Diwali: Cracker ban goes up in smoke as Delhi air quality turns ‘very poor’

A ‘very poor’ air quality index essentially means that people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on a prolonged exposure to such air


The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city glowed red, indicating a ‘very poor’ air quality as the volume of ultrafine particulates PM 2.5 and PM 10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 7 pm.

At 10 pm, in Mandir Marg in Delhi, the PM 2.5 concentration was 390 units against the prescribed 60 units, while PM 10 was 480 against the prescribed 100.

Real-time pollution data appeared alarming. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC) R K Puram monitoring station recorded PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 878 and 1,179 micrograms per cubic metre at around 11 pm.

However, the nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide concentrations at 50.84 and 31.20 respectively were well under the prescribed limits.

The pollutants had violated the corresponding 24-hour safe limits of 60 and 100 respectively by up to 10 times.

While it is difficult to quantify the immediate effect of the ban on firecrackers, residents across the national capital felt the beginning was promising with neighborhoods reporting much lesser noise and smoke till about 6 pm, compared to the previous years.

But as the festivities picked up, the faint echo of crackers started growing louder.

According to the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the 24-hour rolling average of PM2.5 and PM10 were 154 and 256 micrograms per cubic metre respectively at around 11 pm.

It has forecast that the pollution levels will peak between 11 pm and 3 am.


Click here to know moreFirecracker Ban


Deoband fatwa bans Muslims from posting their photos on Facebook, WhatsApp

The edict was issued by the fatwa department of the Darul Uloom Deoband after a man approached it recently asking if posting photos on social media sites was allowed in the religion

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The Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur has issued a fatwa prohibiting Muslim men and women from posting their or their families’ photographs on social media sites.

In the fatwa issued on Wednesday, one of the largest Islamic seminaries in India has said that posting photos of self or family on social media sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp is not allowed in Islam.

The edict was issued by the fatwa department of the Darul Uloom Deoband after a man approached it recently asking if posting photos on social media sites was allowed in the religion.

Mufti Tariq Qasmi, an Islamic scholar associated with a madarssa here, said when clicking pictures unnecessarily is not allowed in Islam how posting photos on social can be allowed.

Click here to know moreMuslims Social Media Ban

Don’t portray every inter-religious marriage as ‘love jihad’

The HC bench upheld a marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man


The Kerala High Court on Thursday held that all inter-religious weddings cannot be viewed as ‘love jihad’ as it upheld a marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man.

A division bench comprising justices V Chitambaresh and Sathish Ninan made the observations in its judgement on a habeas corpus petition filed by the man. A habeas corpus plea is filed to ensure a person under arrest is brought before a court which will determine whether the detention is legal.

“We are appalled to notice the recent trend in this state to sensationalise every case of inter-religious marriage as either ‘love jihad‘ or ‘ghar wapsi’ even if there was platonic love between the spouses before,” the court said.

The bench also cited the Supreme Court order in the Lata Singh versus state of Uttar Pradesh case of 2004 to emphasise the need for encouraging inter-caste and inter-religious marriages.

We caution that every case of inter-religious marriage shall not be portrayed on a religious canvass and create fissures in the communal harmony otherwise existing in the God’s Own Country – Kerala,” the bench said and upheld the marriage.

It said the present case was projected by the parents of the woman as ‘love jihad’ whereas the man, who was in love with her and married her later, termed it as ‘ghar wapsi’ (a bid to coerce her to come back).

The woman from Kannur had left her home on May 16 along with the Muslim youth. On a complaint from her parents, police had traced and detained them in Sonepat in Haryana a month later.

Indian-origin teenager Akshay Ruparelia becomes UK’s youngest millionaire

Ruparelia claims to have already sold 100 million pounds worth of properties since he set up his business

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An Indian-origin teenager has become one of Britain’s youngest millionaires after his online estate agency business got valued at 12 million pounds in just over a year.

Akshay Ruparelia, at just 19 years of age, juggled his school work with negotiating property deals for his no-frills business that offers to sell properties for a fraction of the cost charged by established high street estate agents.

This week “doorsteps.co.uk” became the 18th biggest estate agency in the UK just 16 months after the website went live.

Ruparelia claims to have already sold 100 million pounds worth of properties since he set up his business.

Also Read: 12 Housewives Who Fought Gender Stereotypes To Become Millionaires

“I got the website up and running and after a couple of weeks a man in Sussex asked me to sell his home and a separate chunk of land he owned beside it.

“I had to pay my sister’s boyfriend 40 pounds to drive me to Sussex to take photographs of the house, as I hadn’t passed my driving test and didn’t have a car,” he recalls.

