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Railway officials receive letter from 'JeM' threatening to bomb Mumbai, Chennai stations on Dussehra

Rohtak (Haryana): A letter, purportedly sent by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has been received by Rohtak Railway station officials, threatening to blow up several railway stations including Rohtak, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

The police said that the letter was received by Rohtak Railway Superintendent, Yashpal Meena on September 14. In the purported letter sent by JeM terrorist Masood Ahmed from Karachi, the terrorist group has threatened to bomb 12 railway stations and temples on October 8.

"Rohtak Railway Superintendent Yashpal Meena received a letter through the post. The letter stated that JeM would avenge the killings of its militants by blowing up railway stations in several parts of the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Rajasthan and Haryana's Rohtak, Rewari and Hisar," Narendra Singh, Sub-inspector GRP Rohtak told ANI.

"We have started the investigation. We have registered the FIR. Additional teams have been deployed for checking railway premises. All necessary precautions are being taken and there is no need for people to panic," he added. In February this year, JeM had orchestrated the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.


Scrapping special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was BJP's national commitment: J P Nadda

Thane: BJP working president J P Nadda on Sunday said scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was the "national commitment" of his party which was fulfilled by the Narendra Modi government.

Addressing a meeting of BJP activists here, Nadda explained the process of nullifying Articles 370 and 35 A which granted special rights to residents of Jammu and Kashmir. "It was our national commitment and love towards the people of J&K. We wanted to bring the people there into the mainstream," Nadda said hailing the "will power" and "tactics" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, respectively. In a historic decision, the Centre last month withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

"Jammu and Kashmir is now fully under control of India. All the 104 acts of India will be applicable there," he said. Nadda also said a delimitation exercise will be carried out and reservation for SCs and STs will be made before elections are held in the J-K region. He criticised the Congress for opposing the passing of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill.

"Many countries supported India on this issue which is a big achievement for us. The BJP has accomplished an impossible task," he said, adding that those who drafted the Constitution, including B R Ambedkar and N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar were farsighted and inserted a clause in the Constitution. He said Pakistan stood isolated on the issue at the global level.


Amid tensions with India, Pakistan claims backing of 60 countries on its Jammu and Kashmir statement: Report

Amid tensions with India on Kashmir issue, Pakistan has submitted to the UNHRC a “joint statement” on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir which it said was supported by some 60 countries that it didn’t publicly identify, triggering questions about the backing for the move.

According to Hindustan Times, the text of the statement was posted on the website of the Foreign Office after it was delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, but Pakistan did not identify the nations purportedly supporting it. A member of the Pakistani delegation at the UNHRC in Geneva said a list of these countries would be handed over to the Indian delegation but people familiar with developments said this hadn’t happened.

The report further states the statement reportedly had the backing of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Pakistan’s all-weather ally China. An official who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Hindustan Times, “The fact that the list hasn’t been made public means there is something amiss. Pakistan could have sounded out the countries privately but these countries haven’t publicly spoken on the issue.”

Islamabad has been left red-faced after its desperate attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue fell flat. The country has found itself isolated after being snubbed at the United Nations, as well as by countries like the United States, France, and Russia. India's decision has been hailed internationally with several countries calling the move as India's internal matter even as Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the issue.

Islamabad has found itself completely isolated despite desperate attempts aimed at internationalising the issue. Pakistan has approached various world leaders, including Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, French President Emmanuel Macron and the Jordanian King Abdullah II to seek their interventions into the issue, but in vain. However, Pakistan has been told to engage bilaterally with India to end tensions. India has repeatedly made it clear that talks with Pakistan are only possible after Islamabad stops sponsoring terror.


India, China troops engage in heated exchange in eastern Ladakh: Official sources

New Delhi: The troops of India and China were engaged in a heated exchange in eastern Ladakh near the Pangong Tso Lake on Wednesday, official sources said.

The exchange triggered after Chinese Army personnel objected to patrol by Indian soldiers in the area, they said. Army sources said the incident occurred due to deferring perceptions about the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China. The issue has been resolved during a delegation-level talks between the two sides on Wednesday, the Army sources said.


Law and order deteriorating in parts of Rajasthan: Deputy CM Sachin Pilot

Jaipur: In an apparent jibe at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his deputy and Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot here on Wednesday said the law and order situation has deteriorated at many places in the state.

