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Political storm over Mehbooba Mufti government’s gag order

A major political storm has hit the Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government after it ordered a social media gag for its employees.General Administration Department (GAD) of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday issued a notification circular restricting the government employees from posting ‘inflammatory, extraneous messages’ on the social media.The notification was issued after Governor NN Vohra amended the Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees Conduct Rules, 1971 affer sub-rule(3) of rule 13.Under the new order, no government employee shall engage in any “criminal, dishonest, immoral or notoriously disgraceful conduct on social media which may be prejudicial to the government”.”They shall also not use their personal social media accounts for any political activity or endorse the posts or tweets or blogs of any political figure, and also shall not use their accounts in a manner that could reasonably be construed to imply that the Government endorses or sanctions their personal activities in any matter whatsoever. They shall also not post inflammatory, extraneous messages in an online community with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on topic discussion,” said the GAD notification.This move has sparked a major political controversy with employees, opposition and separatists calling it a ‘dictatorial’ approach of the state government to silence the people.The main opposition party National Conference has asked the government not to label entire employees community as ‘terrorists’.”The diktat, in the form of an amendment to the J&K Government Employees Conduct Rules 1971, aims to defame and vilify lakhs of government employees as either terrorists or anti-social elements who are apparently unable to differentiate between right and wrong in conducting themselves on a day-to-day basis”, said Junaid Azim Mattu, National Conference State SpokespersonLambasting the government, the Congress has asked the government to withdraw the notification saying it is as an attack on the fundamental rights of the people.Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) chairman Abdul Qayoom Wani said imposing restrictions on the employees over the use of social media exposes the dictatorial and regressive mindset of the present government.Separatists too have jumped on to the bandwagon to lampoon the government’s social media gag.”Ordering gags and threatening punishment to State employees for expressing their opinion on social media completely exposes the aversion to truth or its disclosure by the occupational regime and its unscrupulous local agents!” tweeted Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of moderate Hurriyat Conference.

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Hope Maldives will be sensitive to our concerns, says India

India said on Thursday that it attaches a lot of importance to its ties with the Maldives and hoped that the country will be sensitive to its concerns.Replying to questions on an anti-India editorial in a Maldivian newspaper, Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar said it should not be taken seriously.The Maldives recently signed a free trade agreement with China, which is seen as Beijing’s growing influence over the island nation.”We have to see our relationship with Maldives in a broader perspective. It is an important country. We do attach lot of importance to our relationship with the country,” Kumar said.At the same time, he said India expects and hopes that the Maldives will be sensitive to New Delhi’s concerns.Also readMaldives to restore death penalty after 60 years – officialOn the FTA between China and the Maldives, he said India was trying to understand its implications.”We should look beyond these developments and we should have diplomatic discussions between the two sides to address any issue between the two countries,” said the MEA spokesperson.He said much attention should not be paid to things which are going around.Kumar also referred to a tweet by Maldivian Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim few days back in which he called the India-Maldives ties time-tested.”Relations with #India is time-tested and is based on people to people contact & cooperation in several sectors. We remain committed to further enhancing and strengthening existing ties,” Asim had tweeted.Meanwhile, asked about the the visit of the mother and wife of Indian death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav to Pakistan to meet him, Kumar said the modalities of the trip were being worked out.”The modalities of the meeting are being worked out and who goes when, how do they go, how the meeting takes place, I think this is something the two countries are engaged in discussion,” said Kumar when asked about media reports quoting Pakistani officials that the mother and wife of Jadhav will be flying to Islamabad than taking the road trip via Wagah.Asked about the comment of a Pakistani official that Islamabad may allow the two women to interact with media if India does not have any objection, Kumar did not give a direct reply, saying, “We will see.”To a separate question, Kumar said Pakistan is under international obligation to protect the minorities in the country.On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that India will take up at the highest level in the Pakistan government reports of Sikhs being forced to convert to Islam by a government official in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).Her reaction came after leading Pakistan daily The Express Tribune published a news story about the Sikh community raising serious concerns after being forced to convert to Islam by the government official in the Hangu district of K-P.

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Metro work damages water pipeline in Gorai

Water supply was affected for three to four hours in Gorai area after the ongoing work on Metro-2A corridor damaged a pipeline on Tuesday afternoon. The rail project will provide a new transport link between Dahisar West and D N Nagar in Andheri.According to officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, supply was immediately stopped after they were alerted about the rupture. “There was no wastage of water due to damage in pipeline. It was repaired and water supply was restored by evening,” said S A Waghmare, assistant engineer (water supply) of R Central ward.A spokesperson from MMRDA, the Metro project implementing authority, said officials of contractor J Kumar and the BMC wasted no time visiting the damage spot. “The pipeline was repaired by 6.15 pm,” said the spokesperson.

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Congress workers in Amethi celebrate Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as party president

Congress workers in Amethi on Monday celebrated the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the party president by distributing five quintal ‘ladoos’ and bursting firecrackers in his parliamentary constituency.Party workers organised programs at various places, including Amethi, Jais, Musafirkhana and Tilot, to celebrate Mr Gandhi’s elevation. They took out victory march, danced on streets and distributed ‘ladoos’. After a meeting at the party Central Office in Gauriganj, party workers burst firecrackers to celebrate the occasion. Also readIt’s official! Rahul Gandhi is new Congress president, to assume office on December 16“We have been waiting for years for Rahul to take over the party command. Today our long cherished wish has been fulfilled. We are eagerly awaiting his visit to Amethi after taking the charge,” said party Amethi Spokesperson Anil Singh.“Rahul will write a new history of the Congress. We are sure that he will make the party win the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to come back to the power,” reacted former MLA Radheyshyam Dhobi.The Amethi Congress President Yogendra Mishra said that Rahul has already spelled his magic in Gujarat. Also readPM Modi congratulates Rahul Gandhi for becoming Congress President, wishes him a fruitful tenure“After becoming AICC President, he will change the course of the Indian politics,” he said.

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Pakistan allows Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family to meet him in jail on December 25

The family of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian naval officer facing death sentence in Pakistan, has been allowed to meet him in jail on December 25.Though it has not been specified that who exactly has been permitted to meet Jadhav, it is sure that an Indian diplomat will accompany the family member.The news comes after India set some pre-conditions for the meeting, specifically asking for the safety of Jadhav’s family members.Earlier, India had allowed wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav to travel to Pakistan.However, the women’s travel permission is linked with certain pre-conditions.Also readPakistan yet to give a sovereign guarantee about safety and security of Kulbhushan Jadhav: VK Singh”In our response, we have conveyed that Jadhav’s wife would like to travel with her mother-in-law for the meeting. We have also sought sovereign guarantee from the Pakistan Government to ensure safety, and security of both. Also, during their stay in Pakistan they should not be questioned, or harassed,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.”We have further asked that a diplomat from our High Commission in Pakistan shall be allowed to accompany them at all times, including during the meeting,” he added.Also read4 assurances India has asked for allowing Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to travel to PakistanPakistan on November 10 had said that on ‘humanitarian grounds’, it can allow meeting between Jadhav and his wife in jail. The 46-year-old was arrested in March last year on charges on espionage. The Pakistan authorities alleged that Jadhav was working with RA&W and was involved in terrorist activities in strife-torn Balochistan region.After nearly four months of trail termed as ‘farcical’ trial, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court. But, India moved to International Court of Justice and in major victory, the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s death sentence in May this year.

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Train derails in Rajasthan, no injuries reported

A Bikaner-bound train derailed today when a tractor rammed into its engine near Nawa railway station in Rajasthan, a railway spokesperson said.The Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Bikaner Express derailed at 2:52 am on the Zerpur-Satnali section after a tractor collided with it, causing four of its wheels to go off the rails, the spokesperson said.No injuries have been reported, he said.”The train was provided with fresh power and it left the site at 5:25 am for Bikaner,” railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said.This is the second incident in less than 10 days where unauthorised vehicles have caused accidents.On November 24, a bolero, carrying a marriage party, was hit by a local train in Uttar Pradesh.
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Newborn, declared dead by Delhi hospital, found alive later

A newborn, who was declared dead along with his still-born twin by Delhi’s Max hospital, was about to be buried when his family found him alive.After this, both the mother and newborn were admitted to another hospital. Delhi Police Spokesperson Deependra Pathak told ANI that the police were taking into account all details of the situation, and were also consulting legal experts. “It is a very shocking incident, and shows height of negligence. We have started immediate inquiry and investigation in this case. We are also consulting legal experts,” Pathak said. The Delhi Police will take further action if a case of negligence surfaces.”Under the court’s direction, we will also consult Delhi Medical Council or Indian Medical council, and convey to them details of all circumstances. Then, we’ll take legal action if a case of negligence surfaces,” Pathak said, adding that the police will also look if there are more cases of criminal negligence in the hospital. Meanwhile, Union Health Minister JP Nadda has spoken to Health Secretary in this connection.
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Great job Ivanka: Donald Trump praises his daughter for promoting women entrepreneurs at GES 2017

