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Up to Election Commission to decide poll dates: Gujarat CM

By on December 3, 2019

first_imgGujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday dismissed charges that the BJP was interfering with the Election Commission’s work and said it was the up to the poll panel to announce election dates in the state.“We are not interfering in the announcement of election dates. Let the Election Commission (EC) act at its own discretion,” Rupani told India TV. His remarks came, after the Congress accused the Modi government of “grossest interference” in the working of the poll body. The EC on Thursday had only announced election dates for Himachal Pradesh and not Gujarat.Mr. Rupani said that elections would be held on time in Gujarat and that opposition should protest “had we been delaying the elections”.last_img read more

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Amarinder asks officials to check transport cartels

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first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday directed administration officials to check formation of transport cartels during the upcoming wheat procurement season. The orders came during a review by the state cabinet of the arrangements made for procurement of wheat during the Rabi season commencing April 1, 2018. While directing the Deputy Commissioners of all districts to ensure that the arrangements are made well in time, the Chief Minister ordered them to strictly enforce the law against the formation of cartels by transporters. The transportation and labour policy formulated by the government for procurement purposes should be strictly followed, he said, warning the DCs and SSPs that no laxity or complicity in this regard should be allowed under any circumstances. The Chief Minister asked the officials to monitor transportation to and from the markets closely to ensure total compliance with the law and complete ban on cartelisation, according to an official spokesperson. Alternate measuresThe State Food & Supplies Department should make alternative arrangements for transportation, if necessary, said Mr. Singh, while asking the department to review all arrangements with the procurement agencies to facilitate smooth and hassle-free procurement, and timely payments to the farmers.last_img read more

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Minor raped and murdered in Surat

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first_imgIn another shocking case of rape similar to the Kathua incident, the mutilated body of a girl aged about 11 with 86 marks of injuries was found in the Bhestan locality of Surat. A post-mortem examination confirmed repeated sexual assault. Considering the gruesome nature of the case, the Crime Branch of the Surat police has been asked to take over the investigation. Not yet identifiedSatish Sharma, Commissioner of Police, Surat, said the girl, who probably belonged to the Odiya or Bengali community, was killed and the body dumped outside the city. The victim was yet to be identified. Surat is a hub of migrants from across the country, and large numbers of them come from Odisha and West Bengal to work in textiles factories and construction sites. “The girl is believed to have been murdered on April 5 and the body was recovered the next day,” another police official said. The post-mortem examination revealed sexual assault, “strangulation and smothering”, with 86 signs of minor injuries, Mr. Sharma said.Ganesh Govekar, a doctor at the Civil Hospital in the city, where the post-mortem was conducted, said, “Going by the nature of the injuries, they seem to have been caused over a period ranging from one week to one day prior to the recovery of the body, suggesting that the girl might have been held captive, tortured and possibly raped.”The Police Commissioner appealed to people to come forward and help the police establish the identity of the girl. A ₹20,000 cash reward has been announced.“To identify the deceased, we have taken the help of print and social media, such as WhatsApp, to spread her pictures with the hope that someone who knows her will identify her,” said K.B. Jhala, inspector at the Pandesara police station.Posters of victimThe Surat police have pasted 1,200 posters of her photo across the city and on trains. “In order to identify the girl, her details were matched with those of 8,000 lost children in the city,” Mr. Jhala said. The police have registered a case under Sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.last_img read more

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PDP hopeful of better India-Pakistan ties

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first_imgDescribing the meetings between the North and South Korean leaders, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping as “good development,” the ruling People’s Democratic Party on Sunday hoped for better relations between India and Pakistan.“A global trend of peace and reconciliation augurs well for the resolution of problems. There is a positive shift from hostility to bonhomie and cooperation,” PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni said.last_img

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5 missing in Assam river mishap, Vizag Navy team arrives for rescue

