Separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik on Wednesday ruled out any dialogue with the Centre saying “there could be no talks with the fascist forces.”BJP president Amit Shah recently ruled out dialogue with those who do not repose faith in the Indian Constitution.Addressing a seminar titled ‘Resolution of Kashmir Dispute — Prelude to peace, Guarantee to stability’ in Srinagar, Mr. Malik alleged, “New Delhi is following [a] fascist ideology and there is a need to defeat it by strong collective strong resistance.”With the rise of the BJP, Mr. Malik said, there is waning faith in the dialogue process.“The former Home Minister is being hounded, the Opposition is being shut forcibly, minorities are chased and artists don’t feel safe. This leaves no scope for any dialogue,” said Mr. Malik.Mr. Malik blamed New Delhi’s policies for the growing militancy in Kashmir. “The present regime is trying to create a fear among people. The atrocities committed against the youth is the reason behind them joining the armed resistance,” he said.Pressing for rightsMuslim Conference head Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat said, “Oneness is the call of the times. There is need to remain united and press for our rights.”He claimed world attention is now on the Kashmir issue because the U.S. and China, the two powerful countries, “are deeply involved.” “India and Pakistan have to resolve the Kashmir issue through a proper dialogue,” he added.The seminar was held on the death anniversary of Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq, who was assassinated on May 21 in 1990. However, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest and not allowed to address it.
The police has arrested 15 persons here allegedly for shouting pro-Pakistan slogans after its cricket team won the ICC Champions Trophy final by defeating India. The accused have also been booked for sedition.Pakistan had hammered India by 180 runs to lift the Champions Trophy in London on Sunday.Tension gripped Mohad town on Sunday night after some persons shouted slogans in favour of Pakistan and celebrated its cricket team’s win by bursting firecrackers at public places.Security was stepped up immediately in the town to avoid any law and order problem.The police later registered a case on a complaint by Subhash Laxman Koli and arrested 15 persons yesterday, Shahpur police station in-charge Sanjay Pathak said.“There was a complaint that these accused celebrated Pakistan’s victory by bursting crackers and raising pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans,” Mr. Pathak said.The police booked the arrested persons, aged between 19 and 35, under the IPC sections of 124-A (sedition) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), he said.The accused were produced in a local court which rejected their bail applications and sent them to jail. They were later taken to Khandwa district jail.
In the backdrop of the recent ‘stalking episode’ in Chandigarh, the city is preparing for the ‘Bekhauf Aazaadi’ march on Friday night to provide a platform for asserting women’s rights to public spaces.The organisers of the march, led by poet and activist Amy Singh, have created a Facebook page ‘Bekhauf Aazaadi March/Reclaiming the Streets’, asking people to join the march against patriarchy, binaries, oppression and crimes against women which also extend to sexual minorities.Also Read “This isn’t the first time a woman has been harassed on the streets and it won’t be the last if we don’t reclaim the streets. It’s about time we smash down the patriarchal norms which restrict the women behind closed doors and set the culprits out loose to wreck havoc,” says the page, pointing out that what happened with the victim of the Chandigarh stalking episode has left the city in jitters.Ms. Singh, in her post, said that the march seeks, in a peaceful manner, to address and bring public attention to violence against women. “We believe that women and other sexual minorities in India deserve to be able to live in society free from violence. We believe in their right to speedy justice and their right to demand accountability from the justice system,” she said.The proposed march would start at 10 P.M. on August 11 from Rose garden and end at the Government Arts College at Sector 10 by midnight. Haryana BJP chief’s son Vikas Barala, friend arrested again in Chandigarh stalking case
The protest by students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) continued on its fourth day, with agitating students demanding the arrest of Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) activists who allegedly forcibly entered the university, vandalised its property, and breached the security of visiting former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari. Hundreds of university students, both boys and girls, raised slogans against the Aligarh Police for its alleged “inaction against vandalism and violation of law” by the members of HJM, Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani, president of the AMU Student’s Union (AMUSU), demanded a judicial enquiry and arrest of the persons responsible for breaking law and order at the university. Exams postponedThe AMU on Sunday decided to postpone exams for the 2017-18 academic session due to the ongoing protests. AMU’s Controller of Examinations Mujibullah Zuberi said that the university exams will now begin from May 12 and the new schedule will be released soon.The Aligarh Police on Sunday detained three HJM leaders; they were trying to carry out a march without police permission.Commissioner of Aligarh Ajaydeep Singh told mediapersons, “The priority is to bring peace and normalcy to the campus. Studies should resume at the university and then law should take its course.”Heavy security is in place in the city and the AMU campus. Section 144 of the CrPC (armed unlawful assembly) is in force in Aligarh.
