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FIRST LOOK: Check out the Lalbaugcha Raja idol set up for Ganesh Chaturthi 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first images of Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh darshan, are out.Every year, lakhs of devotees throng central Mumbai’s area of Lalbaug to get a glimpse of the gigantic Lord Ganesha idol on display. Legend has it that a wish is always granted to those who stand in line. Lalbaugcha Raja idol is kept for eleven days before being immersed on the auspicious day of Anant Chaturdashi.Celebrations for Ganesh Chaturthi also known Vinayaka Chaturthi will begin on August 25.Check the image hereLalbaugcha Raja – Hemant Padalkar/DNA

SC to tomorrow pronounce judgement on ‘triple talaq’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court would tomorrow pronounce a historic judgement on the controversial issue of whether the practice of ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims is fundamental to the religion. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had reserved its verdict on May 18 after a six-day marathon hearing during the summer vacation. During the hearing, the apex court had clarified that it may not deliberate upon the issue of polygamy and said it would only examine whether triple talaq was part of an “enforceable” fundamental right to practice religion by the Muslims. Besides CJI Khehar, the bench also included Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, U U Lalit and S Abdul Nazeer. The bench, made up of judges from different religious communities — Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Hindu and Muslim, had heard seven pleas, including five separate petitions filed by Muslim women challenging the prevalent practice of ‘triple talaq’ in the community. The petitioners had claimed that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was unconstitutional. The Muslim women, who had filed the petitions, have challenged the practice of ‘triple talaq’ in which the husband pronounces ‘talaq’ thrice in one go, sometimes even by phone or a text message, to get a divorce. During the hearing, the apex court had observed that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was the “worst” and “not a desirable” form of dissolution of marriage among Muslims, even though there were schools of thought which called it “legal”. Several lawyers including noted jurist Ram Jethmalani had attacked the practice on various constitutional grounds including the right to equality and termed it “abhorrent”. It was argued that triple talaq was a discrimination on the ground of sex and this practice was abhorrent to the tenets of holy Quran and no amount of advocacy can save this “sinful” practice which is contrary to constitutional tenets. The Centre had told the bench that it will come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce among Muslims if ‘triple talaq’ is held invalid and unconstitutional by the apex court. The government had termed all the three forms of divorce among the Muslim community – talaq-e-biddat, talaq hasan and talaq ahsan, as “unilateral” and “extra-judicial”. It has said that all personal laws must be in confirmity with the Constitution and rights of marriage, divorce, property and succession has to be treated in the same class and has to be in conformity with the Constitution. The Centre had said ‘triple talaq’ is neither integral to Islam, nor a “majority versus minority” issue but rather an “intra-community tussle” between Muslim men and deprived women. The apex court had said it was keeping open for adjudication in the future the issues of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims as the Centre had insisted deliberations on these aspects as well. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), had equated the issue of ‘triple talaq’ with the belief that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya and these were matters of faith which cannot be tested on grounds of constitutional morality. He had argued that triple talaq has been there since 637 AD and cannot be termed as un-Islamic as Muslims have been practising it for last 1,400 years. Sibal had said that either Parliament can enact a law or it should be left to the community itself to deal and the court should not interfere on the issue. The apex court during the hearing had asked the AIMPLB whether a woman can be given an option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of execution of ‘nikahnama’ (marriage contract). It had asked Muslim bodies how a practice like triple talaq could be a matter of “faith” when they have been asserting that it is “patriarchal”, “bad in theology” and “sinful”. The batch of pleas had also challenged the constitutional validity of other practices like ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims. The bench had taken up the main matter on its own as a petition titled “Muslim Women’s quest for equality”. The apex court had on its own taken cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tree Ganesh takes root, grows at steady pace

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The novel concept of watering the Ganpati idol after the festival is over has been a trend-setting idea. The intention is to grow a tree, so as to believe that Lord Ganesh lives on. A Worli resident who experimented with the idea two years ago, is now followed by citizens across the country as well as abroad.This year, Dattadri Kothur, who introduced ‘Tree Ganesh’, has made thousands of eco-friendly Ganpati idols. These idols will grow as trees after a few days of immersion.”Since we cannot courier these delicate idols, devotees staying abroad have personally taken them to places like Dubai. Also, we have got customers from across the country. People from Gujarat, Delhi, Pune and Chennai are ordering in large quantity,” said Kothur.While Kothur sold around 350 idols last year, this year he has made over 1,000 idols. He has been getting calls for bookings since June 1. In fact, he has already received 600 bookings for next year’s Ganpati.The ‘Tree Ganesh’ idol is made up of red soil, organic fertiliser and lady finger seeds.Speaking about his initiative on this eco-friendly Ganpati, Kothur said: “Two years ago, I experimented to see if it was a good idea. I thought such an initiative would help reduce the pollution level which is caused due to the use of Plaster of Paris (PoP). It seems to be working.”While Kothur and his team started making these idols one-and-a-half month ago, this year’s bookings were closed in the beginning of July.”Many a times people think of eco-friendly idols are easily available as the PoP idols and try to book at the last minute. But making of an eco-friendly idol takes time,” said Kothur.GIVING IT LIFERather than immersing the Tree Ganesh idol in a water body, devotees need to water it every day so that the idol starts melting in the mud pot and the seed germination process begins. About 350 such idols were sold last year

Media Advisor to former PM P V Narasimha Rao dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Retired IAS officer P V R K Prasad, who was Additional Secretary and Media Advisor to former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, passed away in the wee hours today. He was 77. Prasad died of cardiac arrest at a super-speciality hospital here, sources close to him said. Prasad, an IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, held several important responsibilities, including Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and Chairman of Vizag Port Trust, during his illustrious career. Under his leadership as Executive Officer during 1978-82 and later as an Advisor post-retirement, the TTD, the body that administers the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati, took up several reforms and important projects. Prasad, who served as Media Advisor to Narasimha Rao, was a close aide of the former Prime Minister. Prasad authored several popular books in Telugu, including ‘Naham Kartha’, ‘Asalem Jarigindante’ (Wheels behind the veil), ‘Tirumala Leelamrutham’ and ‘Tirumala Charitamrutam’. He is survived by wife, a daughter and a son.The cremation would take place here today, the sources said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Youth should be involved in all spheres to prevent conflicts’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today underlined the need of involving the youth in political, economic and social spheres for sustainable peace and prevention of conflicts. Swaraj, who was addressing the valedictory function of the five-day India-Asean Youth Summit here, invoked Lord Buddha’s peace message, saying it was relevant even in the 21st century. “Lord Buddha said, ‘there is no higher bliss than peace.’ Towards attaining this bliss we need to empower our youths who have a critical role in preventing conflicts and ensuring sustainable peace,” she said. “Youth are agents of change and critical actors in preventing conflict and building peace. Furthermore, when youths are excluded from political, economic and social spheres and processes, it can be a risk factor for violence and conflict,” she said. “Therefore, identifying and addressing the social exclusion of young people is a must for sustaining peace,” the minister said. Referring to transformation in Buddha’s life, who was born a prince and raised as a prince with all the worldly comforts, Swaraj said, “This transformation came when he was young, as young as you all are. Siddharth himself became the change and as Lord Buddha devoted himself to bring about a change for betterment. “Lord Buddha’s message is as relevant in the twenty first century as it was two-and-a-half millennia ago.” “The middle path shown by Buddha, speaks to all of us. Its universality and timeless nature runs through ASEAN nations and India as a common thread,” she said. The youth have immense transformative powers and youthful energies harnessed and leveraged in the right direction can indeed put the world on course to a more sustainable future, the minister said. “Today, the youth must reason why, debate, discuss and actively participate in shaping the discourse on polity, governance and sustainable development agendas,” she said. “It is heartening that our youth has engaged actively in debate and discussions over the past few days on a wide range topics including Innovation and Entrepreneurship, digital and IT connectivity, UN Sustainable Development Goals, and on the ways and means to enhance India-ASEAN ties,” she said. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has decided to hold a youth summit in all the international summits, Sushma said. She said that the Bharatiya Pravasi Divas was held annually, but now it is being organised every two years. During this event one day is reserved for a youth summit, Swaraj said. The India-Asean Youth Summit was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-India dialogue partnership. It was jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, India Foundation and the state government on the commemorative year’s theme ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny’. More than 200 delegates from Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and India participated in the summit.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ashram school run by Rajinikanth’s wife Latha shut; management to file defamation case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The school run by the wife of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth was locked by the landlord of the building on charges that the rent agreed to was not being paid.The school authorities said they have decided to file a defamation case against the landlord for creating “immense agony to the school and issuing false statements to the media.”About 400 children of the Ashram school run by Latha Rajinikanth have been subsequently shifted to another institution.Venkateshwaralu, the landlord of the school, claimed the management agreed to pay the rent as per a court directive till they vacate the premises by May 2018 which they had not adhered to fully.He said the school authorities did not pay the quantum of rent as agreed to.Later in a statement, the school management said it would file a defamation case against the landlord.Stating that the school has been operating in the existing premises for more than a decade, the management claimed it has faced lot of harassment in the recent past due to the “family dispute” of the landlord.”It is not just about the rent but it is about their exploitation of the situation and it is about asking unfair, unreasonable and exorbitant increment in rentals which we have been negotiating and speaking with them (landlord)”, the statement by the management said.Stating that the management decided to “vacate” the premises and negotiations were on to settle the matter, the statement alleged that the landlord “harassed them by using the media continuously” when a civil dispute was pending in the court.”Since the matter is sub-judice, we would like to record this statement. Taking law into his hands and without any information, once again the landlord has created immense agony to the school, children, parents and to management today,” it said.”We will be filing a defamation case against the landlord for making false statements to the press. Apart from that, we will wait for the law to take its own course,” it said.”We request the media and the public to understand the truth,” it added.

