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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

Gujarat CM suffers major setback ahead of results to the "all-important" polls to local self-governing bodies

By RK Misra*
Even as Gujarat waits with bated breath for the results of the all important local self-government elections on Wednesday, the last three days have been harbinger of bad news for the Anandiben Patel government.
If it was the Gujarat High Court which on Tuesday quashed the charges of waging war filed against 22-year-old Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel, two days earlier on Monday, Vipul Chaudhary who had been pushed out as chairman of the powerful Mehsana district, Dudhsagar dairy swept the polls and is expected to be reinstalled soon.
Both developments constitute a setback for the Gujarat chief minister on the eve of results to the local self government elections in the state which is seen as a semifinal encounter before the all important State Assembly elections in 2017.
The Anandiben Patel government had left no stone unturned to keep both Hardik Patel and Vipul Chaudhary out of circulation.
On Tuesday, Justice JB Pardiwala waived the charges of waging war against the government filed by the the Gujarat Police against Hardik Patel and his five associates.
But retained the sedition case against them. He directed removal from the FIR of IPC sections 121(waging war against the government),153A(promoting enmity between different communities) and 153B (assertion prejudicial to national integrity).The court, however, turned down plea to drop IPC,section 124(conspiracy to wage war against the government.
Babubhai Mangukia, Hardik’s lawyer who spoke to mediapersons thereafter said that the Court ruling  would clear the way for obtaining bail for Hardik and his associates who have been behind bars ever since the charges were slapped. Hardik was picked up by the Rajkot police on October 18 and subsequently the cops have been passing him on to each other under different jurisdictions with the aim of keeping him behind bars until the local self government elections get over. Lawyer Mangukia said that he has already moved the plea for bail in the lower court.
In the case of Vipul Chaudhary, both the erstwhile chief minister Narendra Modi and later his successor Anandiben Patel had pulled out all stops in a desperate bid to remove him from important positions in the milk cooperatives. Though belonging to the BJP, Chaudhary ran foul of the ruling dispensation after his presence was noted at a press meet addressed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Ahmedabad.
In the period thereafter, Chaudhary was unceremoniously ousted from the chairmanship of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the apex marketing body of milk cooperatives in the state grossing an annual turnover of over Rs20,000 crores through a no-confidence motion.
Subsequently, he was also removed from the chairmanship of the Dudhsagar dairy, Mehsana, through a notification issued by the registrar of cooperatives who also debarred him from contesting elections for the next three years. However, Chaudhary knocked at the doors of the supreme Court which removed the bar on his contesting elections.
In the elections to the dairy cooperative held subsequently, Vipul Chaudhary and three of his supporting members were re-elected uncontested from Mansa while his panel won 13 of the total 16 seats routing the official BJP panel which was headed by Ashok Chaudhary, the general secretary of the Mehsana district BJP.in both the case of Hardik as well as Vipul chaudhary, the state government had gone out of it’s way to make them issues of prestige.
Now all eyes are set on the local self government election results of Gujarat on December 2.
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*Senior journalist based in Gandhinagar. Blog: http://wordsmithsandnewsplumbers.blogspot.in/

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
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Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
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Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
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Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
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Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
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