A makeshift tent collapsed at the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally here on Monday when he was midway through his speech, injuring 67 people including 13 women, officials said.The tent was erected next to the main entrance of the rally venue to shelter people from the rain. The Prime Minister saw the tent collapsing during his speech and immediately instructed special protection group (SPG) personnel standing near him to look after the people and attend to the injured, officials said.P. Kundu, principal of government-run West Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, said that 67 people including 13 women were admitted after the incident but no one was seriously injured. The local BJP unit as well as Mr. Modi’s personal staff, including his doctor and SPG personnel, swung into action to help the injured, officials said. Mr. Modi also visited the injured at the hospital later.Eyewitnesses said that some people clambered on top of the marquee, which was covered with tarpaulin. The structure could not withstand their weight and collapsed leading to several in the gathering, including women, being injured, they said. They said that it could have been a major accident.A BJP functionary said the injured were taken to hospital by the ambulance in the PM’s convoy. After addressing the rally, the Prime Minister went to the hospital and spoke to some of the injured. Continuing his speech after the tent collapse, he complimented the people in the rally for showing discipline and helping out the injured. When asked about the accident, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said that the poles of the tent fell as the ground was completely wet after the rains. Also, many people climbed atop the tent which could not take their weight. He said police and local security personnel should have been more careful and should not have allowed supporters to climb the tent.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government would provide all medical assistance to those injured in the rally. “We pray for the speedy recovery of all those injured at the Midnapore rally today. The government is giving all help for medical treatment,” Ms. Banerjee wrote tweeted.
The problem of drug abuse in Punjab over the years has largely been focused on males even as experts and studies point out that the number of women addicted to drugs is rising “alarmingly” in the State.Social stigma, state of denial and lack of exclusive facilities are the key reasons why women are not seeking help, experts have pointed out.The State government has been providing various treatment options for the youth, primarily focused on males. Punjab has 31 government de-addiction centres but there’s only one centre exclusively for women — in Kapurthala — that was set up in 2017.“On the basis of clinical experience, I can safely say that the problem of drug abuse among women is increasing in Punjab. The national survey on drug abuse happened around 15 years back, where there was no mention of females, but now their numbers are figuring in surveys, which itself is indicative of the rising problem of drug abuse,” Dr. Subodh B.N. from the department of Psychiatry in the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh told The Hindu.‘20 cases every year’“While 15 years back, we used to hardly see any drug- related cases of females, of late we are treating 15-20 women patients per annum. Moreover, amid fear of stigma most women do not come forward for treatment, which means the actual numbers are likely to be higher. These rising numbers is indeed worrying. An urgent attention is required to address the problem,” said Dr. Subodh.The recent study titled ‘Epidemiology of Substance Use and Dependence in the State of Punjab’, by the faculty of PGIMER, published in March 2018 in an indexed international journal, says that in Punjab almost 4.1 million people have been found to be using one substance or the other (licit or illicit) at least once in their lifetime. Among the lifetime users, 4 million were men and around 0.1 million were women. Number of people dependent on any substance in their lifetime was 3.2 million, with 3.1 million men and 0.1 million women. Licit substances consist of alcohol and tobacco, and illicit substances are opioids, cannabinoids, inhalants, stimulants, and sedatives. In terms of projected numbers, there were about 4.1 million lifetime users of licit substances and for illicit substances, the corresponding figure was 0.5 million.Opioids (heroin, smack, crude opium, poppy husk etc) were by far the most commonly used illicit drugs in the State. As per the study, 2,02,817 males and 10,658 females were found to be ‘lifetime dependent’ on opioids as per ICD-10 criteria. Interestingly, while 1,56,942 males were found to be ‘currently dependent’ on opioids (as per ICD-10 criteria) the figure of females was 10,658, which the experts believe is “alarming” and needs to be addressed urgently.Apart from the PGIMER study, the Punjab Opioid Dependence Survey (PODS), 2014-15, which exclusively focussed on opioid dependence, found 1% of females to be opioid dependants. The data was collected from a total of 3,620 opioid-dependent individuals across 10 districts. Based on analysis of the data, and after projecting these figures to the total population of the State, the size of opioid-dependent population in Punjab was estimated at 2,32,856.“The figures of this study seem to be the micro-tip of an iceberg, as these were cases that came at least once to the treatment facility. So we can very well imagine that there must be a large number which never ever sought any help,” Dr. Sandeep Bhola, associated with Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment in Kapurthala, told The Hindu. “The two main reasons for this seem to be social stigma and lack of exclusive facilities for females,” says Dr. Bhola.Only one centre He adds that at the government’s sole de-addiction centre for women in Kapurthala, as many as 15 women have undergone treatment since July 2017. “Two women are currently under treatment. If more such centres are opened, it will help address this rising problem,” says Dr. Bhola.The Navjivan rehabilitation centre at Daulatpur in Patiala, which is privately run, has been witnessing an increase in queries on treatment of female drug addicts even though the centre caters only to males.Rohit Puri, who is in charge of the centre, says: “We suggest they go to Delhi or Amritsar where there are private centres, exclusively for women, which can offer them privacy.”Mr. Puri says that the female patients come from varied sections of society — rich, poor, educated and uneducated. “Only last month a woman aged around 35 had come to our centre for consultation. She was addicted to opioid substances and belonged to a conservative family. Females from liberal family backgrounds also get in touch with us for treatment,” he adds.Another study on Punjab, conducted by The Institute for Development and Communication (2001), which covered eight districts of Punjab namely Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ferozpur, Muktsar and Hoshiarpur, had revealed that consumption of poppy husk (bhukki), tablets and capsules were most popular amongst women.