Man held for killing brother after heated argument in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his brother to death in northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area, police said today. Kofi Ram (35) had come to meet his two brothers staying in the area from Nepal when he was killed by Hira Lal (40), the police said. On Monday, Ram, while drinking alcohol with his brothers — Lal and Hemlal (43) — asked Lal to give him money from his savings of Rs one lakh. The duo got into an argument and Ram threatened to break a beer bottle on Lal’s head. Lal, in a fit of rage, picked up a knife and slashed Ram’s neck and fled the spot. Hemlal alerted their landlord and police. During investigation, the police found that Lal was hiding at his brother-in-law’s residence in Paharganj. A raid was conducted and he was arrested yesterday. He told police that he had plans to escape to Nepal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu lays foundation stone for Kings College Hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for Kings College Hospital by Indo U.K. Institute of Health at a programme held in Vijayawada. The health medicity will be constructed in 150 acres of the Errapalem village, Mangalagiri Mandal in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh with an estimated cost of Rs. 1000 crore. As part of the first phase, the Kings College Hospital, London will construct a 1000-bed hospital, nursing school, paramedics training center in 50 acres. Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel, public representatives and higher officials took part in the event. Naidu said that Amaravati, the new capital of the state, would become a hub for medical tourism. He further said the state government is giving prominance to medicine and many more investments are to come into the state. Almost 20 medical colleges will be set up in Amaravati and several MOUs are signed in that regard, he said. ?The state government has issued health cards to employees and journalists. More than 200 vehicles are arranged for mobile medical treatment,? he added. ?I am very excited. This is a tremendous new partnership. It will help building a good relationship between India and U.K.,? said Lord Robert Kerslake, Chairman, Kings College Hospital, London. Asserting that it is a great privilege to be part of the project, Andrew Mitchell, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom said, ?It is a wonderful project which is going to help transform the lives of millions of people. It is in the finest tradition of the long standing relationship between Britain and India.? While Ajay Rajan Gupta, MD and CEO, Indo UK Institute of Health Medicity Projects hailed the project as historic, J. Krishna Kishore, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board said the hospital would give a major boost to medical tourism in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Narendra Modi’s speech spot becomes selfie hotspot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On an unusually hot and humid Tuesday morning, the stage was set at the 17th Century Red Fort to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day. Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech was over, the sweating crowds found their way to the ramparts of the monument to visit the spot where Modi had stood. In fact, many were seen touching the ground with their forehead.As if this was not enough, the location suddenly turned into a hotspot for taking selfies.Brothers Rajesh and Uttam, who had come a long way from Outer Delhi’s Alipur to attend the parade, said they had come down to the Red Fort for the first time.”It had been our wish to visit the monument and to see Modi for a long time. We are fortunate that we could stand where Modi stood. We will show the pictures at home. I touched the ground because I derive inspiration from him. He can save the nation from terrorism,” said Uttam, 26.Ayushi, 21, who lives in the Walled City, said she had come to see the parade along with her family and that said she will post her selfie on the social media.Meanwhile, 3,500 children from 37 government school, who performed at the parade, jostled to greet the PM when his motorcade was leaving. Besides, 5,000 specially-abled students from these schools had also come to attend the parade.Amid loud cheers, Modi broke the security cover and got out of his vehicle to meet the schoolchildren, many of whom were also dressed as Lord Krishna for the occasion of Janmashtami. Modi had started his speech on the note that it was a rare day for the country was celebrating both Independence Day and Janmashtami.Divya, a student of Class VIII, who was dressed as Krishna, was exuberant as Modi had shook hands with her. “He shook hands with me and said I was a good girl,” she said. Komal and Mansi of the same class could not believe Modi came close to them and told them that they must focus on their education.The crowd soon swelled with children hankering to shake hands with the PM, prompting Modi’s special security team to step in. Unfortunately, two young girls got crushed in this hullabaloo and had to be rushed to hospital.”Ayesha and Usha of Classes IX and VII, respectively, from the SKV Daryaganj, were given water and taken to the nearest hospital in the ambulance stationed at the ground,” said a teacher, requesting anonymity.PM breaks securityAround, 3,500 children from 37 government school, who performed at the parade, jostled to greet the PM when his motorcade was leaving. Prime Minister Modi broke the security cover and got out of his vehicle to meet the schoolchildren, many of whom were also dressed as Lord Krishna for the occasion of Janmashtami

Nation soaks in Janmashtami celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Soaked in religious fervour and festive spirit, thousands of devotees thronged in various temples across the nation on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday to celebrate the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. One of the main highlights of this fun-filled festival was the Dahi Handi event. Devotees in Mathura gathered at Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple—where Lord Krishna is believed to be born—to celebrate Janmashtami. People were seen dancing on devotional songs and chanted “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama”. While the Mumbaikars took part in the traditional ?Dahi Handi? festival with ?Govindas? showing up in full strength to perform the ritual of forming a human pyramid to reach the Dahi Handi, thousands thronged the ISKCON temple in New Delhi to celebrate the auspicious occasion. People fasted throughout the day while prayers are offered all night and religious hymns were sung in the temples as part of the festivities. In Bhopal, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was seen playing dandiya with his wife at the Chief Minister?s residence. President, Vice President and Prime Minister all earlier greeted the people on the occasion of Janmashatami. According to the mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishna was born at the midnight and is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami Tithi, the eighth day of the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu almanac.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2 ‘Govindas’ die in dahi handi-related incidents, 117 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While two ‘Govindas’ – one each in Palghar district and Airoli in Navi Mumbai– died in dahi handi-related incidents, 117 others were injured at different places in Mumbai while forming human pyramids as part of the festival that was celebrated with fervour today, officials said. In Palghar, the 21-year-old govinda died after he suffered an epileptic attack during the celebrations, while in Airoli, the 34-year-old victim died of electrocution. The deceased in Palghar was identified as Rohan Kini, police said adding, “He was a part of a human pyramid. He got down from the pyramid after breaking the handi. But soon afterwards, he suffered an epileptic attack and he died while being taken to a hospital in Palghar around 6.30 pm.” The victim in Airoli was identified as Jayesh Sarle, police said. “The incident took place at a dahi handi event organised at a school ground in Airoli around 6.30 pm. Jayesh, who was also a govinda, was standing near the gate of the venue when he came in contact with a live wire,” a senior official attached to Rabale police station, said. The victim was taken to a hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead, he said. In Mumbai, as many as 117 govindas suffered injuries during the celebrations, civic officials said. A statement issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said, “By 9 pm, as many as 117 govindas were reported to have received injuries while celebrating dahi handi at different locations of the city.” “The injured are receiving treatment in different hospitals, including KEM, Nair, Siddharth, GT and Sion hospital. All were reported to be stable,” it said. Across Maharashtra, ‘govinda’ troupes compete to form multi-tier pyramids and break pitchers of curd and buttermilk tied high above the ground on this day. Rain and fear of injuries failed to dampen the spirit of ‘govindas’ as hundreds of them were seen moving around in trucks and tempos, travelling from one ‘handi’ venue to another in Mumbai. The festival, which marks the birth of Lord Krishna, was celebrated with enthusiasm across the city, including in areas like Ghatkopar, Dadar, Lalbaug and Bhandup. Organisers of dahi handi competitions, however, said this year the celebrations were relatively low-key in view of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), income tax woes and demonetisation. Member of a mandal said, “After the demonetisation, several mandals substantially reduced the prize money offered to the Govinda troupes,” Another member said, “While demonetisation has slightly hit the cash flow, the implementation of GST, has made the people doubly cautious as they fear that the Income Tax department may come knocking any time. Therefore, many have decided to reduce the prize money.” Last week, the state government had assured the Bombay High Court during the hearing on a PIL that it would ensure that children below 14 years of age would not participate in formation of Dahi Handi pyramids. The HC, however, had refused to impose any restriction on the height of human pyramid formations. Secretary of Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti, Kamlesh Bhoir, said, “After the high court removed the restrictions on the height of pyramids, we were only left with the task of ensuring that children under the age of 14 do not participate in forming the human pyramids.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Janmastami celebrated with religious fervour across Mathura

