Archive for ‘PM Modi’

27/02/2019

Live updates| PM Modi holds key meet on Pak situation with top officials

IAF strike on Jaish camp in Pakistan updates: IAF pilot who engaged Pakistan jets missing in action, said the government. India verifying Pak claims on his custody. Follow live updates here:

Pakistani aircraft violated Indian air space in the Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Wednesday morning. The Indian Air Force scrambled jets and pushed them back. News agency ANI has reported that a Pakistan Air Force F-16 was shot down in Indian retaliatory fire in Nowshera’s Lam valley.

The Pakistani jets had entered into Indian air space over Rajouri district this morning, sources said.

The air space violation by Pakistani jets comes a day after Indian Air Force jets flew across the Line of Control to blow up Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest terror camp.

Watch| India lost one MiG 21, pilot who engaged Pak jets ‘missing in action’: Govt

 

Follow live updates here:

4:55 pm IST

Army’s Eastern Command chief visits Panagarh base in West Bengal amid escalating tensions

Amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, Army’s Eastern Command chief Lt General Manoj Naravane visited Panagarh base in West Bengal on Wednesday and reviewed operational preparedness, a defence official said.

Lt Gen Naravane, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, emphasised the need for remaining alert at all times to meet the emerging security challenges, the official said.

4:50 pm IST

“Whole country is proud of this brave son,” Arvind Kejriwal tweets for IAF pilot’s safe return

“I pray for the safety of Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan,” tweeted Arvind Kejriwal. “Whole country is proud of this brave son and everyone is hoping for his safe return. We all stand united to keep our country safe and strong,” Arvind Kejriwal said in the tweet.

4:35 pm IST

Pakistan has long denied its role in terror acts in India

In his last televised statement, Imran Khan appeared to ignore the claims made by Jaish. Pakistan has long denied its role in terror acts in India, which has handed it over several dossiers containing evidence of involvement of terror groups working from its soil.

4:33 pm IST

Imran Khan’s fresh call for dialogue comes in the wake of Pulwama terror attack

Imran Khan’s fresh call for dialogue comes in the wake of India’s effort to corner Pakistan among international community in the wake of Pulwama terror attack, in which at least 40 soldiers were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.

4:26 pm IST

Imran Khan calls for talks to de-escalate rising tensions with India over Kashmir

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan calls for talks to de-escalate rising tensions with India over Kashmir.

3:57 pm IST

Better sense should prevail: Imran Khan after Pak strike

“We offered that we are ready for any kind of investigation after Pulwama attack in India. We didn’t take action on Tuesday morning because we weren’t aware of the damage caused by air strike by India. We did not want to cause much collateral damage in India when there was not much damage on our side. The only motive of Pakistan’s strike today was to demonstrate that we have the capability to hit back.

All the wars have happened due to miscalculation. With all the weapons that Pakistan and India have, can we afford to miscalculate. If we take to war neither I nor Mr Narendra Modi would be in a position to control its course. This is why I suggest that better sense should prevail,” said Imran Khan.

3:25 pm IST

IAF pilot who engaged Pak jets missing in action: Govt

IAF pilot who engaged Pakistan jets missing in action, said the government. India verifying Pak claims on his custody.

Pakistan used air force to target military installations, attempt foiled successfully, the government added.

3:20 pm IST

Foreign ministry and Air Vice Marshal brief media

Foreign ministry and Air Vice Marshal briefed the media.

3:00 pm IST

Maharashtra on high alert amid border tensions

Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai have been put on high alert’ in the wake of the rising tensions on the country’s north-west border, official sources said in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Heightened security was seen in Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country. Police vigil has been enhanced in Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nashik and Kolhapur as well. The government is ensuring there is no disturbance to the ongoing HSC (Class XII) examinations in the state, reported news agency IANS.

2:45 pm IST

Pakistan closes its airspace for commercial flights

Pakistan has closed its airspace for commercial flights, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Wednesday amid escalating tensions with India.

The aviation authority made the announcement on Twitter after Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of the Pakistan Army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), acknowledged the closure of Pakistan’s airspace due to the security situation, Dawn News reported.

2:35 pm IST

Air India avoiding route of Pakistan air space with immediate effect

Air India avoiding route of Pakistan air space with immediate effect. India use Pakistan airspace for flights to Gulf countries, Europe and USA, said an Air India official

1:25 pm IST

Pakistan says 2 IAF jets shot down, India rejects claim

There are no reports of any IAF jet suffering damage in action by India’s adversaries, defence sources said on Wednesday according to news agency PTI.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan claimed it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested at least one of the pilots, according to PTI.

1:20 pm IST

Army, BSF troops along IB, LoC on highest degree of alertness: Officials

The Army and BSF have been put on the highest degree of alertness along the border in Jammu after air space violations by the neighbouring country and the night-long heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops on forward and civilians areas across the LoC which stopped on Wednesday, reported news agency PTI.

Authorities have ordered temporary closure of educational institutions in a 5-km radius along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri and Poonch districts on Wednesday amid mounting tensions between the two countries, following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 and an Indian air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday.

1:14 pm IST

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs DAC meeting

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman met here today and accorded approval for acquisition of defence equipment for about Rs 2700 crores.

