India’s leadership ‘very capable’ to act against terror and those who aide it: NSA Ajit Doval

India’s leadership ‘very capable’ to act against terror and those who aide it: NSA Ajit Doval

Gurgaon: NSA Ajit Doval said Tuesday the leadership of the country is fully capable to deal with any act of terror and against those who abet it. Addressing the 80th raising day of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) here, Doval also said India has not forgotten and will not forget the terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, where 40 CRPF jawans were killed on February 14.

“I can assure you that the country’s leadership is very capable to effectively respond to such acts (Pulwama) of terrorism and those who aide it,” he said.

Doval, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is believed to be the person behind the planning of the air strike on the camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot in Pakistan, carried out by the Indian Air Force in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack, one of the worst on security personnel in Kashmir in three decades.

“What should we do? What should be our way, our aim and our response and time to respond? The country’s leadership is both capable and courageous to (do) that. The country will tackle all such challenges and we have the courage to do this,” he said.

The national security advisor paid tributes to the 40 jawans killed in Pulwama, and said it was a “very sad accident” and said the country will always be indebted to this personnel and their families. Doval asked the CRPF to not look back or worry about the past but enhance its professionalism, credibility training and physical strength.

“If your morale is high then country’s future is safe,” he said.

Doval said world history is replete with examples of constitutional crises and government collapsing when the internal security of a nation is threatened. The CRPF, he said, has to take a lead role in ensuring peace and law and order. “As the lead internal security force of the country, the CRPF has an onerous task on its shoulders to render the duties.”

The CRPF, a three-lakh-personnel force, was raised in 1939 as Crown Representatives Police during the British rule and was granted the President’s colour this day in 1950 by first home minister of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

It is the highest honour bestowed on a force in recognition of exceptional service rendered by it to the nation, both during war and peace.

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress still mulling alliance options with AAP in Delhi

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress still mulling alliance options with AAP in Delhi

New Delhi: Days after having unanimously decided to go it alone in Delhi, the Congress is again mulling options to align with the Aam Aadmi Party in the national capital in its bid to defeat the BJP in Lok Sabha elections.

Sources said the Congress leadership is in talks with AAP leaders and senior leaders within the party are trying to convince Delhi Congress leaders for an alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP. AICC general secretary in-charge of Delhi Congress PC Chacko said, “I am in consultation with Congress party leaders in Delhi on the possibilities of forging an alliance with AAP.

“The Congress Working Committee has decided to align with like-minded parties across the country to defeat the BJP in Lok Sabha elections.

“I hope Delhi Congress leaders also go by this sentiment and decide on an alliance with AAP, but a final decision will be taken by the Congress president very soon,” Chacko told PTI.

Chacko’s views are at variance with Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit, who has made it clear that aligning with AAP will not be in the party’s interests keeping in view the assembly election in the national capital slated later.

He said some senior leaders in Delhi, who think defeating BJP is the party’s immediate responsibility and for which an alliance should be forged with AAP, have written to party president Rahul Gandhi on this. He, however, said Gandhi will take a final call on shortly after consultations within the party.

“I hope our Delhi leaders also follow the policy decision of the CWC. I am talking with them and trying to convince them about this, but if they still decide not to forge an alliance, it is up to them,” he said.

The party has announced that it will go it alone in Delhi and the Delhi Congress unit has told Gandhi that aligning with AAP in LS polls is not in the party’s interests. The Lok Sabha election is slated for May 12 in Delhi.

Manohar Parrikar was like a father figure: Goa CM Pramod Sawant’s wife

Manohar Parrikar was like a father figure: Goa CM Pramod Sawant’s wife

Panaji: Newly sworn-in Goa Chief Minster Pramod Sawant‘s wife said on Tuesday that her husband’s predecessor, the late Manohar Parrikar, was like a father figure to the couple.

“It is a day of mixed emotions for us. We have lost one of our greatest leaders, Manohar Parrikar who was like a father figure to us. Only because of his (Parrikar) blessings and guidance this could have happened,” Sulakshana Sawant, who also heads the BJP’s women’s wing in Goa, told the media after the swearing in ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan post Monday midnight.

“More than the joy, the sense of great responsibility we feel right now is greater,” she said. Pramod Sawant, the former Speaker of Goa legislative Assembly, was sworn in as the coastal state’s 11th Chief Minister following Parrikar’s death on Sunday evening due to advanced pancreatic cancer.