A recent map published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has revealed that water in nearly a dozen major stretches of the Ganga in West Bengal is so polluted that it is even unfit for bathing. The development comes at a time when the Centre has claimed that the Namami Gange project, with a budget of ₹20,000 crore, has achieved considerable success.The graphic map which marks the areas where the water of the Ganga is unfit for bathing with red dots shows that the pollution level in 11 major stretches of the Ganga spread across five districts and Kolkata is so high that it is even unfit for bathing. Apart from Kolkata (Garden Reach), the other affected stretches of the Ganga are located in the districts of Howrah (Uluberia, Shibpur), Hooghly (Tribeni, Serampore), North 24 Paraganas (Palta, Dakhineswar), Nadia (Nabadwip) and Murshidabad (Gorabazar, Behampore, Khagra).Dissolved oxygen The CPCB guidelines, upon which the map is based, states that water is fit for bathing when the amount of fecal coliform bacteria, found mainly in human faeces, is not more than 2,500 most probable number (MPN) per 100 ml, dissolved oxygen is not more than 5 mg per litre, bio chemical oxygen demand is less than 3 mg per litre and the pH level-measurement of how acidic the water is, is between 6.5 to 8.5.Apart from West Bengal, the water of the Ganga is also unfit for bathing in States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The map further reveals that Uttrakhand remains the only exception with 11 stretches of the Ganga being fit for bathing along with Ara town in Bihar.The map was published after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) authorities to set up display board along the banks of the Ganga at a gap of 100 km to indicate whether the water was fit for bathing or drinking.West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) chairman Kalyan Rudra told The Hindu that “West Bengal is located at the downstream of the Ganga it receives all the pollutants which accumulates in the river from States in the upstream.”Mr. Rudra, a renowned river expert, also pointed out that coliform bacteria, mainly found in sewage, is a major cause for concern due to its large presence in the Ganga. He said making intensive use of sewage treatment plants was the most effective way to deal with the issue.“No proper mechanism”Sources in WBPCB revealed that most of the sewage treatment plants in Bengal were not being utilised properly as “no proper mechanism” has been developed to bring sewage to the treatment plants. State Irrigation Minister Somen Mahapatra said that he was not aware of the map published by the CPCB.Anil Gautam, faculty member the People’s Science Institute in Dehradun, said that “with rainfall the pollution level in the Ganga seems to be a little lower due to increase in flow of water. Once the monsoon comes to an end the quantity of pollutants will be even higher.” Former member of the National Ganga River Basin Authority Ravi Chopra argued that it was not only the Ganga, but almost all the rivers of the country were in a “terrible condition.” He refuted the Centre’s claim that considerable progress has been made in cleaning the rivers under the Namami Gange project.
Criticising Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for playing politics over drought, Chief Minsiter Devendra Fadnavis said the word ‘drought’ was not even present in the manuals of the Congress-NCP government. “Your manuals to tackle a drought-like situation did not even have that word in it. The crisis was merely referred to as a ‘water-scarcity-like situation’…It was our [the BJP] government that finally introduced the word ‘drought’ and put the necessary systems in place to tackle the crisis,” said the Chief Minister during his tours of Sangli and Kolhapur districts on Wednesday.Addressing a conclave of sugarcane farmers and labourers in Kolhapur’s Warna-Kodoli, Mr. Fadnavis attacked the 15-year ‘misrule’ of the erstwhile Congress-NCP coalition in Maharashtra.It is for the first time that a sitting CM has attended a conclave of sugarcane farmers. Mr. Fadnavis’ presence is considered significant for farmers in Maharashtra’s ‘sugar belt’ districts, as it marks the start of the political battle to woo voters in Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara. districts and take the fight to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) chief Raju Shetti – a former NDA ally and now a bitter BJP critic.“Drought, and not a ‘drought-like’ situation, should be announced at once. In such cases, the Centre comes to the aid of a State but it does not seem so,” the NCP chief had said in Mumbai, targeting both the Fadnavis and the Modi governments.Mr. Fadnavis was reacting to Mr. Pawar’s criticism of the ruling BJP government’s alleged tardiness in declaring drought in the State.“The Congress-NCP administration was too scared to even mention the word ‘drought’. But the BJP has acted courageously by not only including the word ‘drought’ in the manual, but also implementing relief measures across the 180-afflicted tehsils in the State,” said Mr. Fadnavis.The Shetkari-Kashtakari Parishad was presided over by Sadabhau Khot, Minister of State for Agriculture and Marketing. Mr. Khot was once a close aide of Mr. Shetti before their acrimonious public fallout resulted in the former’s ouster from Mr. Shetti’s Swabhimani Paksha in September last year.“During the Congress-NCP regime, farmers were given a paltry aid of ₹7,000 crore, but the BJP has given more than ₹22,000 crore during the four years it has been in power,” Mr. Fadnavis said. Mr. Fadnavis alleged that during his tenure as Union Agriculture Minister in the Congress-led UPA from 2004 to 2014, Mr. Pawar never acted on the agrarian reforms as suggested in the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission.“It is Prime Minister Modi who finally acted on the commission’s recommendations. For 15 years, the NCP and Congress failed to govern the State. So I urge Mr. Pawar to stop playing politics for politics sake,” Mr. Fadnavis remarked.He further claimed that unlike Uttar Pradesh and other States, no sugarcane farmer in Maharashtra has had to launch an agitation to demand fair and remunerative price (FRP).He further said that the State would send a resolution to increase the minimum selling price (MSG) of sugar from ₹29 per kg. to ₹31 per kg.Lauding Mr. Khot for acting as a bridge between this government and farmers, Mr. Fadnavis said that the BJP government was “sensitive” and supported every resolution taken in the sugar conclave.Mr. Khot’s conclave is intended as a pre-electoral ‘show of strength’ targeted at Mr. Shetti, who is slated to hold his own annual sugar conclave in Kolhapur’s Jaysingpur township this Saturday.