Approval was granted for procurement of three Cadet Training ships for the Indian Navy, which would be utilised to provide basic sea training for officer cadets including women officer undertrainees. The ships would be capable of undertaking Hospital Ship duties, providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, undertaking Search and Rescue (SAR) missions and Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations.

1:08 am IST

China reiterates call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint

China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it reiterated its call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

1:00 pm IST

PM Modi rushes to review security situation: Report

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut short his address at a function in Vigyan Bhawan on Wednesday and rushed to attend a meeting to review the security situation arising out of Pakistan’s attempt to violate Indian air space, reported news agency ANI.

Modi was replying to the questions from youngsters during the National Youth Festival 2019 when he was handed over a small piece of paper by an official of Prime Minister Office (PMO).

The Prime Minister immediately stopped and walked towards the panelist where Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present.

12:53 pm IST

Pakistan stops domestic, international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad

Pakistan immediately stops its domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports, reported news agency ANI.

12:30 pm IST

Sensex turns negative; cracks over 200 points

The benchmark BSE Sensex gave up all early gains and fell over 200 points in afternoon trade Wednesday on widespread selling after Pakistani fighter jets violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir.

After dropping 238 points, the Sensex was trading 161.74 points, or 0.46 per cent, down at 35,811.97 after hitting a low of 35,735.33. The gauge rallied nearly 400 points in morning trade.

The 50-share Nifty also fell 62.55 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 10,772.75.

According to brokers, investor sentiment took a beating after Pakistan claimed that it shot down two Indian military aircraft over Pakistani air space and arrested one of the pilots.

The Pakistani fighter jets on Wednesday violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch and Nowshera sectors.

12:08 pm IST

Rajnath reviews security situation

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday reviewed the security situation in the country, especially along the border with Pakistan, a day after Indian fighter jets bombed the biggest camp of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad in that country, officials said.

During the meeting, attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval among others, a detailed presentation was given about the security situation in the country and steps taken to ensure peace in all sensitive places.

Singh directed the officials to ensure the Border Security Force, which guards the India-Pakistan border continues to remain on highest level of alertness so that any misadventure from across the border could be foiled, a home ministry official said.

12:01 pm IST

‘Don’t want to escalate tensions, but we are prepared’, says Pakistan

“Today, Pakistan Air Force undertook strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace. This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence. Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence.

We have no intention of escalation, but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm. That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight. For the last few years, India has been trying to establish what they call “a new normal” a thinly veiled term for doing acts of aggression at whatever pretext they wish on a given day.

If India is striking at so called terrorist backers without a shred of evidence, we also retain reciprocal rights to retaliate against elements that enjoy Indian patronage while carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan. We do not wish to go to that route and wish that India gives peace a chance and to resolve issues like a mature democratic nation,” read a statement released by Pakistan on Wednesday.

11:50 am IST

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval arrives at Home Ministry

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval arrived at the Home Ministry in Delhi.

11:45 am IST

Hope India, Pak conduct dialogue to establish facts through investigation: Wang Yi

“As a mutual friend to both India and Pakistan, we hope that they can conduct dialogue to establish facts through investigation to keep things under control and maintain peace and stability in the region. In this process China is playing a constructive role not the opposite,” said China’s foreign minister Wang Yi.

11:42 am IST

Russia, China and India reaffirmed strong opposition to terrorism: Wang Yi

“Russia, China and India reaffirmed strong opposition to terrorism. At the same time we (China) believe Pakistan has always been opposed to terrorism. China appreciates statements from Indian and Pak friends saying they’ll exercise restraint and avoid escalation of situation,” said China’s foreign minister Wang Yi.

11:37 am IST

Pakistani jets violate Indian air space in Nowshera

Pakistani jets violated Indian air space in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera sector but were successfully confronted.

An official said the jets were immediately pushed back by Indian jets on air patrol.

10:55 am IST

Discussed establishment of UN led global counter-terrorism mechanism: Swaraj

“We need a global strategy, global cooperation. I’m happy to tell you today we discussed the establishment of UN led global counter-terrorism mechanism and finalising CCIT (Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism) proposed by India to implement it,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Wuzhen, China.

“As far as Pulwama is concerned, I had raised this issue in the bilateral meeting with Mr Wang Yi and also at RIC (Russia-India-China) forum,” she added.

10:42 am IST

All countries need to show ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism: Sushma Swaraj

Terrorists attacks like Pulwama are a grim reminder for the need of all countries to show ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday, a day after India conducted pre-emptive air strikes deep inside Pakistan hitting Jaish-e-Mohammad training camps.

The operation was carried out in light of Pakistan’s refusal to acknowledge and act against terror groups operating from its soil and credible information that JeM was planning attacks in India, she said.

10:10 am IST

India’s response to Pulwama attack top agenda of Opposition meet

Left parties will participate in the meeting of the opposition parties, scheduled to be held later today. They had earlier said that they will not participate in the meeting. Pulwama attack and India’s response to it are on the agenda of discussion, reported news agency ANI.

9:55 am IST

Defence minister to meet Army, IAF, Navy chiefs shortly

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will attend DAC (Defence Acquisition Council) meeting shortly today.

