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TN farmers protest in Delhi, again

They want adequate compensation for agricultural produce, crop insurance to individual farmers and linking of rivers to address issue of water crisis.

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New Delhi, July 17 : Distressed farmers from Tamil Nadu were back in Delhi on Monday three months after they suspended their protest due to the alleged non-fulfilment of promises made by the government.

Around 100 farmers from the agrarian crisis-hit state, who had suspended their 41-day protest following assurances from the government in April this year, turned up at Jantar Mantar to press for their demands.

They want adequate compensation for agricultural produce, crop insurance to individual farmers and linking of rivers to address issue of water crisis.

P. Ayyakannu, President of the National-South Indian Rivers Linking Farmers Association, who is leading the protest, said the farmers had decided to continue their protest for at least 100 days, braving the monsoon.

“Both state and Central governments did not fulfil the promises they made to us. They had assured us that our mortgaged jewellery would not be sold. However, banks have started selling the jewellery. Now, they are going to sell our land as well,” Ayyakannu told IANS.

“We had no option but to restart our protest as the Centre and Tamil Nadu governments have breached out trust. Due to water crisis and drought in the state, farmers are under a huge financial burden. We are almost destroyed. We do not care if we die protesting here.”

Ayyakannu said about 90 per cent of the water sources in Tamil Nadu had dried up leaving little water for irrigation and drinking purposes.

Three months ago, the Tamil Nadu farmers had grabbed eyeballs through their strange ways of protest such as wearing skulls, holding mock funerals, stripping outside the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and drinking their own urine.

On April 23, they suspended their protest after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami assured them that he would take up their demands including that of loan waiver with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan had told them that their issues would be looked into.

“The state government has waived off the loans of some farmers but we want complete loan waiver. Also, we want the Central government to ensure remunerative prices for agricultural produce and interlinking of rivers to solve the water problem,” Ayyakannu said.

The Delhi Police had detained some farmers on Sunday after they attempted to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ayyakannu said the ongoing nation-wide farmers protest, including the Mandsaur-Delhi farmer rally, has boosted their morale to continue their fight.

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SCO Meet: Terrorism an enemy of basic Human Rights, says Sushma Swaraj

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Beijing, April 24: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said that terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights and fight against it should also identify the countries that “encourage, support and finance” the menace and “provide sanctuary” to terror outfits.

Addressing at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Swaraj stated: “We strongly believe that our fight against terrorism should not only seek to eliminate terrorists but should also identify and take strong measures against States that encourage, support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups”.

“We have to work together to wipe-out this scourge from the face of the earth. In order to realise this objective, we must unite across our differences, strengthen our resolve and script an effective strategy against terror. We welcome the clarity shown by the SCO on terrorism from its inception”.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers Wang Yi of China, Khawaja Muhammad Asif of Pakistan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan, Abdyldaev Erlan Bekeshovich of Kyrgyzstan, Sergey Lavrov of Russia, Sirodjidin Muhridinovich Aslov of Tajikistan, Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kamilov of Uzbekistan, and Secretary General of the SCO Rashid Alimov and others.

“We should also urgently resolve to establish Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that India proposed more than two decades ago in the United Nations. We are determined to consistently strengthen cooperation within the SCO framework for comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security,” the Hindu quoted Swaraj as saying.

The Indian Minister also raised the issue of reforms at the United Nations Security Council saying “it is clear to many of us that the Security Council is increasingly unable, or sometimes unwilling, to respond to the security challenges of our times, with tragic consequences”.

Since 2008, the international community has carefully nurtured the ongoing Inter-Governmental Negotiations at the UN to take our discussions on UNSC reforms forward”, she said.

Expressing strong support for maintaining peace and order in Afghanistan, Swaraj called upon member countries to support the nation.

“Protectionism in all its forms should be rejected and efforts should be made to discipline measures that constitute barriers to trade”.

Swaraj further said “India is committed to working with the SCO to strengthen our economic and investment ties.

We believe that economic globalization should be more open, inclusive, equitable and balanced for mutual benefits,” the EAM added.

Earlier in a day,  Sushma Swaraj was welcomed by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ministerial meeting.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also landed in Beijing earlier on Tuesday to attend preparatory meetings with the External Affairs Minister on the sidelines of the SCO meeting.

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Modi to launch Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

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New Delhi, April 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday will launch the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla district.

The event has been organised to mark National Panchayati Raj Day.

The objective of the scheme is to provide training, building infrastructure and stepping up initiatives for e-governance under the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project.

Modi will also address Panchayati Raj from Mandla.

The Prime Minister will first inaugurate Aadi Mahotsava, a three-day program on the conservation of ancient Tribal culture and heritage at Ramnagar.

Following this, he will reveal a roadmap for the overall development of tribals during the next five years. Also, the Prime Minister will dedicate the local government Directory to the nation.

Modi will felicitate village Sarpanches which have achieved 100 percent smokeless kitchens, 100 percent vaccination under Mission Indradhanush and 100 percent electrification under Saubhagya Scheme.

Besides this, the Prime Minister will also unveil a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of an LPG bottling plant of Indian Oil Corporation at Maneri.

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Madhya Pradesh Home Minister blames Porn for rising rape cases

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Bhopal, April 24: As the country is stunned recent incidents of sexual violence against minors, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Tuesday blamed pornographic websites for increasing number of child rape and molestation. 

Singh further noted that his government is considering to ban porn in Madhya Pradesh.

“We think the reason for rising number of child rape and molestation cases are porn. We are contemplating banning porn in Madhya Pradesh, will approach Centre in the matter,” Singh told news agency ANI.

As per the media reports, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has blocked 25 porn sites.

Singh’s remarks comes days after the brutal rape and murder of an infant baby girl in Indore on April 19. The infant was recovered from the basement of a building.

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