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Modi conferred Grand Collar of State of Palestine by President Mahmoud Abbas

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Ramallah, Feb 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred The Grand Collar of the State of Palestine, the highest Palestinian honour for foreign dignitaries by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas here on Saturday.

This was the fourth meeting between Modi and Abbas after those on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2015, at the Paris climate summit later that year and during the Palestinian President’s visit to India last year.

Following this, duo witnessed the exchange of agreements between the two countries and issued a joint statement.

President Mahmoud Abbas said ” it is my honour to welcome you as a great guest, on your first historic visit to Palestine which holds, to you personally and to the people of India, sentiments of love & appreciation. Indian leadership has always stood by peace in Palestine.

Speaking on Israel-Palestine relations, Abbas stated we have said & will say we are ready to engage in negotiations. We rely on India’s role as an intn’l force & its role in the non-alignment movement and in the intn’l fora, in a way that is conducive to desired peace in our region.

Here I would like to assert our commitment to political action & negotiations as means of achieving our national goals to freedom & independence in accordance with the two states’ relation along the lines of 1967, he asserted.

In the meantime, Indian Prime Minister in his address said ” This is an honour for India and a symbol of Palestine’s friendship. I thank you on behalf of all Indians for the Grand Collar”.

“India & Palestine’s relations have stood the test of time. Palestine has always taken a top spot in our foreign policy”.

He stated “People of Palestine have continuously shown exemplary courage in extremely tough times, in spite of the fact that there was an unstable environment. The way you moved forward in such a situation is praiseworthy, we appreciate it”.

“India is aiding construction of an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine. I am happy that we are moving forward with our developmental corporation forward during this visit”.

Modi said, “I am happy to announce that we will double the exchange of students from this year taking it from 50 to 100”.

Earlier in the day, the Indian prime minister was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at Al-Muqata’a compound of the presidential headquarters in Palestine’s Ramallah.

He also laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the first President of the Palestinian Authority.

On his arrival, Modi was received by his Palestinian counterpart Rami Hamdallah after alighting from a helicopter that brought him to Ramallah from Jordan capital Amman.

Palestine is the first leg of Modi’s three-nation tour of West Asia.

After concluding his, Palestine visit, Modi will reach Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE which is home to a huge Indian diaspora, on Saturday evening — his second visit after August 2015.

There he is scheduled to hold talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, who was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day in 2017.

The Prime Minister will also call on Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. Following this, several agreements include in areas such as finance and skills development are likely to be signed.

Modi is slated to interact with UAE and Arab CEOs in Dubai on the economic opportunities in India.

“At the invitation of the leadership of the UAE, I will be addressing the 6th edition of the World Government Summit in Dubai where India is the guest country of honour,” Modi said.

On the final leg, Modi will visit Muscat on Sunday before returning to Delhi the following day.

In both Oman and the UAE, Modi is expected to meet the Indian communities which he stated “is a bridge of friendship between India and the Gulf countries”.

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India

CM Amarinder praises farmers for lifting blockade on goods

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Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday welcomed the farmer unions’ decision to allow movement of goods trains, saying it was in the interest of the state’s economy and its revival.

Thanking the farmer unions for heeding his appeal, the Chief Minister said the farmers had shown their love and concern for the people of Punjab with this move, as it will allow the state to get its much-needed coal supplies.He pointed out that the people of Punjab had been facing a total power shutdown as a result of coal shortage due to the blockade, and the decision of the unions had come as a major relief to them.Singh said in a statement here that farmer organisations, with this decision, had also ensured that the industry would not have to suffer anymore but would get back on the path to revival.The ‘rail roko’ of the farmers had caused huge financial losses to the industry, thus compounding the crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic.

Further, said the Chief Minister, the easing of the blockade for goods trains will help the state replenish its critically low urea supplies, thus catering to the urgent need of the farming community for fertilisers.The farmers had not let the state down, and he would personally ensure that his government never lets them down, said Amarinder Singh.He reiterated his commitment to save their livelihood and lives, both of which were facing acute danger as a result of the Centre’s ‘black’ farm laws.The Chief Minister, however, urged the unions to also lift the blockade on passenger trains, which were catering to tens of thousands of Punjabis every day, especially during festive times.”The people of Punjab want to come back home to celebrate the festival season with their families,” he said, appealing to the farmers to allow the movement of passenger trains too in the interest of Punjabis.

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Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea against appointing SPPs in riots cases

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Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned till November 9 the hearing on a plea against the appointment of Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) in cases of riots and violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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SC allows trust to operate banks accounts to pay bills, taxes

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has permitted the Maharwal Khewaji Trust, which manages the Rs 20,000-crore property of erstwhile princely state of Faridkot, to operate bank accounts to pay salaries to staff and meet expenses on utilities bills and taxes etc.

In June, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled that the will of Harinder Singh Brar, the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state, was forged in favour of the Maharwal Khewaji Trust on June 1, 1982.

The High Court had said that his two daughters, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Maharani Deepinder Kaur, were entitled to inherit and share the properties.

The trust had moved the Supreme Court against this order. The top court had ordered for a status quo and allowed the trust to continue as caretaker.

Last Friday, a bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat said: “Since the activities undertaken by the Trust are in the nature of running a hospital and other philanthropic causes, at this stage, we permit the applicant Trust to operate the accounts mentioned in Paragraph 12 of the application strictly for the purposes enumerated at serial numbers 2 to 7 in Paragraph 8 of the application.”

The expenses include those on salaries, amounts due towards security agency, utilities bills, advance tax and GST payments and the statutory payments towards ESI and EPF.

The bench ordered that details of all expenses incurred as well as credits received should be placed before it periodically.

“The first report shall be filed on or before October 30; and the second report thereafter be submitted on or before November 30, ” said the top court.

Senior Advocates V Giri and Krishnan Venugopal opposed the prayer and submitted that in the name of meeting the expenditure towards fulfilling the objectives of the Trust, the amounts are being misused and, as such, the relief prayed for should not to be granted.

The top court’s order came on an interlocutory application filed by Trust that during the pendency of these petitions it may be permitted to operate its bank accounts.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Dhruv Mehta, appearing for the applicant, submitted that though there was no express order of injunction, the banks concerned have frozen the Trust accounts, as a result of which its activities are getting seriously prejudiced. They urged the top court to allow these accounts to be operated during the pendency of petitions.

The top court also directed the bank managers concerned to submit statements of accounts from June 1 to October 30. The top court listed the matter for disposal on November 4.

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