The north London-based schoolboy was able to sell the property and land within three weeks, which set the ball rolling.

He started his company with 7,000 pounds, borrowed from relatives and now employs 12 people.

In the initial stages of his business, he hired a call centre to answer calls coming into his work while he was at school and would return the calls after his classes.

His model is based on hiring an ever-expanding network of self-employed mothers across the UK, who show clients around the properties he has been asked to sell.

Click here to know more about  Akshay Ruparelia

The Rohingya horrors and Aung San Suu Kyi’s whitewash: Eyewitness

‘Nobody is allowed to have any lights on after sunset in this region, or be outside at all’
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It was a bright autumn morning, and I had just dropped off my two children at nursery and was scrolling through Twitter, when I spotted a video of another mother’s two children.

The youngest was a one-year-old boy, the same age as my own youngest; the other, his nine-year-old sister, had been carrying him for miles. She was weeping, the tears from her terrified eyes indistinguishable from the rain pouring off her short black hair and drenched clothes.

A Rohingya child, she had fled from the one of the many scenes of horror inflicted by the Myanmar military on Muslim areas across the country’s beleaguered Rakhine state, where hundreds of villages have been burned to the ground and where fleeing people have been killed by landmines and children beheaded. As I struggled to get my front door key into the lock, I found I was crying too.

The UN has called the Myanmar military’s campaign against the Rohingya, involving the burning of hundreds of Muslim villages in Rakhine State and targeting people with landmines as they ran, a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. More than half a million people have fled into Bangladesh – many of them children who saw their parents murdered. The UN has warned of a further influx.

For those fairly unfamiliar with Myanmar, the situation is not just horrific, but bizarre. Myanmar was supposed to be firmly on the road to democracy, and yet now the military is out murdering again. Buddhism has an international reputation as a peaceful religion – and yet the vicious violence is being perpetrated by the military in the name of Buddhist nationalism.

And then there’s the sight of Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of government in all but name, publicly whitewashing the situation. She has failed, not just to condemn, but even to recognise the atrocities. She has declined to acknowledge the existence of the Rohingya except as part of a terrorist movement or to call for UN investigators to be allowed in to observe the situation.

Click to read the full story of the Eyewitness Rohingya Genocide


Dhanteras 2017: Where and How to Buy the Best Deals on Gold

Are you planning to buy gold this Dhanteras? It is that time of the year when people flock to buy gold

It is that time of the year when people flock to buy gold. Dhanteras, an amalgamation of Sanskrit words dhan, that stands for wealth, and teras that refers to the 13th day of the Hindu calendar, is marked by praying to goddess Lakshmi and the purchase of gold objects.
This year’s Dhanteras comes after the government changed a key rule governing gold buying. As part of the push to revive consumer sentiment in the economy, the government recently allowed people to buy Rs 2 lakh worth of gold without quoting the permanent account number.

Here’s what you must keep in mind while buying gold

Rule number 1: First and foremost, jewellers say, those who want to buy jewellery would have to set aside 60-70 per cent of their monthly salary for this purpose.

The current price of gold ranges from Rs 29, 675 (Friday) to Rs 29,970 (Monday). Last Dhanteras, the price of gold was around Rs 30,000.

*Buy gold with BIS Hallmarking which guarantees its purity. Buy the metal with certification of 22-carat purity

*Scout the market for the best price deal. Discount offers available should make your purchase price attractive

*If you are buying from a jeweller, you should purchase a reputed outlet, with good track-record and credibility

*Always insist on a bill. Without a bill, you will have trouble in case you want to exchange the precious metal later.

*Buy gold for the long term. Gold prices are exposed to global events and might face volatility in the short term

Click here to see the offers on Gold → Dhanteras 2017


Sexual violence: Women are safer in Karachi than Delhi

Delhi has been paired with Brazil’s Sao Paulo in a poll that lists the cities where women fear the risk of sexual violence, including rape, attacks or harassment

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New Delhi has been named the world’s worst megacity for sexual violence against women in a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Delhi has been paired with Brazil’s Sao Paulo in the poll, which lists the cities where women fear the risk of sexual violence, including rape, attacks or harassment.

The survey comes just five years after the national capital witnessed the horrific Nirbhaya gangrape incident in December 2012, which resulted in a widespread public outcry demanding better safety measures for women.

The poll was conducted in 19 of the world’s biggest megacities with populations of more than 10 million and asked 380 experts in cities to assess the risk of sexual violence.

