#AceNewsReport – June.09: Fire engines rushed to the spot as smoke billowed from the compound – firemen had to break walls on either side to rescue people: The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, officials told BBC Marathi:
INDIA: Eighteen dead in India chemical plant fire and some 37 other workers were trapped inside the building when the blaze started around 15:45 local time (10:15 GMT) on Monday.
#AceNewsReport – May.25: A Mahadalit colony in Majhuwa village under Baisi police station of Purnia district in Bihar was engulfed with raging conflagration on the night of May 19 (Wednesday) as Islamists in the region launched a brutal attack against the Dalit settlement. At least 13 Mahadalit houses were reduced to ashes, after a Muslim mob of 150 to 200 from three to four nearby villages, armed with weapons, surrounded the colony and set it on fire:
Exclusive: India: “Dalits in Bihar’s Purnia rendered homeless after Islamist mob attack their colony and set it on fire: All we know so far,” by Jhankar Mohta, OpIndia, May 22, 2021:
The mob brutally attacked the Dalits who tried to stop them from carrying out the destruction. Showing the least empathy towards the aged, children or the women, the Islamist mob dragged them out of their houses and brutally assaulted them with sharp weapons.
In the attack, an elderly retired watchman namely Mewa Lal Rai (70), was lynched to death. A pregnant lady named Laxmi Devi was mercilessly assaulted by the rampaging mob. She sustained critical injuries on her head but managed to flee the spot.
A 3-year-old boy Diwana Rai, son of one Pratap Rai, has disappeared and there is still no news of the child. Several other villagers, including women, children who sustained grave injuries, were later rushed to Baisi primary health centre (PHC).
Recounting the dreadful incident Mewa Lal Rai’s sons Sukhdev and Fakira said, “Hundreds of people from three to four nearby villages attacked us at around 11 am on Wednesday when we were sleeping. Later, they set our houses on fire.”
The reason behind the said incident of ransacking, assault and arson by the Muslim mob is said to be the grudges these Muslims hold towards the Dalits residing in the area, which is primarily a Muslim dominated one. For months now, the Muslims have been agitating and asking the Dalits to vacate the land claiming it belongs to them. However, according to the Dalits, the land on which their houses are made is government land, belonging to the PWD Department. They have been opposing the high-handedness of the Muslims and refusing to vacate their houses.
After the news of the incident spread, Vishwa Hindu Parishad members reached the spot to take stock of the situation. Disquieted by the atrocities meted out at the Dalits by the frenzied Islamists, the Hindu outfit issued a strong statement condemning the incident and demanding immediate action against the perpetrators.
In its statement, the Hindu outfit alleged inaction by the local administration and police. Drawing attention to how such incidents of atrocities towards Dalits in the hands of Muslims are becoming more and more common, VHP’s Union General Secretary Milind Parande wrote that Muslims are carrying out such atrocities with the tactile support of local administration.
To delve further into the case, OpIndia got in touch with Vivek Lath, VHP’s Prachar Pramukh of Purnia district. Apprising us of the extent of atrocities that were inflicted on these poor Dalit families on the night of May 19th, Vivek said that the frenzied Muslim mob surrounded the colony from all sides and set the houses belonging to Dalits on fire. Besides, a Hindu temple, where these Dalits use to pray, was also set ablaze.
“They did not spare anyone. They were brutally assaulting whichever Dalit was coming their way. Be it, small children or the women of the house, none were spared”, said Vivek, adding that the police reached the spot 2.5 hours after the incident….
#AceNewsReport – May,04: Her win came as a surprise to political observers, who noted how much time and money the BJP invested in the state: Mr Modi was even accused of focusing on polls rather than the #pandemic:
WEST BENGAL: India Elections: Modi party defeated in West Bengal battleground: The BJP targeted West Bengal heavily during campaigning but the state was comfortably held by the incumbent, Mamata Banerjee, a fierce Modi critic the daughter of Bengal’ taking on India’s PM
Mr Modi and his home minister made dozens of speeches in West Bengal and were accused of focusing on the polls rather than the pandemic.
What happened in West Bengal?
With almost all the results counted, the Trinamool Congress party (TMC) led by the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has won more than 200 seats in the 294-seat assembly.
The results are set to make Ms Banerjee the leader of West Bengal for a third time. She is also India’s only female chief minister.
Celebrating the win, she said West Bengal had “saved” India with the result and tackling Covid-19 would be her first priority.
Getty ImagesMamata Banerjee has been a fierce critic of Prime Minister Modi
Victory was soured by the loss of her seat in Nandigram to a former aide turned defector to the BJP. She has said she will challenge the result in court but may have to run again to remain chief minister.
West Bengal, home to 90 million people and the city of Kolkata, is of particular interest to election watchers. It is one of the few states that have never been governed by Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP.
