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Northeast focus: PM Modi to campaign in Assam, Tripura for LS polls

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Guwahati, April 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will land in Guwahati on Tuesday evening to kickstart his Lok Sabha poll campaign in the northeast.

The Prime Minister will address rallies in Assam and then Tripura, the first since the election dates were announced last month.

According to a BJP leader, the Prime Minister’s flight will land at Borjhar airport in Guwahati in the evening and his cavalcade will travel to the city by road. PM Modi will also hold a roadshow in the city.

The PM is scheduled to address a huge public gathering in Assam’s Nalbari district on Wednesday at 11 a.m. He will campaign for Phani Bhusan Choudhury, who is contesting on Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) ticket in the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.

The AGP, which is an alliance partner of the BJP, is contesting two seats in Assam. Another ally of the ruling party United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) was given the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha seat. The BJP is contesting in the remaining 11 LS seats in the state.

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The security arrangements have been beefed up in Guwahati for PM Modi’s arrival. The entire city has been converted into a ‘no drone fly zone’ by the Kamrup district authority.

The Prime Minister will attend another public programme in Agartala on Wednesday.

–IANS

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VK Pandian terms ECI action against top cops as 'unfortunate'

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Bhubaneswar, May 29 (IANS) V.K. Pandian, former bureaucrat and close aide of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on Wednesday termed the Election Commission’s action against two senior IPS officers, D.S. Kutey and Ashish Kumar Singh, as “unfortunate”.

On Tuesday, ADGP D.S. Kutey, the Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, was suspended by the ECI for unduly interfering in the conduct of elections in the state.

The ECI also asked the director of AIIMS Bhubaneswar to constitute a special medical board to conduct a health check-up of IGP Ashish Kumar Singh, in charge of the Chief Minister’s security, who has been on medical leave since May 4, 2024.

“It’s very unfortunate that the ECI has taken action against certain officers working in the Chief Minister’s office. The two officers in question are both outstanding officers. Both played key roles in controlling Maoist trouble in Odisha by risking their lives, be it in Gajapati, or Malkangiri. They have been awarded by the highest authorities in the country for their commitment, dedication, and sacrifice,” Pandian said.

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“This is very unfortunate and as per the design of the BJP, which can’t digest its imminent defeat in the hands of the BJD. It can’t stand against the popularity of CM Naveen Patnaik and his sway over the people of Odisha,” he added.

He also accused the ECI of taking action against the two officers at the behest of local BJP leaders.

Voting for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections is being held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from May 13 to June 1.

–IANS

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Kerala HC rules child must receive love, support from both parents

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Kochi, May 29 (IANS) A division bench of the Kerala High Court has said that it is in the best interest of the child to receive love and support from both parents unless proven that one parent is unworthy of custodial rights.

The court while considering a matrimonial appeal first interacted with the minor child (an 11-year-old girl) and found that she had no issues spending time with her father.

It then ruled, “While the court’s duty and responsibility in custody disputes is to ensure that both parents maintain a healthy relationship with the child. Non-custodial parents should have sufficient visitation rights to prevent the child from losing social, physical, and psychological contact with either parent. Only in extreme circumstances should one parent be denied contact, and reasons must be clearly stated if this occurs. Courts are responsible for defining the nature, manner, and specifics of visitation rights to safeguard the child’s continuous connection with both parents. The child’s need for both parents’ company takes precedence over the individual rights of the parents. In assessing custody, the court distinguishes between the child’s wishes and what is genuinely in the child’s best interest, taking into account all relevant circumstances,” said the court.

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The court thus upheld the Family Court’s order of granting visitation and contact rights to the father of the girl besides affirming the overnight custody given to him, who is in the Merchant Navy, for a few days during vacations and during his leave.

Incidentally, it was the mother of the child who approached the High Court after being upset by the Family Court’s decision in the overnight custody rights given to the father, as she pointed out that the child’s emotional and mental well-being will be affected by the execution of the Family Court’s order.

But the child’s father submitted that the daughter is entitled to the love, care and protection of both the parents and argued that the mother has no justifiable reasons to refuse custody rights to the father.

The High Court after going through all aspects pointed out that a child requires love, affection, and company of both parents, which is a basic human right for the child.

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The court further pointed out that children facing parental conflicts could have detrimental effects and long-lasting psychological effects.

