Rafale Fighter Jet contract given by Narendra Modi to a ‘businessman friend’ who has not even manufactured a bicycle: Raj Babbar

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president and Rajya Sabha MP, Raj Babbar, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, accusing him of benefiting a private businessman who happens to be his friend, who has no knowledge of fighter jets and has not even manufactured a bicycle, reports India Today.

Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Babbar said “How can a company which has no experience of even making a bicycle get Rafale contract? This clearly shows PM Modi’s nexus with businessmen and the ground-breaking ceremony was conducted in Lucknow on Sunday just to hide his incompetence. ‘Dramebaazi‘ is being done by him everywhere.”

Hailing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for attacking PM Modi during his speech during the no-confidence motion, Babbar said “Rahul has exposed in the Parliament how PM is benefiting few businessmen in the country. He also exposed the discrepancies in Rafale deal but Modi had no concrete reply.”

Babbar also replied to Modi’s comment on relations with industrialists. The PM, in a gathering at Lucknow, said that in the previous government businessmen used to bow down in front of politicians back door.

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi on Sunday in Lucknow had said that there is no shame in standing with businessmen if intentions are clear.

Without taking Gandhi’s name, PM said that in the previous regimes businessmen used to bow down in front of politicians in backdoor meetings but his govt has ensured full transparency.

“We want to tell the PM that Rahul Gandhi has no picture with any businessmen because he doesn’t meet them. You promised employment to 2 crore people but have now said that only 2 lakh youths will be given jobs, why such hypocrisy is being done ?” asked Babbar.

“Prime Minister keeps on saying that he is a “bhaagidaar” but is not issuing any clarification on the Rafale deal. People made him a “chaukidaar” but he has become a “bhaagidaar” in favouring industrialists and ignoring the plight of farmers who are facing the worst crisis under BJP rule”, said Babbar.

Also hitting at the callousness of the government with regards to farmer deaths, he said “Farmers are committing suicide in UP every day but both PM and UP CM aren’t bothered. At least 70 people have lost their lives in the rain-related incidents across UP but there was not even a single word of condolence from these leaders.”

He also attacked the UP government for police brutality in Allahabad where female students were lathi-charged by the cops for trying to register their complaints to BJP chief Amit Shah during his visit.

Source: India Today

Alliance with BJP was like ‘drinking a cup of poison’, says Mehbooba Mufti who want’s Modi to Respond Positively to Imran Khan’s offer of Friendship

Peerzada Ashiq | The Hindu: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday asked the Central government to respond positively to the friendship offer made by Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan.

“Pakistan is getting a new government, a new prime minister. He [Mr. Khan] has made an offer of friendship. I want to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond to the offer positively,” she said.

Ms. Mufti congratulated Mr. Khan on his victory in the Pakistan elections.

Alliance with BJP like ‘drinking cup of poison’

Claiming to have faced “immense pressure” during the two years of her alliance with the BJP, she said, “It [alliance with the BJP] was like drinking a cup of poison. I did not compromise. As many times I met the Prime Minister, I asked him to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan and Hurriyat. I asked the Centre to release Hurriyat leaders from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody so that peace will prevail in Kashmir.”

Ms. Mufti was addressing the party’s foundation day in Srinagar. It was her first public appearance since the BJP pulled out of the alliance in June.

Referring to the death of civilians in a street agitation in 2016, she said she felt the pain of the pellet victims.

She said Article 35-A, which is up for a hearing before the Supreme Court in August, “is a challenge for all Kashmiri political parties”.

“All the parties should set aside differences and defend the Article the way we did in the past two years,” she added.

Source: Peerzada Ashiq | The Hindu

Jesus Christ, Bible doesn’t say ‘eat beef’, Christians must stop eating beef to stop lynchings or we will have to stop it our way: RSS leader

Delhi, July 26: After RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Monday gave a new twist to the Christmas Story and Biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth, saying Jesus was born in a gaushala or cow shed and hence Christians must stop eating beef, (Read Here) he added some more pearls of wisdom today.

On Thursday, when asked by media persons to clarify on what he meant by his earlier statement – Christ was born in cowshed,  he said  the expression ‘mother cow’ is used in the Bible and even Christianity considers the cow holy and refers to the animal as ‘mother cow’ or holy cow.

Also Read: Goa BJP govt has failed beef eaters: Dy Speaker Michael Lobo blasts his own CM on beef shortage

Jesus Christ or the Bible does not ask Christians to eat beef, Kumar said.

“There is no religious compulsion for Christians to eat beef. Why are Christians in India hell bent on eating beef. They can consume poultry or lamb or sea food, he told reporters, adding that Christians in India must respect the sentiments of the majority Hindu community if they want to live in peace.’