9:35 am IST

Mumbai on high alert, govt asks schools to exercise caution

In the wake of air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot, the Maharashtra government has called for office bearers of the School & Co. Bus Owner’s Association to ensure the safety of school children keeping the prevailing situation in mind, reported news agency ANI.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the state legislature that security has been tightened across the city and appealed to people not to panic.

After intelligence informed Mumbai police to be on high alert, the vigilance and CCTV surveillance has been increased in places like the airport, railway stations, and other key locations.

9:22 am IST

2 Jaish terrorists killed

At least two Jaish terrorists were killed in an encounter that broke out with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

9:20 am IST

Villagers being shifted to safer places

After cross LoC shelling and ceasefire violations , the villagers in some areas of Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri are being shifted to safer places according to officials.

9:05 am IST

Balakot camp blown up by IAF was Jaish’s preferred training spot for 18 yrs

Balakot’s Jaba Top first emerged as a preferred training ground for militants in the time of President Zia-ul-Haq. It was an ideal place for a camp for non-state actors — remote, located near a small town, yet far enough from it, on a wooded hilltop, and on Pakistani territory in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. India crossed into Pakistan’s territory in 1971 (and then again, its aircraft on Tuesday), and so the Pakistanis may have thought it was a good place to host a training camp for militants whom the rest of the world called terrorists.

8:58 am IST

Underscore priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action: Mike Pompeo to Pak foreign minister

“I spoke to Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to underscore the priority of de-escalating current tensions by avoiding military action and the urgency of Pakistan taking meaningful action against terrorist groups operating on its soil,” said US Secy of State Mike Pompeo, according to news agency ANI.

8:50 am IST

Objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure: Sushma Swaraj in China

“It wasn’t a military op, no military installation targeted. Objective was to act against terrorist infrastructure of JeM to preempt another terror attack in India. India doesn’t wish to see further escalation of situation. It’ll continue to act with responsibility and restraint,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the 16th Foreign Ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China.

8:45 am IST

Target selected to avoid civilian casualties: Sushma Swaraj

“In the light of continuing refusal of Pak to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory and based on credible info that JeM was planning other attacks in parts of India, GoI decided to take preemptive action and target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the 16th foreign ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China, reported news agency ANI.

8:43 am IST

Pakistan outrightly denied any knowledge of Pulwama attack: Sushma Swaraj

“Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder for the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance to terrorism and take decisive action against it.

Following the Pulwama terrorist attack instead of taking seriously the calls by international community to act against Jaish-e-Mohammed and other terror groups based in Pakistan, it denied any knowledge of the attack and outrightly dismissed claims by Jaish-e-Mohammed,” said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj at the 16th foreign ministers meeting of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China, reported news agency ANI.

8:40 am IST

Did the US know of India’s strike on Balakot? And how much?

Asked about India’s right to self-defence, President Donald Trump told reporters last week, “India is looking at something very strong. And, I mean, India just lost almost 50 people and… with an attack, so I can understand that also.”

And his national security adviser John Bolton had on his own told reporters at a briefing that he had conveyed to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in a phone call “that we support India’s right to self-defence”.

8:37 am IST

Only 7 people knew of timing of air strike

On February 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the strike. According to intelligence officials, only seven people knew of this decision – Modi, Doval, the three service chiefs, and the heads of RAW and Intelligence Bureau.

Starting February 22, the Air Force started flying night sorties from various frontline bases to confuse the Pakistanis. On February 25, intelligence inputs suggested the presence of a large number of JeM terrorists, around 300-350, at the Balakot camp. The same evening it was decided to go ahead with the strike immediately. Modi knew by late evening that an attack could happen in the next few hours.

8:31 am IST

Exercise ‘maximum restraint’: UN chief to India, Pakistan

UN chief Antonio Guterres is following the situation between India and Pakistan “very closely” and has appealed to the governments of both nations to exercise “maximum restraint” to ensure the situation does not deteriorate further, a top UN official said Tuesday.

The UN Secretary General’s remarks came after Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a pre-dawn air strike on a terror training camp inside Pakistan.

8:27 am IST

Pak must take ‘action’ against terror groups: US after IAF strikes

Pakistan must take ‘meaningful action’ against terror groups, says US after IAF strikes on Jaish camp, reported news agency PTI

8:25 am IST

Encounter underway between militants, security forces in J-K’s Shopian

An encounter broke out on Wednesday between militants and security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Meemendar area of Shopian following information about presence of militants there, the officials said.

They said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened firing towards the security forces, who retaliated.

Source: Hindustan Times

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26/02/2019

‘India in safe hands’: PM Modi’s assurance after IAF strikes terror camps across LoC

The Prime Minister had earlier in the day chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) after India carried out ‘non-military pre-emptive’ airstrikes targeting the JeM camp across the LoC.

Hours after India’s offensive on Pakistan-based terror camps across the LoC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “assured that the country was in safe hands”.

“Today I assure the countrymen, the country is in safe hands,” PM Modi said while addressing a public rally in Rajasthan’s Churu.

“I pledge on this soil, I will not let the country die, I will not let the country stop, I will not let the country bend. It is my promise to Mother India, I will protect your honour,” he added.

Speaking on the One Rank One Pension (OROP), PM Modi said he was happy that the scheme had benefited over 20 lakh military families across the country including thousands of families of Churu and Rajasthan.