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first_imgA 10-member diving team from the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam reached eastern Assam’s Sivasagar town to help in the ongoing operation to rescue a family of five that went missing after their vehicle plunged into the Dikhow River on September 1.Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, supervising the rescue operation, had sought naval help via the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Home Affairs, although a rescue team comprising Army and disaster response forces have been searching for the vehicle and its occupants.The naval team arrived with diving equipment, inflatable boats and side scan sonar for locating the vehicle and landed by Indian Air Force’s AN32 aircraft at Jorhat airbase from where it proceeded to Sivasagar by road. The team would be conducting the obstacle clearance and search operation on Tuesday morning.Eyewitnesses said the car, moving at high speed, fell into the river after the driver lost control. The five occupants of the car were identified as Haren Bora, his mother Phunu Bora, wife Punou Bora, and daughters Simpi and Munmi Bora. “A 44-member team of National Disaster Response Force team, a 30-member State Disaster Response Force team from three districts, a 14-member Para (Special Force) and five members from the Civil Defence have been at work using 10 boats,” a Sivasagar district official said.last_img read more

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Avian Flu Concerns Shutter Poultry Markets

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first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C.—With human cases of H7N9 avian influenza piling up, Chinese authorities have ordered the closure of live poultry markets in three eastern cities in a bid to stem transmission of the virus. So far, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chinese CDC) says it has not detected sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus. But experts see no reason to breathe easy. If H7N9 were to acquire that ability to spread, warns Chen Hualan, director of the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory in Harbin, China, “it will be a disaster.”So far in January there have been 105 confirmed human cases, according to the Chinese CDC, compared with 144 in all of 2013 after the virus emerged in China last February. Scientists concur that poultry harbor H7N9, and some suspect that quail may be the primary reservoir. But confounding surveillance, the virus does not cause discernible symptoms in poultry. While some human infections are mild, Chen notes, the mortality rate reached nearly 30% of hospitalized cases in 2013. The mortality rate has tapered and in 2014 cases is running around 20%, according to the Chinese CDC.The timing of the uptick in cases is worrisome: Tens of millions of Chinese are about to embark on an annual migration to their hometowns to celebrate Lunar New Year, a weeklong holiday starting on 31 January. As a preemptive measure, authorities in Zhejiang province have ordered the immediate closure of all live poultry markets in the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Jinhua, according to the state news agency Xinhua. Hangzhou officials are reportedly stepping up checks at poultry farms and are attempting to halt “the flying of domestic pigeons.” Shanghai, meanwhile, plans to close its live poultry markets from 31 January to 30 April.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The situation is perilous, warns Chen, who spoke here today at the American Society for Microbiology’s Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting. Her team and others reported last year that some H7N9 strains can be transmitted through airborne droplets from infected to naive ferrets, an animal used to model the spread of influenza in humans. “I’m pretty sure there has been human-to-human transmission in Zhejiang,” Chen told the meeting. She clarified afterward to ScienceInsider that she was referring to news reports of three infected people from the same family in Zhejiang.Other researchers point out that the evidence for human-to-human transmission is tenuous. “There are a couple family clusters” in which investigators could not rule out limited human-to-human transmission, says George Gao, director of the Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. But exposure to live poultry in those families could not be ruled out either, he says. “It is too early to say anything at the moment,” he says.An H7N9 pandemic could be grim indeed. The high mortality rate is a chief concern; another is that H7N9 presents a formidable challenge for vaccinemakers. The virus is stealthier than other flu strains, “capable of evading human cellular and humoral immune response,” reported a team led by Anne de Groot of the University of Rhode Island, Providence, in the May 2013 issue of Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.“We will keep watching” for signs of sustained human-to-human transmission, Gao says, “and take a close look at every single case.”last_img read more

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Slideshow: Sea Stars Dying in Mysterious Plague

