Connect with us


SC Extends Ban on Tourism in Core Tiger Reserves

Extending the ban on tourism activities in the core areas of tiger reserves, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre for the depleting population of the wild cats in the country.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar put some searching questions to the Centre as it made a fresh plea for the review of the apex court's July 24 order banning tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves.



Extending the ban on tourism activities in the core areas of tiger reserves, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre for the depleting population of the wild cats in the country.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar put some searching questions to the Centre as it made a fresh plea for the review of the apex court's July 24 order banning tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves.

"You are trying to make up. You have done it (guidelines) after due deliberation. We want to know on what basis you want to do it? What is the data available? "What are you going to do to save tigers? Earlier it was 13,000, now it has come down to 1,200. You are more worried about the commercial activities," the bench told the Centre's counsel Waseem Ahmed Kadiri.

The apex court made the observation after the Centre made a mention of its affidavits filed in the court for permission to review its earlier guidelines for conservation of tiger.

The apex court earlier on July 24 had imposed an interim ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves on the basis of same guidelines.

The ban extended today would remain in place at least till next hearing on 29th August.

"What have you done for the tiger project? What about the core areas you have promised to take steps for? The Union of India has not done anything except filling affidavits. Why did you initially recommend the ban?," the court asked the counsel.

The apex court later while ordering that its interim ban order would continue posted the matter for further hearing to 29th August.

The Centre had filed an affidavit seeking permission to review the existing guidelines for conservation of tigers in the wake of the apex court's order banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves.

In its asffidavit, the Centre had also contended that the states have expressed concern that many local people depend on tourism for their livelihood and banning tourism in core areas of the tiger reserves would result in loss of such income leading to discontent which may be a threat to wildlife and forests.

The additional affidavit jointly filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Forests said the earlier guidelines framed by it on the basis of which the apex court had imposed the interim ban needs to be reviewed.

"The guidelines submitted in the context of ecotourism in and around protected areas require further review based on more consultations with all stakeholders, including the state governments and the representatives of the local, indigenous communities," the Centre had said.

"The respondents may be permitted to further review the guidelines and conduct more consultations with all stakeholders including state governments and representatives of local indigenous communities, besides reviewing the process adopted by states in notifying the buffer areas of tiger reserves," the affidavit had said.

League Features Desk

Continue Reading


Karnataka’s Cong Government Seeks Separate Religion Status for Lingayats

Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah-led Congress government has decided to recognise Lingayats as an independent religion and seek approval from the Centre for the same. 



Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah-led Congress government has decided to recognise Lingayats as an independent religion (from Hinduism) and seek approval from the Centre for the same. The decision was taken after a cabinet meeting and consultation with Lingayat seers.

The Cabinet took the decision to accept recommendations of the Justice Nagamohan Das Committee, which had asked the state to accord a separate religion tag to the Lingayats.

If recognised as a minority religion, the Lingayats will be able to avail of benefits under Section 25, 28, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.

What makes the timing of the move particularly suspicious is that Karnataka is just about two months away from elections and Lingayats, who currently form 17% of Karnataka’s population, is a major vote bank for political parties.

In the recent decades, the Lingayats have emerged as strong supporters of the BJP. Experts suggest that if a separate religious status is granted to the community, the BJP will have a tough time explaining its ideological stance based on Hindu solidarity. Former Chief Minister and current CM candidate of the BJP, BS Yeddyurappa, is also from the Lingayat community.

The Congress, predictably, hopes to gain much from the desired branching.

The agitation is not a new one – and has forever revolved around a single core question viz., who are the Lingayats and what precisely is their religious identity?

Who are the Lingayats:

The tradition of Lingayatism is known to have been founded by social reformer and philosopher Basavanna in 12th century Karnataka. While there exists a debate around whether Basavanna founded the sect or if he merely reformed an existing order, there can be no doubt that under him the community acquired the form of a well-organised, structured mass movement. Followers of the sect continue to revere him as the founder and prime philosopher of their religion.

Social reformer and philosopher Basavanna (Wikimedia Commons)

Basava grew up in a Brahmin family with a tradition of Shaivism. As a leader, he developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or “ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva”. This movement shared its roots in the ongoing Tamil Bhakti movement, particularly the Shaiva Nayanars traditions, over the 7th- to 11th-century.