He further added on Thursday that if Christians and Muslims did not stop eating beef, they (the RSS) would have to stop it their way.

Also Read: Stop eating beef, give ‘Rashtra Mata’ status to cow demand RSS, BJP leaders

“We have our own way to enforce a complete ban on cow slaughter and ban on beef consumption in India if needed, but we would like to appeal to the people to do it on their own without any threat or coercion, Kumar said.

News agency ANI in a tweet quoted Kumar as saying:

Isaa (Jesus) dharti par gaushala mein aaye, isliye waha mother cow bolte hain. Mecca Madina mein gaye ka vadh apradh maante hain. Kya hum sankalp nahi kar sakte ki dhara,manavta ko is paap se muqt karaein.Agar muqt ho jaaye to aapki samasya(mob lynching) ka hal ho jaayega: I Kumar

The mainline media while prominently reporting the leader’s speech forgot the gaffe made by Kumar, possibly due to ignorance on the subject. Here is a print screen of the ANI tweet:


Kumar also emphasized on the role of ‘sanskar’ (values) in dealing such problems. He said, “Law has to be there and the government must act, but society also needs the right ‘sanskar’ to deal with this problem.”

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

Kumar in his conversation with reporters on Monday also claimed that the phrase ‘Holy Cow’ stems from the fact that Jesus was born in a cowshed and hence according to the Bible cows are holy and must not be slaughtered.

The phrase ‘Holy Cow’ has nothing to do with Jesus’ birth or the Bible and probably originated somewhere in the early 19th century, possibly during the British rule in India, where some Britons started using the phrase to refer to cow-worship in India.

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

Biblical accounts state that Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger, as there was no place in the inn. The Biblical stable where Jesus was born is definitely NOT  a cowshed and is basically where horses and mules were allowed to rest, while their owners rested for the night before continuing their journey onward the next morning.

Also Read: FDA boss spoke to field agents on Ibrahim Maulana’s phone even as Fish Mafia, Minister made over 200 calls to Goa FDA officers

According to a Christian website, Mary and Joseph came into town with Mary ready to deliver. Arriving at Joseph’s ancestral home town, they found it already full of other family members or relatives and cousins who had arrived earlier.

This possibly explains the “no room in the inn,” phrase.

Also Read: Those who eat beef should be hung in public, says Sadhvi Saraswati

While the exact reason space was not made for a pregnant woman is unknown, it probably indicates the house and inn was full of elder members of Joseph’s family, who were given priority or possibly Mary and Joseph were way too late and others who had occupied the rooms in town were already fast asleep.

Also Read: Fish Mafia King Maulana Ibrahim Funded and Actively Campaigned for Goa Forward Party During 2017 Elections?

So that is when Mary and Joseph went to a barn or stable. The Biblical account mentions neither barn nor cave — it is assumed because of the manger. Mangers are animal feeding troughs, and barns are where one would expect to find them.

Different types of domesticated animals were in the barn where Mary and Joseph rested for the night. However, it was definitely not a cow shed.

Also Read: Beef issue: Goans must understand they live in Hindustan and not Portugal

In the ancient world, as well as in primitive modern cultures, mangers are also found within the house itself. Animals are regularly kept in homes at night.

Larger animals like horses and mules are kept in a shed adjacent to the house.

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

According to the Indian Express, Kumar said crimes like mob lynching could stop if people stopped eating beef. He also emphasized on the role of ‘sanskar’ (values) for dealing with such problems.

“Mob lynching can’t be welcomed…if the practice of eating cow meat is stopped, many such crimes of the ‘Satan’ could be stopped,” he said.

Also Read: Beef-eating countries treat their cows and cattle better than India, assert Goa MLAs

In the Alwar lynching case, the Rajasthan Police admitted that there was a delay in transporting the victim to a community health centre which was just 10 minutes away from the incident site.

The victim’s family has also alleged that the police further beat up the brutally injured victim at the police station, before finally taking him to the hospital.

Also Read: People who eat beef as ‘status symbol’ should be hanged: Sadhvi Saraswati

Police said that a high-level committee has been set up to probe why this delay happened.

According to media reports, the victim identified Akbar Khan was first taken to the police station where officials had changed his clothes and stopped for a tea break before taking him to the community where he was declared brought dead.

Also Read: Jesus was born in a Cow Shed, so Christians must Stop Eating Beef says RSS leader

Another account says he was taken to a house of a nearby resident, where he was given a bath and washed up.

The FIR, however, says that Khan was directly taken to the community centre, which was incorrect, subsequent inquiry has revealed.

Also Read: Parrikar manipulated FDA reports in connivance with Goa Forward Party to save fish mafia: Chodankar

Kumar’s comments came days after a man was lynched on suspicion of cow smuggling in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.