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first_imgSea stars, one of the most iconic animals of North America’s coastal waters, are succumbing to an unknown, gruesome disease. Animals waste away, their bodies falling apart and arms ripping themselves off. This time-lapse video from the Vancouver Aquarium shows a sick sea star losing its arms, one symptom of the disease in the wild. Wasting syndrome was not confirmed in this individual.The massive outbreak has researchers baffled, because the syndrome is far more widespread and is afflicting many more species than ever before. “It comes in quickly, hits hard, and spreads far,” says Carolyn Friedman of the University of Washington, Seattle. Researchers are conducting laboratory experiments and genetic analyses to identify the elusive culprit. Meanwhile, many local populations have crashed, all along the west and east coasts of North America, and some researchers fear that some species may even go extinct. “The magnitude of the potential loss to invertebrate biodiversity is so overwhelming,” says Drew Harvell of Cornell University in a New Focus article in tomorrow’s issue of Science. Because sea stars are top predators, their disappearance will likely have a broad ecological impact in coming years.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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The star that exploded at the dawn of time

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first_imgTo probe the dawn of time, astronomers usually peer far away; but now they’ve made a notable discovery close to home. An ancient star a mere thousand light-years from Earth bears chemical elements that may have been forged by the death of a star that was both extremely massive and one of the first to arise after the big bang. If confirmed, the finding means that some of the universe’s first stars were so massive they died in exceptionally violent explosions that altered the growth of early galaxies.Theorists have long suspected that the universe’s very first stars were massive, because early gas clouds favored the formation of heavy stars. The big bang produced only hydrogen, helium, and a little lithium, and gas clouds containing only these elements can’t cool. Cooling requires heavier elements that didn’t exist then. When clouds cool, they split into smaller parts and collapse, forming smaller stars. Because the primordial gas clouds stayed warm, more gravity was needed to overwhelm the gas pressure and make them collapse, so they spawned massive stars. And some of these brilliant stars, those born 140 to 300 times as massive as the sun, exploded in a way unseen in the Milky Way today.Wako Aoki, an astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Tokyo, and his colleagues have discovered a star bearing signs of just such an explosion, they report online today in Science. “This is a unique example,” Aoki says. They saw that the star has a high abundance of elements with even atomic numbers compared with odd ones. “We were very surprised by the chemical composition,” he says.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)His team searched for 18 chemical elements in SDSS J0018-0939, a dim orange star in the constellation Cetus that emits less light than the sun. The star belongs to the Milky Way’s stellar halo, the ancient population that surrounds the galaxy’s bright disk. Like other halo stars, it has little iron, because it arose before most of the stellar explosions that spewed the element into space.Aoki says the star likely formed from a gas cloud enriched by a pair-instability explosion, which is 10 to 100 times more violent than an ordinary supernova. Such a blast marks the death of a star so luminous that photons hold up its weight; but the star is so hot that the photons can convert themselves into pairs of electrons and antielectrons, which exert little outward pressure. So the star starts to collapse, which heats the gas, promoting more nuclear reactions, which heat the gas further, inducing yet more nuclear reactions, until the whole thing blows up. During the explosion, helium nuclei bombard one another, creating elements as heavy as nickel. Because helium is atomic number 2, elements with even atomic numbers vastly outnumber odd-numbered ones, which is exactly the pattern that Aoki’s team finds in the star in Cetus.Volker Bromm, an astronomer at the University of Texas, Austin, calls the discovery very important. “It really is a new window into star and element formation in the early universe,” he says. He adds that pair-instability explosions were so powerful they altered the growth of galaxies shortly after the big bang.”It’s always interesting to see a star with abundances like no other,” says Stan Woosley, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. But he’s not fully convinced those abundances signify a pair-instability supernova rather than an ordinary one. To distinguish between the two, he’d like observations of additional elements.last_img read more

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Researchers erase fearful memories in mice

