Wednesday, October 14, 2020

New Indian envoy meets Uzbekistan foreign minister

Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Manish Prabhat and Uzbekistan FM Abdulaziz Kamilov. (Credit: Twitter/India in Uzbekistan)

Tashkent [Uzbekistan], October 14 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan Manish Prabhat met Uzbekistan Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov on Wednesday when they expressed full support for the development of cooperation in all spheres between the two nations.

"Ambassador Manish Prabhat called on Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr Abdulaziz Kamilov to present a copy of his credentials. Both sides emphasised their full support for the development of cooperation in all spheres," tweeted India.

"FM Kamilov wished a successful stint to the new Ambassador," said the handle, India in Uzbekistan, in another tweet.

A 1996-batch IFS cadre, Manish Prabhat, was appointed as the Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan in August. (ANI)

Chinese President Xi Jinping instructs troops to focus on 'preparing for war'

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Hong Kong [China], October 14 (ANI): While visiting a military base in the southern province of Guangdong on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed troops to "put their minds and energy on preparing for war", according to news agency Xinhua.

During an inspection of the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps in Chaozhou City, Xinhua said Xi told the soldiers to "maintain a state of high alert" and called on them to be "absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable", reported CNN.

The purpose of Xi's visit to Guangdong was to deliver a speech on Wednesday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, which played a vital role in helping China's economy become the second-largest in the world.

This military visit came amid heightened tensions between China and US, with issues pertaining to disagreements over Taiwan and the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to CNN, the White House had earlier notified US Congress on Monday that it was planning to move ahead with the sale of three advanced weapon systems to Taiwan, including the advanced High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

In response, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had called on Washington to "immediately cancel any arms sales plans to Taiwan" and cut all "US-Taiwan military ties."

Even though Taiwan has never been controlled by China's ruling party, Chinese authorities insist that the self-governing island is an integral part of their territory, with Jinping refusing to rule out military force to capture it if necessary.

However, relations between US and Taiwan have grown closer under the administration of US President Donald Trump, despite China's disapproval.

China has also increased military drills around Taiwan, with almost 40 Chinese warplanes crossing the median line between the mainland and Taiwan on September 18-19 -- one of several sorties the island's President Tsai Ing-wen called a "threat of force." (ANI)

CPCB to deploy 50 teams in Delhi, NCR for strict vigil to curb pollution

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New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will deploy 50 teams for extensive field visits from October 15 to ensure strict vigilance as pollution levels mount in Delhi and adjoining areas.

The teams will visit Delhi and adjoining and nearby cities such as Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Jhajjar, Panipat and Sonepat.

The team will also closely monitor Alwar, Bharatpur in Rajasthan and the vigil against pollution will continue till February 28 next year.

CPCB teams will monitor sources of pollution at ground level and polluting activities for immediate action. The teams will focus on hotspot areas where the problem gets aggravated.

An Environment Ministry spokesperson said that they will be using app for regular updates on air quality.

He said on spot reporting of major air polluting sources such as major construction activities without proper control measures, dumping of garbage and construction waste alongside the roads and on open plots and open burning of garbage and industrial waste will be done using SAMEER App.

Details of the feedback will also be shared with concerned agencies and state governments.

A Central Control Room has been made functional at CPCB headquarters for keeping track of pollution levels on an hourly basis and coordination with state agencies.

District-wise nodal officers have been appointed for better management and coordination with teams.

Air quality in the winter season is a major environmental concern in Delhi and the NCR region and special attention is being given to the problem this year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

There are concerns that there could be more transmission of the virus in winter months and people have been urged to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.

The air quality in Delhi was in "poor" category at several places on Wednesday.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'. (ANI)

Bangladeshi cargo ship runs around near Vishakhapatnam due to rough seas, harsh weather

Bangladeshi cargo ship MV MAA (Credit: Twitter/India in Bangladesh)

Dhaka [Bangladesh], October 14 (ANI): A Bangladeshi cargo ship with 15 crew members on Tuesday ran aground near Vishakhapatnam port due to rough sea and harsh weather conditions, said the High Commission of India in Bangladesh in a tweet. All 15 crew members of the cargo ship are safe.

"Bangladeshi cargo ship, MV MAA, with 15 crew members, ran aground early Tuesday morning near Vishakapatnam port due to rough seas and bad weather. Entire crew of Bangladesh nationals safe. Indian authorities extending all necessary assistance for damage assessment and recovery," tweeted the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh.

