Bengaluru news highlights: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai Thursday said his government plans to introduce a new employment policy soon, which will give impetus to job creation and reduce unemployment in the State. He also said there is a need to upgrade higher education and professional courses to global learning standards and hence the Higher Education and Skills Development Departments are working in unison to this effect.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Thursday approved the contentious anti-conversion bill amidst opposition from Congress leaders. It will now be sent to the council for approval. Law Minister J C Madhuswamy had earlier locked horns with former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Siddharamaiah, with the former alleging that the bill was conceived during the latter’s tenure. The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion Bill, has several contentious provisions, including a maximum punishment of 10 years of imprisonment for forcible conversion of persons from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe communities, minors and women, to another religion.
Even as the House was debating the passage of the bill, news broke that a church in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur district was vandalised by miscreants early Thursday morning.
Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar said Thursday that 12 new cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been detected in the state, taking the total tally of variant cases to 31. Ten of the 12 news cases have been detected in Bengaluru, while one each have been detected in Mysuru and Mangalore, said the Minister on Twitter. Most of the patients are UK returnees
Departure of 35 flights from Bengaluru airport were delayed due to the poor weather conditions. Authorities said that fog-related visibility issues continue at the Kempegowda International Airport.
According to airport officials, one incoming Air India flight from Kuala Lumpur was diverted to Kannur in north Kerala.
Leader of Opposition and former chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah on Thursday said that the anti-conversion bill introduced by the BJP government in the state is identical to those of states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
In the Winter Session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in Belagavi, Siddaramaiah argued that there was no necessity to introduce the bill as section 295 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) already protects from conversion with malafide intentions.
“The bill is very much identical to those tabled in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. To an extent that the wordings have also remained the same,” said Siddaramaiah. He expressed his suspicion that the same set of people might have drafted all these bills. (Read more)
THE ANTI-CONVERSION Bill, cleared on Thursday took shape during the BJP rule under B S Yediyurappa in 2012. But provisions in the draft of the previous version were less stringent.
After preparing the draft of the Karnataka Dharma Swatantrya Act, 2012, the state Law Commission sent it to the Law Department for scrutiny on September 21, 2013, a few months after the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government came to power. After clearance, the draft was supposed to come up for discussion before Cabinet in 2016. However, the then government did not take it up.
The previous draft did not consider conversion by marriage unlawful. Also, the burden of proof was on the prosecution. (Read more)
A new study by Azim Premji University underlined that the social sector organisations (SSOs) which were able to support communities with provision of immediate humanitarian relief, healthcare support and creating awareness about the coronavirus and related aspects were affected by the sudden disruptions triggered by the pandemic.
“There was a significant reduction in funding available to SSOs, and the lockdown and social distancing protocols affected their own staff and programmes, forcing them to adopt newer ways of functioning,” the report said. (Read more)
Power supplies at several parts of Bengaluru are currently cut off due to scheduled maintenance work by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), said officials.
In the East zone of the city a power cut is scheduled from 10 am to 6 pm and affected areas are Jogupalya, Ilpe Thopu, Sondowda Road, St.John's Road, Rukmini Colony, Dasappa Colony and Gangadhar Chetty Road. (Read more)
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said his government plans to introduce a new employment policy soon, which will give impetus to job creation and reduce unemployment in the State.
Speaking after inaugurating the Jobs Fair at the Gogte Engineering College in Belagavi held under the auspices of the Skills Development Corporation, Bommai said jobless youths were being given an honorary employment dole to encourage them to find employment. The government will henceforth encourage such institutions which are engaged in generating higher number of employment opportunities, he said. (PTI)
The Group of Ministers (GoM) on GST rate rationalisation is likely to submit its final report by February, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who heads it, said Thursday.
