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Nepal protesting India’s roadwork at someone else’s behest: Army chief

To this, the Army Chief said, “We have made a road west of the Kali river. Nepal has accepted that its territory is to the east of Kali river. There has never been an issue about the tri-junction,” Naravane said.

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Manoj Mukund Naravane

New Delhi, May 15 : Nepal never had any objection over India constructing a road till the Lipulekh pass in Uttrakahand to ensure smooth ride of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Friday on Kathmandu’s recent displeasure over the development at the border.

He, however, pointed out that if Nepal is raising the issue, it is doing so at ‘someone else’s behest’.

Naravane said there has never been an issue about road at the tri-junction — India-China-Nepal. Nepal has started protesting after India opened a road till Lipulekh pass on May 8.

The Indian Army Chief did not name China, but he hinted that Beijing was the only interested party to it.

The assertion was made by Naravane during a discussion on “Covid and Indian Army: Responses and Beyond” at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in Delhi.

It was Vice Admiral Sekhar Sinha (retd) who asked why was Nepal protesting on “our road” across Lipulekh and why had it decided to set up a border post at the spot.

To this, the Army Chief said, “We have made a road west of the Kali river. Nepal has accepted that its territory is to the east of Kali river. There has never been an issue about the tri-junction,” Naravane said.

He also pointed out that there was no connection between the face-offs and any other events.

The Army Chief also stressed upon the use of technology. He said the rate of change in technology will drive the battle field.

“Because of technology, we will have to shift from man power intensive to technology intensive, there could be 10 to 15 per cent reduction in manpower,” he pointed out.

The officer further stressed that humans will be needed to take the tactical decision.

On being asked about two-front challenges, he said it is now “two-front plus half in counter terrorism and add another half for Covid”.

Naravane said that both the fronts will not be 100 per cent active. “There will be a priority front and a secondary front, the latter will be kept as dormant. Two fronts would not be just military offensive but a diplomatic effort too,” he said.

On joint commands coming up in the future, the Army Chief pointed out that the integrated air defence command would be up soon.

“It would be followed by maritime command. Then the Army is looking at the Western theatre and the Northern theatre… We have had a couple of brain storming sessions and the matters are being dealt as per operational necessity to suit our peculiar requirements,” said the Army Chief.

Talking about Integrated Battle Groups (IBG), Naravane said that it’s based on very clear operational imperatives. “It will not cause any change to operational readiness or reduce combat potential. It is an idea whose time has come due to better weapons, improved mobility and communication,” he said.

On the Covid-19 crisis in India and whether it has impacted the force, the Army Chief said none of the Army units in operational areas in Northern Command and Eastern Command has reported a positive case.

“This is because at the borders, we are free from any interaction with the outside population,” said the officer.

Talking about budget problems, he candidly said that no cuts will be imposed at the cost of operational efficiency or readiness.

“There will be budgetary constraints, but how much we cannot say,” said the officer, adding that areas have been identified for budget saving.

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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Cities

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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