BJP Lawmaker Locked Up, Officials Block Kanwar Yatra From UP Village


Kanwar Yatra is a pilgrimage of Shiva devotees, to Hindu pilgrimage places (Pic: Kanwar Yatra in Bhopal)

Bareilly: 

Bareilly district authorities did not permit a Kanwar yatra pass through a village today fearing law and order problems. A BJP MLA, who wanted to set a new trend and wanted the pilgrims to pass through, was also restricted within his office for the day.

Bareilly District Magistrate Virendra Kumar Singh said Bithari Chainpur MLA Rajesh Mishra wanted to take out a Kanwar procession through Khajuria village, even as in the past no such procession had passed through this village.

Acting as per the orders of the Uttar Pradesh government, no new tradition was allowed to start which could pose a threat to communal harmony and law and order, he said.

A senior UP government official confirmed the orders and said it is a routine procedure followed and observed every year.

“As a result, to maintain the law and order, the procession was not permitted to pass through the village and the MLA was not allowed to move out of his office for the day,” Singh said.

The district magistrate also said that strict action will be initiated against anyone trying to start a new tradition which may affect the law and order situation.

Heavy deployment of police has been made in the area and police is urging the Kanwar pilgrims to take another route – the Bisalpur road, he said.

Meanwhile, MLA Mishra said he does not know through which road the procession will be taken, but a Kanwar yatra will be held for sure.





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To Further Maritime Sucurity, India And Mauritius Hold Talks


Port Louis: 

India and Mauritius today discussed measures to further strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation in the field of maritime security as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with the country’s top leadership.

Ms Swaraj, who was here to attend the 11th World Hindi Conference, called on Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and discussed bilateral ties.

“Connecting with a maritime neighbour! EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. Discussed further deepening our special ties,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

PM Jugnauth hosted a banquet lunch in honour Ms Swaraj which was attended by prominent dignitaries from both sides.

Ms Swaraj also met the country’s Opposition leader Xavier Luc Duval, former prime ministers Navinchandra Ramgoolam and Paul Berenger on the sidelines of the three-day World Hindi Conference that began here yesterday.

In the meeting, Mr Berenger conveyed his condolence on the demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and recalled the role played by him in strengthening our bilateral relations.

In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the multilateral Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, had met Jugnauth and talked about cooperation in trade and investment, maritime cooperation and people-to-people ties.

In 2017, India had announced a USD 500 million line of credit to Mauritius as the two countries decided to firm up cooperation in the field of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

The two sides also signed a maritime security agreement.

Earlier, Ms Swaraj inaugurated Panini Language Laboratory at Mahatma Gandhi Institute. The language laboratory, gifted by the Indian government, deploys ICT-enabled methods to teach Hindi.





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Muslim Man Converts To Marry, Hindu Wife’s Parents Take Her Back


After being in a relationship for 2-3 years, the two got married at a temple in February this year.

New Delhi: 

A 33-year-old Muslim man, who converted to Hinduism to marry a 23-year-old Hindu girl in Chhattisgarh, has approached the Supreme Court seeking direction for her parents to let her stay with him.

Mohd Ibrahim Sidiqui, who had converted to Hinduism and became Aryan Arya, challenged the Chhattisgarh High Court order, saying it had erroneously declined to direct his wife’s family to allow her to stay with him.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice DY Chandrachud sought response from Chhattisgarh government and asked for a copy of the petition to be served to the state government counsel.

The man said there was a threat to his and his wife’s life and she was being deprived of her liberty against her wishes by her family.

Mr Arya said he was being threatened by his wife’s family and some others.

He said his wife had told the high court that she was 23-year-old and willingly got married to him. But the high court gave her choice to either live with her parents or stay in a hostel.

According to the petitioner, both of them were in a relationship for 2-3 years.

In February 23, 2018, he converted to Hinduism and took the name Aryan Arya to marry the woman. They got married at the Arya Samaj Temple in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, on February 25, 2018, as per Hindu traditions.

In his petition, he said his wife Anjali Jain returned to her parents’ home at Dhamtari, but did not immediately inform her parents about the marriage.

Her parents got to know about their marriage and the couple then planned that she will move out of her parents’ home without informing them.

She left her home on June 30, but the police found her before she could meet her husband and took her to a Sakhi Centre shelter home for women.

Mr Arya alleged that police recorded a wrong statement that the woman wanted to stay with her parents and handed over her custody to her father.

Mr Arya then approached the high court, which directed Anjali Jain and her father to be produced in the court on July 30.

The high court, after interacting with Anjali Jain, held that she had denied of any illegal detention by her parents’ and it recorded that her parents’ had serious reservations with regard to the relationship, or their marriage.

The petition said the court had ruled that “certain breathing space and time is required to be given in a free atmosphere to Anjali to make up her own independent mind”.