"It is true that we should focus more on law and order. The government is serious on recent incidents and has taken steps. But the law and order situation has deteriorated at many places in the past a few months," he said. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot holds the home portfolio in the state. The deputy chief minister, who was locked in a contest with Gehlot for the post of the chief minister in the state after the assembly polls last year, further said law and order was an important part of governance and "shortcomings should be removed" to improve the situation.

"The government has taken recent incidents seriously, be it the jailbreak in Alwar or any disturbance in the name of communalism. But we will have to be more conscious because people have expectations from us," Pilot added responding to questions on the sidelines of a function here. He also stressed the need to ensure that women were secure and people had an environment of safety. "Our mothers and sisters should remain safe and secure. People should get an environment of safety. This should be our priority and the government should seriously maintain the law and order," Pilot added.

Pilot, who was at a Chaupal Gramin Training Centre to launch a Chaupal Rajeevika store and Gandhi Gyan Kendra (library), also urged the Centre to review hefty fine under the amended Motor Vehicle Act. Commenting on the issue, Pilot said the Centre should reconsider the penalty amount.

"Things which are not practical should be reviewed. The Government of Gujarat has also said that what the Centre has done is not good. It is not about any party or government, it is about practicality," he said, adding that everyone should follow the traffic rules. Instead of the penalty amount. Transport Minister Pratap Singh and others were also present on the occasion.


If Kashmir issue persists, then anything is possible: Pakistan hints at a risk of "accidental war"

Geneva: Pakistan's foreign minister warned Wednesday that the situation in Indian Kashmir risked sparking an "accidental war", and urged UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to visit the troubled region.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he believed both Pakistan and India "understand the consequences of a conflict." But with tensions soaring since New Delhi revoked Kashmir's autonomy last month, he warned that "you cannot rule out an accidental war." "If the situation persists... then anything is possible," Qureshi said.

India imposed a clampdown on Kashmir from August 5 to prevent unrest as New Delhi revoked the disputed region's autonomy. Mobile phone networks and the internet are still cut off in all but a few pockets. Tensions over Kashmir, split between India and Pakistan since 1947, have sparked two major wars and countless clashes between the two nuclear-armed arch-rivals.

Qureshi, who on Tuesday appealed to the Human Rights Council to launch an international investigation into the situation in Indian Kashmir, told reporters he had spoken with Bachelet and had invited her to visit both the Indian and Pakistani parts of the region. "She should visit both places and report as objectively as she can so that the world knows what the true... situation is," he said.

The minister said Bachelet had said she "was keen to visit". Her office could not immediately be reached for confirmation. Qureshi meanwhile ruled out the possibility of bilateral talks to resolve the tensions. "If the US plays a role, that can be important because they have a considerable influence" in the region, he said. New Delhi, meanwhile, has insisted that the situation in Kashmir is an internal Indian affair, rejecting all international interference in the region.



Hefty fines imposed not to generate revenue but to save lives: Nitin Gadkari defends new Motor Vehicles Act

New Delhi: Amid public outcry over new provisions in the new Motor Vehicles Act, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said hefty fines were not imposed to generate revenue for the government but to save lives of the people.

"We are implementing this to create respect and fear for the law so none can do such type of thing. That is the reason behind it. If you obey the law, you don't have to give any fine. 30 years before, the fine was 100 rupees. Now what is the value of Rs 100 today?" he told ANI. "The state government can decide on fines. There is no problem. But this is not a revenue earning proposal. This is for saving lives of people. We are losing 2 per cent of GDP due to road accidents. It is not the responsibility of the government to save the lives of the people? That is the spirit behind the law. It was not the intention of the government to increase fine to get revenue for the government," the minister added.

After the heavy fines introduced in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, hefty challans for traffic rules violations by the police have hit the headlines.

Advocating the hefty fines levied as per the amended bill for traffic violations, Gadkari said, "Some may also argue that we have increased the death penalty for rape of a minor girl. Some may say it is very strong but why are we implementing it then? Because we want to create fear in them about the law. If you obey law you don't have to pay a penalty. It's as simple as that." The minister took pains to explain the process of what went in to make the bill possible and how it was supported by various political parties.

"When we considered this bill, it was done by a committee that had studied laws of the UK, the US and Canada," he said. Defending the cases of huge amounts of challans being issued, Gadkari accused the "microscopic" media of highlighting these cases without going into the merits of the cases. "You spoke about the truck case, the driver didn't have anything, no driving license nothing. It was overloaded, the driver was drunk. It could have killed people. Should he not be fined?" asked the minister.


