kamalnath Cabinet approves the process of withdrawal of political cases

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US-Led Coalition Begins Withdrawal Of Troops From Syria


The US-led coalition in Syria has begun withdrawing its troops, a spokesman said Friday, less than a month after US President Donald Trump made his shock announcement.

The force which has battled the ISIS group since 2014 started scaling down but it remained unclear how long the drawdown process would last.

“CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan told AFP in a statement, referring to the US-led anti-ISIS force.

“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the coalition had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.

“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation, said.

“This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president’s announcement” of a military withdrawal from Syria last month, he said.

The US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as in neighbouring Iraq, where Trump has said his forces would remain.

A US defence official in Washington had earlier confirmed to AFP that equipment was being removed from Syria.

Pompeo visit

The US-led coalition, which also includes countries such as France and Britain, was formed in mid-2014 to counter the expansion of the ISIS group after it proclaimed its self-styled “caliphate”.

Trump claimed last month that the ISIS had been defeated and that US troops could therefore come home.

Fighter jets and special forces have played a key role in efforts to claw back the territory lost to ISIS.

A Kurdish-led group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, is currently flushing out the very last pockets of land controlled by the ISIS in the Euphrates River Valley.

The beginning of the drawdown coincided with a visit to the Middle East by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who insisted in Cairo Thursday that the withdrawal would go ahead despite widespread criticism.

Earlier this week, US National Security Advisor John Bolton laid out conditions for the pullout, including the defeat of the ISIS in Syria and guarantees for the safety of Washington’s Kurdish allies in the campaign, who have been threatened with an imminent offensive by Turkey.

Bolton’s comments were widely seen as backtracking on Trump’s announcement, including by Turkey which described them as “unacceptable”.

The battle against die-hard ISIS in remote areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border and the hunt for ISIS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted man, could last indefinitely however.

Anti-ISIS fight

And the Kurdish militia which has spearheaded the ground battle against the ISIS group is left exposed to a Turkish offensive by the US withdrawal.

The People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian offshoot of the PKK group which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has already started cosying up to Damascus and its Russian sponsor.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist announcement and has repeatedly threatened to move into Syria to create a buffer zone along the border.

Critics of Trump’s decision, including within his own Republican camp, have said that a precipitous withdrawal would shatter US policy in Syria and allow ISIS to rebuild.

They have also argued that it would further allow Damascus ally Iran to extend its influence across Syria and potentially threaten Israel.

Since his surprise announcement last month, Trump has stressed any withdrawal would be coordinated, gradual and “prudent”.

But observers have stressed that the announcement of the withdrawal was having the same impact in reshuffling the cards of the conflict as the withdrawal itself.

“The damage is done. On the ground, the announcement of the pullout is as if they were already gone,” said Fabrice Balanche, a geographer and Syria expert.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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US Troop Withdrawal From Syria Will Happen, Says Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo is scheduled to head to the capitals of the six Gulf Arab states to make his case.

Cairo, Egypt: 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that a full US troop withdrawal from Syria announced by President Donald Trump last month will go ahead despite widespread criticism.

The US top diplomat made his remarks while on a whistlestop tour of the Middle East to address the concerns of regional allies about the surprise pullout plan.

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that,” Pompeo told a joint press conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Earlier this week, US National Security Advisor John Bolton laid out conditions for the pullout, including the defeat of the Islamic State group in Syria and gurantees for the safety of Washington’s Kurdish allies in the campaign, who have been threatened with an imminent offensive by Turkey.

Bolton’s comments were widely seen as backtracking on Trump’s announcement.

But Pompeo insisted the two statements were entirely consistent.

“There is no contradiction whatsoever. This is a story made up by the media,” said Pompeo, underscoring Washington’s continuing commitment to preventing any resurgence by IS.

From Cairo, Pompeo is scheduled to head to the capitals of the six Gulf Arab states to make his case.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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US Withdrawal Of Troops In Afghanistan Raises Big Questions

Donald Trump has long questioned the utility of US involvement in Afghanistan. (AFP)

The 17-year-old US war in Afghanistan took a new turn last week when President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of 7,000 American troops from the country.

Trump has long questioned the utility of US involvement in Afghanistan, seeing it as a wasteful expense – and a conflict without a clear victory strategy. The White House decision was followed by the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who had pushed for continued US engagement in Afghanistan.

Here are three questions about how the troop drawdown may affect the situation in Afghanistan.

What happens now to the peace talks with the Afghan Taliban?