The case is similar to Hadiya case where a Hindu girl from Kerala converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man and the top court on April 9, set aside the Kerala High Court verdict and restored the inter-faith marriage of Hadiya and Shafin Jahan, saying the former had “absolute autonomy over her person”.





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PM Modi Speaks With HD Kumaraswamy, Extends Support


PM Narendra Modi has assured support to Chief Minister in Karnataka flood rescue operations. (File)

New Delhi: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke with Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy regarding flood situation in parts of the state.

“Extended all possible support in the rescue and relief operations. I pray for the safety and well-being of those in the flood affected areas,” the PM tweeted.

While some parts of Karnataka are facing drought like situation, some others are reeling under flood.





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Man Takes Family Hostage in Gujarat, Shot Dead By Police


Ahmedabad: 

A man, who held a family hostage in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district, was shot dead by the police, an official said today.

Three policemen were also injured in the incident.

Sajid Hanif held four women and a child hostage last night at a house in Lunawada town, about 130 km from here, Mahisagar Superintendent of Police Usha Rada said.

“The police received information that a man, accused in cases of loot and extortion, was roaming in Lunawada, wielding sword and terrorising people in Polan School area of the town,” she said.

“When the police tried to corner Hanif, he entered a house and held four women and a child hostage,” she said.

When the policemen tried to rescue the women and the child, Hanif attacked them with a sword, injuring two personnel.

A police sub-inspector then shot at Hanif. He sustained three bullet injuries and was killed on the spot, Ms Rada said.

“Two policemen were injured when Hanif attacked them with the sword. Another policeman was hit by a bullet that bounced after the sub-inspector fired it from his revolver,” she said.

There were already 48 FIRs registered against Hanif, the SP said, adding that he was recently released after serving a jail sentence.

“He was trying to create terror and was seen on several occasions roaming around with a sword. There were several FIRs against him, mostly pertaining to cases of extortion and robbery,” Ms Rada said.





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Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood Urge People To Help Flood-Hit Kerala


Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has expressed concern over the “frightening” situation in Kerala. (File)

Mumbai: 

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has expressed concern over the “frightening” situation in Kerala where 197 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing since August 8 due to floods and landslides.

The deadliest deluge in Kerala in close to a century has battered the scenic state, with its infrastructure, standing crops and tourism facilities severely hit.

The 75-year-old actor took to Twitter and urged people to contribute to relief fund for the state.

“The devastation caused by incessant rain in Kerala is frightening! Hundreds and thousands of our sisters and brothers are in deep anguish!” Mr Bachchan wrote.

“We must do all we can to contribute as much as we can towards the needs of the people of Kerala… I have… You must too…” he added.

Bollywood celebrities like Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan, Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Anushka Sharma, among others also tweeted support for the state and its people.

Hrithik Roshan wrote, “The situation in Kerala is critical. Help is required. Please let’s come forward and do whatever we can. Our friends in Kerala need us right now. I have contributed a sum and I request you all to do whatever you can. God bless #KeralaFloodRelief.”

Actor Sidharth Malhotra said he has contributed to the relief fund for the state and wrote, “Let’s all get together and show our unified strength for Kerala. Contribute however you can and donate any amount here. Pray for everyone in distress. #KeralaFlood.” as he tweeted the link of Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

“Kerala is on red alert and Habitat for Humanity India is helping those who are stranded! I urge everyone to help those in need…” Jacqueline Fernandez tweeted. Swara Bhasker shared a message on her Instagram page and also urged people to donate for the cause.

“The state of #Kerala in #India has been devastated by floods. Hundreds have died and bodies are still being recovered. 600,000 people are living in shelters. Please donate and help #savekerala #keralafloods,” she wrote.

“Karwaan” actor Dulquer Salmaan tweeted a poster with emergency numbers to help the people.

“Urging and requesting the #nationalmedia to focus and draw attention to #keralafloods! Each day is looking more grim for millions,” he said.





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3,500 Evacuated From Flood-Hit Karnataka’s Kodagu, Rains Hit Rescue Work


The exact number of people still stranded across the district could not be ascertained

Kodagu (Karnataka): 

About 3,500 marooned people were rescued in Karnataka’s worst flood-hit Kodagu district even as incessant rains hampered relief work, the government said today.

“The Indian Army, Navy and other state and central agencies have rescued more than 3,500 people so far,” a statement from Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s office said.

Of the hundreds stranded across this flood-hit hilly district, about 270 km from Bengaluru, the 3,500 rescued till Sunday noon have been shifted to 30 relief camps and efforts were on to reach the others held up on hilltops.

The exact number of people still stranded across the district could not be ascertained from the officials.

Located in the Western Ghats mountain ranges, the coffee-growing district is the worst-hit due to the south-west monsoon rains since June first week.

The incessant rains have been causing flooding and landslides across the region, damaging the arterial roads.

