Actor Kamal Haasan has hit out against the ruling AIADMK and rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran for allegedly paying huge sums of money to buy votes in the recently-held assembly bypolls in Tamil Nadu’s prestigious RK Nagar, days after his contemporary and superstar Rajinikanth made a grand entry into politics.

SRINAGAR: Normal life crawled at -20 degrees Celsius in Kargil in the cold desert of Ladakh even as temperatures remained several degrees below the freezing point elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley.

The special investigation team probing the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh has been unable to compare the cartridges recovered from the crime scene amid a dispute among three forensics laboratories over the analysis of cases recovered from the scenes of three other high-profile killings.

MUMBAI: Over 30 policemen sustained injuries in the city yesterday during the protest called by various Dalit groups, a senior police official said on Thursday.

The city on Wednesday shivered at a minimum temperature of 7° Celsius. The weather department has predicted that the mercury is expected to slide further by at least two degrees Celsius by the end of this week. The maximum temperature has hovered around 16° Celsius since January 1.

NEW DELHI: Police today registered an FIR against Gujarat Dalit leader Jaignesh Mevani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid in Pune's Vishrambaug Police Station under sections 153(A), 505 and 117 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Govt. has rejected demands from Opposition and NDA allies for review by a select committee
The government has rejected the Opposition’s demand to send the controversial triple talaq legislation criminalising instant triple talaq, or talaq-e-biddat, to a select committee.

The Lok Sabha had cleared the ‘Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill on December 28. It will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and four hours have been allotted for a debate. The Opposition however, has the requisite numbers to refer the Bill to a select committee.

On Tuesday at 4 p.m., the Business Advisory Committee, which has members from all parties and allocates time to debate various legislations in Parliament, met. According to sources at the meeting, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma pressed to send the legislation to a select committee.

The party has vocally opposed the “criminalisation” clause in the Bill. It is, however, treading cautiously to avoid taking a position against what is seen as a Bill that favours Muslim women.

It is learnt that when the government discussed the time allocation for the debate on the talaq legislation, Mr. Azad vociferously protested, saying that the Bill must be sent to a select committee instead of discussing the duration of debate. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, his deputy Vijay Goel and senior MP Bhupender Yadav repesented the government at the meeting.

Trinamool tightrope

Interestingly, members of the Trinamool Congress, who have been ambivalent on the legislation, backed the demand for referring the Bill to a committee as it needed fine tuning. The party was represented by MP Derek O’ Brien. The Trinamool had not participated in the debate in Lok Sabha.

“At least 30% of the voters in West Bengal are Muslims. There is a perception that the Muslim women are for the Bill and the men are against it. So we have to walk a fine line here,” a Trinamool MP said, explaining the party’s dilemma.

In a break, NDA ally Telugu Desam Party also supported the Opposition and asked the government to send the legislation for further deliberations. The other political parties including the AIADMK, DMK, BJD, NCP, RJD, SP and the BSP have already made their stance against the “criminality” clause clear.

‘No further delay’

The government, meanwhile, is adamant that the Bill be passed in its current format without delay. “We are having continuous talks with the Opposition parties, including the Congress. We have told the Congress that since they have not pressed for any amendments in the Lok Sabha, they should do the same in Rajya Sabha,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.

For now the fate of the Bill remains uncertain. “We will get to know only tomorrow (Wednesday) morning if the government has had a change of heart considering the unanimous demand from the Opposition to examine the Bill further,” one of the MPs said.

BENGALURU: In what appears to be a 'fine-tooth comb' operation, the income tax department claimed it had seized cash and jewellery worth Rs 5 crore from exporters of human hair in North Karnataka as well as found incriminating evidence of tax evasion amounting to more than Rs 65 crore. They say the racket has been going on for years and probe is on.

With distances adding to the dropout rate, a girl’s college in Nagaur’s Didwana is providing quality education, safety and comfort for parents who usually are reluctant to send their wards for higher education.

PUNE: The bandh called by Dalit outfits in the state prompted a near-total response in Marathwada, punctuated by sporadic violence, with transport and establishments being mostly shut, and people keeping indoors.



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