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated with religious fervour across Brijbhumi today amid tight security at temples and shrines in the area. Temples in Mathura, Vrindavan, Goverdhan, Nandgaon and Gokul were richly decorated for the occasion as pilgrims from across the country thronged the temple town to offer their obeisance. Police and para-military forces had been deployed at all important area. No untoward incident has been reported, District Magistrate Arvind Malappa Bangari said. Security personnel have been deployed in large numbers at the Dwarkadheesh Temple, the Krishna Balram Temple (ISCKON) and the Bankey Behari Temple, and the Sri Krishna Janamsthan, he said. The day began with the sound of ‘shahnai’ and drums at the temples based at Srikrishna Janmasthan today. Later, Gurusharnanand Maharaj performed the aarati of the principal deity at the Leela Manch. Janmastami at Gokul would be celebrated in the form of Nandotsava on Aug 16 Raja Thakur Temple’s head priest Bacchu Maharaj said the ‘palana’ (swing) for child Krishna was decorated with jewels, ‘jari’ (cloth woven from gold threads) and flowers. Preparation for the Nandotsava at the Nandgaon-based Nand Baba Temple are being done, the temple’s priest Sushil Goswami said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dahi handi: 45 ‘Govindas’ injured in Mumbai; 1 dead in Palghar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Dahi Handi was celebrated with fervour in and around the city, at least 45 Govindas were injured here while forming human pyramids as part of the festival, while another one died in Palghar district after he suffered an epileptic attack during the celebrations. However, the dahi handi celebrations this year were relatively low-key in view of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), income tax woes and demonetisation. Rains and fear of injuries failed to dampen the spirit of ‘govindas’ as hundreds of them were seen moving around in trucks and tempos, travelling from one ‘handi’ venue to another in the metropolis. The festival, which marks the birth of Lord Krishna, was celebrated with enthusiasm across the city, including in areas like Ghatkopar, Dadar, Lalbaug and Bhandup. “As many as 45 govindas were injured in Mumbai till 5 pm,” civic officials. “One of them was seriously injured and admitted to a hospital, while others were discharged after they were administered first aid,” they added. In Palghar, 21-year-old Rohan Kini died after he suffered an epileptic attack during the celebrations, police said. “He got down from the human pyramid after breaking the handi. But immediately afterwards, he suffered an epileptic attack. He died on way to a hospital in Palghar around 6.30 pm,” a police officer said. Members of some Dahi Handi mandals said the dahi handi celebrations this year were slightly subdued. “After the demonetisation, several mandals substantially reduced the prize money offered to the Govinda troupes,” member of a mandal said. Another member said, “While demonetisation has slightly hit the cash flow, the implementation of GST, has made the people doubly cautious as they fear that the Income Tax department may come knocking any time. Therefore, many have decided to reduce the prize money.” Last week, the state government had assured the Bombay High Court during the hearing on a PIL that it would ensure that children below 14 years of age would not participate in formation of Dahi Handi pyramids. The HC, however, had refused to impose any restriction on the height of human pyramid formations. Secretary of Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti, Kamlesh Bhoir, said, “After the high court removed the restrictions on the height of pyramids, we were only left with the task of ensuring that children under the age of 14 do not participate in forming the human pyramids.” Across Maharashtra, ‘Govinda’ troupes compete to form multi-tier pyramids and break pitchers of curd and buttermilk tied high above the ground on this day.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bullets or abuses won’t help address problems of Kashmir: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reaching out to strife-hit Kashmiris, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said bullets or abuses will not help resolve their problems and a change can take place by embracing all Kashmiris. In his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, he also slammed violence in the name of faith, saying it was “not acceptable” and that communalism and casteism were a “poison” that would do no good to the country. During his hour-long speech, Modi also asserted that India is capable of tackling any kind of security challenge, be it the sea or borders, a remark that assumes significance in view of the standoff with China in Doklam. Attired in his trademark half-sleeve ‘kurta’, churidar pajama and Rajasthani headgear, Modi started his speech with a reference to casualties caused by natural calamities in different parts of the country and deaths of children in a state-run hospital in Gorakhopur, saying sympathies of the entire nation are with the affected families. Addressing the nation for the fourth time from the Red Fort, he also spoke about his three-year-old government’s achievements and the major decisions taken, particularly referring to the GST rollout and demonetisation. He said national security is a priority for the government and there will be no soft approach towards terrorists or terrorism. Referring to Kashmir where the situation has been uneasy since last year, the prime minister said, “Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se… samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (problems of Kashmir cannot be addressed by either bullets or by abuses. The change can come by embracing all Kashmiris).” He said only a handful of separatists were resorting to different tactics to create problems in the state but the government is committed to making Kashmir a paradise once again. Modi said not only the Jammu and Kashmir government but the entire country is with the people of the state in helping them realise their dreams of development. He said the government is committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and again make it the ‘heaven on earth’. Modi referred to last year’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) and said the world has realised the mettle of India’s security forces. He said India’s stature in the world is rising and several countries are cooperating with India in fighting the menace of terrorism. “It is clear that security of our country is our priority. Internal security is our priority. Be it sea or borders, be it cyber or space, India is capable of tackling every security challenge,” he said amidst the standoff with China in Doklam, which he did not refer to directly. “Our army, our bravehearts, every personnel in uniform and not only the Army, Navy, the IAF, have shown their capability and grit whenever there was a situation. Our heroes never shied away from sacrifices,” he said. India stands for peace, unity, and harmony, he said, adding “poison” of casteism and communalism will not help the nation. “Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,” Modi said while invoking Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha. “Bharat Jodo” (connect India) should be the slogan like “Bharat chhodo” (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle, he said. He also referred to the issue of ‘triple talaq’, saying he paid regards to the women who had to lead a pitiable life because of it and had started a movement which has created an environment in the country against the practice. Talking about rollout of GST on July 1, he said it was a key illustration of cooperative federalism. He said abolition of inter-state check posts after the implementation of GST has reduced time for movement of goods by 30 per cent and saved thousands of crores of rupees. Mentioning his resolve to curb black money, he said demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November had helped bring over Rs 3 lakh crore of hereto unaccounted wealth into the banking system. He said over Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been deposited in banks post note-ban and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income are under government scrutiny. “Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today,” the prime minister said, vowing to continue the crackdown on black money. Modi also asked the countrymen to shed ‘chalta hai’ attitude and instead adopt an approach of ‘badal sakta hai’ (can change) for positive change. Invoking Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s slogan of swaraj (self- rule), he said now their motto should be ‘suraj’ (good governance) as he underlined his vision for a ‘new India’ by 2022. In ‘new India’, he said, “Tantra se lok nahin, lok se tantra chalega (people would be the driving force behind the establishment rather than the other way around).” He lamented that democracy has been confined to ballots. The nation had shown its collective strength between 1942 and 1947 culminating in India s Independence, he said, asking people to show the same resolve to create a ‘new India’ by 2022. He emphasised that everyone is equal in the nation and together they can bring about a qualitative transformation. Highlighting the problems in work culture, he said while the nation had the capability of sending ‘mangalyaan’ (Mars mission) in nine months, on the other hand, a rail track project had been pending for over four decades, leading to disappointment among the people over the situation. He said his government has put the decision- making on the fast-track. Concluding his speech, he called for a ‘new India’ where the poor would have houses and access to water and electricity; where farmers would be free from worry and would earn twice of what they earn today; youth and women would get ample opportunities to fulfil their dreams. Also an India which will be free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism and an India which is clean and healthy, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bullets, abuses will not resolve problems in Kashmir: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sending out a significant message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said bullets or abuses will not help resolve the problems of Kashmir and a change can take place by embracing all Kashmiris. In his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, he also slammed violence in the name of faith, saying it was “not acceptable” and that communalism and casteism were a “poison” that would do no good to the country. During his hour-long speech, Modi also asserted that India is capable of tackling any kind of security challenge, be it the sea or borders, a remark that assumes significance in view of the standoff with China in Doklam. Attired in his trademark half-sleeve ‘kurta’, churidar pajama and Rajasthani headgear, Modi started his speech with a reference to casualties caused by natural calamities in different parts of the country and deaths of children in a state-run hospital in Gorakhopur, saying sympathies of the entire nation are with the affected families. Addressing the nation for the fourth time from the Red Fort, he also spoke about his three-year-old government’s achievements and the major decisions taken, particularly referring to the GST rollout and demonetisation. He said national security is a priority for the government and there will be no soft approach towards terrorists or terrorism. Referring to Kashmir where the situation has been uneasy since last year, the prime minister said, “Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se… samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (problems of Kashmir cannot be addressed by either bullets or by abuses. The change can come by embracing all Kashmiris).” He said only a handful of separatists were resorting to different tactics to create problems in the state but the government is committed to making Kashmir a paradise once again. Modi said not only the Jammu and Kashmir government but the entire country is with the people of the state in helping them realise their dreams of development. He said the government is committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and again make it the ‘heaven on earth’. Modi referred to last year’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) and said the world has realised the mettle of India’s security forces. He said India’s stature in the world is rising and several countries are cooperating with India in fighting the menace of terrorism. “It is clear that security of our country is our priority. Internal security is our priority. Be it sea or borders, be it cyber or space, India is capable of tackling every security challenge,” he said amidst the standoff with China in Doklam, which he did not refer to directly. “Our army, our bravehearts, every personnel in uniform and not only the Army, Navy, the IAF, have shown their capability and grit whenever there was a situation. Our heroes never shied away from sacrifices,” he said. India stands for peace, unity, and harmony, he said, adding “poison” of casteism and communalism will not help the nation. “Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,” Modi said while invoking Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha. “Bharat Jodo” (connect India) should be the slogan like “Bharat chhodo” (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle, he said. He also referred to the issue of ‘triple talaq’, saying he paid regards to the women who had to lead a pitiable life because of it and had started a movement which has created an environment in the country against the practice. Talking about rollout of GST on July 1, he said it was a key illustration of cooperative federalism. He said abolition of inter-state check posts after the implementation of GST has reduced time for movement of goods by 30 per cent and saved thousands of crores of rupees. Mentioning his resolve to curb black money, he said demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November had helped bring over Rs 3 lakh crore of hereto unaccounted wealth into the banking system. He said over Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been deposited in banks post note-ban and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income are under government scrutiny. “Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today,” the prime minister said, vowing to continue the crackdown on black money. Modi also asked the countrymen to shed ‘chalta hai’ attitude and instead adopt an approach of ‘badal sakta hai’ (can change) for positive change. Invoking Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s slogan of swaraj (self- rule), he said now their motto should be ‘suraj’ (good governance) as he underlined his vision for a ‘new India’ by 2022. In ‘new India’, he said, “Tantra se lok nahin, lok se tantra chalega (people would be the driving force behind the establishment rather than the other way around).” He lamented that democracy has been confined to ballots. The nation had shown its collective strength between 1942 and 1947 culminating in India s Independence, he said, asking people to show the same resolve to create a ‘new India’ by 2022. He emphasised that everyone is equal in the nation and together they can bring about a qualitative transformation. Highlighting the problems in work culture, he said while the nation had the capability of sending ‘mangalyaan’ (Mars mission) in nine months, on the other hand, a rail track project had been pending for over four decades, leading to disappointment among the people over the situation. He said his government has put the decision- making on the fast-track. Concluding his speech, he called for a ‘new India’ where the poor would have houses and access to water and electricity; where farmers would be free from worry and would earn twice of what they earn today; youth and women would get ample opportunities to fulfil their dreams. Also an India which will be free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism and an India which is clean and healthy, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Violence in the name of faith not acceptable: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that violence in the name of faith is “not acceptable” and described casteism and communalism as “poison” for the country. The comments assume significance in the backdrop of incidents of lynchings by cow vigilantes. “Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,” Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Pitching for harmony and peace, he said “Bharat Jodo” (connect India) should be the slogan like “Bharat chhodo” (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle. Describing casteism and communalism as “poison” in the society, Modi said such problems cannot benefit the country in any way. Underlining that India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha, he said the culture of the country is to take everyone along on the path of development. “Therefore, violence cannot be emphasised in the name of faith,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Security beefed up in Delhi for Independence Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The national capital, including the Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on the 71st Independence Day tomorrow, has been put under an unprecedented ground-to-air security cover. Close to 70,000 Delhi Police personnel will be guarding the national capital owing to the twin occasions of the Independence Day and Janmashtami festival, a senior police officer said today. Thousands of security personnel, including 9,100 personnel from the Delhi Police, have been deployed in and around the historic Mughal fort which will see the presence of senior ministers, top bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people during the PM’s address. Two dozen Parakram Vans manned by quick reaction teams of NSG-trained commandos have been stationed in areas with high footfall to thwart any attempt by terror groups to disrupt peace. As many as 11 such vans have been deployed in the area around the Red Fort. “There will be multi-tier security in place. The security audit of the residents, including tenants has been completed. The area is being monitored by CCTV cameras and there will be multi-tier security checks in place for people coming to the area,” said a senior police officer. At Red Fort, a special team of NSG snipers and commandos will form the inner layers of the security cordon while anti-aircraft guns have been deployed to thwart any aerial intrusion by objects like drones and projectiles, senior police officials said. Delhi Police has already prohibited aerial activities, including para-gliding, flying UAVs and hot air balloons, across the city. Also, police are surveying the areas in the vicinity of the Red Fort and have collected details of over 9,000 people residing there. The buildings facing the Red Fort will be secured by police and paramilitary personnel. Security along the route to be taken by the Prime Minister’s cavalcade from his official residence to Red Fort will be monitored with the help of hundreds of CCTV cameras. Special “spotters” of Delhi Police and paramilitary will keep an eye on parking areas. Over 60 sniffer dogs of paramilitary forces and Delhi Police will also be part of the extensive security deployment. Preliminary security arrangements were made in July and senior police and intelligence officials have been regularly taking stock of the arrangements to weed out any shortcomings and glitches. According to a statement by the Delhi Metro rail Corporation, train services will run as usual. However, stations like Lal Quila, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate and ITO will have restricted entry and exit during the ceremony owing to security considerations. Parking will not be available at the stations till 2 pm tomorrow in view of the security measures, DMRC said. Security around prominent temples like the Iskcon temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple and the Gouri Shankar temple has been ramped up since large congregations of devotees are expected on Janmasthami festival, the birthday of Lord Krishna.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN CM, leaders greet people on Krishna Jayanthi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and leaders of AIADMK factions today greeted the people on the eve of ‘Janmashtami’ celebrations. Palaniswami wished that let dharma, love and peace flourish on the auspicious day remembering Lord Krishna who had said he would take avatar to uphold ‘dharma’ and end ‘adharma’. AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran wished saying “let the spirit of brotherhood” and an “egalitarian” objective flourish. AIADMK (Puratichi Thalaivi Amma) leader O Panneerselvam said dharma should flourish and adharma that was rearing its head be put down.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Janmashtami 2017: 13 WhatsApp messages to send on Lord Krishna’s birthday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Krishna Janmashtami is on August 14 and the country gears up to celebrate. Social media will be flooded with text messages and WhatsApp forwards. Here are some of the messages that might prove useful to you.1. Makhan chor hai jis ka naam / Bansi bajana hai jisne kaam / Khushi manao uske janamdin ki / Jisne duniya ko prem shikhaya. Happy Janmashtami.2. Maiya Yashoda ka lal / Gokul ka gwal / Jinke janm se hua / Gokul aur brij ka nihal / Rakhe aapko sada khushhal / Mubarak ho aapko Janmashtami tyohar.3. Shri Krishan ki kripa aap par sada bani rahe. Mubarak ho apko Janmasthami ka tyohar.4. Yashoda ka nandlala birij ka ujala hai / Radha ka shyam wo hai / wo he gokul ka gwala. Happy Janmashtami.5. Gokul me hai jinka waas / Gopiyo sang jo karey raas / Devki-Yashoda jinki maiya / aise hamare kishan kanhaiya / May Lord Krishna fulfill all your wishes. Happy Shri Krishna Janamasthami!6. Celebrating Lord Krishna’s birthday, helps in awakening our spirit & reminds us Of His presence always! Happy Janmashtami.7. May Lord Krishna fulfil all your wishes. Happy Janamasthami!8. May Lord Krishna come to your house & take away all your makhan & mishri with all your worries & sorrows. Happy Janmashtami!9. The day of love and fortune, the day of birth of Lord Krishna, a lover, friend & divine Guru – Happy Shri Krishna Janmashtami.10. Lord Krishna believed in Karam Yoga / Follow the right path / See unity in diversity / Serve humanity without expecting rewards / Happy Janmashtami.11. May the Natkhat Nandlala always give you many reasons to be Happy and you find peace in Krishna’s consciousness. Happy Janmashtami.12. It is very obvious that truth will always win, So always try to do the things told by Lord Krishna. And behave like Lord Rama. Wish you a very Happy Janmashtami.13. Today is very precious day/Someone special was born/Born to fight against inhumanity/Born to save the trust in God. Happy Janmashtami!Hope your Janmashtami is one spent amongst loved ones.

