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Despite China-Pakistan tensions, India ushering in historical changes: Rajnath Singh

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Rajnath Singh

Itanagar, Oct 12 : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that despite challenging times due to Covid-19 and border tensions and disputes caused by Pakistan and China, India was not only resolutely facing them but also bringing about historical changes in all sectors of development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s able leadership.

Reiterating the Centres’ commitment to boost developmental activities in India’s border areas, the Minister said that progress in all such projects is regularly monitored and adequate funds provided for timely execution.

The Minister on Monday dedicated to the nation via videoconference 44 major permanent bridges built in seven border states and Union Territories in western, northern and north-eastern India and also laid the foundation of important Nechiphu tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.

Singh also congratulated the Director General and other ranks of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for its achievements and said that the dedication of 44 bridges in one go was itself a record.

Lauding the BRO for its role in improving the border infrastructure, the Minister said that these bridges would further improve the connectivity in far-flung areas in the respective sectors and fulfil the aspirations of the area people.

“They will also meet the transport and logistics requirements of the armed forces throughout the year,” he added.

The Minister pointed out that roads and bridges were the “lifeline of any nation” and played a vital role in the socio-economic development of far-flung regions.

Singh said that the annual budget of the BRO — that varied from Rs 3,300 crore to Rs 4,600 crore in 2008-2016 — had seen a substantial rise and was now pegged at over Rs 11,000 crore in 2020-21.

“There was no reduction in this budget despite Covid-19.”

The Minister also announced that the government had sanctioned high-altitude clothing to BRO engineers and workers.

The 450-metres-long strategically important bi-laned Nechiphu Tunnel on the road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh would ensure all-weather connectivity across Nechiphu Pass besides providing a safe and secure passage through accident-prone areas.

BRO Director General Lt Gen Harpal Singh said that the 44 bridges of various spans, ranging from 30 metres to 484 metres, are located in Jammu and Kashmir (10), Ladakh (8), Himachal Pradesh (2), Punjab (4), Uttarakhand (8), Arunachal Pradesh (8), and Sikkim (4).

“These bridges are of strategic importance and have been designed to facilitate movement of heavy civil and military traffic in border areas.

“In line with the vision of the Prime Minister, these bridges will contribute towards the overall economic growth of remote border areas and also assist in speedy deployment of the Armed Forces in strategically important sectors,” the BRO chief said.

He said that the BRO had worked relentlessly even during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic restrictions with its work on projects of strategic importance, like the construction of major bridges and roads, Atal Tunnel at Rohtang, Sela Tunnel, and snow clearance at strategic mountain passes.

“In spite of unprecedented snowfall breaking a 60-year record, all strategic mountain passes and roads were cleared for traffic about one month before their average yearly opening dates. This brought relief to people of border areas and ensured rapid and early movement of troops and logistics,” Lt Gen Singh said.

The significant dedication ceremony was conducted through a videoconference in the presence of Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane, and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar in New Delhi.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim, and Uttarakhand, Lt Governor of J&K, with members of Parliament, civil and military dignitaries along with members of the public at various sites in different states and union territories also attended the function through a video link.

India

Centre Ready To Discuss All Issues Of Farmers: Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri said the government is ready to talk to the farmers on every issue with an open heart.

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Hardeep Puri

New Delhi: In the midst of ongoing farmer protests against three farms laws, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the Centre is willing to address “all genuine issues of the farmers”, which can be resolved through dialogue.

Speaking to ANI today, Union Minister said the government is ready to talk to the farmers on every issue with an open heart.

“Our senior leaders have invited farmers for talks and are willing to address genuine issues. I firmly hope that all their genuine demands will be considered and issues will be resolved,” Mr Puri said.

He also said farmers have been told to shift their protest to the designated place in Burari ground and whenever there will be talks, all the issues will be up for discussion.

Responding to the farmers’ organisations claim that the government was placing a condition for negotiation and it was not possible to negotiate in this manner, Mr Puri assured that the policies of the government were in the interest of the farmers and there was no condition.