Indian authorities are assisting the ship with damage assessment and recovery. (ANI)

Hold Pakistan accountable for the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir: Member of European Parliament

Fulvio Martusciello, Member of European Parliament (Credit: Fulvio Martusciello Twitter)

Brussels [Belgium], October 14 (ANI): Talking about the role of Islamabad in "illegally" occupying a part of Kashmir and dethroning its erstwhile ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, Member of European Parliament Fulvio Martusciello has urged the international community to hold Pakistan accountable for the ongoing turmoil in the valley.

In an opinion piece for EU-Chronicle on Wednesday, Martusciello called out Pakistan's attempt to distort history by observing October 26 as a "Black Day" to commemorate the war fought in Kashmir in 1947-48.

Calling out Islamabad's deceptive ways, he said that on one hand, Pakistan remembers its losses with great pain on its Black Day, on the other, it doesn't remember the "thousands of lives taken during their ethnic cleansing persecution during that invasion of Kashmir, wherein one town alone, Baramula, 14,000 Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were slaughtered."

Pakistan is a country, which laments only its failures, he added.

He also wrote, "Under directions of the political leadership, Pakistan's military invaded and illegally occupied Kashmir and dethroned ruler Hari Singh in order to annex Kashmir. The move was part of its grand design to enhance its power, territory, and influence in the region - Pakistan's political leadership and Pakistan's military failed."

He urged the international community to recognise that the Jammu and Kashmir issue has been concocted by Pakistan for its own gains. "Islamabad must be held accountable for the ongoing turmoil inflicted in Kashmir," he said.

He even questioned the citizens of Pakistan who "do not deplore the rape of Kashmiri women and girls, nor the horrors and atrocities inflicted by the Pakistani military and its tribesman on innocent Kashmiri citizens". "And Pakistanis do not regret the illegal activities of their government or military..., nor the nihilism they imposed in (Pakistan-occupied) Kashmir," Martusciello went on to write.

He further wrote, "The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been mired in campaigns of disinformation and deception by Pakistan for decades, and now the youth need to know the truth to be empowered to follow their own destinies..."

Martusciello also talked about a former Pakistani Army General who made some revelation in a book regarding the strategy implemented by its military under the direction of the political leadership.

According to the European parliamentarian, (Rtd) Major General Akbar Khan had described the desperation and machinations of the Pakistani political establishment to obtain the Kashmir region.

"Akbar Khan confirms how intimidation and threats of the Pakistan regime forced the ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, to be left with no option but to ask for protection and support from the Indian government - this request then led to the accession of Kashmir to become a part of India under the internationally recognised agreement, The Instrument of Accession, which was accepted under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947," he said.

"I stand by the people of Kashmir and laud their resolve to oppose relentless Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the region," he finally said. (ANI)

US supports 'robust' program of arms sales to Saudi Arabia: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Washington [US], October 14 (ANI/Sputnik): The United States supports a "robust" program to provide weapons to Saudi Arabia, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a joint press availability with his Saudi counterparts at the State Department on Wednesday.

"Today, we reaffirmed our mutual commitment to countering Iranian malign activity and the threat it poses to regional security and prosperity and the security of the American people as well," Pompeo said. "The United States supports a robust program of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in line with efforts of the kingdom to protect its citizens and sustain American jobs."

The Trump administration has come under fire over its decision last year to approve more than USD 8.1 billion in emergency arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in response to the perceived threat posed by Iran.

The State Department's Office of the Inspector General has said that US officials did not fully assess the risks that the weapons would pose to civilians, particularly in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia leads an Arab alliance that has been conducting deadly air raids on Houthi rebels.

The emergency arms deal came despite the objections of the US Congress, which sought to block weapons sales to the kingdom and cut diplomatic ties in response to the October 2, 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud is currently in Washington for the inaugural US-Saudi Strategic Dialogue. (ANI/Sputnik)

Nepal cabinet reshuffle, Oli takes over Defence Ministry

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Kathmandu [Nepal], October 14 (ANI): Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli took over the defence portfolio, replacing the incumbent minister in latest round of cabinet reshuffle where he inducted three new faces.

It is the 12th round of reshuffling of cabinet since February 14, 2018 when Oli assumed office of Prime Minister. In the latest round, he has replaced Ishwor Pokhrel as the Minister of Defence and has put him under Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

This comes after criticism against Pokhrel was rising inside the cabinet, which earlier led to the disseverment of COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) under his leadership for poor management of the pandemic.

Moreover, questions had been raised regarding the high expenditure of state funds during the early stage of the pandemic where the Defence Ministry had spent a higher amount in comparison to the Ministry of Health and Population.

Though Pokhrel has been assigned to the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), no reasons have been provided regarding this decision.

