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Alwar Lynching: Pehlu Khan’s son shot at in Rajasthan

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Pehlu Khan

Jaipur, Sep 29: Unidentified assailants on Saturday shot at the vehicle in which Rajasthan lynching victim Pehlu Khan’s son Irshad, and other prime witnesses in the 2017 case were going. 

The incident took place when they were on their way to a court in Rajasthan’s Behrod for a hearing.

Pehlu Khan was lynched by a group of people last year on the suspicion of smuggling cows.

Irshad has registered a complaint in Alwar alleging “some unidentified miscreants opened fire on their car while they were on their way to Behrod to appear for a hearing”.

He was accompanied by key witnesses in the case who were to appear in the court to register their statement. Those in the car included Ajmat, Rafeeq, Areef and human rights activist Asad.

According to Irshad, at around 9 a.m., a black car, without number plate, overtook them and one of its occupants called them to say that they should not go to depose as witnesses in the matter.

Alwar Superintendent of Police Rajendra Singh told media, that the case will be thoroughly probed. He also said the CCTVs footage was being reviewed.

On being asked why they did not get a complaint register in Behrod, Irshad stated: “they were too scared and hence preferred to stop their car in Alwar”.

However, Singh said had they filed their complaint in Behrod, the assailants might have been booked earlier.

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India does not need more Smart Cities, says Urban Affairs Secy

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New Delhi, Sep 29 : Even as work is underway on building 100 Smart Cities across the country, there is no need for more as learnings from the ongoing mission can be replicated for other cities and towns in the country, a top official of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said on Tuesday.

“Learnings from 100 Smart Cities Mission is very important… people often ask me about the next round of Smart Cities and I tell them that it is not required because we can utilise the learnings from our ongoing mission, replicate the same and move ahead,” Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary D.S. Mishra said at a webinar on “Digital Transformation of Smart Cities in India and path ahead”.

Quoting examples of various smart cities – Indore, Bhopal, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and others, he said: “We have learnt a lot of things that can be replicated in shoring up infrastructure in other cities to achieve our goal of improving our citizens’ lives and promote ease of living, be it in terms of health, education, public transport, safety and surveillance and other such aspects.”

Highlighting the three main goals of Smart Cities Mission, Mishra said: “It is about improving liveability, economic ability and sustainability… for this we are conducting all sorts of new experiments in our smart cities – building basic infrastructure using technology to provide better facilities and sustainable solutions to people.”

“We are focusing on capturing the data and using it as an open source to further improve the living standard of people and how we can make our cities climate resilient,” he added.

Mishra also informed that work is likely to be soon completed on 33 of the 49 Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) that were turned into Covid-19 war rooms.

“In cities where the infection was rapidly spreading, the ICCCs helped track movement of each and every patient, tracing their contacts, supplying things to their homes, ensuring cleanliness and overall logistics together with predicting requirement of number of beds, masks, sanitisers and others,” he said.

“All this information was smoothly compiled with the help of our integrated command and control centres and has been documented. We have also uploaded it on our ministry’s website.”

The Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary also gave examples of proper management using technology in case of recent floods in Vadodra, cyclone in Vizag and holding the Kumbh Mela with the help of ICCC.

About digital transformation in the recent years, he said: “There is a new thinking which has introduced the concept of Smart Cities in India which is all about further improving the lives of our citizens, leading to quality of life and promoting ease of living through optimal use of all resources available at our disposal.”

Mishra further said that the Prime Minister, while giving a call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, talked about three things – healthy individual, healthy society and healthy economy, and to accomplish all these three, it is needed to optimally utilise all the resources available. “For this we need to use technology in a big way and so Smart Cities concept can help us learn a lot in this behalf.”

He also said that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is documenting most information – be it related to smart road construction, water supply, sanitation, mobility etc.

Terming digital transformation as a positive aspect of Covid-19, the Secretary said: “It is during the lockdown that we realised that life has to go on and for that it was only due to digital medium that we contacted people be it for sanitation, logistics, tracking patients and others… such exercises were possible only via digital medium.”

He also said that the pandemic has also brought a lot of challenges, and one big challenge is about how to make public transport in such a way that people can be saved from infectious diseases like Covid-19.

