell them there mann ki baat, rather they want to hear their mann ki baat.

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In Uttar Pradesh, three passengers were killed and eight injured in a train accident in Chitrakoot district early this morning. Our correspondent reports that two deceased, a father and son duo  from Betia district in Bihar have been identified. Here is a report:

"The accident happened when 13 bogies  of Patna bound train derailed at Manikpur railway station in Chitrakoot district under Allahabad rail division of Northern Central Railway. Injured are admitted at Community health centre Manikpur and district hospital at Chitrakoot. Of them, two are in serious condition. Helpline numbers have been opened at different stations to provide information about the accident and passengers.  A special train has been rushed to Patna carrying all passengers of derailed train. Efforts are on to repair the track and to remove the affected bogies. Three trains including Allahabad Chitrakoot passenger train, Allahabad- Jhansi and Allahabad - Satana Itarasi passenger trains have been cancelled following the accident. Sunil Shukla, AIR News Lucknow.

Railways have announced financial assistance to the victims of  the train accident. Five lakh rupees will be given to the next of kin of each deceased. One lakh to seriously injured passengers and fifty thousand rupees to the passengers who received minor injuries will also given.

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In Maharashtra, one person died and five injured when a three storied building collapsed in Bhiwandi in Thane this morning. More from our Correspondent:

"An 18-year-old woman died and five others were injured in the incident that occurred at around 8:30 in the morning. Rescue and relief operations are underway. Two fire engines and 10 ambulances have reached the accident site. Two NDRF teams have also reached the site. The injured have been admitted to nearby a hospital.12 persons are still feared to be trapped under the debris. Prarthna, AIR News, Mumbai."

In Delhi also, an old building collapsed in south east Delhi's Taimur Nagar this morning. Two persons are suspected to be trapped under the debris. Delhi Fire Services official said, a call was received at 9.50 this morning about the collapse and three fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Rescue work is currently underway.

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Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha has said that development of backward districts is critical for the development of  country as a whole. Chairing the meeting of prabhari officers for the rapid transformation of backward districts, in New Delhi today, Mr Sinha said, convergence of programmes is need of the hour. He asked the prabhari officers to plan in a better way to improve the backward districts. He called for use of funds in a proper manner for the development of the concerned districts. He said, Left Wing Extremism affected districts have separate line of funds.

Addressing the officers, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said, transforming districts is necessary to improve socio-economic status of the country. He said, government is ensuring  development in LWE prone districts by road construction, improving connectivity and opening schools in the areas. He asked the prabhari officers to reconnect with the districts and the people. He said, there is a need to have decisive steps now to deal with left wing extremism.

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The Jammu & Kashmir government has ordered the review of cases of first time offenders of stone pelting that were registered during past several years in Kashmir. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday issued an order covering cases against the youth for the period of 2015 to 2017 by an already constituted committee. The Committee has been asked to furnish its recommendations within 10 days.

The review of cases against these youths was a major demand from various sections of the society in the State. Soon after assuming the office of Chief Minister in April, 2016, Mehbooba Mufti had set on a process of review of cases against youth from 2008 to 2014 which, unfortunately, got disrupted due to the continued violence and unrest for the later part of the year. The Chief Minister tweeted that it gives her immense satisfaction to restart the process of withdrawing FIRs against first time offenders of stone pelting.

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Pakistan has freed Hafiz Saeed, the Chief of the banned terrorist outfit Jamaat- ud- Dawah, JuD and the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack from detention. He was released in Lahore, after midnight last night. Sayeed was freed after the government decided against detaining him further in any case. He was under detention since January this year. Punjab province's Judicial Review Board comprising judges of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday unanimously ordered Saeed's release on the completion of his house arrest which expired last night.

The JuD head, carries a 10 million US Dollar American bounty for his role in terror activities. JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed. Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the US and the UN after the Mumbai attacks.

India yesterday reacted to Sayeed's release  order saying Pakistan has been exposed once again. It said India and the entire international community is outraged that a self-confessed and UN proscribed terrorist is being allowed to walk free and continue his evil agenda. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had further said, Pakistani government should fulfil its international obligations and take credible and effective action against terrorists like Saeed. 

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The stage is set for historic parliamentary and provincial elections in Nepal. In the first phase polling will be held on Sunday for 37 constituencies of House of Representatives and 74 seats of Provincial Assemblies in 32 districts. Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal Dr. Ayodhyee Prasad Yadav told our Kathmandu correspondent that all preparations have been completed.He said that Election Commission main focus is on largest participation of voters and conducting free, fair and peaceful elections.

हमारा फोकस है लार्जर पार्टिस्पेशन ऑफ दॉ वोटर्स फॉर  दॉ स्ट्रांगर डेमोक्रेसी। इसके लिए हम लोग इंटेंसिव वोटर एज्यूकेशन भी संचालन किया है। दूसरा ये निर्वाचन शांतिपूर्ण रूप में, स्वतंत्र रूप में,  सक्षम रूप में हर एक उम्मीदवार प्रचार प्रसार करे और मतदाता भी स्वतंत्र निष्पक्ष रूप में मतदान के लिए अपना विवेक प्रयोग कर कर के कैसे मतदान करेंगे-- ये हमारा बेसिक फंडामेंटल ऑब्जेक्टिव है।

Campaigning for the first phase came to an end on Thursday. Polling for the second and final round in remaining 45 districts will be held on December 7. This is the first time that elections for state assemblies are taking place in Nepal. As per the new constitution of Nepal local, province and parliament elections need to be completed by January 21 next year. Local elections have already been completed.

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The Supreme Court today said it will pass order on  Tuesday on a plea challenging the appointment of Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as a special director of the CBI. A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre reserved its verdict after hearing the arguments of petitioner NGO Common Cause and Attorney General K K Vengugopal.  The Petitioner alleged that Asthana's appointment was illegal as his name had surfaced in a diary recovered during a raid conducted by the Income Tax department. Petitioner has also sought a direction to the Centre to transfer him out of the agency during the pendency of investigation. Attorney General opposed the plea and said the CBI has not named him in the FIR.

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The Supreme Court today granted six weeks time to Gujarat government for apprising it on whether any disciplinary action has been initiated against policemen convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gangrape case. On the submission of Additional Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, that more time be given to get instruction on the authorities, a  bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra  today ordered that the matter be listed in January for hearing. However, the court said the separate plea, seeking enhancement of compensation to be awarded to Bilkis Bano, would be taken up next week for hearing.

<><><> 

After a positive opening, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange remained firm, and had gained 109 points, to 33,697 a short while ago. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange had added 46 points, to 10,395. But at the forex market, the rupee had depreciated 7 paise, to 64.65 against the dollar in afternoon deals.

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Sri Lanka were 151  for 4 at tea on the opening day of the second cricket Test against India in Nagpur today. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and elected to bat first. 

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