Furthermore, Oli brought General Secretary of the Nepal Communist Party, Bishnu Poudel on board, assigning him the Finance Ministry while Lilanath Shrestha has been given Women, Children and Senior Citizens Ministry.

Prabat Gurung, who earlier was the Women, Children and Senior Citizens Minister has been assigned to Ministry of Information and Communications, along with Krishna Gopal Shrestha to Ministry of Urban Development, a list issued from the Office of President shows. (ANI)

Indian envoy meets French diplomats, discusses bilateral cooperation

Indian ambassador to France, Jawed Ashraf (File photo)

Paris [France], October 14 (ANI): The Ambassador of India to France, Jawed Ashraf met two French diplomats here on Wednesday to discuss bilateral and international cooperation between the two nations

Ashraf met Henri Verdier, Ambassador for Digital Affairs Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Stephane Daguin, Cabinet Director to Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, MoS, Ministry of Transport, France, according to the Twitter page of India in France.

"Amb @jawedashraf5 met @HenriVerdier, Amb for Digital Affairs Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs & had wide ranging discussions on bilateral & international cooperation to secure our cyber space & create opportunities for our people through digital partnership," tweeted India in France.

"Ambassador @JawedAshraf5 met Mr. Daguin, DirCab to @Djebbari JB, French MoS, Ministry of Transport. French Cos. already have strong presence in transport & infrastructure sector in India. Looking to deepen business & research partnership for smart and green transportation," said India in France in another tweet. (ANI)

Kovind welcomes Switzerland, Malta, Botswana envoys; thanks their governments for supporting India in UN Security Council

President Ram Nath Kovind at the event on Wednesday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind accepted credentials from the ambassador of Switzerland, besides the high commissioners of Malta and Botswana on Wednesday.

According to an official statement by the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Ambassador of Switzerland Ralf Heckner, High Commissioner of Malta Reuben Gauci, and High Commissioner of Botswana Gilbert Shimane Mangole presented their credentials.

According to the statement, President Kovind conveyed his good wishes to the envoys on their appointments. "He noted that India has enjoyed warm and friendly relations with all the three countries and that our ties were deeply rooted in a common vision of peace and prosperity. He also thanked their governments for supporting India's candidature for the non-permanent seat of United Nations Security Council for the term 2021-22," the statement read.

Kovind highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for greater global cooperation to ensure collective health and economic well-being.

"He further expressed his optimism that the international community will soon find a solution to the pandemic and will emerge stronger and more resilient from the crisis," read the statement. (ANI)

India contributes USD 1 million to UN Relief, Works Agency for Palestine refugees

India's representative to Palestine, Sunil Kumar (L) handing over the check for UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East (UNRWA). (Photo: ANI)

Ramallah [Palestine], October 14 (ANI): India on Wednesday contributed USD1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East.

This aid will support the Agency's programmes and services, including education, health care, relief and social services.

"Govt of In
dia contributed USD1 million to UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East (UNRWA), in support of Agency's programmes and services, including education, health care, relief, and social services," said Representative Office of India to the State of Palestine.

India's support for the Palestinian cause is an integral part of the nation's foreign policy. India has always played an active role in garnering support for the Palestinian cause across various multilateral fora, according to the Representative Office of India in Ramallah. (ANI)

Schools in Pakistan teach hatred against Hindus, Jews, Baloch activist told UN

Munir Mengal, the president of Baloch Voice Association. (Photo: ANI)

Geneva [Switzerland], October 14 (ANI): A Baloch political activist has told the United Nations that schools in Pakistan teach about hatred against Hindus and Jews to the students.

While speaking at the UN Working Group on Durban Declaration and Plan of Action in Genava, Munir Mengal, the president of Baloch Voice Association said, "I used to go to school in a very high standard state-run Army school called Cadet College the first lesson to us was Hindus are Kafirs, Jews are enemies of Islam both are liable to death for no other reason".

He added, "Even today the same is the first most important and basic message from uniformed Army teachers that we have to respect guns and bombs because we have to use these against Hindu mothers to kill them otherwise they will give birth to a Hindu child".

This sort of hatred is being taught in Pakistani schools, madrassas at every level even today. And is a basic part of the education syllabus. Religious fanatics and terrorist groups have been declared and announced as state strategic assets, Munir told the UN Working Group.

"Similarly, Blasphemy Law is being used systematically to punish the highly vulnerable sects of the societies, particularly religious minorities, and is being used as a high tool for discrimination. Labeling someone with blasphemy, punishing the whole community, and extra-judicial killing the alleged person, the killing of anyone who spoke out against the misuse of Blasphemy Law are acts of heroism in Pakistan", said the Baloch activist.