US President Donald Trump has applauded his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump’s “great work” in promoting women entrepreneurs during her visit to India.Ivanka is currently in India leading a high-profile US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad being co-hosted by the two countries.This is not the first time Ivanka is visiting India. But yes, this is her first visit to India as a senior presidential advisor.”Great work Ivanka,” Trump said in a late-night tweet as he retweeted State Department which said that Ivanka’s comments on US efforts to fuel entrepreneurship so that Americans can turn their dreams into incredible legacies.US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also praised 36-year-old Ivanka.”Thrilled to see” Ivanka Trump “in India promoting female entrepreneurs. At home that means improving workforce development and cutting government red tape,” Haley said in a tweet yesterday.Haley is the highest ranking Indian-American in the Trump administration. She is also the first ever Indian American serving in the Cabinet of any presidential administration.”Globally it means creating an environment where women- across the world-have access to the capital & mentorship they need to succeed,” Haley said.In recent weeks, Haley said that she was planning to visit India this year but could not go because of her other pressing engagement, but hopes to travel soon.The State Department Spokesperson, Heather Nauert, also praised Ivanka for her accomplishments in Hyderabad.”We are certainly proud of what she’s been able to accomplish, and I can think of no better representative for the US Government to talk about women’s entrepreneurship than her,” she told reporters at a news conference.The GES is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world, she said.”And we are excited about the focus that this year’s GES puts on the US-India bilateral relationship,” Nauert said.GES 2017 participants will empower innovators and entrepreneurs, particularly women, to utilise new skills and resources to achieve success through plenaries, workshops, and a pitch competition, she asserted.This is the eighth annual GES and the first time the GES has taken place in South Asia, she said, adding that it reflects the region’s strong entrepreneurial-ship achievements and future as well as the rapid growth of the US-India Strategic Partnership.
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Ayodhya row: Welcome your efforts but won’t give up claim on Babri Masjid land, Muslim bodies to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid reports of meeting between Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the Babri Masjid issue, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC) have made that Muslims will not shelve their claims on the land belonging to the Babri mosque.“We have not received any proposal for talks or any formula from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We have already made it clear to the spiritual leader that Muslims will not surrender their legal right and rightful claim over the land belonging to Babri Mosque in Ayodhya,” said Jafrayab Jilani, AIBMAC Convenor and AIMPLB Secretary.Jilani said that talks failed in the past also due to same rhetoric and rigid stand of other parties to surrender the entire disputed land. “There is no question of Muslim giving up their claim on 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya as per the 2010 Allahabad High Court,” said Jilani.In its verdict on September 30, 2010, the Lucknw Bench of the Allabahad High court had distributed he 2.77 acres of land equally between Ram Lala Virajmaan, Nirmohi Akhara and Central Sunni Wakf Board. Later, Sunni Board had filed a case in Supreme Court which will hear the land dispute case on day to day basis from December 5.“We welcome efforts of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. But talks for an out of court settlement will not succeed till Muslim Personal Law Board is involved in talks,” said Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali, a member of AIMPLB.The spiritual leader on Wednesday arrived in Lucknow and met the CM for about 40 minutes. “It was a courtesy call. “We held discussion on various issue including welfare of poor and farmers,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.On the question of AIMPLB and AIBMAC rejecting his formula, Sri Sri Ravishanker clarified that “when no formula or proposal was sent to them then where is the question of rejection by them,” he pointed.The Spiritual leader also held a meeting with VHP- RSS leaders, sadhus and saints involved in the land dispute in Ayodhya.“We have told Sri Sri Ravishanker that temple of Lord Ram should be constructed at the 2.77 acres of land. We are ready to build a mosque nearby or any other place of their choice,” said Amar Nath Mishra, a senior VHP leader.Significantly, the All-India Shia Personal Law Board has too sided with the stand taken by the AIMPLB.“They want us to surrender our claim on the land in Ayodhya but Muslims in the country is with the stand taken by the All-India Muslim Personal Board and will follow the Supreme Court verdict,” said Maulana Mirza Yesoob Abbas, Spokesperson for the Shia Board.Meanwhile, Art of Living Foundation Darshan Hathi said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was not carrying any formula for resolving the Ayodhya dispute.“He is only providing a platform to representatives from both communities to hold talks and resolve the Ayodhya imbroglio out court,” clarified the Spokesperson.Sri Sri Ravishanker will go to Ayodhya on Thursday to hold with Muslim and Hindu litigants, including Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Dharam Das, Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Iqbal Ansari and Haji Mehboob etc. The Art of Living Foundation founder had made a similar effort in 2003 to resolve the dispute but it had failed.

Civic polls: Adityanath kicks off campaign from Ayodhya, says Hindutva and development synonymous

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministerf Yogi Adityanath said that Lord Ram is the faith of India and no work is possible without paying obeisance to him and seeking his blessings.Before leaving for Ayodhya to kick off BJP’s poll campaign for local bodies elections, the Chief Minister took a dig at the opposition parties for condemning his move to choose Ayodhya for launching BJP poll campaign.The Samajwadi Partu has alleged that Yogi Adityanath is playing religion card to woo voters. “We have no objections of Chief Minister launching campaign from anywhere but we do oppose any move to divide and woo voters on religious lines,” alleged Rajendra Chowdhary, SP Spokesperson.“The opposition parties have no issues. They have already surrendered even before the polls are held. In the last 15 years of their rule, they only looted and did nothing for the state,” he counter-attacked.He also ridiculed Akhilesh Yadav for announcing to install statue of Duryodhan along with Lord Krishna at Saifai in Etawah. “It’s good that AKhilesh too took a religious recourse to install a statue of Lord Krishna in Saifai after we planned to install a 100 feet statue of Lord Ram at Ayodhya. But by announcing to install a statue of Duryodhan also at the same place he has exposed his mentality,” said Yogi Adityanath.Yogi Adityanth said that Hindutva and development are synonym to each other and those opposing it are anti-national. “We celebrated Treta Yuga Diwali in Ayodhya, now we will celebrate Holi in Mathura-Vrindavan with same religious fervour,” said he.The Chief Minister also lauded the effort of Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishanker’s efforts to mediate in resolving the land dispute issue in Ayodhya out of court. “His efforts to hold talks with all parties involved in the dispute should be lauded by one and all,” he added.The Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar is visiting Ayodhya on November 16 to hold parleys with litigants from both sides to work out an out of court settlement of Ayodhya imbroglio.Launching BJP poll campaign for local bodies from Ayodhya amid ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans, the Chief Minister said Ayodhhya holds an important place in the country and millions of Hindus across India and abroad. “Ayodhya will be electing a mayor for the first time in its history, I appeal all residents of Ayodhya and Faizabad to elect the BJP mayor for bringing the temple town on the world map,” he appealed.The Chief Minister promised 24 power supply to Ayodhya. “SP and BSP leaders are electrocuted whenever I make a visit to Ayodhya. They neglected Ayodhya during their regimes. Time has come to teach them a lesson,” he said.Since the local body polls are being viewed as referendum on performance of Yogi Adityanath’s eight-month rule, the BJP is leaving nothing to chances in its effort to repeat its 2017 Assembly poll landslide win. It has already released a 27-point ‘Sankalp Patra’ promising free wi-fi, free water connection and ATMs and clean and greener cities and towns. The Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also making a whirlwind tour of the state holding as many as 40 rallies in different parts to ensure BJP’s win the in the three-phased polls, beginning November 22.

CBI filed 84 cases of illicit note exchange

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered 84 cases, including 7 Preliminary Enquiries, and unearthed Rs 396 crore relating to illicit currency exchange that took place after the government announced demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes an year ago.The 84 cases, involving 183 public servants, are related to fraudulent exchange of demonetised notes at commercial banks, co-operative banks, post offices, railways and insurance companies.Besides, 124 persons have also been found involved. Of them, 26 have been arrested. The agency has acted on more than 500 references received from general public and other agencies.CBI also conducted joint surprise checks on banks and other companies. After one year of demonetization, the government is celebrating it as “anti-black money day” while Opposition has termed it as a “black day”.During investigation, CBI has so far arrested 21 public servants and 26 private persons out of 307 accused (including public servants & private persons) found to be involved in these cases.Demonetised and new currency worth crores and large number of incriminating documents have been recovered so far. Chargesheet has been filed in 12 cases and regular department action has also been recommended in a few cases.”Some private individuals were nabbed with huge amounts of new currency. Since the restrictions on individuals in terms of withdrawals of new currency, investigation is to find out how they could come in possession of such amounts. The ongoing investigation is expected to reveal involvement of more public servants,” CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.According to CBI, a total 59 cases have been registered mainly the fraudulent exchange of old currency notes that took place at commercial and cooperative bans, followed by Post Offices where 18 cases have been registered.Five cases have been registered against Railways and one against an Insurance Department employee.”Several shell companies were identified during the course of investigations. Concerned law enforcement agencies have been informed of these shell companies for action on their part. Misuse of Aadhaar cards or numbers of children was found in certain cases to deposit old notes. Some Cooperative banks were used by unscrupulous individuals to exchange ill gotten and undeclared money kept in cash,” CBI sources said.The CBI claimed that it was ensured that every information related to such violation of laws should be entertained and examined and if required, cases should be registered. The agency received 92 complaints from the general public which reported such illegal exchanges in various organisations, it said.Several agencies like Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have seized demonetised currency with face value in crores in the last one year and arrested several persons attempting to exchange their ill-gotten money or those helping them for the purpose after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 declared Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as “invalid tender”.

JeM Chief Masood Azhar is a ‘bad guy’, should be called global terrorist: US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar is a “bad guy” and should be declared a global terrorist, the US today said as China blocked a bid at the UN to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind as a designated terrorist. Last week, China for the fourth time had blocked a proposal backed by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist, citing a lack of consensus among the members of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits. “We certainly think that he is a bad guy. We would like to have him on that list,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a press conference when asked about China’s move.“There are some committee discussions that are underway over whether to add him or the entity to the sanctions list. That list is confidential under the United Nations, so unfortunately, I am not going to be able to comment on the deliberations at the UN under that,” Nauert said. “I’d have to refer you to the Chinese Government to explain why they voted the way they did, but we certainly think that this guy is a bad guy,” she said when asked about China’s action.“We consider the organisation to be a foreign terrorist organisation under the US law,” Nauert said. A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations. Notably, China was the only country opposing the designation of Azhar by the Security Council as a terrorist.All other 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council were supporting the bid to place Azhar on the sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Azhar is accused of several terrorist attacks in India, including one on the Pathankot air force station in January 2016.