Chandrababu Naidu, son Nara Lokesh put under house arrest amid protest against YSRCP government

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu was on Wednesday morning put under preventive detention at a time when he along with his party workers were set to take out 'Chalo Atmakur' rally.

The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister following the house arrest sat on a hunger strike to protest against the said move. Naidu sat on a fast at around 8 am and will continue till 8 pm. His son was also put under preventive detention at their residence, following an altercation with the police. Meanwhile, party leaders and workers who were on their way to Naidu's residence were stopped by police and taken into preventive custody. Further, section 144 was imposed in Narasaraopeta, Sattenapalle, Palnadu and Gurajala.

Andhra Pradesh police have put several TDP leaders under house arrest in view of party's call for 'Chalo Atmakur' rally following political violence allegations made by YSRCP. Police said that TDP did not receive any permission to take out 'Chalo Atmakur' rally. Meanwhile, TDP has accused the YSR Congress Party of indulging into political violence after coming to power in May. It has alleged that the cadres of the YSRCP have killed as many as eight of its party workers and have attacked many more.


Indian Army's Mountain Strike Corps, Air Force to carry out war games near China border

New Delhi: More than 5,000 troops of the Indian Army's only Mountain Strike Corps will carry out a massive war game along with the Air Force in Arunachal Pradesh in October where Forces will be deployed to practice real war-like situation on the eastern front of the country.

The exercise will be the first of its kind along the China border by the newly-raised 17 Mountain Strike Corps which has been preparing for it under the Eastern Command for the last five to six months now. "As part of the war games, the troops of the Tezpur-based 4 Corps will be deployed at a high altitude location to defend their 'territory' while a brigade-sized force (over 2,500 troops) of the 17 Mountain Strike Corps would be airlifted by the Indian Air Force to 'launch an offensive' against them," top Army sources told ANI.

The Indian Air Force will airlift the troops using its latest transport aircraft including the C-17, C-130J Super Hercules and the AN-32 to airlift the army troops from Baghdogra in West Bengal and deploy them close to the 'war zone' in Arunachal Pradesh, they said. The troops of the 17 Mountain Strike Corps would be from the 59 Mountain Division and will include armoured regiments including battle tanks and infantry combat vehicles along with light howitzers and strike elements.

To make the 17 Mountain Strike Corps more effective during wartime in mountainous region with China, the fighting formations under it are being converted into Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) as part of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat's restructuring process. Once the IBGs are formed, the formations will be converted into leaner and more efficient fighting units with ability to strike deeper and faster against enemy targets, the sources said.

An IBG, which will be a little smaller than a division, will integrate the existing elements of infantry, tank regiments, artillery, engineers and signals. It will comprise six battalions of these elements and will be directly under a Corps. Once the Army converts all its required fighting formations into IBGs, it would lead to elimination of the brigades in the fighting structure.

The first IBG is coming up under the 9 Corps which looks after parts of Jammu and Punjab border with Pakistan. Two more IBGs are ready for conversion under the 17 Mountain strike Corps and 33 Corps which are both tasked to fight wars on the Chinese front in the Northeast.

By Ajit K Dubey/ANI


India rejects Pakistan's false narrative on Jammu and Kashmir, says terrorism worst form of human rights abuse

Geneva [Switzerland]: India on Tuesday firmly rejected Pakistan's allegations at the UN Human Rights Council and hit back saying a "fabricated narrative" on Jammu and Kashmir has come from "the epicentre of global terrorism" and from a nation, which conducts cross-border terrorism as a form of 'alternate diplomacy'.

India also said that its legislative decisions on Jammu and Kashmir cut the ground from under Pakistan's feet by creating obstacles in its continuing sponsorship of cross-border terrorism and its gory human rights record speaks for itself. Rejecting Pakistan's propaganda, India said it was an ill-disguised effort to advance its territorial ambitions and that Islamabad's "hysterical statements with false, fabricated narratives" were aimed to politicise and polarise the forum.

The clash occurred after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed earlier in the day that India had transformed Jammu and Kashmir into a largest "caged prison on this planet" by abrogating Article 370 and that human rights were being "trampled with impunity" there. While Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in External Affairs Ministry dismissed Qureshi's allegations while making national statement during the general debate at the UNHRC session, Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary in the Ministry, later exercised India's right to respond to debunk the claims of Pakistan minister.

Aryan also said that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India. He said Pakistan's rhetoric will not distract international attention from its persecution and elimination of religious and ethnic minorities - be it the Christians, Sikhs, Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus and referred to the recent incident of abduction and forced conversion of a Sikh girl. He referred to call for 'Jihad' and to encourage violence both inside Jammu and Kashmir and in third countries.