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first_imgBy manipulating brain activity in mice with light, a research team has neutralized “fearful” memories in the rodents and even colored them with more positive emotions. Although the technique is too invasive to use on humans, researchers hope it will lead to future treatments for post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.Our memory of the past is constantly under revision as we learn from new experiences, says Susumu Tonegawa, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. In some cases, the natural malleability of memory can help people recover from trauma—therapists, for example, often ask patients to repeatedly confront their fears while experiencing a physical distraction such as rhythmic tapping, or summoning happier thoughts to counteract negative emotions. Such treatments do seem to alleviate suffering for some people, and researchers have long hypothesized that they might work by remodeling memory circuits in the brain to incorporate new, positive input. Until recently, however, there has been little scientific evidence to support that hypothesis, Tonegawa says.To manipulate memory on a neuronal level, he and his colleagues use optogenetics, a tool that allows scientists to trigger neurons that have been genetically engineered to fire when light shines on them. The lab has also added a twist to the technology—”a technical tour de force” that allows the team to trace specific memories as they form, says Loren Frank, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. In the new method, mice are genetically engineered to express a light-sensitive protein in neurons, or are injected with an inert virus that delivers the protein to specific brain regions. The protein is expressed only when a neuron fires, and only if the animals have been taken off a specific antibiotic. Using this technique, the team can briefly switch expression of the protein on or off so that it tags only those cells involved in encoding specific memories.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2013, Tonegawa and colleagues used the method to instill a fake memory in mice. In the experiment, published in Science, they traced two separate memories—one in the hippocampus, which encodes spatial aspects of memory, and the other in the amygdala, which assigns emotional value to events as we experience them. Then they used optogenetics to make both sets of cells fire together. Activating hippocampal neurons associated with a familiar cage and the amygdala neurons that fired when the mouse received a shock in the foot tricked the mice into later behaving as though they had been shocked in the cage, even though they had never been injured there.In the new study, reported online this week in Nature, Tonegawa’s team decided to see if it could change bad memories into good ones. First, the researchers gave another group of male mice a mild electrical shock, then put them in a rectangular box where they could explore freely. When the rodents wandered into one side of the box, a laser implanted into their brains switched on and reactivated the cells that formed the memory of being shocked. Even though the danger was all in their heads, the mice still quickly learned to avoid that side of the box.Next, the researchers took the mice out of the enclosure and provided what they consider to be a fail-safe source of rodent joy: contact with the opposite sex. For male mice never exposed to females before, “it’s a big deal,” says Roger Redondo, a postdoctoral student in Tonegawa’s lab and lead author of the new work. “They go crazy.” As the mice grew accustomed to their change in fortune, the team reactivated their memories of being shocked with the laser beam. They wanted to see if stimulating neurons involved in forming the original fearful memory would make them more susceptible to positive input from new experiences, or simply make the animals afraid of females. The mice did not develop a sudden phobia of the opposite sex—in fact, quite the opposite occurred, Redondo says. To see if the rodents’ old memories of fear had been supplanted by more agreeable associations, the group placed the rodents back in the enclosure and flipped the laser on again. Now, mice who had avoided the laser firing zone before sniffed around their enclosures looking for their former companions. They even seemed drawn to the laser zone, suggesting that the light stimulation might be triggering pleasant reminiscences.Additional experiments showed that happy memories could also be soured if they were reactivated at the same time the mice were being shocked. Interestingly, the switch works only when applied to neurons in the hippocampus, and not the amygdala, Tonegawa says. Based on that finding and microscopic studies of the rodents’ brain tissue, Tonegawa believes that there are two types of amygdala cell populations, one involved in fear memories and the other involved in positive memories. Hippocampal neurons appear to drive which of the two populations wins out, he says. Although it isn’t possible to put optic fibers directly into the human brain, the connection between the two regions could be the target for drugs or other therapies, he suggests. It’s unlikely that reactivating such a narrow subset of cells in mice truly triggers the kind of rich, sequential memory that allows us to remember which route we took to get to work and what we ate for breakfast, Frank notes. Such distinctions are important when attempting to apply the results to disorders such as post-traumatic stress, he says. Still, “this is first time that people have shown that you can activate a mental representation artificially and change what it’s connected to in the brain,” he says. “It’s a really impressive, massive step forward for the field.”last_img read more

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Indian American Woman is First Homicide Victim of Year in New York City