India hopeful policy set by China’s Communist Party Congress will promote ties: MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India today hoped that the direction and the policy set by the Communist Party Congress in China will further promote Sino-India relations and contribute to peace and stability in the region.The remarks by External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar came in response to a query on Chinese President Xi Jinping starting his second five-year term and ordering the country’s Army to intensify its combat readiness by focusing on how to win wars during the Congress of the Communist party. “Our Prime Minister had sent his best wishes to President Xi for the success of the Congress before it met and subsequently congratulated him on his re-election as the General Secretary of the Communist Party,” he said.”We hope that the direction and the policy set by the Congress will further promote our bilateral relations and contribute to peace and stability in the region,” Kumar said. On China’s offer for India to join its ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, which includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Kumar said India’s position on the issue is well-known. Though India supports connectivity, it has to be open and equitable, he added.India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through disputed territory and New Delhi boycotted a high- profile Belt and Road Forum organised by China in May.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang yesterday in Beijing told reporters that, “We welcome other countries including India to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on the basis of voluntarism.” Replying to a separate question, Kumar said India is in touch with Pakistani authorities regarding Hamid Nihal Ansari, who is in a jail in Pakistan. Ansari had crossed over to Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012 and then went missing. He was later arrested and tried by a Pakistani military court, which pronounced him guilty of espionage.The ministry is in touch with Pakistani authorities through its high commission there, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said. On a meeting between Pakistan High Commissioner and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the spokesperson said it was a “courtesy” call and in such interactions nothing substantive is discussed.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks Navy to remain ever ready to counter any threat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked the Navy to remain “ever ready” to counter any challenge in the wake of recent developments in India’s neighbourhood, seen as a clear reference to China’s growing maritime presence in the critical sea lanes.In an address at the on-going Navy commanders’ conference, she also took note of the critical capability shortfalls the Navy was facing in ship-borne multi-role helicopters, conventional submarines, and minesweepers which are required urgently to maintain its combat edge.The minister assured the commanders that these issues were being given due impetus and efforts were in hand to mitigate these shortcomings at the earliest, Navy Spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said.He said the commanders also reviewed the Navy’s readiness to deploy over the entire range of missions in the maritime domain.In her address, Sitharaman talked about the challenges India was facing in the maritime domain and complimented the Navy for its high operational readiness.”Taking note of the recent developments in our maritime neighbourhood, she emphasised the need for the Indian Navy to be strong at sea, and be ever ready and vigilant to counter any challenges in the maritime domain,” Capt Sharma said.Official sources said China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), its fresh military deployments in the geo-politically sensitive South China Sea and efforts to increase its overall dominance were discussed at the four- day-long conclave which began on Tuesday.Sitharaman acknowledged the high operational tempo maintained by the Navy in the last one year through regular deployment of ships, submarines and aircraft from the South China Sea and Sea of Japan in the East to the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean in the West.She also complimented the force for its sustained efforts to deter piracy attempts off the Gulf of Aden.Yesterday, the naval commanders had cleared a new plan for deployment of warships in the Indian Ocean region to effectively counter China’s growing assertiveness in the strategically key region.The “new mission-based deployment” plan involves deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft along critical sea lanes of communications, Navy sources said.The minister also commended the efforts of the Navy to constructively engage with the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) littorals to build their capacities and enhance their capabilities.She further stated that Milan exercise at Port Blair early next year would be an excellent forum to get the littoral Navies on a common platform to discuss regional maritime issues and security challenges, Sharma said.In her address, Sitharaman also mentioned about unprecedented success of the Malabar exercise with the US and the Japanese Navy earlier this year.At the conference, the top-level leadership of the Navy reviewed major operational, training and administrative activities undertaken in the last six months.

US firms to invest in Uttar Pradesh to bolster Indo-US relations: Yogi Adityanath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday rolled out a red carpet welcome to a US business delegation comprising senior representatives of 26 major American firms and assured to offer them the best investment opportunities in the state.Under the ‘US in UP’ programme, the delegation called on the Chief Minister late Monday evening. “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, a new chapter has been added into the Indo-US relations. Uttar Pradesh will act as catalyst and provide a backbone to further strengthen business ties with the US,” said Adityanath.The US delegation was led by Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar. It comprises representatives from top US companies including Facebook, Adobe, Coca Cola, Mosangto, Mastercard, Proctor & Gamble, Uber, Honeywell, GE Health, Pratts & Whitney, Merck, Azure Power, Cargill, Medtronic etc.The meeting was organised under the aegis of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). Officials from the US Embassy and US Trade and Development Agency were also part of the delegation.The Chief Minister claimed that his government has already announced its investor-friendly new industrial policy under which a single-window system has been opened to ensure investors face no problem in seeking licenses and clearances for setting up their industries in the state. “The new GST regime proved to be a game-changer. Uttar Pradesh is the biggest market in the country. Anyone making investment in the state would get all support from my government,” he assured.A US delegation had visited the state earlier in June to explore possibilities of bilateral trade. “Uttar Pradesh provides tremendous business opportunities in chemical, petro-chemical, pharmaceuticals, cement, power, gems, textiles and engineering sectors,” said Dr Siddharth Nath Singh, BJP Spokesperson and State Health minister.“The US delegation showed keen interest to invest in Uttar Pradesh,” the minister told mediapersons after the meeting.

BRICS Summit: First time since Doklam stand-off, PM Modi and Chinese President Jinping to hold bilateral talks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After months-long Doklam standoff, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their first substantive bilateral meeting on Tuesday.According to external affairs ministry officials, Modi will meet Xi at 12.30 pm (10 am IST), the prime minister’s last official engagement before flying off to Myanmar on a bilateral visit.Modi had arrived here on Sunday and attended the BRICS Summit on Monday.During the meeting, which is taking place amids efforts from the two sides to leave the bitterness caused by the 73- day face-off between their troops in Dokalam in the Sikkim sector, sources said the two leaders are expected to discuss ways to create confidence building measures.However, they refused to divulge details about the issues to be discussed.The sense is that both countries want to “move on” after the standoff.The Chinese and the Indian troops were engaged in a standoff since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army.On August 28, India’s External Affairs Ministry announced that New Delhi and Beijing have decided on “expeditious disengagement” of their border troops in the disputed Dokalam area.Asked if there was any link between the BRICS declaration which for the first time named Pakistan-based terror groups for their violent activities and resolution of the Dokalam standoff, Secretary (East) in the MEA Preeti Saran answered in the negative, saying BRICS is a multilateral forum where outcomes are based on consensus.”It cannot be linked,” she added.Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing that “details of the meeting we will release in due course.”Apart from Xi, Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with the President of Egypt, which is among the five counties — Mexico, Guinea, Thailand and Tajikistan — invited by China as part of ‘BRICS Plus’ outreach exercise.

BRICS nations should show responsibility in upholding global peace and stability: Xi Jinping

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chinese President Xi Jinping today underscored that the BRICS must uphold the value of diplomacy to resolve “hotspot issues” as the leaders of the grouping, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, arrived here for the Summit, which is starting tomorrow in this port city of China.Xi also appeared to take a reconciliatory tone when he, without directly referring to the recent Dokalam standoff with India, underlined that “peace and development” should be the underpin to resolve issues as the world does not want “conflict and confrontation.””We the BRICS countries should show our responsibilities to uphold global peace and stability,” he said.Modi and Xi are expected to meet on Tuesday, nearly a week after the two countries announced resolution of the 73- day-long Dokalam standoff.According to officials, the two leaders are scheduled to hold a meeting on September 5 on the sidelines of the 9th Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) Summit. After the bilateral with the host, Modi will be travelling to Myanmar on a bilateral visit.The Chinese and the Indian troops were in a standoff position for nearly 73 days since June 16 when the Indian side stopped construction of a road by China’s army.On August 28, external affairs ministry announced that New Delhi and Beijing have decided on “expeditious disengagement” of their border troops in the disputed Dokalam area.The sense is that India wants to put behind the Dokalam bitterness and move ahead.Xi, while inaugurating the BRICS business council, also called on BRICS countries to take a constructive part in the process of resolving geopolitical “hotspot issues” and make due contributions.India is also expected to raise its concerns over terrorism at the BRICS Summit, with Modi asserting that the grouping has to make important contributions in upholding peace and security, and address global challenges.Asked about China’s comments that it will not be appropriate to discuss Pakistan’s counter-terrorism records at the BRICS summit at Xiamen, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said he cannot pre-empt what Modi will say during his interventions at the restricted and plenary sessions of the summit.But he asserted that India’s position on terrorism has been very clear and it has been raising the issue at various multilateral forums.”We noticed that India, when it comes to Pakistan’s counter-terrorism, has some concerns. I don’t think this is an appropriate topic to be discussed at BRICS summit,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said ahead of the Summit.According to sources, India is expected to flag its concerns over terrorism.The issue is also likely to find its place in the joint declaration with the Chinese president also saying that he was “convinced that as long as we take a holistic approach to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and address both its symptoms and root causes, terrorists will have no place to hide”.Yesterday, Modi in his departure statement had said “India attaches high importance to the role of BRICS that has begun a second decade of its partnership for progress and peace. BRICS has important contributions to make in addressing global challenges and upholding world peace and security”.The prime minister had also said he was looking forward to engaging with leaders of nine other countries, including BRICS partners, in an Emerging Markets and Developing Countries Dialogue, being hosted by Xi on September 5.”We will also interact with the BRICS Business Council represented by captains of industry from all the five countries,” he said.Modi will hold bilateral meetings with several leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, which is among the five counties – Mexico, Guinea, Thailand and Tajikistan – invited by China as the part of BRICS outreach exercise.Modi was also greeted by a group of Indians on his arrival at the hotel.

India at BRICS: What will PM Narendra Modi do in China?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for the BRICS summit on Sunday, New Delhi is expected to put across the terror concerns more forcefully.Hosted by China, the next week’s BRICS Summit, will see India raising concern over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism. On Thursday, however, Beijing had said that it won’t be an “appropriate topic” to be discussed at the forum.Amid the reports that both India and China have reached to an amicable resolution for the Doklam stand-off in Sikkim, there are reports that PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping may meet on the sidelines of the summit.Without ruling out the probable bilateral meeting, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was a common practice to arrange bilateral meetings on the sidelines of such multilaterals.However, he refused to divulge details, saying he cannot share timing and other information on bilateral meetings that have already been confirmed.PM Modi will leave on September 3 to attend the Brazil- Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) Summit on September 4 in China, from where he will travel to Myanmar on a state visit before returning on September 7.While Kumar refused to “preempt” as to what PM Modi will speak during his intervention at the Summit on Monday in the Chinese city of Xiamen, sources said India is expected to flag its concerns over terrorism strongly.At the last BRICS Summit, hosted by India, PM Modi had described Pakistan as a “mothership” of terrorism world-wide.The PM had sought decisive global action such as systematically cutting off funding, weapons supply, training and political support to terror outfits and asserted that selective approach to deal with the menace will be not only futile but also counter-productive.Leaders are free to speak what they want and it is the joint declaration which is prepared on the basis of consensus, Kumar said when asked about China’s view that India’s concerns over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism record is not an “appropriate topic” to be discussed at the forum.

BRICS Summit: PM Modi may hold meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, says MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Friday refused to disclose what Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak at the upcoming BRICS summit in China and said that it would be premature to share it now.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar didn’t completely rule out Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summit.When asked about the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Xi Jinping, Kumar said it is a common practice to have such meetings on the sidelines of multilateral forums.“It is a common practice at such forum that bilateral meetings arranged,” he said in a press briefing here.Replying to the question on the possibility of Doklam standoff discussion during Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Jinping, Kumar said, “It would be premature to share at this stage what are the issues which will be discussed with other leaders.”India and China ended the Doklam standoff on Monday by withdrawing troops from the area, just days before Prime Minister Modi’s visit to China to attend the BRICS summit.Reacting to China’s statement that it will not be appropriate to discuss Pakistan’s counter-terrorism records at the BRICS summit, Kumar said India’s position on terrorism has been very clear and it has been raising the issue at various multilateral forums.The MEA spokesperson further said that they cannot pre-empt what Prime Minister Modi will say during the restricted and plenary sessions of the summit.“Our position on terrorism is very clear. It is not possible for me to pre-empt what the Prime Minister will speak during BRICS summit,” he said in a press briefing.Addressing media in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had on Thursday said, “We noticed that India, when it comes to Pakistan’s counter-terrorism, has some concerns. I don’t think this is an appropriate topic to be discussed at BRICS summit.”

