Rahul says Ke­jri try­ing to dis­turb peace in Pun­jab Par­ents of ‘ugly’ girls pay dowry, says HSC text­book PAST ER­RORS

CAM­PAIGN­ING ENDS Delhi CM hits back; Pun­jab and Goa go to polls to­mor­row

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Chitleen K Sethi let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Puja Ped­nekar puja.ped­nekar@hin­dus­tan­times.com Sadaguru Pan­dit and Bhadra Sinha ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Congress vice pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi on Thurs­day ac­cused AAP chief Arvind Ke­jri­wal of al­legedly help­ing “forces” seek­ing to push Pun­jab back into mil­i­tancy, prompt­ing a sharp re­tort from the Delhi chief min­is­ter in a high-volt­age end to cam­paign­ing in the state.

Vot­ing will be held on Fe­bru­ary 4 for 117 as­sem­bly seats in the state, once the coun­try’s food bowl but reel­ing un­der grow­ing un­em­ploy­ment and drug abuse among its youth.

The rul­ing SAD-BJP al­liance is bat­tling anti-in­cum­bancy af­ter ten years in power and is ex­pected to face a tough fight from a re­ju­ve­nated Congress led by for­mer chief min­is­ter Cap­tain Amarinder Singh.

An­a­lysts have warned against writ­ing off Ke­jri­wal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is look­ing to ex­pand its foot­prints be­yond Delhi.

Cam­paign­ing was marred by the death of six peo­ple in an ex­plo­sion, be­lieved to a car bomb, at Maur in Bathinda on Tues­day and the killing of a right-wing Hindu leader in Lud­hi­ana on Jan­uary 14.

“(A) bomb blast took place and Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi talks to vil­lagers dur­ing an elec­tion rally in San­grur on Thurs­day.

six peo­ple died. Arvind Ke­jri­wal… is help­ing these forces and help­ing them raise their head. And this is most dan­ger­ous thing for Pun­jab,” Gandhi said at Lambi, the con­stituency of chief min­is­ter Parkash Singh Badal, who will face Amarinder Singh in the polls.

“If these forces raise their head again, then en­tire agenda will be hi­jacked and Pun­jab will look in some other di­rec­tion,” Gandhi said, re­fer­ring to the armed Khal­is­tan move­ment of the eight­ies that had left hun­dreds of peo­ple dead.

In a se­ries of pub­lic ral­lies in the po­lit­i­cally cru­cial Malwa belt, the Congress leader also at­tacked the rul­ing Badal fam­ily, shortly af­ter shar­ing lunch with res­i­dents of a San­grur vil­lage.

Af­ter em­bar­rass­ing gaffes in his­tory and ge­og­ra­phy text­books — Arunachal Pradesh was shown to be a part of China — the Ma­ha­rash­tra state ed­u­ca­tion board has once again courted controversy. This time, it is for a Class 12 so­ci­ol­ogy text­book that lists “ug­li­ness of the girl” as one of the rea­sons for a ma­jor so­cial prob­lem in the coun­try — dowry.

Ma­ha­rash­tra ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Vinod Tawde, how­ever, brushed off the controversy by say­ing he would re­view the sit­u­a­tion, but such terms aren’t wrong and shouldn’t be taken ‘out-of-con­text’.

A par­tic­u­larly in­sen­si­tive para­graph from chap­ter 3 of the book reads: “If a girl is ugly and hand­i­capped, it be­comes very dif­fi­cult for her to get mar­ried. To marry her, the girl’s bride­groom and his fam­ily de­mand more dowry. The help­less par­ents of such girls are then forced to pay up…”

In the se­cond such case this year, a Navi Mum­bai res­i­dent has pe­ti­tioned the Supreme Court to al­low her to abort an ab­nor­mal foe­tus af­ter the le­gal dead­line of 20 weeks.

The 22-year-old housewife from Vashi has told the court that the foe­tus has an ab­nor­mal­ity that gives it lit­tle or no chance to sur­vive af­ter birth.

The pe­ti­tioner’s coun­sel Sneha Mukher­jee men­tioned the case on Thurs­day be­fore a bench headed by Chief Jus­tice JS Khe­har and pressed for an early hear­ing. The case will come up on Fri­day. The pe­ti­tioner has taken le­gal re­course be­cause the law does not al­low ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy be­yond 20 weeks.

How­ever, in this case, the 23-week-old foe­tus does not have kid­neys.

Dr Nikhil Datar, the pe­ti­tioner’s doc­tor, said the foe­tus was di­ag­nosed with a con­di­tion known as bi­lat­eral re­nal age­n­e­sis (ab­sence of both kid­neys) in the 21st week of preg­nancy. “She was fol­low­ing up reg­u­larly, but missed one spe­cific ul­tra­sound scan. The con­di­tion was di­ag­nosed af­ter 20 weeks and the par­ents wanted to ter­mi­nate the preg­nancy. Hence I ad­vised the le­gal re­course,” said Datar, who has been as­sist­ing par­ents with tech­ni­cal and med­i­cal guid­ance for ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy af­ter the 20-week cut off pe­riod.

The Med­i­cal Ter­mi­na­tion of Preg­nancy Act, 1971, al­lows abor­tion only up to 20 weeks of ges­ta­tion.

BHARAT BHUSHAN/HT

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