Until and unless this Working Group does not accept that states under their strategic neo-colonisation policies are suppressing human beings we will not be able to make effective policies to protect human beings from any sort of discrimination, he asks the UN.

Munir added, "Again I give the example of Balochistan, which was annexed by force against the will of people by the Islamic State of Pakistan. Now under the so-called Mega Projects, Economic Development Projects, port development projects etc. All sound very attractive, lucrative, and fancy words but in reality only tactics to gain strategic depth, dominate with ease and are designs of expansionism, tools to systematically eliminate, and dominate people".

The Baloch activist who remained a victim of Pakistan's brutal atrocities against the political activists told the United Nations, "In South Asia, everybody hears the ringing bells of CPEC, (China Pakistan

Economic Corridor) announced as an economic development project. China also claimed that CPEC is the flagship project of her Belt and Road Initiative. But in reality, it is a high sign of neo colonisation, and expansionism. First, this all is being done without the consent of people. A large number of People were displaced forcibly. There are no jobs for local Baloch people. Even no drinking water for locals but you can see unimaginable facilities for Chinese people".

He added, "Just imagine the current Population of Gawadar is 80,000 and Under CPEC there are plans to bring at least 500,000 Chinese people. This sort of altering demography means completely eliminating the Baloch race from that Area. Currently what tools the state has opted to achieve her objectives. Military Operations, forced displacements, barring media, extrajudicial killings, and forced disappearances etc. Speaking or writing something non aligned with state narrative is an act of treachery. Hence Pakistan has profiled Baloch People as anti-development".

Munir asked, "The most important question is how this working group will make a monitoring and checking system, how to make states accountable in cases of structured discrimination. How to monitor neo-colonisation and state expansionism plans". (ANI)

Army chief MM Naravane to get honorary rank of General of Nepali Army

Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane (File Photo)

Kathmandu [Nepal], October 14 (ANI): Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is set to get the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army in an investiture ceremony during his visit to Kathmandu in the month of November.

According to the Nepal Army spokesperson, General Naravane will visit 
Nepal in November this year.

"General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army will visit Nepal in the month of November this year. The visit was approved by the Government of Nepal on February 3, 2020 but was postponed due to lockdown in both the countries," the Army spokesperson said in a release on Wednesday.

"Her Excellency Mrs. Vidya Devi Bhandari will confer the honorary rank of General of the Nepali Army to General Naravane in an investiture ceremony during his visit," the release further stated.

Earlier, the visit was scheduled for February 3 but was postponed due to COVID-19 induced lockdown in both the countries.

This is set to be the first high-level visit to Nepal from New Delhi after Kathmandu issued a new political map showing Indian territories -- Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, as part of Nepalese territory. (ANI)

Rudram missile will give Air Force capability to detect and attack enemy radars: DRDO

DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy 

New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): The Rudram -1 anti-radiation missile launched from a fighter aircraft would require a few more tests to be completely proven and will provide Indian Air Force with the capability to strike enemy radars including surveillance and air defence systems, said DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy on Wednesday.

The Rudram-I missile system was successfully testfired recently from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft near the East coast and it hit its intended target successfully there.

"It (Rudram-I) is basically anti-radiation missile launched from an aircraft and when you release it, it will be able to detect any emitting elements and then you will be able to lock on to that emitting element and then it will be able to go on to act on them," DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy told ANI.

"So, this is what was being attempted in the trial what we have done. It has been released from aircraft and it could detect the emitting elements and that's what it tested. So, that proves the total capability of the air-launch anti-radiation missile and so we need to do a couple of more trials to prove the complete system, technologies under various conditions," he added.

Asked what capability it would provide to the Air Force, he said, "Once it goes to IAF, it will strengthen the force attacking the enemies emitting elements (Radars)."

Asked about the Nirbhay Missile testfiring which did not succeed, the DRDO Chief the Missile has been fire tested earlier and has been successfully completed all the development trial it has gone through.

"We only wanted to increase the indigenous content by incorporating many things including the engine and various other things. So the missile has actually gone off very well, it took off very well.. the separation and many other things. The engine also started functioning very well. After that some snag has come," he said.

Reddy said DRDO scientists are looking into the snag and that must be some one element malfunctioning or something like that.

"Right now, I am not very sure today, a team is looking into it and we should be able to come out of it and will be going ahead with the programme in a very accelerated way," he said.

Nirbhay is a subsonic cruise missile with ranges of around 1,000 km. (ANI)

Beware Kashmiris, Abdullahs are 'two-headed snakes', says activist

Amjad Ayub Mirza speaking in a video message. (Photo/ANI)

Glasgow [UK], October 14 (ANI): In a scathing attack against Farooq Abdullah's reported remark, wherein he suggested that Article 370 could be restored with the help of China, a PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) activist Amjad Ayub Mirza termed the Abdullahs as 'two-headed snakes'.

