Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Saturday said his party was set to become “invincible” in Rajasthan in the next four months following a drive to strengthen each polling booth in the State. Ahead of the 2018 Assembly election, the BJP would emerge as the strongest party in the State, he said. .Addressing a press conference at the State BJP headquarters during his three-day visit here, Mr. Shah said while the BJP would form the next government in Rajasthan, there was no proposal for a change of the Chief Minister. “Vasundhara Raje is doing a good job…Leave this issue for our central leadership,” he said while setting at rest speculations about change of guards.Abducted IndiansThe BJP chief defended External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who had recently stated that the 39 Indians abducted by the Islamic State from Mosul city in Iraq were alive in a prison. “The search is underway to locate the missing Indians. The government is not misleading the nation,” said Mr. Shah.Asked about the increasing number of suicides by debt-ridden farmers across the country, Mr. Shah said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had already clarified that the State governments were free to take a decision on loan waiver for agriculturists.Mr. Shah said the BJP was not against the implementation of goods and services tax in the past, while the Centre had accepted the States’ demand that the losses incurred by them be compensated. “The Opposition has raised apprehensions, but the people of the country have happily accepted the GST regime.”Ram templeAsked about the controversial issues such as ban on cow slaughter and construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Mr. Shah said the legislation for protection of cow exists in the BJP-ruled States and the BJP manifesto during the last four Lok Sabha elections had stated that the temple should be constructed through the due process of law.Earlier in the day, Mr. Shah, accompanied by Ms. Raje and BJP State president Ashok Parnami, met a large group of seers and monks and sought their blessings. The BJP leaders spent an hour with the seers at a closed-door meeting at a luxury hotel in the city.
Law minister Anisul Huq. File photoLaw minister Anisul Huq has said journalistic pursuit will not be considered as spying, even under the provision of the just-proposed digital security law.In a ‘Meet the press’ programme on Tuesday, he insisted that the job of the journalists is “to collect information for publishing reports, but not hand them over to the enemies of government or foreign countries”.However, Anisul Huq, a lawyer by profession, told the newsmen that he himself would fight free of cost for journalists if any of them is implicated under the said law for publishing objective reports.The law is widely criticised by various groups including journalists, at home and abroad, who argued that it will further curtail freedom of expression in the country.Anisul Huq expressed his views that section 32 of the draft act, which is complementary to another controversial law on ICT, will not act as any obstacle to practice of journalism.The minister spoke in detail of various aspects of the proposed law and addressed queries from journalists at the programme, organised by Law Reporters’ Forum at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU).The cabinet, on 30 January, approved the draft Digital Security Act, 2018.It has kept provision for 14 years of imprisonment and section 32 of it says if any person captures, preserves or sends any sensitive or secret information of any government, semi-government, autonomous and statutory body through any kind of digital device, computer, computer network, and/or digital network, then it will be an offence of digital spying.
Antonio Addison allegedly shot his father while attending his brother’s funeral. (Baltimore Police Department)What was meant to be a celebration of life for Antonio Addison, 22 , who was gunned down last month on the streets of West Baltimore, turned into almost the same scene, however, this time it was inside of a church. On Tuesday, family and friends gathered at the New Song Worship & Arts Center in Sandtown-Winchester for a repast after the funeral service where the tradition ended with a 47 year old man being shot in the stomach. The suspect is his own son, 26-year-old Antonio Addison of the 1600 Block of Walterswood Road in Baltimore. The two brothers share the same first and last names.“They got into some sort of argument at this repast over what was said or how it was said at the funeral, and the suspect in this case decided to pull out a gun that he bought with him to this event and shot his own father,” said T.J. Smith, Baltimore Police public information Officer, at a news conference.According to witnesses, the father and the son argued over an omission in the obituary written by a family member, police said. The brother’s name was not in the obituary said Charles Addison, the grandfather. “The place was full of children. They ran out the back and I ran out the front.”The 47-year-old father is expected to survive and his 26 year old son was taken into custody.The shooting happened inside of the church’s lobby, located at Gold and North Calhoun Street said police. Hordes of officers, detectives, along with the police commissioner and deputy commissioner, took over the church as those who attended the service, dressed in white attire, some with “R.I.P” and “Gone but not forgotten” T-Shirts on, watched from the street.Later, family members carried out the food which was supposed to be eaten at a celebration of Addison’s life.Addison was killed not to far from New Song on May 25. He was shot several times and he was found inside of a home just before 6 p.m.“I really can’t even describe how unnecessary and senseless this situation is,” Smith said. “There’s still food on the table inside.”Next door to the church, William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School was locked down, keeping the children a half-hour after dismissal said administrators.Sadly, this is not the first time that gun violence has interrupted a home going service. Virginia McGhee, 34, was shot and killed in 2009 at the viewing for her boyfriend who was shot and killed the week before. This shooting was at a funeral home about a half-mile from Tuesday’s church shooting. In 2008, two people were shot while attending the viewing of a man who had been killed in a triple shooting. In 2001, a man attending the funeral for his murdered brother was shot while he was leaving the service.“Fortunately, no one else was injured as a result of this, and again, it’s just that senseless that we talk about,” Smith stated.In the aftermath, the church door was locked and signs that Bible Study had been canceled had been taped to the front door.Pastor Louis Wilson of New Song Worship & Arts Center was not available for comment.