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Government of India responds to New York Times edit on CBI raids on NDTV founders

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Government of India responds to New York Times edit on CBI raids on NDTV founders

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Recent CBI raids on NDTV co-founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy invited condemnation in the media worldwide as an attack on free press and dissent. The New York Times (NYT) also carried an edit, titled “India’s Battered Press”, on the issue. Stung by the negative publicity its action received, the Government of India, seeking to counter the negative publicity, wrote to the Editor, NYT presenting its version. The NYT published the letter, sent by Press Information Officer and CBI in Press Information Bureau (PIB), and it is reproduced here:

Freedom of the Press in India

To the Editor:

“India’s Battered Press” (editorial, June 7) gives the impression that action is not being taken against other big loan defaulters and that the raids on NDTV’s founders were a part of a “vendetta” against the broadcaster. The editorial is one-sided and doesn’t consider the investigation history of the case against RRPR Holdings by different tax and law enforcement agencies in India since 2011.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating over 100 criminal cases worth a total loan default of over $5 billion. Many of the leading loan defaulters are behind bars, their assets attached, and prosecutions are being pursued vigorously in the courts.

The ICICI bank’s loss is merely tip of the iceberg. RRPR Holdings, the holding company of NDTV, is also being investigated for irregularities in the mobilization of funds used for loan repayment. There have also been serious defaults in tax payment.

Your editorial states that NDTV Hindi was taken off the air for a day for reporting on a sensitive attack on an air base. The decision was arrived at after a proper inquiry in which NDTV also participated. No democracy can allow the country’s security and public safety to be compromised by irresponsible reporting of terrorist incidents.

In this entire case due process of law is being followed. India has a robust and independent judiciary that strongly protects democratic freedom and that an aggrieved person can always approach. India does not require any lesson on freedom of the press from The Times. Our institutions and traditions are nurtured by our rich and diverse cultural heritage and democratic ethos.

R.K. GAUR, NEW DELHI

The writer is the press information officer and spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to skip CBI summons in illegal mining case

Akhilesh Yadav will skip the CBI summon as he is scheduled to attend a meeting in Lucknow.

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The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief, Akhilesh Yadav, decided not to be cooperative in the ongoing inquiry by refusing to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) summons over the illegal mining case.

It is uncertain that Akhilesh Yadav will visit Delhi tomorrow since, according to a close colleague of his and a senior party official, the party office is already busy with multiple meetings about the preparations for the next Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources, Yadav has an important PDA (Picchda, Dalit, and Alpsankhyak) meeting scheduled at the party’s Lucknow headquarters later today. The party official stated that Yadav has no intention of going anywhere.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury confirmed Yadav’s intention to attend the planned gathering in Lucknow. He denied any possibility of Yadav traveling to Delhi for the CBI investigation.

He said, Akhileshji will attend a meeting of PDA at the party office today. He will not be going anywhere. In Lucknow, he is scheduled to attend a meeting, said Rajendra Chowdhury.

Officials explained that Yadav is being called as a witness in the illicit mining cases that date back to his time as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, not as an accused party.

The cases under investigation concerned purported irregularities in the mining lease issuing, which took place between 2012 and 2016, with charges that permits were given for illicit mining activities even in the face of a National Green Tribunal prohibition.

In response to the CBI’s notice, Yadav attacked the BJP and said that the timing of the investigation was motivated by politics. He hinted that these kinds of notices, which cast doubt on the BJP’s actions and intentions, frequently occur during election seasons.

Yadav’s comments alluded to the Samajwadi Party and the ruling BJP’s continued political tensions, with charges and denials frequently occurring in the run-up to elections.

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6 Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in Rajya Sabha election disqualified from Himachal assembly

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced 6 MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of the anti defection law against themselves. He declared that 6 people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

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6 Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in the Rajya Sabha election were disqualified by the speaker from the Himachal assembly on Thursday. The members have been disqualified under the anti-defection law. Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced 6 MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of the anti defection law against themselves. He declared that 6 people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

The Congress government has managed to contain the political crisis that rose due to cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections and the revolt by a minister. Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu passed the budget on Wednesday, and Minister Vikramaditya Singh said he will not press for resignation until talks with leaders conclude.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi was defeated by BJP’s Harsh Mahajan through a draw of, after the two candidates won 34 votes each in the fight for the lone Rajya Sabha seat following cross-voting by the  6 MLAs. According to reports the Congress and 3 independent MLAs are reportedly camping at a guest house in Panchkula, located in BJP-run Haryana, after voting against the Congress candidate. They attended the assembly session on Wednesday.

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Wednesday expelled 15 BJP MLAs, including leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur, for misconduct and allegedly shouting slogans in the Chamber of the Speaker. Chief Minister Sukhu dismissed speculation that he was resigning. He said neither the high command, nor anyone else has asked him for resignation and added the Congress government will complete its 5-year term in the state.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh, who had announced his resignation as a minister, on Wednesday evening said he wouldn’t press his resignation until a dialogue with party leaders was not completed. He, after meeting party central observers said the government was never in a crisis.

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Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan arrested in Sandeshkhali case

Following the arrest, Section 144 has been imposed in Sandeshkhali.

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The Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested on Thursday morning in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal after escaping for 55 days. Sheikh Shahjahan is accused of sexual abuse and land grabbing by multiple women.

A senior police Aminul Islam Khansaid  that the 53-year-old Trinamool strongman would be appearing in court today after being taken from the Minakhan region of North 24 Parganas.

Three days prior, the Calcutta High Court had said that he should be arrested and chastised the state police for their inaction in prosecuting the Trinamool leader. This arrest has already occurred.

Section 144 has been enforced in Sandeshkhali, including the areas of Sarberia and Akunjipara close to Sheikh Shahjahan’s home, as a result of the arrest.

Shajahan Sheikh and his allies have been accused by many women in Sandeshkhali of land-grabs and forced sexual assault. For almost a month, the riverine area has been the center of protests calling for the arrest of Sheikh and his collaborators.

In response to the arrest, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that the Mamata Banerjee administration was forced to take action due to the continuous agitation by the BJP.

The government was is denial mode. They weren’t even acknowledging that anything had actually occurred. They would force the government to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan, as he previously said. The government and Mamata Banerjee are forced to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan today because of the BJP’s and the women of Sandeshkhali’s agitation, he said.

Shahjahan’s arrest was postponed because of the stay order, according to Trinamool MP Santanu Sen, who also remarked that the arrest demonstrates how the government follows rajdharma in an administrative manner. He also said, the TMC is a better source of rajdharma than the BJP.

Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the court’s stay order prevented the police from arresting him. After the stay order was lifted, he was arrested in 3–4 days, according to the Triamool leader.

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