“…it is true that not a single religion in the world approves killing of cows, he stressed.

Be it Christianity, which talks of ‘Holy Cow’, because Jesus was born in a cowshed; or Islam, where killing cows is banned in Mecca and Madina (cities in western Saudi Arabia); or any other religion, killing a cow is not approved anywhere,” he said, reports the Indian Express.

“Law has to be there and the government must act, but society also needs the right ‘sanskar’ to deal with this problem,” he said.

Also Read: Stop Eating Beef or Get Killed, Lynchings To continue if Muslims, Christians Don’t Stop Eating Beef

Addressing a press meet in a hotel after inauguration of the office of the Jharkhand unit of Hindu Jagran Manch in Ranchi, Kumar told the media that many Muslim parties associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, have already agreed to give up the demand for a mosque at Ayodhya, which was “Ram Janmasthan (birthplace of Lord Ram)”.

He also claimed that calling Hindus communal is fraught with the risk of labeling all religions in the world as communal.

Stop Eating Beef or Get Killed, Lynchings To Continue if Muslims, Christians Don’t Stop Eating Beef, Minister Giriraj Singh Endorses Views of RSS Indresh Kumar

July 25 18: BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh endorsed the views of RSS leader Indresh Kumar on the Alwar lynching. Singh said that Kumar is a “mature” man and said whatever he did “after proper thought”, reports news agency ANI.

Also Read: Beef issue: Goans must understand they live in Hindustan and not Portugal

Singh also endorsed Kumar’s suggestion that the only solution to stop lynchings and killing in the name of ‘gau-mata‘ is to completely stop the consumption of beef in the country.

Also Read: VHP and Bajrang Dal set to impose complete beef ban in India

It is a natural impulsive reaction of a certain section of people who worship ‘gau-mata‘ and it happens on the spur of the moment when they see ‘gau-mata‘ being slaughtered for food.

“These statements are a direct endorsement of  the Government’s support and encouragement to lynchings and public incitement of violent mobs by none less than a Union Minister in the Central Government headed by Narendra Modi. If Modi cannot control his Union Ministers, how will he control an incited, murderous mob,” asked a Congress leader.


There has been no comment till the time of going to press, from the Prime Minister or any senior BJP minister on the statements made by their colleague.

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

He also endorsed Kumar’s statements that lynchings will continue in India, unless Muslims, Christians and other sections of people completely stop eating beef and the Government cannot be held responsible for it. As long as beef is consumed and cows are slaughtered, lynchings will continue, Singh said.

Also Read: Stop eating beef, give ‘Rashtra Mata’ status to cow demand RSS, BJP leaders

“He (RSS leader Indresh Kumar) is a mature man and must have said something after proper thought,” news agency ANI quoted Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh.

In an apparent reference to the incidents of mob lynching, RSS leader Indresh Kumar said if the practice of eating cow meat was stopped, many crimes of the ‘Satan’ could be curtailed.

Also Read: Jesus was born in a Cow Shed, so Christians must Stop Eating Beef says RSS leader Indresh Kumar

Twenty-nine-year-old Rakbar Khan was lynched in Alwar on July 21 by a mob of cow protectors who accused him of smuggling cows.

RSS leader Indresh Kumar on Monday said crimes like mob lynching could stop if people stopped eating beef. He also claimed that calling Hindus communal is fraught with the risk of labelling all religions in the world as communal.

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

“Lynchings will stop if people don’t eat beef. The cows must be protected and cowdung should be used as cement, then both poverty and violence will end… Jesus was born in a cowshed and that is why in Christianity they talk of ‘Holy cow’. In Mecca and Medina killing cow is a crime. Can we not pledge not to kill cows. If we can pledge this our problem of mob lynching will be solved,” said Indresh at the inauguration of Jagran Hindu Manch in Ranchi.

The leader also emphasised on the importance of right “sanskaar” to deal with this problem.

Also Read: Those who eat beef should be hung in public, says Sadhvi Saraswati

“Law has to be there and the government must act, but society also needs the right ‘sanskaar’ to deal with this problem,” he said.

The leader did say that violence in any form can never be welcomed.

“Any mob violence, be it of your home, locality, caste or party can never be welcomed. But, you tell me if any religious place in the world approves the killing of cow,” said Indresh.

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

Last week, a dairy farmer, Rakbar Khan from Haryana’s Mewat district, was lynched by a group of seven persons in Alwar when he was transporting two cows and their calves.

On July 17, the Supreme Court condemned the recent spate of lynchings as “horrendous acts of mobocracy” and told Parliament to make lynching a separate offence.

with inputs from ANI & CNN News18

BJP’s Hindutva, concern about Hindus fake, Ram Mandir only a Castle in the Air, Cows safe, but Women and Dalits are not: Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai (PTI): Taking a dig at the BJP-led government over incidents of mob lynching, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Monday said cows were safer than women and dalits in the country.