The Goa government’s draft tourism policy and tourism master plan came in for severe criticism from different stakeholders and civil society activists at an interactive session convened here by the Centre for Responsible Tourism, a Church-affiliated body, on Wednesday.The State tourism department has sought suggestions on its report on the tourism policy and master plan. The policy has been uploaded on the tourism department’s website and is open for suggestions from stakeholders and public.Experts and activists have pointed out several flaws in the draft tourism policy and called it a “top-down master plan” prepared by foreign consultants without any discussion with the people.More time soughtThe last date to submit suggestions for the draft master plan, according to the State government, is November 11, but the CRT has demanded at least three months to study it and come up with suggestions. The CRT has also demanded that the draft be translated into vernacular and be circulated to village panchayats for greater awareness on it through gram sabhas. It has also questioned the Goa government as to why the draft is not being published in the State gazette.Goa University scientist and social activist Nandkumar Kamat evaluated the proposed plan and lambasted the proposal for hiding crucial information about major aspects like income generated through tourism in the State which gets close to 6.5 million tourists, including 0.06 million foreign tourists, per year.He lamented that the master plan prepared by a professional consultant, KPMG, hides more things than it reveals. “Is it tourism for Goa or Goa for tourism? Is tourism for the benefit of people of Goa or Goa’s people are for tourism?” asked an indignant Mr. Kamat.Besides the economic dimension, the earnings from domestic and foreign tourists have been kept hidden from the public, he claimed.“The draft plan says nothing about income from tourism to the State, which, according to information obtained through a Right to Information plea, is around ₹29,400 crore or around 40% of the Goa’s GDP. The government fears questions from the people if the figures are revealed,” said Mr. Kamat, adding that the proposed master plan is a “copy-paste job which had no place for Goa’s environment, ecology, culture, heritage”.‘Amateurish draft’ “Rather this document seems to be a Trojan horse for the Goa Tourism Board which hides the fact that such instrument is absent in all other States which are ahead of Goa in tourism. A public policy needs to have a clear mission statement and principles, present current situation and analyses, clearly and concisely state the goals, objectives, strategies and action plans, spell out steps for responsible tourism and provide details of implementation and review. This draft is very amateurish and purely academic in nature,” said Mr. Kamat.He also objected to a proposed autonomous Tourism Board in the policy and master plan saying if it is headed by the State Minister of Tourism as proposed therein then it is a mockery of autonomy.Retired scientist from Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography, Antonio Mascarenhas, raised concern that the proposed master plan makes no mention of sand dunes, mangroves or ecologically sensitive areas of the coastal tourist State. Mr. Valmiki Naik of Aam Aadmi Party said that the proposed master plan has very little of statistics and gives too much of importance to casinos. Serafino Cota, former president of Small and Medium Restaurants Association in South Goa, suspected it was a scam and said that the draft master plan laid too much emphasis on PPP and profits for private players while there is nothing for the common people.
The Supreme Court on Monday said it wants to see the chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra government against lawyer Surendra Gadling and others accused of Maoist links in the aftermath of the Bhima-Koregaon violence to see “how serious” the charges against them are.The decision by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph to call for the chargesheet came after the State objected to grant of bail to the accused, claiming the charges were too serious for such a relief.The court asked the State to file the chargesheet and the gist of the case before December 11, the next date of hearing.HC orderThe State had approached the Supreme Court against a Bombay High Court order rejecting the Maharashtra police plea for a 90-day extension to complete its investigation and file a chargesheet against Mr. Gadling and others.The court had recently stayed the October 24 High Court, which had opened the window for Mr. Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, activists Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson to seek default bail.They were arrested on June 6 by the Pune police and a case was registered against them under various provisions of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and the Indian Penal Code.The State’s petition has argued that under Section 43-D (2) of the UAPA Act, the trial court may, on the report of the public prosecutor, extend the detention of the accused for another 90 days.‘Pedantic view’On September 2, the trial court had allowed an extension of 90 days, following which Mr. Gadling and the others moved the High Court, which set aside the trial court order. The High Court, however, stayed its order till November 1 to give the State time to appeal to the Supreme Court.The State government argued that the High Court resorted to a “pedantic view rather than resorting to a pragmatic view.” The High Court concluded that the report backing the plea for a 90-day extension of detention was filed before the Sessions Judge by the case investigating officer instead of the public prosecutor as required by law.
