2 minor girls from PoJK cross LoC, enter India


2 minor girls from PoJK cross LoC, enter India

The incident came in the morning when the Indian troops maintaining restraint did not open fire at the infiltrating girls.

Two minor girls from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) on Sunday crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and entered India in the Poonch Sector of the Jammu division.

The incident came in the morning when the Indian troops maintaining restraint did not open fire at the infiltrating girls.

Jammu based spokesman of the Army, Lt. Colonel Devender Anand identified the girls as Laiba Zabair aged 17 years and Sana Zabair aged 13 years, residents of village Abbasspur, Tehsil Forward Kahuta.

He said these girls had inadvertently crossed into Indian side in Poonch Sector in the morning hours. “Own troops deployed along the Line of Control having detected the crossing, exercised complete restraint to prevent any harm to the teenagers. Efforts are being made for early repatriation”, Lt. Colonel Anand said.




Army rescues 5 injured in accident on Jammu-Srinagar highway


Army rescues 5 injured in accident on Jammu-Srinagar highway

Army teams from Nachlana immediately swung into action, controlled the traffic and carefully evacuated the five injured from the accident site.

Timely rescue operation by the army saved the lives of five civilians after an overnight road accident on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

A statement issued by the Defence PRO here said on Monday that the army rescued civilians on the National Highway 44 in the Ramban area of Jammu when a truck they were travelling in turned turtle.

“The Indian Army came to the rescue of civilians on NH44 near Nachlana district Ramban on 6 December at 1900 hrs, a truck turned turtle on NH44 near Nachlana.”

Army teams from Nachlana immediately swung into action, controlled the traffic and carefully evacuated the five injured from the accident site.

The rescued civilians were being treated in a hospital, said the army.




Policeman, civilian injured in Srinagar terror attack


Policeman, civilian injured in Srinagar terror attack

Police said that terrorists fired indiscriminately upon a police party at Sazgaripora, Hawal, in which one police personnel, Farooq Ahmad Chopan and a civilian, Muneer Ahmad got injured. They were shifted to the hospital.

A policeman and a civilian were injured on Sunday when terrorists opened fire at a police checkpoint in the Srinagar’s downtown.

Police said the attack came in the Sazgaripora area of Hawal in the old city.

Police said that terrorists fired indiscriminately upon a police party at Sazgaripora, Hawal, in which one police personnel, Farooq Ahmad Chopan and a civilian, Muneer Ahmad got injured. They were shifted to the hospital.

The area was immediately cordoned off by security forces. Condition of the injured is stated to be stable in the medical institute.

This is the second terrorist attack during the ongoing local body elections across Jammu and Kashmir. Terrorists had earlier shot and injured a candidate in the Sangam block of the Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

There were reports of miscreants in some areas of Pulwama threatening people who cast their vote in the election. A group of heavily armed terrorists had earlier infiltrated from Pakistan through a cross-border tunnel to disrupt the elections but were killed in an encounter at a toll plaza near Jammu.

Pakistan shells villages in Poonch, Kathua

Pakistani troops opened fire and shelled mortars at forward posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Kathua districts, officials said on Sunday.

There was no report of any damage on the Indian side. At about 12:30 p.m. Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelling mortars along the LoC in Balakote sector of Poonch. The Indian Army retaliated befittingly, a defence spokesman said. The officials said there was also a report of ceasefire violation in the Pansar border outpost along the IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district.

2 minor girls from PoJK cross LoC, enter India

Two minor girls from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) on Sunday crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and entered India in the Poonch Sector of the Jammu. The incident came in the morning when the Indian troops while maintaining restraint, did not open fire at the infiltrating girls. Army spokesperson Lt. Colonel Devender Anand identified the girls as Laiba Zabair (17) and Sana Zabair (13).




BJP declares election management teams for 2021 West Bengal polls without ‘outsider’


BJP declares election management teams for 2021 West Bengal polls without ‘outsider’

Recently, BJP came under attack from TMC after they had fielded 10 central leaders in the state to strengthen the organisation ahead of next year’s election.

Ahead of the state’s Assembly Elections early next year, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal has formed election management teams.

Separate teams have been given responsibilities to create the party’s manifesto, organise rallies and marches, mobilise Matua votes, maintain contact with Panchayat and booth level workers and manage social media platforms, among others.

The most starking feature of the teams is that there’s zero presence of any “outsider”. Recently, BJP came under attack from TMC after they had fielded 10 central leaders in different regions of the state to strengthen the organisation.

The outsider-insider debate has taken a centrestage in West Bengal ahead of the state’s Assembly Elections next year. Led by Mamata Banerjee, TMC has built their election campaign with narratives to paint BJP as an “anti-Bengali” entity.