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first_imgAn Indian American woman became the first homicide victim of the year in New York City on Jan. 1. According to the police, 26-year-old Stacy Loknath was found face down with multiple stab wounds in her torso inside her home on 103rd Avenue near 114th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens.A few hours before she was found on New Years Day, her husband, 42-year old Vishwananad Loknath, was found hanging from a tree in Forest Park, about 2 km from their home, New York Daily News reported. They are survived by two children — a 5-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter.The Stacy Singh Memorial Fund, a Gofundme page started by a friend, surpassed its $10,000 goal to provide financial aid for the children’s caretaking as of Jan. 17, reaching $14,148 with 222 donors. Stacy Singh is the victim’s maiden name.As per accounts from friends and family present on New Year’s Eve, Vishwananad’s death is being linked to Stacy’s murder. The police said the couple were ringing in 2018 by partying hard and doing cocaine at a Queen’s restaurant. Friends said they argued all night, and at one point, their argument became so loud that they were thrown out of the club.Romain Shaw, Stacy’s brother-in-law, told the New York Daily News that Loknath was abusive. “He was very abusive to her, but she stayed with him no matter what because they had two kids together. She was hoping for him to change, but he never did,” Shaw said.According to Shaw, Loknath drank heavily and used cocaine at the New Year’s Eve party they attended. “He was so drunk, so very drunk. He always beat her up when he went home high,” said Shaw. A neighbor told New York Daily News: “The cops are always there. They were always having big fights. But she still came back to him.” The neighbor told the publication of an incident that ended with her having to leave the home in an ambulance.Loknath was charged with misdemeanor assault last September for attacking his wife. A judge granted an order of protection barring him from being near his wife until October 2019. The police said the couple ended up reconciling.Loknath had called his mother, who was unaware of Stacy’s murder, and told her that he wanted his body to be cremated instead of being buried, the report added.Police peg this as a murder-suicide, but investigation is still underway.The murder marked the second consecutive year that the city’s first murder of the year happened in Queens, the report added. Related ItemsIndian AmericanNew YorkQueenslast_img read more

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Newly-elected MLAs of Sikkim Assembly take oath

By on December 1, 2019

first_imgThe newly-elected members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly on Monday took oath of the membership of the House. The Pro-Tem Speaker Sangay Lepcha administered oath to the newly-elected MLAs during the day-long sitting of the House. Eight members, including former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, took oath in Nepali language, while one MLA each took in Lepcha and Bhutia languages respectively. The rest of the MLAs took oath in English. As soon as the House sat for the day, new Chief Minister P.S. Golay went up to the seat of his predecessor Mr.Chamling and greeted him before taking his seat in the House. Before the oath ceremony took place, the Pro-Tem Speaker announced that three legislators Mr.Chamling, Mr.D.T. Lepcha and Mr.Kunga Nima Lepcha have vacated one out of two Assembly seats from where they were elected. While Mr.Chamling and his party colleague D.T. Lepcha vacated Poklok-Kamrang seat and Martam-Rumtek seats, the SKM legislator and HRD Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha left Gangtok seat. In all, 28 MLAs took oath of the membership of the House. Mr. Golay is not the member of the House at present. The House subsequently elected the SKM first-term MLA L.B. Das as the Speaker by consensus, while the Pro-Tem Speaker Sangay Lepcha was elected as the Deputy Speaker. As soon as the Speaker had settled on his chair, Mr.Chamling made an impromptu statement questioning the legitimacy of P.S. Golay’s appointment as the Chief Minister in the wake of his conviction to one year’s imprisonment in a corruption case by a lower court of Sikkim in late 2016 which the later had served out after the Sikkim High Court had upheld a year later. Even as Mr.Chamling could complete his speech, the House was thrown in a turmoil as several treasury members got agitated and strongly rebutted the former Chief Minister’s contentious remarks. The Speaker L.B. Das later expunged Mr.Chamling’s remarks as well as those by the members of treasury benches. In his maiden speech in the 19th Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Mr.Golay, the Leader of the House, regretted the unfortunate remarks made against him by his predecessor and said that his appointment as the Chief Minister is legitimate. Mr.Golay said that he wished to take everybody, including the Opposition, along in taking Sikkim on the path of development and prosperity over the next five year.last_img read more