The Chief Minister said this while replying to a debate on the supplementary estimates worth Rs 3,577 crore that was passed in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly today. "I have held two meetings of the GoM so far, there are opposition states also, and I'm happy to say that I've been able to take everybody along - CPI, Congress, BJP and others. We've been successful in bringing everybody on the same platform, as everybody works for public interest," Bommai said.
He also said that he expects the revenues to go up after the rates are rationalised. (PTI)
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Thursday said that 11 new cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been detected in the state, taking the total tally of variant cases to 32.
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Just in: Karnataka Legislative Assembly approves anti-conversion bill amid opposition from the Congress. The bill will now be sent to the council for approval.
The House was adjourned after the bill was passed.
An earthquake of magnitude 3.6 was recorded in Karnataka's Chikkaballapura district Thuraday afternoon. No casualties have been reported.
"As per the Seismic Intensity map of the said Earthquake from the Epicentre, the intensity observed is moderate and the tremor might be felt up to a maximum radial distance of 20-30 kms from the epicentre. This type of earthquake do not create any harm to the local community, although there may be slight shaking observed locally as the region falls in a hard rock granitoid & gneissic terrain wherein the possibility of damages due to earthquakes is less. Also, the region is void of any structural discontinuities as per the Tectonic map. The Community need not panic as the intensity observed is moderate and not destructive," Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre said in a statement.
On Wednesday, two earthquakes of magnitude 2.9 and 3.0 were recorded in the same district.
The Karnataka government Wednesday announced a reduction of the tax levied on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) from the existing 28% to 18% with effect from January 1, 2022. A notification to the tune was issued by the Finance Department.
This comes a week after the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) reduced ATF prices. The government’s move to reduce ATF price is expected to help airlines operating out of the Bengaluru airport. (Read more)
Karnataka Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader and former chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah said that the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 or popularly known as anti-conversion bill is identical with Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Siddaramaiah argued that there was no necessity to introduce the bill as section 295 (a) of Indian Penal Code already protects from conversion with malafide intentions. IPC 295(a) states "Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs."
He said, "the bill is very much identical from the one which is tabled in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. To an extent that the wordings have also remained the same." He expressed his suspicion that it might be the same set of people who are behind drafting the bill.
While Karnataka is the 9th state to table the bill before the house, Siddaramaiah said that this may end up getting a stay from court of law just like how it happened in Gujarat.
Mumbai Police have arrested a man from Bengaluru for allegedly threatening Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray, an official said on Thursday.
The accused, identified as Jaisingh Rajput, was apprehended by the Mumbai crime branch's cyber team on Saturday and brought to Mumbai, he said. Aaditya Thackeray is the son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Rajput allegedly called the minister on Dec 8, but the latter did not receive the call. The accused then sent threatening text messages to the minister, the official said.
During the investigation, the cyber police traced the caller's mobile number to Bengaluru in neighbouring Karnataka. Accordingly, a team was sent to Bengaluru where the accused person was arrested, the official said. He was later produced before a court which sent him in police custody. The accused was a fan of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the official said. (PTI)
The Karnataka legislative Assembly Thursday took up for discussion The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly referred to as the anti-conversion Bill. It prohibits conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, fraud, allurement or marriage.
The Bill states, “No person shall convert or attempt to convert either directly or otherwise any other person from one religion to another by use of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire for conversions.”
It, however, provides an exemption in the case of a person who “reconverts to his immediate previous religion” as “the same shall not be deemed to be a conversion under this Act”. (Read more)
While discussing the anti-conversion bill in Assembly, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government and Opposition leaders traded harsh words, leading to occasional chaos in the House. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly is discussing the Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion bill, in its winter session in Belagavi.
Speaking on the issue, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that the bill is being tabled to prevent forced and lured conversion. Joining him, state Minister of Law, Parliamentary affairs and Legislation J C Madhuswamy said that the bill was introduced to bring ‘public order’ and that it is not against the Constitution.
However, Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah objected to the bill. Chaos ensued after Madhuswamy showed the law commission of Karnataka report which was prepared in 2016 over the Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion draft during Siddaramaiah’s tenure as Chief Minister. (Read more)
Two units of the Karnataka police department – the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the City Crime Branch (CCB) of the Bengaluru police – were virtually at loggerheads during the investigations on cases related to hacker Srikrishna Ramesh alias Sriki.
This was revealed by the CID chargesheet into the hacking and theft of Rs 11.5 crore from the Karnataka government’s e-governance cell following Sriki’s arrest on November 14, 2020.
The chargesheet reveals that the CID sent seven letters to the CCB unit that arrested the hacker, seeking data from computer devices belonging to him and approached a court on two occasions before it was eventually handed over. The chargesheet also reveals that the CID could not obtain custody of the hacker on one occasion in December 2020 – despite obtaining a body warrant – on account of the CCB obtaining his custody for one of its cases. (Read more)
The Bengaluru Urban district, excluding Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, has achieved 100% coverage of both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, Karnataka Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K said Thursday.
"Bengaluru Urban (excluding BBMP) has become the FIRST DISTRICT in Karnataka to achieve 100% SECOND DOSE COVERAGE! Congratulations to all the health workers and the district administration for this remarkable feat!," the Minister wrote on Twitter.
He added that the state has vaccinated 75% of its adult population with both vaccine doses.
A church in Karnataka's Chikkaballapur district was attacked by miscreants.
This attack comes amid discussion of "anti-conversion bill" in the state assembly today. A police complaint has been filed by the church in local police station.
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Wednesday discussed ways to regulate the proceedings, aimed at facilitating fruitful discussion with greater participation from members, as Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri reminded legislators about their responsibilities and conduct, and warned that "future generations will not forgive us".
With several legislators urging the government to hold the sessions for a longer duration, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the government will certainly consider it in future occasions.
"This House has to think very seriously....there is pride and dignity of this House, this is the temple that fulfills the expectations and aspirations of the people, and our conduct should be befitting to it," Kageri said. (PTI)
The contentious "anti-conversion bill" will be taken up for consideration and passage in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly Thursday, which is likely to witness stiff resistance from opposition parties, especially the Congress.
The bill titled "Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021", was introduced in the assembly Tuesday. The bill was originally slated to come up for consideration on Wednesday evening, but the House with consent of all parties decided to take it up on Thursday morning. (PTI)
With the detection of four new Covid cases due to Omicron at an apartment at Koramangala in Bengaluru, Karnataka’s tally of the new variant of coronavirus has risen to 23. A 26-year-old traveller from the United Kingdom and three of her family members have been tested positive for Omicron.
Officials from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said that the UK traveller flew to Bengaluru with a negative RT-PCR certificate on December 12. (Read more)
The Karnataka government has reduced the tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) from the existing 28% to 18%, with effect from Jan 1, 2022.
The Karnataka government has issued notification slashing the tax rate by the Finance Department.
Last week, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had reduced ATF prices.The government move to reduce ATF price is expected to help airlines operating out of the Bengaluru International Airport.
Pro-Kannada organisations have called for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka on December 31 against the recent vandalisation of the statue of renowned Kannada warrior and freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna in Belagavi.
The statue was allegedly defaced by activists of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES). A series of retaliatory skirmishes have taken place in recent days between Kannada and Marathi activists in parts of Karnataka as well as Maharashtra. (Read more)
Bengaluru Archbishop Peter Machado said, “Karnataka is a progressive state in the country and has to give out a message to others that it is open to privacy, dignity and human rights.”
Hundreds of people from at least 40 socio-political organisations Wednesday took out a protest march in Bengaluru against the Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly known as the anti-conversion Bill. The march commenced from Mysore Bank Circle and ended at Freedom Park. (Read more)
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Welcome to the live blog from Bengaluru where we bring to you the latest updates on Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka politics, Covid-19, BBMP and more across Bengaluru and Karnataka. Follow the blog and @IEBengaluru to stay up to date with the state in real time.