The Prime Minister had earlier in the day chaired the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) after India carried out “non-military pre-emptive” air strikes targeting the JeM camp across the LoC.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale addressing the media said India had received credible information on JeM attempting other attacks in the country and therefore a pre-emptive strike had become necessary.

Read | India has struck JeM’s biggest training camp, large number of terrorists, jihadis eliminated: Govt

He said the non-military pre-emptive action was targeted specifically at the JeM camp adding that the selection of the target was also conditioned to avoid civilian casualties.

In a 21-minute offensive, 12 Mirage 2000 jets carried out the strike at around 3.30 am and dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it.

The IAF jets struck terror camps and launch pads across the LoC in Balakot at around 3.45 am, Muzaffarabad at around 3.48 am and Chakoti at around 3.58 am.

Read | PM Modi chairs CCS meet after India hits terror camps across LoC; over 200 terrorists killed, say reports

The camp in Balakot was led by Maulana Yusuf Azhar alias Ustad Ghauri, brother-in-law of JeM Chief Masood Azhar. Yusuf Azhar was on the Interpol list and among the most wanted in India.

Following the airstrikes, many leaders including that of the opposition lauded the action of the IAF and praised the PM for giving a free hand to the security forces after the Pulwama terror attack.

Over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu-Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.

Source: The Statesman
22/02/2019

PM Modi awarded Seoul Peace Prize; India, S Korea ink 7 pacts, agree to bolster defence, economic ties

PM Modi and President Moon held constructive talks on enhancing bilateral cooperation in key areas including trade, investment, defence and security.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Friday awarded the Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts aimed at raising global economic growth, accelerating the human development of the people of India and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.

 

Dedicating the award to the people of India, PM Modi said, “This award does not belong to me personally but to the people of India, the success India has achieved in the last 5 years, powered by the skill of 1.3 billion people”.

He further said he was honoured that the award was conferred on him in the year India celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Talking at the 14th Seoul Peace Prize award ceremony, PM Modi said radicalisation and terrorism are the biggest threats to world peace and security in the present time.

He further called upon the need to join hands to completely eradicate terrorist networks. “Only by doing so, can we replace hate with harmony,” he said.

The Prime Minister also quoted a portion of the 1988 Olympics theme song, which goes as “Hand in hand, we stand, all across the land, we can make this world, a better place in which to live”.

PM Modi’s speech comes in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 44 CRPF personnel on February 14.

While choosing PM Modi, the award committee had recognised the Indian leader’s contributions to the growth of the Indian and global economies, crediting ‘Modinomics’ for reducing social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor.

The panel had also lauded Modi’s initiatives to make his government cleaner through anti-corruption measures and demonetisation. It also credited him for his contribution towards regional and global peace through a proactive foreign policy with countries around the world under the ‘Modi Doctrine’ and the ‘Act East Policy.’

Earlier in the day, PM Modi met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and expressed his gratitude to the President for his condolences on Pulwama attack and support against terror.

PM Modi and President Moon held constructive talks on enhancing bilateral cooperation in key areas including trade, investment, defence and security.

Addressing the media after the “productive talks” with President Moon, PM Modi said that South Korea is an important partner in India’s economic transformation.

He further said the defence sector was an important part of India’s growing partnership with South Korea. “An example of this is the induction of K-9 Vajra artillery gun in Indian Army,” the PM added.

Following the talks, India and South Korea signed seven agreements to enhance cooperation in key areas, including infrastructure development, media, start-ups and combating trans-border and international crime.

An important MoU was signed between the Korean National Police Agency and the Ministry of Home Affairs to enhance cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries and combat trans-border and international crimes.

Modi, who is on a two-day visit to South Korea to strengthen India’s strategic ties with the country, was accorded an official reception at the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the South Korean President here. He also met First lady Kim Jung-sook.

PM Modi is visiting South Korea on the invitation of President Moon Jae-in. This is his second visit to the Republic of Korea since 2015 and a second summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in.

Source: The Statesman
21/02/2019

‘PM has never given, only taken’: Rahul Gandhi slams Modi for denying ‘shaheed’ status to jawans

As the country mourned the Pulwama killings, there has been an increased demand for according ‘Shaheed’ status to the martyred jawans.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

In a fresh attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the “jawans gave their lives but have been denied the ‘Shaheed’ status.

 

In strong words, the Congress president said the “PM has never given and only taken”.

In an indirect reference to the government allegedly supporting industrialists like Anil Ambani, as accused by the opposition, Gandhi tweeted, “Jawans give their lives but are denied the status of “Shaheed”. While this man has never given & only taken. He’s gifted 30,000Cr of their money & will live happily ever after. Welcome to Modi’s NEW INDIA”.

As the country mourned the Pulwama killings, there has been an increased demand for according ‘Shaheed’ status to the martyred jawans.

The CRPF jawans were addressed as martyrs in resolutions passed in various state assemblies to condemn the terror attack and to announce compensation for the bereaved families from the respective states.

While the Madhya Pradesh government announced compensation of Rs 1 crore, the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments announced Rs 25 lakh each.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also assured government jobs to one member from each family.