This weekend, India’s arts and culture community is raising a collective hand of protestA series of hate crimes, allegedly by Hindutva-related right-wing elements against minorities, led to protests in different cities across India last year, under the broad umbrella of #NotInMyName. Many of the people leading or participating in these protests happened to be from the arts community, and over 2018, their conversations continued, as their worries about polarisation in the country increased.Around September 2018, the murmur of worry coalesced into a loose collective, Artists Unite!, to discuss ways of acting against what seemed to be escalating efforts to create an atmosphere of hate and the taking over of cultural institutions.No to assaultDelhi-based filmmaker Saba Dewan, a member of the collective, says, “We felt that given the kind of assault we are witnessing against culture, the way culture is being reduced to one colour, we should be protesting. And that the way we should protest should be by using our cultural practices.” Over the next few months, cultural practitioners across the country joined in, discussing the form their protests should take.The group issued a declaration in early December (it has over 700 signatures) that concluded with the resolution to defend the plurality of the country by countering hate with love, violence with peace, “through our images, speech, words, music and bodies”. Those protests are taking place on March 2 and 3, in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Dharwad, Chandigarh, Indore, Jamshedpur and a few other cities.Two cities will witness multi-disciplinary and multiple stage events at a single venue: the 15 August Park in Red Fort in Delhi, and the Visthar campus, Bengaluru. In Mumbai on March 2, there will be a ‘participatory performance parade’ from Chaityabhoomi, Dadar, to the Carter Road seaface. Chennai will see a film festival in Panuval bookstore and an ‘inclusive playground’ at Santhome.One of the Bengaluru organisers, actor and director Kirtana Kumar, says that while the event is in the city, an attempt has been to include all of Karnataka, “to represent ourselves, and also make space for the representation of all minorities”. A member of the 2020 Collective (who asked not to be named, as the group speaks only as the collective), who is coordinating the Mumbai walk, says the group is taking ideas from creative people, “in dance, poetry, spoken word, theatre, music, and transforming them into performance, keeping in mind that it is a parade”. 2020 has also created PostersUnite, which releases ‘copyleft’ (no ownership — creators are not even named — and free to reuse and distribute) posters every day.Artists Unite! says that there is no attempt to curate things: creative people have come forward with their ideas, and resources like artworks are shared, but events are self-organised in each location. For more details on the events, visit facebook.com/artistsuniteindia
The suspected attacker behind the Jammu grenade blast is “a minor with no police records”, according to the police’s special counter-insurgency cell in Kashmir Valley. Meanwhile, the death toll in the blast rose to two on Friday when one of the injured died in a Jammu hospital.A top police official told The Hindu that the suspect was arrested on the basis of video footage collected at the site of the blast in the main inter-State bus stand in Jammu and oral testimony.“There are no police records against [him]. However, his native place is home to two top Hizbul Mujahideen commanders Feroz Bhat, the possible handler, and Umar Ahmad. We are investigating his links with the group,” said the official.The security agencies in Jammu had prior intelligence inputs about a possible militant attack in the city on Thursday. On Wednesday, a security alert “warned of an attack in Jammu and even cited the possible targets.”The first leads in the blast case suggest that the suspect came in a private car from the Valley on Wednesday evening and took the Srinagar-Jammu highway, with just one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar allowed due to landslides. “The family contends it’s his first visit to Jammu,” said the official.The police suspect that the student, arrested just 20 km away the explosion site near Nagrota after he was spotted running at the Jammu bus stand, was “self-trained to carry out grenade attacks through videos on the social media.”“We are investigating who ferried him to Jammu,” said the police. The suspect told the interrogators that “he concealed the grenade in a lunch box and used dry rice to hide it.”Meanwhile, the police on Friday evening reported that the funeral of Muhammad Riyaz from Anantnag’s Mattan, who was the second “civilian” to die in the blast, witnessed gunshots fired by unknown gunmen at the Akurah graveyard. “The matter is under investigation,” said the police.Riyaz was a small-time trader and had arrived in Jammu from New Delhi on Wednesday evening, according to the family.