In a video message, Mirza said that the Abdullahs' (Sheikh Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah) are traitors of the nation. They never cared for Kashmiris. All they cared about was to increase their stronghold in the region. Sheikh Abdullah betrayed, so did Farooq and Omar in their respective regime.

"How many times have they passed a resolution from Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly against PoK, Act 74, Schedule 4, or anti-terrorism act in Gilgit-Baltistan? What have they done when the infrastructure of the region was demolished, jungles were uprooted, mountains were mined? They never raised a single voice against it. If they had done it, it would have impacted their votes in Kashmir", explained Amjad Ayub Mirza.

Challenging the democratic credentials of Abdullahs', he questioned their faith in the system. "Even after being sent to the Assembly, you could not do anything conclusive for the Kashmiris and now you are questioning the conscience of the government."

Tearing down on their governance, Mirza questioned the plight of minorities in the state during their regime. "Your government was responsible for the demographic changes in Kashmir valley, it was under your governance when Hindu exodus took place and you went to London at that time".

Mirza also questioned the secular credentials of the Abdullahs'. "The division between Jammu and Kashmir was played to create a rift. They played the communal card and assured the public that if PoK is incorporated with Jammu, Muslims will become majority while the real deal was to check strong vote bank of Dogras in the region. They also use to divert the aids from the Central government aimed at the development of Ladakh".

He said that the Farooq Abdullah's family could do anything to have a sway in Kashmir and can sale anyone for that power. " His father Sheikh Abdullah sold us. He forced Jawahar Lal Nehru to the ceasefire. If Jammu would have bigger representation than Kashmir, it would have been difficult for Sheikh to force his decision on Jammu".

He termed the Abdullahs' as ungrateful and said, "If we have people like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehboba Mufti, we don't need a traitor."

He asked the Kashmiris to beware of such 'double-faced snakes', who think about themselves and their family, and send their own sons and daughters to a foreign land for higher studies while Kashmir was burning. "They are not friends of Kashmir or India, they are the troublemakers, land sharks, corrupt people".

"Such traitors should be arrested and an anti-national case should be registered against them", he opined. (ANI)

Japan unveils its newest submarine amid China's growing aggression

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Tokyo [Japan], October 14 (ANI): Japan on Wednesday unveiled its newest submarine with the aim to boost the country's maritime security amid China's growing aggression in the region.

According to a report by the Kyodo news agency, the 3,000-ton warship named the Taigei, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., is scheduled to go into service in March 2022. It is the 22nd vessel in the Maritime Self-Defense Force's submarine fleet.

This comes a day after the Japan Coast Guard had said that two Chinese patrol ships had illegally entered into the country's territorial waters off Senkaku islands in the East China Sea on Sunday.

The Coast Guard had deployed patrol boats to the area to warn the vessels to leave Japan's waters.

The ships left the area on Tuesday night. The Kyodo news agency reported that the two ships left Japanese waters and sailed in the so-called contiguous zone from 8:19 pm Tuesday after remaining in the waters for a record 57 hours 39 minutes.

This was the longest intrusion into the waters in eight years since Japan's government purchased some of the Senkaku Islands from a private Japanese owner in 2012, NHK World reported.

It further reported that this was the first time since August 28 that the Chinese government vessels entered Japan's territorial waters, and 18th time this year.

China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing's concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.

The intrusions have not only been condemned by the US but have also invited the latter to conduct military drills in the South China Sea.

Kyodo news agency said that under its 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines, Tokyo has set a goal of increasing the number of its submarines from 16 to 22 in light of increasing activities by Beijing in waters near Japan, especially around a group of Japan-administered islands claimed by China in the East China Sea. (ANI)

2 terrorists killed in Shopian encounter

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Shopian (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 14 (ANI): Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with the security forces in the Chakura area of Shopian district on Wednesday.

"Two unidentified terrorists killed in Shopian encounter," said the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Searches are underway and fur
ther details shall follow, the police added. (ANI)

Armenian Defense Ministry reserves right to attack any military facility in Azerbaijan

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Yerevan [Armenia], October 14 (ANI/Sputnik): The Armenian Defense Ministry accused the Azerbaijani military on Wednesday of attacking military equipment stationed on the Armenian territory, and noted that the armed forces reserve the right for retaliation.