Although assembly elections were held in five Indian states, the real battle was over West Bengal.
The BJP had pulled out all the stops for electioneering, with PM Narendra Modi leading its campaign from the front.
To enhance his appeal further to the Bengali voter, he had grown his beard long, with his supporters drawing comparisons with the state’s much loved icon – Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.
But in the end, it all came to nothing.
At a time when a deadly second wave of coronavirus swept India and led thousands of Indians across the country to beg for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, Mr Modi’s frequent visits to the state to address huge rallies were called out as a major failure of his prime ministerial duties.
So Mamata Banerjee fought back anti-incumbency, the BJP’s mammoth election machinery, last-minute desertions from within her own party, and a largely unfriendly media to return for a third term.
Congratulating Ms Banerjee in a tweet, Mr Modi also noted: “From a negligible presence earlier [in West Bengal], BJP’s presence has significantly increased.”
Leader of the opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi congratulated Ms Banerjee for “soundly defeating the BJP” even though his party lost a significant number of seats in the state.
He was among a number of regional opposition leaders to revel in Ms Banerjee’s win.
Social media was flooded with memes and posts about the success of “Didi” – a nickname for Ms Banerjee, meaning older sister.
Voting in the state was held in eight phases over a month. The Election Commission is facing a great deal of criticism for refusing to reduce the number of phases and make campaigning virtual. Critics have accused the commission of being controlled by the BJP.
A number of congratulatory tweets noted that the TMC had won “despite” the commission.
As well as the north-eastern states of West Bengal and Assam, there was voting in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the South Indian union territory of Pondicherry, and local council elections in some parts of Uttar Pradesh in the north and Telangana in the south.
In Tamil Nadu, the main regional opposition party, the DMK, took power. A left-wing coalition retained power in Kerala, while a BJP-led alliance won no seats there.
On top of the coronavirus pandemic, some analysts saw the results as showing the limits of the BJP’s rhetoric in states with sizeable Muslim populations.
What are India’s latest Covid figures?
India has recorded more than 19 million cases of coronavirus – second only to the US. It has also confirmed more than 218,000 deaths, though the real toll is thought to be far higher.
Experts have cited low testing rates and the number of people dying at home, especially in rural areas, as contributing factors to under-reported figures.
The country’s previous highest daily death toll, also reported this week, was 3,645.
The head of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine, has blamed India’s government for the shortage of Covid jabs.
Adar Poonawalla told the Financial Times that initially Narendra Modi’s government only ordered 21 million doses, and a larger order was not placed until March, when the second wave of the pandemic had already hit India. The country has a population of 1.3 billion people.
In a separate statement, Mr Poonawalla said the Serum Institute of India has now received a total order of more than 260 million doses.
Brazil and the US have both registered daily tolls of more than 4,000 during the course of the pandemic.
In India, distressing images of families begging for hospital beds and life-saving supplies have been emerging for more than 10 days, while morgues and crematoriums remain overwhelmed.The BBC’s Yogita Limaye reports from a hospital in Delhi, which is running low on beds and oxygen
#AceNewsServices – NEW DELHI – November 02 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed Sunday to bring back billions of dollars believed to be illegally stashed in banks abroad by Indians to avoid paying tax, amid a furore over “black money”.
‘ India’s Modi vows to bring back ‘black money’
Modi said the money belonged to India’s poor and his right-wing government was “on the right track” in efforts to have the funds suspected of being stashed in Swiss and other foreign accounts returned.
“The issue is an article of faith for me,” the premier said in a regular Sunday address on national radio, mainly aimed at connecting with the millions of rural poor.
“Every penny of this country’s poor people, which has gone out, should return. This is my commitment,” said Modi who stormed to power in May in a landslide election victory.
The comments come just days after Modi’s government submitted a list to India’s top court of 627 people suspected of parking “black money” in Swiss bank accounts beyond the reach of tax authorities.
The government was initially accused of seeking to shield powerful people after it argued against handing over the names to the Supreme Court.
Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based group that tracks money transfers, said Indians surreptitiously shifted $344 billion overseas between 2002 and 2011, depriving India of vital tax revenues.
But that money is a fraction of illicit funds and assets concealed in India, experts say.
Modi pledged during his high-octane election campaign to “bring back black money within 100 days” of being elected, after accusing the previous government of failing to crack down on the issue.
#AceNewsServices – INDIA (New Delhi) – October 16 – Regional elections held Wednesday in two states will test the popularity of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a good performance could strengthen his government and give him more elbow room to initiate tough economic reforms.
Modi wants to unseat Congress Party-led governments in Maharashtra and Haryana states and repeat the impressive performance that catapulted his Bharatiya Janata Party to power in national elections in May.