Delhi schools aren’t safe either

  • In a shocking incident, a five-year-old girl was allegedly raped inside the premises of Tagore Public School in the national capital’s Gandhi Nagar area. The police had registered a case against under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and is investigating the matter and the accused was arrested. (Read more)

A Delhi woman narrates why she feels unsafe in the city

  • Most residential colonies in Delhi are poorly lit. Even main roads, inner streets, sections of markets, areas between residential blocks and bus stops pose a threat. In fact, in a survey carried out by Jagori among 500 women in the city, over 95 per cent reported carrying things like pepper sprays and sharp objects for protection. But such individualistic solutions like pepper-spray and self-defence are not an answer to our plight. At best, this is jugaad, a make-do arrangement to protect ourselves.

Click here to read the full article on Sexual violence Against Women

Narendra Modi to deliver his last speech before Gujarat polls in Gandhinagar today

As many as 10,000 party workers have been involved in making the public meeting a success


Likely to be his last speech at a big public rally before the Election Commission’s model code of conduct kicks in for Gujarat Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a massive public meeting in Gandhinagar on Monday.

In a series of tweets on Sunday evening, the PM set the stage for the ‘Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan’, or Gujarat pride mega-congregation. A BJP press statement on Sunday evening attempted to underline the importance of the event. It said as many as 10,000 party workers have been involved in making the public meeting a success.

The public meeting comes on the heels of the Gujarat government announcing a series of sops. While it isn’t known if the PM might make more announcements, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had complained on Thursday that the Election Commission postponed announcing the Gujarat poll dates to enable Modi to announce more sops at the Monday rally.


The BJP statement said Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other leaders will address the public meeting. It said the public meeting will sound the BJP’s bugle for the assembly poll. “This is development, this is Gujarat,” will be the statement that would resound at the public meeting. It said 26 entry gates have been erected for the public rally, and seating arrangements made in 72 blocks. The venue will also have 15 parking lots.

In his tweets, the PM said: “Tomorrow in Gandhinagar, I will join Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan, which will bring together lakhs of BJP Karyakartas from across Gujarat. Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan comes after the successful culmination of the two Gujarat Gaurav Yatras.”

Click to read the full story on Gujarat Elections 2017

Somalia blast toll rises to 300: Deadliest attack in decades

Somalia Government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab extremist group for the attack


The death toll in the massive twin truck bombings in Somalia’s capital has mounted to 300, officials said.

The officials explosion has been called as the one of the deadliest attacks to hit the capital, Mogadishu, since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007, reported the New York Times.

Apart from this, at least 300 have been left wounded, and families scrambled to find missing relatives amid the rubble and in hospitals.

The death toll is expected to rise as the emergency crews are still pulling more bodies from burned cars and demolished buildings after the Saturday blasts.

According to reports, Somalia Government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab extremist group for the attack.

However, no group including Al-Shabaab has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.


Speaking to the state-run radio station, Somalia’s information minister Abdirahman Omar said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen and “this is how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them.”

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo condemned the attack and has declared three days of mourning in the country.

“Today’s horrific attack proves our enemy would stop nothing to cause our people pain and suffering. Let’s unite against terror. We will observe 3 days of mourning for innocent victims, flags will be flown at half-mast.

Click here to read full story about Somalia Blast

Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: Allahabad HC acquits Talwars, gives benefit of doubt

The 263-page verdict ends a nine-year ordeal of the Noida-based dentist couple who were found guilty by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 26, 2013 and were serving life sentence in Dasna jail

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The Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Nupur and Rajesh Talwar in the 2008 murders of their teenage daughter, Aarushi, and domestic help Hemraj, saying that neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty.

The 263-page verdict brings relief, at least for now, to the nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013, for the double murder.

“There is a strong possibility that incident was caused by some outsider,” a bench comprising judges B K Narayana and A K Mishra said, upholding the Talwars’ appeal against the court verdict.

Also Read: Aarushi Case: Tampered Crime Scene Main Gap In Probe

The Talwars, who are both dentists, are expected to be freed on Friday from Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail after the completion of paperwork. The CBI did not immediately say if it would appeal against the high court judgment. It said it would study the order and decide the future course of action.

Pronouncing their verdict in a packed courtroom, judges Narayana and Mishra said, “From the facts and evidence on record, we find neither the circumstances nor evidence are consistent, and circumstances did not complete a chain showing involvement of appellants in the incident.” They said, “In case where two views are possible, the view taken for conviction of appellants may not be correct. In the absence of circumstantial evidence to complete the chain, it is a fit case where the benefit of doubt can be given to the appellants.”

Read Full Case Article → Noida Double Murder Case