The attack on BJP comes after it decided to put central leaders in charge for Assembly Elections in West Bengal next year. The party had put five central leaders in as many organisational zones in the state before fielding another five central leaders in the state.

These developments followed BJP’s decision to appoint the party’s IT-Cell chief Amit Malviya as West Bengal’s co-convener alongside Arvind Menon. They will play deputy to BJP General Secretary Kaliash Vijayvargiya, highlighting the desperation of the party to win the eastern state.

The plot to portray BJP as an “outsider” and “anti-Bengali” party has been made evident by back-to-back press conferences from heavyweight TMC leaders.

BJP state president in West Bengal, Dilip Ghosh, had clarified earlier that the central leaders were deployed as observers and they were merely advising the party in terms of strengthening the organisation.

He also said that it will be BJP’s Bengal workers who will fight the and win the election against Mamata Banerjee’s TMC in 2021.

Meanwhile, Swapan Dasgupta has been announced as the chief of the manifesto committee, which will have Anupam Hazra, Rantideb Sengupta and Subhash Sarkar as members.

The responsibility to manage Matua and refugee votes has been given to BJP’s Bangaon MP Shantanu Thakur, Debjit Sarkar and Jagannath Sarkar.




BJP trying to malign Gupkar alliance: Omar Abdullah


BJP trying to malign Gupkar alliance: Omar Abdullah

Having failed on its previous planks, it is now resorting to propping up the names of PAGD leadership in Roshni Act however the allegations will also stand debunked when subjected to fact-checking.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Thursday said that Dr. Farooq Abdullah led PAGD is upbeat with the unprecedented support it is receiving from people across Jammu and Kashmir and that there is no question of double speak about supporting the best candidate because the best candidate for J&K and to fight to restore what we have lost are the PAGD candidates.

He made these comments while chairing a meet of central zone functionaries of the NC in Srinagar. The issues concerning the party were discussed in the meeting, besides that predicaments faced by the people on various accounts were also discussed in the meeting. The participants gave their estimation of the prevailing political situation in their respective areas.

While addressing the meet, the vice president said, “We are doing politics in extraordinary times, never in history post 1996, has the government of India been so disinclined towards contesting candidates. Such an outlook is unheard of in an emancipated world and in the post independent India, where anyone who is participating in a democratic exercise is being intimidated and vilified. On the other hand there are people who are working against the interests of Jammu and Kashmir. Considering the imminent threat people of J&k have made it a point to give a befitting reply to such forces which are working in the direction which are not in the interest of the nation in general and J&K in particular. The plaint lot which has surfaced to strengthen BJP, RSS is apparently being facilitated by the administration in the ongoing DDC elections by circumventing all norms. In spite of that people coming in large numbers to ensure that anti Kashmir forces don’t get a chance to play any mischief with the mandate in wake of any thin voting and ubiquitous favouritism of administration towards BJP, its ilk,” he said.

He said that the party has given primacy to the interests of the people of J&K over its own interests only to ensure that realization that has dawned upon the political parties in J&K is able to endure the antagonism from BJP, its Team-B. “Ditching all the allegations that it was the power that the party hankered for, our party president took a lead and cobbled an alliance for the restoration of restoration of J&Ks identity. Party president knew that the movement we get splintered, our political adversaries in the shape of BJP, and its team of “pliant stooges” will get a free run to trade off all vital interests of people of J&K for petty political gains. It was in that perspective that the party sought to give primacy to PAGD and willing to give any sacrifice for the same in the future also, because we are not fighting for power. Participating in DDC elections is part of the struggle for the restoration of our rights which were spitefully annexed by the ruling BJP .We are fighting to see our state flag hoisted next to the national flag. Moreover, we aren’t seeking anything outside the ambit of the country’s constitution, we are fighting for the rights which are there in the constitution itself,” he said.

Keeping in view the all out support of people for PAGD, the edgy BJP has increased its tirade against the PAGD leadership orchestrating false allegations against them and by employing various intimidating measures to dissuade the People’s Alliance.

Having failed on its previous planks, it is now resorting to propping up the names of PAGD leadership in Roshni Act however the allegations will also stand debunked when subjected to fact-checking.

“A false perception is being sold about ROSHNI Scheme but how could it possibly be illegal when it was passed by the state legislature and also accorded concurrence by the then governor. In the spree of mounting tirade on PAGD, BJP fails to remember that it was the same governor’s post which was callously, unconstitutionally and undemocratically used to dismember and disenfranchise the state. If we go by BJPs analogy, then all the measures which were carried out by the governor are principally illegal because it didn’t even receive the assent of the state legislature,” he said.