“We are a part of the government but if something is wrong, we will definitely talk about it. We are friends of the Bharatiya Janata, not of any party,” Thackeray said, taking a dig at Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) name.

Shiv Sena is BJP’s alliance partner in Maharashtra and the Centre. On incidents of mob lynching in the country, the Shiv Sena chief said BJP’s idea of Hindutva was fake, and criticised the government for failing to check cow vigilantism.

“In this country, cows are safe but women are not,” he said in an interview to Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“In the name of saving the cow, if you are shifting focus to whether someone is eating beef or not, then it is a sham. This is not Hindutva. I do not accept the idea of Hindutva that is being adhered to in the country. Our women are unsafe and you are protecting cows,” Thackeray said.

“We (Shiv Sena) never said cows should be slaughtered. But while protecting cows, India has become the most unsafe country for women. One should be ashamed of it. “You want to save ‘gau-mata’ (cow) but what about ‘mata’ (mother),” he said. Targeting the BJP over the debate on nationalism, Thackeray said the BJP had no right to decide who was a nationalist and anti-national.

“Anyone criticising the government does not become anti-national. Members of Parliament are representatives of people and have the right to raise questions,” he said.

Thackeray said his party has opposed only those decisions which appeared not to be protecting the interests of the poor. “I criticize the government if it is taking any wrong steps. I cannot take the appeasement route to woo them (BJP).

The previous (UPA) regime was defeated by people and there were big expectations from this NDA government. But this government is also functioning like the previous one,” he added.

At a recent function, Thackeray also rubbished claims about the BJP government’s sincerity about constructing the Ram Mandir temple at Ayodhya or finding a mutually acceptable solution to the issue. The BJP only remembers Ram Mandir six months before the elections and uses it as a poll stunt, Thackeray was quoted as saying.

They can construct a gigantic party office, the biggest in the world as they claim, but the Ram Mandir issue will never be sorted out by the BJP, Thackeray blasted.

Source: PTI

The fish mafia is killing Goans by spreading slow poison: They are merchants of greed, evil and horror

The Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant on Thursday adjourned the House till noon after the Congress insisted on discussing the issue of formalin-use in fish sold in the state, reports IANS.

Also Read: Rs 25 lakh ‘bribe’ paid by inter-state fish mafia to BJP-led Goa Govt to get a clean chit in formalin contamination controversy

During Question Hour, the Speaker was forced to adjourn the House after Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, moved an adjournment motion and insisted on raising the fish issue on the first day of the monsoon session.

Also Read: Should we give FDA Padma Bhushan? Vijai Sardesai slams media & FDA, calls journos ‘prophets of doom’ who made FDA director a ‘heroine’

“All 16 (Congress) MLAs have signed a motion of adjournment. This formalin issue should be discussed first. Not at the time of calling attention motion,” Kavlekar said.

Also Read: Fish mafia earns a ‘minimum profit’ of Rs 5-10 Cr a month or Rs 120 Cr annually, politicians, senior police officials, bureaucrats are either partners or get the best catch free?

“The fish mafia is killing Goans. Fish mafia is spreading slow poison. They are merchants of greed, evil and horror. This is a burning issue. All other issues can wait.

“These merchants of horror are supported by this party, yesterday by our party, tomorrow they will be with some other party,” former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro said.

Also Read: Should I look into your stomach? Should I enter your stomach and tell you if fish is formalin free: angry Parrikar retorts

Sawant, however, said that since calling attention motions had been moved by both Congress and BJP MLAs the issue could be discussed later.

When the opposition did not relent on their demands, the Speaker was forced to adjourn the legislative assembly proceedings till 12 noon.

Also Read: Parrikar admits current Goa FDA setup unequipped, understaffed and incapable of properly detecting adulterants in food and fish across the State?

Goa on Wednesday banned the import of fish from other states for 15 days, after the state Food and Drug Administration officials claimed that formalin, a powerful disinfectant used to preserve cadavers, was used to preserve fish.

The agency later flip-flopped on several occasions on the formalin use and its harm, but public pressure and criticism from the opposition forced the government to implement the temporary ban.

Source: IANS

Shashi Tharoor’s life may be in danger as extreme right groups that murdered Gauri Lankesh, Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Pansare could be training their guns on the Thiruvananthapuram MP?