“Such action of the fighting parents is unhealthy and deplorable, as it undermines the child’s sense of security and stability, fostering feelings of confusion, guilt, and emotional distress. The child who becomes embroiled in parental conflicts suffers long-lasting psychological effects. It is crucial for parents to recognise the detrimental impact of their disputes on their children and strive to present a united front, prioritizing the child’s need for love and support from both parents,” ruled the court and the matrimonial appeal was dismissed.

–IANS

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After June 10, special panel to probe Naveen Babu's failing health: PM Modi at Odisha rally

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday declared that the BJP government, when formed after the election results, will constitute a special committee to probe the failing health of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and also hinted at some conspiracy behind ‘sudden deterioration’ in his condition.

Addressing a public gathering in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj, PM Modi said, “Nowadays, all the well-wishers of Naveen Babu are worried. They are worried to see how Naveen Babu’s health has deteriorated so much in the past one year.”

“After 10th June, when BJP comes to power in Odisha, a special committee will be formed to investigate why Naveen Babu’s health has been on a downslide,” PM Modi told the gathering.

The announcement of a special probe panel comes in the backdrop of a viral video where Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik was seen trembling at a recent poll rally. Patnaik’s video spread like wildfire not because of his speech but because of his shaky demeanour. In the video, BJD leader VK Pandian, believed to be his political heir, was seen grabbing his trembling hand and hiding it from the cameras.

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PM Modi added that people of the state have a right to know what was happening behind the curtains and who was responsible for Naveen Babu’s ill health.

PM Modi also told the crowd that in the last few days, a couple of people close to Naveen Babu met him and expressed serious concerns and added, “They told me that Naveen Babu is no longer able to do anything on his own. Those with old ties with Naveen Babu for a long time believe that there could be a conspiracy behind his deteriorating health.”

The PM also blamed the BJD’s misrule for the state’s laggardness on various parameters of growth and urged the public to put a full stop to its reign.

“I have come here to invite you to attend the swearing-in ceremony of a new BJP chief minister in the state on June 10,” PM Modi said.

He also accused the BJD government of looting public money and sending it to foreign lands.

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“Those who are engaged in looting public money will spend the rest of their lives in jail. This is Modi ki guarantee,” he roared at the rally.

–IANS

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Army denies scuffle with cops in J&K’s Kupwara (Ld)

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Srinagar, May 29 (IANS) The Army on Wednesday rebutted allegations that its soldiers had beaten up some policemen in Jammu & Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

An Army statement said, “An altercation between police and Army personnel and beating up therein of police personnel are misfounded and incorrect. Minor differences between the police personnel and a territorial army unit on an operational matter have been amicably resolved.”

Officials earlier in the day said that a team of soldiers accompanied by an officer had barged into the Kupwara police station and beat up four policemen, including two SPOs and two constables.

The officials also said that the four injured policemen were later admitted to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura in Srinagar city for specialised treatment.

Officials had alleged that the raid of a police team at the house of a Territorial Army soldier had angered the Army after which they barged into the police station.

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Doctors at SKIMS hospital have said the injured policemen are stable, officials added.

–IANS

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CBI summons Trinamool legislator in Bengal coal scam case

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Kolkata, May 29 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued summons for interrogation to Trinamool Congress MLA Saokat Molla in connection with the coal smuggling scam in West Bengal.

Molla is an MLA from the Canning-Purba Assembly constituency in South Parganas district.

Sources said the summons was sent to Molla on Tuesday night and was asked to be present at CBI’s Nizam Palace in central Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon only.

However, Mollah has already communicated to the Central agency about his inability to be present for interrogation because of his preoccupation with the ongoing Lok Sabha polls in the state.

Sources said that Mollah’s name surfaced in the course of interrogation of some persons in connection with the coal smuggling case. This is not the first time that Molla has been summoned or questioned by CBI officials in connection with the case.

In July of 2022, he appeared at the CBI office and was questioned for over eight hours. He was questioned then based on CBI findings that coal smuggled from Asansol in the West Burdwan district was supplied at cheap rates to the mushrooming brick kilns at Canning-Purba where Molla is the legislator.

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The CBI officials had been investigating the role of Molla in this entire matter. The Trinamool Congress legislator had since the beginning denied allegations raised against him since the beginning.

–IANS

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