As many as 18 government employees were placed under suspension for unauthorised absence from duty in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesperson said on Sunday. The District Development Commissioner of Doda, Bhawani Rakwal, issued the suspension orders of the officials of different departments after they were found absent during an inspection yesterday, he said. He said Mr. Rakwal ordered an inquiry against the suspended officials and also directed the officers concerned to keep their salaries on hold with immediate effect till further orders. The District Development Commissioner issued directions to all the offices to install biometric attendance system by the end of this month, failing which the salaries of those staff who did not get registered to the new system would be kept on hold, the spokesperson said.
The gruelling campaign for Lok Sabha election in Haryana, going to the polls in the sixth phase on May 12, ended on Friday with simultaneous rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the Jat belt.Election in the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the State is being fought under the shadow of large-scale violence during the Jat agitation in 2016, conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh two years ago and the recent split in the Indian National Lok Dal, with political analysts claiming an undercurrent in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.As per the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana, 223 candidates, including 11 women, are in the fray, with the maximum 29 contestants trying their luck in the Sonipat Lok Sabha constituency and the lowest, 16 in Karnal. A total of 1,80,56,896 voters, including 83,40,173 women, are registered to exercise their franchise. Around 67,000 police personnel have been mobilised for the election duty.‘Battle of prestige’ The Congress and the BJP are locked in a direct contest on nine of 10 Lok Sabha seats in the State. In Hisar, Jannayak Janta Party leader Dushyant Chautala has made the fight three-cornered with Congress’ Bhavya Bishnoi and BJP’s Brijendra Singh being the other two heavyweight contestants in the fray. It is a battle of prestige for all the three candidates with political legacies to defend.The JJP has been contesting the election in an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, which has fielded its candidates on three seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party, which had snapped its ties with the INLD post the split, has been contesting the election in a tie-up with Loktanter Suraksha Party of former BJP MP from Kurukshetra, Raj Kumar Saini.Jat-dominated seatsA thrilling electoral battle is on the cards in the other two Jat-dominated constituencies too — Sonipat and Rohtak — with the BJP’s two non-Jat candidates pitted against the Congress’ Bhupinder Hooda and his son Deepender Singh Hooda. While the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to wrest the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat, a bastion of the Hoodas and the only seat won by the Congress in the State in 2014, Mr. Deepender Hooda is set for a tough battle with the Jat reservation agitation likely to cause polarisation of votes along caste lines. The Sonipat Lok Sabha election could well decide the political future of Mr. Bhupinder Hooda, who is seen as the tallest Jat leader in the State.Mr. Modi, during his three rallies in the State in Fatehabad, Kurukshetra and Rohtak, has mostly raised the issues of national security and corruption, besides accusing the Congress of personal attacks on him. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on the other hand, has mostly talked about the party’s promise of NYAY (minimum income scheme) and separate budget for farmers, and attacked the BJP government on loss of jobs and business due to demonetisation and the flawed implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. He too has addressed three rallies at Gurugram, Bhiwani and Sirsa.
Clashes erupted late on Tuesday at Wangjing Tentha in Thoubal district between the police and people who were taking out a torchlight rally in protest against the Naga agreement. All sections of people fear that since the Centre was not disclosing the details of the agreement, there might be clauses against the interests of Manipur.S. Ibomcha, Police Superintendent of Thoubal district, told The Hindu on Wednesday that a large number of men and women took out a torchlight procession in the district. As part of the well-organised agitation under the supervision of the COCOMI formed by five civil society organisations, processionists tried to storm the house of Paonam Brojen, the MLA of the constituency. Police intercepted them to maintain law and order while the people tried to bull through the police barricade.There was a mild baton charge. The processionists retaliated by throwing burning torchlights. Besides, stones were pelted at the police. Some youths were also allegedly used sling shots to attack the police. A few policemen sustained injuries. Later, police arrested 17 processionists.There were reports of such processions at Leishangthem also in the Thoubal district on Tuesday night.Meanwhile, Congress MLAs of Manipur reached Delhi on Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand protection of the interests of Manipur while signing the Naga agreement. Okram Ibobi, the CLP leader and former Chief Minister, said, “The reported assurance of the Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue is nothing new since he made similar assurances in the past. Despite assurances, the stakeholders were not consulted before giving the final shape to the Naga agreement”. However, as Modi is out of the country, it is not immediately known when and if the meeting will take place.Appeals by Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren to have trust in the assurance of the Centre and call off agitations, including the proposed ban on the tourism-related international Sangai festival, had fallen on deaf ears since the COCOMI continues to quarterback the agitations. Taking umbrage at the refusal to summon a special Assembly session to take a firm resolution on the issue, the COCOMI announced that it will not hold any further talks with the State government.