"On October 14, the Azerbaijani armed forces attacked military equipment that was on alert on the Armenian territory, on the border with Karvachar (Kalbajar), being guided by the assumption that this equipment was allegedly ready to attack Azerbaijan's peaceful settlements," the Armenian Defense Ministry's spokeswoman, Shushan Stepanyan, wrote on Facebook, refuting the allegations as groundless.

"We confirm that no missile, shell or bullet has been fired from the Armenian territory toward Azerbaijan as of now. At the same time, we announce that henceforth the Armenian armed forces reserve the right to attack any military facility or any military movement in Azerbaijan," Stepanyan went on to say. (ANI/Sputnik)

Russia calls on Armenia, Azerbaijan to fulfill agreements on Karabakh

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Moscow [Russia], October 14 (ANI/Sputnik): Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has called on his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts, in phone talks, to fully implement the recently reached agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

Late last week, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers agreed, after lengthy talks in Moscow, to a ceasefire in Karabakh and exchange prisoners and bodies.

"During the negotiations, Russian Federation Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu called on his counterparts to fully meet the commitments under the agreements reached in Moscow on October 10," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. (ANI/Sputnik)

16 security personnel killed, 10 wounded in Taliban attack in Afghanistan's Baghlan province

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Kabul [Afghanistan], October 14 (ANI): As many as 16 Afghan security personnel were killed and more than 10 injured in a Taliban attack, TOLO news reported on Wednesday.

Citing sources, it was reported that at least 16 security force members were killed and more than 10 others were wounded in a Taliban attack on security checkpoints in the Gozargah-e-Noor district of Baghlan province.

"Clashes are still ongoing close to the police HQ," the sources added.

Further details are awaited. (ANI)

PM Modi to release commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark FAO's 75th anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on October 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination to mark the long-standing relation of India with FAO.

The Prime Minister will also dedicate to the nation 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of eight crops, the Prime Minister's Office said in a press statement.

The event marks the highest priority accorded by the government to agriculture and nutrition, and is a testament of the resolve to completely eliminate hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition.

It will be witnessed by Anganwadis, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Organic and Horticulture Missions across the country. Union Agriculture Minister, Finance Minister and Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister will also be present on the occasion.

"The journey of FAO in making the vulnerable classes and masses stronger, economically and nutritionally, has been unparalleled. India has had a historic association with FAO. Indian Civil Service Officer Dr Binay Ranjan Sen was the Director General of FAO during 1956-1967. The World Food Programme, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, was established during his time. India's proposals for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023 have also been endorsed by FAO," the PMO added. (ANI)

Three-layered security provided to Hathras victim's family, witnesses: UP govt tells SC

Supreme Court of India

New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday filed its affidavit in the Supreme Court in connection with the Hathras case stating that three-layered security has been provided to ensure the security to the victim's family and witnesses.

In the affidavit, the UP government said that it is committed to providing complete security to the family of the victim and witnesses to ensure fair and free investigation. It also asked the court to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit a fortnightly status report on the investigation to the State government which can be filed by the DGP of UP before the court.

Threefold witness protection management has been devised, the government said, adding that "at the entrance of the victim's village eight security personnel are deployed 24x7 and two head constable are deployed outside the victim's house."

In the three-fold protection management, the first one is the armed constabulary component comprising "Platoon commander (sub-inspector rank) NK/LNK, head constable and constables", the affidavit filed by Special Secretary, Home Department of the Uttar Pradesh government read.

"Second is the civil police component, comprising of guards, gunners, and shadow. The third component is the installation of CCTV cameras/ lights to keep watch of the outer surrounding of the victim's house," the Uttar Police said in the affidavit.

Inspector (in-charge) of police station Chandpa has been made the in-charge of entire arrangements and he will supervise the police force and oversee the security arrangements on a daily basis.

On top court's query whether the victim's family has engaged a lawyer in the case, the UP government said advocate Seema Kushwaha and Raj Ratan have been hired as their private advocates.

Earlier, the government had filed an affidavit, asking the Supreme Court to allow a CBI probe into the Hathras incident on the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl, under its own supervision in a time-bound manner.

In an affidavit in a PIL filed by Satyama Dubey, the state government had submitted last week that it has already recommended a probe by a central agency to "obviate hindrance created by certain vested interests in a fair and impartial investigation." (ANI)

Fifth meeting of BRICS energy ministers to start today under Russia's chairmanship

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Moscow [Russia], October 14 (ANI/Sputnik): The fifth energy ministers' meeting of the BRICS group of countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will take place on Wednesday under Russia's presidency in the association.

The meeting, which starts virtually at 11 am (local time), will be chaired by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. The ministers will discuss coordination of international efforts on overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the energy sector as well as the expansion of cooperation within BRICS.