Telangana: 17-year-old held for secretly recording video of woman bathing

Telangana: 17-year-old held for secretly recording video of woman bathing

Chatrinaka (Telangana): The police here on Monday held a 17-year-old boy for allegedly recording visuals of a woman bathing. The minor is also accused of sharing the filmed clip with his friends.

Speaking to ANI, Circle Inspector of Chatrinaka Police Station Vidya Sagar said, “We have arrested a boy who studies in 10th standard following a complaint from 28-year-old women stating that while she was taking bath in her bathroom, the boy who is her neighbour has recorded a video and then shared the video with his friends.”  The complaint was filed on March 16.

“He has been sent to judicial custody. The video was deleted by the minor boy and his friends but we are verifying that to how many friends the minor boy shared the video,” said the circle inspector. The further probe in the matter is underway.

Manohar Parrikar passes away: RSS pracharak to 1st IITian CM, 10 things to know about late BJP leader

Manohar Parrikar passes away: RSS pracharak to 1st IITian CM, 10 things to know about late BJP leader

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar passed away yesterday at the age of 63. The cremation of late BJP leader will take place full state honour on today evening. The funeral procession will be taken from Kala Academy, Panjim, at four in the evening and last rites will be performed at five in the evening at Miramar. The Centre has already announced the National Mourning on March 18. Here are ten things to know about Parrikar, which makes him an exceptional man of politics.

  1. Manohar Parrikar, who rose from a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become the country’s Defence Minister and also chief minister of Goa, enjoyed a man-next-door image in the politically-volatile coastal state.
  2. Born on December 13, 1955 into a middle class family, his political career began as an RSS pracharak and he continued working for the Sangh even after graduating from IIT-Bombay as a metallurgical engineer.
  3. Parrikar entered electoral politics in 1994 when he won on a BJP ticket from Panaji constituency.
  4. He became chief minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000, but his tenure lasted only until February 27, 2002. Parrikar served the state four times as chief minister and had a three-year-long stint as Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi-led cabinet.
  5. He even credited the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during his tenure as Defence Minister to the teachings of the RSS.
  6. After the Modi-led Cabinet was sworn at the Centre, Parrikar was offered a ministerial berth in November 2014. He remained in the union cabinet till 2017 when his party failed to garner a majority in the Goa legislative assembly polls.
  7. He returned to the state in March 2017 when he managed to woo alliance partners such as Goa Forward Party and MGP to support him to form the government.
  8. His health started deteriorating in February 2018 and he was first admitted at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital for pancreatic ailment. He was flown to the US in the first week of March last year where he remained admitted at hospital till June.
  9. On January 27, he attended the inauguration of the third bridge on Mandovi river along with Union minister Nitin Gadkari. Parrikar also addressed the Atal Booth Karyakarta Sammelan on February 9, 2019 in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah.
  10. Parrikar stunned everyone when he reached the CM’s office on January 2 this year after a gap of almost two-and-a-half months. During the last few days, Parrikar had been in and out of Goa Medical College and Hospital for treatment, but was mostly confined to his private residence.

With PTI inputs 


Tamil Nadu: AIADMK alliance partner PMK announces first five candidates for Lok Sabha polls 2019

Tamil Nadu: AIADMK alliance partner PMK announces first five candidates for Lok Sabha polls 2019

Chennai: PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi), an alliance partner of AIADMK on Sunday released its first list of five candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. The PMK would contest on Dharmapuri, Vizhupuram, Arakkanom, Cuddalor, central Chennai, Sriperambadur, Dindugal.

The first five names released by PMK to contest LS polls in the state include sitting MP Anbumani Ramadoss from his own constituency Dharmapuri, Vadivel Iravanan from Villupuram, R Govinda Swamy from Cuddalore, AK Moorthy from Arrakonam and Sam Paul from central Chennai.

As PMK will field its candidates in seven seats in the state, the remaining two candidates will be announced soon. In a joint press conference held by the BJP, AIADMK, PMK, and DMDK on Sunday, it was announced that AIADMK will contest on 20 Lok Sabha seats including South Chennai, Theni, Pollachi, Karur and Erode while BJP would be fielding its candidates from Kanyakumari, Sivagangai, Coimbatore, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha constituencies.

AIADMK will contest on Salem, Namakkal, Krishnagiri, Erode, Karur, Thiruppur, Pollachi, Arani, Thiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Perambalur, Theni, Madurai, Nilagiri, Tirunelveli, Nagapattinam, Mayiladururai, Thiruvallur, Chennai south, Perambalur.