Singh said the government's decision to abrogate Article 370 and reorganise Jammu and Kashmir, saying that legislative decisions on Jammu and Kashmir were "sovereign" and "entirely internal to India". She said the decisions were taken by the Indian Parliament after a full debate that was televised and enjoyed widespread support. "We wish to reiterate that this sovereign decision like other legislation passed by Parliament is entirely internal to India. No country can accept interference in its internal affairs, certainly not India," she said.

Singh said the Council should call out those who are misusing this platform for malicious political agendas under the garb of human rights. "Those who are attempting this speak on the human rights of minorities in other countries whilst trampling upon them at will in their own country. They cry victim when they actually are the perpetrators," she said.

Without naming Pakistan, she said that one delegation "has given a running commentary with offensive rhetoric of false allegations and concocted charges against my country." "The world is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from the epicentre of global terrorism, where ring leaders were sheltered for years. This nation conducts cross-border terrorism as a form of 'alternate diplomacy'," she said. Singh said terrorism poses a grave challenge to the commitment of the international community to protect the right to life and security of people globally.

"It is extinguishing innocent lives and spreading fear and uncertainty. Those who abet, finance and support terrorism in any form on territory under their control are in truth the worst violators of human rights," she said. The senior MEA official said that the world, in particular India, has suffered greatly on account of the activities by "practitioners of state-sponsored terrorism" and it is time to collectively take decisive and firm action against terror groups and their abettors who threaten the fundamental human right to life.

"We must speak out. Silence only emboldens terrorists. It also encourages their intimidatory tactics. India appeals to the international community to work together in the fight against terrorism and their sponsors," she said. Singh said despite challenging circumstances, Jammu and Kashmir's civil administration was ensuring basic services, essential supplies, normal functioning of institutions, mobility and nearly full connectivity.

"Democratic processes have been initiated. Restrictions are being eased continuously. Temporary preventive and precautionary measures were necessitated to ensure safety and security of our citizens in the face of credible threats of cross-border terrorism," she said. The senior official said that as a responsible member of the international community, India firmly believes in a constructive approach to promote and protect human rights.

Noting that India is an ancient civilisation with immense and rich diversity, she said it also holds the credentials of being the world's largest democracy. Aryan said he had been forced to take the floor to call out the "blatant is a representation of facts and false narrative peddled by Pakistan in all its statements today." "This is an ill-disguised effort to advance its territorial ambitions. We reject this propaganda. We are not surprised at Pakistan's hysterical statements with false, fabricated narratives aimed to politicise and polarize this forum," he said.

He said Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and shall continue to be an integral part of India and Pakistan's nefarious designs will never succeed. "It defies credibility that Pakistan, which is the epicentre of global terrorism is claiming to speak on behalf of unnamed countries on the issue of human rights. It forgets that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse," he said.

He said the Article 370 was a temporary provision of the Indian Constitution and the recent modification was "within our sovereign right and entirely an internal matter of India." The decision, he said, removes "impediments to the enjoyment of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of our citizens in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh," especially those dealing with women, children and disadvantaged sections of our society in that region.

"Pakistan realises that our recent decision cuts the very ground from under its feet by creating obstacles in its continuing sponsorship of cross border terrorism against India," he said. "In this desperate mind-frame, some Pakistan leaders have even gone as far as to call for 'Jihad' and to encourage violence both inside Jammu and Kashmir and in third countries, in order to paint a picture of 'genocide' which even they know is far from reality," he added.

Aryan said Pakistan has pretended to speak as the voice of the global community on human rights but the world cannot be fooled and it no longer publishes official statistics about its minorities as India does," he said. Aryan said that blatant abuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan to persecute minorities was well documented and referred to forced conversion and marriage of a minor Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur.

"Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman was incarcerated for years. So was Abdul Shakoor, the 82-year old Ahmadiya, under Anti-Terrorism Act for selling books. The recent case of abduction, forced conversion, and marriage of a minor Sikh girl Jagjit Kaur, exemplifies the state of women, especially from the minority communities in Pakistan. And today, in this Council Pakistan has the audacity to tell others about human rights that it so egregiously violates again and again," he said.

Aryan said the people of India were determined to preserve the territorial integrity. "Pakistan's nefarious designs will never succeed because the people of India are united in their determination to preserve our territorial integrity along with our core values of democracy, tolerance, and unity in diversity. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will continue to progress and prosper along with the rest of India," he said.