RSS meet to start today, Ayodhya not on agenda

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided not to raise the Ram temple issue during its three-day meeting that starts in Mathura’s Vrindavan on Friday. The ideological mentor of the ruling BJP has instead decided to focus on economic and security challenges, besides better coordination with the government.The All-India Coordination Committee meeting will be attended by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, besides Sangh affiliates such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.”Since the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, Ram temple is not on the agenda for discussion,” said RSS Spokesperson MM Vaidya. He said that the country was facing many security and economic challenges, and the RSS meet would seek valuable suggestions from its frontal organisations on both issues.The Supreme Court agreed last month to give an early hearing to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case. The case has been pending before the apex court since 2010 after the Allahabad High Court divided the disputed land equally between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Wakf Board.In March, the top court had said that fresh attempts must be made by all parties for an out-of court settlement. The BJP’s stated position is that temple construction should be done in a legal manner after mutual dialogue.The RSS meet is also likely to discuss strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Supreme Court’s verdict on instant triple talaq and its “positive” impact in the Muslim community may also come up for discussion.”It is a routine meeting which is generally held twice a year. Since the media is always curious about any RSS meeting, we are officially spelling out the agenda,” said Vaidya.The Babri mosque was demolished by karsevaks, who claimed it was built on Lord Ram’s birthplace, on December 6, 1992, sparking one of India’s worst communal riots. Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti and others are facing trial for criminal conspiracy.The site — comprising 2.7 acres — remains disputed and a potent religious and political flashpoint. VHP has, however, announced it will hold a meeting in the first week of September to finalise the date for construction.

Cops book Dera chief spokesman for sedition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana Police on Sunday booked Dera Sacha Sauda’s Chief Spokesperson Aditya Insaan for sedition and waging war against the State following orders from the Punjab and Haryana High Court that had directed cops to investigate news reports stating that he had instigated crowds in Panchkula on Friday.”Guruji (Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh) ka sir kaatne ki baat ki jaati hai. In logon ko boycott kiya ja raha hai yahan. Kaha ja raha hai ki ye dusre darje ke naagrik hain. Aapko wo haq nahi milenge. Aap ghatiya ho. Aap neech ho. Kya inko jeene ka haq nahi hai?” Aditya Insaan had reportedly said while talking to the media in Panchkula’s Sector 4 on Friday, even as thousands of Dera followers sitting behind him looked on.An hour before Ram Rahim was pronounced guilty on rape charges by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court in Panchkula, Aditya Insaan had met thousands of Dera followers sitting on roads, awaiting the verdict. He had blamed the media for running a trial that led to the Dera chief’s conviction.Minutes later, mobs went on the rampage and 36 people were killed in widespread violence, arson and police firing.”If reporters stand by their reports, the police must register an FIR,” the court had directed the Haryana government, adding that the law must take its own course.When asked by the media why followers did not return home after the Dera chief’s appeal a night before the hearing, Aditya Insaan had said it was a culmination of suppression of the last 15 years.An ophthalmologist who studied at AIIMS and now heads the eye bank of one of the largest hospital chains operated by the Dera, Aditya Insaan had invoked incidents from the past and blamed the media, “Humein kaha jaata hai, ki ye log manhoos hai. Ye log behuda hai. Ye log ghatiya hai. In logon ko desh ki aabo-hawa mein, iss savindhan ke andar barabari ke haq se jeene ka adhikar nai.”When asked, if his words will end up instigating the followers, he had said, “Understand the pain that Dera followers bear.””There are under-privileged persons, old women, children sitting in gatherings and they are being told, ‘Ye yahan baithe kyun hai? Inko jeene ka haq nai hai.’ Some people are saying that the police will use pellets at them. Are they pelting stones at the Army like they do in Jammu and Kashmir? Are they helping militants escape?” Aditya Insaan had asked. He has been associated with the Dera for the last two decades.

Aware that terrorism and talks cannot go together: US on Indo-Pak relationship

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US is aware of India’s position that talks and terrorism cannot go together and has asked Pakistan to crackdown on terror groups like the LeT and the JeM that are responsible for attacks inside India, a senior White House official has said.The top official also encouraged the two South Asian neighbours to engage in talks to reduce tensions.”The US is very aware of India’s position (that talks and terror cannot go together) and we have called on Pakistan to crackdown on organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e -Mohammed (JeM) and others,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.”We have called Pakistan to take actions against people involved in the Mumbai attack, the Pathankot attack and other attacks. So, US is very clear about its position,” the senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.The official made the remarks while responding to a question on India’s stand that talks and terror cannot go together in the context of the Trump administration’s South Asia policy that seeks a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan to reduce tensionsPakistan needs to crackdown on terror groups, the official said.The official also referred to the India-US joint statement issued after the White House meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on June 26, which made it clear that these issues are important to the US”And we are working with India to improve its counter terrorism. I think there is a lot of understanding between US and India on this issue,” the official said in response to a question.Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had told Parliament that the Indian government had laid the “roadmap” envisioning peace and normalcy with Pakistan even before it took over.”But it can’t be one-sided…Terror and talks cannot go together. The day they stop promoting terror, we will start the talks,” she had said.The State Department on Wednesday had also asked the two countries to engage in talks.”I think one of the things that we would do is ask or encourage India and Pakistan to sit down together and engage in direct dialogue that is aimed at reducing tensions between both of those countries,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert had told reporters.

‘US wants India to play a more active role in Afghanistan’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US wants India to play a more active role in finding a political solution in Afghanistan, a senior official has said, as she welcomed India’s financial support in rebuilding the war-torn nation. US President Donald Trump has sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan as he ruled out a hasty withdrawal of troops while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy on Monday. Trump had said that a “critical part” of his South Asia policy was to further develop America’s strategic partnership with India. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “It (India) has done a lot in terms of development and helping to promote Afghanistan’s economy. “So we appreciate that, we’re grateful to that and we look forward to India continuing to play a role in what we believe is an eventual peace process in Afghanistan”. “It has done a lot in terms of providing development funds to Afghanistan so far. We applaud them for that. It has pledged about USD 3 billion since 2001. So we continue to thank it for that and look forward to it hopefully doing more to be a part of the solution,” she told reporters yesterday. India has provided developmental assistance and provided economic assistance, she said. “India is emerging as a very important regional strategic partner. It has played an important role in supporting the Afghan government and, in particular, supporting the economy,” Nauert said. Trump, in his first prime-time televised address as the commander-in-chief on Monday, also issued the sternest warning yet by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. “We want Pakistan to be able to do more and we intend to work with those countries for an Afghan-led peace process,” the State Department official added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepalese PM accorded ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was today accorded ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here ahead of holding talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his first foreign trip after assuming office, Deuba arrived here yesterday on a four-day visit. Modi had an unscheduled meeting with the visiting leader yesterday and they are scheduled to hold “extensive talks” today. “A special welcome for a trusted friend. @PM_Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba receives ceremonial honours at @rashtrapatibhvn (sic),” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

US asks India, Pak to engage in talks to reduce tensions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US has asked India and Pakistan to continue to engage in direct talks aimed at reducing tensions between the two countries. “I think one of the things that we would do is ask or encourage India and Pakistan to sit down together and engage in direct dialogue that is aimed at reducing tensions between both of those countries,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters yesterday. She was responding to a question on the statement made by the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a day earlier in which he sought some steps of rapprochement on issues with Pakistan. “What was he referring to in terms of the steps India could take?” Nauert was asked at her daily news conference. “Well, I think going up to 30,000 feet, we view the whole strategy and handling Afghanistan as being a regional strategy, and that, of course, incorporates India as well as Pakistan, so incorporating all the nations in that region who we believe can help assist and help make Afghanistan a stable place where you’ll never have a terror group that will take root in that country again and can launch attacks on other countries,” Nauert replied when asked if Tillerson was linking, a solution on Kashmir with Pakistan-Afghanistan. “In terms of Kashmir, our policy on that has not changed. We continue to encourage the sides to sit down and talk together about that,” the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India welcomes Donlad Trump’s resolve to tackle cross-border support

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Tuesday welcomed US President Donald Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confront issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists.”India shares these concerns and objectives,” External Affiars Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.Kumar said India was also committed to supporting the government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity to their country.”We have been steadfast in extending reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan in keeping with our traditional friendship with its people. We will continue these efforts, including in partnership with other countries,” he said in a statement.India’s reaction came after Trump ruled out a hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan to end America’s longest war, as he warned Pakistan of consequences for providing safe havens to terrorists and sought an enhanced role for India to bring peace in the war-torn country.
ALSO READ ‘We can no longer be silent’: Pakistan will pay for harbouring terrorists, warns Donald TrumpIn his first prime-time televised address to the nation as commander-in-chief, Trump laid out his South Asia policy, saying a “critical part” of it was to further develop US’ strategic partnership with India.