IndiaScoops.com Political Bureau | Mumbai | 17th July 2018: After BJP youth activists smeared black oil on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s constituency office over his comment that a “Hindu Pakistan” would be created if the ruling party at the Centre returned to power, a special police team probing the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh feels the Thiruvananthapuram MP’s life could be in grave danger, as several far-right organisations consider Tharoor a thorn in their sides for his ability to create a huge traction in the media with his one-liners and witty utterances against the ruling BJP government.

As an intellectual, Tharoor’s thoughts and views are frowned upon by certain elements in the pro-Hindutva, extreme right outfits, who consider him to be their enemy No 1.

Not just Tharoor, another 3-4 senior Opposition leaders from different regional political parties could possibly be on the hit-list of these secret far-right extremist outfits, a former IB official who now works for a defense security consulting firm told IndiaScoops.com.

However, while SIT sources confirmed that Tharoor could be on the hit-list of certain extremist Hindu outfits, other senior police officials brushed off the threat as mere speculation and rubbished rumours that Tharoor’s security has been beefed up substantially in the last 10 days.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh murder: SIT uncovers covert pro-Hindutva outfit that recruits assassins

According to reports appearing in local Thiruvananthapuram media, certain extremist elements from far right fringe groups like the Dharam Jagaran Samanvay Samiti, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena Hindustan, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Hindu Dharma Sena, Hindu Makkal Katchi, Hindu Rashtra Sena, Sanathan Sanstha, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini, etc., have formed a secret group to carry out executions or hits, similar to those of Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh killers planned to kill actor Prakash Raj, a Goan Congress leader and a Mumbai-based journalist

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of author and critic Gauri Lankesh had earlier revealed that the killers of Gauri Lankesh had 2-3 more targets including actor Prakash Raj and were carrying out reconnaissance at the targets’ place of work and residence to find out the pattern and daily schedule of their targets.

It has now come to light that 2-3 senior politicians are also on the list of the main conspirators who are still at large. The SIT fears that the main conspirators one of whom is  a retired army  Colonel.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh strongly suspects the role of four top rung leaders, including a retired Indian Army Colonel, of a right-wing organisation, to be behind the murder who are directly connected to top leaders in the ruling BJP party at the Centre.

Also Read: Gauri Lankesh shooter kept in house rented by man from Goa’s Sanatan Sanstha

With investigations pointing towards their possible involvement, the SIT is trying to gather clinching evidence against them, sources in the SIT told The New Indian Express (TNIE)

The four persons are suspected to have given the ‘order’ to Amol Kale to eliminate Gauri, who reportedly invited their wrath by making derogatory speeches against Hindu religion.

A senior SIT official, on condition of anonymity, admitted to TNIE, that the role of the four men was strongly suspected in the murder.

Also Read: CBI, Maharashtra CID must diligently probe deaths of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare as liberals fear threat to life

“The four hold key positions in a right-wing organisation and one among them is a retired Colonel. Though we believe that the call for the murder was given by them, there is no substantial evidence against them. We are working on gathering evidence against them,” the official told TNIE.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the organisation is trying hard to shield the absconding accused persons in the case and substantial pressure is being exerted on the investigating officers.

“There are at least three accused persons involved in the case, who are still at large, and we have information that the organisation is helping and funding them to evade arrest,” the official added.

Also Read: Sanatan Sanstha’s bank account was used to channel funds for Gauri Lankesh murder, pay off killer

SIT sources told IndiaScoops.com that in the run up to the 2019 polls, at least two senior Congress politicians are on the hit list of this secret group, the four main conspirators of which are still at large and their actual identities are still unclear.

The SIT has so far arrested 6 persons linked to the Gauri Lankesh murder, including the man who pulled the trigger. The murder weapon – the gun which was used in two more shootings has not yet been found.

Also Read: Probe into Gauri Lankesh’s murder reveals links to extremist Hindutva group Sanatan Sanstha

According to media reports, Tharoor was not present in the office when the attack by BJP Yuva Morcha took place. He was attending other functions in the city.

The BJP Yuva Morcha activists, shouting slogans, barged into the office and even tied a banner saying “Hindu Pakistan”

Senior Congress legislator V.D. Sateeshan told the media that the incident was a show of the BJP’s arrogance.

Also Read: Sanathan Sanstha a nodal agency for radicals involved in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, money for hits, was routed through donations made to Sanstha

State Congress president M.M. Hassan and leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala strongly condemned the act.

Speaking on “Threats faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism” at an event in the city last week, Mr Tharoor said: “The great danger is that if they (the BJP) are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one.

Also Read: Plot to kill Lankesh took root at Sanathan Sanstha’s Hindu Conclave in June 2017

“That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan,” Tharoor is reported to have said.

It is learnt that the secret right wing outfit had funded the entire operation.

