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Civilian killed in fresh violence, Rajnath to visit Kashmir

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Srinagar, July 22 

A civilian protester was killed in a clash with security forces in south Kashmir on Friday, a day before Home Minister Rajnath Singh is set to arrive here to review the situation in the state.

Police sources told IANS that security forces fired at a stone-throwing mob in Awantipora, 20 km from here, in Pulwama district.

Three people received bullet injuries. One of them, Mushtaq Ahmad, son of Bashir Ahmad, was declared brought dead at a hospital here. The other injured civilians were said to be critical at the S.M.H.S Hospital in Srinagar.

With the latest death, the toll in the ongoing violent agitation in the Kashmir Valley has risen to 46. Thousands of protesters have been injured and many are still being treated in various hospitals of the valley.

The fresh violence took place after two days of relative calm in the valley and a day before Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

The home minister, according to government sources, is expected to take forward the initiative on Kashmir, resolved at an all-party meeting by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday.

The meeting called for involving “all the stakeholders” – largely seen as engaging with separatist leadership and Pakistan – to resolve the problems of Jammu and Kashmir and its people.

The main opposition National Conference stayed away from the key meeting but it was attended by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), CPI, BJP and Panthers Party.

The meeting called “for inclusive engagement of all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir for carrying forward the peace and reconciliation process”, according to a resolution.

It was the first political initiative in the days of deadly unrest that gripped almost the entire Kashmir Valley following the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and two of his aides.

As the valley stayed tense, stone-throwing protests erupted after Friday prayers at many places with people defying prohibitory orders that have been in place since July 9.

Curfew and separatists-called protest shutdown marred life across the valley for the 14th day running on Friday.

Authorities imposed curfew in all the 10 districts of the valley making announcements on loudspeaker mounted on police vehicles and asked people to remain indoors, fearing more violence post Friday prayers.

No congregational prayers were allowed for a second Friday in the main mosques of the valley including Jamia Masjid, the largest in Srinagar.

(IANS)

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BJP Minister caught urinating in public near campaign poster, Calls it ‘Old-age Tradition’

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Ajmer, Oct 8: A picture of Bhartiya Janata Party minister urinating near a wall, next to a campaign poster featuring chief minister Vasundhara Raje is making rounds on social media.

The minister, Shambhu Singh Khatesar, justified himself by saying that urinating publicly was “an age-old tradition” and he had done nothing wrong.

Speaking to media Khatesar said, “There was a wall and some posters stuck at some distance on it. I hadn’t paid attention. It isn’t right to urinate in open but it’s a natural call. Urinating in a crowded area, is wrong”.

On the Narendra Modi government cleanness drive the minister stated “As far as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is concerned, urination alone doesn’t contribute to uncleanliness. That place did not have urinals for kilometers at a stretch”.

WeForNews 

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IMD issues cyclone alert for Odisha

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Bhubneshwar, Oct 8:  The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said a depression over the Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours.

Under its impact, several parts of Odisha will receive heavy rainfall starting from October 9.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into deep sea areas of the Bay of Bengal from October 9 to 12 as the sea condition would be rough.

While rainfall at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places over south coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Tuesday, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Wednesday.

It further predicted rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy downpours at a few places and extremely heavy downpour at isolated places over coastal and adjoining interior Odisha on Thursday.

The IMD said squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph to 65 kmph are very likely along and off north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coasts from October 9.

It is very likely to increase gradually, reaching 70-80 kmph to 90 kmph from October 10 evening onwards along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts, said H.R. Biswas, Bhubaneswar Met centre Director.

IANS

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Russia, Pakistan sign MoU on gas pipeline from Iran

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Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

Moscow, Sep 28 (IANS) Russia and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding on implementing a project to build an underwater gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

“The memorandum provides for the identification of authorized organisations through which the project will be supported, including during the development of a feasibility study, identification of the resource base, configuration and route of the gas pipeline,” the statement said, Xinhua reported.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy Additional Secretary Sher Afgan Khan signed the document in Moscow.

Now Russia will have to inform Iran and India about the signing, after which it expects to sign a similar document with India, Yanovsky said in the statement.

The project was frozen in 2013 due to the imposition of sanctions against Iran, but its revival started in 2017. In November 2017, Russia and Iran signed a memorandum that envisaged Russian support for gas supplies from Iran to India.

In March, a Russian-Iranian working group on the implementation of the project had its first meeting.

According to Yanovsky, Russia and Pakistan were holding consultations on another project of building the 1,100 kilometer North-South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) between Pakistan’s Karachi and Lahore to transport 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The implementation of an agreement signed in October last year between Russia and Pakistan on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies “can become a promising direction of cooperation,” he said.

The governments of the two countries were also considering signing an agreement on Russian oil products supplies to Pakistan, Yanovsky said.

In addition, Russian electric power industry has shown interest in the Pakistani market, he said.

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