Nitin Gadkari proposes Mumbai-Bali cruise via Goa, Cochin and Andaman and Nicobar

Panaji, June 12: Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today said his ministry was working on a cruise route from Mumbai to Bali in Indonesia, via Cochin and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, to boost cruise tourism.

“I have met a minister from Indonasia. We have initiated the idea of having cruise from Mumbai to Andaman Nicobar via Goa and Cochin. The ships can go up to Bali, Indonesia. Indians usually visit Singapore or Bangkok. They can go there directly on a cruise from Mumbai,” the minister told reporters.

Gadkari is on a two-day visit to Goa to attend a meeting of Highways department officials to review the ongoing works across the country.

Gadkari also said the work to widen the Mumbai-Goa highway will be completed by March 2019.

“The work on all the packages on the Mumbai-Goa highway has begun. The work on tunnels has also started. We want to complete the entire road by March next year except a tunnel at Kashedi Ghat in Maharashtra,” he said.

Gadkari said the refurbished highway would be an “engineering marvel” and motorists could enjoy a scenic drive.

The four-lane highway expansion project has been delayed for several reasons, including lack of permission to cut trees. Once completed, the drive from Goa to Mumbai will be just six-hour-long.

Gadkari appealed to common people, politicians, and NGOs to adopt highways by planting trees along them.

“I appeal to all members of public, MLAs, MPs and NGOs to come forward and plant trees along the highways. They should plant the trees and adopt them,” the Union minister said.

Gadkari said he had spoken to Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane, who hails from Sindhudurg district in neighbouring Maharashtra, about tree plantation and the latter has assured to implement the same in Sindhudurg taluka.

The minister said the Goa-Mumbai waterway was now opened up for regular boat service.

“We have opened up the Mumbai Goa waterway for boat service. Initially, there were some technical problems for this service, which are fixed now,” he said.

A private shipping company had recently announced its service connecting Mumbai to Goa.

“The successful trial of the ship was also conducted. The service is right now on hold because of monsoon. It will restart after two months post monsoon,” Gadkari said.

The cruise service between Mumbai and Goa is likely to become operational in September this year.

Gadkari said the Central government always encouraged cruise tourism.

“Mumbai gets 80 cruise ships. We have constructed a state-of-the-art terminal for ships. Goa also gets a number of cruise vessels. We expect that in the next five years 950 cruise vessels will be calling the Goa port,” he said.

Gadkari said he would address a workshop of tour and travel companies in Mumbai for which Goan operators are also invited.

Main accused in Gauri Lankesh murder confesses to being indoctrinated at Goa’s Sanatan Sanstha: reveals involvement of other Hindutva Outfits

Bengaluru: “Do target practice not just sitting down; practice with your air-gun while standing, lying down and even walking.” This was KT Naveen Kumar’s advice to Anil, the man who he tried to ‘train’ while plotting the murder of Professor Bhagwan. The professor from Mysore had made the target list for his “anti-Hindu” opinions and for allegedly Hindu gods, reports NDTV.

This and many other startling facts came to light in the confession by Kumar, arrested in March this year for his role in the plot to kill Prof Bhagwan. Kumar is also being investigated for involvement in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe her murder having taken his custody.

The SIT has also arrested four others based on leads given by Naveen Kumar – two from Karnataka, one each from Pune and Goa. This includes ‘Praveen’, who Naveen claims had a direct role in the murder of Lankesh. It was Praveen aka Sujith Kumar who, in fact, told Naveen about the plot to kill Lankesh nearly 15 days before it was actually carried out on September 5, 2017.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh murder: Main shooter Parshuram Wagmare – a Sri Ram Sene member arrested by SIT

Naveen’s 12-page voluntary confession, that is currently part of the 600-page chargesheet before a trial court in Bengaluru, has some startling revelations on how the different operatives of the Hindutva wings functioned.