At Vrindavan temple, Madhya Pradesh CM turns a ‘bhajan’ singer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was on a two-day pilgrimage to the temple town of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, sang devotional songs at a shrine. Chouhan offered prayers at the Priyakant Ju temple last evening. He also inaugurated a gallery portraying various activities of Lord Krishna as a child. Founder of the temple Devkinandan Thakur said, “After listening to a few devotional songs, the chief minister took the mike from me, and to my astonishment, started singing ‘bhajans’.” “Singh was overwhelmed by the ambience of the temple,” Thakur said. The chief minister did not interact with reporters during his stay here. “I am on pilgrimage,” he told reporters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No kurta-pajama stuff: Lawyer’s comment about Subramanian Swamy’s attire heats up Babri land dispute case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s intervention plea in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute was opposed in the Supreme Court by several parties on the ground that he had no locus standi (right or capacity to appear) in the title suit.While the matter was being the heard by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, the counsel opposing the proponents of a Ram temple, said that his plea to argue as an intervenor had not yet been acceptedDuring the deliberations lasting an over one-and-half hours, Swamy tried to impress upon the bench, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, about his stand saying that he was raising the issue of Hindu fundamental right to religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution.His intervention plea was opposed by parties including the All India Sunni Waqf Board, which was one of the main contestants in the matters.Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who was opposing the counsel for Lord Ram Lalla (diety) and the Uttar Pradesh government, said that only the main parties should be allowed to argue in the matter and “kurta-pyjama stuff should not be permitted”.His statement was strongly opposed by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as Dhavan’s remark was apparently targeted at Swamy, who was clad in the traditional Indian attire and a waist jacket.”He (Dhavan) should not be permitted to make such statements. I strongly object to such comments,” the ASG, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said.Dhavan quickly defused the situation stating that his statement was for others “except Swamy”. Mehta supported the intervention plea of Swamy and said, “He can be heard.” “I would like make out a case based on the Constitution that fundamental right gets precedent over property right,” Swamy said.Another key party in the suit was the Nirmohi Akhara.

Ayodhya suit: Parties oppose Swamy’s intervention plea in SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s intervention plea in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute was opposed in the Supreme Court today by several parties on the ground that he had no locus standi (right or capacity to appear) in the title suit. While the matter was being the heard by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, the counsel opposing the proponents of a Ram temple, said that his plea to argue as an intervenor had not yet been accepted During the deliberations lasting an over one-and-half hours, Swamy tried to impress upon the bench, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer, about his stand saying that he was raising the issue of Hindu fundamental right to religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution. His intervention plea was opposed by parties including the All India Sunni Waqf Board, which was one of the main contestants in the matters. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who was opposing the counsel for Lord Ram Lalla (diety) and the Uttar Pradesh government, said that only the main parties should be allowed to argue in the matter and “kurta-pyjama stuff should not be permitted”. His statement was strongly opposed by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as Dhavan’s remark was apparently targeted at Swamy, who was clad in the traditional Indian attire and a waist jacket. “He (Dhavan) should not be permitted to make such statements. I strongly object to such comments,” the ASG, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, said. Dhavan qickly defused the situation stating that his statement was for others “except Swamy”. Mehta supported the intervention plea of Swamy and said, “He can be heard.” “I would like make out a case based on the Constitution that fundamental right gets precedent over property right,” Swamy said. Another key party in the suit was the Nirmohi Akhara.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UK Minister Lord Ahmad on two-day visit of India from today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>British Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad arrives in Delhi on Wednesday for the start of a two-day visit to India.The visit will set out how the two powers can work together to renew and revitalise relationships within the Commonwealth, setting out a new vision and liberalising the global trading environment.Lord Ahmad will meet India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar to discuss bilateral and foreign policy issues, including the Commonwealth. He will also meet British and Indian businesses, launch the latest round of Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships and speak to Indian partners working on gender equality issues.Foreign Office Minister, Lord Ahmad said, “I am delighted to be returning to India for the first time in my role as a Foreign Office Minister. The UK and India’s relationship is going from strength-to-strength. As well as being global strategic partners, we benefit from a unique living bridge where thousands of diaspora, family, education, cultural, trade, science and research ties enrich our day-to-day lives.””I will be taking forward discussions with Indian partners on making a success of next year’s Commonwealth Summit in London. India has a crucial role to play in ensuring this family of democracies is fit to take advantage, and face the challenges posed by the 21st century,” he added.The Commonwealth is home to a third of the world’s population, many of its fastest growing economies, and half of the globe’s top 20 emerging cities; intra-Commonwealth trade is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2020; and it provides us with a unique network of common language and laws.The Commonwealth Summit will be hosted the week of 16th April 2018, immediately following the closing of the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, with venues including: St James’s Palace, Lancaster House, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

British Foreign Office Minister Tariq Ahmad arrives in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Britain’s Foreign Office minister Lord Tariq Ahmad will arrive in Delhi tomorrow on a two-day visit during which he is expected to discuss bilateral and foreign policy issues, the British High Commission said today. Ahmad will hold a meeting with M J Akbar, the Minister of State for External Affairs, during his visit. “The visit will set out how the two powers can work together to renew and revitalise relationships within the Commonwealth, setting out a new vision and liberalising the global trading environment,” according to a statement by the British High Commission. He will also meet British and Indian businesses, launch the latest round of Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships and speak to Indian partners working on gender equality issues. “I will be taking forward discussions with Indian partners on making a success of next year’s Commonwealth Summit in London. India has a crucial role to play in ensuring this family of democracies is fit to take advantage, and face the challenges posed by the 21st century,” the statement said quoting Ahmad. The Commonwealth Summit will be held in April 2018.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UK Foreign Office minister to visit India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Britain’s Foreign Office minister Lord Tariq Ahmad will be on a two-day visit to New Delhi from tomorrow to discuss bilateral and foreign policy issues, including the Commonwealth. During his visit, Ahmad will meet Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and explore deeper India-UK ties. He will also meet British and Indian businesses and will launch the latest round of Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships and speak to Indian partners working on gender equality issues, the UK Foreign Office said today. “I am delighted to be returning to India for the first time in my role as a Foreign Office minister. The UK and India’s relationship is going from strength-to-strength. As well as being global strategic partners, we benefit from a unique living bridge where thousands of diaspora, family, education, cultural, trade, science and research ties enrich our day-to-day lives,” Ahmad said in a pre-visit statement. “I will be taking forward discussions with Indian partners on making a success of next year’s Commonwealth Summit in London. India has a crucial role to play in ensuring this family of democracies is fit to take advantage, and face the challenges posed by the 21st century,” he said. The Foreign Office said the minister’s visit is aimed at exploring how India and the UK can work together to “renew and revitalise” relationships within the Commonwealth, setting out a new vision and liberalising the global trading environment. The next Commonwealth Summit will be hosted during the week of April 16, 2018, immediately following the closing of the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia, with venues including St James’s Palace, Lancaster House, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in London.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kids below 14 yrs cannot take part in Dahi Handi: Govt to HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Children below the age of 14 years cannot participate in the Dahi Handi festival, the Maharashtra government today said in the Bombay High Court, which accepted the statement, but refused to impose any restriction on the height of human pyramid formations. A division bench of Justices B R Gavai and M S Karnik said it was not for the high court to impose restrictions on the age of the participants, famously known as ‘govindas’, in the festival and the height of pyramids. “Imposing age and height restrictions is out of our purview. This falls exclusively in the domain of the state legislature. “If we enter the arena of the state legislature then we would be encroaching. It is for the state legislature to decide and pass an enactment on the restrictions if required,” Justice Gavai said. “We accept the statement made by the state government that it would ensure children below 14 years of age would not participate in the Dahi Handi festival,” the judge said. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, told the court that according to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, children below 14 years of age would not be allowed to participate in the festival since the government had in August last year declared Dahi Handi as an adventure sport. The high court was hearing two petitions filed by city residents, raising concern over the participation of minors in the festival and lack of safety measures due to which several accudents have occurred. Dahi Handi, a festival marking the birth of Lord Krishna, will be celebrated next week. The festivities involve forming a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pitcher filled with buttermilk which is tied to a rope at a height. In 2014, the high court had passed an order saying children below the age of 18 years could not participate in the festival, and had also imposed a height restriction of 20 feet for the pyramids. The state government had then appealed in the Supreme Court which on August 1 this year referred the matter back to the high court directing it to hear the petitions afresh. “While the concerns raised by the petitioners are laudable, we feel that most of the directions issued by the high court in its 2014 order pertaining to safety and remedial measures have been accepted by the state government,” Justice Gavai noted. The court referred to an affidavit filed by the state government in the apex court giving an assurance that all precautionary and remedial measures would be taken to prevent accidents and to provide immediate medical attention in case any accident. “The state government has taken a decision that the organisers of Dahi Handi festival would provide helmets, safety belts and cushion layer and also ensure that medical aid and ambulance are available at the spot,” the court said. “A local monitoring body comprising officials from the local police station, ward office and elected representatives shall also be present at the venue. Adequate police force will also be deployed,” the court said, referring to the state affidavit. To an argument made by the petitioners that Lord Krishna used to form only a 10-foot high pyramid, Justice Gavai said, “We do not even know if Lord Krishna existed.” “Accidents can happen anywhere and at anytime. People die while taking selfies…while playing cricket…while exercising…so many accidents occur in toilets. This does not mean the high court can go on banning everything,” he said. The court can interfere only when a particular law is violative of provisions of the Constitution, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ONGC gives Rs 6.78 cr for clean Tirumala initiative to TTD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ONGC today handed over Rs 6.78 crore for “clean Tirumala” initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, which governs the famous temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala near here. This was the first instalment of Rs 13 crore offered by the central public enterprise to the temple as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Director for Human Resources D D Mishra handed over a cheque for Rs 6,78,25,800 towards the initiative to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthnam (TTD) Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal here. Speaking on this occasion, Singhal said the temple attracted over 2.5 crore devotees annually. ONGC would release the second instalment amount to the temple soon, Mishra said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Some people are allergic to Lord Ram’s name, says Yogi Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some people are “allergic” to the name of Lord Ram and they should take a lesson from Indonesia, an Islamic nation “proud of the traditions” of the deity, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Friday.Adityanath was speaking during the budget discussion at the Legislative Council, where alleged that Ayodhya, believed to be the birthplace of Ram, had been discriminated against. “Our government has started renovation of ghats there. We are going to make a Ram Museum there. We have also decided to connect Ayodhya with Sitamadhi with a four-lane road under Ramayan circuit,” he said. In present times, Uttar Pradesh does not need socialism (samajwadi), but nationalism (rashtrawad), he asserted. “Equality is sign of rashtrawad.”The chief minister said the BJP government is working towards development without discrimination on the basis of religion or caste. “Some persons have allergy with the name of Lord Ram despite the fact that after death ‘Ram naam satya’ is chanted. But then also they say why take name of Ayodhya. “You go to the Muslim country, Indonesia, and see that they are proud of the traditions of Ram. Those who have allergy with name of Ram should take a lesson from them,” the chief minister said.Adityanath said the Samajwadi Party claims to follow the ideology of Ram Manohar Lohia. “His name also has Ram. But instead of feeling proud of the traditions of Ram, they feel ashamed.” During the chief minister’s speech, the entire opposition including SP, Congress and BSP were not present in the House. In their absence, Appropriation and other Bills were unanimously passed in the House.