The sides plan to touch upon the future development of the BRICS Platform for Energy Studies, launched last year at Russia's initiative.

The BRICS ministers will also come up with a road map for the development of energy cooperation until 2025. (ANI/Sputnik)

'Mahagathbandhan' govt will sanction 10 lakh jobs in first cabinet meet: Tejashwi Yadav

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav speaking to media on Wednesday. (Photo/ANI)

Patna (Bihar) [India], October 14 (ANI): Ahead of filing his nomination from Raghopur constituency in the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said that after coming to power, the first thing that the "Mahagathbandhan" government will do is to sanction jobs for 10 lakh youth in its first Cabinet meet.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav sought the blessings of his mother Rabri Devi and elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav. He will file nomination from Raghopur today, for the upcoming polls. Rabri Devi said, "People of Bihar and everyone in the party are missing Lalu ji."

Speaking to media Tejashwi said, "Today I am going to file nomination from Raghopur, the people of Raghopur have always supported us. The people will once again support us. If we form the government, the first thing we will do at the first Cabinet meet is to sanction jobs for 10 lakh youth. These will be government jobs and permanent in nature."

"I promise to meet the demands for equal pay for equal work, which the employed teachers have been making for a long time, as soon as our government is formed," he added.

Congress, CPI, CPM are part of the "Mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance) under the leadership of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Bihar with 243 Assembly seats will go to polls in three phases: October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be declared on November 10. (ANI)

Tata Power to develop 100 MW solar project in Gujarat

The cumulative capacity under development in Gujarat will be 620 MW. (Photo: ANI)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 14 (ANI): Tata Power has got a letter of award from Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) to develop a 100 megawatt solar project in Dholera Solar Park of Gujarat.

The energy will be supplied to GUVNL under a power purchase agreement valid for 25 years from scheduled commercial operation date.

Tata Power won this capacity in a bid announced by GUVNL in March. The project has to be commissioned within 15 months from the date of execution of power purchase agreement.

With this award, the cumulative capacity under development in Gujarat will be 620 MW out of which 400 MW will be in Dholera Solar Park.

"It is an important milestone in the company's endeavour to generate 35 to 40 per cent of Tata Power's total generation capacity from clean energy sources and will go a long way to meet the country's commitment towards green and clean energy," the company said in a statement.

The plant is expected to generate about 246 million units of energy per year and will annually offset about 246 million kg of carbon dioxide.

Tata Power's renewable capacity will increase to 3,936 MW of which 2,637 MW is already operational and 1,299 MW is under implementation including 100 MW won under the letter of award.

Tata Power is India's largest integrated power company and, together with its subsidiaries and jointly controlled entities, has an installed capacity of 12,742 MW.

With nearly 2.6 gigawatt of renewable energy assets in solar and wind accounting for 30 per cent of the company's portfolio, it is a leader in clean energy generation. (ANI)

'Despite COVID-19 Bangladesh's economy kept growing under leadership of Sheikh Hasina'

Speakers of Awami League interacting during a webinar session on 'Encountering Coronavirus situation in Bangladesh under the leadership of the premier Sheikh Hasina'. (Photo/ANI)

Dhaka [Bangladesh], October 14 (ANI): While the invisible enemy -- coronavirus -- has slowed down the global economy, Bangladesh kept its growth rolling and accelerating owing to the timely plans spelt out by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, speakers of the Awami League said during a webinar.

In addition to the economic growth, the country stepped up its efforts on the health ground to tame the coronavirus, while in many countries the death toll is still on the rise. The apprehension that a densely populated country like Bangladesh would be a fertile ground for the spread of the highly infectious virus went nowhere, as the Prime Minister had set the stepping stones of plans and activities to emerge out of this crisis, revealed by the webinar participants.

Shah Ali Farhad, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, conducted the webinar titled 'Encountering Coronavirus situation in Bangladesh under the leadership of the premier Sheikh Hasina'.

"Bangladesh has, to this date, demonstrated an incredible instance of success in dealing with the coronavirus. While different countries are still counting the accelerating death toll, Bangladesh has navigated itself from the corona storm towards a fairly safe ground. While many countries have their economy rolling downward, Bangladesh's economy, like before, is going forward. All these are because of the timely decisions of the PM," said Education Minister Dipu Moni.

She further said, "Nearly 1 crore families received reliefs doled out by Bangladesh Awami League and its associate organisations under the guidance of Sheikh Hasina. The PM harnessed the state machine to fight coronavirus and also engaged her party Bangladesh Awami League to work towards it. We lost many central leaders and grassroots-level leaders and activists who were out to serve the people in this storm."

