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Sidhu clarifies on hugging Pakistan Army chief, sitting beside PoK President

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Photo Credit (Peace and freedom)

Attari-Wagah border, Aug 19 : Clarifying on the  controversies surrounding his hug with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu said  it was a gesture after Bajwa, who also belongs from the same culture, revealed that “Islamabad  will open  up Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv.”

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab minister who travelled to Pakistan to attend his ‘friend’ Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony  as Pakistan Prime Minister

“If someone (Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we will open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?, ” Navjot Singh Sidhu said  on hugging Bajwa at Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad.

Sidhu, however, said he hugged Qamar Javed Bajwa because he told him Pakistan may allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartapur next year.

Speaking about another controversy regarding sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu said, “If you’re invited as a guest of honour somewhere, you sit wherever you are asked to. I was sitting somewhere else but they asked me to sit there.”

Navjot Singh Sidhu returned to India after attending the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan Prime Minister in Islamabad yesterday.

Sidhu was sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan in the front row at Pakistan  PM Imran Khan’s oath ceremony in Islamabad.

After the oath ceremony, Bajwa walked up to him and after having a brief conversation, hugged Sidhu.

Sidhu has predicted that  a positive change in Islamabad’s approach towards India. “He will be taking the positive direction… and positive anything is better than negative nothing,”  he said.

India

Air India Express flight with 180 passengers on board skids off runway while landing at Kozhikode

Air India Express Flight No IX 1344 from Dubai to Calicut skidded off the runway.

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Air India Express Flight IX-1344 Skid

Air India Express flight skids off runway while landing at Kozhikode. No fire reported at the time of landing. There are 174 passengers, 10 infants, 2 pilots & 5 cabin crew onboard the aircraft.

As per initial reports, rescue operations are on & passengers are being taken to hospital says Rajeev Jain, Additional DG Media, Civil Aviation Ministry

Air India Express Flight No IX 1344 from Dubai to Calicut skidded off the runway. We will keep you updated as and when we receive further updates.

Our helplines – 056 546 3903, 0543090572, 0543090572, 0543090575: Consulate General of India, Dubai.

Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. I have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations: Home Minister Amit Shah

Deeply distressed to hear about the Air India Express tragedy at Kozhikode. Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details: External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

Distressed to learn of this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and their families: Pavan Kapoor, Ambassador of India to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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Cities

Rahul Gandhi concerned about Wayanad floods, urges for help

The IMD has announced a red alert in the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Wayanad as heavy rains have submerged a few places in these districts.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Aug 7 : Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is concerned about floods in his constituency in Wayanad and urged the party workers to lend a helping hand.

Rahul Gandhi in a statement on Friday said, “Heavy rains in Kerala have resulted in floods and a massive landslide in Munnar in which many have lost their lives. This is a terrible tragedy.”

“I urge all our Congress party workers and leaders to lend a helping hand at this time and do whatever they can to mitigate the suffering of our brothers and sisters who are in need of help.

“I’m particularly concerned about my parliamentary constituency, Wayanad and I’m closely tracking the situation over there,” he added.

Wayanad MP said the yearly flooding and landslides in Kerala are a grim reminder to work harder to protect the environment and create sustainable development models that allows to cope with changing weather patterns and extreme climatic disturbances.

Kerala has witnessed heavy rain followed by a landslide at Rajamalai in Idukki district on Thursday night which has left at least 15 persons dead, including a child, and more than 60 others are reported missing, a police official said on Friday.

The place where the tragedy occurred is nearly 30 km from the popular tourist destination Munnar.

A police official taking part in the rescue operations said 15 bodies had been recovered and nearly 67 people are still missing.

The IMD has announced a red alert in the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Wayanad as heavy rains have submerged a few places in these districts.

21 people in Wayanad were rescued across a surging river using ropes and nets.

The authorities have set up relief camps in these areas.

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Cities

Uttar Pradesh: 26 persons bitten by snake

Several villages in the area are currently waterlogged due to heavy rains and snakes are crawling out in large numbers.

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Snake Viper Bite

Bahraich (UP), Aug 7 : In the past 10 days, around 26 people have been bitten by snakes in Chilbila village of Bahraich district out of which one died earlier this week.

The person who died has been identified as Munshi Ram. Now, scared villagers are claiming that it is the same snake that has been biting people. The snake scare has gripped the villagers and some of them have even started leaving the village.

“Snakes are also biting the cattle while this particular female serpent was targeting the residents of our village,” said Pappu, a villager.

The locals are also calling snake charmers to catch the snake.

“This is the rainy season and there are a large number of snakes. We cannot catch all of them,” said Sharifa, a snake charmer.

Several villages in the area are currently waterlogged due to heavy rains and snakes are crawling out in large numbers.

The primary health centre, which is well stocked with snake vaccine, has been witnessing a rush of snake-bite victims.

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