Patna HC refuses to hear RJD’s plea against JD (U)-BJP Govt. formation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Patna High Court on Friday refused to hear the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)?s plea challenging formation of the new BJP-JD (U) government in Bihar. The Court said that the hearing is not possible before July 31. The development came right before the floor test, where Bihar Chief Minister with his ally Bharatiya Janata party, are confident of proving majority. Nitish led JD (U)-NDA government has a support of 132 MLAs, which will help it to prove a comfortable majority in the 243 member state assembly where 122 MLAs are required to prove majority. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav yesterday said that he is considering a move to appeal in the Supreme Court against the Governor’s decision to allow the Janata Dal (United) (JDU)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government the state. “Nitish Kumar has betrayed us. These leaders will do anything for power. I am considering to appeal against the Governor’s decision of allowing JDU-BJP to form the government,” Lalu Yadav told media here. He termed Bihar chief minister as a huge opportunist. “The mandate was against the BJP, to throw out Modi-Shah out of Bihar. I worshipped Nitish Kumar like Lord Shiva, but he turned out to be Bhasmasur.He said he would do anything but join hands with BJP,” Lalu Yadav said. Nitish led JD (U)-NDA government has a support of 132 MLAs, which will help it to prove a comfortable majority in the 243 member state assembly where 122 MLAs are required to prove majority.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Adityanath is not Chief Minister of only ‘Ram Bhakts’ Zafaryab Jilani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Cornering Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his ?Indonesia-Ramleela? statement, Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani on Wednesday said the former is not the Chief Minister of only Ram Bhakts. ?The Chief Minister is not only the Chief Minister of those who are Ram Bhakts. Muslims do not believe in Ram as they believe in oneness of God. He is the leader of the majority party and has taken oath to be equal towards everyone. This shows he is not abiding by his oath,? Jilani told ANI. The Chief Minister on Wednesday said that even as Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, ‘Ramleela’ is their national festival. ?Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world and ?Ramleela? is their national festival,? Adityanath said, while addressing a rally in Ayodhya. Adityanath?s statement came in the backdrop of the Ram Mandir issue, which he said could only be resolved through peaceful talks. ?All the stakeholders must follow the Supreme Court?s decision on the issue and find a friendly and peaceful manner for resolving the matter,? he added. The Chief Minister further said that Ramleela is well-known in India and the entire country watches it every year with great devotion adding that every religion has respect for Lord Ram.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi govt to reply on drug lord’s wife’s plea for her kids’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today sought response of the city government on a plea over non-payment of maintenance by it to two minor children of an alleged drug lord and his wife Zohra Sheikh, who has been jailed since June 2006 on charges of being part of an organised crime syndicate. Justice A K Pathak issued notice to the child welfare department of the Delhi government on a fresh application moved by Zohra, who was earlier denied bail by the high court, seeking compliance of the court’s 2009 order to pay for the welfare of the children. The application, filed through advocate Sumeet Verma, said that as per the 2009 high court order, the child welfare department was directed to take care of the food, education and other needs of her three minor kids as Zohra and her husband Sharafat Sheikh were in prison, facing trial under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). It said that in 2014 the government came up with a new policy for maintenance under which it was decided that an amount of Rs 3,500 shall be paid to first child, Rs 3,000 to the second and above two children, a maximum of Rs 6,500 shall be disbursed to cover the needs. It said that the government stopped disbursing the amounts to all the children since its policy came into force. The plea also said that in 2016 the eldest child turned a major, but the remaining two kids were also being deprived of the payment by the government. The government intimated the court about its 2014 policy, but failed to comply with its order to pay the children till they became major. Asking the city government to respond on the issue, the court fixed the matter for hearing on November six. The high court had in February this year denied bail to Zohra observing that she has been “roped in” on very serious charges including possessing unaccounted wealth on behalf of the crime syndicate under the MCOCA and that she might influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence considering the stakes for her and her husband. It had also said since the woman was facing charges of destruction of evidence, forging voter identity cards to meet her husband in jail and was also convicted in two criminal cases for kidnapping and causing hurt by dangerous weapon, an inference could be drawn that she could commit an offence while on bail. According to the prosecution, a secret information was received on July 7, 2005 that Sharafat, suspected to have been trading in narcotics with his gang members in Delhi on a large scale, was to come to his residence. Based on the information, a raid was conducted and Sharafat was found. He was also alleged to have in his possession a loaded pistol and a packet of 500 grams of ‘heroin or smack’. The Delhi Police had said that since it was alleged that Sharafat was the chief of a crime syndicate and was amassing wealth through illegal trade of narcotics, provisions under the MCOCA were invoked. Later, sanction was granted by an additional commissioner of police for prosecution of Sharafat and other accused — Mohd Saleem, Sheikh Hannan, and Najma Sheikh (first wife of Sharafat) and subsequently, the first charge sheet was filed on December 10, 2005. During the investigation, the prosecution had sought sanction against Zohra for alleged commission of offence under section 4 (for possessing unaccountable wealth on behalf of member of organised crime syndicate) of the MCOCA and a supplementary charge sheet was filed against her on September 8, 2006. She was arrested on June 12, 2006.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Caste-cursed lover turns to Kanwar yatra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deepak Singh, a native of Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur district, has been travelling thousands of kilometres as a kanwariya for the last five years. Every year, he travels all the way from Muzaffarnagar, where he currently lives, to Bihar’s Sultanganj to fetch water from river Ganga. Then he returns to his native place to make an offering to Lord Shiva.Instead of religious faith, the 30-year-old’s devotion is inspired by love. Singh hopes that his dedication would break the shackles of the caste system that his love story is bound in.”I have been participating in the kanwar yatra for the last five years in the hope that Lord Shiva will help me convince the parents of the girl whom I want to marry. She belongs to a different caste and that’s why her parents are not accepting my proposal,” says Singh, who takes care of his ancestral mango orchards.Singh says: “I fell for her the first time I saw her in college in Muzaffarnagar in 1999. I was pursuing BSc, Maths, and she was studying Home Science.At the time, I did not realise that the issue of our castes will become such a nightmare for of us,” says Singh, who belongs to the Korwa community.”I tried to convince her parents a lot but failed. In 2013, I finally decided to give up on impressing them and started pleasing Lord Shiva — the God of love,” he says, while sitting in a tent installed for kanwariyas in east Delhi’s Patparganj area. He further says that his own parents are also not happy with his decision.When queried about the blue shirt he is wearing, unlike the other kanwariyas, Singh says: “How’s it possible that God will listen to you only when you are wearing a particular colour? Wo sabki sunta hai. Jaati ya rang ka bhed-bhaav nahi karta (God listens to everyone, irrespective of caste or colour).”While most kanwariyas from UP go to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, as it is closer, to collect water, Singh prefers to go to all the way to Bihar. “I have heard that the more you travel for this yatra, the more are the chances that your prayer will be heard. After so many years, I can’t take a risk,” he says.

Plea in SC for nod to accept demonetised notes kept at temples

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A petition was today filed before the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and RBI to accept about Rs 8.29 crore in demonetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination offered by pilgrims at the temples run by a trust which also manages the affairs of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple of Andhra Pradesh. The petition said that offerings made by the devotees to Lord Venkateswara Swami were not accepted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) due to which the demonetised currencies have been kept with it. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam oversees the operations and finances of the second richest and the most visited religious centre in the world. The petition, drafted by advocate Sravan Kumar, also said that non-acceptance of pilgrims’ money, which was received by the trust after December 30, 2016, at par with Non-Resident Indians, and district cooperative banks was “discriminative”. “Non-acceptance also means that pilgrims’ wishes will not be fulfilled and such offerings will not be utilised for the service activities run by the Board and on the other hand keeping such a huge amount of money in demonetised currency by the Board is also an illegal act and punishable offence under the law,” it said. Petitioner V V Ramanamurthy, a journalist, has sought a direction to declare as “unconstitutional” the action of the Centre and RBI in not accepting the demonetised currency from the trust. The plea has said that the government has been issuing orders from time to time modifying the demonetisation norms and allowing Indians living in foreign countries to deposit their money. Besides NRIs, the government has also allowed district cooperative banks, post offices to deposit demonetised notes with the RBI, it said. “By allowing NRIs and district cooperative banks to deposit old notes and not accepting public money meant for charity and service is not only discriminatory but infringes pilgrims’ and devotees’ right to practice and propagate religion and is clearly violative of fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 25 and 21 of the Constitution,” the petition said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

New airport to come up at Cheruvally estate near Sabarimala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala government today decided to construct an airport at Kottayam district’s Cheruvally estate to provide air connectivity to pilgrims visiting the Lord Ayyappa hill shrine at Sabarimala. The 2,263 acre Cheruvally estate of the Harrisons Plantations is located at Kanjirapally, about 48 km from Sabarimala. The government had entrusted a four-member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary P H Kurian to identify a suitable land for the airport, a long felt need of lakhs of pilgrims, who throng the shrine annually. The committee had recommended Cheruvally estate, which was accepted by the state cabinet that met today, a government release said. The ownership of the estate, adjacent to two national highways, which is disputed, is said to belong to the ‘Believers Church.’ Lakhs of devotees visit the shrine during the three-month long pilgrimage season between November and January every year. The temple is situated in the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats in Pathanamthitta district. The number of pilgrims visiting the temple has gone up in recent years and an airport is an alternate to reduce traffic congestion during the festival season, the release said. The state government had in February 2016 accorded in principle sanction to construct the greenfield Sabarimala airport. Earlier, there was a proposal to set up an airport at Aranmula, but following stiff resistance from environmental groups, the LDF government had last year cancelled all orders related to the project, including the grant of in-principle sanction. The project, promoted by KGS Group, had run into trouble after it was mooted nearly eight years ago with environment groups and people in the area claiming that it would cause environmental hazards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kanwar Yatra: 3 commando teams, PAC deployed in Ghaziabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The district administration has deployed three Quick Response Teams and a company of Provincial Armed Constabulary to provide security for Kanwar Yatra which will culminate at a temple here in a few days. The QRT and PAC teams have been deployed at the ancient Dudheshwar Nath temple where the devotees of Lord Shiva will pay their obeisance by offering ‘Ganga Jal’ on the occasion of ‘Maha ShivRatri’ on July 21, police said. Senior Superintendent of Police HN Singh told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Devotes throng Shiva temples on Shrawan’s first Monday in Nepal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A large number of devotees in Nepal thronged Shiva Temples on first Monday of Shrawan, holy month devoted to Lord Shiva. Every Monday of Shrawan is considered auspicious and important to appease Lord Shiva as devotes believe that worshiping him on this day would lead to fulfillment of all the desires. Devotees on Monday flocked to Pashupatinath Temple in capital Kathmandu and queued up to get into the temple for worship from 2 a.m. local time though the gates usually open at 3 a.m. “It is for my family, eternal peace for oneself and I stood in queue since six in the morning,” one of the devotees after worshiping Lord Shiva in Pashupatinath, told ANI. Enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Pashupati Temple is a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. “Women regard Monday as a good day to worship and keep fast on this day for the long life and eternity of their husbands,? another devotee said. Apart from its religious importance, the Pashupatinath Temple is also regarded as the saviour of Nepal at the times of difficulties. Apart from Pashupati other Shiva Temples or Shivalayas in capital Kathmandu also witnessed the surge of devotees on the day that is devoted to Lords Shiva.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Over 2L pilgrims have visited Amarnath shrine so far:Officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than two lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine of Amarnath in the south Kashmir Himalayas so far this year, officials said here today. On the 18th day of the annual pilgrimage today, 7,214 yatris paid obeisance at the cave shrine, said an official spokesman. He added that a total of 2,02,705 pilgrims so far had the ‘darshan’ of the ice-lingam of Lord Shiva at the cave shrine, situated at a height of 3,880 metres, since the beginning of the 40-day pilgrimage this year, which would conclude on August 7.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former Governor General Lord Dalhousie never visited Himachal hill station named after him, claims new book