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Rajya Sabha bypolls: BJP wins both seats in Gujarat

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first_imgExternal Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Jugal Thakor were on Friday declared winners in Rajya Sabha by-polls for two seats in Gujarat.The bye-election was held as the two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant after BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, who were elected to Lok Sabha, resigned from the upper House. Cross voting Two Gujarat Congress legislators, Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala, resigned from the State Assembly, after voting against the Congress candidates, defying the party whip. “The Congress observer tried to create a lot of issues over my vote, so you can understand for whom did I vote,” Mr. Thakor told mediapersons after casting his vote. According to sources, both Mr. Thakor and Nr, Dhaval are likely to join BJP soon and will contest the by-elections from their respective assembly seats.The BJP candidates also got additional votes of lone NCP MLA Kandhal Jadeja and two Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) legislators Chhotubhai Vasava and his son Mahesh Vasava.It may be noted that Mr. Vasava’s vote was crucial for Congress veteran Ahmed Patel’s victory in 2017 when Mr. Patel could barely win after a dozen legislators had split from the Congress. With both Congress candidates Chandrika Chudasama and Gaurav Pandya losing the bypolls, the opposition party is likely to challenge it in Gujarat High Court. Earlier, the Congress’ legislature party leader Paresh Dhanani had approached the Supreme Court challenging the Election Commission of India’s move to hold bye-elections for two seats separately instead of holding together. The Supreme Court, however, refused to interfere in the poll process and directed the petitioner to approach the Gujarat High Court with election petition challenging the election.last_img read more

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Manmohan Singh files Rajya Sabha nomination from Rajasthan

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first_imgVeteran Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday filed his nomination as the Congress candidate for the by-election to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. He filed four sets of papers in the chamber of Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary Pramil Kumar Mathur in Jaipur.Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his deputy Sachin Pilot, AICC general secretary Avinash Pande and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal accompanied Dr. Singh. Dr. Singh was received in the morning by Mr. Gehlot and senior Congress leaders at the Sanganer airport.The by-election follows the death of State BJP president Madan Lal Saini on June 24 last. He was elected last year.The ruling Congress is confident of Dr. Singh’s victory, as it has the majority in the 200-member Assembly, while two seats are at present vacant. The Congress, which has 100 MLAs, enjoys the outside support of all the six BSP MLAs and 12 independents, and its alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal has one seat. Dr. Singh’s candidature was supported by the BSP and independent members as well.Dr. Singh, 86, was a Rajya Sabha member from Assam for five consecutive terms between 1991 and 2019. His tenure in the House ended on June 14 last.Dr. Singh told reporters on the Assembly premises after submitting his papers that he was grateful to the Congress Parliamentary Party for nominating him to the seat. “I will do my very best to do whatever is possible to promote the cause of the people of Rajasthan,” he said, while expressing condolence for the late Saini.The BJP, which has 72 seats in the Assembly, is unlikely to field a candidate in the bypoll. Leader of Opposition in the House Gulab Chand Kataria said the party’s high command would take a decision.The desert State has 10 Rajya Sabha seats. The remaining nine seats are with the BJP.As per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India for filling up the vacancy, the notification for by-election was issued on August 7 and the last date for filing of nominations is August 14. The polling, if required, will be held on August 26 and the results declared the same day.last_img read more

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Amid acute poverty, M.P.’s Saharia children battle malnutrition