A college dropout, who was deeply interested in the task of spreading and safeguarding Hindu dharma, Naveen says he started ‘Hindu Yuva Sena’ in Mandya district. Other than running various programmes for the same agenda, Naveen also ran a few WhatsApp groups such as ‘Hindu Yuva Sena’, ‘Jago Hindu Maddur’, ‘Bajrang Maddur’, ‘Kaveri Boys’ for the greater cause of Hindu dharma.

It was in June 2017, when he was invited to a workshop of Hindu organisations at an ashram Sanatan Sanstha in Goa’s Ponda, that Naveen first talked about how Hindus must ‘weaponise’ themselves to save the religion, the statement said, according to the NDTV report.

This was the same Hindu Conclave at Ponda where god woman Sadhvi Saraswati also made the controversial statements demanding that those who eat beef must be hanged. Several speakers told the audience that men should gift their sisters swords on Raksha Bandhan day.

Another person he came in touch with at the Sanatan Sanstha ashram at Ponda – Mohan Gowda of Bengaluru – an active member of the Sanatan Sanstha – praised him for his speech. Naveen then told Gowda that he had a gun and bullets for this purpose, police said. Gowda reportedly told him that there are “many like-minded individuals in the fraternity” and he would put Naveen in touch with some of them.

Soon after, Naveen was contacted by Praveen from a telephone booth. Praveen later visited him at his home in Chikkamagalur’s Birur and “wanted to see the bullets to ascertain if it suited his purpose”.

Naveen was then sent to North Karnataka’s Belgaum by his new friend. There, he met two others, including a Sanjay Bansare, who also sought Naveen’s help in arranging for a gun and bullets. But Naveen apparently wasn’t able to fulfil this commitment, police said.

In his confession statement, Naveen says he later met Praveen at another workshop in Bengaluru on August 20, 2017. This is where Praveen talks of plans afoot to kill Lankesh. On September 5, Naveen was asked to go to an ashram in Mangalore along with his wife and spend two days there to possibly build an alibi. It was there that he got to know about Lankesh having been killed.

While Naveen doesn’t admit to being directly involved in Gauri’s killing, he admits to having known of it 15 days before. He also says within two months, plans were afoot to carry out another similar attack to ‘finish off’ Prof Bhagwan – the case he is currently booked under.

Praveen approached him in November to keep an eye on Prof Bhagwan’s home, observe the CCTV and security deployment there. Naveen admits he agreed and enlisted the support of another person of his ‘sena’ – Anil of Srirangapatna – to take up this surveillance. Anil was also given money to buy an air-gun and take up target practice. It was when he checked up on Anil’s practising skills that he advised him – “don’t just practice shooting while sitting down, practice while standing, lying down and even walking”.

In mid-January 2018, Naveen says he hosted Praveen and three others at a farm-house near Maddur to carry forward these plans, but nothing could be worked out immediately.

The charge sheet filed against Naveen also provides ballistic evidence that the bullets recovered from Lankesh’s case match the exact striations of bullets recovered from Prof MM Kalburgi, who was killed in a similar fashion outside his home in Dharwad August 2015. It proves that both killers used the same weapon to fire the bullets from, though the country-made gun is yet to be recovered.

The bullets also match those that were pumped into Maharashtrian Left-wing activist Govind Pansare – Pansare and his wife were shot at by two bike-borne men while out on a walk in February 2015. The modus operandi was very similar to Lankesh and Kalburgi’s murders.

Two weapons had been used at the time, with one of them being the same gun that was used in the Lankesh and Kalburgi murders, police have established through ballistic evidence.

The other weapon used to attack the Pansares, incidentally, matches the gun used in the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune in August 2013. These show a specific pattern in these killings that investigators will likely take up soon, now that the first of a series of arrests have begun in the plot to kill Prof Bhagwan.

