Mumbai: The confusion, it seems, was over Roy and Tolstoy. The Bombay High Court on Thursday said it knew that Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ was a literary classic and that it didn’t mean to suggest that all the books seized by police in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case were incriminating. The clarification by Justice Sarang Kotwal came a day after he asked accused Vernon Gonsalves to explain why he kept “objectionable material” like a copy of “War and Peace” at his home. Also Read – Ahead of Xi’s visit, China says Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally; drops UN references The counsel for a co-accused told the court that the ‘War and Peace’ that the court had referred to on Wednesday was a collection of essays edited by Biswajit Roy, titled War and Peace in Junglemahal: People, State and Maoists. That book (according to its publishers), is a “collection of essays by well-known activists and academics including mediators and examines the failed peace initiatives in context of the governments’ elitist developmental policies, doublespeak of parliamentary parties and Maoists’ follies.” Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize The judge’s purported remarks had stirred up thousands of reactions on Twitter. The hashtag #WarAndPeace was trending on the social media platform during the day. The court’s comments on Thursday came after the counsel for Gonsalves informed it that none of the books seized from the activist’s residence last year were banned by the government in accordance with CrPC provisions. Justice Kotwal said, “I knew that Tolstoy’s War and Peace was a literary classic.I was reading the whole list from the panchnama attached to the chargesheet. It was written in such poor handwriting. I know War and Peace. And thereI was making a query (on why Gonsalves had copies of these books) but did not want to suggest that everything was incriminating.” The counsel for co-accused Sudha Bahrdwaj, Yug Chaudhary, said that on Wednesday, the court was referring to the book by Roy (and not the one by Tolstoy). The judge then said, “There were so many references to war and other titles. Before I went to ‘War and Peace’, I made a reference to Rajya Daman (another book) too. Can a judge not ask any questions in court?” Gonsalves told the court that he owned 2,000 books and none of these books, including the ones seized from his home by the Pune police, were banned. Gonsalves’ counsel Mihir Desai informed the court that police were in possession of these allegedly incriminating books for a year now but had done nothing about it. “These books that the police call incriminating are not banned under section 95 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In fact, they are all available on (online retailer) Amazon. It is possible that the government did not know about these books until they seized them from me (Gonsalves),” Desai said. “So, having these books will not show that I am in anyway associated with any banned organisation,” he said. The court said Desai had “made his point” on the seizure of these books and CDs by arguing that they were not banned material. The arguments are likely to continue on Friday. On Wednesday, the court had asked Gonsalves, “War and Peace is about war in another country. Why were you keeping these books at your house.” The judge had also referred to a CD titled “Rajya Dhaman Virodhi” and said the title “clearly suggested” it is material against the state. “Why were you keeping this in your house,” he had asked Gonsalves. Tolstoy’s classic novel about Russia during Napoleonic wars became a point of contention during Wednesday’s hearing after the Pune Police probing the case claimed that the book was part of the “highly incriminating evidence” it had seized from Gonsalves’ house in Mumbai during raids conducted last year. Police had also read out the titles of several other books and CDs allegedly recovered from Gonsalves’ house which included CDs titled ‘Rajya Daman Virodhi’ released by Kabir Kala Manch, ‘Marxist Archives’ and ‘Jai Bhima Comrade’; books ‘War and Peace’, ‘Understanding Maoists’ and ‘RCP Review’, and copies of a circular issued by the National Study Circle. “The title of the CD ‘Rajya Daman Virodhi’ itself suggests it has something against the State while ‘War and Peace’ is about a war in another country. Why did you (Gonsalves) keep objectionable material such as books like ‘War and Peace’, books and CDs at home? You will have to explain this to the court,” Justice Kotwal had said. Gonsalves was arrested by the Pune police under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after raids at residences and offices of several activists in connection with the Elgar Parishad case. The police had claimed provocative speeches made at the Parishad on December 31, 2017 were responsible for the caste violence around Koregaon Bhima village in Pune district the next day during an event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima. Dalits celebrate the anniversary of the Koregaon Bhima battle every year as they believe that the Army of the British comprising ‘Mahars’ or scheduled caste soldiers had defeated the forces of the Brahmin Peshwas.
Applications for US unemployment aid rise to 6-month high by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Jan 21, 2016 6:35 am MDT Last Updated Jan 21, 2016 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since July, though applications remained at historically low levels.THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 293,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased to 285,000, the highest since April. The number of Americans receiving aid has fallen nearly 9 per cent in the past year to 2.2 million.THE TAKEAWAY: The applications figure remains below 300,000, where it has stood since last March. That is a low level that points to few layoffs. Yet it has increased nearly 10 per cent in the past month. The rise could reflect volatility in the data after the winter holidays, when many temporary retail employees are laid off. The government adjusts the figures to reflect those seasonal trends, but isn’t always able to do so perfectly.KEY DRIVERS: Global financial markets have plunged since the year began over fears that world economic growth is slowing by more than most analysts expected. A sharp plunge in oil prices has also unnerved investors, who see it as a potential sign of slower growth.Applications for unemployment aid are a proxy for layoffs and can indicate whether businesses are sufficiently nervous about the economy to cut jobs. Some companies have announced job cuts in recent weeks, including Johnson & Johnson, Regions Bank and Aeropostale.Last week’s rise in applications “is not a big move, but it is enough to be concerning,” said Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at High Frequency Economics. “The data are starting to suggest some slowing. Claims will be very important to watch in coming weeks.”BIG PICTURE: Even with all the gloom in financial markets, consumers are still willing to splash out on restaurant meals, autos and travel, providing crucial support to the economy. That is helping to offset the impact of a strong dollar and slower overseas growth, which has hurt manufacturers.So far, most economists expect the U.S. economy to continue growing this year, though at a slow pace, despite the headwinds from overseas. FILE – In this May 30, 2013, file photo, job seekers line up to talk to recruiters during a job fair held in Atlanta. On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits a week earlier. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)
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