China accuses India of taking violent actions, injuring Chinese border personnel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> China on Monday accused Indian troops of taking violent action and injuring Chinese border personnel around the Pangong area in Ladakh after a scuffle was reported between troops of both nations on August 15. ?During this process, the Indian side took some violent actions and injured the Chinese border personnel. This has violated the consensus between the Indian and Chinese side in relation to the border issues,? Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Hua Chunying said in a press conference. ?China expressed grave dissatisfaction and we have lodged serious concerns to the Indian side and urged the Indian side to abide by the 1959 LAC and strictly discipline the conduct of the Indian border troops to earnestly uphold the peace and tranquility of the boundary area of the two sides,? Chunying added. Earlier, India?s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday confirmed the skirmish at Pangong Lake that occurred on August 15, saying, it was later discussed by the Army officers on both the sides. “There was an incident on August 15. It was later discussed by Army officers on both sides,” said Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson here during a press meet. However, he did not confirm if there was stone pelting or use of rods during the skirmish. Amid strained ties over the Doklam standoff in the Sikkim sector, Indian and Chinese boat patrols clashed at the Pangong lake in Ladakh on Tuesday, even as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) declined the Indian invitation to participate in ceremonial border meetings on the occasion of India’s 71st Independence Day. This was the first time since 2005 that the PLA has declined to meet with their Indian counterpart. Indian and Chinese boat patrols clashed with each other at Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh at 7:30 am near the Finger-6 part of the 135-km long lake, one-third of which is in Indian control and the rest under Chinese control. It was earlier reported that the brief standoff led to jostling and exchange of blows between soldiers of the two armies; but, no shots were fired though.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Punjab to adopt whitefly-hit cotton plots as ‘demo farms’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed the agriculture department to adopt select cotton plots affected by whitefly pest and use them as ‘demonstration farms’ to educate farmers. For now, this is limited to every village of four districts of Mansa, Bathinda, Muktsar and Fazilka. The idea is to make farmers aware of integrated pest management (IPM), an official spokesperson said after a high-level meeting presided by the chief minister to take stock of the situation following the whitefly attack. Singh is keen that the demonstration farms can be used to impart the latest technology to cotton growers for protection of their crop from pests and insects, particularly whitefly. A total of 1,000 such demonstration farms will be adopted, said the spokesperson, adding that scouts and field staff, in consultation with other officers, will provide basic training on use of recommended pesticides and insecticides, besides proper application of chemical fertilisers and manures. These centres will go a long way in restoring confidence of farmers affected by whitefly, he said. A mere 18.1 hectares of a total 3.82 lakh hectares under cotton cultivation had been damaged by whitefly, the spokesperson said. No loss due to whitefly infestation was reported in Sangrur, Faridkot and Moga districts, he added. The chief minister warned that there will be zero tolerance on any laxity over sale of spurious or sub-standard pesticides to farmers. He also directed officials to crack down on suppliers of such pesticides and ensure exemplary punishment. Cotton is the second major kharif crop of the state after paddy. For kharif 2017, an action plan for cotton production was prepared under which 4 lakh hectares were targeted. The estimated area under cotton during this season is about 3.82 lakh hectares, the spokesperson added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

US wants India, China to have direct dialogue to reduce tensions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US said on Wednesday that it wants India and China to engage in a direct dialogue to reduce tensions.The US’ remarks came a day after Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of the famous Pangong lake in Ladakh.The latest skirmish comes at a time when India and China are locked in a face-off in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector. “We are encouraging both parties to sit down and have a direct dialogue,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at a news conference.Nauert was responding to questions on the skirmish between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh and continued standoff in the Dokalam area of the Sikkim sector.Later, in an emailed statement, a State Department spokesperson said, “We refer you to the governments of India and China for further information. We encourage India and China to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tensions.”

‘Know Your Army’ exhibition starts in Jaipur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army today opened the two-day equipment display ‘Know Your Army’ for the people here, ahead of Independence Day. The exhibition was inaugurated by Major General P P Prakash Singh and a large number of senior military, civil dignitaries and eminent personalities attended the inauguration ceremony, defence spokesperson Lt. Col. Manish Ojha said. The fair will continue on Monday and will have weapons on display, including multi-barrel rocket launchers, main battle tanks, infantry combat vehicle and a variety of infantry weapon systems, he said. The Army’s bands and a show by the dog squad was appreciated by the spectators, the spokesperson said. Kiosks have been set up to inform youths on career options in the armed forces, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarinder to visit whitefly affected fields

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will visit Mansa on Friday to assess the situation arising out of white-fly pest attacks on cotton crops. The chief minister, who will be accompanied by senior officials, has directed the Agriculture Department to offer all possible assistance to farmers, an official spokesperson said. Taking note of the reports of the white-fly attack causing damage to the cotton crop, the chief minister has decided to visit the affected areas for a first-hand assessment of the extent of destruction and its impact on the farming community, he said. Singh has also directed the agriculture department and the police to crack down on the sale of spurious pesticides, which had aggravated the situation. He has instructed the concerned officials to ensure supply of genuine pesticides to the farmers to help them arrest further spread of the white-fly, according to the spokesperson. Singh has further ordered the concerned departments to ensure the supply of quality seeds to the distressed farmers. He has also suggested awareness camps to be organized to apprise the farmers of the ways and means of protecting their crops in the cotton belt, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SPEAK UP: Deadly potholes are turning into breeding spots for mosquitoes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rainy season might have brought the much needed respite from heat, unfortunately it also brings along a lot of diseases. The capital city is no different to this fact, as it has seen a rise in vector borne diseases. One of the major reasons for it is water getting collected in the potholes.Many internal roads with potholes are neglected, which are the cause of mosquito breeding.The Public Works Department (PWD) received over 1,352 road-related complaints, which include potholes, pits etc, and an additional 827 waterlogging complaints till July 26. Despite several measures and complaints from people, the issue is still ignored.If one walks past the Karol Bagh Metro station, there are pits on the roadside filled with water and a layer of mosquitoes on top of it and similar is the case near Noida Sector 16 Metro station where pits have layers of mosquitoes and breeding larvae on top of it.Every monsoon the city faces similar problems but despite this not much is done. The drains get flooded and the water overflows. While departments blame each other, the common man continues to suffer due to the various issues under the civic bodies.There roads in my area has many potholes, more than the mosquito breeding I am worried about accidents. The civic body turns a blind eye every year. We do hear some lives are lost while avoiding potholes but the authorities fail to better the roads.— Agraj Magotra, Patel NagarAs the rains arrive the condition of Delhi roads worsen. When the politicians come to claim votes they give all big talks that they will resolve the pending issues, but when the real issues actual break out we just hear them writing letters to higher-ups and not doing anything beyond it.—Nidhi Sharma, Ramesh NagarTime and again we have government telling us that paying tax helps in the development of the city but in reality I feel that taxpayers money goes down in the drain with authorities using sub standard material to lay the road or even while repairing it. Once repaired the condition of the roads do no improve, in fact further accumulates and it turns in to breeding ground for mosquitoes. Roads in Seelampur are so poor that nobody is sure about reaching home safely.—Keshav, BharampuriAs monsoon arrives so does the struggle to reach work place rises. Either we have to brace to our work with pothole-ridden road or heavy traffic jams due to waterlogging. I wonder why does even the civic body claims that they have cleared drains before monsoons or the quality of the road is checked. Apart from the water accumulating in ths pits, we have seen garbage also adds to the spread of the disease.—Madhu Kataria, BharampuriMy major worry is the bad conditions of the road. One can still take measures to stop mosquito breeding, but, what will one do if the roads are in poor condition. The damage caused to vehicle is also huge which burns a hole in my pocket—Aadyasha Dash, Patel NagarThe civic body has one more reason to improve the condition of the roads. Apart from it leading to accidents, deaths, now we hear from health experts that it is leading to dengue and malaria. —Isha Awasti, Shalimar BaghEXPERT SPEAKWith the increase in the amount of rainfall, we have seen a sudden rise in the number of dengue cases. Every day we are getting at least two cases of dengue making it over 15 cases per week. It is strongly suggested to keep the surroundings dry and free from mosquito breeding zones, we do not need another epidemic. Waterlogging in the surrounding areas is adding to the woes, people’s health is getting affected. Doctor SP Byotra, Head of Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.We try our best to ensure that there is no waterlogging on the road. We do keep a check on the water that accumulated on the road, we have a control room that keeps a check on potsholes, and repair it at the earliest. We are making sure that there is no mosquito breeding grounds in these areas,”Yogendra Singh Mann, Spokesperson, North Civic Body.

Doklam stand-off: China chides India, says Beijing showing ‘great restraint’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chinese Defence Ministry has said that the country’s military is showing “great restraint” regarding alleged Indian incursion into its Donglang (Doklam) area.The Ministry also reiterated its call to India to immediately pull back troops to the Indian side of the border.’The military have exercised “great restraint on the issue to maintain the two country’s relation and regional peace and security. But goodwill does not mean no principle, restraint does not mean no bottom line,” China Daily quoted Spokesperson of Chinese Defense Ministry Ren Guoqiang as saying.He claimed that China has shown utmost goodwill and sought to communicate with India through diplomatic channels to resolve the border standoff.Ren alleged that India has seriously undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.He suggested India to abandon its fantasy of expecting change by stalling the situation.”No country should underestimate the Chinese military’s confidence and capability in protecting peace, nor should they underestimate its determination and will to protect China’s sovereignty, security and development interest,” he said.Earlier, China had emphatically rejected India’s interference in its ongoing boundary dispute with Bhutan in the Doklam area and again urged New Delhi to withdraw unconditionally and end the nearly two-month long stand-off.”The China-Bhutan boundary issue is one between China and Bhutan. It has nothing to do with India. As a third party, India has no right to interfere in or impede the boundary talks between China and Bhutan, still less the right to make territorial claims on Bhutan’s behalf,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.China alleged that India’s intrusion into its territory under the pretext of defending Bhutan’s territorial claims, has not only violated Beijing’s territorial sovereignty, but also challenged Bhutan’s sovereignty and independence.Indian and Chinese troops continue to be locked in a standoff in Doklam and both sides have moved additional troops, ammunition and military equipment to the area.The stand-off emerged after Chinese troops were stopped by the Indian Army from constructing roads along the Doklam border.India claims Sikkim border as part of its territory, while China has said that the area falls on their side as per the 1890 treaty signed between British and China.Consequently, China suspended the annual Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and conceded that the decision to suspend the pilgrimage was due to the border scuffle.It also alleged that the Indian troops had crossed the Sikkim sector of the Indo-China border. Beijing has accused New Delhi of violating a convention signed in 1890 between Britain and China relating to Sikkim and Tibet.

Goodbye India and thanks for everything: Abdul Basit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Wednesday thanked India as he bid adieu to the country after serving as envoy in New Delhi for four years.”Goodbye India and thanks for everything,” he tweeted. A spokesperson of the High Commission said that Basit left Delhi late afternoon and has reached Pakistan. Basit was appointed as the High Commissioner to India in 2014. He will be succeeded by Sohail Mahmood, who is expected to take up his responsibilities around mid-August. Recalling his stint in India, the High Commission’s Spokesperson Khawaja Maaz said, “For me, personally, two of his qualities stood out, his composure and him not losing his nerves, even in the face of aggressive media.” “He is being remembered here for his warm personality. He always responded to people or mediapersons with a smile, even if they provoked him,” he told PTI.Maaz said Basit took back home “fond memories” of India and the friends he made here. “In his farewell speech yesterday, he shared his experiences in India and also expressed hope that sometime in the future, he would get to visit this country again,” he said. “Basit sahab was not a typical foodie but loved good cooked mutton. He also had visited several restaurants in Delhi, from Karim’s in Chandani Chowk to the plush ones in Connaught Place and Khan Market,” he added.
ALSO READ Jadhav no ‘ordinary citizen’, was convicted of ‘espionage’: Abdul BasitAfter reaching Pakistan, Basit tweeted, “Just landed at Lahore airport. Thanks fellow Pakistanis for your support and encouragement. I am indebted. Pakistan zindabad”. At a recent event here, in his capacity as the outgoing envoy, he had said that a dialogue between India and Pakistan was a “pre-requisite” and a “necessity” to mend relations between the neighbours, which might require “give and take” from both sides. Basit, who has also served as the Ambassador to Germany before taking up his assignment in New Delhi, was twice overlooked for the post of Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary.

