Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments at the Centre and the State for “utterly failing at governance” during its four years in power, the Maharashtra Pradesh Yuva Congress on Wednesday held a state-wide ‘mock’ yoga protest targeting the governments for failing to deliver on it’s promises.“The Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-Sena government at the State are misleading youth. None of the pre-electoral promises touted by them have been fulfilled. Instead, fake statistics showing fantastic employment generation figures are being published by both the Centre and the State,” said Satyajeet Tambe, president, MPYC, who led the agitation in Aurangabad district.Youth Congress workers lampooned Mr. Modi’s fondness for yoga, and performed a number of mock ‘asanas’ like ‘berozgari asan’ (to protest against unemployment), Rafale asan (on the Rafale jet fighter deal) and mehengai asan (to condemn the rising fuel prices) among several others in a two-hour mock agitation simultaneously across the State including Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Thane. With an eye on general and Assembly elections due next year, the protest also doubled up as a voter outreach programme to connect with the youth across the State.“The two crore jobs promised by PM Modi and the BJP are nowhere to be seen even after four years of the party’s rule,” Mr. Tambe said, remarking that merely signing a several Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements amounted to nothing.He further alleged that the BJP government’s much-vaunted programmes like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ had come to a cropper.“There is no sign of any fresh investment or employment generation through such ambitious ventures. Furthermore, the government seems completely apathetic about taking any action on granting reservation to the Maratha, Dhangar and Muslim communities,” Mr. Tambe said.To protest against the Modi government’s alleged crackdown on dissent, the Youth Congress workers performed a ‘trollasan’ and a ‘bhakt asan’ to satirize the acolytes of the Prime Minister. They also did a ‘maun asan’ to rebut the BJP and Prime Minister Modi’s bitter criticism of former PM Manmohan Singh for allegedly remaining ‘silent’ all the while.“Mr. Singh’s actions spoke louder than his words. But Mr. Modi conveniently remains silent on issues that matter and instead delivers speeches making tall claims which have turned out to be hollow,” said Brijkishore Dutt, general secretary, State Youth Congress.
CALGARY – The parents of a man shot dead by police have lost a bid for a judicial review of a decision not to lay charges.Anthony Heffernan was holding a syringe and a lighter when a Calgary officer shot him four times — twice in the head — in a hotel room in March 2015. Police had been called in after the 27-year-old failed to check out of his room.The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team initially found there were grounds to charge the officer with a criminal offence.The Crown later determined a conviction was unlikely and no charges would be laid.Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Henderson dismissed the application of Pat and Irene Heffernan for a review. The judge said there was no evidence suggesting an abuse of process by the Crown.“The applicants have understandably suffered a significant loss and nothing in this decision is intended to minimize the extent of their grief,” Henderson said in a written decision this week.“The Crown’s decision deserves deference. A reviewing court is specifically prohibited from micro-managing or second-guessing the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”The parents’ lawyer Tom Engel said Wednesday that he won’t be appealing the decision.They will wait and see what happens with the police force’s internal disciplinary process, as well as a fatality inquiry. The family has also filed a civil suit.“If new evidence comes out of these processes in the future, we can always go back and try again to see if we can get a judge to review the Crown’s decision not to prosecute,” Engel said.“The Heffernans are determined to ensure that these officers are held accountable.”Heffernan appeared to be in a drug-induced state when officers arrived that day and he refused demands to drop the syringe.One officer fired a Taser at Heffernan but it didn’t work. A second officer was preparing to hit Heffernan again with the stun gun, when another officer fired his gun six times.Four bullets struck Heffernan, one hit a wall and one hit the floor.The serious incident response team reported that the syringe — without a needle tip — was recovered from underneath Heffernan’s body. An autopsy found marks consistent with a history of intravenous drug use and toxicology tests revealed cocaine in his system.His family had argued that the officer fired recklessly and wildly. They also pointed out that four other officers in the room did not find it necessary to use lethal force.The Crown told the court that it had considered all evidence in the shooting, including that Heffernan was agitated and had moved quickly at the officers. The Crown also said it was reasonable for officers to believe a needle was attached to the syringe and could have caused serious injury.The force last May, after six fatal police shootings over two years, announced an independent review of its use of lethal force.
APTN National NewsThe Native Women’s Centre in Hamilton has been forced to make the tough decision to close its transitional housing program.Now, it is scrambling to find housing for its clients.APTN’s Delany Windigo has this story.