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Bhutan King, British HC pay homage to Vajpayee

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New Delhi, Aug 17 : Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith on Friday paid their homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP office here.

The Bhutanese King visited the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters and placed a wreath on the body of Vajpayee, which was lying in state for people to pay their last respects.

Asquith and several other diplomats also paid homage to the former Prime Minister, whose flair for foreign policy and initiatives were acknowledged globally.

“He (Vajpayee) was an enormously important person who we have great respect for and it’s a great loss for India. I wanted to pay my respects to a man of that stature,” Asquith said.

Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will attend the funeral. Several other foreign leaders will also be present.

Vajpayee was a founder member of the BJP and the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in office.

He was treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for nine weeks before he passed away on Thursday.

A four-member delegation from Pakistan will be attending the last rites of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday, the media reported.

Caretaker Law and Information Minister Ali Zafar, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal and other senior officials from the Law Ministry will represent Pakistan at Vajpayee’s funeral, Geo News reported citing sources.

The delegation will return the same day after attending the funeral, it said.

Vajpayee, 93, had battled poor health for years, and died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Thursday.

His last rites will be performed at 4 p.m. at Smriti Sthal.

India

Pulwama attack aftermath: Curfew continues in Jammu

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Jammu , Curfew

ammu, Feb 18: The curfew in Jammu continued on Monday for the fourth consecutive day with authorities may take a decision on its relaxation later.

Meanwhile, mobile internet services also remained suspended in the area.

“The curfew that was imposed on February 15 in Jammu city will continue today,” the police told told media.

“A decision on its relaxation will be taken later in the day.”

The police said that no untoward incident took place anywhere in the city last night.

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4 Army personnel, 2 Terrorists in killed Pulwama encounter

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Pulwama Encounter

Srinagar, Feb 18: Four Indian Army personnel and two terrorists were killed in an encounter in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Army personnel of 55 Rashtriya Rifles, have been identified as Major VS Dhoundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram, Sepoy Ajay Kumar, and Sepoy Hari Singh.

Besides this, a civilian named Mushtaq Ahmad also lost his life in the gunfight.

Identification of bodies of the two terrorists, yet to be confirmed.

Police appeal locals to leave the encounter site

The officials recovered one AK-47 and one pistol.

A top Jaish-e-Mohammed commander linked to Pulwama Attack believed to be trapped in the ongoing encounter with security forces, news agency ANI reported citing sources.

The gunfight erupted on Sunday late night after security forces, including the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), surrounded the village following the information that Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were hiding in the area.

The same outfit that carried out the February 14 attack claiming lives of nearly 40 CRPF troopers.

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Supreme Court sets aside NGT order allowing re-opening of Tuticorin plant

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Feb 18: The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the National Green Tribunal’s order which had allowed the reopening of Vedanta group owned Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin.

While setting aside the order on maintainability, a bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran asked Vedanta and Tamil Nadu government to approach the High Court and since the plant has been locked up for quite some time, they could urge the High Court Chief Justice for an expeditious hearing and interim relief.

On May 28 last year, the plant was shut down permanently when the state government had ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to seal and “permanently” close the plant in aftermath of protests over pollution concerns.

The protests had turned violent, in which 13 people lost their lives in police firing on May 22-23 in Tuticorin.

The apex court judgement came on the TNPCB’s plea against the December 15, 2018, NGT order directing it to give its consent.

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