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Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: President Kovind rejects Tamil Nadu government’s plea to release convicts

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New Delhi | President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday rejected the Tamil Nadu government request to release the seven prisoners convicted in the assassination case of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

President Kovind told the State government that the “Centre doesn’t concur with its view” to release the prisoners after the advice of the Home Ministry.

“The President has rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s plea to free the prisoners on the advice of the Home Ministry. This has been conveyed to the State. The assassins of the former Prime Minister of India cannot walk free under any circumstances,” a top official told ‘The Hindu’.

This decision has come after the state government second request to release the prisoner in the last 4years. Earlier the Home ministry on the direction of the Supreme court asked the Tamil Nadu state government to furnish details on the convicts such as the “physical and mental status,” their “economic and social background” and the previous cases registered against them.

Earlier the Centre moved to court against the State government’s proposal of February 19, 2014, to remit their sentences as they had already served more than 20 years in prison. Later a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court gave three months to the Home Ministry to decide on Tamil Nadu’s proposal to remit the sentences of the life-term convicts.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during a public meeting in Chennai’s Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991.

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Muscular security policy will not work in J-K: Mehbooba Mufti says after her resignation

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PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti raised the bogey of Article 370 and unilateral ceasefire on Tuesday, saying the muscular security policy will not work in the state and reconciliation is the key.

“I am not shocked as this alliance was never for power. PDP never believes in power politics and we worked for the people,” she told reporters after an hour-long meeting with her ministers and party workers at her residence.

Mehbooba maintained that Jammu and Kashmir was not an enemy territory as being perceived by few. “We had always said muscular security policy will not work in J-K, reconciliation is key,” she said.

She began her press conference by raising Article 370, under which the state enjoys a special status, and said “…we have safeguarded Article 370 and 35-A (of the Constitution) and we will continue to do that”.

“We have been able to withdraw 11,000 cases against the stone pelters,” she said while listing her side of the story after the BJP pulled out of its alliance with the PDP in the state.

She also mentioned about the unilateral ceasefire during Ramazan announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore in 2015.

Mehbooba, who submitted her resignation to the governor this evening , said her party will continue to strive for dialogue and reconciliation in the state.

“I have told the governor we will not go into any other alliance,” she said.

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Pavements shouldn’t be obstructed by encroachments: Delhi High Court

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Observing that pavements should not be obstructed by encroachments as it could lead to traffic hazards as well as imperil life of pedestrians, the Delhi High Court has directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to remove a temple built illegally on a footpath near C R Park here.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar told the corporation that while bringing the pavement in question to its original condition, the deities in the temple be shifted to another place without damaging them.

It directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) to ensure that adequate police protection is made available to the SDMC for implementing the court’s order in which the bench also asked the corporation to file a status report within eight weeks regarding the steps taken by it.

The direction by the court came while disposing of a PIL against encroachments on the pavement at Govind Puri Extension opposite F-Block of C R Park.

While disposing of the matter, the bench said, “Pavements have to be maintained as pavements and no obstruction thereon can be permitted. The same results not only in traffic hazards but imperils the life of pedestrians who have no place to walk.

“In view of the above, the SDMC shall forthwith take steps to remove the entire unauthorized temple opposite F-Block, C R Park, Govind Puri Extension, Kalkaji and ensure that the pavement is brought to its original condition and maintained as such. Needless to say, the SDMC shall take care to ensure the deities are shifted to any other place and that no damage is caused thereto.”

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8,000 Indian journalists to be trained by Google

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To guard journalists against falling prey to false news stories, Google India on Tuesday said it will provide training to 8,000 journalists in English and six other Indian languages in the next one year.

Google News Initiative India Training Network will select 200 journalists from different parts of India. These journalists will improve their skills during a five-day “train-the-trainer” boot camps organised by Google.

This network of certified instructors will then train more journalists at two-day, one-day and half-day workshops organised by the Network giant. Training workshops will be conducted in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada in cities across India, Google India said in a statement.

The aim of the training is to master Indian journalists in fact-checking, verification and maintaining digital hygiene using information built by experts from First Draft, Storyful, AltNews, BoomLive, Factchecker.in and DataLeads.

“Supporting trusted, authoritative media sources is a top priority for Google, which is why we are proud to collaborate with Internews, DataLeads and BoomLive to support journalists in their fight against misinformation in India,” said Irene Jay Liu, Google News Lab Lead, Asia-Pacific.

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