‘Integrated therapy’ to help Sanwar Lal recover

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The condition of Ajmer MP and former minister Sanwarlal Jat is stated to be stable on Monday. In an official health bulletin released by the SMS Hospital, it was informed that Jat’s CT scan was conducted on Monday and no serious abnormality was seen in that. Spokesperson of the hospital, Dr SS Yadav informed that since Jat had previously undergone dialysis, it was therefore done on Monday too.Earlier in the morning, the doctors of the medial board reviewed his health condition and decided their future line of treatment.Meanwhile speaking to DNA, Dr Ashok Pangariya who has been monitoring Jat’s health informed, “When he was brought he had suffered cardiac arrest followed by partial brain damage. We are following an integrated therapy for preserving and recovery of the brain.”Currently Jat is in an unconscious state and is on a ventilator. However the parameter and blood pressure, pulse etc are stable said the health bulletin.It may be mentioned that The BJP leader had fell unconscious during at meeting at the party headquarters in Jaipur on Saturday and is admitted at SMS hospital since then. On Sunday, doctor from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi were rushed to Jaipur for his treatment.Meanwhile, newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University Prof RK Kothari went to SMS Hospital to enquire about Jat’s health. Notably Jat had been a faculty of the university in the past. Kothari met Jat’s family members and wished him a speedy and early recovery.

Committed to non-discriminatory, verifiable nuclear

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India today said it was committed to non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament, nearly a week after it along with some other nuclear powers like the US, China and Pakistan boycotted the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons in New York. India believes that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. “India continues to attach priority to and remains committed to universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament. India, however, did not participate in the negotiations on a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons which were concluded in New York on 7 July 2017. Also, none of the other States possessing nuclear weapons participated in the negotiations,” he said. Noting that these negotiations were conducted under UN General Assembly rules of procedure, he said India has already provided a detailed Explanation of Vote (EoV) on its abstention on this resolution. In its EoV, India had said it was “not convinced” that the proposed conference could address the longstanding expectation of the international community for comprehensive instrument on nuclear disarmament. “India, therefore, cannot be a party to the treaty, and so shall not be bound by any of the obligations that may arise from it. India believes that this treaty in no way constitutes or contributes to the development of any customary international law,” the MEA spokesperson added. Reiterating India’s commitment to the goal of a nuclear weapon-free world, he said it believes that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non- discriminatory multilateral framework. “In this regard, India supports the commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention in the Conference on Disarmament, which is the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum working on the basis of consensus,” Baglay added. The treaty, the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament, was adopted last week at the UN in New York. India and other nuclear-armed nations — the US, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel had not participated in the negotiations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India will continue to use diplomatic channels to resolve Doklam stand off: MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India said today it will continue to use diplomatic channels with China to resolve Dokalam stand off and insisted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held “conversation on range of issues” in Hamburg.There is a stand off between the armies of India and China in the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16.”We have diplomatic channels available. We have embassies in both countries. Those channels will continue to be used,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when asked about the nearly month-long stand off in Dokalam.He also referred to Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks at an event in Singapore on the issue. Baglay noted that there were well-established and mutually agreed mechanisms to address differences on border issue as well as tri-junctions.”I would only refer you back to the information we put out after the meeting (in Hamburg). There was a picture that we had tweeted. There was a brief text that…said at the BRICS leaders’ informal meeting at Hamburg on the sidelines of the G0-20 summi, the BRICS leaders an informal meeting was hosted by China.”Prime Minister Modi and President Xi had a conversation on a range of issues,” Baglay said when asked about the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman’s remarks that there was no bilateral meeting between the two leaders.However, he refused to give details on the “range of issues”, saying, “It is not for me to comment as to what grounds the two leaders covered.”On whether Dokalam stand off also figured during the “conversation on range of issues” between Modi and Xi, Baglay said, “There was a conversation between them. There were a range of issues that was the subject matter of that conversation.”Asked if his remarks on diplomatic resolution of Dokalam stand off indicated any shift in Chinese demand for withdrawal of Indian troops from the area, he said India has already outlined its position on the issue.”There was also a ‘conversation on a range of issues’ between the leaders of India and China in Hamburg. And today I have said that there are diplomatic channels which will continue to be used. So, you have to see everything in totality,” he asserted.On strong rhetorics in Chinese media warning India on the Dokalam stan doff, Baglay said, “This matter we are dealing with is a serious matter and it has implications. We remain engaged in addressing this matter…”On whether National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was travelling to Bejing on July 26, he said there was no information with him.Doval, who is the Special Representative for the India- China border talks, is expected to visit Beijing on July 26 to attend the meeting of the NSAs from BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.Baglay also declined to comment on recent meeting between the top Chinese envoy and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying the MEA does not comment on activities of embassies or political parties.

No change to Pak’s stance on consular access for Jadhav: India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India said today that there has been no change in Pakistan’s position on providing consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav as also on visa request for his mother, amidst Pakistani media reports that Islamabad was considering to allow her to travel to meet her son. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay also said the case was now before the International Court of Justice and India was following the September 13 timeline to give its submission.There has been no change in Pakistan’s position on providing consular access to Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, as also on visa request for his mother, he said.When asked about reports that Pakistan was considering the Indian request for the grant of visa to Jadhav’s mother, Avantika Jadhav, he said India has no official information on it.Pakistan has so far dismissed 16 request by India for consular access to Jadhav. India had moved the ICJ against Jadhav’s death penalty by a Pakistan military court. The ICJ had on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing the death sentence. While Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran, India maintains that the Indian national was kidnapped from Iran where he had legitimate business interests.

Rs 3.5 crore cash, 5 kg gold recovered from I-T official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI today recovered Rs 3.5 crore cash and 5 kg gold during searches at the Kolkata residence of Jharkhand’s Principal Commissioner of Income Tax in connection with a corruption case, the agency said. The recoveries were made during simultaneous searches launched by the agency in the morning at 23 locations spread across Kolkata and Ranchi which included residence of Tapas Kumar Dutta, CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said. The agency searched 18 locations in Kolkata, including premises of several businessmen, entry operators and a chartered accountant, and five in Ranchi which included three Income Tax department officials besides the Principal Commissioner, he said. During the searches, the agency recovered Rs 3.5 crore cash and over 5 kg of gold (about Rs 1.4 crore according to current bullion rate) from the residence of Dutta, Gaur said, adding several incriminating documents were also seized. Text messages sent to Dutta seeking his reaction remained unanswered. The case pertains to attempts of Dutta to give tax relief to several businessmen who were slapped with severe tax liabilities by the Income Tax department. Gaur said Dutta allegedly entered in criminal conspiracy with the officials of his department, businessmen, a chartered accountant and several entry operators in 2016-17. The alleged conspiracy was to get Income Tax assessment files of their different assessee companies transferred from Kolkata and Hazaribagh to Ranchi, where Dutta was posted, for providing undue favour to the assesses, charged with heavy tax liability, in return for huge bribe, he said. “It was further alleged that the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Dutta) has already issued favourable orders in the case of private companies, who already paid huge bribe, which was allegedly stashed with a private person,” Gaur said. The CBI recently registered a case against Dutta, Arvind Kumar, Additional Commissioner Income Tax, Income Tax Officer (Tech) Ranjit Kumar Lal, one more Income Tax officer, and chartered accountant Pawan Maurya. Bishwanath Agarwal, Kolkata-based businessman and director of Anchal Vyapar, private persons Santosh Chaudhary, Santosh Shah, Akash Agarwal, Arvind Agarwal have also been booked in the FIR filed under charges of criminal conspiracy and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Punjab cabinet bars carriage operators from forming unions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to end cartelisation, the Punjab cabinet today approved rules which bar goods carriage operators from forming cartels or unions in the state. The Punjab Goods Carriages (Regulation and Prevention of Cartelisation Rules), 2017, were given the nod at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here, an official spokesperson said. The proposed new rules will be placed in public domain for 30 days for any comments or objections, said the spokesperson, adding that the move was aimed at destroying the “mafia of good transporters who had cartelised the business over the past several years, obstructing the free and fair movement of goods transport, thereby also impacting industrial development of the state”. To protect the interests of the transporters, it was also decided that the government should fix the minimum and maximum fares and freights for goods carriers, the spokesperson said. Once these rules come into effect, no operator or permit holder of goods carriages shall be allowed to form a cartel denying freedom of choice to the consignors and consignees to engage the services of such operators or permit holders, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi in Israel: PM visits Yad Vashem, the memorial for Holocaust victims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial and honoured the victims of the Holocaust, among the greatest tragedies in human history as some six million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany.Modi was accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial.”So that the light of humanity always shines through us.PM pays homage to 6 million lives lost in the Holocaust at Yad Vashem Memorial,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted, along with the pictures of Modi at the Yad Vashem memorial.Yad Vashem started as an organisation in 1953 on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance near Jerusalem, as a form of reference to future generations, documenting the memory of Holocaust victims and the history of the Jewish people during the tragic time.
ALSO READ Modi in Israel: My visit celebrates the strength of century-old links between our nations, says PMThe museum occupies over 4,200 square metres – mainly underground – and emphasises the experiences of the individual victims through original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions.Shaped as a prism penetrating the mountain, the new Yad Vashem opened in 2005. Its architecture sets the atmosphere for the nine chilling galleries of interactive historical displays which present the Holocaust in several ways.
ALSO READ Modi in Israel: Even the sky isn’t the limit, says Netanyahu on Indo-Israel tiesThe museum leads into the Hall of Names, which contains more than three million names of Holocaust victims submitted by their families and relatives.The Holocaust was the killing of nearly six million Jews, including some 1.5 million children, by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Though the persecution of Jews began in 1933, the mass murder was committed during the more than four years of World War II.On his arrival, Modi was greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu along with the top tier of Israel’s leadership – known as segel aleph.Modi’s three-day visit to Israel is the first by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish state.