All murders are being investigated by different agencies – while the SIT is probing Lankesh’s murder, the CID of the Karnataka police is probing the murder of Prof Kalburgi. The murders of Pansare and Dabholkar are being probed by the Maharashtra police and the CBI respectively.

with inputs from NDTV web reports

How Modi fooled India on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway or KGP Expressway Project

Less than 15 days ago, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Eastern Peripheral Expressway or the KGP Expressway Project as it is also known as –  built at budgets running into several thousand crore with  much fanfare and hype, with the BJP IT cell going into overdrive with images of Modi riding an open vehicle, surrounded by his security guards.

Then 15 days later it rained. Not much rain, but a few hours of rain exposed the entire hype behind the projects. To know how the highway fared when exposed to a few hours of rains read the full report here. According to media reports, several craters developed next to the highway and huge cracks on the concrete slabs were seen at regular intervals throughout the highway. The concrete seemed “washed away” and spoke of low quality or inferior construction.

The Hindu reviewed the newly built highway. According to this report the much-hyped highway is a disaster. Another report by Business Standard (Read Here) also claims that the highway is a ready recipe for potential disaster.  Read the report from The Hindu below:

The point we are trying to make here is. If the highway was not ready as per the reports, why did the PM inaugurate it with such media hype and fanfare. What was the hurry? Why not complete the entire project and then inaugurate it 6 months later? Was Modi trying to score brownie points and divert attention of the masses, away from the rising prices, rising price of petrol, LPG and CNG prices? Was it another jumla dished out by the camera-crazy PM?

According to The Hindu, the starting point of the expressway is located nearly 8 km from the Haryana-Delhi border on National Highway-1 but it is a struggle to locate it because there are no signages en route. The approach road is inconspicuous with only a small board in a corner highlighting the beginning of the EPE. There is another board which indicates that the road leads to Ghaziabad, without any mention of all the other destinations connected, such as Hapur, Meerut, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Palwal.

Lack of proper road signs was in fact the biggest sore point of the journey. There are seven exit points on the EPE, many of which are indicated only once and if you miss those you could end up driving for much longer than you planned to.

Still worse, the exit points are named after villages situated nearby such as Baghpat, Duhai, Dasna, Dadri, Atali-Chasna. If you are not familiar with Uttar Pradesh, you will not know that these are exits leading towards Meerut, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad.

An official of the National Highways Authority of India acknowledged the problem. “We are making improvements on the basis of the feedback. Though road signs have been put up, there are many loops and inter-changes, people get confused. We will be adding more signs and will also ensure several indicators before every exit point,” he said.

No traffic monitoring
While the EPE has been called the country’s first smart expressway and was expected to be installed with the latest technology such as CCTVs, variable message signs for displaying important information for road users and overspeed checking system, on the ground we did not spot any. There was only one surveillance vehicle, which was manned by personnel who didn’t seem to have any training in crisis management or providing first-aid. As a result, there were several instances of trucks and trailers coming from the opposite direction.

The NHAI official told The Hindu that there is a plan to install Intelligent Transportion System for pro-active monitoring and taking pre-emptive actions, but it could take at least 12 months.

Works incomplete
The EPE is far from being a finished product and was perhaps inaugurated in a hurry. While the tolling will start only from June 15, construction work is still on all the toll gates, except at Baghpat where the PM inaugurated the expressway. As a result, at all entry and exit points there is only passage open for vehicles. For example, at the exit for Dadri, there is only a skeletal structure for the toll gate, which is unlikely to be ready by June 15.

Also Read: Eastern Peripheral Expressway or KGP Expressway is a recipe for potential disaster

At Duhai, the slip road for vehicles exiting from EPE and merging with the traffic on NH-58 is not ready, which is a serious safety hazard. The entrance to Duhai, too, is not ready, with only one of the two lanes constructed leading to traffic congestion. We also saw that work on painting of road markings was still on.

While the EPE promised all modern public amenities such as restaurants, washrooms, petrol pumps, repair shops, none of these exists on ground. So, if you are travelling on this highway, do remember to pack some food along.

