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Atishi calls for DJB CEO's suspension after death in fight over water crisis

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Atishi calls for DJB CEO's suspension after death in fight over water crisis

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Delhi Water Minister Atishi has written to Lieutenant Governor V. K. Saxena asking him to immediately suspend the CEO, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), and take stringent and exemplary action against all concerned officers after a woman lost her life in a violent fight that started due to shortage of water supply in east Delhi.

She claimed that the onset of summer has barely started and many parts of Delhi are already facing water shortages, despite repeated directions to the Chief Secretary and DJB.

“For more than a year, the Chief Minister had given clear directions and a road map for improving water supply in Delhi. For the last 6 months, the undersigned gave repeated directions to the CEO of Delhi Jal Board and the Chief Secretary to ensure augmentation of water supply, so that there is no shortage of water when the onset of summer happens. However, despite repeated directions, no action has been taken to prevent this water crisis in Delhi,” she said in the letter.

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She further alleged that in the last few weeks, many reminders were given to the CEO, DJB, and Chief Secretary to ensure that water supply must be augmented through tube wells and water tankers.

“Grievances regarding water shortage have regularly been sent to the Chief Secretary on WhatsApp. As recently as April 3 directions for ensuring adequate water supply in the summers were given to Chief Secretary and I asked for an action-taken-report on the steps being taken by DJB. However, on April 4, the CEO of DJB had the audacity to send me a note stating that I would not be given any information regarding the water supply situation in Delhi because the Model Code of Conduct is in force,” she claimed.

She said that it is a consequence of this callous inaction of the officers of Delhi Jal Board that today a woman has lost her life in violence due to water shortage.

“This inaction is tantamount to criminal negligence and cannot be ignored; immediate and exemplary action must be taken against the highest level of officers of DJB,” she said.

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Delhi Police on Sunday said that they have apprehended a 15-year-old girl for stabbing a neighbour to death after a quarrel over filling water from the common tap of the first floor of the house in Delhi’s Farsh Bazar area.

The deceased was identified as Soni, a resident of Bhikam Singh Colony in the Farsh Bazar area, and the incident occurred on Friday.

–IANS

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Delhi HC judge recuses from hearing Umar Khalid's bail plea in UAPA case

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Delhi HC judge recuses from hearing Umar Khalid's bail plea in UAPA case

Delhi HC judge recuses from hearing Umar Khalid's bail plea in UAPA case

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) A Delhi High Court judge on Monday recused himself from hearing the bail plea of former JNU scholar and student activist Umar Khalid who is behind bars since September 2020 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the “larger conspiracy” case related to the 2020 North-East Delhi riots.

After Justice Amit Sharma withdrew himself from hearing the case, the bench presided over by Justice Prathiba M. Singh directed the matter to be listed before a different combination on July 24 after obtaining approval from the Acting Chief Justice.

Before this, a court here on May 28 had rejected Khalid’s application seeking bail on the grounds of delay in completion of trial proceedings and parity with other co-accused who had been enlarged on bail.

Earlier, a trial court in April 2022 dismissed Khalid’s first bail application, and later his appeal was also rejected by the Delhi High Court.

In February this year, Khalid withdrew his special leave petition filed before the Supreme Court seeking bail due to a “change in circumstances” and sought liberty to apply afresh for bail before the trial court.

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Khalid has been booked under the stringent anti-terror law and several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and has been in custody since September 2020.

–IANS

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MP Sahney demands direct flights to Britain, Canada from Amritsar & Chandigarh

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MP Sahney demands direct flights to Britain, Canada from Amritsar & Chandigarh

MP Sahney demands direct flights to Britain, Canada from Amritsar & Chandigarh

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Rajya Sabha MP Vikram Sahney on Monday raised the issue of direct flights to Britain and Canada from Amritsar and Chandigarh airports in the House.

He said lakhs of Punjabis travel to and from Britain and Canada to Punjab.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Muralidhar Mohol replied that granting points of call to the designated carriers of foreign countries depends on the benefit to the Indian aviation sector, the presence of the Indian diaspora in the country, and the future plans of Indian carriers.

The minister said various airlines of India are free to select destinations they wish to service and operate within the ambit of the bilateral Air Service Agreement (ASA).

Sahney said the government should impress upon carriers like Air India to start more direct flights from Punjab to Britain and Canada and also consider new points of call for any foreign carriers to use the Amritsar and Chandigarh airports as it satisfies the condition of a considerable presence of the Indian diaspora in these countries.