Salahuddin’s remarks proof of Pak policy of cross-border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Strongly hitting out at Pakistan, India today asserted that the brazen admission by Hizbul terrorist Syed Salahuddin of perpetrating terror attacks on India and his confession of assistance from Pakistan was a proof of Islamabad’s policy of cross-border terrorism. The confession also affirms the complicity of Pakistan’s state structure in using terrorist proxies as a matter of policy against the neighbours, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in response to a query regarding the interview by global terrorist Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based self-styled head of the United Jihad Council. “The brazen admission by Syed Salahuddin of perpetrating terrorist attacks on India and having the capacity to carry out such attacks at any place and time in India is a further proof of Pakistan s continuing policy of cross border terrorism,” he said. Baglay demanded that Pakistan must give up its policy of cross-border terrorism, fulfill its obligations under international resolutions and stop all activities of terrorists from the territory under Pakistan’s control. Salahuddin, also chief of internationally designated terrorist organisation Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, was declared a specially designated global terrorist by the US Department of State last week during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there. In an interview to a Pakistani TV channel, Salhuddin said he “can strike anytime, anywhere in India” and that it was easy for him to get weapons in Pakistan for these terror strikes. The MEA spokesperson further said that “the interview only highlights the unabashed manner in which terrorist organisations and leaders enjoy freedom of operations in Pakistan, including access to terror financing and procurement and supply of weapons for terrorism.” Baglay also added that “It is a matter of deep regret that senior Pakistan functionaries continue to justify and defend the activities of such internationally designated terrorist entities and leaders who are responsible for killing thousands of innocent civilians over the past three decades. “Pakistan must give up its policy of cross-border terrorism, fulfill its obligations under international resolutions and stop all activities of terrorists from the territory under Pakistan’s control.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

China asks Indian troops to withdraw along Sikkim section of border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> China on Tuesday asked Indian border troops, who were alleged to have crossed the Indo-China border along Sikkim region, to withdraw and safeguard peace and tranquillity in the area. ?The Chinese side requires the Indian side to respect the boundary convention and China’s territorial sovereignty, immediately withdraw their border troops that have crossed the boundary, conduct thorough investigation into this and safeguard peace and tranquility of the Sikkim section,? Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said. China also clarified that the entry to the first batch of around 50 Indian pilgrims who were scheduled to travel to Kailash Mansarovar through the Nathu La pass in Sikkim were stopped due to security concerns. ?The Chinese side has to put off arranging for Indian officially-organized pilgrims’ entry through Nathu-la mountain pass in the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary out of security concerns. The Indian side has been informed through the diplomatic channel,? Geng said. He further said that the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary was defined by the Convention between Great Britain and China relating to Sikkim and Tibet in 1890. ?The Indian government has repeatedly confirmed that in written forms since India’s independence, recognizing that it concur with China on the boundary alignment at the Sikkim section,? he said. Earlier, it was reported that the Indian border troops had overstepped the China-India boundary at the Sikkim section and there was an ensuing standoff with the Chinese border troops.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

US Sec of State calls on PM Modi ahead of summit with Trump

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today to prepare the ground for the visiting Indian leader’s first meeting with President Donald Trump. “Preparing the ground for the meeting between the leaders. Mr. Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State calls on PM,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted on the meeting. Tillerson met Modi at the Hotel Willard Intercontinental, where the Indian prime minister is staying. Earlier, US Defence Secretary James Mattis had also called on Modi, his first official engagement of the day before the summit meeting with Trump at the White House. Ahead of Modi’s visit to Washington, Tillerson had said that the trip would strengthen the Indo-US relationship and help advance the common interest in fighting terrorism and promoting economic growth. Tillerson had said this during a meeting here with visiting Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar last week. “The Secretary noted the Prime Minister’s visit will strengthen ties between the United States and India and advance our common interest in fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity, and expanding security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region,” a State Department spokesperson had said. The two agreed that the two countries have a deep and growing strategic partnership and hope to work more closely on regional and global issues, the official had said. Ahead of his visit, Modi had said he looked forward to the opportunity of having an in-depth exchange of views. “My USA visit is aimed at deepening ties between our nations. Strong India-USA ties benefit our nations & the world,” he had tweeted. “I look forward to this opportunity to have an in-depth exchange of views on further consolidating the robust and wide ranging partnership between India and the United States,” the prime minister had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Punjab police arrest two more with links to terror module

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab Police today nabbed two more persons with alleged links to the terror module busted last month, which had reportedly been tasked to target “anti-Sikh” leaders in the state. Gurpreet Singh and Simranjit Singh were arrested from their native villages of Jiwanwal (Faridkot) and Kamalpur (Moga), respectively, according to a police spokesperson. Two .32 bore pistols, four magazines and cartridges have been recovered from their possession, he said. Citing investigations, the spokesperson said Canada-based Gurjeet Cheema had allegedly given two pistols, along with ammunition, to Gurpreet Singh alias Peet during his visit to India earlier this year. The latter had passed on one of the pistols to Simranjit Singh alias Nikka, for targeting of anti-panthic (anti-Sikh) people, based in Punjab, he said. The arrests followed investigations into the case related to the busting of the alleged terrorist module comprising Mann Singh (district Gurdaspur) and Sher Singh (district Jalandhar) on May 21, the spokesperson said. He said the investigations into the case, registered today under relevant provisions of the law including under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, are still continuing. “Peet has disclosed that his namesake, Gurpreet Singh, resident of district Moga, said to be based in Vancouver in Canada, had visited India between March-April 2016, and had indoctrinated and motivated him to work for the revival of terrorist activity in the State. “Later, in 2017, Canada-based Gurpreet Singh arranged an operational meeting between Gurjeet Cheema, Gurpreet Singh alias Peet and Mann Singh at village Mudki (Moga district), where Gurjeet promised to arrange delivery of weapons for targeting of anti-panthic people in the near future,” the spokesperson said. Peet had also allegedly said that Gurpreet Cheema and his associates based in Canada, such as Gurjinder Singh of Brampton (Canada) were regularly funding him and other members of the module, through formal and informal financial channels to “promote terrorist activities”, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sub-standard work in police colony; CBI books 2 PWD officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sub-standard work in the police colony here proved costly for a construction firm as the CBI has registered a case against it and Public Works Department (PWD) officials for alleged corruption. Mahendra Ram, the then executive engineer, and Bhudev, the junior engineer (Civil), of PWD along with Rahat Construction Company have been booked by the CBI. “The allegations pertain to carrying out sub-standard work at a residential building of police colony, sector A-5 and B-4 at Narela, Delhi by the firm in connivance with the executive engineer and the junior engineer of the PWD,” CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said here today. He said alleged a bill for Rs 19.26 lakh was passed by the executive engineer without approving the extension of time despite complaint. The payments were made to the firm for the works which were not executed and fabricated entries were made in the measurement books, he alleged.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI arrests Army colonel, 3 others in a bribery case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Colonel has been arrested by the CBI for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a Pune-based private company for supply of rock splitting equipment. The probe agency also arrested three officials of the company. Col. Shaibal Kumar posted in Planning and Engineering branch of the Kolkata-based Army’s Eastern Command, Sharat Nath, Managing Director of Pune-based Xtech Equipment Pvt Ltd, Vijay Naidu, a Director in the company and Amit Roy, a company representative were arrested by the CBI. “It was alleged that the Colonel had demanded a bribe of Rs 1.80 lakh from the Managing Director of the company in connection with the supply of power pack rock splitters, which are used by various field formations of the Army,” CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said here today. He said it is alleged that the army officer, in February this year, had received a bribe of Rs 50,000 and as part of the second installment, the Colonel has now accepted Rs 50,000 from the accused company. “The CBI tracked the Director of said private company who came from Pune to deliver the bribe to Colonel and nabbed him after the payment of bribe to the army officer. The CBI caught the Colonel and recovered the bribe amount from his residence,” he said. Searches have been conducted in four premises at Pune and two premises at Kolkata, the CBI said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Int’l Yoga Day: Last minute preparations, security drill on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Last minute preparations were underway to host the third International Yoga Day event here on June 21 in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead some 55,000 people in performing ‘asanas’ (yogic postures) at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan here. An elaborate security will be in place with commandoes and para-military forces keeping a close watch in and around the venue. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will lead a rehearsal of IYD function at the programme venue tomorrow and is himself monitoring all arrangements. “Police chiefs of adjoining districts of Lucknow have also been alerted to take preventive measures, especially in the wake of call given by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) to stage dharna on highways,” a police official said. Spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union Rakesh Tikait said, “Our party office bearers along with farmers will be performing yoga on the streets in various cities across the state. This will be our way to lodge protest against the government’s attitude towards farmers.” BKU General Secretary Dharmendra Malik said that BKU supporters will perform ‘Sheersashan’. Officials of the Lucknow administration said that more than 400 CCTV cameras will be installed. “Participants of the programme have been allowed to enter the venue from 2.00 AM to 5.30 AM. Giant LED TV screens will be installed at the programme venue to enable them to have a close look at the yogic postures,” Additional District Magistrate (Lucknow East) Virendra Pandey said. “Apart from this, we will instal LED TV screens in 11 parks in Lucknow so that the public and morning walkers, who are not able to enter the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan, may also simultaneously participate,” Pandey told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mine auction row: CM rules out any arbitrary action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today ruled out any action against his cabinet colleague Rana Gurjit Singh or cancellation of the recent sand mine auctions, asserting that he would not take “any arbitrary” step under pressure from the opposition or the media. Based on the information received, Amarinder felt that there was, prima facie, “no substance” in the allegations levelled by “certain quarters of unfair and discriminatory dealings” in the entire mining auction process, according to an official spokesperson. Amarinder categorically ruled out taking “any arbitrary” action on the issue, saying he would not succumb to political pressure, nor would he allow his judgement and decisions to be influenced by “media trials”, the spokesperson said. Opposition parties — Aam Aadmi Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP — have been demanding immediate dismissal of Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh over allegations of “impropriety” against him in the multi-crore sand mining auctions conducted recently by the state government. Amarinder had sought detailed inputs from the Department of Mining following media reports that the e-auctions had been compromised to benefit certain individuals. “Capt Amarinder Singh has prima facie ruled out cancellation of the recent sand mine auctions under pressure from the opposition parties or as a result of media trials,” the spokesperson said. The chief minister said “any decision in the matter would be based on judicious application of the law, and in the interest of justice,” according to the spokesperson. “Information showed the auctions were conducted with total transparency and fairness, under the supervision of a committee headed by a retired High Court judge and two senior IAS officers,” said the Chief Minister. Regarding the charges against Rana Gurjit, the government is awaiting the report of the Judicial Commission set up to probe the same, the Chief Minister reiterated, underlining the need for a fair legal investigation into the matter, in the interest of justice. “Unless categorically proved to the contrary, there is no reason to believe any ambiguity or lack of transparency in the process of auction of 102 mines through progressive bidding process on the e-auction platform by ITI Ltd, an Indian Government PSU which is already time tested and is being successfully used by other states,” the Chief Minister said. “Since it was a web-based system, the identity of the bidders participating in the e-auctions, conducted on May 19 and 20, was not known to other bidders to prevent any cartelization, or use of pressure of any kind to prevent bidding by other bidders. “What is more, any complaint received from bidders regarding any technical issues faced during e-auction was dealt with promptly by the helpdesk provided by ITI Ltd.,” the spokesperson said. The government will release another 70 lakh tonnes of mines through auction in the second week of June, to further ease the demand-supply pressure, which is also expected to stabilize significantly once the monsoon ends and operations begin full steam, said the spokesperson. This will lead to drastic decline in the price of sand in the state, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bhanwari Devi murder case: Indira Bishnoi sent to CBI custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indira Bishnoi, an accused in the sensational Bhanwari Devi murder case who evaded the law for over six years, was today sent to seven days of CBI custody by a Jodhpur court in Rajasthan. Bishnoi was arrested by the Rajasthan Police with the help of their Madhya Pradesh counterparts from Nemawar area last night. The case had grabbed headlines in 2011 after the name of then Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna cropped up in connection with the murder of Bhanwari, an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM). CBI Spokesperson R K Gaur said in New Delhi today that the agency has got seven days custody of Bishnoi during which she will be questioned on various aspects of the case. Bishnoi had carried a reward of Rs five lakh on her head. According to police sources, she was living with a family in Nemawar as a destitute. The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets against 17 accused, including Maderna and former Congress MLA Malkhan Singh, in the case. Among the accused, 15 are in judicial custody, one is out on bail while Bishnoi was absconding. Bhanwari, posted as auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, had gone missing on September 1, 2011. She disappeared after a CD allegedly showing Maderna in compromising position with the 36-year-old nurse was aired by some news channels. The CBI had said Bhanwari was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur’s Bilara area on September 1, 2011 and murdered. Her body was handed over to another gang which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal, it alleged. Maderna (65), who then represented the Osian Assembly constituency, was arrested on December 2, 2011 in Jodhpur by the CBI along with Parasram Bishnoi, brother of Malkhan Singh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UN chief appreciative of efforts by India, China in combating