Both states are politically crucial. Maharashtra is a large state that is home to India’s financial hub, Mumbai. Haryana is relatively small but one of the country’s fastest-developing states adjoining the capital. But the BJP has never been a major force in either.
Modi personally led his party’s campaign in both states. At dozens of rallies, he appealed to voters on the same plank that won him national support — development and good governance.
Hoping to win on the backs of young voters, his strongest constituency, Modi tweeted as polls opened, “Youngsters must show the way and ensure record turnout.”
Political analyst Satish Misra at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi said a good showing by the BJP would be a vote of confidence in the prime minister. He pointed out that these will be the first state elections held since the national polls last May.
“If the BJP under Modi has to establish to people at large that it is the most popular party, then the BJP must emerge the winner of these two elections, if not with clear majority, then at least with credible enough numbers to be single largest party,” Misra said. “For the first time, Modi’s credibility and popularity and credibility is at stake. Modi is the BJP’s face.
Modi is the BJP’s vote-catcher.”
Opinion polls show that BJP could win in both states, although it might fall short of a majority.
Confidence is still high in Modi, but several analysts said some of the magic that helped him romp to power has begun to wane as people impatiently wait for him to fulfill his promise that “better days are here.”
For that promise to be bear fruit, Modi must implement tough reforms needed to rev up India’s slowing economy.
Analysts said victories in the state elections could embolden the prime minister to take some of those difficult steps, such as labour reforms.
#AceNewsServices – INDIA(New Delhi) – September 25 – A recent report on Myanmar’s Rohingya stuck in refugee limbo in India, has highlighted how people feel stateless. Here is one person’s story:
‘Myanmar’s Rohingya stuck in refugee limbo in India’
When Kohinoor, a stateless Rohingya Muslim, fled her home in Myanmar after a wave of attacks by majority fanatic Buddhists, “We were chased out of Burma (Myanmar). We were chased out of Bangladesh. Now we are in India, the people here tell us that India is not our country.
So where will we go?” asked Kohinoor, 20, sitting in a makeshift tent on a patch of wasteland in southern Delhi.
“We don’t have any land of our own. Our children don’t go to the government schools as they refuse us admission. When we go to the hospital, they don’t admit people from our community,” said Kohinoor, who fled Myanmar two years ago with her 2-year-old daughter and her sister’s family.
Though the Rohingya minority have lived for generations in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, the largely Buddhist government passed a citizenship law in 1982 which excluded them, denying them the identity cards required for everything from schooling and marriage to finding a job and getting a birth or death certificate. They became stateless.
Hundreds died in communal violence between Buddhists and Rohingya in 2012, worsening their plight, and in the last two years more than 86,000 Rohingya have left, fleeing to countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.
The Rohingya are among an estimated 10 million stateless people worldwide. Their plight was discussed during the first global forum on statelessness opening in The Hague. This is ahead of an ambitious UN campaign starting in November to eradicate statelessness worldwide within a decade.
India, despite hosting some 30,000 registered refugees, has no legal recognition of asylum seekers, making it difficult for them to use essential services like schools and hospitals, human rights groups say – and the Rohingya community is among the most vulnerable.
According to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), there are around 9,000 Rohingya registered in Delhi. Thousands more, unregistered, are living in other parts of the country such as Jammu and Hyderabad.
#AceWorldNews – India(New Delhi) – September 07 – Every summer, when Minoo Phakey’s water runs out, she does what most people do in her middle-class neighbourhood: She calls the Mafia.
Within an hour, a man in a tanker arrives, carrying a load of dubious water drawn illegally from the city’s groundwater.
With India’s capital gripped by its annual hot season water shortage, the city’s so-called tanker mafia is doing a roaring trade.
An estimated 2,000 illegal tankers ply New Delhi’s roads every day, lifelines to millions whose taps have run dry, and symptoms of a much bigger problem – the city’s desperately dysfunctional water system.
#AceBreakingNews – INDIA (New Delhi) – September 04 – Al-Qaida has expanded into India, the leader of the terror group said in a video released Thursday, vowing that its militants would bring Islamic law to the entire subcontinent and "wage jihad against its enemies."
At least three Indian states with large Muslim populations have been put on alert in the wake of the video’s release, local TV stations reported, though there was no indication of an increased security presence.
The new group "is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the mujahedeen in the Indian subcontinent into a single entity," al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri said in the video, which was seen online by the SITE monitoring group.
While his comments raised concerns in India, al-Zawahri’s message seemed largely directed at his own rivals in the international jihad movement, and with raising al-Qaida’s profile in the wake of repeated successes by the Islamic State militant group.
#AceWorldNews – New Delhi – April 10 – (ALJ) – Voters in New Delhi waited in long queues to cast ballots in the third stage of India’s nine-phased parliamentary elections, with hopes of controlling inflation, ushering in development and ending corruption.