“Talks are always held without preconditions or preconceived notions. I sincerely hope that the ministers will listen to all their genuine demands, they will be considered and whatever problems they have, it will be solved,” Mr Puri said.

It is worth noting that constant discussions are going on among top leadership to establish a dialogue with the protesting farmers. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister have also appealed to the farmers to withdraw the movement.

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Amid cyclones, Andhra Police lends hand to disaster management

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

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Cyclone Nisarga

Amaravati: In the recent heavy rains, floods and very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, Andhra Pradesh Police was on the forefront to save lives, feed stranded people and bring order amid the chaos, officers said.

The state witnessed torrential downpours in October and November powered by back-to-back cyclones, resulting in almost all the water bodies overflowing, causing much trouble to the common man and farmers alike.

Amidst these conditions, police personnel from constables to Superintendents of Police were working round the clock to help people.

“We had deployed almost 1,500 people from the district force for cyclone duties. We also got one platoon of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). We were deployed continuously for almost 72 hours,” Prakasam’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal told IANS.

Amid incessant rain, policemen were deployed at all spots where the streams and water bodies were overflowing, at coastal villages, and to assist the district administration in evacuation.

“We assisted district administration in crowd control. At least 10 rescue operations were carried out in the district to save lives,” said Kaushal.

The SP said a special control and command post, equipped with radio communication, was set up in case mobile phones stopped working.

“Even till today (Monday) morning, we had deployed police in some places, preventing vehicles going in certain roads which were still under water,” he said.

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

In Nellore district, which bore the brunt of Nivar, along with Chittoor and Kadapa, three policemen carried a two-month-old baby to safety in Nellore town.

Policemen manned the Midatalavagu, a water body in spate near Kondapuram village to secure people and their movement.

They also monitored the rainwater inflows and outflows at Somasila dam where three gates were opened.

On National Highway 16 (NH 16), near Janardhan Reddy colony in Nellore, police supervised repairs to the road to prevent disruption of vehicle movement.

In similar fashion, police have also enabled the repair of a damaged bridge near Baghat Singh colony on NH 16 and also cleared many trees which were uprooted.

They also rescued two farmers from the middle of a raging water body after they were stuck there.

Not just the elements, police were also compelled to battle rumours.

On Monday, a Nellore district police official busted some rumours circulating claiming that the Kundaleru dam was breached.

–IANS

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India

‘Cheap stunts’: Shehla Rashid reacts to her estranged father’s charges

Shehla termed her father’s statement “absolutely disgusting and baseless” and said this was his reaction after a court barred him entry into their Srinagar house on November 17 in response to a complaint filed by the family against him under domestic violence.

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Shehla Rashid

Shehla Rashid, student activist and the former students’ union leader of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), on Monday denied her estranged father’s charges that she is involved in anti-national activities. Abdul Rashid Shora, in a letter to Jammu and Kashmir police chief, had also claimed there is a threat to his life from Shehla, her sister Asma and his wife Zubeda Shora as well as her security guard, according to reports.

Shehla rubbished these allegations and has instead accused her father of domestic violence. “Many of you must have come across a video of my biological father making wild allegations against me and my mum & sis. To keep it short and straight, he’s a wife-beater and an abusive, depraved man. We finally decided to act against him, and this stunt is a reaction to that,” Shehla tweeted, posting a three-page letter.

In a series of tweets, Shehla talked about her father. She said that the was not a political matter, “as it has been going on ever since I came to senses” and also tweeted a letter to him from the mohalla committee in 2005 asking him not to abuse them.

“He had never, in his wildest dreams, imagined that his obedient wife and timid daughters would ever speak up against him. Since he was restrained from entering home by the Hon’ble Court, he’s trying to derail the judicial process by resorting to cheap stunts,” she said in one of the tweets.

“One may talk endlessly about justice, but charity really does begin at home. We have finally decided to not bear abuse silently, as silence only emboldens abusers. Here’s the court order restraining him from entering home dated 17-11-2020. Anything he says is an afterthought,” she added in her last tweet.

Rashid has also demanded a probe against the non-government organisations (NGOs) run by Shehla and accused her of having accepting money to join politics in the Kashmir valley, a charge denied by her.

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