The drawdown risks undermining the nascent peace process between the United States and the Afghan Taliban, ultimately making it more difficult for the US government to leave the country on its terms. In 2018, US diplomats worked to persuade the Afghan Taliban to come to the negotiating table. For much of the year, the Afghan Taliban remained unwilling to talk.

Scholars of civil war suggest that rebels prefer fighting over negotiations when external state support and illicit economies make them confident of their military prospects – criteria which the Taliban meet. This past week, the Taliban came around to some preliminary talks but refused to speak to the Afghan government.

The Taliban’s long-held strategy has been to erode the US government’s resolve to stay in Afghanistan. Even with 14,000 American troops fighting alongside Afghan security forces, the Taliban inflicted sustained losses on Afghan forces, retaining control of large parts of the country and challenging key urban centers.

With only half as many US troops remaining in the country, the Afghan Taliban may press home their advantage by accelerating the pace of attacks. The reduction in force level could now give the Taliban confidence that their strategy is working and that a full withdrawal of US forces is a reasonable expectation.

The drawdown, in fact, might have been a potential US bargaining chip on the negotiating table with the Afghan Taliban. But the White House decision was out of sync with the negotiations. It appears to have undercut the US diplomat leading the negotiations with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, who was trying to signal that “American commitment was firm.”

Will Afghanistan see domestic political realignment and renewed danger of a civil war?

The US drawdown risks triggering serious domestic political realignments in Afghanistan, destabilizing the political structure underlying the US-backed regime. Senior Afghan journalist Sami Yousafzai observes that Afghan political elites are comparing the modern period to the chaos following the 1989 Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Back then, the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Najibullah, after losing its great power patron, rapidly lost ground as warlords and armed groups wrestled for control.

Those memories, combined with the state of the Taliban insurgency, may prompt domestic players to prepare for the worst-case scenario – a multiparty civil war. Some leaders may mobilize their ethnic bases of support while stepping up the process of arming themselves. Others may reach out to their foreign patrons and seek direct material support. These political realignments may increase the already high rate of defections from rank-and-file Afghan security forces.

Such realignments pose a threat to the faltering coalition of President Ashraf Ghani, who announced he will seek re-election in the April presidential election. The worsening security situation combined with elite squabbling may make an election more improbable.

And will terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, stand to gain?

The drawdown can help Afghanistan-based terrorist groups intent on attacking the United States, specifically al-Qaida. In 2015, battered by the US drone war in Pakistan, al-Qaida revived some operations in Afghanistan, using its South Asia franchise, al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent.

The US government claims al-Qaida’s strength in Afghanistan remains checked. My field research, however, suggests that al-Qaida still has a serious skeleton capability in the region, specifically in eastern provinces like Paktika, which it is actively trying to rebuild.

Reduction of US forces is likely to ease existing military pressures on al-Qaida – and give it more space to rebuild for local and external operations. Al-Qaida may be able to allocate more resources in support of the Afghan Taliban’s military campaign. And it may be able to better marshal the capability needed for a major international terrorism operation.

The pressure on al-Qaida might be sustained if Afghan intelligence agencies can substitute for the US intelligence infrastructure that will fold with the drawdown. A surge in offshore US capabilities, like aerial surveillance and communication interception, and armed striking platforms such as drones could enable the US government to manage al-Qaida’s threat.

But Afghan intelligence suffers from defections and rampant corruption, and has struggled to provide high-quality support to the US government. In addition, any meaningful increase in aerial and communication surveillance across Afghanistan will be costly. These expenditures may not be a priority in a White House with a stated goal of reducing US military deployment expenses.

That doesn’t mean al-Qaida will be able to mount a major attack in the United States. Even with a robust external operations infrastructure, al-Qaida will struggle to execute an attack inside the United States because of the layers of US counterterrorism vigilance. However, the availability of a relatively conducive safe haven in Afghanistan can improve al-Qaida’s ability to train recruits and plot the group’s next moves.

The situation in Afghanistan was grim as is. The unexpected drawdown adds to the complexity of a difficult situation. And it adds to the woes of Afghan civilians who have been caught up in the web of internal conflict for four decades.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Order For US Military Withdrawal From Syria Signed, Says Pentagon

President Donald Trump last week said US troops would be withdrawing from Syria. (File)


The order has been signed for the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, where they have been deployed to assist in the war against ISIS, a US military spokesperson said on Sunday.

“The execute order for Syria has been signed,” the spokesperson told AFP, without providing further details.

US President Donald Trump has declared the terrorist group “largely defeated,” and made the surprise decision to bring US forces home — a move that many US politicians and international allies fear is premature and would further destabilize the already devastated region.

