Monday, Oct 23 2017 | Time 17:21 Hrs(IST)
image
  • BJP dismisses Alpesh joining Congress: Calls Opposition party "Drame-baz"
  • Former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma appointed Centre's representative to hold dialogue with stakeholders in J & K
  • Real estate market quite stable in Hyderabad: Ravinder Rao
  • 16 spl trains between Kacheguda-Kakinada Port, Kacheguda-Krishnarajapuram
  • Iraq's Kurdistan region delays elections
  • 20th ICFFI to be held in Hyderabad from Nov 8
  • 10 district hospitals in UP to be upgraded to medical colleges : Tandon
  • UP minister inaugurates school for unprivileged
  • Rajini, Kamal supports 'Mersal'
  • Paika Rebellion in Odisha is first freedom movement of country- Javedkar
  • TTV supports 'Mersal', Tamizhisai says she is getting threatening calls
  • Victory for Abenomics lifts world stocks, dollar" data
  • BJD prepared to have an alliance with Congress to defeat BJP- Rout
  • Abe's big win reassures euro zone bond investors in key ECB week
  • SBI , Escorts sign MoU for financing Tractors
World Share

On Putin's birthday, opposition activists protest, call for him to quit

By Vladimir Soldatkin and Jack Stubbs

MOSCOW/ST PETERSBURG, Oct 7 (Reuters) Police detained more than 200 opposition activists on Saturday for taking part in a wave of anti-Kremlin protests across Russia in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, ahead of a presidential election in March, a monitoring group reported.

Under grey skies and intermittent rain, over two thousand people gathered in central Moscow's Pushkin Square and chanted "Russia will be free" and "Russia without Putin" before walking towards the Kremlin and parliament.

Police briefly detained a few people, but did not charge anyone. It was a different story at rallies in other cities however, and the OVD-Info monitoring group, a non-profit organisation, said at least 262 people had been detained in 27 towns.

In St Petersburg, Putin's home town, a Reuters witness saw riot police roughly detain at least 11 people. OVD-Info said at least 66 people had been detained in the city.

Navalny, who is serving a 20-day jail term for violating rules on public meetings, called the rally in Moscow and other cities to coincide with Putin's 65th birthday.

Putin, who has dominated Russia's political landscape for almost 18 years, is widely expected to run for what would be his fourth term.

Navalny hopes to run too, despite the central election commission declaring him ineligible due to a suspended prison sentence he says was politically-motivated.

One of the Moscow protesters held a homemade poster of Putin sitting on a mountain of banknotes, wearing a crown with the legend: "Happy Birthday you little thief!"

Others carried posters citing their right to protest, some waved Russian flags, and a few carried inflatable yellow ducks, a jokey reference to Navalny accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of owning a lavish estate with a duck house.

Medvedev called the claims politically-motivated nonsense.

In St Petersburg, some 1,500 activists waving red and white banners gathered in a square before heading for the city's main street shouting "Putin is a thief" and "Free Navalny".

PROTESTS MORE MODEST IN SIZE

The size of Saturday's Moscow rally and others across Russia looked far more modest than Navalny-backed mass protests in March and June, which were widely recognised to be some of the biggest since 2012.

Many of the Moscow protesters were teenagers or in their twenties.

Carrying a yellow duck, Ulugbek Apsapayev, 17, said he had turned up because he wanted a better future for Russia.

"The duck is a sign that we support Alexei Navalny who also wants only good things for the country. But unfortunately we only have Vladimir Putin and his gang in power."

Putin is popular across the country however, especially outside major cities where his strong leadership style and tough foreign policy stance go down well. He is expected to confirm later this year that he will run for another six-year term.

Opinion polls show he would comfortably beat Navalny if the opposition leader was allowed to run. Navalny says such polls are meaningless because there is no fair political competition.

Putin spent his birthday taking congratulatory calls from other world leaders, and chaired a security council meeting.
Authorities had refused to approve most of Saturday's rallies, but Navalny says Russians' right to protest is enshrined in the constitution.

A Reuters reporter at a rally in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg saw police detain at least eight people among a crowd of over 1,000 protesters.

REUTERS PS 2320
Top News
Afghan Prez Ghani's India visit to review partnership, take steps to combat terrorism

Afghan Prez Ghani's India visit to review partnership, take steps to combat terrorism

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) India and Afghanistan will review "entire gamut of multifaceted bilateral strategic partnership" during the one day working visit of Afghanistan President Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani here on Tuesday.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 3:36 PM
First PMKK for skilling in smart cities launched

First PMKK for skilling in smart cities launched

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Country’s first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for Skilling in Smart Cities, was inaugurated here on Monday.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 5:04 PM
Bribery allegations: Cong demands FIR against Guj BJP, probe by Guj HC sitting judge

Bribery allegations: Cong demands FIR against Guj BJP, probe by Guj HC sitting judge

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Reacting to allegations of bribery levelled against the BJP by a close aide of Hardik Patel, who claimed of being offered Rs 1 crore to join the Party, the Congress on Monday demanded filing of an FIR against the Gujarat BJP in the matter and a probe, headed by a sitting judge of the Gujarat High Court, into the matter.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 4:16 PM
Modi greets Abe as Japanese PM crushes Opposition in snap polls

Modi greets Abe as Japanese PM crushes Opposition in snap polls

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on latter's victory in the snap polls wherein Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and a small coalition partner secured at least 312 seats in the 465-seat lower house of Parliament.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 2:48 PM
Cong to have 40 'star campaigners' for HP polls

Cong to have 40 'star campaigners' for HP polls

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Congress on Monday announced 'star campaigners' for Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly elections besides party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, also include former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad in the list.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 5:08 PM
SC asks Unitech promoter to deposit substantial amount to get out of jail

SC asks Unitech promoter to deposit substantial amount to get out of jail

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Monday asked Unitech promoter Sanjay Chandra to show his bona fide by depositing a substantial amount if he wants to come out of jail in connection with the Unitech case.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 2:55 PM
NGT imposes fine on 4 railway stations for  not observing 'Garbage management rules'

NGT imposes fine on 4 railway stations for not observing 'Garbage management rules'

New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Tightening the screw for compliance of Garbage management rules in the national capital , National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each on the railway stations of Vivek Vihar, Anand Vihar, Shahadhra and Shakur Basti.

see more..
   
23 Oct 2017 | 4:54 PM
image