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Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi sent to judicial custody till Sept 24

MUMBAI: Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi has been sent to judicial custody till September 24 by a MUmbai court. The Mumbai Police also did not seek his custody. He was produced in the court this afternoon. 

Earlier, supporters and family members of cartoonist Trivedi, arrested for allegedly posting seditious content on his web portal, today protested outside the residence of Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who assured them of providing all possible help to the artiste.

Ashok Trivedi, father of cartoonist Trivedi, along with several protestors from Kanpur and neighbouring Unnao gathered outside Jaiswal's residence to express their outrage and demanded his release.

After meeting the protestors, Jaiswal, who is a Member of Parliament from Kanpur, promised that authorities will look into the charges made and will provide him with all possible assistance. He also said if needed he will try to approach the Maharashtra government to discuss the matter.

Trivedi was arrested on Saturday and produced in a Mumbai court on Sunday which sent him to police custody till September 16. He was arrested following a complaint that he had put up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during the Anna Hazare rally held last year in Mumbai and had also uploaded obscene content on his website.

Speaking to PTI, Aseem's father Ashok claimed that his son was innocent and that it was an irony that the 24-year-old had been arrested on charges of sedition when his grandfather Reva Shankar Trivedi had been a freedom figher and had gone behind bars for India's freedom struggle.

"Aseem's grandfather was a freedom fighter and had fought for the country's freedom. Do you expect Aseem to do something that insults the country? He only used his freedom of speech and in turn he has been charged of sedition," Ashok said. — PTI




Cannot target national symbols in cartoons: Govt

NEW DELHI: As rights activists criticised the government for arresting a cartoonist for an allegedly derogatory cartoon, the government on Monday said such artists should stay "within Constitutional limits" and not make national symbols the target of cartoons. 

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters that the government had "no problems" with cartoons, but "they should stay within Constitutional parameters" and added that "they cannot make national symbols the object of their cartoon".

She was speaking after a furore erupted over the arrest of Aseem Trivedi for allegedly uploading a derogatory cartoon on his web portal.

Trivedi, 25, an activist of India Against Corruption (IAC), was picked up Saturday evening by the Mumbai Police following a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him.

He is accused of uploading "ugly and obscene" matter on his web portal and for putting up objectionable banners insulting the Constitution during Anna Hazare's anti-corruption agitation here last December.

IAC too on Monday demanded that Trivedi be "unconditionally released" and "the baseless charge of sedition be withdrawn instantly". — IANS




Kudankulam N-plant: Police fires teargas to disperse protesters

Kudankulam: The police on Monday fired teargas shells to disperse anti-nuclear protesters, who again tried to lay seige to the nuclear power plant here demanding a halt to the loading of enriched uranium in the reactor.

Defying prohibitory orders, the protesters refused to disperse from the sea shores, 500 metres away from the Kudankulam Nulcear Power project, despite repeated pleas by top police and district officials.

As the standoff continued this morning, police brought in additional reinforcements while some protesters attempted to take the sea route to breach the tight security and reach the plant site, police said.

As tension ran high, police lobbed teargas and chased away the protesters, some of whom ran into the sea and shouted slogans against the police action.

Since Sunday, more than 1,000 anti-nuclear protesters led by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy convener S P Udayakumar have been staying put at the seashore close to the plant demanding Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s intervention to stop loading of fuel in the first reactor.

The area has come under a tight security blanket with over 2,000 police personnel, including 400 RAF, deployed on duty.

Prohibitory orders are in place in a seven km radius from the plant in view of the siege call given by PMANE, seen as a last ditch attempt to prevent commissioning of the plant.

Regulatory authorities had recently given the go-ahead for loading the enriched uranium in the plant, whose commissioning was also given the nod by the Madras High Court.

The first unit of KNPP, an Indo-Russian joint venture, was scheduled for commissioning in December last, but was bogged down by delay due to protests against the project. — PTI




JD(U) to contest Gujarat Assembly poll alone

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav on Monday said that his party would contest alone in the Gujarat Assembly polls scheduled to be held at the end of this year.

Yadav, who was asked to comment on the plans of the Janata Dal (United) to contest the Gujarat assembly polls, said his party never had an alliance with the BJP in Gujarat.

"We have an alliance in Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Karnataka. We earlier had an alliance in Uttar Pradesh. We never had an alliance in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat," he said.

According to reports, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is likely to campaign in the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly elections for his party, the Janata Dal (United).

The Gujarat unit of the JD (U) plans to contest around 100 seats out of the 182 in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Many speculate it to be a direct confrontation between Kumar and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who have so far been involved in a long running war of words over the future Prime Minister of the country in case the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) returns to power at the Centre in 2014.

The Janata Dal (United) chief further said the BJP would take a final call on the prime ministerial candidate prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

"Bal Thackeray is a senior leader and has his own viewpoints. Several others gave their opinion on the prime ministerial candidate prior to him. The Lok Sabha polls are quite far now and the elections are not going to take place before that," said Yadav.

"The BJP will decide the name of PM candidate after being a single largest party in the 2014 general election. Thereafter, it will hold discussions within the NDA," he added.

Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Sunday said that senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj will be a 'deserving and great choice' for the Prime Minister's post.

Thackeray's comments were part of an interview that appeared in his party mouthpiece, Saamna.

Responding to who would be the ideal choice for the Prime Minister's job from the BJP, Thackeray said: "At present, there is only one person who is intelligent, brilliant - Sushma Swaraj."

"I have said this many times...She would be a great choice for PM's post. She is a deserving, intelligent woman. She would deliver a great performance," he added.

Thackeray's comments come in the wake of his recent meeting with Swaraj as part of her party's campaign against the Centre over the coal block allocation controversy. — ANI




Krishna seeks report on US child custody row

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Monday sought a report from the Indian mission on United States child service authorities in New Jersey restricting an Indian couple access to their one-year-old son after he underwent surgery for an injury.

Official sources said that Krishna has sought a report from the mission on the US-based Indian couple, hailing from Balurghat in West Bengal, being given limited access by American authorities to their son.

Nirmal and Sonarani Saha, the grandparents of the child Indrasish, had said on Sunday that he fell from the bed on August 9 at the couple’s New Jersey home when his mother Pamela was cooking and his father Debas was in office.

Indrashish was immediately rushed to a state-owned hospital where he was admitted by doctors and underwent a surgery, Nirmal Saha had said.

After Indrashish got well, his parents wanted to take him home but the hospital authorities refused to hand him over to them as the Child Protection Organisation alleged that the parents had failed to take proper care of him, the grandfather said.

He said he has appealed to the President, the Prime Minister and the West Bengal Chief Minister for help, and added that his son Debashis rang up Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee and appealed for help.

Mukherjee told Debashis that he would take up the matter with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. — PTI




Pak Hindu pilgrims say they don't want to return from India

Islamabad: Scores of Pakistan Hindu pilgrims currently in India’s Rajasthan have said they do not intend to return to their country, a media report said today. 

A group of 171 Pakistani Hindus travelled to Jodhpur on the Thar Express train yesterday. Though the Hindus are on a pilgrimage, their leader said they would not go back to Pakistan, according to BBC Urdu. 

The Samenath Lok Sangathan, an organisation working for the welfare of Hindus, has appealed to the Indian government to accord refugee status to the pilgrims. 

The Pakistanis were welcomed at Jodhpur railway station by SLS workers who made arrangements for their stay and food. 

A spokesman for SLS, which has been working to resettle Pakistani Hindus in India, said all 171 Pakistani Hindus, including 32 women and children, were residents of Sanghar and Hyderabad cities of Sindh province. 

They belong to the Bheel tribe. 

Complaining about the “miserable condition” of Hindus in Sindh, one of the Pakistani pilgrims told BBC Urdu that his father recently died but local Muslims did not allow him to perform the last rites. 

“We are feeling insecure because of the alarming rise in Islamic extremism in Pakistan. We would rather die here (India) than go back to Pakistan,” the pilgrim said. 

The SLS spokesman said the Pakistanis who reached Jodhpur were visibly shaken. 

“They are worried about their future because it is a matter between two countries,” he contended. 

Reports say Hindus, particularly those in Sindh, are victims of persecution, including forced conversion to Islam, extortion demands and kidnapping for ransom. 

Reports in the Pakistani media have said a sizeable number of Hindus are planning to seek asylum in India. 

On August 10, President Asif Ali Zardari formed a parliamentary committee to investigate the persecution of Hindus. The committee comprising parliamentarians visited different cities of Sindh and met Hindus. 

In its initial report, the panel said Hindus had complained that the abduction of Hindu girls and their forced conversion had caused resentment and a sense of insecurity in the minority community. — PTI




Flood alert in Srinagar

Srinagar: Authorities here today asked people living along the banks of River Jhelum to shift to safer places as a flood alarm was sounded in the city due to rising water level in the river following incessant rains.

River Jhelum is flowing above 16 feet in Ram Munshi Bagh area prompting the flood alarm, officials in the disaster management cell said.
"People living in temporary sheds along the banks of River Jhelum have been asked to shift to safer places," the officials said.

Incessant rains have been lashing Kashmir since Saturday night, which has led to sharp rise in water level in streams and rivulets across the valley.
Srinagar city has received 13.6 mm rainfall during the 24 hour period ending 8.30 AM this morning while Gulmarg tourist resort in north Kashmir recorded 39.2 mm rains during the period, an official of the MeT department said.




Serena wins fourth US Open title

New York: Serena Williams captured her 15th Grand Slam title and fourth career US Open crown with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory over World No 1 Victoria Azarenka.
In the first three-set final at the US Open since 1995, American fourth seed Williams joined her sister Venus and Steffi Graf as the only women to win Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open in the same year.

Pushed to her limit for the only time in the Flushing Meadows fortnight, Williams was down a break twice in the third set but battled back to win after two hours and 18 minutes last night when Azarenka swatted a backhand long.

"I honestly can't believe I won," Williams said. "I was preparing my runner-up speech. I'm so shocked. It's remarkable." Williams, who turns 31 on September 26, became the second-oldest US Open women's champion in the Open era.Back





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