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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.

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Tamil Nadu: Police constable commits suicide in Kovaipudur

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Tamil Nadu police

Chennai, July 23: Personnel of Police Force 4th Battalion allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree inside the Battalion campus, in Kovaipudur, last night.

The body has been sent for postmortem.

More details awaited. 

WeForNews 

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Shariat believers should go to Pakistan, says Sakshi Maharaj

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Lucknow, July 23: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sakshi Maharaj has managed to be in news again by advising “Shariat believers” ” to go to Pakistan if they want to impose  Shariat in the country”.

Sakshi Maharaj, BJP MP from Unnao constituency in Uttar Pradesh made this controversial remarks on the issue that  some organisations were seeking ‘Shariat courts’ to resolve the personal disputes of Muslims.

“India is the world’s largest democracy. Indian Constitution is very strong. Those who need ‘Shariat’ should go to Pakistan. India will be governed only according to its Constitution and not as per any Shariat,” Maharaj said.

The BJP MP said those who do not have faith in the Constitution of India, “have no right” to stay in the country.

“We would be happy bidding them farewell,” he added.

Maharaj has often stoked controversies.

He has made several statements since the BJP-led NDA government came into power at the center.

Earlier, Sakshi Mahraj urged Hindu women to produce at least 4 children to protect the Hindu religion. He even took a dig at the Muslim community saying “The concept of four wives and forty children just won’t work in India,”.

Last year, he had defended self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted of rape, describing him as a “simple person”.

In another remark that led to an outrage, Maharaj had said couples displaying affection in public should be put behind bars “before anything wrong occurs”.

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PM Narendra Modi begins Africa tour

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PM Narendra modi

New Delhi, July 23: To strengthen India’s relations with the African continent,Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his five-day trip to three African countries, namely Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.

T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, said that Modi will be in Rwanda on July 23-24, in Uganda on July 24-25 and in South Africa from July 25 to 27.

The Prime Minister will first arrive at Rwanda, marking the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister, a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

“The visit to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent,” the External Affairs Ministry said.

In Rwanda, the Prime Minister will visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on “Girinka” (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda, which is personally initiated by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Over the last few years, there has been significant engagement in various fields with African countries. There have been 23 outgoing visits to Africa by the President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years.

“Africa has been the top priority of India’s foreign policy,” the statement said.

Thereafter, Prime Minister Modi will proceed to Uganda, where he will undertake engagements from July 24 to 25. The visit will mark the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in over 20 years.
In Uganda, Prime Minister Modi will deliver a keynote address at the Parliament of Uganda, a first for any Indian Prime Minister.
In South Africa, Prime Minister Modi will have a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and will attend the BRICS summit and other BRICS-related meetings.

Finally, Prime Minister Modi will pay a visit to South Africa from July 25 to 27 to attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit.

Also, bilateral meetings with participating countries on the sidelines of BRICS meetings are planned, the statement continued.
Various issues such as – inclusive growth, health and vaccines, peacekeeping, and sustainable development will be the core agenda during the BRICS summit.
The MEA statement said, “India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Africa which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian diaspora. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of defence, trade, culture, agriculture and dairy cooperation are scheduled to be signed during the visit.”
“Africa has been the top priority of India’s Foreign Policy. The visit of the Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent,” it added.

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