In his address, Pradeep Aggarwal, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development, said: “The epidemic of Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to think once again on the Smart City Mission and build sustainable cities which can fight such epidemic like situations. It has made us realize that we will need to strengthen the health and education facilities of such cities.”

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Congress Slams Yogi Adityanath for Not Allowing Durga Puja ‘Pandals’ in Uttar Pradesh

Congress’ newly-appointed Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada, raising the concerns of the Bengali community said, “Massive political rallies can be allowed in Madhya Pradesh but the same BJP government in UP will not allow the Bengali community to celebrate Durga Puja with restrictions.

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New Delhi: Ahead of Durga Puja which is slated for the last week of October, the Congress has raised the cause of Bengalis in Uttar Pradesh and lashed out at the UP government for not allowing Durga Puja ‘pandals’ in the state.

Congress’ newly-appointed Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada, raising the concerns of the Bengali community said, “Massive political rallies can be allowed in Madhya Pradesh but the same BJP government in UP will not allow the Bengali community to celebrate Durga Puja with restrictions. Only shows that for the BJP faith is a matter of convenience while the only thing that matters to them is politics.”

The Congress leader who has just been appointed the state in-charge and has been meeting state leaders has raised the issue to corner the BJP in Bengal which has high political stakes. The BJP is rising in the state politically and Congress has a tough challenge to retain its position in the state.

The Congress has pitched this issue after the matter was raised by Swapan Dasgupta who is a nominated MP but close to BJP, and he has termed it discriminatory.

Dasgupta said in a tweet: “UP Govt’s order that Durga Puja should be done at home is unfair and even absurd. Like the allowances for Ram Lila, Durga Puja should be permitted with harsh but sensible restrictions. Otherwise it is discriminatory. Bengali Hindus in UP appeal to @myogiadityanath to review order.”

The UP government has issued guidelines regarding Durga Puja and has asked the worshippers to do worship at home but has directed authorities that Ram Lila should be only with 100 people due to Covid-19 protocols and to curb the spread of the virus.

The Congress is trying to regain its position in Bengal where Durga Puja is a major festival while the TMC in the state has been targeted by the BJP which accuses the Mamata Banerjee government of minority appeasement so this issue could lead to a new political battle for ‘Bengali Asmita’ in the state.

State government sources say that it has been left to district officials to ensure that there is no crowding during Durga Puja. The matter was also challenged in the Allahabad High Court which refused to entertain the petition filed by Bengali Welfare Association of Prayagraj.

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Situation along Ladakh border in uneasy ‘no war no peace’ status: Air Force chief

India and China are engaged in a four-month-long standoff at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

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New Delhi, Sep 29 : The current situation along the eastern Ladakh border with China is in an “uneasy no war no peace status” and Indian forces were prepared for any eventuality, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S Bhadauria said on Tuesday.

“The IAF has responded with resolve to counter any misadventure. Air power will be a crucial enabler in our victory in any future conflict. It is, therefore, imperative that IAF obtains and maintains technological edge over our adversaries,” Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said during a webinar jointly organised by Centre for Air Power Studies and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.

He added that the recent induction of Rafale fighter jets along with C-17 transport aircraft, Chinook heavy lift helicopters, Apache attack helicopters and other aircraft fleets, has provided IAF with “substantial tactical and strategic capability enhancement.”

The IAF chief also said that the air force is looking at 450 new aircrafts, including helicopters over the next two decades. “Not to count around 300 aircraft upgrades that will take place in this period,” he said.

His comments assume significance as the Indian Air Force is struggling with its depleting combat strength, which is down to 31 squadrons against the sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons.

To augment the force, five French-made multi-role Rafale fighter jets were inducted into the IAF on September 10 and three more are expected to join the airforce’s Ambala-based Golden Arrows squadron by the end of next month. The delivery of 36 Rafale jets with India’s specific enhancements is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.

Recently, the air force has intensified its combat air patrol in eastern Ladakh after the Indian Army occupied strategic heights on the southern and northern bank of Pangong Tso.

India and China are engaged in a four-month-long standoff at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

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