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Four terror camps hit in PoK, number of terrorists killed: Army Chief

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Gen Bipin Rawat

New Delhi, Oct 20 : Four terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) were hit and a number of terrorists killed in retaliatory artillery firing by India following the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, Army chief, General Bipin Rawat said.

“We had information that terror camps are operating in PoK in areas opposite Keran, Tangdhar and Nowgam sectors which we call the Leepa valley. These were targeted. At least 6-10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the attack. A similar number of terrorists have also been killed.

“There is more information about terrorists killed which we will share later. We have confirmed information about more at least three terror camps have been destroyed in the attack. There have been damages to a fourth camp too,” Rawat told the media.

IANS had reported earlier during the day that four terror camps have been hit in PoK in the retaliatory firing by India.

Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to top army officials, including the army chief, on Sunday to take stock of the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir in which two Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed.

The Army identified the soldiers as Hawaldar Padam Bahadur Shrestha and Rifleman Gamil Kumar Shrestha. Both were killed by artillery firing by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Tangdhar sector on the intervening night of October 19 and 20.

“Rajnath Singh spoke to Gen Rawat and took stock of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He enquired about the counter-attack launched by Indian security forces and the martyrdom of the two soldiers killed and the civilian casualty during the ceasefire violation,” a senior official told IANS.

Rawat said that the political leadership has been kept abreast of the developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The political leadership is always kept abreast about incidents of these nature. We have full backing of the political leadership in our action against countering terror in whichever manner we do,” he said.

Civilian areas in Ghundhishat village in Tangdhar were also hit by the Pakistan Army’s artillery firing on Saturday night. The deceased civilian has been identified as Mohammed Sadiq, 55. The three injured civilians have been identified as Mohammed Maqbool, 70, Mohammed Shafi, 50, and Yusuf Hamid, 22.

Army officials confirmed that calibrated escalation of area weapons was undertaken by the Indian side in which terrorist launch pads, Pakistani Army posts giving incidental protection to these launch pads and certain gun positions were hit.

Sources said that at least 35 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants were killed in retaliatory artillery firing. Army sources said at least four terror launch pads in the Neelam Valley of PoK opposite the Tangdhar sector. They also said that at least four to five Pakistani soldiers were killed in the retaliatory firing.

The developments in Jammu and Kashmir come a day before Rajnath Singh and Rawat are slated to visit Ladakh for opening a strategic bridge near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China along the newly-constructed all-weather motorable Leh-Karakoram road.

Till October 10 this year, Pakistan has violated ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir for 2,310 times. As per the Army, 147 terrorists have been killed till October 10 in various operations in the hinterland and the LoC.

Health

AIIMS JPNATC MS replaced after report on journo’s death filed

The journalist worked for a Hindi daily and lived with his wife and two children in northeast Delhi”s Bhajanpura.

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Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi, July 11 : Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan ordered immediate replacement of Medical Superintendent of AIIMS Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) after a 4-member inquiry committee constituted to examine the suicide of journalist Tarun Sisodiya submitted its reported.

The report submitted by the committee on Friday said that no malafide intent was found in the death of the journalist.

“Directed that an expert committee be constituted to suggest suitable changes in administration, for AIIMS as well as JPNATC. The report, along with its recommendations, shall be submitted before me by July 27, 2020,” Harsh Vardhan tweeted.

“The committee did not find any malafide intent in the death of Mr Sisodiya. It also did not find any lapses in the treatment protocol of #Covid19,” he said.

Earlier, a 37-year-old journalist undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi since June 24 died after allegedly jumping off the fourth floor of the hospital building on July 6.

The journalist worked for a Hindi daily and lived with his wife and two children in northeast Delhi”s Bhajanpura.

Following the incident, Union Health Minister then asked the AIIMS Director to set a panel to probe the matter.

He was making significant recovery from COVID symptoms. He earlier underwent a surgery for frontal lobe meningioma (a type of brain tumour) at the G B Pant hospital in March 2020.

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United Nations chief wants Sathankulam killings in Tamil Nadu investigated

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations, July 11 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants the death of a father and a son from Sathankulam in Tamil Nadu while in police custody with alleged signs of torture investigated, according to his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

“Every death of all these cases as a principle need to be fully investigated,” Dujarric said on Friday when he was asked about the deaths of P Jayaraj and his son J Fennix, allegedly due to torture by police after their arrest on June 19.