According to the set rules, the Central Government provides Rs 10 lakh as ex gratia for the death of jawans due to accidents in the course of duty or death due to terrorist acts in the line of duty. Apart from this, the wife of the dead jawan would receive a pension, which would go to parents if he is not married.

The government does not recognise the term ‘martyr’.

In December 2017, the government had informed the Central Information Commission that there was no term as ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ in the army or the police. Instead, a soldier or policeman killed in action is called ‘battle casualty’ or ‘operations casualty’, respectively.

In 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Lok Sabha that the word ‘martyr’ is not used in reference to any casualties from the Indian armed forces during battle.

Earlier in 2015 too, the Government had informed the Parliament that the term ‘shaheed’ or martyr is not defined “anywhere” and that there is no official order to accord the same to defence or paramilitary personnel.

The CAPFs like CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF, SSB and NSG have made representations to the Union Home Ministry that ‘shaheed’ salutation is being demanded by the personnel of these forces.

Source: The Statesman
11/02/2019

Priyanka Gandhi on stage, Rahul says time to win Uttar Pradesh back

Rahul Gandhi,Congress president,Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, party general secretary (incharge of east UP) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a roadshow from the Chaudhary Charan Singh airport to the UPCC headquarters in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday underlined his party’s ambitions in Uttar Pradesh saying the party cannot afford to be weak in the state.

‘Congress started in UP and it cannot stay weak here. Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiarditya Scindia will make Congress strong in UP again,’ Rahul said at headquarters in UP unit of the Congress in Lucknow at the end of a mammoth road show that his sister Priyanka launchedin her first visit to .the state sicne her appointment as c general secretary in charge of eastern U.P.

While the roadshow marked Priyanka’s formal entry into active politics, Rahul set his sight beyond the upcoming general elections to regain power in U.P.

‘Congress party has to form government in Uttar Pradesh.’

‘I respect Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, but Congress will fight with all its might in Uttar Pradesh,’ Rahul said.

The Congress won two Lok Sabha seats in U.P. in 2014.

“In every defence deal there is a clause against corruption.Narendra Modi scrapped the corruption clause to benefit Anil Ambani,” he said.

He also accused the Prime Minister of ignoring farmers and favouring industrialists.

The Congress has consistently attacked the Modi government for not addressing farm distress in the country and the issue was one of the main election planks for the grand old party in the recent assembly elections in five states.

Source: Hindustan Times

09/02/2019

After China objects to PM Modi’s Arunachal visit, MEA says state integral part

Modi’s visit was part of a series of public meetings in the region aimed at garnering support for the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of elections that are due to be held by May.

INDIA Updated: Feb 09, 2019 16:14 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Bejing
China,PM Modi,Arunachal Pradesh
Both India and China have sought to rebuild trust after an armed standoff over a stretch of the Himalayan border in 2017.(Twitter/BJP4India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday saw jagged exchange between China and India. China’s foreign ministry Objected to PM Modi’s Arunachal visit saying “resolutely opposes” activities of Indian leaders in the region.

Responding to China’s objection to PM Modi’s visit to the northeastern state, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the state is “an integral and inalienable part of India.” Modi’s visit was part of a series of public meetings in the region aimed at garnering support for the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of elections that are due to be held by May.

“The State of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of India… This consistent position has been conveyed to Chinese side on several occasions,” news agency ANI quoted MEA as saying.

Despite recent efforts to improve bilateral ties in both countries, disputes over the mountainous Indo-China border – which triggered a war in 1962 – and the region that China claims as southern Tibet have remained a sensitive issue.

On Saturday, India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both India and China have sought to rebuild trust after an armed standoff over a stretch of the Himalayan border in 2017.

Source: Hindusatn Times

09/02/2019

Rumours being spread over Citizenship Bill, says PM Modi amid protests, inaugurates projects in Assam

PM Modi said the NDA government was ready to fully protect the culture, resources and the language of the Northeast states.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

Amid angry protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said huge misinformation campaign has been carried out over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill while addressing a rally in Assam’s Amingaon.

He further said the NDA government was ready to fully protect the culture, resources and the language of the Northeast states.

In an indirect attack at the opposition, PM Modi said: “false rumours about the citizenship bill are being spread by people sitting in AC rooms”.

Defending the Bill, he said we must “understand the pain of people forced to flee their homes and leave behind all they own”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday fired a fresh salvo at the Opposition accusing the Congress of “ignoring the real heroes of India”.

His remarks came close on the heels of Bhupen Hazarika being conferred the Bharat Ratna posthumously.

“I pay my tributes to Dr Bhupen Hazarika. He raised his voice for the deprived and the poor,” PM Modi said.

Repeating his BC and AD jibe, PM Modi said, “I want to ask Congress, why did they fail to confer Bharat Ratnas to those who really deserved it. Why did they ignore real ratnas of India.”

The prime minister had earlier in the Lok Sabha said, “Our friends in Congress see things in two time periods. BC- Before Congress, when nothing happened. AD- After dynasty- where everything happened.”

Earlier, PM Modi inaugurated the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd’s bio-diesel refinery and the Barauni-Guwahati gas pipeline.

He also laid the foundation stone of a six-lane bridge over river Brahmaputra.

“Today is a new chapter in the history of the Northeast,” PM Modi said after the inauguration.

