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Sarma, Sangma attempt to douse post-Mukroh fire in Meghalaya

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Following the killing of six people in police firing in a disputed area along the Assam-Meghalaya border, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said a judicial probe would be opened into Tuesday’s clash between Assam Police and civilians.
“We decided to request Justice Smt. Rumi Phukan, retd. judge of Gauhati HC, to conduct a judicial probe into facts & circumstances that led to the incident & conclude the enquiry within 60 days,” Sarma tweeted.

Earlier, Sarma said that police appeared to have dealt with the mob with a heavy hand. “There was too much firing and it appears to me it was unprovoked firing. There must have been some control, as five from Meghalaya were killed, and this is unfortunate…,” Sarma said on Wednesday.

According to a PTI report, there was eerie calm in Mukroh village. Shops remained closed and streets were largely empty. Security personnel stood guard in the village to prevent any untoward incident.
Meghalaya and Assam governments have agreed to seek an investigation by the National Investigation Agency or the Central Bureau of Investigation into the firing.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma visited the families of the victims of the Mukroh firing incident and handed over ex-gratia payment of ₹5 lakh to the next of kin. He also told a gathering at the village that the government has decided to cancel all official functions and festivals to express solidarity with the people of Mukroh. The CM assured the protesting pressure groups that the government of Assam is cooperating with the probe.

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Sangma also told them that the officials concerned, including the officer in-charge of the police station and forest officials, have been suspended and the SP of West Karbi Anglong has been transferred.

During Sangma’s visit, the Jaintia Students Union submitted a memorandum demanding a police outpost at Mukroh. The chief minister told them that the state government has set up an outpost at Barato, which will soon be functional, and that he will deliberate on the demand for an outpost at Mukroh.

Sangma also heard the concerns of the villagers at Mukroh and said they would be taken up with the home ministry for redress. For the second day running, vehicles from Assam were not allowed to enter Meghalaya as a precautionary measure. In several places in Meghalaya, people flew black flags as a mark of protest. The Meghalaya government has beefed up security in the vulnerable areas.



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Kerala HC rejects pleas for disqualifying Saji Cheriyan from MLA post

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The Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed two pleas seeking a declaration that CPI(M) legislator and former state Minister Saji Cheriyan is not entitled to hold the office of MLA in view of his speech allegedly insulting the Indian Constitution. The order was passed by a bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly.
Advocate Deepu Lal Mohan, appearing for the Election Commission, confirmed the dismissal of the two pleas.

The detailed order is not yet available.

The petitions had claimed that Cheriyan’s actions attracted disqualification under Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Section 9 of the Act states that “a person who having held an office under the government of India or under the government of any state has been dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the state shall be disqualified for a period of five years from the date of such dismissal.”
The pleas had also contended that Cheriyan’s conduct was a violation of Articles 173(a) and 188 of the Constitution and a case has also been registered against him under the Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 in connection with his controversial speech.

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The speech had created a political row in the state with the proceedings of the state Assembly being suspended for a day due to protests by the opposition demanding that Cheriyan resign or be sacked and finally resulted in his resignation from his cabinet posts on July 6.



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Bypoll results LIVE: Who will win the high-stakes battle in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri? Counting begins for six assembly, 1 Lok Sabha seat

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The counting for bypolls held in six assembly seats and the high-stakes battle for the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat has started. It’s nothing short of a prestige battle for the Samajwadi Party as the seat fell vacant after the demise of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Dimple Yadav is contesting the Manipuri by-elections to claim Mulayam’s legacy.

The entire Yadav family joined hands to ensure that the seat remains in the family, estranged leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav also patched up, much to the relief of family members.

For Akhilesh, this election is extremely crucial because ever since he took over the reins of the party, he has been facing a series of defeats. From the 2017 Assembly polls to 2019 Lok Sabha polls, then the 2022 Assembly polls and the following bypolls in Azamgarh and Rampur, the party has faced losses.
Along with Mainpuri, Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar, and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh are the assembly seats where results will be declared today.
Here are the LIVE updates:

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  • Dimple Yadav of Samajwadi Party has taken early lead in Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat.

  • Counting began for the six assembly seats in five states along with the Lok Sabha seat of Mainpuri.



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Sule leads NCP-Uddhav Sena MPs’ attack on Bommai government; BJP MP rejects charge

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The opening day of the winter session in the Lok Sabha witnessed some heated exchanges over the Belagavi border dispute involving Maharashtra and Karnataka, with NCP MP Supriya Sule leading an NCP-Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) combined attack on the BJP-ruled Karnataka government and its CM while demanding intervention by Union home minister Amit Shah in the matter. The Shiv Sena (Uddhav) also raised the matter at the Opposition floor leaders’ meeting convened by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge at his office of the Rajya Sabha LoP. During the meeting, Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi condemned the “provocative statements” made by the Karnataka CM and said her party would take up the issue in Parliament and that she had given a notice for immediate discussion of the matter in the Rajya Sabha.
When the Lok Sabha reassembled after it adjourned till 12 noon as a mark of respect for the late Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sule raised the Belagavi issue. ” The chief minister of our neighbouring state, Karnataka, has been speaking nonsense. A conspiracy against Maharashtra has been going on for the past 10 days. The Karnataka CM is speaking about disintegrating Maharashtra. Both states are BJP-ruled. People of Maharashtra were beaten up on Tuesday when they wanted to go to the Karnataka border. This can’t be allowed… I urge Home Minister Amit Shah to speak up,” Sule said.

While most BJP and Congress MPs were seen treading on a cautious note perhaps because both parties have stakes on both sides, the mandatory counter came from BJP MP from Karnataka, Shivkumar Udasi.

“Maharashtra politicians from the Opposition are habitual offenders! This is their insecurity. Since the matter is still in the Supreme Court, do not let the Opposition talk on it,” he requested the Speaker.

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Trinamool back in Opposition meet

The Opposition floor-leaders’ meeting on Thursday witnessed the return of the Trinamool nominees, who had kept away from the Opposition floor-coordination meeting held at Kharge’s office during the previous session. Representatives of about 13 like-minded Opposition parties decided to coordinate in taking up in the Houses a whole range of issues they had separately raised at the session eve’s all-party meeting. They also decided to oppose two Bills — the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amend) Bill and the Biological Diversity (Amend) Bill.



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