Basavanna’s vision of a societal order was one based on human freedom, equality, rationality, and brotherhood. He and his followers spread their ideas through vachanas (prose-lyrics) and their prime target was the caste hierarchy which they rejected with full force. In one of his vachanas, Basavanna asserts that “the birthless has no caste distinctions, no ritual pollution.”

Lingayat sect first emerged within the larger trend of Bhakti movements that had swept across South India from the 8th century AD onwards.

The Bhakti tradition was a social reform movement that took birth within Hinduism but strove to rectify what the followers saw as the unjust practices within the tradition.

But, historians like K Ishrawaran say that while the conventional Bhakti movements remained adjacent to the Hindu system, Lingayatism challenged the system in its most basic form and became a highly structured movement.

Other historians say that the most striking feature of this institutionalisation was that unlike other Bhakti movements, Lingayat status was hereditary in nature!

The desired differences aside, however, the one aspect that indicates the association of Lingayatism with Hinduism is the former’s relationship with Veerashaivism.

Veerashaivism is also a Shaiva sect within Hinduism and is predominantly located in Karnataka. It’s supporters claim that Basavanna was not the founder of the Lingayat tradition, but rather a reformer of an already existing religious tradition called Veerashaivism.

The Veerashaivas accept the Vedic texts and almost all Hindu practices.

Moreover, despite insisting upon the contrary, Lingayatism, quite like Jainism, does assimilate many aspects of Hinduism that are influenced by or drawn from the Upanishads and the Vedic traditions.

The close associations that the Lingayat followers share with Hinduism, both sociologically and historically, thus make it a complicated case of to be or not be Hindu.

Continue Reading


‘Citizen Services’ App Launched to Link Citizens with Police

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its 33rd Inception Day and released “Citizen Services” Mobile App.



The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) celebrated its 33rd Inception Day and released “Citizen Services” Mobile App.

The App is a bouquet of 9 police related services, for the citizen.  These services will provide a smooth interface between citizens and police. States/UTs upon customization can host this App on their CCTNS platform through which citizens can register police complaint, and can check the Status of their complaint.

Another feature of the App also enables a complainant to download FIR (except those categorized as “Sensitive”).

Clicking SOS button on the App automatically sends an emergency SMS to friends and family with user’s current location. Locate Police Station feature helps a citizen to locate nearby police station details and route to approach using GPS technology.

Emergency Contact List provides helpline numbers, which are useful during an emergency or regular services like Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Medical Emergency, Women Helpline, Railway Helpline and Child Helpline.

Any citizen can anonymously inform Police about any suspicious/anti-social activities using Citizen Tip feature. Using Telephone Directory feature, Citizen can view detail of any police station in a district for particular State.

Vahan Samanvay stolen vehicle Registration feature is helpful to the public, Road Transport Authorities, and Insurance agencies, to verify the status of stolen/recovered vehicles, before purchase, re-registration, claim settlement etc.

Talash/ Missing Person (Lost person Registration) a web link in the App to provide a link to NCRB website displaying missing persons/ unidentified dead bodies and unidentified persons.

The App is developed by an in-house team of NCRB and as per the compliance of MeitY directions, the Mobile App was tested & certified by CERT-In empanelled Company. The App is being released to States/UTs for utilization at field levels.

Continue Reading


NDA to Form Governments in All the Three NE States that Went to Polls



National People’s Party (NPP) with the support of BJP and other smaller parties will form the next government in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya.

NPP’s Chief Conrad Sangma is all set to be the next chief minister of the state.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Elect Conrad Sangma

Sangma yesterday met Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad and staked claim to form the government in the state with the support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.

Conrad will be sworn in on Tuesday.

Earlier Yesterday:

NPP President Conrad Sangma met Governor at Rajya Bhawan in Shillong and staked claim to form the Government.

The alliance, including BJP, NPP, UDP and HSPDP, has the support of a total of 34 MLAs. The Oath taking ceremony will take place on 6th March at 10.30 am.

Earlier, six MLAs of United Democratic Party decided to extend their support to the alliance. Extending their support, UDP said that they want to see a non-Congress government in Meghalaya.

Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) had won 19 seats, while UDP and BJP managed to secure six and two seats respectively.

The development took place after MLAs from regional parties and the BJP came together against the Congress, which emerged as the single largest party in the results declared on Saturday but has failed despite that. The Congress under the leadership of Mukul Sangma earlier in the day had said it is the single-largest party to get votes and that it should be invited to form the government in Meghalaya.

The Congress is 10 seats short of the halfway mark at 31.

Elsewhere in Nagaland and Tripura:

In Nagaland, BJP with its coalition partner NDPP has staked claim to form the government in the state. One independent MLA and a JDU legislator also extend support in government formation. The strength of BJP and its allies has now risen to 32. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said, that the NDPP-BJP alliance has secured near simple majority in Nagaland.

NDPP leader and three-time chief minister Neiphiu Rio also said that the alliance is in a comfortable position to form the government.

In Tripura, putting up a remarkable show, the BJP and its alliance partner Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, IPFT surge ahead of the ruling CPI-M led Left Front in the counting of votes for 59 Assembly constituencies in Tripura.

BJP has got an absolute majority on its own getting 35 seats. Indigenous People’s Front Of Tripura bagged 8 seats. While CPI(M) has got 16 seats.

BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb (left) along with his wife (right) and central observer Sunil Deodhar (middle) in Agartala

Victory celebrations erupted in BJP state office in Agartala as the news of BJP emerging victorious in Tripura polls poured in.

Sound of crackers and beats of drums reverberated and saffron and green colours were there in the air everywhere as BJP supporters gathered in front of the Rabindra Satabarshiki hall premises from where the victory rally started.

The number of women taking part in the victory rally was noticeable. Most of them smeared saffron colour on the face of each other and danced to the tune of drums while many others were raising slogans ‘Tripura te darkar, BJP sarkar” (Tripura needs BJP government).

BJP state president Biplab Kumar Deb along with his wife and central observer Sunil Deodhar led the rally as large numbers of supporters were dancing to the tune of the music with victory sign.

Deb conveyed his wishes to the supporters and people moving by the streets as they distributed sweets.

The BJP president said, “We were very confident that people will choose BJP for the development what Prime Minister Narendra Modi as PM has shown within a short time. In Tripura also the same result will be reflected.”

Meantime, Sunil Deodhar speaking to reporters said, “Jeet hamara jari hai, aab Tripura ka bari hai (Our victory continues and this time it is Tripura’s turn). The victory of Gujarat and Himachal will have huge impact here in Tripura because the worthless government which is ruling here for the last 25 years is dependent on the defeat or victory of BJP in some other state as they do not have any report card of their own. You will notice that in the coming election in Tripura the people will vote for Narendra Modi’s development bringing an end to Manik Sarkar’s tenure.”

He further said the BJP is not a communal party and in the BIP ruled states there is no incident of communal violence rather the opposition who brands BJP as communal are themselves communal.

BJP has appointed Union Ministers – Nitin Gadkari and Jual Oram – as Central Observers to help facilitate the election of BJP legislature party leader in the state.

During their visit, they will meet elected members and core committee members. After that meeting, they will submit their report to the BJP parliamentary board. The oath taking ceremony of the new Ministry is most likely to be completed by 10th March, according to party sources.

Meanwhile, outgoing Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today tendered his resignation to Governor Tathagata Roy.

The ruling NPF, which emerged as the single largest party, extended invitation to the BJP to join the new dispensation. Union Minister and BJP Karnataka poll in-charge Prakash Javadekar has said that the impact of the BJP victory in the north-east will be felt in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls as well.

Prime Minister Hails the BJP Performance(s):

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the historic victory of BJP. In a series of tweets, Prime Minister said:

Prime Minister further tweeted saying:

Prime Minister in another tweet said:

Prime Minister termed the historic victory in Tripura an ideological one. He called it a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation.

Prime Minister further tweeted:

BJP President Amit Shah has thanked the people of Tripura for their massive support to BJP in the state assembly elections. He attributed the victory in the state to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s politics of development and his commitment to the welfare of North-Eastern region.

He also applauded the hard work and dedication of BJP workers of Tripura unit which has made this historic win a reality.


Continue Reading

Also In The News