No power or lighting
The EPE has been called the first green expressway and equipped with eight solar power plants with a capacity to generate 4 MW of electricity. However, officials say at least three solar panels have been found to be stolen. While, the NHAI has sought electricity supply from seven different zones along the expressway, many are yet to provide power. As a result, there is no streetlight during the night.

However, driving through the EPE is still a breeze as there are no traffic signals or congestion. One can complete a journey from Kundli to Noida in almost an hour, nearly half of what it would take otherwise.

For truck drivers, it also means that they don’t have to wait for 11 p.m. to enter Delhi and pay a hefty pollution cess.

According to the data collected by NHAI, the EPE is able to stop significant number of cars, trucks and multi-axle vehicles from entering Delhi and provide them an alternative route to reach Ghaziabad, Noida and Palwal. On June 3, a total of 13,100 vehicles entered EPE at Kundli and 7,400 vehicles exited at Palwal.

Officials say that the trend is on the rise and they expect this figure to double in the coming days.

Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Y.S. Malik said the exact number of vehicles being stopped from entering Delhi will be known once the Western Peripheral Expressway (Kundli-Manesar-Palwal) is open as many vehicles headed to Palwal and beyond will have the option to use both the expressways. “We expect to know the effective traffic count by December.”

Eastern Peripheral Expressway or KGP Expressway is a recipe for potential disaster

The 135-km highway, which connects Kundli to Palwal in Haryana via Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, will allow the trucks to make the journey in about half the time than they used to.

The trucks save on time and fuel, and since the new route bypasses Delhi, the capital breathes easier with fewer heavy vehicles entering the city and adding to its traffic congestion and toxic air pollution.

That, at least, is the ideal scenario. However, as of now, the expressway remains heavily under-used.

This despite the fact that the EPE has cut down the travel time between Kundli and Palwal from four-five hours to about two hours, and the toll too is being waived for the first two months.

Also Read: Major cracks, craters develop on Rs 5764 Cr recently inaugurated KGP Eastern Peripheral Expressway as digital gallery turns into a pond

The reason for the EPE’s relatively low volume of traffic may lie in the lack of adequate safety measures, especially after sundown.

A late evening reconnaissance by Business Standard showed that barring intermittent patches, the highway has no street lights.

In fact, not more than 10 per cent of the total road length of the “word-class” expressway can boast of something as basic as street lights as yet.

The darkness does not seem to deter the locals, though.

At night villagers blithely cross the highway as vehicles whizz past them at high speed. Moreover, passenger traffic coming on to the EPE via the slip roads flout the rules with impunity and chug along on the wrong side of the highway.

The violations go unchecked and the result is a recipe for potential disaster.

Also Read: How Modi fooled India on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway Project

The EPE has already had its share of accidents. In one incident on June 5, seven members of a family were killed and nine others injured when the driver of their pick-up van fell asleep at the wheel.

Though this particular mishap was not due to the lack of safety infrastructure, it is more than evident that the EPE is a high-risk zone after dark.

On an average, the EPE now gets about 600 heavy and light commercial vehicles from the Palwal side between 8 am and 8 pm daily.

“In the last one week, entry of as many as 350 trucks and 250 light commercial vehicles has been reported on the expressway,” an official assessing the traffic at the Palwal entry point told Business Standard.

According to S P Singh, senior fellow of the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), the volume of traffic on the EPE is lower than what was estimated as truckers are wary of the toll charges that will kick in shortly.

The digital weigh-in facility at the expressway’s entry points is another damper.

Once the weigh-in facility is operational, it will put a stop to the overloading of vehicles, which is not only a security hazard but also speeds up the wear and tear of the road surface.

The EPE is part of a 271-km Ring Road being constructed around Delhi.

The other half of the project, the 136-km Western Peripheral Expressway, will connect Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 110 billion, the project has been executed by  Sadbhav Engineering, Jaiprakash Associates, Ashoka Buildcon, Oriental Structure, and Gayatri Projects.

In 2016 the Delhi government had moved the Supreme Court to direct the Union government to complete the two expressways in a time-bound manner.