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–IANS

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Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

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Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

Sharad Pawar discusses Maratha-OBC quota, woes of milk, sugar producers with Maha CM

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) NCP(SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and held detailed discussions on issues relating to irrigation, milk prices and the problems faced by sugar producers in Maharashtra.

In addition, the senior Pawar reportedly raised the ongoing protests by Maratha and OBC communities over the contentious reservation issue.

The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) confirmed the meeting between Sharad Pawar and CM Shinde.

“They discussed issues concerning irrigation, milk prices, and sugar factories,” the CMO said.

These are critical issues currently faced by the agriculture and dairy sectors in the state.

Sharad Pawar last week had extended his support to the agitating milk producing farmers who are demanding Rs 40 per litre for milk, implementation of Fair and Remunerative Price and Revenue Sharing policies for the dairy sector, curbing milk adulteration and reducing the prices of cattle feed.

The NCP(SP) supremo had assured the agitating farmers that he would meet CM Shinde and take up these issues for an early resolution to their woes.

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Sharad Pawar has also sought the Maharashtra government’s intervention to help the sugarcane growers who are facing financial problems as they cannot export surplus sugar.

Sharad Pawar pressed the Mahayuti government to take up the matter on a priority basis with the Centre for an early resolution.

Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar is believed to have sought information with regard to the discussion between CM Shinde and pro-Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil on the Maratha reservation issue.

Besides, Sharad Pawar also asked for the details pertaining to the talks held between a group of ministers and OBC leaders with regard to the quota issue.

The senior Pawar’s move to raise the reservation issue comes days after NCP minister and Samta Parishad chief, Chhagan Bhujbal sought his mediation to address the present stalemate over the reservation issue.

Sharad Pawar had assured Bhujbal that he would discuss the issue with CM Shinde.

CM Shinde has briefed him about the line of action on Jarange-Patil’s demand for the execution of draft “sage-soyare” notification that recognises Kunbis as blood relatives of the Maratha community members.

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The discussion on the Maratha quota issue coincided with the fresh indefinite fast launched by Jarange Patil from last week.

–IANS

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Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

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Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

Lalu Prasad demands Nitish Kumar’s resignation after Centre rejects Bihar’s special status

Patna, July 22 (IANS) After the Central government turned down the special status for Bihar, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Centre has refused to give the special status to Bihar so Nitish Kumar should resign from his post. We will fight for special status at any cost,” the RJD Chief said.

He also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over not granting special status to Bihar.

“PM Modi and Nitish Kumar shamelessly gave Bihar a ‘Jhunjhuna’ (toy). If not the status of a special state, then give anything to Bihar in the name of a special package! JD-U bowed down to BJP,” he wrote on X.

The demand for special status for Bihar has been a recurring issue, with various leaders from the Janata Dal (United) advocating for it.

JD-U Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Jha had brought up the issue in an all-party meeting, stating that the Central government should either grant special state status or arrange for a special package for Bihar.

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Similarly, JD-U MP Rampreet Mandal raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, emphasising that special state status is essential for promoting economic development and industrialisation in backward states.

Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, the Water Resource Minister of Bihar, said, “We have a longstanding demand of special status for Bihar but if any technicalities arise in it, Centre should consider at least a special package for a backward state like Bihar.”

–IANS

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Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

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Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

Trinamool to move motions on NEET, 3 criminal laws during Assembly's Monsoon Session

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) The ruling Trinamool Congress will move two special motions on the floor of the West Bengal Assembly this week during the Monsoon Session.

The first motion will be for scrapping of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the second will be on the three new criminal laws introduced in India, confirmed the Assembly Speaker.

The decision to move these two special motions was taken at the Business Advisory Committee of the state Assembly on Monday, when the Monsoon Session resumed.

However, as per convention, on the first day the session was adjourned after obituary mention.

The Speaker said that the motion demanding scrapping of NEET and restoration of the previous system of individual state governments conducting such examinations, will be moved on the floor of the House on Tuesday and there will be debates on the matter on Wednesday.

Similarly, another motion on the three criminal laws in the country will be moved by the Treasury Bench on Friday and debates on the matter will be conducted on next Monday.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 raising the same demand on scrapping of NEET examination.

She had also written to the Prime Minister objecting to the implementation of the three new criminal laws without proper groundwork and preparation.

–IANS

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