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End terror or we stop our share of water: Gadkari to Pakistan

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Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) If Pakistan continues to support cross-border terrorism, India will have no option but to take the “hard” decision of stopping its share of water of three common rivers, Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari has said, in a warning to the neighbouring country.

He told IANS in an interview that India is starting a study and a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of all the three rivers over which it has complete right under the Indus Water Treaty and has taken up two projects on these.

Under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty governing six common rivers, India has the complete right over the waters of three rivers – Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, while Pakistan has the right over water of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.

The Treaty was intended to “increase brotherhood, love and affection” between the two countries and India, “as a big brother, is giving water” to Pakistan, Gadkari said.

“Now nothing is there. In place of love and affection, we are getting bombs and they are attacking innocent people of India. So this is the time, if they don’t want to stop terrorism and supporting terrorist organizations, then we don’t have any option but to stop water which is going to Pakistan,” the senior Minister said.

“We are going to stop our share of water to Pakistan… This is the appropriate time (for ending support to terror), otherwise they will have to face the music,” he asserted.

Asked if it was just an empty threat or India was really going to do so, he replied: “Of the six (common) rivers, our right is on three rivers… Our water is going to Pakistan. First, we have taken up two projects. We are going to stop our share water to Pakistan. We are (also) starting making study, research, DPR of all the three rivers going to Pakistan.”

He went on to add: “We are giving them (Pakistan) an opportunity. They should stop supporting terrorist organizations. If they stop supporting terrorist organizations, we don’t have any problem. But if they continue supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations, then we don’t have any option. We have to take hard step to stop water which is going to Pakistan.”

Queried whether there was a timeframe for its implementation, Gadkari said: “The timeframe is there. It is time for Pakistan to now take a decision. In due course of time we are expecting Pakistan to take a decision.”

He said Pakistan has already been isolated in the international community and “I feel it is time for Pakistan to take a decision in the interest of Pakistan”.

The Minister said he expected Pakistan to take an “appropriate” decision and “stop all the things”, implying support to terrorism affecting India.

“The terrorism and terrorist organizations are creating problems for them (Pakistan) also. They have poverty, unemployment. It is time for India and Pakistan to fight poverty and unemployment. We are making so much of investment in defence,” the senior BJP leader said.

Asked to comment on the controversy over Balakot air strike, Gadkari said: “My feeling is that in the interest of national security, we should not politicize the issue of national interest related to the defence.”

When referred to the blame game over who politicized the issue, the senior BJP leader said: “It is the Opposition party (which is) creating doubts about the incident. My feeling is we should not discuss this.”

On the issue of surgical strike, Gadkari was asked why the government is not believing the Congress when it says that surgical strikes in Pakistan were carried out during its rule too.

“Actually these are not issues of discussion. These are issues of national security. We should not politicize it and we should not discuss it. Otherwise, suppose I say something, the opposition party says something more. It creates debate. It is one type of insult to defence forces,” he responded.

On fielding of Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya as a BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, the former party President said she was innocent and that there was a “political conspiracy” against her.

“It (to name her as blast accused) was a conspiracy by the Congress party to defame the Hindu community. That is the reason that they wanted to create Hindu terrorism against Muslim terrorism. That was the conspiracy at that time,” he added.

India

Congress blames ‘toxic’ TV debate for Rajiv Tyagi’s untimely demise

“Till when will toxic debates and venomous spokespersons continue to kill sober and simple people? Till when TV channels will continue to run the TRP business through such debates? Surjewala tweeted

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Congress has blamed ‘toxic’ TV debate for the untimely demise of its spokesperson Rajiv Tyagi, who passed away on Wednesday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The Congress leader had attended a television debate at 5 p.m. and complained of chest pain soon after the programme ended. He then fell unconscious and was rushed to the Yashoda Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Till when will toxic debates and venomous spokespersons continue to kill sober and simple people? Till when TV channels will continue to run the TRP business through such debates? Till when will divisive communal agenda continue to poison the soul of the country? Till when? #rajiv_tyagi.”

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Priyanka Gandhi spoke to Tyagi’s wife and extended their condolences.

Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet, “Congress has lost a lion. We will always remember his love for the party. My condolences are with the family.”

“Shocked to hear about the tragic demise of Shri Rajiv Tyagi. He was too young and had a long life ahead of him. It is a big loss for the party. My heart goes out to his family & wellwishers. May God give them the strength in this hour of grief,” tweeted senior leader Ahmed Patel.

A resident of Ghaziabad, Tyagi was a member of the Uttar Pradesh Congress before becoming the party’s national spokesperson.

The Congress in a statement said, “We are deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Rajiv Tyagi, a staunch Congressman and a true patriot. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this hour of grief.”

Congress leader Jitin Prasada said, “I am shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely demise.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “I can’t believe that my friend Rajiv Tyagi is not with us any more. He was in a debate with me at 5 p.m. Life is uncertain.”

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India

Refrain from inappropriate social media posts: Telangana Police

With a provocative social media post triggering violence in Bengaluru, Telangana Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy and Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar on Wednesday cautioned people against posting inappropriate content online.

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Begaluru Violence

Gajwel: The police chief, in a statement, requested people to be cautious while posting any content on social media.

“A malicious social media post has led to mindless violence in Bangalore (Bengaluru) city resulting in loss of life and properties. Public are requested not to post/circulate any inappropriate content in social media which is likely to adversely affect public order and peace in the society,” the DGP said.

He said Telangana Police were closely watching round the clock for anti-social elements circulating such malicious content in social media.

“All the SHOs and other senior Officers have been instructed to register specific cases in every such instance and initiate strong and strict action against such offenders without fail. I request the public to partner with police to maintain the highest standards of safety and security in Telangana,” he added.

Anjani Kumar has also urged people to be very cautious before posting anything on social media. “Last night there was violence in Bangalore because of such a social media post. We will take very firm legal action for any irresponsible post. We cannot allow under any circumstances our city to get a bad name,” he tweeted.

A Facebook message posted allegedly by a relative of a Congress MLA triggered violent protest in Bengaluru on Tuesday night.

Three people were killed in the police firing and 60 police personnel were injured in the violent incident of stone pelting and attacks by rioters.

Earlier, Telangana Industries Minister K. T. Rama Rao said that social media cannot turn into an instrument for anti-social behaviour.

The minister took to Twitter to share his thoughts after violence in Bengaluru.

“Goes to show you how dangerous spreading fake news in social media can be…,” tweeted Rama Rao, who is son of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

Rama Rao, who is also the President of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), requested all social media users to be responsible. He urged them not to indulge in propaganda and stop spreading fake news.

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Cities

Bengal govt withdraws state-wide lockdown on Aug 28

Hence, the statewide lockdown will only be observed on August 20, 21, 27 and 31.

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Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Aug 12 : The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government on Wednesday withdrew the complete lockdown on August 28 and imposed a curfew on August 20 instead.

The state government passed an order to this effect, saying the step was taken in response to various requests it had received.

As a result, the lockdown dates were once again revised to six days this month. This is the fourth time that the state government has revised the coronavirus lockdown dates for the month of August.

Hence, the statewide lockdown will only be observed on August 20, 21, 27 and 31.

According to the statement, the revision comes in view of difficulties cited by businesses and banking operators due to the consecutive two-day lockdown in the last week of August.

“Several communications have been received citing difficulty to conduct of businesses and banking operations because of the two-day lockdown on Thursday and Friday in the last week of August, followed by one-day lockdown on the following Monday. The state government has considered the requests for relaxation of lockdown,” the notification read.

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