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Gunshots, blast heard again inside Pathankot air base

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Gunshots and a blast were heard from the Indian Air Force (IAF) frontier base near Pathankot town on Sunday morning leading to speculation that one more terrorist could still be holed up inside.

While four terrorists, who carried out a Fidayeen attack at the IAF base on Saturday, were killed by security agencies during a gunfight that lasted for 15-hours. There were confusing reports about the fifth terrorist being killed.

The gunshots and blast were heard on Sunday morning during search and combing operation inside the base, the IAF and Punjab Police sources told IANS.

The technical area, where the IAF’s MIG-21 fighter jets, MI-35 attack helicopters and other critical assets were stationed, was secure, they said.

A thorough search and combing operation continued at the Indian Air Force (IAF) frontier base near Pathankot town on Sunday following Saturday’s terror attack.

Security agencies, including the Army, National Security Guards (NSG), Indian Air Force, para-military forces and Punjab Police were involved in the massive search operation inside the IAF base and nearby areas.

IAF helicopters could be seen flying over the base and nearby areas through the night and since early Sunday to assist ground forces in the operations.

“The search ops are continuing. Everything is being looked at minutely. The operation will end only after this is completed,” a senior Punjab Police official told IANS.

Security agencies were particularly investigating the local support that the terrorists got in the area after entering Indian territory from the border belt with Pakistan on December 30-31. The border is about 30 km from here.

At least four terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed in a gunfight that lasted over 15 hours after they breached a high-security perimeter and entered the IAF base in northern Punjab early on Saturday to carry out a Fidayeen attack.

Uncertainty prevailed on the number of terrorists being killed in the attack on the Pathankot air base, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh withdrawing a tweet putting the number at five.

“I congratulate our armed forces and security forces on successfully neutralising all the five terrorists in ‘Pathankot Operation’,” Rajnath Singh had tweeted on Saturday evening.

India

Virtual classes, empty rooms, Delhi’s coaching hub’s a ghost town now

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

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Delhi School Pollution Mask

New Delhi, July 4 : The national capital’s Rajinder Nagar is a buzzing locality of aspiring youngsters who come here to get coached for their future. They not only dot every length and breadth of the Delhi locality, but collectively drive the area”s economy. Today, with nearly 80 per cent of them gone, the area is not only wrapped in an eerie silence, but the areas economy too has dried up significantly.

Ask Rajat Sapra, who runs a dhaba in Old Rajinder Nagar that he fondly named ”Friend Restaurant”, and he will answer, “Previously, we used to have 100 to 150 students coming to eat everyday. Now, we are left with barely 20 per cent of the orders, including those that we get from online sales.”

He added, “Before the lockdown and particularly during Unlcok 1.0, most of them had gone back home. We have 50-60 dhabas in this locality. But we had more street vendors who would sell food here. None of them are here anymore.”

Empty streets, economy dried up and the buzz gone, Rajinder Nagar, which was known for the youth who stayed here, resembles a ghost town now.

Praveen, who preferred only to give his first name, coordinates the KSG Institute. Ask him the reason and pat he will answer, “From June 19, we started online classes. There used to be around 600 students who used to come for coaching. But now, all have shifted to online classes.”

The KSG Institute is not alone. There are approximately 50 coaching centres around the area that trains thousands of students for competitive exams like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

While the students going back haven”t hurt the coaching centres, but they have hurt the rest, including the real estate agents who broker rent deals for them.

Sahil Bachani, who owns one such outlet at Sad Guru Kirpa Properties, told IANS, “If you ask me, there”s not even 1,000 students left out of 5,000 students in the radius of 3.5 km.”

Another broker, Ashok Agarwal, said that students who left in a hurry before the lockdown returned during Unlock 1.0, only to take back their belongings and return home.

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

One broker claims, the collective loss in brokerage in the area comes to the tune of Rs 4 crore.

With libraries shut, vendors vanishing, classrooms which shifted to the online mode and minimal eateries opening, Rajinder Nagar is not just braving the loss of income, but is adjusting to a more silent, empty neighborhood that it hasn”t seen in decades.

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Business

Corona impact: CAIT demands de-sealing of Delhi shops

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

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DELHI LOCKDOWN

New Delhi, July 4 : The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Saturday demanded that shops in Delhi be de-sealed immediately without further delay.

Accordingly, in a letter to the Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, CAIT demanded that “Delhi sealed shops should now be de -sealed immediately without further delay”.

Besides, the traders’ body also called for the finalisation of Delhi Rent Act, “ending a long running dispute between the land lords and tenants in Delhi”.

Furthermore, CAIT demanded that traders should be allowed to participate in the consultation process of Master Plan 2041 which is being prepared for Delhi.

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

“Corona started since the beginning of the year 2020 and the traders of Delhi are faced with a big crisis of livelihood and in such a situation, it has become imperative that shops are immediately de-sealed,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Keeping this in view, the Central government should take an initiative in this matter and pass an ordinance in which all sealed shops should be opened and all other problems related to sealing should be postponed for the time being thereby giving all traders a fair chance to do business.”

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Cities

Out to catch dogs, NGO staff thrashed by locals

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

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Stray dogs

New Delhi, July 5 : The volunteers of an NGO, ”Neighbourhood Woof”, were thrashed by locals in Rani Bagh of outer Delhi.

The NGO workers, including a woman, were out in the area to catch dogs when the locals confronted them. In view of late night hours, local residents enquired about their identities on which heated argument started and a scuffle broke out between them. Later, the Delhi police registered a case against the residents on the complaint of the NGO worker.

On the night of July 3 at around 10.30 p.m., 3 PCR calls were received in Rani Bagh police station regarding a quarrel between two parties, i.e., one belonging to an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” and the local residents of Rishi Nagar, Rani Bagh. Immediately, the police reached the spot and it revealed that some persons from an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” had come to catch stray dogs in Rishi Nagar, said a senior police officer.

However, the locals grew suspicious and raised questions on the operation of the NGO staff which also had a woman with them. An argument started between the NGO workers and the local residents which soon turned ugly. The NGO workers alleged that they were brutally assaulted by the locals.

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

“On the complaint of the NGO worker Ayesha Christina, a case u/s 323/341/506/427/34 IPC has been registered against residents. Further investigation is under progress,” the police said.

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