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Here’s your chance to live under Stephen Colbert’s desk with Jon Stewart during a taping of The Late Show.Live Under Stephen Colbert’s Desk with Jon StewartFun fact: Jon Stewart has been living under Stephen Colbert’s desk since his departure from The Daily Show. More fun fact: You’re joining him there for the most cramped and hilarious time of your life! Forget behind the scenes, because you’re going underneath the scenes for a truly inside look at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. You’ll meet Stephen, hang out with Jon under the desk for a segment, ask that night’s guest a question and deliver one epic punchline that’s sure to bring down the house. And since Jon gets to tag along on Stephen’s show, you’ll also get to bring a friend of your own to cheer you on from VIP seats. Flights, hotel and nonstop laughs included.To be in to win this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, all you have to do is donate to NEXT for Autism through omaze.com. The more you donate, the more chances you have to win.NEXT for AUTISM is a nonprofit organization that transforms the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching and supporting innovative programs. They believe that individuals with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities. While many organizations engage in advocacy or fund scientific research, NEXT For AUTISM addresses the needs of people with autism and their families across the country right now. They create and support exceptional educational, clinical and vocational programs, all cutting-edge, all with an eye towards affecting fundamental shifts in current approaches to autism services. Autism now affects an estimated 1 in 68 American children. The need for support far exceeds the current services available. With your donation, NEXT for AUTISM can continue to address the needs of individuals and families living with autism right now.
Lucasfilm has teamed up with Tipping Point to help support the relief efforts in the Napa and Sonoma areas which were devastated by fires earlier this year.Rare First Order Stormtrooper helmets worn during the filming of Star Wars: The Force AwakensThe team behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the latest chapter in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, are giving fans three chances to bid on truly unique signed memorabilia through IfOnly.Star Wars fans will be able to bid on two screen-used First Order stormtrooper helmets worn during the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and have never been offered to the public until now.One of the helmets celebrates the recent release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and features signatures by screenwriter and director, Rian Johnson, as well as Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy. The second helmet includes autographs from both The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy.Finally, an extremely limited-edition porg maquette, which is one of only five screen-used examples ever made, features the autographs of Rian Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, and creature designer Neal Scanlan. With detailed etching and colors, the statuette showcases the doe-eyed creature that populates the sacred Jedi island of Ach-To. This particular porg was used as a film prop to line up shots in The Last Jedi in several locations overseas and in-studio throughout the filmmaking process.Proceeds from the sale of each of these one-of-a-kind collectibles will benefit Tipping Point’s Emergency Fire Relief Fund, supporting low-income communities affected by the devastating fires in the North Bay.“Giving back to the community is one of the most important privileges we have,” says Lucasfilm EVP and General Manager, Lynwen Brennan. “This particular tragedy both directly and indirectly affected so many of our employees, so it’s a cause that is very near and dear to us. We are delighted to be able to help and offer our support by providing some rare pieces for auction that we hope will draw attention to this extraordinary relief effort from our friends at IfOnly and Tipping Point.”“We are thrilled and honored to once again work with our friends at Lucasfilm in their efforts to support a worthy cause by featuring these incredible pieces of cinematic history. As a Bay Area company, we are proud to be a part of the efforts to help those most affected by the North Bay fires,” said Sean O’Neill, Director of Entertainment at IfOnly.The auctions begin on February 9th, with the first offering closing on March 2nd at 3pm EST; they can be found at ifonly.com/Lucasfilm.