Pramila Bisoi, the brand image of the ruling Biju Janata Dal’s commitment to women’s emancipation in Odisha for the upcoming elections, filed her nomination papers for the Aska parliamentary constituency of Ganjam district on Monday.The 68-year-old Women Self Help Group leader from a peasant family, is attempting to enter the corridors of power for the first time. She filed her nomination papers before Returning Officer for Aska constituency, Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange, at Chhatrapur.Her rally at Chhatrapur included a large number of women. Speaking to newsmen, Ms. Bisoi from the nondescript Cheramaria village said, “Earlier I was only working for women of my area. But with the blessings of Naveen Patnaik, I will take up the responsibility of 70 lakh women of ‘Mission Shakti’ in my State.”Mr. Patnaik had declared Ms. Bisoi’s candidature as a tribute to lakhs of women of the ‘Mission Shakti’ movement of the State government. Started in 2001 to empower women, ‘Mission Shakti’ now includes around 70 lakh women members of six lakh WSHGs. The BJD eyes these members as its probable vote base.Ms. Bisoi’s candidature has extra importance for the BJD. Mr. Patnaik had started his political career in 1997 with a win from Aska in a by-election after the death of his father Biju Patnaik, who represented the constituency.Marginal farmersMs. Bisoi and her husband Banchhanidhi Bisoi are marginal farmers with less than one acre of land. Her elder son runs a tea stall while the younger one owns a bike repair shop. Ms. Bisoi was a catalyst for sanitation, literacy, tree plantation and promotion of institutional delivery drives in her area. She has been honoured by the State government with ‘Prakriti Mitra’ and ‘Prakriti Bandhu’ awards for her role in forest and peacock protection at Pakidi hill.Although she has studied up to Class III only, she is confident that using Odia as the medium of communication, she will be able to take up issues related to common people, especially those of women, in Parliament.Meanwhile, the BJP has fielded political debutante Anita Priyadarshini for the seat. Her mother Kumudini Patnaik was elected from here on a BJD ticket in a by-election in 2000 after Mr. Patnaik resigned as Aska MP to take charge as CM. Congress will support CPI candidate Ramkrushna Panda.
All does not appear to be well in Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) as fresh tensions between allies delayed the formal induction of film star-turned-neta Shatrughan Sinha’s entry into the Congress.Mr. Sinha met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday but he is expected to formally join on April 6, once seat sharing talks are completely resolved.The stand-off between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress over some seats led to a series of meetings in Patna and Delhi.RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had to cancel his poll campaign trip to Katihar, Banka and Jamui. Amidst speculation of a break-up through the day, a joint press meeting of the allies in Patna was postponed to Friday.Congress leaders, including party in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil, were locked in meetings with Mr. Gandhi. A section of the Congress wants the party to assert itself against the RJD that first reduced its [the Congress’] seat share from 11 to nine to accommodate more allies.Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad is keen to contest his Darbhanga seat but the RJD wants it. Similarly, the RJD does not want the Congress to back Pappu Yadav from Madhepura as it is keen to field former Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav from there.A local RJD leader threatened to field a candidate against Pappu Yadav’s wife Ranjeet Ranjan, who is currently the sitting Congress MP from the Supaul Lok Sabha constituency.There is also resentment among Congress old-timers that tickets are being given away to other party leaders, including Mr. Azad, Mr. Sinha and former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Tariq Anwar.Earlier in the day, when the RJD gave the party symbol to its senior leader and former minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui from Darbhanga seat, State Congress leaders rushed to meet party president Rahul Gandhi to express their annoyance. A three-time MP from Darbhanga, Mr. Azad was, earlier, suspended from the BJP for “anti-party activities” and had recently joined the Congress.Rapid developmentsAmid the fast changing developments, RJD MLA and elder son of Lalu Prasad, Tej Pratap Yadav resigned as the mentor of party’s student’s wing, causing embarrassment to the party and his family.Mr. Tej Pratap said he was hurt over tickets being denied to two of his supporters from Sheohar and Jehanabad seats. He also tweeted to say that those who think him as “ignorant are themselves ignorant.”