Subsequently, the construction was expedited and the EPE was commissioned on May 27 this year.

When complete, the two arms of the expressway are expected to decongest Delhi by diverting about 200,000 vehicles that enter the capital every day.

However, unless the authorities address concerns regarding safety and under-utilisation, the laudable goals of the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways may never be fully realized.

Source: Business Standard

Major cracks, craters develop on Rs 5764 Cr recently inaugurated KGP Eastern Peripheral Expressway even as digital gallery turns into a pond

After a bout of heavy rainfall and dust storm that hit Delhi, Haryana and surrounding areas, major cracks and craters have developed on the Rs 5764 Cr KGP Expressway or KGP Eastern Peripheral Expressway which was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi less than 15 days ago.

The cracks have appeared at hundreds of places on the entire stretch of the highway, speaking of inferior construction. KGP Eastern Peripheral Expressway or Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) Expressway or National Expressway II is a 135 km (84 mi) long, six-lane expressway, which was inaugurated only 13 days ago amidst a lot of fan-fare and hype by PM Modi who termed it a showcase of the developmental works undertaken by the BJP central government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently dedicated to the nation the two newly built expressways – Delhi-Meerut Expressway and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway. PM Modi traveled in an open jeep on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and then flew to Baghpat to inaugurate India’s first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway. Built at a cost of Rs. 11,000 crore, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway has several unique features to its name. It is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power besides provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides. (Also Read: Highway to Disaster)

Flooding was reported at all the subways and at several spots on the highway. According to eye-witnesses and commuters, water-logging on the highway, meant faulty construction and inferior raw material.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway develops cracks
Cracks and craters have developed on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway

The 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway or EPE has been built in a record time of 17 months. Its foundation stone was laid by PM Modi in November 2015. It originates at Kundli and ends at Palwal. Kundli and Palwal are both in Haryana.

The Expressway is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power and has provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides and would showcase 36 national monuments and 40 fountains, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said, adding it has been completed in a record 500 days.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway damaged in rain
Eastern Peripheral Expressway subways flooded with one day rain

There are 8 solar power plants on this expressway having a capacity of 4000-kilo watt (4 MW).

Mr Gadkari said 2.5 lakh trees have been planted along the highway. “For plantation, drip irrigation has been used in the central median as well as for avenue plantation,” he said.

The interchanges have been developed architecturally with beautiful plantation merged with fountains and 28 fountains have been installed drip irrigation provision has been done, he added.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway flooded
Eastern Peripheral Expressway flooded

Also, a cycle track of 2.5 metre has been developed on both sides of the expressway.

The minister said it is equipped with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS) and will set a benchmark in highway construction by being environment-friendly with world-class safety features and smart/interactive infrastructure.

Over 11 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonnes of steel, 3.6 crore cum earthwork and 1.2 cr cum fly-ash were used for the project, the minister said adding the project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 manpower was deployed here.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway develops major cracks
The Digital Gallery has turned into a pond

Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Palwal and will ultimately decongest the national capital. About two lakh vehicles, including trucks and commercial traffic, are expected to ply on the expressway without entering the national capital.

In order to have an uninterrupted travel experience and faster toll collection, the toll plazas will be provided with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway will help divert at least 50,000 vehicles going to Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, bringing down vehicular pollution.

The alignment of EPE starts near Kundli and passes through six parliamentary constituencies, viz Sonepat, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Palwal.

The fully access controlled six-lane expressway provides entry and exit designated interchanges only and has 406 structures of which 4 are major bridges, 46 minor bridges, 3 flyovers, 7 inter-changes, 221 underpasses and 8 road over bridges (ROBs).

The amenities include retail fuel outlets, rest rooms, motels, restaurants, shops etc. Some of the monuments’ replicas pertain to Ashoka Lion, Ashoka Chakra, Konark Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate, Hawa Mahal and Gujarat Carving.

The project had earlier faced resistance from farmers over land and other issues which have since been solved by giving higher compensation.