BJP on Kanyakumari,Sivagangai, Kovai,Tutucorin and Ramanadhaputam. DMDK, on the other hand, will contest on Chennai north, Virudhunagar, Trichy, Kallakuruchi, while Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) headed by GK Vasan will field candidates from Tanjore, Puthiya Tamiligam in Thenkasi,  Puthiya Needhi Katchi in  Vellore and NR Congress in Puducherry. Tamil Nadu will go to polls on April 18 for its 39 parliamentary constituencies, while counting of votes will take place on May 23.

BJP, allies meet in Goa to discuss Government formation

BJP, allies meet in Goa to discuss Government formation

Panaji: Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, who arrived in Panaji late on Sunday night following the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, met with leaders of alliance partners of the state’s coalition government to discuss leadership issue.

“We discussed on the broad contours of the alliance government in the future. We are in the process of finalising and nothing has been confirmed yet. We have given our options and asked them to revert,” said Goa Forward Party chief and state minister Vijai Sardesai after meeting with Gadkari. “We have also discussed who should be delegated what and how to work with the alliance in future,” Sardesai who earlier on Sunday said his party had lent support to Parrikar and not the BJP, adding that now “options are open” for them.

Meanwhile, Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) said after the meeting: “They will decide in one hour after discussions with MLAs. I’m going to the executive committee of my party. I will ask them to have a resolution. After one hour, we will know who is the candidate.” After Parrikar’s demise that was announced on Sunday, Sardesai said the “options are open” for Goa Forward Party.

“Now that he is no more, options are open. We want stability in Goa and we don’t want the dissolution of the House. We will wait for the decision at the BJP legislature meeting and the next step will be taken accordingly,” Sardesai remarked. Late on Sunday night, Gadkari and BJP’s General Secretary BL Satosh met with BJP MLAs and MLAs from alliance parties.

The meeting which continued into the early hours of Monday saw participation by MGP leaders Sudin Dhavalikar and Babu Ajgaonkar, Goa Forward Party (GFP) Chief Vijai Sardesai with party MLAs Vinod Palyekar and Jayesh Salgaonkar along with two independent MLAs Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gaude.

Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Speaker BJP MLA Michael Lobo told ANI: “The government has to be in place by morning tomorrow. Swearing in will be tomorrow morning.” Responding to if alliance partners will remain in support of the BJP, Lobo said: “They will stay in support of the BJP and the name for the Chief Minister post will be decided by Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari.” Earlier, Goa Congress leaders G Chodankar and C Kavlekar wrote to Goa Governor staking claim to form the government in the state. “Now, in view of Mr Parrikar’s death, BJP has no allies,” the letter read.

It said that it was up to the Governor to ensure “smooth transition and transfer of power”.”Congress being the single largest party, it is submitted that the leader of the Congress party is entitled to be invited to form the next government. We, therefore, hereby once again stake our claim to form the government and request Your Excellency to extend the invitation to our leader to form the next government,” the letter stated.

Parrikar headed a coalition of BJP, Goa Forward Party and Independents. The present strength of the Goa Assembly stands at 37 instead of 40. The Congress has 14 lawmakers and BJP has 13 lawmakers. Three MLAs each of the Goa Forward Party and MGP, an Independent, and one NCP legislator fill the remaining seats of the Goa Assembly whose strength was truncated after the death of BJP MLA Francis D’Souza and the resignation of two MLAs — Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte.

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati to hold joint rallies in Uttar Pradesh

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati to hold joint rallies in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will jointly hold 11 rallies in Uttar Pradesh.

The rallies will be held in Saharanpur on April 7, Badaun on April 13, Agra on April 16, Mainpuri on April 19, Rampur and Firozabad on April 20, Kannauj on April 25, Faizabad on May 1, Azamgarh on May 8, Gorakhpur on May 13 and Varanasi on May 16. The alliance will begin the poll campaign with a joint rally of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati at Deoband on 7 April in which RLD chief Ajit Singh will also be present.

SP and BSP are contesting the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh in alliance posing a formidable challenge to the BJP. According to the alliance the SP is contesting 37 seats and BSP 38. Two seats – Rae Bareli and Amethi -have been left for the Congress. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, NDA had won 73 seats from the state, SP had got just five seats, while BSP drew a blank. Recently SP and BSP forged an alliance to take on BJP in Lok Sabha elections 2019. The BSP chief’s campaign outside the state will start from  April 2 from Odisha. Uttar Pradesh will go to polls during all the 7 phases of the election to be held on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. Counting of votes will be done on May 23.