Living people in Europe and Asia still carry traces of long-ago unions between Neandertals and modern humans. Two studies pinpoint genes we have inherited from our extinct cousins, including some that leave their mark on hair and skin and others that are implicated in disease. But the studies also show that those ancient mixed couples were not fully compatible genetically. The descendants of their unions—especially the males—became less fertile over time, purging many Neandertal genes from modern genomes.For the full story, see this week’s issue of Science.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA—How can you visualize a 4D object in our 3D world? The answer involves some tricky projections and a 3D printer. Mathematician and artist Henry Segerman of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, described his method for representing a hypercube—a 4D cube—today at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science). Visualizing a 4D object is a mind-bending task, so to understand how Segerman does it, it helps to imagine a person who lives in a 2D “flatland,” or a plane with no thickness (think Nintendo character Mario in the side-scrolling games of the 1980s, unable to escape his TV set). How might one explain to a flatlander what a cube is? One method you could use is to shine a light above the cube, projecting a shadow onto a 2D surface. This is essentially what Segerman does, although he goes a bit further. He uses a stereographic projection, first projecting the cube onto the surface of a sphere, and then casting its shadows onto a plane. Like a Mercator projection, commonly used to make maps of Earth, a stereographic projection is a method for representing a sphere on a plane. The 3D-printed sculpture pictured above shows how a stereographic projection translates from a sphere to a plane—the curves on the sphere become straight lines on the plane. Using the same projection with a cube would illuminate the concept of a cube for a flatlander. Now imagine doing this with a hypercube instead of a cube, projecting it into three dimensions, and 3D printing the result. That’s how you make a hypercube.Check out our full coverage of the AAAS annual meeting.What message would you send into space? Tell us on Twitter and Vine with #msgtospace!Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
In a boost to the government’s drive to make the country’s higher education institutions world class, a record 31 Indian institutes have found a place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17. Related Items
In the summer of 2006, Timbo Drayson packed his bags and waved goodbye to Oxford University for a job at Google. He started in London, working on a fast-growing video product that eventually took him to the US. But by 2013 Drayson had quit and flown half way across the globe for Kenya’s capital. What happened?“During my time at Google, I was working on building our developer ecosystem in the Middle East and Africa,” says Drayson. “I really enjoyed it and so decided to take a sabbatical, travelling around East and West Africa on a tech tour. [Along the way] I got inspired [by the] big problems that needed solving through technology.”My family think it’s a good thing I’ve come to Kenya to develop my career, the Chinese believe Africa has a bright future. There are very many opportunities for young people and the salaries are higher – PengNairobi has the most developed tech scene in East Africa rivalling hubs like Cape Town, Lagos and Cairo. This made it a smart, strategic choice for an entrepreneur like Drayson. Within a year, the Brit had co-founded OkHi, a company working to provide every person in Kenya with an address.Read it at BBC Related Items
Nearly a dozen Indian-Americans have emerged as strong contenders for Tuesday’s high-profile US midterm polls, taking place at a time when the anti-immigrant sentiment is at its peak in the country. “It has been incredible to see the rise of Indian-Americans in US politics,” Rich Verma, the former US ambassador to India, told news agency PTI.Read it at NDTV Related Items
Things sometimes come full circle – and it’s an amazing feeling when they do. I had interviewed Maestro Zubin Mehta 18 years ago when I was just starting out and he was music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Now there I was, back again, sitting in the Maestro’s Green Room. That last time I had caught him fresh off the stage from rehearsals, and he had munched a sandwich as he rushed between appointments. He had given a surprisingly fulsome interview and I had also spoken with his father Mehli Mehta and his mother, Tehmina, to weave a profile of Zubin Mehta.He is performing at Avery Fisher Hall after many years, but once again he is grabbing a hurried lunch, which he had earlier abandoned for an impromptu meeting with emerging conductors. The applause from these young musicians had followed all the way to the green room. As he takes a bite of his half eaten sandwich, he pushes a box of quite delicious looking brownies toward me. “Here, have some mithai!” he says.Life is indeed sweet for Mehta right now. He has just come from Washington D.C. where he had been saluted, along with Andrew Lloyd Weber, Smokey Robinson, Dolly Parton and Steven Spielberg at the prestigious star-studded Kennedy Center Honors Gala, which had been attended by President and Mrs. Bush. The honors had been bestowed the night before at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Earlier the honorees had visited the White House where they were received by the President and Mrs. Bush.“Conductor Zubin Mehta’s profound artistry and devotion to music make him a world treasure,” said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman. These were words the young Zubin Mehta could hardly have hoped to hear when he was growing up in Bombay in the 1940’s. Western classical music played little part in this tumultuous city and it was his father Mehli Mehta who created a little oasis where classical music flourished. Growing up in a home where music was almost as necessary as food and water, Zubin Mehta was exposed to classical music even before he could speak. At the age of two his cherished possessions were a pair of drum sticks, and he kept them under his pillow at night. His father held rehearsals of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra in the living room and music became a second language for the future maestro.Hard to believe, but Mehta almost went on the stereotypical track for Indian youth: medicine He gave up his premed studies at 18 to pursue his real passion – music. In spite of financial constraints, the Mehtas sent him to Vienna’s prestigious Academy of Music and here his world revolved around music, absorbing the city’s rich musical traditions.In 1957 Mehta graduated and had to wear a full dress suit for conducting a concert as part of the final examination. Still financially squeezed, he bought a passable substitute for $25 from a place where waiters purchased their uniforms. Martin Bookspan and Ross Yockey described this tidbit in their book Zubin along with the fact that he often wore two unmatched black shoes, as the others had holes in them.Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge: Mehta won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958 and by 1961 had already conducted the Vienna, Berlin, and Israel philharmonic orchestras. He became music director of the New York Philharmonic in 1978, commencing a13-year tenure. After that, he was music director for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and then of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since 1985 he has been chief conductor of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, and has also served as music director of the Bavarian State Opera. Mehta is an honorary citizen of both Florence and Tel Aviv; an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera; and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Peace and Tolerance Award of the United Nations.He and his wife Nancy spend several weeks at a time in Florence, Israel and now in Valencia, Spain, where he is involved with the new opera house that opened in October. Since they travel so much, they cherish their villa near Los Angeles, a fabulous private paradise with ocean views and a garden bursting with flowers.Mehta has been the longest serving music director of the New York Philharmonic so was there a feeling of homecoming returning to the stage of Avery Fisher Hall? “Yes, absolutely,” he says. ” It’s a wonderful feeling. I was so close to this orchestra for 13 years and playing the pieces I’ve done with them so often is a wonderful feeling .”Music runs in the family’s blood. His late father Mehli Mehta had left India at the age of 45, because there just wasn’t enough appreciation for western music and had a successful career in America. Even at the age of 80, he was conductor of the American Youth Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles. Currently Zubin’s brother Zarin Mehta is the executive director of the New York Philharmonic, and his son Merwan is the vice president of programming at the Kimmel Center, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His daughter Zarina is a nurse in Montreal, and life is rich with grandchildren and children and moving between homes in Florence and Los Angeles.Mehta has had a long relationship with the Israeli Philharmonic and is its music director for life. Passionate about issues, he uses music to voice his support: “I’ve always been involved with my music,” he says. “I’ve tried in the Middle East to bring the Arabs and the Jews together. I don’t do too much, because of time constraints. But that’s not an excuse; we should be doing more. Arabs and Jews sitting together in concerts, but we don’t have enough of those.“Last month I took the Israel Philharmonic to Nazareth and performed for a completely Arab audience. They gave us a standing ovation. Imagine Arabs standing up for a hundred Jews playing on stage. It’s very healthy. It doesn’t change the West Bank problems, but it brings some goodwill at least.”This maestro is a foodie too. He’s a diehard Indian food fan, especially of Parsi food, which he can’t get in restaurants. The fact that Indian restaurants have sprouted up everywhere, even in Tel Aviv, does make life easier. His personal favoprite “one of the best Indian restaurants in the world” is Tandoori, which is owned by the Pushkarna family in Tel Aviv. They own four or five restaurants in Israel and surprisingly, Israelis are very much into Indian food. He smiles, “So I’m very much at home there.” Mehta has a very special relationship with India and Bombay, where he grew up, is very close to his heart. A staunch Indian national, he has stuck through thick and thin to his Indian passport, in spite of all the inconveniences during travel. His mother once shared a memory of how when some people hreferred to him as a national of their country, Zubin, though honored, had responded, “I feel very friendly toward your country, but make no mistake, I’m an Indian first.”So after living on other continents for decades, how close does he feel to India? He says, “Spiritually very close, very close. I keep going back. I have many friends, I still have friends from my youth. I still talk to them on a weekly basis.”While he’s very proud of the achievements of India and of Indians abroad, he also sees the full picture, warts and all. He questions why in Bombay, a city of plenty, 60 percent of the people don’t have clean drinking water. He also feels strongly about the AIDS epidemic in India. While visiting New York he hosted “A Night for India,” a musical fundraiser for American India Foundation to raise funds and awareness for the AIDS-HIV campaign in India.Mehta was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor, in 2001. He is going there next October with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for a celebration of his late parents’ 100th birth anniversary and to open a music school to honor his father’s memory: “There’s a lot of talent in India. We now have to nurture it so they don’t have to leave the country, like a lot of us had to.”His father, Mehli Mehta, who had to leave Bombay because there wasn’t enough encouragement or funding for western music, always felt the hurt about leaving “that beautiful home by the Arabian Sea, that beautiful country, all my friends and all my music circles,” he said.When I had asked him many years ago he if he had made his peace with Bombay, Mehli Mehta had responded: “I have no quarrel with Bombay. When I came away from Bombay they gave me parties, they gave me receptions and a good send off. But my life, my main aim and my goal is my music. A man stands for his work and my work was not appreciated or accepted.” So when Zubin Mehta inaugurates the Mehli Mehta School in the heart of Bombay for all the emerging young talent in a new India, it will certainly set some things right and complete a story with an unfinished ending.Yes, things have a way of coming full circle.BABY BLUES“Even as a child he was only happy with his phonographic records. Even before he could speak or do anything – there must have been some kind of a mark on the records -because he would point to the ayah to play that certain record. He had two or three favorite ones, and he would, from a pile of records, point out just those two or three records. When he was sick or in pain, if we played a record he would just put his head on my shoulder and be quiet. As soon as the record finished, he would remember his pain and start crying.” Surrounded by the best in classical music at the age of two, did he have any favorites? “A tango with a hrefrain sung in German was one of his favorite records.”-Temina Mehta, Zubin’s mother, in an interview in 1988.THE MAESTRO IN THE KITCHEN“I cook Italian food mostly and I cook Indian food. I don’t cook too much, because of my time problem. But you know,every Indian, as soon as he gets out of India, starts cooking, right, basically because they can’t get anything. But today New York is full of Indian restaurants. But when I first came here, there was only one restaurant. In those days I used to cook. Now it’s not necessary. Now we get it everywhere. I carry my chilies when I travel. I grow my own chilies and I carry them in my pocket. I don’t mix them with Indian food though.”– Zubin Mehta, 1988. Related Items