“Assam is on the path to progress,” says PM Modi. “We have launched projects worth thousands of crores.”

A 729 km gas pipeline from Barauni – Guwahati passing through Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam will also be laid by the prime minister.

PM Modi kicked off his two-day visit of the Northeast on Friday evening.

Modi was shown black flags in at least two places on Saturday for the second consecutive day in Assam over the contentious Citizenship Bill.

Modi, who was on his way to the airport from the Raj Bhawan in Guwahati, was shown black flags by protesters belonging to the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) at Machkhowa area.

Minutes later, a group of students showed black flags to the prime minister when his huge convoy was passing through the Gauhati University at Jalukbari area.

On Friday evening, Modi was shown black flags in at least four different locations as soon as he landed in Guwahati and was travelling from the airport to the Raj Bhawan to spend the night.

While hundreds of Gauhati University students waved black flags at Modi in Jalukbari area, activists of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and AJYCP did the same at Adabari and Fancy Bazar areas.

Members of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) were also seen waving black flags at the prime minister and shouting slogans as his convoy crossed the AASU headquarters on the Mahatma Gandhi Road at Uzan Bazar.

Slogans like ‘Modi go back’, ‘Scrap Citizenship Amendment Bill’, ‘Joi Aai Asom (Glory to Mother Assam)’ was heard.

This is Modi’s third visit to Assam since December 25, 2018, when he inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge. In his second visit on January 4 this year, the prime minister had told a rally in Silchar that the Citizenship Bill would be passed by Parliament soon, triggering widespread protests in the state.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session on January 8 and has been awaiting Rajya Sabha nod.

Later in the day, PM Modi is scheduled to fly to Tripura to address a public rally.

Source: The Statesman
06/02/2019

Stray cows add to Modi’s farmer woes as Indian election looms

KAKRIPUR/MAHABAN, India (Reuters) – As night fell on the bucolic northern Indian hamlet of Mahaban, Gopi Chand Yadav gathered blankets and a flashlight to spend the night sitting on a wooden platform in his field. His task: to use bamboo sticks to ward off stray cattle from intruding and eating a maturing mustard crop.

Like Yadav, many thousands of farmers stay awake to guard their farms over a cold winter or face losing their crops to the cattle – a double whammy for growers already reeling from a plunge in Indian crop prices.

While stray cows ambling around towns and villages have always been a feature of life in rural India, farmers say their number has increased sharply in recent years to the extent that they have become a menace, and blame the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government.

Protecting cows – considered sacred to Hindus – was one of the measures meant to shore up support in the heavily populated, Hindi-speaking belt across northern India that has been a heartland of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP). Instead, it is creating a backlash, even among Hindu farmers.

“We already had enough problems and now the government has created one more,” said octogenarian farmer Baburao Saini from Kakripur village, about 85 kilometres (50 miles) from New Delhi. “For the first time, we’ve been forced to stay in the fields to protect our crops.”

More than 50 farmers Reuters spoke to in Mahaban and nine other villages in Uttar Pradesh state said they would think twice before voting for Modi’s BJP in the next general election, due by May. The cattle issue and low farm prices are major reasons behind their disillusionment with a party that most say they voted for in the last election in 2014.

Modi swept Uttar Pradesh at that poll, winning 73 of 80 seats in India’s most populous state, with rural voters swayed by a promise of higher crop prices, and as Hindu farmers supported the BJP amid tensions with the minority Muslim community.

COW PROTECTION

Modi is trying hard to claw back support among India’s 263 million farmers and their many millions of dependents after the BJP lost power in December to the opposition Congress in three big northern states where agriculture is a mainstay.

Indian farmers keep cows to produce milk, cheese and butter, but to harm or kill a cow, especially for food, is considered taboo by most Hindus.

Most states in India have long outlawed cow slaughter, but after coming to power in 2014 the BJP ratcheted up its distaste for trade in cattle, launching a crackdown on unlicensed abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh and on cattle smuggling nationwide.

At the same time, a wave of attacks on trucks carrying cattle by Hindu vigilante groups has scared away traders, most of whom are Muslims, bringing to a halt the trade even in bullocks, which are not considered sacred. Rising sales of tractors and increasing mechanisation mean that more animals are redundant for use in farming.

The farmers Reuters spoke to said they revered cows as most devout Hindus would, but a sudden halt in the trade of cattle had hit the rural economy. In their view, the government should come up with more cow shelters and let cattle traders deal in other animals without fear of attack.

“The government has only enforced the laws by closing down unlicensed abattoirs and cracking down on cattle smuggling,” said BJP spokesman Gopal Krishna Agarwal, who added that he runs a cow shelter of 1,300 cattle. “We’re not trying to hurt either any community or the rural economy.”

CROP TRAMPLED

Fodder prices have gone up by more than a third in the past year and most farmers cannot afford to keep cows after they stop producing milk, said farmer Rajesh Pahalwan as he smoked a hookah pipe in the village of Manoharpur. Six farmers sitting with him mainly nodded in agreement.

In India, the world’s biggest milk producer, about 3 million cattle become unproductive every year. In the past, Hindu farmers would sell unproductive cows to Muslim traders and about 2 million of these would end up smuggled to Bangladesh for meat and leather. But that trade has now been throttled by the government crackdown, trade and industry officials say.