Residents of the capital on Thursday started gathering at the poll stations in the early hours under the watchful eye of thousands of police and election authorities.
An estimated 12.7 million voters will decide the outcome of seven lower house seats for which 150 candidates of several political parties are contesting.
#AceWorldNews – NEW DELHI – April 10 – (TOI) -Samjawadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday opposed the new anti-rape law and said that his party would change the law that entails death for rape.
Addressing a rally in Moradabad, Mulayam said, “rape accused should not be hanged. Men make mistakes.”
Questioning the death sentence to three men who were convicted of two gang-rapes in Mumbai last week, Mulayam said, “Should rape cases be punished with hanging? They are boys, they make mistakes.”
The SP chief further said he will support provision for legal action against those who misuse the rape act.
Mulayam’s comments evoked strong reactions with other parties slamming him for his insensitive comments.
The Samajwadi Party believes in creating a socialist society, which works on the principle of equality and the party has a secular and democratic outlook. The Samajwadi Party believes in continuously working towards the upliftment of weaker sections of society and it stands against communal forces.
#AceWorldNews – NEW DELHI – April 07 – India’s armed forces on Monday carried out another successful, missile test. They fired the Russia produced BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, a source close to the Indian Defence Ministry told ITAR-TASS.
“The launch was carried out at the Pokhran range in the State of Rajasthan in the north-west of India at 13:00, local time (11:30 MSK) to the maximum range of 290 kilometres,” he said.
The missile that had been adopted by the country’s armed forces in 2007 was launched from a mobile launcher, in service in two Indian regiments. One more launcher of this type is to be delivered soon to another regiment of the Indian army.
#AceNewsServices – DELHI – (CNN) — The New Delhi rape case left the whole world wondering why India is treating its women so badly. In fact, discrimination against women already starts in the womb: India has some of the most distorted sex-ratios in the world. There are regions where fewer than 800 girls are born for every 1,000 boys.
For many reasons Indian culture prefers sons. An expensive bride-price, or dowry, is only one of them.
So day-by-day, thousands of parents circumvent rarely enforced laws and have their baby daughters aborted after an ultrasound scan has revealed the sex of the fetus. It is estimated that India has been losing up to 12 million baby girls over the last three decades.
I wanted to find out what it means for a society if such a significant number of women are missing says Carl Gierstorfer.
Editor’s note: Carl Gierstorfer is a journalist and film-maker with a background in biology. He has produced and directed documentaries for German public broadcaster ZDF, Discovery Channel and the BBC. His work on violence against women in India was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
His website is www.carlgierstorfer.com.
Read the Whole Story at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/11/opinion/india-missing-females/index.html?hpt=hp_t5
#AceWorldNews – NEW DELHI – March 28 – Five crew members of a newly acquired Indian Air Force C-130J transport aircraft died when it crashed on Friday morning in the country’s central state of Madhya Pradesh, local NDTV television reported.
The US-made C-130J is also known as the Super Hercules and is the largest in the Indian military.
The aircraft crashed some 70 miles west of Gwalior air base shortly after taking off on a regular training flight.
There were no immediate reports of any suspected cause.
#AceWorldNews – NEW DELHI – March 28 – India has test-fired on Friday its nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-II making it the fifth successful test launch of this type of weapon over the past six months, The Times of India daily reported.
The missile, which is capable of carrying the weight of nuclear warheads of up to 1,000 kilograms (over 2,200 lbs), was fired from a mobile launcher at the Chandipur firing range in the state of Odisha and it covered its maximum travelling range of 350 kilometres (217 miles).
#AceWorldNews Four men convicted of raping and murdering a woman in New Delhi had their death sentences upheld Thursday, Reuters reported.
The Delhi High Court confirmed the sentence of hanging handed down by a trial judge last September. Gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, fruit seller Pawan Gupta, and unemployed man Mukesh Singh were sentenced to death for their part in the gang rape and killing of the 23-year-old woman in December 2012.
Defence lawyers said they would appeal to the Supreme Court.
#AceWorldNews A US judge has thrown out charges against an Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, whose New York arrest and strip search sparked a diplomatic row with New Delhi, AFP said.
US District Judge Shira Scheindlin dismissed the indictment Wednesday on grounds that Khobragade was granted full diplomatic immunity Jan. 8.
“Even if Khobragade had no immunity at the time of her arrest and has none now, her acquisition of immunity during the pendency of proceedings mandates dismissal,” Scheindlin wrote.
Khobragade was arrested December 12 outside her children’s New York school and accused of submitting a fraudulent visa application for her Indian housekeeper.
Related news from RT http://on.rt.com/9n7tyo #ANS2014