New Zealand mosque attacks: Father, son from Gujarat feared missing in Christchurch after terror attacks

New Zealand mosque attacks: Father, son from Gujarat feared missing in Christchurch after terror attacks

Vadodara (Gujarat): Two men, both from the same family in Gujarat, are feared missing in New Zealand following the deadly terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch in which 49 people have been reported dead.

The father-son duo of Arif and Rameez Vohra had attended Friday prayers at the Al Noor mosque, where the attack took place, family members said after failing to get in touch with them. Worried after not hearing from them, the family has now sought External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s help in the matter.

Mohsin Vohra, the brother of Arif Vohra told ANI: “My nephew Rameez Vohra has been living in Christchurch for the last seven to eight years. My brother Arif and his wife Rukhsana went to New Zealand 25 days ago because Rameez’s wife Khushboo gave birth and he had gone there to take care of the infant.” Mohsin added: “Rameez and Arif went to Al Noor mosque for the Friday prayers when the firing began. After that, there has been no news about their whereabouts. We have not got any update on their condition.” Echoing similar sentiments, Saifil Vohra, another brother of Arif, said there was no update about his nephew and brother since the terror attacks took place in Christchurch.

Christchurch mosque attacks: 28-year-old mass shooting suspect charged with murder, smirks in court
“There is no update about my brother Arif Vohra and my nephew Rameez Vohra. I do not know whether they returned from the mosque safely or not. I was in contact with them yesterday (before the shooting). I request the Indian government to give us an update soon,” Saifil told ANI. In the worst ever terror attack in New Zealand, multiple gunmen carried out indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during the Friday prayers, leaving 49 people dead and at least 48 wounded, besides giving a scare to the Bangladesh cricket team which had a narrow escape.

Using automatic weapons, the gunmen, four of who were initially taken into custody, launched a “well-planned” attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers. Several guns have been recovered from both mosques, while, two explosive devices were found on two vehicles at the scene, one of which was defused, the police confirmed.

According to the police, 41 people were killed at Al Noor mosque and seven at Linwood mosque while one injured died in a hospital. A 28-year-old suspect, identified as Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared before a Christchurch court on Saturday on murder charges connected with Friday’s terror attacks in Christchurch. He was remanded in custody without plea until April 5. The terror attack suspect, who live-streamed for about 17 minutes his rampage through two mosques, is an Australian-born citizen and is a resident of Dunedin, situated around 360 km south of Christchurch.

At least nine Indian nationals or people of Indian origin are feared missing in New Zealand following the deadly terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch which killed 49 people, unofficial sources said. Swaraj condemned the dastardly terror attack and put out the helpline numbers of the Indian High Commission in New Zealand tagging High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli for Indians requiring assistance. “Any Indian requiring assistance should contact Indian High Commission in New Zealand on 021803899 or 021850033” she said.

IAF carries out readiness exercise along Pak border in Punjab, Jammu to thwart Indian airspace violation

IAF carries out readiness exercise along Pak border in Punjab, Jammu to thwart Indian airspace violation

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force carried out a major readiness exercise last night over Punjab and Jammu in which a large number of fighter aircraft participated. During the exercise, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets, including frontline aircraft, flew at supersonic speeds in the border districts including Amritsar in Punjab, sources said here.

The reason for carrying out the combat drill was to be prepared for thwarting any misadventure by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to intrude into the Indian air space, they said.

The IAF has been on a high alert ever since it carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakot town of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunwa province on February 26. A couple of days ago, two PAF fighter jets flew at supersonic speeds over Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir around 10 kilometres from the Line of Control in the Poonch sector.

After the PAF started flying its planes close to Indian borders and were detected and monitored closely by the air defence network, the Indian fighter plane fleet was also ready to respond to them. The IAF had an edge over the adversary in the aerial combat as its vintage MiG-21 fighter flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a modern F-16D fighter plane of the PAF in a beyond-visual-range fight.

The IAF also managed to thwart the PAF attack on Indian Army positions on February 27 after India targeted non-military positions a day earlier.  During the February 26 air strikes also, the PAF F-16s had to return gauging the enormity of the IAF attack with 12 Mirages.