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Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia acquitted in Delhi chief secretary assault case

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and nine other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs have been acquitted by the court on Wednesday in in the connection with the case of assault on former chief secretary Anshu Prakash back in 2018.

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Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and nine other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs have been acquitted by the court on Wednesday in in the connection with the case of assault on former chief secretary Anshu Prakash back in 2018.

After the discharge order, Manish Sisodia called it the day of victory of justice and truth. While Kejriwal shared the news and tweeted, Satyamev Jayate(Truth alone Triumphs).

Additional Magistrate Sachin Gupta pronounced the order. The court said that all accusations in the matter were false and baseless. However, it ordered framing of charges against AAP MLAs Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan.

Sisodia had been saying that the case was just a conspiracy to bring down Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. They had been saying that the allegations were false, and a conspiracy hatched against the chief minister, he said.

On February 19, 2018, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash had filed a criminal case, alleging that he was assaulted during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence. He had claimed that he was asked to attend a midnight meeting to discuss the release of the party’s advertisements related to the Delhi government’s third year in power in Delhi. He was manhandled and assaulted during the meeting, he alleged.

Following which an FIR was lodged against Kejriwal, Sisodia, and 11 other AAP MLAs namely Nitin Tyagi, Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Rajesh Rishi, Parveen Kumar, and Dinesh Mohaniya.

Read Also: Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account blocked due to policy violation, Twitter tells Delhi HC but Congress sees Modi government hand

The police had booked them in the criminal case under Sections 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement), 323 (Causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object), 120-B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), among others of the Indian Penal Code.

However, the Delhi chief minister, Delhi deputy chief minister, and nine others were granted bail in October 2018. While Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal were granted bail earlier by the high court.

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Calcutta High Court suggests changing name of Sita, Akbar lions

Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday suggested to the Bengal government that the names of lioness Sita and lion Akbar, who were placed in the same enclosure at the Bengal Safari Park in Siliguri, could be changed.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had filed a petition in the High Court to change the name of the lioness Sita, who was recently brought to West Bengal from Tripura.

Hearing a petition, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya orally directed the State to avoid controversy and consider renaming the big cats.

Questioning the intention of the State, Justice Bhattacharyya asked the government if it would name a lion after a Hindu deity, a Muslim prophet or Christian god, a freedom fighter or a Nobel laureate. Generally, anyone who has been revered or respected by the people of our country, Justice Bhattacharyya further asked.

On this occasion, the Additional Advocate General (AAG), appearing for the State, submitted that the naming of the lions took place in Tripura, and it was the responsibility of the Tripura Zoo authorities. Counsel further told the Court that the State itself was already considering changing the name of lions.

Upon hearing the arguments, the Bench also questioned the logic behind naming the lions after a god, freedom fighter or Nobel laureate and further asked why the State did not challenge the names given by Tripura.

The Court further noted that the petition filed by VHP espoused the rights of a large section of people and said that naming a lion after Sita, a largely worshipped by Hindus would hurt their religious sentiments.

During the exchange with AAG, Justice Bhattacharyya also stated that the animals could not be named after respected figures. He further asked AAG whether he had any pets and if they were named after national heroes.

The Bench had directed the petition by VHP to be reclassified as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and redirected it to a regular Bench that can hear the same.

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Farmer who died in protest, survived by mentally ill father, unwed sister

Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal has asked the Punjab Government to declare Shubhkaran Singh a martyr and provide benefits accordingly. 

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The 21-year-old farmer, Shubhkaran Singh who died during the clashes between the police and the protesting farmers on Khanauri border left behind his mentally ill father and an unwed sister. His mother died years ago.

The 21 years old, a resident of Balloch village of Bathinda in Punjab, left his home on February 13 to join the Delhi Chalo march. Reports stated that Shubhkaran Singh was the youngest among the group of 15 people who left to join the protest from the village.

Reportedly, Shubhkaran was the only son and sole breadwinner of the family. The 21-year-old farmer has about two acres of land. Shubhkaran, who has two sisters, also took a loan for the marriage of his one sister.

The farmers who halted their protest for two days after the death of the youth, have blocked the autopsy. Farmer Leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal has asked the AAP led Punjab Government to declare Shubhkaran a martyr and provide benefits accordingly. The leader further said that the government should create a five member board to conduct the post-mortem examination.

Meanwhile, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said that the police took action when the farmers were peacefully trying to cross over into Haryana. He added that more than 100 farmers have been injured and demanded the treatment of injured farmers.

Haryana police while appealing for peace said that farmers escalated the violence by attacking the police personnels with sticks and maces and that the police were only trying to restrain them.

Issuing a statement, Additional Inspector General, Manisha Chaudhary said that farmers surrounded the police from all sides, burned stubble by pouring chilli powder in it. She added that around 12 policemen were seriously injured because of the attacks by protestors at Datta Singh Wala-Khanauri border.

Meanwhile, farmer’s leader Pandher said that farmer leaders will discuss future actions and until then, all farmers will remain camped at the borders.

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Congress slams Govt over X blocking accounts linked to farmers protest on Centre’s order, says democracy is being murdered

X disagreed with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

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The Congress party on Thursday slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government over the action of microblogging platform X blocking accounts and posts linked to the ongoing farmers’ protest and called it a murder of democracy.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, taking to X, said that the action taken by the social media platform on the Centre’s order was a murder of democracy in India.

The Elon Musk-led X, sharing a post on its platform in response to the IT ministry’s order asking it to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers’ protest, said that the Indian government has issued executive orders requiring it to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment.

The X’s Global Government Affairs team further stated that it complied with the orders and they would withhold these accounts and posts in India alone, however, they disagreed with these actions and maintained that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

Consistent with their position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending. X has also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions following their policies.

Due to legal restrictions, they were unable to publish the executive orders, but they thought that making them public was essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making, the X’s Global Government Affairs said in a post on its platform.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also hit out at the Modi government and termed it a murder of democracy. Taking to X, he raised several questions and said if farmers ask for MSP, shoot them. Is this the Mother of Democracy? Gandhi further said that when the youth ask for the appointment, the Centre refuse to even listen to them, if the former governor tells the truth, then they send CBI to his house.

He also attacked the Modi government for freezing the bank accounts of the most prominent opposition party. He added, saying that Section 144, internet ban, sharp wires, and tear gas shells on farmers are not justified in the democracy. He further attacked the Centre for suppressing the voice of the people. He charged on Centre, saying Modi ji public knows that the government have murdered democracy and they will answer it.

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