Health Minister Zahid Malik said, "Under the direction of the Prime Minister, 2,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses were appointed within 15 days, a feat that usually takes us more than a year. When you have a prudent leader at the helm, you can deal with any disaster coming over. We are equally equipped with the possible second wave of coronavirus.

"We sent letters to the district committee to make people aware and took all steps that could be taken," Malik added.

Minister for the Ministry of Public Administration Farhad Hossain said, "Our administration was active on the field to keep people at home since the beginning of the lockdown. Upon careful study of what is happening across the world, Hasina directed, through video conferences, what should be done. Our administration officials came forward to raising awareness among people in districts and Upazilas. They helped in burials of dead bodies to carrying out relief activities, which were also complemented by our party activists."

"Even when the coronavirus spell was accompanied by a natural storm, food and financial assistance were reached out to people for 66 days in participation with public administration and local leaders. It is due to the farsightedness of the prime minister and the participation of everyone, we could ensure the issues of skill and adeptness," Hossain said.

"Even the Upazila health complexes have also been equipped to treat coronavirus infected patients. On March 22, the Prime Minister directed distributing food among poor, helpless, and jobless people. Then we made a database of 1.25 lakh people and reached out to them with food," said Enamur Rahman, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief.

He further said, "2,11,017 metric tons of rice and 95,83,72,000 Taka have been disbursed by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. We also allocated 27.14 lakh Taka for children's food," he added.

Awami League's finance and planning secretary Waseqa Ayesha Khan said, "Almost every day Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, through video conference, inquired about the activities regarding Coronavirus going on in different parts of the country. It is under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that the present government, Awami League and its associate organisations reached out to every house with food."

"Never did we hear any news that someone died of hunger under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, a daughter of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Her knowledge, wisdom, and vision helped us fight the coronavirus. Even during this pandemic, Bangladesh earned 1,66,616 crore Taka in last months, an amount outperforming the previous year by 26 per cent," Khan added. (ANI)

we can make any type of missile within India that armed forces want: DRDO Chief Satheesh Reddy

DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy.

New Delhi [India], October 14 (ANI): Buoyed up by the strength of successful missile test in last 40 days, DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy on Wednesday said India has achieved self-reliance in the field of missile systems and can produce whatever is required by the armed forces within the country itself.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted around 10 successful missile tests in the last over five weeks including that of the Shaurya hypersonic missile, BrahMos extended-range missile, Prithvi nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Hypersonic missile technology development vehicles, Rudram I anti-radiation missile and the Supersonic Missile Assisted Release Torpedo weapon system.

"I would like to say one thing, the way the country has evolved itself in the missile system and particularly in the last five to six years...the various developments which are gone through in various tests which are gone through, India has actually gained complete self-reliance in the area of missiles," Reddy told ANI in an exclusive interview.

"We are now able to develop any type of missile system what armed forces want," he added when asked if there was no need for the armed forces to stop imports of missile systems.

The DRDO chief said the private sector industry has also come up to a very good stage as "They are able to partner with us, they are able to develop with us, they are able to develop the system as per our specifications."

Asked about the strength of successful missile tests at a time when India was engaged in a conflict with China in Eastern Ladakh, Reddy said the DRDO was striving itself hard to develop the state of art weapon systems to equip our armed forces.

"As part of that responsibility, DRDO has been working on many weapon systems. Even during the COVID-19 period, scientists have been continuously working on that. All have matured and hence whenever a system is ready, we are going further developmental trials," Reddy said.

He added that as part of that effort, a number of systems have become mature today and they all have been tested in the last one and half month period. "The maturity level of many technologies is such that, we had very successful flights of them," Reddy said.

Asked about DRDO's contribution to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, DRDO Chief said the organisation has started working in many areas to make indigenous system and "now I can very confidently tell that we are strong and we are completely self-reliant in the areas of missiles, radars, electronic warfare systems, torpedos, guns, and communication systems and so on."

He said DRDO scientists are continuously looking at various systems which are being imported now and trying to make indigenous system and a lot of emphases is there to develop system indigenously.

"We are helping the industry in a big way and lifting them up with various systems which they need to develop on their own," he said.

Reddy said that DRDO has "given 108 items completely designed and developed by the industry. We have instituted technology fund to support such industries and we have given our test facilities open to them. Now, we are taking industry partners right from the beginning of the projects."

He said the premier defence research organisation is now focusing on more advance and complex technologies. "We want to make India an advance technology nation meeting the Prime Minister's dream of Aatmnirbhar Bharat," he said. (ANI)

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