“Amol Kale was being paid at least Rs 1.25 lakh every month since planning the operation to kill Gauri began in January 2017. The money was pumped by the outfit to arrange manpower and logistics as part of the mission,” the official said, claims a TNIE report.

with inputs from various agencies including NDTV, TNIE, TOI, etc.,

Have arch-rivals Vijai Sardesai and Luizinho Faleiro kissed and made up?

According to media reports agriculture or “agree culture” brought two political arch-rivals together in South Goa recently, albeit for a very short time.

Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro showed Goenkarponn when they kept aside their political differences with each other, for the sake of agriculture. Both shared the stage at a Navelim function, recently claim media reports.

However, as the saying goes, there is no smoke without fire. It seems there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes and both Faleiro and Sardesai’s chamchas and sidekicks have been burning the midnight oil to find some rapport and common ground between the warring parties.

political-commentaryWhile in the interests of Goem, it would be nice to see these senior politicians come together to work for the benefit of the people on issues like the formalin-in-fish controversy, civic infrastructure, etc., it seems it is merely power and politics that may bring the two warring leaders together if ever.

Both Faleiro and Sardesai harbour ambitions of becoming Goa CM. Faleiro has been CM in the past and Sardesai is bidding his turn, waiting for the day when he will sit on the ‘hot seat’ in Goa.  But that is definitely not going to happen as long as Manohar Parrikar is active in Goa! Or will it in the near future?

“There should be a common minimum program of Goans. This is not the kind of program which is developed between the political parties to form the government,” Sardesai said in his speech at Navelim.

The montri began his speech by clarifying that the political differences between him and Faleiro have been kept at bay when it comes to the welfare of the farmers and development of the State. He went out of his way not to embarrass Faleiro in his speech.

Faleiro too responded and reciprocated Sardesai’s overtures. We wonder if the two are going to meet soon over some fish curry rice. Or will the formalin-in-fish issue play spoil sport in their growing friendship?

Rs 25 lakh ‘bribe’ paid by Goa fish mafia to BJP govt to get a clean chit for 17 formalin-laced contaminated fish trucks unfit for human consumption?

IndiaScoops.com Bureau | Panaji | 13th July 2018: After a very strenuous and tiring Thursday, president of the wholesale Fish Traders Association of Goa, Ibrahim Shaikh alias Haji Ibrahim alias Ibrahim Musa (different names have appeared in different news reports) and his colleagues and cronies and other big inter-state fish traders operating in Goa were sharing a relaxed cup of tea late on Thursday evening.

Also Read: Should we give FDA Padma Bhushan? Vijai Sardesai slams media & FDA, calls journos ‘prophets of doom’ who made FDA director a ‘heroine’

Though they were done for the day, and a big business catastrophe had been averted, their pockets were lighter by Rs 25 lakh.

Of course, this was only the first installment. Goans have wondered aloud on social media, how the entire Goan government was ‘bought’ for just Rs 25 lakh?

Also Read: Parrikar going soft on formalin-fish issue to protect Minister, Save Govt

Well, we forgot to mention yesterday that the Rs 25 lakh ‘bribe’ figure was possibly only the first installment or initial down payment.

The fish mafia is said to earn a profit of Rs 10-15 lakh per day in Goa. Which means Rs 3 to 5 crore is what they earn in profits each month. Or Rs 80 to Rs 120 crore are the annual profits of the big fish traders in Goa, controlled indirectly by their political bosses.

Also Read: Fish mafia earns a ‘minimum profit’ of Rs 5-10 Cr a month or Rs 120 Cr annually, politicians, senior police officials, bureaucrats are either partners or get the best catch free?

Ten per cent of this amount would translate to Rs 30 to 50 lakh per month as kickbacks or ‘bribes’ per month distributed to politicians who control the fish mafia in Goa.

A reliable source who works as a PA to one of the fish mafia politicians tells us that even the price of daily fish imported into Goa is decided by his boss (the politician) and not by the fish traders.

Also Read: Parrikar admits current Goa FDA setup unequipped, understaffed and incapable of properly detecting adulterants in food and fish across the State?

Our sources tell us that politicians, senior police officials and bureaucrats in Goa get complimentary fish – the best of the catch almost everyday. Some politicians even order their daily quota of fish directly from the traders, without paying them.

Also Read: Formalin present, but Goa FDA ‘pressurized’ and ‘managed’ by a Minister and fish mafia to retract reports, manipulate tests

Yes, you heard it right, Rs 25 lakh is the amount paid by the fish mafia to a coterie of Goa government officials, including FDA officials and Ministers in the Goa BJP-led government on Thursday to get a clean chit for the 17 formalin-laced fish trucks that were contaminated and otherwise harmful for human consumption and which initially tested positive for formalin in spot tests conducted at the markets.