“Why is it that only PAGD is targeted? What about BJP’s own members whose names in fact have propped up in the land grab? The names of one of its members, former speaker and the former deputy chief minister, as a point of fact have surfaced in illicit land grab in Jammu,” he said.




Mamata Banerjee set to be 1st Indian woman leader to speak at coveted Oxford Union Debate


Mamata Banerjee set to be 1st Indian woman leader to speak at coveted Oxford Union Debate

Mamata Banerjee will be the first-ever woman chief minister from India to speak at the iconic Oxford Union Debate, which will be held virtually this time.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be the first Indian woman leader to speak at the coveted Oxford Union Debate when she participates in the event virtually on Wednesday.

Banerjee will be the first-ever woman chief minister from India to speak at the iconic event organised by the Oxford Union Debating Society. Had it not been for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she would have travelled to Oxford to take party in the programme.

The 65-year-old had received the invitation for the event in July last year. Reportedly, more than 600 questions have been filed online, mostly by students.

“Banerjee, who became the first Indian woman CM to address the debate, had received the invitation from the Oxford Union in July,” PTI quoted a Nabnna official as saying.

“She will be answering questions from students during the debate, and has already received 600 online queries,” he said.

Banerjee would be speaking about the schemes of the state government like ‘Kanyashree’, ‘Rupasree’, ‘Krishak Bandhu’ and ‘Duare Bangla’. She would be highliting how these schemes had helped in the welfare of citizens.

Founded in 1823, The Oxford Union has featured several world leaders and luminaries as speakers, including US presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan, British prime ministers Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, physicist Albert Einstein and spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Ahead of the next year’s West Bengal Assembly Elections, where the state’s governning party TMC is set to face a tough challenge from BJP, Banerjee’s participation in the internationally-famed event is sure to boost her and her party’s image.

Speaking of international recognition, Banerjee’s flagship project for the empowerment of girl child, Kanyashree, had received the United Nations’ highest public service award in 2017.

Beating 552 social sector schemes from 62 countries, Kanyashree was declared the winner for helping more than 40 lakh female students in West Bengal from 2011 to 2016.

Banerjee had visited Haugue in Netherlands to receive the award after she was invited by the UN.




Non-Bengalis contributed more than Bengalis in development of Bengal, says Dilip Ghosh


Non-Bengalis contributed more than Bengalis in development of Bengal, says Dilip Ghosh

Sparking a controversy, Dilip Ghosh said that workers from Bihar are treated as outsiders in West Bengal while Shah Rukh Khan is called a Bengali.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president in West Bengal, Dilip Ghosh, on Wednesday sparked a controversy with his statement where he said that non-Bengalis contributed more than Bengalis in the development of the state.

“From British era, people from outside are coming to Bengal to earn livelihood. For more than 100-200 years people from outside are coming to Bengal to earn money and do business,” Ghosh said at a rally as seen on ABP Ananda.

“Citizens from outside Bengal have always worked at the jute mills and factories at both sides of the Ganga here. Non-Bengalis have contributed more than the Bengalis in the development of Bengal.

Taking a jibe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Ghosh said that she treated workers from Bihar as outsiders but made Shah Rukh Khan a Bengali.

The Midnapore MP said, “Who rode the tangas? Who pulled the rickshaws? Today they are outsiders here and Shah Rukh Khan is one of our own! All the workers from Bihar are outsiders but Prashant Kishor is one of our own!”

Ghosh’s remarks comes at a time when the outsider-insider debate has taken a centrestage in West Bengal ahead of the state’s Assembly Elections next year. Led by Mamata Banerjee, TMC has built their election campaign with narratives to paint BJP as an “anti-Bengali” entity.

The attack on BJP comes after it decided to put central leaders in charge for Assembly Elections in West Bengal next year. The party had put five central leaders in as many organisational zones in the state before fielding another five central leaders in the state.

These developments followed BJP’s decision to appoint the party’s IT-Cell chief Amit Malviya as West Bengal’s co-convener alongside Arvind Menon. They will play deputy to BJP General Secretary Kaliash Vijayvargiya, highlighting the desperation of the party to win the eastern state.

The plot to portray BJP as an “outsider” and “anti-Bengali” party has been made evident by back-to-back press conferences from heavyweight TMC leaders.

They had somewhat similar theme of presenting BJP as an alien entity in West Bengal and invoking the ethno-nationalism pride among Bengalis against the hindutva-nationalism of saffron camp.




Trudeau’s remarks unwarranted: India


Trudeau’s remarks unwarranted: India

“I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends.” Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM

India today took strong exceptions to the remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the ongoing farmers’ protests in the country against the new farm laws.

