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Congress veteran Ahmed Patel passes away at 71 after battling Covid-19 complications

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Veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel breathed his last at a Gurugram hospital on Wednesday morning. The Rajya Sabha MP was battling Covid-19 infection for more than a month, after which he suffered multiple organ failure. He was 71.

Announcing his father’s demise on Twitter, Faisal Patel regretted informing about the untimely death of his father at 3.30 am this morning. Around a month back, the veteran politician was tested positive, further his health worsened due to multiple organ failure. He had requested all well-wishers to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations by avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining social distancing norms at all times.

Patel, also the treasurer of Congress, was Rajya Sabha MP since 1993 representing Gujarat. Before that he served as Lok Sabha MP for three terms from 1977 to 1989. From being political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Patel was one of the party’s top negotiators during the UPA regime. 

Saddened by his demise, Gandhi said she had lost an irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend. She said his entire life was dedicated to the Congress Party.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief by remembering Patel’s role in strengthening the Congress Party.  Known for his sharp mind, the politician spent years in public life serving society. May his soul rest in peace, Modi tweeted.

Patel, an astute parliamentarian, combined the skills of strategist as well as the charm of a mass leader, said President Ram Nath Kovind, who was distressed to know that veteran Congress leader is no more. 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his tribute to Patel, said that the veteran leader was a tremendous asset. He was a pillar of the Congress Party, who stood with the party through its most difficult times. 

Soon after the announcement of Patel’s demise, messages of condolences also poured in from other Congress leaders including Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Randeep Singh Surjewala among others.

Patel had tested Covid-19 positive on October 1. He was admitted to the ICU of Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on November 15.

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Fee hike protest at Allahabad University: Students attempt Bhu Samadhi as police officials jostle to break the protest | WATCH

The students of Allahabad University have been protesting against the 400% hike in their fees for the past three weeks.

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AU Protest

Amid the ongoing protests against 400% fee hike in Allahabad University, a group of students on Tuesday attempted to take Bhu Samadhi as policemen jostle to break the protest, which is continued in the university for the last two weeks.

A video of student protesters’ tussle with police officials is doing rounds on social media. In the video, the police officials can see attempting to arrest a protester while the student protesters resisting against the police action.

This came a day after a group of students locked the university gate to save student protesters from police crackdown, forcing many students to return without attending classes. Meanwhile, the police broke the lock put up by the students at the university gate.

On the same day, former UP cadre IPS officer Amitabh Thakur also extended his support to the Allahabad University students protesting against the 400% fee hike, calling the move unfair and undemocratic.

The students of Allahabad University have been protesting against the 400% hike in their fees for the past three weeks.

Expressing his disappointment over the police crackdown on protesting students, Thakur on Monday said 400% hike is not only undemocratic but also very sad for the poor and weaker sections of the society. Today, the students are being stopped from participating in protests. This is an anarchic situation, he told reporters.

On Monday, Richa Singh, former president of Allahabad University students union, said the protest against the 400 per cent fee hike will continue until it is rolled back. Today, when the inmates of the girls’ hostel were coming out from the hostel, the main gate (of the hostel) was closed on the orders of the vice chancellor, she said.

Some students of the university had put a lock on the gate of the university, which was opened with the help of the police. Strict action will be initiated against those students, who are creating obstructions like this, the city SP Santosh Kumar Meena said.

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Race for Congress president: Shashi Tharoor, Pawan Bansal collect nomination papers, no sign of Gehlot yet

M Mistry said that Shashi Tharoor would file his nomination on September 30. He was not confirmed about Pawan Bansal’s nomination. He said that it might be for someone else.

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Shashi Tharoor

Senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal have taken nomination papers for the election of the Congress president. Congress’ central election authority chairman Madhusudhan Mistry said that they have briefed Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi about work done so far regarding Congress presidential elections. The elections would happen as per the scheduled date and time. Till now nominations forms have been taken by Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal.

Mistry said Shashi Tharoor would file his nomination on September 30. He was not sure when Pawan Bansal would file his nomination. Mistry said that it might be for someone else.

He said that the process for filing nomination would be held between September 24 and September 30 and the final list would be published at 5 pm on October 8. The polling, if needed, would be held on October 17. The counting of votes would be taken up on October 19 and the result would be declared on the same day.

Meanwhile, some media reports said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was out of the race for Congress president. Former Congress leader Sanjay Jha said on Twitter that everyone was aware that the revolt in the Rajasthan Congress ranks was engineered by Ashok Gehlot. Jha said Gehlot had ended up disqualifying himself for the post of Congress President automatically. The former Congress leader pitched for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to become the Congress President, supported by Sachin Pilot and Shashi Tharoor as Working Presidents.

Not sparing a dig at the Gandhi family, BJP leader Amit Malviya said both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Minister and Congress President at the same time. Ashok Gehlot just wanted to be Chief Minister along with being the Congress President, if elected. Malviya wondered why the Congress had different standards for its leaders and people from the Gandhi family.

Efforts are still on to get Rahul Gandhi back in the saddle as Congress president. Nearly two weeks ago, the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee passed a resolution to appoint Rahul Gandhi as party president. The resolution was moved by CM Ashok Gehlot.

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Raids on PFI: Section 144 in Jamia Nagar, Delhi police warns Jamia students not to hold any protest outside university campus

The Delhi Police started patrolling in Shaheen Bagh amid PFI raids in entire Okhla region.

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Raids on PFI

Multiple probe agencies including the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Anti-Terror squad are carrying out the second round of raids at several Popular Front of India (PFI) locations across the country.

On the instructions of the National Investigation Agency, multiple probe agencies have conducted raids at PFI offices in eight different states including Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Mumbai, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

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At least 300 PFI members have been taken into custody by security agencies across several states while around 30 people linked with PFI have been detained from Nizamuddin and Shaheen Bagh after an early morning raid by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.

Around a dozen of people with connections with PFI have been detained from Shaheen Bagh and nearby areas, reports said.

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Amid the ongoing crackdown against PFI in Delhi, the police warned the Jamia Millia University students against holding any protests inside and outside the university campus. The Jamia Millia University and Shaheen Bagh were centres of anti-CAA protests in Delhi in December 2019.

In order to keep the law and order situation in check, the Delhi Police imposed Section 144 in Delhi’s Okhla region which includes areas of Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar, where Jamia Miallia Islamia University is situated from September 19 to November 11.

Delhi Police also warned the Jamia Millia Islamia students and teachers not to assemble in and around the campus as police have imposed restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC in the entire Okhla area. However, Section 144 of the CrPC prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area. Violation of the order is punishable under section 188 of the IPC.

The Delhi Police started patrolling in Shaheen Bagh amid PFI raids.

The raids have been carried out after the Delhi Police Commissioner’s meeting with DCPs of all the districts, Special CP and Joint CP at the Delhi police headquarter.

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