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first_imgOn July 9, when Akki Adiwasi returned home after working in the fields, she found her 18-month-old son lying unusually quiet, with eyes closed. She nudged him — even shook him — but to no avail. By then, Amir Awadesh, his chest shrivelled and cheeks sunken, had died of hunger.“He didn’t die of hunger. Usse sookhe ki bimari ne cheen liya (the disease of drought snatched him away),” quips Akki, a resident of Tiktoli village in Sheopur district.While her husband is away in Gujarat for three months to work as an agricultural labourer for ₹150 a day, their half-an-acre arid field here lies fallow. Only milk from a few goats, shoring up their one-room ramshackle hut, and wheat given by neighbours, keep Akki, who is pregnant, and her other son, aged three, alive.Loss of livesAcute malnutrition among Saharias, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, due to crushing poverty, delayed breastfeeding, premature pregnancies and seasonal migrations is continuing to take away lives. As a result, every second child under five in the Shivpuri and Sheopur districts of central India is underweight. Even the country, in the 2018 Global Hunger Index, ranked an abysmal 103 out of 119 countries, consistently showing a downward trend on wasting and undernourishment parameters.Mitti Adiwasi, an anganwadi worker in Nonheta Khurd village in the Shivpuri district, breastfed her 10 children, two dead now, for the first time, three days after being delivered of them. Until then, they were fed only jaggery syrup or honey.“The first milk is impure. That’s because it is extracted from breasts after nine long months,” she says.Chipping in, Danmati Adiwasi, wife of a school teacher who earns ₹22,000 a month, says, “Moreover, women become polluted at the time of a delivery. They need to bathe after three days and only then feed newborns, otherwise the milk would only cause them harm.” Right after the birth of her son a few years ago at a hospital, when she was prompted to breastfeed him, she just put his mouth to her breast, and received ₹1,400 in the name of an institutional delivery.According to the National Family Health Survey 2014-2015, just 43.2% of children under three were breastfed within the first hour of their birth in rural parts of Sheopur district.Seasonal migrationAlmost all the 35 families in the village, taking their children along and leaving behind the elderly, migrate to Rajasthan and Agra to harvest wheat and potatoes every year.When families returned in July this year, the anganwadi workers noticed that more number of children had come back weaker. While three boys and four girls out of 83 children were underweight in April, 15 girls and four boys are in the category this month.“Girls are most affected as parents mostly take them along with them to fields where they are neglected, wander under the sun, don’t get food, and contract diseases easily during the monsoon,” says an anganwadi worker.For each bigha of wheat they harvest in Rajasthan, 6-7 labourers get a quintal in return. And each villager manages to bring back at least two quintals. Individual families have no more than two acres each to themselves, mostly arid, and completely dependant on rain.“When we run out of it, we barter PDS (public distribution system) rice,which is unsavoury, in exchange for wheat from a local vendor,” says Parmal Adivasi. Married at 15, he lost two infants who were born weak. In the past fortnight, two meals of chappatis with dry onions or chilli chutney is all he and his wife have been eating.“We don’t have breakfast. A vegetable dish or dal is a luxury. And children don’t get to eat until they start howling out of hunger. Toddlers get only a roti each in a day,” he says. Seven individuals in the village, including children, suffer from tuberculosis (TB). Ajay Yadav, a social worker who has been working in the area for 18 years, believes higher incidence of tuberculosis among Saharias is linked to the high malnutrition level among them and vice versa. An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study revealed that, among Saharias, TB prevalence is an alarming 1,995 per 1,00,000 persons.last_img read more

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Haryana asks for 200 companies of paramilitary forces

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first_imgHaryana Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Agarwal on Saturday said the Election Commission of India and Union Ministry of Home Affairs have been requested to provide 200 companies of paramilitary forces for smooth conducting of Assembly polls in the State, slated for October 21. Mr. Agarwal said that with the announcement of election programme by the EC, the model code of conduct has come into effect. “After the second revision of electoral list on August 27, 2019, the final voter list has been published. As per the list, 1.83 crore voters including 1.07 lakh service voters would exercise their right to franchise.” He said that as the process for updating the electoral roll is in progress, the number of voters is expected to be increased further.“As many as 3.64 lakh voters of age group between 18 and 19 years are eligible to cast their votes in the Assembly elections this time,” he said. Mr. Agarwal said 19,442 voting centres have been established in the State including 5,511 in urban areas and 13,931 in rural areas. “There are 10,288 polling locations in the State,” he said. Request have been made to the EC for converting polling stations, where the number of voters is more than 1500, into auxiliary ones. The number of such polling stations in the State is 136. “There are 26,329 control units and 40,615 ballot units. Besides, an arrangement of 27,996 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines has been made,” he added.last_img read more

