NEW DELHI 20 DECEMBER 2020 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in Shooting Stars Two in One PLUS: 12 PAGES The Future is Ours to See MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE VOICES Silent Voices Speak Prabhu Chawla TJS George Shankkar Aiyar Anand Neelakantan Sheila Kumar Ravi Shankar Gautam Chintamani Madhulika Liddle Kulwinder Singh Gurvinder Singh Krishan Lal Kitab Singh Lakhvir Singh Surinder Singh IN a second legal setback for the UP government, two brothers arrested earlier this month under the newly-promulgated anti-conversion law were released in Moradabad following a district court order after the police was unable to find any evidence against them. The duo, Rashid and Salim, were arrested on December 4 while visiting the marriage registrar’s office in Moradabad to get Rashid’s marriage with Pinki Yadav, a Hindu, registered. The police arrested the brothers after a complaint was filed by the family of the girl. Bajrang Dal activists had reached the court, heckled the couple and dragged them to the Kanth police station. Mewa Singh Ram Mehar Jatinder Singh Gurpreet Singh Baba Ram Singh Makhan Khan Hailing from Karnal district in Haryana, he shot himself dead. He was a religious leader at a gurdwara with a large following Belonging to Moga in Punjab, he died of a heart attack. He is survived by four boys and two girls in his joint family Gurbachan Singh HOME THEY BROUGHT THE FARMER DEAD As many as 29 farmers have died during the agitation against new farm laws. Farmers' unions will observe Sunday as Shradhanjali Diwas across the country to pay homage. Reports on P7 Ajay Moor Gurjant Singh Gurmail Kaur From Bathinda in Punjab, she was sitting on a dharna in Sangrur when she died of a heart attack Bhag Singh Gurdev Singh Randhir Singh Hazoora Singh Gurpreet Singh He was a marginal farmer from Patiala in Punjab. He died in an accident when his tractortrolley was hit by a truck Dhanna Singh From Sonipat, he reportedly died of a heart attack. Survived by parents, wife and 3 children From Mansa in Punjab.He was at the Tikri border when he fell sick and later died at a Rohtak hospital Balbir Singh Jai Singh Bhim Singh He was the sole Died at the Singhu bread earner. Died border after he at the Tikri border fell in a drain. of cardiac arrest. From Patiala, he Survived by wife has left behind and three children wife and 2 kids ALLEGING that the Trinamool Congress slogan of “ma, mati, manush” (mother, motherland and people) coined by Mamata Banerjee had now become “tolbaji, tushtikaran and bhaipobad” (extortion, appeasement and nephewism), Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday called for “uprooting” the West Bengal chief minister from the state. “You do not care about the crores of youth living in Bengal, you only care about your nephew. You are thinking when will I introduce my nephew as the chief minister of Bengal. The beginning of your end has started and you will find yourself alone before the upcoming Assembly elections,” Shah said at a rally in Midnapore. He claimed the BJP win more than 200 seats out of the 294 in next year’s elections. The reference to the nephew is Abhishek Banerjee, who Mamata is allegedly promoting. While handing over the party’s flag to Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata’s once trusted lieutenant who joined the BJP at the rally, Shah said this was just the beginning as more would leave the Trinamool and Mamata would soon find herself alone in the party . Other than Adhikari, nine MLAs, one MP, 15 councillors, 45 civic body chairmen and two zilla parishad chiefs also joined the saffron party. Among the MLAs are six from the Trinamool, two Left Front and one from the Congress. The parlia- Labh Singh The 65-year-old from Patiala died in same accident as Gurpreet’s. He had five acres of land and is survived by three children Gajjan Singh He died in an accident near Hisar, Haryana, while going on a tractor towards Delhi 55-year-old resident of Bhangu Khatra in Ludhiana, died at the Tikri border after he fell ill Janak Raj Kahan Singh From Barnala in From Barnala in Punjab, he rePunjab, he was hit paired tractors by a car and died of farmers. Was while covering sleeping in his car tractors with when it caught fire waterproof sheets A video had gone viral on social media, purportedly showing Bajrang Dal activists asking the couple if the woman had given notice to the district magistrate over her intention to change her religion, a requirement under the new UP Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance 2020, which was promulgated on November 28. While releasing the brothers, the police submitted a report that it could not find evidence of any unlawful conversion of Pinki to Islam. The police submission came after Pinki de- nied the allegations of forceful conversion by Rashid and his brother Salim, following which the chief judicial magistrate on Friday ordered the release of the two, prosecuting officer Amar Tiwari said. “We got married with mutual consent. I have already spent 15 days in jail. But today I am happy as I have been released,” said Rashid after stepping out of the prison. When asked if he felt the police had misused the law, he chose to keep mum. Pinki was relieved at her husband’s release. “My gratitude to all those who stood by Two more cases reported from Etah, Shahjahanpur Five of a Muslim family in Etah were booked under the anti-conversion law on late Friday evening. In Shajahanpur, a man, his parents and three siblings were booked on similar charges. P8 my side during the crisis. I am very happy that my husband has been released and he has returned to me,” she said. When asked if she would seek punishment for those who were behind her sufferings of the last 15 days, Pinki was noncommittal. “Since my husband is now back with me, we will discuss it and then take a proper decision,” she said. Meanwhile, the mother-inlaw alleged that Pinki suffered a miscarriage after she was tortured