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Amarinder urges Centre to extend help to kin of hostages killed in Iraq

Expressing grief at the news, the Chief Minister said it had come as a shock to the families and to everyone else in Punjab, as they had been hoping and praying for the well-being of the hostages, who had been abducted by the ISIS in 2014.

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Amrinder Singh

Chandigarh, March 20 : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to provide all necessary assistance to the families of the hostages killed in Iraq in performing the last rites, along with an ex-gratia relief for them.

The Chief Minister, who wrote to Sushma Swaraj on the issue, also called her to speak to her personally to ensure that the central government makes all efforts to bring the mortal remains of the deceased to India for the last rites.

The External Affairs Minister assured Amarinder Singh that the Indian government was making arrangements to bring the last remains in coffins with due respect being accorded to the deceased, a statement by the state government said.

The Chief Minister told her that his government would make arrangements for the coffins to be delivered to the families of the victims for the final rites.

Amarinder Singh said he had already directed state government officials to personally visit the bereaved families to share the sad news.

In his letter to the Union Minister, the Chief Minister pointed out that 24 of the deceased hailed from Punjab.

While the state government had been providing a monthly assistance of Rs 20,000 to the bereaved families, he said he would be grateful if the Centre could also give them due assistance in view of the extra-ordinary circumstances surrounding the matter.

Expressing grief at the news, the Chief Minister said it had come as a shock to the families and to everyone else in Punjab, as they had been hoping and praying for the well-being of the hostages, who had been abducted by the ISIS in 2014.

Amarinder Singh earlier told reporters outside the state assembly here that the deaths of the 39 hostages should have been confirmed by the central government immediately after the lone survivor revealed that the remaining had been taken hostage.

The families had been living under a pall of uncertainty all these years, which would naturally have aggravated their miseries manifold, he added.

India

9 terror suspects arrested in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Jan 23: Ahead of Republic Day, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested nine youths suspected of terror links and plans to create disruptions in the state.

On receipt of reliable input about a group aligned with proscribed international terrorist organisation ISIS, ATS Maharashtra conducted searches and seizures at 5 different locations in Mumbra, Thane Dist and Aurangabad on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

Following the searches, the suspects were detained and
brought to Mumbai since for questioning.

Four were held up from Mumbra, the rest were caught from Aurangabad and have been brought to Mumbai since for questioning.

The ATS sleuths claimed they have found certain objectionable material on the social media accounts of one of the detenus and now the investigators were scanning the phones, laptops, emails, social network sites and other details of all those suspects.

Certain chemicals, powder, mobile phones, hard drives SIM cards, acid bottle, sharp knives etc seized during raids.

In this regard, a case has been registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and further investigation underway.

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PM Modi inaugurates Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort

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PM Modi

New Delhi, Jan 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated three new museums inside the Red Fort compound including one on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA).

The first museum shows artefacts related to Bose and the INA, including a wooden chair and sword used by Netaji, medals, badges, uniforms and more. The INA trials were held in the Red Fort.

Modi also unveiled the ‘Yaad-e-Jallian’ museum on Jallianwala Bagh
massacre in 1919.

It will also showcase the heroism, valour and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during World War-1.

The third museum is dedicated to the historical narrative of the 1857 War of Independence, which highlights the valour and sacrifices made by Indians in the first war of independence against the British.

The museums have been designed to provide a glimpse to visitors with photographs, paintings, newspaper clippings, ancient public records, audio and video clips, animation and multimedia

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India shares Kartarpur Corridor crossing point coordinates with Pakistan

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Raveesh Kumar , MEA

New Delhi, Jan 22 : India on Tuesday shared with Pakistan the coordinates of the Kartarpur Corridor crossing point along the International Border with Pakistan to enable Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.

“Pursuant to the decision taken by the government of India on November 22, 2018, to expeditiously realise the long pending proposal to establish Kartarpur Corridor, India has today (Tuesday) shared the coordinates of the zero point (crossing point) of the corridor along the International Border with Pakistan,” said an External Affairs Ministry statement.

“India has also proposed two set of dates, February 26 and March 7, 2019, for the visit of Pakistan delegation to New Delhi to discuss and finalise the modalities so that Indian pilgrims can visit the holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor at the earliest,” it stated.

The Union Cabinet in November last year decided to develop the Kartarpur Corridor from Gurdaspur in Punjab to the International Border to facilitate pilgrims’ passage to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan as part of the 550th birth year celebrations of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, later this year year.

Later that month, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking ceremony to develop the corridor in the presence of Indian Ministers.

According to reports, in December, Pakistan issued 14 key recommendations to India on the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate visa-free pilgrimage by Indian Sikhs to the holy gurdwara.

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