The decision — which was followed by another to make a significant cut to the number of American troops in Afghanistan — has prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and US envoy to the international anti-IS coalition Brett McGurk.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Bhupesh Baghel, New Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Rules Out Troop Withdrawal From Maoist-Hit Areas

Bhupesh Baghel said the state government was committed to fulfilling all pre-poll promises


New Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Sunday said weapons were no answer to tackling the Maoist menace and favoured talks with violence affected people and other stakeholders, even as he ruled out withdrawal of security forces from the Maoist-hit areas of the state.

Mr Baghel said his government will devise a new strategy that will involve talks with people affected by maoist activities, including tribals, and others to resolve the three-decade-old maoist problem that has claimed several lives.

He said the state government was committed to fulfilling all pre-poll promises made by his party, including farm loan waiver and liquor ban.

The Congress leader took charge as chief minister a week ago after his party posted a landslide victory in the just held assembly polls in the tribal dominated state.

“Naxal issue cannot be tackled with the barrel of gun. The use of guns by previous (BJP) government to solve the Naxal problem has resulted in its expansion from just three development blocks to 15 districts of the state in the last 15 years,” Mr Baghel told PTI in an interview.

“After Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh’s Bastar division (which has heavy Naxal presence) accounts for maximum deployment of paramilitary forces.

“Despite that, the problem still exists which clearly indicates that social-economic-political way is another route to solve the issue,” he said.

“The most important thing is first we should talk to the affected people, specially tribals, and at the same time hold discussions with other parties like non-tribals, traders, police, paramilitary forces, social groups, journalists and intellectuals to reach to a concrete solution,” he added.

Mr Baghel, 57, however, ruled out any possibility of withdrawing paramilitary forces, deployed in large numbers, from the maoist-hit districts till the new strategy is formulated.

“There is no question of withdrawing security forces (from Naxal-affected areas). Whatever system is going on, will be continued till further strategy is devised. The immediate withdrawal of forces can prove to be suicidal (step),” he added.

According to police officials, over 70,000 security personnel, including state forces and paramilitaries like the CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB, were involved in counter-insurgency operations in seven districts of maoist-affected Bastar division in the southern part of the state.

Asked about the burden on exchequer for implementing pre-poll promises, particularly loan waiver and higher minimum support price for paddy, Mr Baghel said the promises made in the manifesto will be fulfilled step by step.

He said, “The manifesto is for five years and all the promises cannot be fulfilled in a day. We are committed to fulfilling all the promises, including loan waiver, liquor ban, regularisation of contractual employee and cutting of electricity bills by half with the available resources.”

Mr Baghel, who as Chhattisgarh Congress president led his party to a grand victory, with the Congress winning 68 of the 90 assembly seats, is now eyeing to get all the 11 Lok Sabha seats of the state to the party’s kitty in next year’s general elections.

“We received a massive support from all the sections, be it tribals, other backward classes or traders, in our voyage towards a massive win. Now we have a target to win all the 11 Lok Sabha seats in next year’s  general polls and we are confident of achieving it,” he added.

Asked about the need for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 2013 Jhiram Valley maoist attack in which some Congress leaders lost their lives, Mr Baghel termed the strike as a “supari killing” (contract killing) and maintained its conspirators should be exposed and punished under the law.

“The questions related to the deadly Naxal attack on Congress ‘parivartan’ rally on May 25, 2013, still remain unanswered. When Congress leaders had been provided security on May 23 and 24 that time during their campaign, then why protection was withdrawn on May 25. Who had ordered for withdrawal and who was responsible for it,” he asked.

“Before killing our senior leaders, Naxals had asked for them by their names which they generally never do. Their intention was to kill some specific leaders which indicated there was a conspiracy. It was a ‘supari killing’,” Mr Baghel said.

Only an SIT probe will bring out the truth and help in punishing the conspirators, the chief minister added.

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President Donald Trump Defends US Withdrawal From Syria, Says Others Must Fight

Donald Trump had earlier pledged to withdraw from Syria if elected. (File)


US President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his surprise decision to declare victory over ISIS terrorists in Syria and completely withdraw US troops from the country, amid criticism from some Republicans and concern from allies and some US military commanders.

In early morning tweets, Trump said he was fulfilling a promise from his 2016 presidential campaign to leave Syria. Echoing a central plank of his foreign policy – that he seeks to stop the United States being taken advantage of – he said the United States was doing the work of other countries, including Russia and Iran, with little in return.

“Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight,” he tweeted.

The United States is also ending its air campaign against the militants in Syria, US officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Trump had pledged to withdraw from Syria if elected, but the abrupt announcement on Wednesday to withdraw the roughly 2,000 US troops from Syria caught US lawmakers and others by surprise. The White House declined to offer a timeline for the departure.