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Fly ash leak from Madhya Pradesh’s NTPC plant spread to farmlands, claim villagers

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first_imgA dyke of a fly ash pond at a power plant of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh breached on Sunday evening, causing spillage in several acres of land.Although it had led to environmental damage, there was no damage to human life, cattle and farms  as the spillage occurred within the NTPC compound in Shahpur, said district Collector K.V.S. Choudary. Preliminary assessment tells us that the breach may have been caused following excess rain, he said. “It has been raining for three-four days continuously. At this point, it’s difficult to give an estimate of the volume of the spilled fly ash.”A team of the Pollution Control Board is visiting the site and collecting samples. It will impose a fine on the plant for environmental damage, he added. All the plants in the district, including the three with the NTPC which have six dykes, had been asked strengthen dykes by the district administration. “In the past, we met officials of plants and the Pollution Control Board to discuss the stability of dykes. We’ve repeatedly asked plants to check the strength of dykes,” said Mr. Choudary The height of the dyke was being increased when the breach occurred, he added. The extent of the area affected has not been calculated yet, said Avijeet Kumar Ranjan, district Superintendent of Police, and there were no human settlements inside the compound. Moreover, there were no complaints of missing persons or cattle with the police, he said. “Three persons, within the campus at the time of the incident, were rescued,” he added. Two months ago, the Essar Energy had paid ₹50 lakh as compensation to farmers of two villages in the district after tonnes of fly ash discharged from a power plant damaged their crops and some houses following heavy rain on August 7.last_img read more

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15-year-old Rajasthan girl urges CM Gehlot to stop her marriage

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first_imgA 15-year-old girl met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday and sought intervention in stopping her marriage. The girl, hailing from Tonk district, met the Chief Minister at a routine public hearing at his residence along with her uncle. She told Mr. Gehlot that her father wanted to marry her off after the demise of her mother.Taking note of the matter, the Chief Minister directed officials to ensure that the girl is not married off. Following this the officials gave necessary instructions to the Tonk District Collector and the SP, a release said. Mr. Gehlot asked the girl to focus on studies and assured her full support of the government, the release added. At the public hearing, people from different parts of the State apprised Mr. Gehlot of their problems. He directed officials to redress their grievances, a release said.last_img read more

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Farooq Abdullah’s kin told to prove detention

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first_imgThe Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed three close relatives of National Conference (NC) patron Farooq Abdullah “to prove their house detentions” after the police denied detaining them since the August 5 decision to revoke J&K’s special status. Dismissing a petition challenging “restraints and house detention” by Dr. Abdullah’s brother Mustafa Kamal, sister Begum Khalida Shah and nephew Muzzaffar Shah, Justice Ali Mohammed Magray observed: “The petition is not maintainable and is unnecessary after communication submitted by Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar stated that petitioners have neither been put under house arrest nor their liberty has been curbed.”The petitioners’ counsel had submitted to the court that the trio had been kept under house arrest at their residences in Srinagar since August 5.“The petitioners are at liberty to prove their arrest before the proper forum and in appropriate proceedings,” the court observed. In its extraordinary writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, a writ court is neither to hold an inquiry into the allegations made in a petition, nor take oral evidence, the court held.“A fact is to be supported and proved by authentic documentary evidence,” Justice Magray said in his order. “Press cuttings cannot be relied upon as authentic documentary evidence,” he added. A writ court cannot hold an inquiry into disputed facts. Once facts are disputed, the writ petition is rendered not maintainable, the court added. In his response, Mr. Shah said the media was witness to the manner in which two sitting Members of Parliament of the National Conference party were not allowed to meet the three relatives of Dr. Abdullah at their residences. “I have produced newspaper clips of the same,” said Mr. Shah, adding that he had video evidence too. “We have also a video of it. I will take this matter to the Supreme Court. This is a shame for a democracy that people were being locked up. Why do they [administration] have no guts to say we were detained? My mother was a freedom fighter. Do you think she will lie and they will speak the truth,” he asked.last_img read more

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