“We have seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. Such comments are unwarranted, especially when pertaining to the internal affairs of a democratic country. It is also best that diplomatic conversations are not misrepresented for political purposes,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

Trudeau joined other Canadian leaders, particularly those belonging to the Sikh community, to express concern over the farmers’ protests, stating these concerns had also been conveyed to the Indian government.

He made the remarks while participating in a Facebook interaction organised by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. He was joined by Canadian ministers Navdeep Bains, Harjit Sajjan and members of the Sikh community.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t start by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends,” Trudeau said. “I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we’ve reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns,” he said, adding it was important to remember Guru Nanak’s teachings of compassion, equality and selfless service, which were central to both Sikhism and Canadian values.

Others from Canada to have expressed concern over the farmers’ protests include politicians from the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP).

India-Canada ties have gone through a rough patch in the past too due to the Trudeau government’s perceived support to the ‘Khalistan’ movement.




Hyderabad civic polls: Low turnout after blistering campaign


Hyderabad civic polls: Low turnout after blistering campaign

By 5 p.m. the polling percentage was only 35.8 per cent and with only an hour of polling left it is unlikely to cross even 50 per cent.

After a blistering campaign lasting less than two weeks Hyderabad civic poll turned out to be a dampener, recording the lowest ever turn out as urban voters chose to stay away from polling booths amidst the pandemic. By 5 p.m. the polling percentage was only 35.8 per cent and with only an hour of polling left it is unlikely to cross even 50 per cent. The last hour of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was reserved mostly for COVID-19 patients by the state election commission.

The campaign narrative based on national issues for a municipal poll evidently failed to impress the electorate and with a large number of IT professionals and other migrants leaving the city for their native places due to work from home policy, the voter turnout was embarrassingly low. However, suburban areas like LB Nagar, Uppal and Amberpet which are under Opposition MPs saw comparatively higher polling percentage. These were also among the worst flood-hit and likely to witness some anti-incumbency voting while Ramachandrapuram and Patancheru in adjoining Sangareddy district which registered highest polling percentage of more than 55 and 53 per cent respectively, might see a sway towards the ruling party. Langar Houz in old city area recorded one of the lowest polling percentage, just over 6 per cent.

While the pandemic kept away a large section of senior citizens and middle class voters voting was done through ballot boxes which might have led to apprehension, though the commission had arranged for sanitisers spots and ensured social distancing. Voting took place in 149 of the 150 words after a repoll was ordered at old Malakpet. Instead of ears of corn and sickle, the symbol of CPI candidate the ballot paper carried the symbol of hammer, sickle and star belonging to CPI-M. Repoll will be held on 3 December and the returning officer has been removed.

The state election commission had roped in celebrities to appeal to voters to come and out and although actors like Chiranjeevi and Vijay Devarakonda came out to cast their vote, the public chose to stay away. Even TRS working president KT Rama Rao had left recorded messages urging them to come out to vote. Mr Rao was one of the early voters along with his wife and so was AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi who chose to ride his bike to the polling booth at Shastripuram.

Incidentally, roadshows by both Union home minister Amit Shah and TRS working president KT Rama Rao had drawn huge crowds but it is evident from the low turnout that majority of the crowds had been organised, mostly from the districts. In fact, the apathy and indifference of the urban voters can be gauged from the fact before the election commission had intervened the Mee Seva Kendras which deliver citizen centric services of the government had seen huge crowds as people thronged the centres to register their names and bank account details to claim the flood relief of Rs 10,000.

BJP blamed the TRS government and SEC for the low turnout. Union minister G Kishen Reddy alleged that after the Dubbaka defeat TRS was apprehensive about GHMC poll results and hence advanced the election dates and people hesitated to vote due to apprehensions of second wave of Covid-19. Moreover, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao harped on communal riots creating a fear psychosis.




India highlights Pak’s role in terror-financing at SCO meet


India highlights Pak’s role in terror-financing at SCO meet

With Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan opting out of it, the meeting was attended by Pakistan’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of other SCO countries~ Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan– also attended the meeting.

Chairing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation heads of government meeting attended, among others, by China and Pakistan, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today tore into Islamabad for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy and repeatedly raising bilateral Indo-Pak issues at multilateral forums.

Underlining that economic growth and trade could only operate in an environment of peace and security, he said, “Peace is the essential prerequisite for progress. The most important challenge faced by us in the region is terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism. Terrorism is truly the enemy of humanity. It is a scourge we need to collectively combat.”

With Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan opting out of it, the meeting was attended by Pakistan’s parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of other SCO countries~ Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan– also attended the meeting.

Without directly naming Pakistan, Naidu condemned terrorism in all its manifestations, saying India was concerned about threats emerging from ungoverned spaces and the threat from countries that leverage terrorism as an instrument of state policy. “Such an approach is entirely against the spirit and charter of the SCO,” he reminded.




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