The Hindu Important Articles 07 April 2018
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BJP to go big on Phule, Ambedkar
jayantisWith eye on 2019 elections, MPs, MLAs, corporators will visit 20,000 villages to publicise govt. schemes
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to celebrate the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Phule and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on a grand scale, throughout the country.
Addressing a press conference on the party’s 39th Foundation Day, party president Amit Shah said on Friday, “April 11 is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Phule; it will be celebrated across the country on a major scale. We have also instructed the party organisation and our state governments to organise various programs on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.”
This comes in the backdrop of series of protests by the backward communities, particularly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, across the country. With Mr. Shah declaring that countdown for 2019 has begun, the BJP has seems to be ready to go on an image building exercise.
All party MPs, MLAs, corporators and civic body members have been tasked to visit 20,000 villages across the country between April 14 and May 5, spend a night there, and publicise various central government’s schemes.
Petrol under GST
Asked about rising petrol and diesel prices, Mr. Shah said petrol still costs less than during the UPA government. “We are doing all that is possible for the government to control the prices of petrol and diesel. Efforts are currently underway to bring it under GST and deliberations will be held within GST council,” he said.
Refuting claims that allies are deserting the National Democratic Alliance, Mr. Shah said the number of NDA constituents has in fact increased after 2014. He also claimed that there is no possibility of general and Assembly polls being held together.
“We do not disrespect any of our partners. Despite BJP being in majority, we have shared cabinet portfolios at the Centre, Uttar Pradesh and recently in Tripura. Every election sees an alliance and 2019 too will see the same,” he said.
Witness accounts, forensic evidence sent Salman to jail
The court said the prosecution proved that the two blackbuck received bullet injuries
The Jodhpur (Rural) chief judicial magistrate, who convicted and sentenced actor Salman Khan to five years in prison in the blackbuck poaching case, relied on the crucial evidence from witnesses, including key witness Poonam Chand. All of them supported the prosecution’s case and claimed that the 52-year-old actor had shot dead two blackbuck at Kankani village in 1998.
In his 201-page judgment, magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri said there were neither any contradictions in the statements of witnesses nor any reason to disbelieve them. The cross-examination of witnesses had also not created any doubt about the incident on the intervening night of October 1 and 2, 1998, when Khan killed the two blackbuck, stated the verdict.
The court rejected the defence counsel’s argument trying to connect the Kankani incident with Khan’s acquittal in two other cases of poaching of chinkara, as well as in an illegal arms case. It held that the acquittal only pertained to the previous incidents, while the matter about the recovery of firearms from Khan had no connection with the hunting of the antelopes.
The magistrate also rejected the first post-mortem report of the two blackbuck prepared by veterinarian N.P. Nepalia, since deceased, which stated that one of them had died of over-eating and suffocation, and the othhad fallen into a pit and was attacked by wild dogs. The second post-mortem, conducted by a board, had confirmed the presence of bullet wounds on the carcasses.
Criminal proceedings were initiated against Dr. Nepalia for preparing the wrong post-mortem report, but they abated following his death. The court said the prosecution had succeeded in proving that one of the blackbuck received the bullet injury on its leg and the other on its neck.
The evidence of G.V. Rao, a scientist with Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, helped establish the fact that the animals killed by Khan were blackbuck.
The court also made some terse remarks about Khan’s “celebrity status” while handing down the punishment. “The convict is an actor whose conduct is followed by the common people. Despite this, he hunted two mute and innocent blackbucks which were in the protected animals category. This fact cannot be ignored,” stated the judgment.
Seriousness of crime
Besides, the benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act could not be granted to Khan in view of the increasing incidents of illegal hunting of wild animals, said the court, while taking note of the “seriousness” of the facts, circumstances and nature of the crime committed by him.
Benefit of doubt
As regards the four other film actors who were co-accused in the case, the court said though their presence at the crime scene was shown in the statements of witnesses, the prosecution had failed to establish their involvement in the hunting of the antelopes beyond reasonable doubt. Giving them the benefit of doubt, the court acquitted all of them in the case.
Countdown to 2019 on, says Shah
Says the Opposition clinging on to each other like snakes, cats and dogs in a flood to save themselves
Sounding the bugle for the 2019 elections, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday said here on Friday that the Opposition was desperate to safeguard itself from the flood brought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The countdown for 2019 has begun. As the tale goes, snakes, mongoose, cats and dogs catch hold of the remaining trees to save their lives when the flood hits a village. Now the Opposition is clinging on to each other like these animals to safeguard themselves from the flood that Modi ji has brought,” Mr. Shah said at a rally to mark the 38th foundation day of the BJP.
At a press conference later, Mr. Shah said he used the metaphor instead of names of political parties and if anyone found it objectionable, then he could name the parties instead.
“I wanted to say that parties which have opposite political ideologies are coming together to defeat Narendra Modi. The SP and the BSP and the TDP and the Congress are joining hands, and I was referring to them,” he said.
“Narendra Modi is the world’s most popular Prime Minister. BJP workers should spread the word about the Modi government’s works, and set the stage for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Mr. Shah said.
Taking a dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Shah said, “Rahul distributed sweets when we lost two Lok Sabha bypolls. He is the first leader who does such a thing when his party candidates had lost their deposit. We may have lost two seats and it does not matter, because we have snatched 11 States from the Congress,” Mr. Shah said.
Replying to Mr. Gandhi’s demand that the Modi government must state its achievements in four years, the BJP president said that instead, the Congress president should state the achievements of his family’s four generations.
Mr. Shah alleged that the Budget Session of Parliament was washed out because of the Opposition. “We were ready to discuss all issues. It was the Opposition that disrupted the proceedings,” he said replying to the allegations of the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad that the government was running away from debate. “You fix the stage and we’ll be up for debate. We have nothing to hide,” he said.
Source:- The Hindu