Some of Trump’s fellow Republicans strongly criticized the move, saying they were not briefed ahead of time and that the move strengthened the hand of Russia and Iran, which both support Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told Reuters that US commanders on the ground are also concerned about the impact of a quick withdrawal and were surprised by the decision.

Trump’s move also drew criticism from some US allies, including Britain and France, which said ISIS terrorists had not been defeated and that its troops would remain in Syria.

The void left by the US withdrawal could undermine diplomatic efforts to end Syria’s eight-year civil war and undercut the United States’ leverage in the region as well as leave it few options if ISIS surges again.

“ISIS hits us they are doomed!” Trump tweeted.

ISIS, which declared its so-called caliphate in 2014 after seizing large areas of Syria and Iraq, was down to its last 1 percent of the territory it once held in Syria and has no territory in Iraq, a senior US official last week. But US officials have warned that retaking territory is not the same as defeating the militants.

In a campaign to defeat the group in Syria, former President Barack Obama ordered air strikes from September 2014 and then troops into the country the following year.

Some US lawmakers, including some Democrats, backed Wednesday’s announced withdrawal but said Congress needed to play a larger role in overseeing such military operations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday welcomed Trump’s decision and said he largely agreed that ISIS had been defeated.

Trump, however, said Russia – as well as Iran and Syria – were unhappy about the US withdrawal “because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us.”

Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy said Trump’s statements appeared in conflict: “Wait a minute… I thought we defeated ISIS. Why would Russia, Iran and Syria have to fight them if they’re defeated?” he tweeted in reply to Trump.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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huge blow to British leader Theresa May Brexit secretary Dominic Raab quits over EU withdrawal agreement

खास बातें

  1. पहले उत्तरी आयरलैंड के मंत्री शैलेश वारा ने दिया था इस्तीफा.
  2. राब ने कहा कि वह समझौते के मसौदे का समर्थन नहीं कर सकते.
  3. टेरेसा ने बुधवार बैठक में मंत्रिमंडल की सामूहिक मंजूरी हासिल की थी.

लंदन: ब्रिटेन की प्रधानमंत्री टेरेसा मे को गुरुवार को करारा झटका लगा है. यूरोपीय संघ (ईयू) से अलग होने के लिए प्रस्तावित समझौते को लेकर डोमिनिक राब ने ब्रेक्जिट मंत्री के पद से इस्तीफा दे दिया. संसद में ब्रेक्जिट समझौते पर सभी को राजी करने की तैयारी कर रहीं टेरेसा को इस खबर से राहत मिली कि यूरोप इस समझौते के लिए एक सम्मेलन की तैयारी में है. हालांकि, टेरेसा का संकट उस समय बढ़ गया जब राब ने कहा कि वह समझौते के मसौदे का समर्थन नहीं कर सकते. 

राब ने कहा, ‘घोषणापत्र में हमने देश से जो वादे किए थे, उसके बाद में प्रस्तावित सौदे की शर्तों पर समझौता नहीं कर सकते हैं. आप ऐसे ब्रेक्जिट मंत्री के हकदार हैं जो आपके समझौते को दृढता के साथ आगे बढ़ा सके. मुझे पक्का इस्तीफा देना चाहिए.’ टेरेसा की कैबिनेट से गुरुवार को यह दूसरा इस्तीफा है. इससे पहले उत्तरी आयरलैंड के मंत्री शैलेश वारा ने भी समझौते को लेकर पद से इस्तीफा दे दिया. 

ब्रेक्जिट विधेयक बना कानून, ब्रिटेन को यूरोपीय संघ छोड़ने की अनुमति मिली

ब्रिटेन की प्रधानमंत्री टेरेसा ने बुधवार को पांच घंटे तक चली बैठक के दौरान अपने मंत्रिमंडल की सामूहिक मंजूरी हासिल की थी. इस मंजूरी ने कारोबारी समुदाय की चिंताओं को दूर करने में मदद की है. टेरेसा संसद के निचले सदन ‘हाउस ऑफ कॉमन्स’ में यूरोपीय संघ के साथ ब्रेक्जिट समझौते के मसौदे के प्रावधान पेश करेंगी. इस सदन को 29 मार्च को ‘ब्रेक्जिट दिवस’ से पहले इस समझौते को मंजूरी देनी है. 