This figure was revealed to IndiaScoops.com from very reliable and knowledgeable sources directly associated with the wholesale fish trade in Goa.

Many wholesalers in Goa are upset that they had to shell out and contribute huge sums of money to save the backsides of the unscrupulous traders who resort to “treating” fish with formalin. Not all traders use formalin every time to ‘treat’ fish, though most of them do at some time or the other, depending on the weather and the ‘catch’.

Also Read: MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco slams Goa govt on formalin contamination issue

Skeptics and  opponents of this report will rush to rubbish this post as fabricated or ‘fake news’ or mere speculation. But we at IndiaScoops.com have it from the horse’s mouth. There is no hardcore ‘proof’ as the blind supporters of the BJP-led Goa government and its Ministers will demand. This post is based on hearsay and unconfirmed sources, they will argue, but yes, some of the best and biggest exposés in the world originated from hearsay and even gossip. 

Also Read: 28,000 kg formalin-laced fish, 6000 kg of formalin-soaked shrimp seized in Kerala

Consider what former head of the department of microbiology, Goa University (GU), Joe D’Souza has to say regarding the clean chit given by the Goa FDA:

“Formalin decomposes within hours and by the time the fish was taken to the laboratory at Bambolim by the FDA, it could have decomposed to carbon dioxide and water. The very fact that formalin was found through a spot test, is a serious matter. Repeated use of formalin even in small quantities as well as its accumulated residual effects are dangerous, the former head of GU’s microbiology department told the Times of India.

Formalin can cause nephritis-inflammation of the kidneys.” When fish with formalin is transported from other states, residue may not be present on its surface by the time it reaches Goa. But the formalin has entered and penetrated the tissues and flesh of the fish, which is impossible to remove. At times formalin is sprayed inside the body of the fish or even injected into the fish.

Also Read: High levels of formalin, formaldehyde and other chemicals detected in FDA raids on Goa fish markets

Another expert from the Goa Fisheries department who didn’t want to be named said:

There is no permissible level for formalin in fish. Formalin should never be used and the only preservative that can be used to store fish is ‘food-grade or consumable ice’. This has been ratified by the FDA of different Indian states in the past. It is now surprising that the Goa FDA claims that the formalin content in the seized fish trucks was within permissible limits. I want to know what are the permissible levels that the FDA detected?

In the US and other European countries, formalin or formaldehyde is illegal in food beyond any naturally occurring microscopic trace amounts. There is nothing like a permissible level for formalin. The only permissible level for formaldehyde in fish is zero.

Another expert claims that there are different tests and methodologies to detect formalin in food substances. Under pressure from the fish mafia,  Goa government and certain Ministers with vested interests, the Goa FDA changed the testing methods that resulted in different results being obtained for the same sample of fish.

Also Read: Goa CM’s office monitoring use of formalin in fish

The Goa Citizens Action Forum (GCAF) claims that two Ministers were “worried” that the raids would result in a complete ban on fish coming in from other states and would derail the livelihood of hundreds of people dependent or associated with the trade. In reality, the GCAF alleges that the Goa government was protecting the business interests of a few big fish.

“There have been raids across the country. If one reads the news over the last one month, there have been huge seizures of formalin laced fish in North India as well as Kerala. About 28,000 kgs of formalin-contaminated fish was detected and impounded in Kerala over the last three weeks alone and about 6000 kgs of shrimp was destroyed. In Hyderabad, about 9000 kgs of formalin-laced fish was returned to its source. This formalin contamination issue is very big and is spread nationwide. The main source of contamination is Tamil Nadu where big trawlers bring in tonnes of fish which has to be sold. While all the states detected formalin and either destroyed the consignments or returned them, it is very surprising that the Goa FDA under pressure from the government immediately gave a clean chit to the fish trucks, in spite of detecting the banned chemical in initial tests,” a GCAF spokesperson told IndiaScoops.com.

Also Read: Fish Mafia King Maulana Ibrahim Funded and Actively Campaigned for Goa Forward Party During 2017 Elections?

According to IANS reports, the FDA raids were conducted at the Goa’s main wholesale market near Margao town in South Goa and in the fish market in the state capital of Panaji. Following the raids, fish market associations closed down the market places in protest for the rest of the day.

The Goa FDA, in a statement issued on Thursday, said that the raids were conducted after media reports suggested that the fish being sold at the wholesale markets was laced with formaldehyde to preserve the fish for long periods. Similar raids have been conducted at wholesale fish markets by FDA units in other states to crackdown on use of formalin to store fish.

“Team visited the wholesale fish market at Margao and collected samples of fish mainly from vehicles from other states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The samples tested positive, showing presence of formaldehyde, reports IANS.