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The over 160-year-old Dalhousie hill station in Himachal Pradesh may have been named after the famous Governor General of India, but strangely Lord Dalhousie himself “never visited” the idyllic town, claims a new book.The nearly 200-page illustrated volume, authored by a retired civil servant, is by turns, a guidebook, an album of picturesque places and quaint Raj-era buildings, and a memoir filled with interesting anecdotes.”Dalhousie was established by the British as a sanitarium and a convalescent depot for the troops returning from wars.Established in 1854, the town situated on the five hills, was named after the then Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie.”Unlike other tourist destinations like Shimla, Mussoorie and Dehradun, Dalhousie is much more quaint and still retains its charm, as it has remained sort of unspoilt by the onslaught of modernity,” says Kiran Chadha, the author, whose paternal family — the Plahas — were one of the first settlers in Dalhousie.Born in 1950 in Ambala, she grew up in Dalhousie amid its salubrious surroundings and breathtaking views of nature.The author said she trawled through “Raj-era cantonment and municipal records” in the hill town for a year while researching for the book — “Dalhousie… Through My Eyes”, which was released last week in Delhi by Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy.”(First Prime Minister Jawaharalal) Nehru came to the town for the centenary of Dalhousie in 1954 and praised it.And before him Rabindranath Tagore and author Rudyard Kipling had paid a visit. One of the purposes of writing the book was also to bring these facets of history closer to the next generation,” she told PTI.Born in Scotland in 1812, James Broun-Ramsay, later the first Marquess of Dalhousie, became the Governor-General at the age of 36, the youngest to helm the position. After the end of his tenure in 1856, he returned to his homeland and died there in 1860.In the chapter ‘Founding of Dalhousie’, Chadha mentions that “Interestingly, Lord Dalhousie never visited Dalhousie during his tenure in British India (1848-1856).” “During the course of my research, I consulted government documents and gazettes, and found that Lord Dalhousie never visited the place. The reason could have been that the hill town was for convalescing British troops and it had come up, just two years before the end of his tenure,” she said.When asked about Chadha’s claim, noted historian Irfan Habib said, “It is possible that Lord Dalhousie may not have been able to visit the place. He was the Governor-General and the Government House was in Calcutta, so distance could have been another factor.”Author and historian Romila Thapar said, “One can ascertain only if there are historical documents to corroborate it.”Incidentally, in October 2004, the then Earl of Dalhousie had sent a letter from Brechin Castle (in Scotland) to the “Citizens of Dalhousie” on the sesquicentennial of the hill town.Talking about the history of the place, Chadha, who studied at the 116-year-old Sacred Heart Convent, said the area we know as Dalhousie today, was earlier a territory of the Raja of Chamba.”The large stretch of five hills was acquired by the Court of Directors of the East India Company from the Raja and in return Rs 2,000 was lessened from the taxes the princely state was paying to the British,” she said.Chamba was part of the Punjab province during the colonial period. After formation of Himachal Pradesh post- Independence, it became part of the hill state.Chadha said she also consulted ‘Guide to Dalhousie, the Chamba State, and the Neighbouring Hills’ by J B Hutchison, published in late 19th century, among other books.The book also celebrates the architectural heritage of the hill town, the iconic churches, famous clubs, military cantonments and institutions.Some of the heritage buildings which find a mention in the book are St Francis Church, St John’s Church, St Andrew’s Church, St Patrick’s Church, Sacred Heart Church; besides the 19th century cemetery; Khyber House, built around 1890; Circuit House; Dhoop Ghadi (originally called Petersborough) and Kynance cottage.”Nehru had described it as ‘One of the finest and greenest hill stations… ‘ and he encouraged opening of various Establishments in the town.”So, guest houses of various universities and banks were opened there. But, tourism never really picked up there, the way it did in Shimla or Mussoorie, though it could be blessing in disguise, as the place has retained its originality in the face of concrete invasion,” she said.The place has a population of about 10,000 as per the census, but tourists add to a big floating population.Besides, hotels and lodges, the idyllic town is also known for its homestays.Incidentally, Kolkata’s iconic Dalhousie Square was renamed to Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Bagh or BBD Bagh after Independence, while in February this year, Dalhousie Road in the national capital’s Lutyens’ Delhi was rechristened to Dara Shikhoh Road.

Husband kills wife over suspected affair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 35-year old woman was strangulated to death by her husband as he suspected her of having an affair. The couple have two children and resided in South Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur.The husband, Taiyyab, was later nabbed from Noida.According to the police, Shabnam had constant fights with her husband as he suspected her of having an illicit relationship. Taiyyab had recently returned from Saudi Arabia where he had gone for some work.Police officials stated that on the day of the incident on Friday the couple again had an argument.The other tenants informed the landlord who then reached their house in order to speak to them. As he entered the house he saw that the door was open. He peeped inside and saw Shabnam lying on the bed. The children were out of the house when the crime took place. “The deceased has been identified as Shabnam, wife of Taiyyab. She is survived by two children. An investigation into the case reveals that the accused had returned to the city recently from Saudi Arabia. The couple had since been fighting over infidelity issues,” said a police officer.A case of murder was registered at Kotla Mubarakpur police station. Further investigations are underway.

When a Muslim family took care of holy Hindu shrine

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Muslim family took care of the Amarnath cave after shepherd Butta Malik was said to have rediscovered the holiest Hindu shrine. In 2008, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) ended the Malik family’s association with Lord Shiva. Three parties — the Pandits of Mattan Temple, the Mahant and the Malik family — were offered a one-time settlement to make the SASB the sole guardian of the shrine.“We were offered Rs 1.5 crore to give away the custodianship. While other two parties took the money, we refused,” Mohammad Afzal Malik tells DNA, sitting in his modest house in his village of Batkot near Pahalgam. An employee in J&K’s roads and buildings department, he heads the Malik clan of 11 families. “I told the Governor, who heads the SASB, that mosques and temples cannot be weighed in money,” he says, adding that his family was never after the proceeds, but that helping pilgrims would give them a spiritual satisfaction. Many sadhus, after resting at Nunwan’s base camp, visit the Maliks before proceeding to the holy cave. “We continue visiting the shrine in turns to do our service to Lord Shiva, by putting up a stall to distribute free medicines,” he says.Though the cave is mentioned in ancient scriptures, it was said to have been rediscovered by Buta Malik some 150 years ago. He encountered a sadhu who gave him a sack of coal that transformed into a precious metal once he returned home. The curious shepherd again visited the cave after a few days and saw a sadhu (believed to be Lord Shiva). Afzal says that his ancestor was told to arrange pilgrimage to the cave from next year and take care of pilgrims. When a group of pilgrims came, there was a lingam inside the magnificent cave.Irrespective of whether the legend is true or not, since the shrine is located within a Muslim majority locality, it was prudent to involve them if not by faith or spiritually, but economically.Afzal agrees that setting up of the SASB has regulated pilgrimage and provided better facilities to pilgrims, but laments that some elements were increasingly trying to keep locals at bay. More than the SASB, it was Farooq Abdullah’s government who broke the Muslim connection of the shrine. “He always jeered at us, accusing us of taking proceeds from pilgrims. You see our condition, if that had been case, we should have had mansions here,” says Afzal’s father Subhan Malik. Mahant Deependra Giri, custodian of the saffron-robed silver mace of Lord Shiva, which in a procession reaches the cave shrine on the day of Rakhsha Bandhan marking the end of pilgrimage, also believes that age-old conventions and traditions should not have been broken. “There was a case for providing better facilities to pilgrims. But denying anybody his association with the Lord was never a correct decision,” he says, adding that the greatest characteristic of Hinduism has been its inclusivity.

Amarnath: Kashmir’s moment of truth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over the past 27 years, the people of Kashmir have seen it all. Innocents killed by terrorists, politicians killed for being anti-terrorism or pro-India, officers and personnel of the Army and paramilitary forces martyred by terrorists, houses, shops and public places, including places of worship bombed. Terrorists have also been eliminated as have innocent Kashmiris, by either the terrorists or security forces.But, every terrorist attack, every killing would be followed by a period of relative peace, which would last only until the next incident.The Valley was always in a stalemate. Nobody knows when, if ever, a permanent solution to end the cycle of violence will be found. But, in between all the killings and deaths, life as usual continued to plod on in the death-ravaged streets of the Valley.But since Monday evening, when terrorists sprayed bullets on a bus carrying Amarnath yatris, killing seven, including six women, and injuring many others, everyone agrees things will never be the same again.“We will never lead a normal life from now on,” says Ghulam Mohammad Pincho, who looked on in horror as terrorists sprayed bullets at the bus. The 65-year-old poultry seller was shutting his shop near Batengoo in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district when he heard two loud bangs. “I thought they were firecrackers. But soon I realised it was gunshots. I thought it was an attack on the nearby security camp. I lay on the ground, and saw two buses pass by,” he tells DNA.Showkat Ahmad Laway, another eyewitness, chose to flee, leaving his grocery shop unattended, when he heard the first shots. “I was terrified… I still am. We don’t know what lies ahead,” he says, almost fearful his words may be prophetic.Apprehensions about the potential fallout of Monday’s attack on the Jammu-Srinagar highway run strong. Around a dozen shops, located along the highway that connects Kashmir to the rest of India, are shut. Villagers are choosing to stay indoors. The sense that the dastardly act has brought Kashmir — battling the scourge of terrorism for 27 years — to a critical crossroads is palpable. This is the first major attack, since 2006, on the yatris of the annual pilgrimage that brings thousands to the Amarnath cave every year. In 2000, terrorists had killed 30 people in Pahalgam.Two hours after Monday’s attack, security forces began search operations. “Our gate started buzzing. We didn’t open it, but they jumped over it… Instead of going after terrorists and recording our statements, they beat us and ransacked our house,” alleges Shahzada, wife of a local shopkeeper. At his house, poultry seller Pincho also points towards broken windows, ransacked homes and scattered household items. He says, “We are ready to cooperate with investigators. But they beat all residents without asking anything.” Villagers also allege that the police also took away some people. The police, however, deny the charges. “Some other agency may have visited the village. I have no idea, who vandalised their homes,” says Anantnag SSP Altaf Khan, whose office is just a kilometre from the attack site.South Kashmir DIG SP Pani, head of the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the attack, admits that thrashing people is not the right way to conduct investigations. He promises to look into the allegations. Near the DIG’s office, tea-stall owner Abdul Rashid saw the valiant bus driver bringing his passengers to safety in inky darkness and through a hail of bullets. “They were all screaming. The DIG office security took control of the bullet-riddled bus. Initially, we helped passengers — families, businessmen and barefoot ascetics. But as more forces started pouring in, we got scared, closed shops and left,” he says. The bus, carrying passengers mostly from Gujarat and Maharashtra, was returning to Jammu from the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located 12,756 ft above sea level. Politicians are equally apprehensive. As J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and her cabinet colleagues drove to Anantnag, potential repercussions of the attack were on her mind. “I feared a backlash against Kashmiri students and a Hindu-Muslim tension outside Kashmir,” she told DNA. TV visuals of her apologizing to the survivors were galore. She cried and hugged the injured, reviving the signature actions that were central to her campaign while building the PDP in Kashmir. Even separatist leaders, who challenge India’s sovereignty over Kashmir, have strongly condemned the killings. The choice of the place where the attack was carried out is baffling. On one side, there are the headquarters of the Rashtriya Rifles’s First Brigade. On the other side, is a camp of the Special Operations Group, J&K police’s anti-insurgency force. A stone’s throw from the spot are the offices of South Kashmir’s DIG and Anantnag’s SSP. The deputy commissioner’s residence is also nearby. The attack happened on the highway, which straddles Batengoo village and the Jhelum river, only 50 km from J&K summer capital Srinagar. Many in the village saw the shooting. A 40-year-old says he saw three cars pass by. “From one car — perhaps a grey Maruti Alto — two men were firing. I guess, they were militants… we’re praying to the almighty for peace,” he says, also contradicting police claims that the attackers rode motorcycles.Faith unshakenSince July 11, when the bus was attacked, 40,161 pilgrims have visited the shrine Between June 29 and July 14, the total number was 1,86,853By August 7, when the yatra ends, the number is likely to cross the 3 lakh mark Terror timeline20177 killed in yatri bus attack20065 pilgrims killed during the yatra2002Terrorists attack a yatra base camp2001A militant hurled a grenade into a camp near the shrine, opened fire killing 13 people200030 yatris killed and several injured1994A sadhu found hanging from a tree in Pahalgam