Human rights organisations have called for ensuring police accountability in India.

Human Rights Watch South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly said, “As the world responds with horror at the killing of George Floyd, it is important for authorities in India to also embark upon robust efforts to ensure police reform, accountability, and putting an end to the culture of impunity.”

The killing of Floyd by police in Minneapolis has sparked a nation-wide movement in the US that has brought out into the open long-standing tradition of police brutality against minorities. The protests have spread to several countries around the world leading to an examination of police conduct, particularly towards minorities, and demands for reforms to end impunity.

Ganguly said about the Sathankulam case, “Despite numerous court directives and arrest procedures, the two recent deaths in Tamil Nadu has exposed yet again how police officers believe not only that they have the right to ‘teach someone a lesson’, but as was reported in the magistrate’s inquiry, that they will not be held accountable.”

Amnesty International India Executive Director Avinash Kumar said, “The deaths of Jayaraj and Fennix once again signal towards India’s continuing failure to hold its police accountable.”

He noted that “according to the 2018 National Crimes Record Bureau data, Tamil Nadu accounted for the second highest deaths in custody”.

“The Tamil Nadu State government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the torture meted out by its police officers. It must show firm resolve by punishing the police officers involved and ensuring that Jayaraj and Fennix’s families get justice.”

Although torture has been outlawed in international law for over three decades, they are still not recognized as distinct crimes under Indian law, he said.

“India signed the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment in 1997, but has not yet passed domestic legislation that will enable it to ratify the Convention,” he said.

The Prevention of Torture Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2010 but has lapsed without the Rajya Sabha passing it.

The arrest of Jayaraj and Fennix, who ran a mobile phone shop, was reportedly related to the COVID-19 regulations on store closings.

They were taken to jail in Kovilpatti and Jayaraj died on June 21 and his son the next morning with signs of torture.

Merchants in Tamil Nadu held a one-day protest and there were other sporadic protests in Tamil Nadu but demonstrations were dampened by COVID-19 restrictions.

The Madras High Court has ordered an inquiry by police and six police personnel have been charged, with at least six arrested.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)

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India, China are partners not rivals: Chinese Ambassador

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H E Sun Weidong and JP Nadda

New Delhi, July 10 : Amid ongoing tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Chinese Ambassador to India, H.E. Sun Weidong, on Friday said that India and China should be partner and not rivals.

Weidong released a video message talking about the recent stand-off between the two countries in Galwan region in eastern Ladakh.

The Ambassador said that the June 15 violent clash in Galwan Valley, which caused casualties on both sides, was not seen as coming by either China, or India.

Weidong also said that Chinese frontline troops were disengaging from the ground in accordance with the consensus reached.

On July 5, China”s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and India”s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had talked over the phone and reached a positive consensus on easing the border tension.

The Ambassador added that some quarters in India have raised doubts about the consensus reached by the leaders and have a wrong perception about China-India ties.

These have brought disruptions in the bilateral relations. “In this regard, it is imperative for us to clarify some fundamental points,” he said.

He pointed out that India and China should be partners rather than rivals, and both the countries have a history of friendly exchanges of more than 2,000 years.

He also said that during the Wuhan Informal Summit in 2018, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed that the two countries provide each other with development opportunities instead of posing threats, which the two sides should adhere to.

“This is the fundamental judgment on China-India relations charting the course for the development of our bilateral relations,” he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that he has noticed some emerging opinions in recent days, which repudiate the essence of China-India relationship due to the border-related incidents, make false assumptions about China”s intentions, exaggerate conflicts and provoke confrontation.

He said, “It is not the fact. It is harmful indeed and not helpful. China and India have jointly advocated the five principals of peaceful coexistence and uphold independent foreign policies. We should naturally see each other as positive factor in the changing global landscape and as well as partners in realising our respective dream of development.”

The Ambassador said that the two countries should not allow differences to interfere with bilateral relations.

He added that since the boundary question has been left by history, it is now necessary to find a fair and reasonable solution that is acceptable to both countries through consultation and negotiations.

“In the absence of the ultimate solution, both the countries agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border area,” he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that for China, peace was of paramount importance.

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