“Hence as an abundant precaution, the fish vendors were instructed not to distribute the stock of fish till such time the detailed laboratory reports were available,” the statement said, adding that the samples of fish were later taken to the organisation”s laboratory for analysis.

“The results obtained for all the samples are found within permissible limits. The samples are thus declared to be safe for consumption. The whole process of sampling as well as detained analysis was undertaken on top priority basis, keeping in ind the perishable nature of fish,” the FDA press statement said.

The raids however took a political turn, with Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai taking to Twitter to claim that the fish samples were safe for consumption even as FDA officials were still compiling their laboratory reports, claims IANS.

Goans took to social media to demand answers. How can the Minister give a clean chit to the fish consignments even before the tests are completed, does the Minister know the outcome of the tests in advance, they asked, wondering if the Minister was dictating the test results to the FDA. Why was Sardesai involved. He is not the fisheries minister, it was not in his jurisdiction, unless he has vested interests in the business, Goans ranted on social media.

On social media, Goans openly accused Sardesai of being a partner in Ibrahim’s wholesale fish business. While Sardesai has time and again flatly and vehemently denied any direct connection or business interests with Ibrahim or any other fish traders, angry Goans claim it’s an open secret and Sardesai gets a huge payoff from Ibrahim’s business, the collection which runs into several lakh per day.

“Any knee-jerk action aimed at creating panic is uncalled for. Have spoken to the CM and concerned authorities expressing this view. Thankfully, FDA has now confirmed that reports indicate fish showing no trace of formalin and hence safe,” Sardesai tweeted, even before the final FDA test results were out, claims the IANS report.

The Congress has now accused Sardesai of playing with the lives of people of Goa for whom fish is a part of a staple diet and coercing the FDA officials into releasing a manipulated test report.

“They are playing with the lives of Goans by allowing fish with formaldehyde. This fish mafia should be taken to task… The minister has virtually coerced the FDA staff to give favourable results by giving the fish mafia a clean chit, even before the test results were declared,” Congress spokesperson Urfan Mulla said, according to an IANS report.

According to a coxswain from Vizhinjam, whenever costly fish are caught, fishermen would lift its gill cover and inject formalin into it to ensure that the fish remain ‘fresh’ for weeks. The formalin spreads within the fish tissues and body and after a few hours breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, making it difficult to detect in certain tests.

This is exactly what happened in Goa on Thursday and the fish traders got away with a clean chit, but with their pockets lighter by Rs 25 lakh.

with inputs from Times of India, Herald, IANS, etc

Editor’s Note: This is a developing story. This post will be updated as inputs come in. Many people whom IndiaScoops.com spoke to are yet to revert to us with their feedback. You can send us your feedback and inputs on indiascoops AT gmail.com. We welcome suggestions and data from members of the public. We regret that we cannot individually reply to your emails or queries.

India will become a Hindu ‘Taliban’ Pakistan if BJP comes to power in 2019: Shashi Tharoor

The very vocal Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor who does not mince his words, said on Wednesday that if the BJP goes on to mark a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha in 2019, then it will pave the way for the tearing up of the Indian constitution and result in the creation of a ‘Hindu Pakistan’, reports the Indian Express.

Tharoor said that Taliban-like elements will flourish in India and crush democracy, secularism and the Indian Constitution, tearing it to smithereens. India will cease to be a secular, democratic republic and what will be left of the nation will be a Taliban-style civil war as the radical elements from one community will impose their diktats on the entire nation.

According to the Indian Express report, Tharoor’s comments came while he was addressing a lecture on ‘Threats faced by Indian Democracy and Secularism’ in the state capital at Kochi. Tharoor stated that three factors stand in the way of the BJP to follow through on what their heroes like Veer Savarkar dreamed of with respect to a new constitution.

“So far, what they have been preventing them is three things — two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha, two-thirds in the Rajya Sabha and half of the states. As you know, they have two-thirds in Lok Sabha and they have more than half the states. They have 20 states and coalitions in two others. The only thing they don’t have is a majority in the Rajya Sabha but because they have so many state governments and because state assemblies elect the Rajya Sabha, you can be sure in 4-5 years, they will have a majority in Rajya Sabha as well,” he said.

He continued, “So the great danger then is that if they are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic constitution as we understand will not survive because they will have all the three elements they need to tear up the Constitution of India and write a new one. That will be a new one which will enshrine the principle of Hindu Rashtra, will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan. That’s not what Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and the great heroes of our freedom struggle fought for.”

Reacting to Tharoor’s statement, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told ANI: “This is pure hallucination by Shashi Tharoor, I think this is withdrawal symptoms of the fact that neither they are in power nor do they see power coming to them again. It’s Congress that has infringed our Constitution & freedom of our citizens.”

with inputs from Indian Express