16th batch of 3,398 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath from Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tight security, the sixteenth batch of 3,398 pilgrims today left Jammu for the 3,888-metre Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the south Kashmir Himalayas. Escorted by the CRPF and police, the batch consisting of 2,535 males, 758 females, 100 sadhus and sadhvis, and five transgenders left in a convoy of 191 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps this morning, officials said. With today’s batch, a total of 50,028 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 16 batches since the yatra began from Jammu on June 28. Over 1,86,853 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine till last evening. The yatra will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

16th batch of 3,398 pilgrims leave for Amarnath from Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tight security, the sixteenth batch of 3,398 pilgrims today left Jammu for the 3,888-metre Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the south Kashmir Himalayas. Escorted by the CRPF and police, the batch consisting of 2,535 males, 758 females, 100 sadhus and sadhvis, and five transgenders left in a convoy of 191 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps this morning, officials said. With today’s batch, a total of 50,028 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 16 batches since the yatra began from Jammu on June 28. Over 1,86,853 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine till last evening. The yatra will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarnath pilgrim dies of cardiac arrest, toll at 19

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 44-year-old pilgrim from Maharashtra today died near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 19, officials said. Govind Baburao Poraty, a resident of Nagpur, died at lower cave hospital due to cardiac arrest, the officials said. They said the body of the deceased was brought back to Baltal base camp and handed over to his family for last rites. The death toll in this year’s yatra now stands at 19, which includes seven pilgrims killed in the Anantnag terrorist attack on Monday night. The 40-day Amarnath yatra started on June 29 from the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district and is scheduled to culminate on August 7, coinciding with the Hindu festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’. Meanwhile, over 9,000 pilgrims paid obeisance today at the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-lingam considered by devotees as a symbol of Lord Shiva, “Today, on the 15th day of the yatra, 9,197 yatris paid obeisance at the holy cave and, cumulatively, since the beginning of the pilgrimage, 1,77,134 yatris had ‘darshan’ at the shrine,” an official spokesman said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

State Gazetteers map lesser-known religious fairs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Nagpur festival when Putana, the demoness killed by baby Krishna is worshippedBuldhana’s ‘Mahaprasad’ offering, where two lakh people are served at one goMahashivratri yatra to the revered the 13th Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva in GadchiroliThese religious fairs are among the little-known gems of Maharashtra’s tradition where religion, history, culture, and folk art converge. These vignettes will be soon recorded for posterity with the Maharashtra State Gazetteers’ directorate’s first comprehensive documentation of the yatras held across the state.The department will publish a division-wise compilation of yatras and utsavs held at temples, shrines, dargahs and places of worship across Maharashtra. The first volume is titled ‘Maharashtra: Yatra va Utsav (Vidarbha Vibhag)’, and will be released in around two months.”The documentation will serve as a repository of the various yatras and fairs in Maharashtra. Their importance and legends of how they began will be part of the documentation,” Dilip Balsekar, Executive Editor and Secretary, Gazetteers Department, said.The Gazetteer Department comes out with two kinds of gazettes – district and state gazettes – that cover issues like history, botany, medicinal plants and literature. Containing a detailed study of social, political, economic and cultural lives of people along with the description of physical and natural features, these gazettes serve as an encyclopedia for historians and researchers.Festival filePiwali Marbat: Celebrated in Nagpur and the surrounding areas during August- September, the festival dates back to 1885 and beyond. According to one version, it’s the outcome of a boon given to the demoness Putana who was killed by Krishna. A boon that said she will be be worshipped in Kaliyug.Vivekanand Jayanti at Vivekanand Ashram in Mehekar, Buldhana: Two lakh devotees are fed ‘Mahaprasad’ of 250 quintals each of wheat puris and brinjal subji at one go in around 20 minutes using 100 tractors and 2,000 volunteers on a 40 acre ground. This was started in 1965 to bridge caste divisions.Mahashivratri, Markandeshwar temple, at Markanda in Gadchiroli: Large congregation of devotees from Maharashtra, Telengana and Chhattisgarh worship Lord Shiva and sage Markandeya. It is supposed to contain the 12 Jyotirlingas and is revered as the 13th such shrine to the Lord of Kailasa.

Shutdown in Pahalgam market over Amarnath terror attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The market in Pahalgam near the Nunwan base camp of the Amarnath yatra today observed a shutdown to protest against the terror attack on pilgrims. The yatra, which passes through the Pahalgam market along the traditional route to the cave shrine, was, however, going on smoothly. “The shops and other business establishments in Pahalgam tourist resort observed a complete shutdown today in protests against the attack on Amarnath pilgrims,” a police official said. Several trade bodies including the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, travel and tourism players; and civil society groups yesterday held silent protest against the attack on Amarnath pilgrims. Separatist groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have also condemned the attacks on the pilgrims saying those behind the incident were not friends of Kashmiris. Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 21 injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening. The attack took place when they were returning to Jammu from Srinagar, after visiting the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajnath Singh vs Troll: MakeMyTrip says not in my name, distances itself from editor’s controversial tweet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Travel portal MakeMyTrip today distanced itself from a tweet by one of its staff questionning comments of Home Minister Rajnath Singh that people of Kashmir have condemned the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims.”The views expressed by Ms Suchi on Twitter are her personal thoughts and do not in anyway reflect the views of MakeMyTrip, however, we do regret the language used,” MakeMyTrip said in a statement.In an unusual rebuttal to an online troll, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that all Kashmiris were not terrorists and said it was his job to ensure peace and tranquillity in all parts of the country.The assertion by the home minister came in response to a tweet from an “Editor of Make My Trip”, a travel portal, which raised questions on his comment that the people of Kashmir had strongly condemned the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims and that it showed the spirit of Kashmiriyat was very much alive.Make My Trip also received condemnation on social media Replying to the home minister, Suchi Singh Kalra, who by using a derogatory word, told Singh that no one cared about whether Kashmiriyat was alive or not in Jammu and Kashmir but needed strong action from him against the terrorists responsible for yesterday’s attack. Singh responded: “Ms Kalra I certainly do. It is absolutely my job to ensure peace and tranquillity in all parts of the country. All Kashmiris are not terrorists.” In the Twitter profile, Kalra claimed to be an editor of the “Make My Trip”. However, soon Kalra deleted the twitter accountEarlier, the home minister said he saluted the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had condemned the attack on Amarnath pilgrims and kept the spirit of Kashmiriyat alive.The attack on Amarnath pilgrims in which seven people were killed was a “cowardly act of terror” but it was heartening to see the whole nation stand united against terrorism, the minister said.”I am pained at the loss of lives of Amarnath pilgrims.But I salute the people of Kashmir as all sections of society have condemned the attack,” he told reporters here.Singh also tweeted: “It shows the spirit of Kashmiriyat is very much alive.” Singh described the attack on Amarnath pilgrims as very “unfortunate and painful”.Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district.The home minister today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and ordered enhanced security for pilgrims visiting Amarnath cave shrine. In the meeting, sources said, Singh directed that those terrorists responsible for the attack should be hunt down soon.The pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet, started on June 29 and will conclude on August 7.

Drought-hit TN getting rains because of ‘havans’: Minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If one goes by the words of a Tamil Nadu minister, the widespread rains in the state in the past two months are a result of special prayers to propitiate the rain god. Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu today said ‘varuna yagams’ or havans had been conducted in several Lord Shiva temples in the state following water shortage. “Therefore, it has been raining (in Tamil Nadu) for the past two months,” he said in a brief mention in the assembly. Tamil Nadu faced unprecedented drought following the failure of monsoon last year. The government has already come out with a series of programmes aimed at mitigating farmers’ woes, besides ensuring drinking water supply.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajnath reviews situation of Amarnath pilgrims; NSA briefs PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and ordered enhanced security for Amarnath pilgrimage in the wake of the killing of seven devotees in a terror strike. The home minister took stock of the prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley, particularly the two routes to the shrine, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet during the hour-long meeting, official sources said. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, top officials of the home ministry, intelligence agencies and central paramilitary forces attended the meeting. Issues like security of Amarnath pilgrims and how to prevent such possible attacks in the future were discussed threadbare. Sources said the home minister directed the officials to ensure enhanced security for the pilgrims. The pilgrimage started on June 29 and will conclude on August 7. Immediately after the meeting, the NSA briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the deliberations as well as the steps taken for the security of the Amarnath pilgrims, sources said. A high-level central team led by Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir is also visiting Jammu and Kashmir to assess the security of the pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Lord Shiva. Director General of the CRPF, R R Bhatnagar, has already reached Srinagar to review the deployment of central forces in the pilgrimage routes. Terrorists yesterday killed seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, and injured 19 as they struck a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district. As many as 21,000 paramilitary personnel in addition to state police forces have been deployed for security of the pilgrimage routes. The number of paramilitary personnel deployed this year is 9,500 more than last year. However, the pilgrims were travelling in a bus which was not part of the convoy of vehicles taking the Amarnath pilgrims with adequate security. The bus was attacked around 8.20 pm in Anantnag district when it was on its way to Jammu from Srinagar. The police said the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi condemns killing of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, assures assistance to J-K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday strongly condemned the terrorist attack that killed six Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and left 14 seriously injured in Jammu and Kashmir?s Anantnag district. The Prime Minister took to his Twitter handle to share his thoughts and said, ?India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate.? ?Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone,? he tweeted. ?My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in J&K. My prayers with the injured,? he added. Prime Minister Modi further said that he spoke to Jammu and Kashmir?s Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and has assured all possible assistance. Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed deep condolences over the killing pilgrims by terrorists. ?This attack on the devotees of Lord Shiva is a crime against all humanity and the whole nation is shocked,? she said. Sonia Gandhi further said that the Government of India should immediately take cognizance of the entire matter and ensure the safety of all the injured passengers and the security of all Amarnath passengers. Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke with J-K Governor Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba and has assured full assistance to help the injured. The Home Minister has also spoken with the Director General of the J-K Police. Meanwhile, the latest update on attack says that as many as six people have been killed after a bus of Amarnath Pilgrims at Batingoo, Jammu and Kashmir was attacked. As per Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Control Room, 14 pilgrims are reported to be injured. A detailed report is awaited, K.S. Dhatwalia, DG PIB, says. Most of the pilgrims belong to Gujarat. A group of terrorists had earlier opened fire at the bus carrying the pilgrims in the Anantnag district. The incident occurred at 8.20 p.m. today when the bus, carrying 17 pilgrims from Baltal to Mir Bazar, became victim to the terrorist attack. A group of terrorists had earlier opened fire at the bus.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Railways to run three special trains for kanwar pilgrims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Railways will run three pairs of special trains from July 15 to 21 to clear the extra- rush of pilgrims during the Kanwar Yatra, which started today. Moreover, the route of the Delhi-Shamli and Delhi- Saharanpur passenger train would extend up to Haridwar for the ‘kanwar’ pilgrims, the Northern Railways (NR) said. “The three special trains – Delhi-Haridwar-Delhi Express, Rishikesh-Haridwar-Rishikesh passenger and Bareilly-Haridwar- Bareilly Express – will run from July 15 to July 21,” it said. ‘Kanwar Yatra’ is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by the devotees of Lord Shiva, known as ‘kanwarias’. The pilgrims in various parts of the country travel or walk to places such as Haridwar, Gomukh and Gangotri to take a dip, fetch water from the Ganga and offer it at Shiva temples back home. The annual pilgrimage will culminate on July 21.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SSP suspends 3 constables for ‘relaxing’ on Dial 100 duty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three policemen were today suspended for allegedly “relaxing” on duty by the Bulandshahr SSP Muniraj G who cycled 22 kms to check security arrangements for ‘Kanwad’ yatra. The district police chief covered a distance of 22 kms on National Highway 235 on a bicycle to check the security arrangements for Kanwad yatra, the annual month-long pilgrimage which begins tomorrow, police officials said. When the SSP, who was in civil clothes, reached Gulaothi, he found the three constables of ‘Dial 100’ service, which is meant to take prompt action in a fixed time limit, were found relaxing while sitting on chairs by the roadside, they said. The ‘Dial 100’ personnel need to sit in their vehicle and immediately rush to a spot on getting information of any incident from control room. The SSP got the chairs loaded in another police vehicle and sent it to a police station. He then suspended the erring personnel, the officials said. The Kanwariyas are Shiva devotees, who travel on foot to various temples during Saawan, carrying water from the Ganges as offering to Lord Shiva. On the occasion of Maha Shivratri on July 21, lakhs of devotees are likely to pay obeisance by Jal Abhishek on Shiv Linga in different temples.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarnath yatra resumes from Jammu after day-long suspension