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>UN chief Antonio Guterres has been “very appreciative” of countries like India and China for their contribution in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and progress under the Paris pact can be achieved despite some nations falling short on their commitments, his spokesperson has said following US’ decision to withdraw from the deal. “The Secretary General has been very appreciative, not just of India and China, but of all the countries who are trying to meet their commitments. It has been very clear from their own nationally declared contributions that these are countries who are trying to play their part in doing what they can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” UN Secretary- General’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said today in response to a question by(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hry Cabinet nod to ex-gratia for kin of personnel killed in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana Cabinet today approved a policy under which families of poll personnel, killed in violence during panchayat or municipal election duty, will be given an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh each. The policy would also cover security personnel, drivers, cleaners, contractual or outsourced staff. In case of death caused due to violent acts of extremists or anti-social elements like bomb blasts or armed attacks, the compensation amount would be Rs 20 lakh, a Haryana government spokesperson said. In other cases of of death of polling personnel in the course of performance of election duties, the deceased’s family will be given an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 10 lakh, he said. If there is permanent incapacitation due to an injury sustained during poll duty, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh would be given, the Cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, decided. However, in case of permanent incapacitation due to violence, the amount of compensation would be Rs 10 lakh, according to the spokesperson. He said the decision was taken on the basis of Election Commission of India (ECI) instructions dated April 25, 2014. The spokesperson clarified that there would be no cap on the amount of compensation from other sources such as the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund or the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. The norms would become applicable as soon as the official leaves his or her residence or office to report for any election related duty, including training, and until he or she returns after performing the duty, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sukhoi jet crash: 2 pilots confirmed dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The two pilots of the Sukhoi jet that had crashed after taking off from Tezpur in Assam suffered fatal injuries, the Indian Air Force today said five days after the wreckage of the plane was found.Squadron Leader D Pankaj, 36 and Flight Lt S Achudev, 26 could not initiate ejection before the crash that occurred 60 kms from Tezpur Airbase on May 23, the IAF said. Pankaj’s age was 36 and Achudev’s 26. The wreckage of the Sukhoi-30 MKI jet was found on May 26 in a dense forest area in Arunachal Pradesh after a three-day search operation. “Analysis of the flight data recorder (black box) of the aircraft and certain other articles recovered from the crash site revealed that the pilots could not initiate ejection before the crash,” IAF Spokesperson Anupam Banerjee said.The plane had taken off from Tezpur airbase at around 10:30 am on May 23 and had gone off the radar around 11:10 am. It was on a routine training mission as part of a two-aircraft formation.The wreckage of the jet was spotted from air on Friday, and search teams could reach the crash site only on Sunday due to inclement weather after which the black box was recovered. The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to investigate the cause of the accident, according to Wing Commander Banerjee.The first batch of the Russia-made fighter jet was inducted by the IAF in the late 1990s. A frontline fighter jet, SU-30 MKI aircraft were deployed in the Tezpur airbase on June 15, 2009 for guarding the Sino- India frontier in Arunachal Pradesh. At present, two squadrons comprising around 36 aircraft are deployed at Tezpur.

CBI lodges cases to probe IA-AI merger, purchase of 111 planes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI today registered three FIRs and a preliminary enquiry to probe alleged irregularities in Indian Airlines-Air India merger and purchase of 111 aircraft, leasing of planes and giving up of profit-making routes by Air India, causing a loss of thousands of crore of rupees. The CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said the FIRs have been registered for offences of criminal conspiracy and corruption against unidentified officials of the civil aviation ministry and Air India. The cases relate to decisions taken by the the ministry during the tenure of the UPA causing a loss of “tens of thousands of crore” of rupees to the exchequer, he said. A preliminary inquiry was registered to probe the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India that also led to a loss of “tens of thousands of crore” of rupees, Gaur said. A set of three FIRs has been lodged to probe alleged irregularities in the purchase of 111 aircraft, leasing of planes while acquisition process was still on, and giving up of profitable routes in favour of national and international airlines by Air India, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Apna Dal(S) undertakes membership drive beyond Poorvanchal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to leave its footprint beyond Poorvanchal (eastern Uttar Pradesh), the Apna Dal (Sonelal) has undertaken a membership drive on a wider scale. “The main objective of this membership drive is to make an effort to expand the party beyond the geographical boundary of eastern UP. Apna Dal(S) has moved away from being a party of a particular caste, and has become a party of ‘sarva samaj’ (covering all sections of society),” Brijendra Pratap Singh, national spokesperson of AD(S), said. He said people from different sections of the society, including students and farmers, are taking membership of the party. “Party’s office bearers are camping in different districts of the state to expedite the membership drive. Some of the districts where the party office bearers are camping include Basti, Bareilly, Gonda, Saharanpur, Meerut, Aligarh, Pilibhit, Badaun, Agra, Mainpuri, Etawah and Mainpuri,” he said. Spokesperson of party’s UP unit, Arvind Sharma, said, “The party will organise Swabhimaan Rally on July 2 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of party founder Sonelal Patel in Varanasi.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Vigilance Bureau arrests pharmacist on graft charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pharmacist posted at the civil hospital in Ludhiana was arrested today by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau sleuths for allegedly accepting a bribe. Som Chand Goyal was caught red-handed by a vigilance team while accepting a bribe of Rs 7,000 from Bhinder Singh for getting changes done in the birth certificate of his grandson, a Bureau spokesperson said. He said the complainant approached the bureau and alleged that the accused was demanding bribe of Rs 7,000 from him. After verifying the facts, a vigilance bureau team laid a trap and arrested the accused, and also recovered the money from him in the presence of two official witnesses. A case under Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against him, the spokesperson said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Despite China’s opposition, India to continue fight for NSG membership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Notwithstanding China’s opposition to its entry into the NSG, India said today that it will continue its engagement with member countries and there will be no let up in its efforts to work towards securing the membership of the elite group.This assumes significance after China, earlier this week, said there is no change in its stance on admission of non-NPT states into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), ahead of the grouping’s plenary meeting next month in Switzerland.”Our efforts for an NSG membership will continue. We will continue to be engaged with member countries. Our efforts will continue and there will be no let up in our efforts,” Gopal Baglay, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, said.The plenary session of the NSG is likely to be held in the Swiss capital Bern next month, but the chances of any breakthrough on India’s entry into the elite group still look slim, given China’s persistent opposition to it.India on its part has been continuing its effort to get support of other members of the grouping.As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Germany, Spain, Russia and France next week, the issue is expected to come up for discussion with the leaders of these four countries.

Search operations on for missing Sukhoi-30 fighter jet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Search operations continued for the third day today for the missing Sukhoi-30 fighter jet that went missing on May 23 after taking off from Salonibari airbase here on a routine training sortie, Defence sources said this evening. Defence Spokesperson Lt Col Sombit Ghosh told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bhubaneswar-bound AI flight returns to Mumbai due to suspected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Bhubaneswar-bound Air India flight carrying 155 passengers onboard was forced to return to the airport here after its pilot detected smoke in the cockpit.The aircraft made a safe landing. All the passengers are also safe, an Air India spokesperson in New Delhi said.According to Air India, its flight AI 669 took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here at 2.15 pm but soon its pilot sought an emergency landing as he detected smoke in the cockpit.The flight returned to Mumbai safely at 2.50 pm with full emergency procedure in place.The aircraft is now grounded. A team from the engineering department is inspecting it, the spokesperson said.Air India has made available an alternative aircraft to take the stranded passengers to their destination, he said, adding that the flight is expected to take off for Bhubaneswar soon.

CPEC -will -have- no- implications- on -Kashmir- issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Insisting that China’s Belt and Road is an open and inclusive initiative and is not directed at any third parties, Beijing on Tuesday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an economic project with no implications on the Kashmir issue. “Regarding the issue of Kashmir which the Indian side is concerned about, we have been stressing that the Belt and Road is a cooperation initiative for the common development and prosperity of the region. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as an important part of the Belt and Road, is not directed at any third parties not relevant to disputes over territorial sovereignty and does not affect China’s position on the Kashmir issue,? Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing. ?We keep saying that the Belt and Road is an open and inclusive initiative. We welcome participation from all countries to share the development opportunities,” he added. Responding to India?s demand for a meaningful dialogue on the CPEC issues, Chunying said, ?China’s position is upright and clear. China’s attitude is honest and sincere. We welcome India’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.” He said that the Belt and Road Initiative has been following the principle of joint consultation, extensive participation and shared benefits. ?China’s purpose is crystal-clear and on the table for all to see,? Chunying added. On Saturday,External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Bagla issued a strongly-worded statement regarding One Belt One Road summit “We are of the firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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