That has led to many unproductive cattle being abandoned, farmers said, but governments – both state and federal – have failed to construct new shelters, leaving rising numbers of stray cattle that are feeding on crops, or even garbage.

“The government clearly did not think of alternatives before putting these curbs in place,” said farmer Deepak Chaudhary, who grows wheat on the outskirts of Mathura, considered to be the birthplace of the Hindu God Krishna. “As Hindus, we treat cows as sacred but these unwarranted measures have upended the economics of farming.”

The government did provide some relief in its interim budget last week as it announced a cow welfare programme costing 7.50 billion rupees (80.79 million pounds) in the year beginning April.

But there are hardly any “adequate measures to rehabilitate” cattle, said Fauzan Alvi, vice-president of the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association.

“Forget about cows, we cannot sell even a single animal to even our relatives thanks to cow vigilante groups which are aided and abetted by the BJP,” said the wheat farmer Chaudhary.

Modi has in the past condemned violence by cow vigilantes, but critics and opposition politicians say some of the right-wing Hindu groups involved have links to his party, a charge the BJP denies.

Nearly 85 percent of India’s farmers own less than 2 hectares (5 acres) of land, so even a relatively small area damaged has a big impact on their livelihood.

Only two weeks ago, some cattle ravaged an acre of wheat grown by farmer Chandra Pal in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.

“My investment went down the drain after some stray cattle trampled and ate up the crop,” he said.

Many farmers in Uttar Pradesh are now using barbed wire to stop animals from entering their farms, but that is expensive.

“We have been at the receiving end of anti-farmer policies of the government and the problem of stray cattle is just another blow to us,” said farmer Amar Chand, from Maholi village who voted for Modi in 2014. “Unlike the previous general election, farmers are not solidly behind Modi, who’s on shaky ground this time round.”

Source: Reuters

04/02/2019

CBI vs Kolkata Police: Mamata Banerjee addresses farmers from protest venue, accuses PM Modi of taking away democratic rights

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued her dharna against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) move against the Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with ponzi scam cases.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued her dharna against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) move against the Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with ponzi scam cases.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of unleashing a state of “emergency” in the country, Banerjee, the chief of Trinamool Congress (TMC), said on Monday that her protest is a Satyagraha and she will continue till the country is saved.

Banerjee has been on a sit-in at a makeshift dais at Dharamtala area near Metro Channel of the city since 9 pm on Saturday.

“The nation can see but they can’t speak out of fear,” she said, further accusing the Centre of playing vendetta politics.

“The Modi govt has taken away the democratic rights of the people,” Banerjee said, adding, “Centre is targeting opposition.”

Banerjee, who was scheduled meet farmers today at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, addressed them from the protest site over Facebook Live.

“The Modi government has sucked the blood of the farmers. Around 12,000 farmers have committed suicide,” she alleged.

Banerjee said that her government works for farmers’ welfare.

Commenting on crop insurance schemes for the farmers, Banerjee claimed that the state government has done more than the Modi government in this regard.

“Modi says he has sent money. He hasn’t. Eighty per cent of the money contributed into the scheme is of the state government. We pay the share of both the state government and that of the farmers. We have given Rs 600 crores. We have given Kisan credit card to 70 lakh farmers,” Banerjee said.

Further hitting at the Modi government, Banerjee said that the Modi government, after 5 years, says that farmer income will double by 2022.

“I say with pride, we have tripled the income already. The West Bengal govt is way ahead,” she told the gathering and the farmers.

“Those who try to insult Bengal should know that we consider work as dharma and karma. Doing lip-service is not enough. I will appeal to the farmer brothers and sisters to not allow anyone to exploit your weaknesses for political gains,” she said.

Opposition support

Banerjee’s sit-in, now dubbed ‘Save The Constitution’, received wide support from anti-BJP parties except a few from across the country.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said that Banerjee is right when she says that the BJP is using CBI to target political opponents.

“Besides West Bengal, such things have been heard from other states too. BJP and Centre have started misusing CBI as elections are approaching. Not only I, not only Samajwadi Party, but all political parties are saying this,” he said on Monday.

“There was CBI row, centre was scared of a CBI director, now they are trying to scare everyone using CBI. Who has misused? The institutions. If someone has politicised the institutions, it is BJP,” Yadav said.

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister recently formed an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He was also among the leaders present at the mega anti-BJP rally organised by Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on 19 January.

Extending support of the National Conference (NC), Farooq Abdullah said, “Her (Mamata Banerjee) allegation is right. This country is in danger as its becoming dictatorial. They (Central govt) are not masters of this country, people are.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK leader M K Stalin were among leaders who expressed their solidarity with Banerjee in tweets.

Kejriwal called Modi-Shah duo’s action is against democracy.

“Spoke to Mamta didi and expressed solidarity. Modi-Shah duo’s action is completely bizarre and anti-democracy,” Kejriwal said.

Yadav, who also spoke to Banerjee, extended RJD’s support, “BJP has not only venomous and nefarious agenda against opposition leaders but Indian Administrative Service and Police Officers. Might visit Kolkata tomorrow,” he said on Sunday night.