Why was Dr Kafeel Khan’s brother Kashif Jameel shot Durgawadi near Gorakhnath Temple?

Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan’s younger brother Kashif Jameel was shot at thrice by two unidentified bike-borne men at Durgawadi near Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur on Sunday night. The incident happened barely 500 metres away from the temple where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present.

Dr Kafeel, brother of the victim, was booked last year in connection with the death of nearly 60 children, allegedly because of lack of oxygen at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur. Since Dr Kafeel is out on bail, he has been vocal about the loopholes in the hospital administration during the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy.

According to Dr Kafeel, after the shooting, 34-year-old Kashif reached the nearby JP hospital, where he was allegedly denied treatment. He said that his brother mustered courage and managed to reach Star Hospital on his own. His family was informed later, and they rushed to the hospital where the doctor advised an emergency surgery to remove the bullets that had penetrated the neck, chin and right upper arm of the victim.

Meanwhile, the police had reached the hospital and allegedly stopped the patient from being taken to the operation theatre. Dr Kafeel told this reporter that they took him to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose District Hospital to get the medico legal case (MLC) done. “Once the MLC was done, we tried to take him to the Star Hospital for treatment, but the police officer DSP Praveen Singh insisted that my brother should be taken to the BRD College to get another MLC done by the medical board. We protested because the priority was to save him. It was already 1 am, and my brother was in pain. Blood was oozing from his wounds. We, anyhow, took him to the Star Hospital once again, but because of the heavy police deployment there, we were forced to take my brother to the BRD College, where there was no neurologist available,” he said.

DSP Praveen Singh accepted that the victim was taken from the District Hospital to BRD but he claimed that it was not to get the MLC done. “At the District Hospital, the victim was referred to the BRD Hospital, and that’s why we insisted on taking him to that hospital. For us, the life of the victim is precious than the legal procedures. Police was deployed because it was a serious matter,” said Singh.

However, the family denies the claims made by the police. “We were forced to shift my brother to BRD even when we had requested otherwise. As we reached BRD, which was 15 kilometres away from the Star hospital, the doctors said there was no need for another MLC. As there was no neurologist available at the time, the doctors at the BRD asked us to take my brother to the King George Medical College, Lucknow or continue treatment where he was already admitted. They [the police] wasted our four hours. He could have died. This behaviour of the police was not at all justified. We were disappointed,” Dr Kafeel added.

The police have registered an FIR against unknown men. “The motive behind the attack has not been uncovered as of now. We have registered an FIR, and we are looking into the matter,” informed Singh.

However, the family is demanding security citing threat to their lives. “I fear for my family, not for myself. I am demanding security for my family now,” said Dr Kafeel.

Speaking about the motive behind the incident, he said “The government is trying to threaten my family, so that I stop speaking the truth. I don’t see any other reason. I am not aware of any personal rivalry my brother could have had with anyone. But we are waiting for him to recover, so that we get to know more about the incident.”

Meanwhile, the condition of the victim is stable, and he is kept under observation. The victim was shot when he had gone out to buy slippers for his mother from a nearby store after offering Isha prayers. While he was coming back, a few unknown assailants shot three bullets at him.

Mayawati Slams Yogi Government Over Attack on Dr Kafeel Khan’s Brother Kashif Jameel

Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati slammed the Yogi Adityanath government on Monday saying that the attack on Dr Kafeel Khan’s brother in Gorakhpur and that on lawyer Ravi Tiwari in Allahabad are enough to prove that the state is witnessing “Jungle Raj”.

“The people of the state are suffering due to Jungle Raj in the state. Warnings to criminals by the CM and his ministers are also not effective. It is the result of big talks and zero delivery by the BJP,” the BSP Supremo said in a statement.

“Strict action should be taken against culprits responsible for the attack on Kashif, brother of Dr Kafeel Khan and attack on Ravi Tiwari, a lawyer from Allahabad. Time has come that the BJP should focus more on the security of citizens, and their development. If nothing concrete is done now, it might be too late. BJP’s own people, who are involved in criminal activities, must be nabbed first,” she added.