at the government shelter home. The couple had got their nikah solemnised in July four , months before the anti-conversion law came into being.Pinki even claimed in her statement before a magistrate that she was an adult. Cong meet breaks ice but no meeting ground on organisational elections R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi CONGRESS chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday met a group of party leaders, months after they wrote to her seeking organizational changes, and while the meeting at her residence proved to be an ice breaker, there was no agreement over the demand for organizational elections. All that the “letter writers” were assured of was an election for the Congress president with many asking Rahul Gandhi to take charge while he said he was ready to take whatever responsibility the party assigns him. General secretary in charge Pair Faith with Effort E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata No conversion proof, ‘love jihad’ duo freed N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow Wheels on Reels Adds Bengal has become a state for extortion and a refuge of hooligans F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar AS the District Development Council polls concluded in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, the Enforcement Directorate attached National Conference president and chairman of the Gupkar Alliance Farooq Abdullah’s properties, including three residential houses worth `11.86 crore in the J&K Cricket Association money laundering case. Abdullah, who is the Srinagar Lok Sabha MP, is in touch with his lawyers and mulling legal options to fight the charges and attachment of properties. The attached properties include three residential houses: Gupkar Road in Srinagar, Katipora, Tanmarg in Baramulla and Bhatindi, Sunjwan in Jammu. Abdullah’s commercial buildings at Srinagar’s Residency Road area and land at four places were also attached. Before the attachment of his properties, Abdullah has been questioned twice by the ED in Srinagar for his alleged involvement in the JKCA money laundering case. Earlier, the CBI, which probed the JKCA scam, had in 2018 filed charge sheet against Abdullah for alleged misappropriation of `43.69 crore in 2002-11. Reacting to attaching of properties, his son Omar tweeted: “The properties attached are largely ancestral dating from the 1970s with the most recent one built before 2003. There can be no justification for the seizures because they fail the very basic test of having been acquired as the proceeds of the “crime” being investigated.” AMMA SPEAKS Time to uproot Mamata, ‘nephewism,’ says Shah HOWZAT ED attaches Farooq’s properties For a New You The Healing Fields of Kerala of UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, , was also present at the meeting. Among the letter writers were Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Manish Tewari, Vivek Tankha, Shashi Tharoor and Prithviraj Chavan. In a four-hour meeting, all leaders were made to express their views and the contents flagged by the letter writers were discussed. The group led by Azad reiterated the demand for holding elections to the Central Working Committee and at general secretary level. But other party veterans such as Ambika Soni and Harish Rawat, seen as Gandhi family loyalists, opposed the de- mand as appointments had already been made. In September, the CWC was reconstituted and general secretaries were reshuffled. The leaders from the group of 23 also expressed their reservations over Randeep Surjewala’s statement that 99.99 per cent want Rahul as the party chief. They mentioned the party’s loss in the Bihar assembly elections and the recent bypolls, which were directly handled by Rahul’s close aide. According to sources, Sonia assured them that elections for the top post would happen soon. She agreed to a suggestion that the party should hold a chintan shivir sometime next year. My gratitude to all those who stood by my side during the crisis. I am very happy that my husband has been released and he has returned to me Pinki, after the police released her husband Rahid INTERVIEW ASHOK GEHLOT Rajasthan Chief Minister ‘BJP TRYING TO TOPPLE ME ON DAILY BASIS’ T HREE-TIME Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot attacked the Central government for failing to provide any help to the states in fighting the Covid-19 pandemi and alleged the oppisition BJP was still trying to topple PAGE 7 his government in the state. Amit Shah welcomes Suvendu Adhikari in the BJP, in Midnapore on Saturday | PTI mentarian is Sunil Mandal, the Trinamool’s sitting MP from East Burdwan. Referring to Mamata’s allegation of poaching, Shah said: “What was your original party? Was it the TMC? Didn’t you poach the Congress?” Hitting out at the alleged corruption, Shah said Bengal had become a state for extortion and a refuge of hooligans. “No development took place in the past 10 years. The Centre’s Amphan relief fund has been siphoned off by TMC goons. Foodgrain sent by the Centre was looted by your party cadres. You should feel ashamed,” he said. Referring to the attack on BJP national president J P Nadda’s motorcade on December 10, Shah said his party was not scared of it. “More than 300 of our party workers have been killed. The more you will show violence, the more we will gather strength to fight,” he said. After receiving a warm reception by Shah, Adhikari termed the home minister as his elder brother and, without naming Abhishek Banerjee, attacked the Trinamool chief. He raised the slogan “tolabaj bhaipo hatao” (reject the extortionist nephew). He also said his ties with Shah began in 2014 when they met in an office. Sources in the Trinamool Congress said Adhikari expressed his discontent on many occasions as he wanted to be the face of the party after Mamata Banerjee but she was not ready to give him the space in the hierarchy P8 .
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