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Amarnath yatra was resumed from Jammu today after a day-long suspension due to apprehensions of a law-and-order situation in the Kashmir Valley. Over 1.34 lakh pilgrims have so far paid their obeisance to the ice-lingam of Lord Shiva at the cave shrine at an altitude of 3,888 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas. “Today, on the 11th day of the yatra, 8,167 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave. As of now, a total of 1,34,771 yatris have had a darshan at the cave shrine,” said an official spokesman. A batch of 4,411 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here this morning in a convoy of 140 vehicles, said officials. The authorities had yesterday clamped a curfew in three towns of the Kashmir Valley, including Tral, and imposed restrictions on the movement of people in the rest of the Valley to foil the separatists’ plan to take out a rally to mark the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Burhan Wani. Police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in strength across the Valley. A total of 29,705 pilgrims and sadhus have left the Jammu base camp for the cave shrine since the 40-day yatra began on June 28. Fourteen persons, including a security officer, have died during the pilgrimage this year. The yatra began in the backdrop of an intelligence warning of a terror attack, which prompted the authorities to mobilise the “highest level” of security measures, including satellite-tracking. The pilgrimage is scheduled to conclude on the Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7. The cave shrine is located at a distance of 46 kms from Pahalgam and 14 kms from Baltal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarnath yatra suspended from Jammu due to Kashmir situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu today due to law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley under curfew for the death anniversary of militant commander Burhan Wani. Authorities clamped curfew in three towns, including Tral in Kashmir, and imposed restrictions on the movement of people in the rest of the valley. “The yatra has been been suspended from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu due to law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley,” a senior police officer said. Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength across Kashmir to handle any security challenge. The number of pilgrims paying obeisance at ice lingum of Lord Shiva at the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir himalayas has crossed the one-lakh mark as over 1.15 lakh devotees had darshan at the shrine. The yatra is continuing from Baltal and Pahalgam base camps. A total of 25,294 pilgrims and sadhus have left Jammu for Amarnath in eight batches since the yatra began. Nine people including a security officer have died in the ongoing Amarnath pilgrimage. “As many as 1,15,841 pilgrims have had darshan at the cave shrine since the beginning of the yatra,” an official spokesman said. Amid multi-tier security, the 40-day long yatra began from Jammu on June 28 as the first batch of pilgrims left for twin base-camps of 3,888-metre high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. The annual yatra in Kashmir began amid a terror threat, according to an intelligence warning which has prompted the authorities to mobilise the “highest level” of security measures, including satellite tracking system.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Old Delhi traders fear eviction, threaten stir against new Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 250 traders, on Thursday, protested against the Delhi Rent Control Act, as they fear they will be evicted from their shops. The traders have also threatened mass suicide in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan if the issue is not resolved within 30 days.A clause in Article 14 of the Rent Control Act allows the landlord to press for eviction when the “premises let for residential purpose are required bonafide by the landlord for occupation as a residence for himself or for any member of his family dependent on him.”Meanwhile, the traders are a worried lot. “I migrated from Kashmir in 1996. After selling my ancestral property, I bought a shop in Gol market. I received a notice to which I had to reply within 15 days or else they will evict my property forcefully on the 16th day. I have spent my whole life here and if my shop gets evicted, I will be left with nothing. How will I feed my family,” said Hilal Khan, a shopkeeper.The traders on Thursday organised a “roti pradarshan” on the busy streets of Chandni Chowk. The ‘roti’ signifies that the act is robbing shopkeepers off their daily bread.They have also warned the government that if the Rent Control Act is not amended within 30 days then they will seek permission from the President to commit mass suicide outside Rashtrapati Bhavan.More than five lakh traders are facing the fear of eviction. These are small scale traders who earn their daily bread from their small business and an estimated 10,000 shops are said to be affected.The traders also complain that there are variations of the Rent Control Act across the country which must be stopped. “We want that the law that Modi implemented in Gujarat, should be implemented not only in Delhi but in India. We want our shops to be ours. According to the earlier value we paid whatever the owner asked us to pay for the shop as ‘pagdi’,” said Om Prakash Sahu, a shopkeeper.”The owners are threatening me saying that they will kill me and my family if I don’t evict my shop. Where will we go? What will we do? Should we become criminals to earn money? Should we die?” he added.

25 lakh pilgrims at Mudia Poono fair so far, claims official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 25 lakh pilgrims have performed circumambulation of the Goverdhan hillock so far during the ongoing Mudia Poono fair, an official said today. The devotees perform Goverdhan ‘parikrama’ to seek blessings of Lord Krishna. “At least 25 lakh pilgrims have performed the parikrama of hillock Goverdhan so far,” District Magistrate Arvind Malappa Bangari said. He said no untoward incident has taken place but confirmed that two pilgrims died during parikrama due to cardiac arrest. Bangari said a private company would run helicopter Parikrama service on July 8 and 9 for aged. The service would start from temporary helipad constructed near DAV school, Goverdhan, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police launches probe into Pak note in Sabarimala temple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pakistani currency of Rs 20 denomination was found among the offerings in the ‘hundi’ of the famous Lord Ayyappa temple here prompting police to launch a probe. Police said a single Pakistani Rs 20 note was found when the hundi was opened for counting recently. The note was spotted while the currencies were being passed through the conveyor belt to the counting location. Police said foreign currency used to be found in the temple hundi, but as it was a Pakistani note “we are looking into it.” Sabarimala temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, attracts millions of devotees from across the country and abroad during the three-month annual pilgrimage season from November-January. The temple that remains closed for rest of the days is opened for five days for monthly pooja on the first day of every Malayalam calendar month.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Now, Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road station renamed as Prabhadevi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Within days of the Central Railway (CR) renaming the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Western Railway (WR) today rechristened the Elphinstone Road station as Prabhadevi. The WR issued a notification to this effect here today. The station, which was named after Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay Presidency from 1853 to 1860, has now been renamed in honour of a local deity. “The notification about the renaming of the station has been issued and steps are being taken to make necessary changes, including updating it in our system,” said the chief public relations officer of the WR, Ravinder Bhakar. “It will take almost a week to complete all the formalities of changing the name,” he added. The WR said the code initials of the renamed station would be- PBHD. It was Shiv Sena which had first made the demand to rename some suburban stations in Mumbai arguing they carried “colonial” names. In December last year, the Maharashtra legislature had approved a Bill to rename the Elphinstone Road station, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and the Mumbai airport. Welcoming the renaming of the station, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police probe into molestation of women devotees in Puri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police team today met a woman medical student, who had accused policemen of molesting women devotees during ‘Sandhya Darshan’ of Lord Jagannath at Gundichha Telpme on Sunday. Allegedly a victim of molestation by a policeman while visiting the temple with her family members, the student had also slapped him in protest. A case was registered with the Kumbharpada police station at Puri last night on a direction from the Odisha police headquarters. “Based on a Facebook post and reports in the electronic and print media on the alleged molestation of a medical student in Puri during darshan of Lord Jagannth, I have directed Dr Sarthak Sarangi, IPS, SP Puri to register an FIR with the Kumbahrpada police station under appropriate sections and get it investigated immediately under his supervision,” DGP K B Singh said in an office order. Though the Puri police had initially said the probe into the allegation would begin after the rituals of Lord Jagannath ‘darshan’ were completed, DGP Singh has ordered immediate investigation. “I hope the investigation will reach the final stage by tomorrow. We’ll install more CCTV cameras at crowded places to avoid such incidents in future,” Singh told reporters. The Puri police, meanwhile, today formed a three-member team to probe the alleged molestation case. The team led by Kumbharpada police station in-charge, today met the woman at the medical college here where she is pursuing her MBBS degree course and enquired her about the incident. Her statement was recorded under section 161 of CrPC, the police said. The alleged victim has also shared her experience on the social media. “Just returning from Puri. I am very very disheartened seeing the scenario there. I didn’t want to create a mess there, but I just couldn t control myself. There were some policemen, touching the private areas of the girls,” she said in a Facebook post. The student said in her post that she lost her patience and slapped a policeman and lodged a complaint with the SP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lakhs witness Lord Jagannath’s return car festival

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad witnessed Lord Jagannath’s ‘Bahuda Yatra’ – the return car festival which was held amid tight security. A multi-layer security net was thrown in the town with heavy deployment of forces to ensure smooth celebrations and prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official said. According to mythology, the three deities – Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra wrap up their annual nine-day sojourn to Sri Gundicha Temple, their birth place and return to Sreemandir or Sri Jagannath temple riding their three majestic wooden chariots. Several special rituals were performed before the deities were taken out of the Gundicha temple and placed on the three colourfully decorated chariots for the return journey amid chants of ‘Jai Jagannath’ and ‘Hari Bol’. The divine siblings were taken to their chariots in an elaborate ritual called ‘Pahandi’ to the beating of gongs, cymbals and blowing of conch shells. Lord Jagannath was ensconced in the largest of the three chariots – the 45 feet-high ‘Nandighosh’, Balabhadra in his 44 feet-high ‘Taladhwaja’ and Subhadra in her 43 feet-high ‘Darpadalan’. Gajapati King of Puri Divya Singha Deb performed the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ ritual. He offered prayers to the deities and then swept the platforms of the chariots with a golden broom and sprinkled flowers and fragrant water. The giant chariots were then pulled by devotees amid gaiety and devotion on ‘Bada Danda’, the grand avenue leading to the Sri Jagannath temple up to the Lion’s gate in front of it where they would be stationed till July 6. The deities, who had embarked on a nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha Temple during Rath Yatra on June 25, would finally re-enter the 12th century shrine and again be placed on the ‘Ratna Simhasana’, the bejewelled throne, following a ceremony called ‘Neeladribije’. Ahead of ‘Neeladribije’, the deities would be decorated with ‘suna besha’ or golden attire tomorrow on their chariots, which traditionally attracts a large number of devotees from all over. More than 3,000 of police personnel have been deployed in the pilgrim town apart from central para-military forces, while over 180 CCTVs have been installed on the grand avenue to keep a close vigil.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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