Meanwhile, Khan’s mother Nuzhat Parveen has demanded police protection for her family after her younger son Kashif Jameel was shot at by unknown miscreants on Sunday night in Gorakhpur.

Jameel (34) suffered three bullet injuries on his upper arm, neck and chin late on Sunday evening. He was immediately rushed to a local hospital.

Suspecting foul play, Khan said, “My brother has been shot at. I always knew they would try to kill us.”

Khan was the head of the encephalitis ward at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College when over 60 children died allegedly due to oxygen shortage in August 2016.

The paediatrician, one of the nine doctors accused, was charged under Sections 120(B), 308 and 409 of the IPC. However, Khan was later hailed as a ‘hero’ after it came to light that he had immediately swung into action and saved some children’s lives when the oxygen supply was disrupted.

The Gorakhpur doctor, who spent seven months in jail, was recently granted bail. Khan’s family had applied for bail on six different occasions during his seven-month detention.

All Kind of Beef must be Banned: Muslims, Christians must stop eating Beef or leave India: Swami Om

After recently targeting Christians, maverick Delhi-based Baba and former Bigg Boss contestant, Om Swami Maharaj also known as Swami Om or Om Maharaj today specifically targeted Muslims in India.

He alleged that since Muslims indulge in cow slaughter for beef and if eating all kind of beef is banned, cow slaughter will completely stop, he alleged, adding that the current laws were ineffective and unable to stop cow slaughter in India and that cow slaughter was still going on in certain parts of UP and MP as well as in South India.

Speaking to a local news channel, Om Maharaj said:

All kind of beef must be banned. Muslims and Christians in India must stop eating beef totally or else leave the country. This is a Hindu nation and beef and cow slaughter must be prohibited in this land, he said. Muslims indulge in cow slaughter for beef. If beef is completely banned, there will be no cow slaughter at all, he said.

According to media reports a hard-line Hindu group had called on Christians to be thrown out of India and stamped on images of Pope Francis while accusing him of promoting terrorism in a video being circulated on social media since May 25.

Also Read: Stop eating Pork & Beef, embrace Hindutva or else leave India

The video shows controversial Hindu leader Om Swami Maharaj with a group of about 20 people carrying placards and banners with pictures of Pope Francis not far from Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.

Last year Sadhvi Saraswati made a controversial statement at a Hindu Conclave in Goa saying Goans must either stop eating beef in Goa or go to Portugal.

Also Read: Those who eat beef must be hung in public: Sadhvi Saraswati 

Om Maharaj made a speech before members of the group began stamping on the Pope’s image. During his speech, he accused Indian Christians of promoting terrorism and Maoism in the country and demanded they should leave India, according to a report by ucanews.com.

If Christians don’t leave India, Maharaj said, they will use force to expel them. “We have our own ways to expel them if they don’t fall in line,” he said, adding that Christians must stop eating beef and pork if they want to continue living in India. This is not the first time, Swami Om has brought up this issue. The small-time thief and TV reality show participant who can go to any extent for publicity and self-promotion, had on two earlier occasions claimed that Christians must stop eating beef and pork and even called on Muslims in India to completely give up beef from their diet or go to Pakistan.

Also Read: Beef to be completely banned in Goa, rest of India by 2019

Maharaj spread a banner featuring a picture of the Pope on the road and then, with several others, stamped on it. Slogans of “Pope Francis murdabad” (Down with Pope Francis) were shouted. It is not known if the police intervened or if any police case has been filed yet.

The media has otherwise been very mum on this issue, possibly because Swami Om is a known attention-seeker and trouble maker.

Also ReadWho is Swami Om?

The video has caught the attention of Christian groups in central India, prompting them to approach the police to stop the video’s circulation. At the time of writing this report, the police are looking into the complaints.

Richard James, spokesman for the Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh, the ecumenical national Christian forum based in Madhya Pradesh, said the police have been alerted to the video.