यूरोपीय संघ के अध्यक्ष डोनाल्ड टस्क ने ब्रसेल्स में कहा कि ब्रिटेन के साथ ब्रेक्जिट समझौते पर हस्ताक्षर करने के लिए संघ 25 नवंबर को विशेष सम्मेलन का आयोजन करेगा. टस्क की इस घोषणा से टेरेसा मे को कुछ राहत मिलेगी क्योंकि इस बीच वह संसद में ब्रेक्जिट समझौते के लिए सभी को राजी करने पर काम कर रही हैं. आशंका है कि संसद में टेरेसा को ब्रेक्जिट और यूरोपीय संघ दोनों का समर्थन करने वालों के विरोध का समान रूप से सामना करना पड़ेगा. इस बीच, पेरिस से मिली खबर के अनुसार, फ्रांस के वित्त मंत्री ब्रूनो ली मैरे ने कहा कि प्रस्तावित ब्रेक्जिट समझौता ‘फ्रेंच अर्थव्यवस्था के लिए अच्छी खबर’ है लेकिन पेरिस को इसके क्रियान्वयन पर नजर रखनी होगी. उन्होंने कहा कि तथ्य यह है कि समझौता फ्रेंच अर्थव्यवस्था, सभी फ्रेंच फर्मों के लिए अच्छी खबर है. यह सबके हित में है कि ब्रेक्जिट सही ढंग से आगे बढ़े.

पहली बार संसद में रोबोट ने पेश की रिपोर्ट, ट्विटर यूजर्स ने उड़ाया प्रधानमंत्री का मजाक


इस्तीफे के बाद गिरा पाउंड

राब के इस्तीफे के बाद डॉलर के मुकाबले पाउंड के मूल्य में करीब एक प्रतिशत की कमी आई है जबकि मंगलवार को मसौदा समझौता सामने आने के बाद से इसके मूल्य में वृद्धि हुई थी. 

(इस खबर को एनडीटीवी टीम ने संपादित नहीं किया है. यह सिंडीकेट फीड से सीधे प्रकाशित की गई है।)

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UGC Releases Fee Refund Guideline; 100% Fee Refund For Admission Withdrawal

New Delhi: 

UGC has issued the guidelines to be followed for fee refund in case of withdrawal of admission. The rule shall be applicable to undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs run by universities included under Section 2 (f) of UGC Act, together with all colleges under their affiliating domain and institutions declared as Deemed to be Universities under Section 3 of the UGC Act. The guidelines also cover retention of original certificates by Higher Education Institutes at the time of admission. 

The decision about fee-refund was announced by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar during an interaction with media on October 10, 2018. 

“Now no student will be required to submit any original academic and personal certificates at the time of submission of admission form and Students’ will get refund of fee from the Institution if they withdraw their admission from the programme,” the minister had said. 

The guidelines state that Higher Education Institutes can not make it mandatory for students to purchase institutional prospectus. As per the Right to Information Act 2005, and also reiterated by UGC, all HEIs have to disclose institute related information, i.e. course details, affiliation details, intake capacity etc. on its official website. 

HEIs can not charge fees for any semester/year other than the one in which a student is to engage in academic activities.

In case of withdrawal of admission, the following rules will be applicable for refund of fee:

100% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw 15 days or morebefore the formally notified last date of admission. Not more than 5% of the fees paid by the student, subject to a maximum of Rs. 5000, will be deducted as processing charges.

90% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw less than 15 days before the formally notified last date of admission.

80% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw within 15 days or less after the formally notified last date of admission.

50% fee refund: in case a student decides to withdraw between 16 days and 30 days after the formally notified last date of admission.

NIL: in case a student decides to withdraw after 30 days of the formally notified last date of admission.

HEIs can not ask students to submit original certificates at the time of admission. HEIs shall physically verify the original certificates at the time of admission and return the same immediately. The self-attested certificates of students will be held valid and authentic. In  case, a HEI doubts the authenticity of the certificates they can approach the concerned University or Board which issued the certificate but original certificate can not be retained under any circumstance. 

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Miranda House Students Demand Withdrawal Of Curfew Hours

Miranda House students are demanding no curfew restrictions at night. (File photo)

Pinjra Tod, a students’ collective, protested outside Miranda House College on Tuesday, demanding no curfew restrictions at night.

They claimed the college had put up notices stating “residents can return to the hostel at any time of the night on a night-out and short-notice/emergency night-outs can be availed by filling in a form at the gate and (there) is not need (for) one day advance notice”.

“These new changes are important ‘relaxations’ in the existing rules, but we really refuse to get dragged into this bureaucratic non-sense, which continues to reinforce power in the hands of the administration,” the agitators said.

The students said they would organise an all-night sit-in at the Miranda House College gate in defiance of the curfew.

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