Over 60 people have been stranded in Mukkodlu village of the district, but airlifting them has not been possible due to bad weather, Kumaraswamy said on Saturday.

About 300 people were rescued on Saturday, including more than 30 senior citizens and 50 children.

About 60 Dogra Regiment soldiers, 12 naval divers, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials, 525 fire service personnel and Home Guards are among those working on rescue operations.

In total, over 1,000 rescuers from state and central agencies have been engaged in the rescue operations.

Hundreds of volunteers from state capital Bengaluru and across the state have been gathering relief material, including dry food, water, milk, clothing and medicines, and distributing them to those in the temporary shelters in the district.

The water being released from Harangi reservoir in the district across Harangi river, one of Cauvery”s tributaries, has been adding to the flooding of towns and villages in the region.

Over the last 24 hours, the district received an average rainfall of 5.4 cm, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Few parts of the district received rain upto 11.5 cm.

Revenue Minister RV Deshpande has been overseeing the rescue and relief operations.

The state-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corp on Sunday resumed all its intra-state bus services towards Kodagu and Mangaluru and inter-state services towards Kerala.

The bus services were suspended over the past few days towards Kodagu, Mangaluru and flood-hit Kerala due to the landslips and damaged roads caused by the rains.

The South Western Railway”s (SWR) train services were, however, cancelled or partially suspended and diverted between Yesvantpur in Bengaluru and Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru to Karwar in Uttara Kannada due to landslides and floods.

The SWR on Sunday transported relief material including water, food, milk, clothing etc., for thousands of people living in shelters in neighbouring Kerala.





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At Sunday Prayer In Vatican, Pope Asks Help For Flood-Affected Kerala


Pope Francis urged the international community to stand in solidarity with India (File)

Vatican City: 

Pope Francis on Sunday called for solidarity and help from the international community for people affected by flooding in Kerala which has caused widespread death and destruction.

The Pope said during the weekly Sunday prayers on St. Peter’s Square that residents of Kerala had been hit by intense rains in recent days, which had led to flooding, landslides and an enormous loss of life, reports Efe news.

He said the Catholic Church was working to bring help to the people of Kerala and urged those gathered in the Vatican square to pray for those who had died and all the people affected by the calamity.

Pope Francis urged the international community to stand in solidarity with India and to offer concrete help to those affected by the floods.

Over 350 people have died and over 600,000 have been rescued and taken to emergency accommodation in recent days owing to torrential rains battering the state.





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Temple Priest Among Two Stabbed To Death In Haryana’s Karnal District


Children who visited the temple today morning noticed the crime and informed police (Representational)

Chandigarh: 

Two people including a priest were allegedly stabbed to death in a temple complex in Haryana’s Karnal district yesterday, police reported.

Three others were seriously injured in the attack and have been hospitalised, Inspector Raj Kumar, SHO, Madhuban Police Station said.

“A priest is among the two dead,” Mr Kumar said adding that one of the deceased belonged to Uttar Pradesh while the other victim was from Pundri, Haryana.

He said some children who visited the temple today morning noticed the crime after which the local residents and police were informed.

Liquor bottles and some other “objectionable material” from the site have also been recovered, police informed.

The identity of the assailants is not known, police official said, adding thorough investigations were being carried out.

 





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Kochi Naval Base Ready For Commercial Flights, Take-Off Tomorrow


INS Garuda is a naval air training centre and an operational air base located in Kerala’s Kochi.

New Delhi: 

The Naval air base in Kochi is almost ready for commercial flights to begin operation from tomorrow in flood-ravaged Kerala. Naval Air Station INS Garuda received clearance to operate passenger planes. The decision came soon after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who flew into Kochi on Saturday for an aerial review of the situation in the state.

Today, the spokesperson of the Navy tweeted to say that all arrangements are in place: “#OpMadad #KeralaFloods2018 #KeralaFloodRelief Naval Air Station INS Garuda at Kochi cleared for operating civil flights commencing tomorrow morning @DefenceMinIndia @SpokespersonMoD @nsitharaman @CMOKerala.

The airport in Kochi, the state’s busiest, has been shut since last Tuesday, when the runway got flooded and the water entered certain facilities. Shocking visuals from the airport showed majestic planes standing forlorn amid a sea of dirty brown water. The authorities said the airport will be shut till August 26.  

The situation in Kochi had left the state with only two operational civil airports — at Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut.

Alliance Air, a subsidiary of the state-run Air India will be the first airline to begin operations from the naval airstrip. Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said more airlines will join in as destinations, including Madurai, is added.

Mr Prabhu earlier tweeted to say a joint team had checked the feasibility of using the Naval base.

INS Garuda is one of the oldest operating air stations of the Navy built on British-era aviation facilities. A naval air training centre and an operational air base, it lies adjacent to the Southern Naval Command.





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