“This kind of public display of hate toward any religious group or leader would not be allowed in a civilized society,” James told ucanews.com.

Jaideep Prasad, inspector general of Police in state capital Bhopal, told ucanews.com that his officers “will not allow anyone to spread discord among people with such videos.”

Madhya Pradesh is among states governed by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“I have already instructed officials to do what is necessary to ensure peace,” said Prasad on May 29.

Not just Swami Om, several other BJP leaders have upped the ante against Christians over the last one year.  Subramanian Swami, a BJP parliamentarian, moved a bill last year seeking capital punishment for cow slaughter since the animal is revered by a section of Hindus. He has continued to argue that cow slaughter should be tried as murder.

In a May 23 Twitter message, he urged Modi to cease all diplomatic relations with the Vatican. He also said the Vatican embassy in New Delhi should be sealed as the Delhi archbishop is “a formal nominee of the Vatican.”

Yogi Adityanath’s principal secretary Shashi Prakash Goyal accused of demanding Rs 25 lakh bribe, Governor orders inquiry

In a major embarrassment to the UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Governor Ran Naik has written him a letter to conduct an inquiry and take action against his Principal Secretary Shashi Prakash Goyal, who has been accused of demanding bribe of Rs 25 lakh to set up a petrol pump in Hardoi.

The Governor wrote a letter telling Yogi Adityanath that, Mr Abhishek Gupta, resident of 24 Prakash Lok in Indira Nagar , Lucknow had sent an email to his office on 18th April last month accusing Principal Secretary Shashi Prakash Goyal of demanding bribe of Rs 25 lakh from him.

The letter further mentions that Mr Gupta proposed to set up a petrol pump sanctioned by Essar Oil at Sandila Tehsil in Hardoi district. The road connecting the site where the fuel pump would be constructed is very narrow and the top bureaucrat allegedly demanded Rs 25 lakh to get the road widened.

The Governor has asked the CM to get an inquiry conducted and take appropriate action against the accused officer.

UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said that the party has filed a complaint with Deepak Kumar, SSP Lucknow against complainant Abhishek Gupta for using the name of top BJP leaders for his personal gains in the past.

“However, the UP Governor has done his job by apprising CM of the complaint received. The government will get an inquiry conducted and strict action will be taken against the concerned officer if the allegations are found true,” added Tripathi.

Rahul Gandhi to visit Mumbai on June 12 for court hearing, will meet party workers at Mumbai Exhibition Centre, Goregaon

Mumbai, Jun 7: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be in Mumbai on June 12 to attend a court hearing in connection with a defamation case filed against him.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said that Gandhi would be present in Bhiwandi court at 11am on June 12 and would later meet the party’s booth-level workers.

On May 2, the Bhiwandi Magistrate Court in neighbouring Thane had asked Gandhi to appear before it on June 12 to record his plea in a defamation case filed against him by an RSS functionary.

The court had, on May 2, heard arguments on Gandhi’s application, seeking a detailed recording of evidence instead of a ‘summary trial’, and adjourned the matter till June 12.

The court had said that it would pass an order on the application and would also record the defendant’s (Rahul Gandhi) plea on June 12, and asked him to remain present on that day.

Rajesh Kunte, a local worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had filed the case against Gandhi in 2014 after watching his speech in Thane’s Bhiwandi township where the Congress leader alleged that the RSS was behind the killing of Mahatma Gandhi.

He filed the case against the Congress president over the latter’s alleged statement at an election rally near Bhiwandi on March 6, 2014 that “the RSS people had killed (Mahatma) Gandhi.”

Nirupam today said that Gandhi would meet an estimated 15,000 party workers at the Mumbai Exhibition Ground in suburban Goregaon between 2pm and 4pm on June 12.

“The Congress party has always believed in working ground up and Rahul ji believes in connecting with the hardworking members of our party who work relentlessly at the booth level,” Nirupam said.

He said that the meeting was to thank these workers.