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Trump ends India’s Preferential Trade Status, New Delhi says ‘unfortunate’

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India will “always uphold its national interest” in trade matters as “our people also aspire for better standards of living”, the government said today in response to US President Donald Trump ending India’s designation as a beneficiary nation under a key preferential trade programme.
“India as part of our bilateral trade discussions, had offered resolution on significant US requests in an effort to find a mutually acceptable way forward. It is unfortunate that this did not find acceptance by the US,” the government said in a statement.

“I have determined that India has not assured the US that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate India’s designation as a beneficiary developing country effective June 5, 2019,” said Trump on Friday.

The Generalised System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

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Fire at wholesale rice market in Kolkata

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Kolkata, A fire broke out at the wholesale rice market in north Kolkata’s Raja Bazar on Sunday. No casualty or injury was reported.

Smoke was seen billowing from a factory premises around 2.15 p.m. Eleven fire engines fought the blaze and controlled it in an hour.

“Chemicals stored in the factory helped fan the fire. Since the area is densely populated, fire-fighters faced problems in controlling the fire,” said West Bengal Fire Service Minister Sujit Bose.Cooling operation was on, Bose said.

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2 trapped in house collapse in Delhi

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New Delhi, At least two persons were feared trapped after a house collapsed in south Delhi’s C.R. Park area on Sunday, fire officials said.

“Five fire tenders have been rushed to the site,” said Delhi Fire Services Chief Atul Garg. The rescue and search operations were underway.

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Sedition case against 3 Kashmiri students in Karnataka

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Hubballi, Three Kashmiri students of a private engineering college in Karnataka’s Hubballi have been booked for sedition after they allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans, police said on Sunday.

“The three suspects are being questioned for raising pro-Pakistan and ‘Azadi’ slogans in their college hostel on Friday, which coincided with the first anniversary of Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir a year ago,” Hubballi Police Commissioner Ramaswamy Dileep told IANS.

Hubballi is about 410 kms northwest of Bengaluru. The trio, identified as Ameer, Basit and Talib from Kashmir’s Shopian district, were booked under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by the KLES Institute of Technology for attempting to disturb communal harmony by raising anti-national slogans,” said Dileep.

The section deals with offences against the state.The institute’s principal Basavraj Anami complained to the police that the first-year students got admission under the central government quota.

“The incident occurred when the college was holding a function to pay homage to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack on Friday. Instead of attending the event, they were in the hostel taking a video of them shouting pro-Pakistan slogans,” Dileep said quoting from the complaint.

The principal came to know about the incident on Saturday when the video went viral on social media after they uploaded its footage to their friends’ WhatsApp groups.

“Pending investigation, the college has suspended the three students from the institute after the principal viewed the video and questioned their act,” added Dileep.

Condemning the students for raising pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, state Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, who hails from Hubballi, said the government would not tolerate such anti-national activities by anyone.

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi, who represents the adjacent Dharwad Lok Saba constituency, said stern action would be taken against the accused for raising such anti-national slogans.

“Students who avail government scholarships and raise slogans against the country are under the impression that they can get away by indulging in such anti-national activities. Stern action will be taken against them after investigation as such actions cannot be tolerated,” Joshi said here.

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