Stalin said he stood with Banerjee in her fight to protect the federal structure of this country and to save democracy. “The independence of every institution has been compromised under this fascist BJP Government.”

Read More: Rahul, oppn leaders extend support to Mamata’s dharna against Centre; CPI (M) calls it ‘drama’

Congress president Rahul Gandhi too threw his weight behind Banerjee.

Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) general secretary, said that corruption cases against TMC government in chit fund scam have been public for years but the Modi government chose to stay quiet as the top mastermind of the scam joined BJP.

“It does a drama to act now, after 5 years, and TMC leadership responds by staging a drama to protect its corrupt. This drama in Kolkata by BJP and TMC is not a fight for any principle but only to save their corrupt and hide their corruption. CPI(M) has fought both these undemocratic, corrupt, communal and dictatorial regimes in the Centre and the state and will continue to do so,” he said.

CBI vs Kolkata Police: How it began

The showdown began when CBI officials reached official residence of the police commissioner in the evening to question him in connection with the ponzi scam cases. Reports indicate that the probe agency sleuths were spotted in the vicinity in the afternoon, alerting the police who reached the Commissioner’s residence immediately.

Kolkata Police officials inquired if the 40-odd CBI officers had the documents required to question the CP.

After preventing the CBI officials from entering the residence of Commissioner Kumar, the police whisked away some of the sleuths to the Shakespeare Sarani police station for further discussions.

More CBI men arrived at the Loudon Street home of Rajeev Kumar and a commotion ensued. Some CBI men were then bundled into police jeeps and taken to the police station.

It was after this incident that Mamata Banerjee began a sit-in in front of the Metro Cinema to protest “insults” faced at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. She accused both the BJP leaders of organising a “coup” on West Bengal.

The CBI on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to cooperate with the investigation.

Representing CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought directions to Kumar to cooperate with the investigation and surrender all the evidence related to the chit fund case, stating that the top cop was a “potential accused”.

Read More: Kolkata Police chief a ‘potential accused’ in chit fund case, says CBI; SC to hear matter tomorrow

The CBI has claimed that Kumar has been instrumental in causing destruction of evidence and obstructing justice.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha that the CBI action was initiated after the Supreme Court ordered an investigation into Saradha chit fund case.

“The Police Commissioner was summoned many times but he did not appear. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has summoned Chief Secretary and Director General of Police and has asked them to take immediate action to resolve the situation,” Singh told the House.

Read More: Governor Tripathi speaks to Rajnath Singh; agency to move Supreme Court

Banerjee is expected to hold a scheduled cabinet meeting at the protest venue itself. The events were expected to cast a shadow on the Budget Session of Parliament on Monday with the opposition expected to vociferously raise the issue.

Source: The Statesman
03/02/2019

Seemanchal Express tragedy | Rail fracture may have caused derailment; PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi express grief

The Railways suspect rail fracture as the probable cause of the derailment of the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express on Sunday morning that left at least seven dead and scores injured.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

The Railways suspect rail fracture as the probable cause of the derailment of the Delhi-bound Seemanchal Express on Sunday morning that left at least seven dead and scores injured.

“Prima facie cause of Seemanchal Express accident is rail fracture of CMS  X-Ing at Barauni end of station yard,” Rajesh Kumar, the Chief Public Relations Officer of the East-Central Railway, was quoted as saying by ANI.

The exact reason behind the accident will be unearthed after the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) concludes its investigation into the derailment.

Eleven coaches of the train went off the rails before dawn near Sahadai Buzurg in Vaishali district at a time when most passengers were deep in sleep.

Kumar said that the 12 unaffected coaches are being moved to Hajipur where more coaches will be attached before the train moves to its original destination at Anand Vihar Terminal railway station (ANVT) near New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were among those who expressed grief at the loss of lives.

“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to the derailment of coaches of the Seemanchal Express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Railways, NDRF, and local authorities are providing all possible assistance in the wake of the accident,” wrote PM Modi on Twitter.

Narendra Modi

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also directed the state administration to provide all assistance in the rescue and relief operation.

He announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

A statement from Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s office said that the Minister is in touch with Railway Board members and GM ECR regarding the accident.

The Indian Railways also announced that ex gratia Rs 5 lakh each will be given to the kin of the deceased while Rs 1 lakh would be given to the grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to those who have suffered simple injuries. The Railways will also bear medical expenses.

Read More: Seven killed as 11 coaches of Delhi-bound train derail in Bihar

Rajesh Kumar said that one general coach, one AC coach (B3), three sleeper coaches (S8, S9, S10) and four more coaches derailed between 3-4 am near Shadai Buzurg railway station in Vaishali district.

The train, number 12487, was running at full speed when it derailed.

Officials fear that the death toll might increase as many are still trapped inside the derailed coaches.

Locals were the first to respond to the accident site. People were seen trying to rescue those trapped inside the derailed coaches before a massive rescue operation was launched involving personnel from NDRF and police.

NDRF personnel went in through broken windows to scan the insides of the overturned coaches for those trapped. Sniffer dogs, too, were deployed to help in the rescue mission.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
The teams of doctors were rushed from nearby Sonpur and Barauni.
The Railways has also issued help line numbers – Sonpur 06158221645, Hajipur 06224272230 and Barauni 06279232222.
Source: The Statesman
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