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Two soldiers injured in Pakistani firing die, death toll is 11

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Jammu, Jan 21: Two soldiers injured in Pakistani firing and shelling on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir succumbed to their injuries on Sunday, taking the toll of people killed in border clashes in Jammu region to 11.

Sepoy C.K. Roy, injured in Mankote area in Poonch district on Saturday, succumbed to injuries in a hospital on Sunday. Signalman Chandan Kumar Rai, also injured in Mankote, died on Sunday too, Defence Ministry sources said.

With this, the death toll in Pakistani ceasefire violation since January 19 has risen to 11.

On January 19, two civilians and two security personnel were killed. On January 20, four civilians and a soldier were killed.

IANS

India

FIR against Republic TV for inciting ‘disaffection’ against Mumbai top cop

This is the fourth criminal case registered against Republic TV channel and its employees by the Mumbai police.

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Arnab Goswami

The Mumbai police on Friday registered a fresh FIR against Republic Television channel and booked its executive editor, anchor, two reporters and other editorial staff members for allegedly inciting “disaffection” among the police personnel against commissioner Param Bir Singh and maligning the city police’s image.

This is the fourth criminal case registered against Republic TV channel and its employees by the city police.

The latest FIR is registered by the Special Branch-1 (SB1), the intelligence wing of the city police, at the NM Joshi Marg police station. The complainant Shashikant Pawar is a sub-inspector posted at the Social Media Lab (SML).

The SML is entrusted with duties of monitoring content on social media platforms and television channels and identifying posts, fake news, rumours and other content that has potential to create unrest in the city or can lead to any communal tension or law and order situation in the city or state.

As per the FIR, on October 22 the police officials at SML observed that the Republic TV (English) channel telecast a show under the segment Biggest Story Tonight, with a caption line: ‘Revolt Against Param Bir Singh? Senior officer part of the probe gives details’.

The news item telecast on the channel alleged that Param Bir Singh is tarnishing the image of Mumbai police and his orders are not acceptable to the junior officers in the department, states the complaint.

The news show was anchored by Shivani Gupta and reporter Sagrika Mitra based on the news story gathered by Republic TV Reporter Shawan Sen.

“By broadcasting such content, the channel and its journalists intentionally tried to incite disaffection among the police personnel against the police commissioner and the act also maligns Mumbai Police’s image,” the complainant stated in the FIR.

The police have booked Republic TV anchor Shivani Gupta, reporter Sagrika Mitra, reporter Shawan Sen and executive editor of the show Niranjan Narayan Swami and other editorial staff.

They all have been charged with section 3 (1) of The Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922 and 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code.

Arnab Goswami is already facing two FIRs at the Pydhonie police station and NM Joshi Marg police station for inciting communal tension and spreading hatred between two communities.

The city police have also initiated chapter proceedings against Goswami and have issued him a show cause notice around two weeks ago. The channel is also facing an investigation in the Television Rating Point (TRP) scam.

Republic Television channel officials did not respond to queries.

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China builds new structures near LAC, relocates troops

China has deployed counter-space jammers 60 km from LAC in Arunachal Pradesh so that PLA activity is not picked up by an adversary through satellites

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china india border

Even as India and China discuss disengagement from friction points in Ladakh at the military-diplomatic talks, the People’s Liberation Army is constructing new structures and relocating troops and equipment to occupied Aksai Chin in Tibet as well as Xinjiang with no intention of backing off from the 1,597 km of Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh at least this winter.

Senior military officials said they had noticed construction of a huge structure spread across 3 lakh square feet – almost the size of four football fields – has been noticed around 10 kilometres from the LAC in occupied Aksai Chin across Gogra-Hot Springs area.

According to a retired army chief, the humongous facility could be used for housing troops, artillery, rocket regiments and tanks as the barrels of tanks and guns are known to freeze and go brittle in sub-polar conditions. Given that the structure is very close to the LAC, it could also be used for setting up hospital facilities to treat PLA troops suffering from acute mountain sickness and high-altitude pulmonary edema. Both can prove fatal if not treated properly.

New deployment of vehicles and equipment under camouflage has also been picked up in Xinjiang, 82 kilometres from the LAC.

The Indian side has also spotted relocation of troops and equipment around a PLA camp 92 kilometres inside Aksai Chin and movement of a large number of PLA vehicles in the Tibet region across Ladakh’s Demchok. It is also very clear that PLA intelligence is watching the Galwan region and the Kongka La area from positions 8 to 20 km from the LAC in Aksai Chin.

The PLA is building a new road between Hotan and Kanxiwar in Xinjiang, some 166 km from the India-China border to provide an alternative route to Aksai Chin for the troops and equipment. The Chinese air supplies for the LAC stand-off are getting dropped off at the Hotan air base, 320 km from LAC as the crow flies, through Y-20 planes, widely acknowledged to be a copy of Russian IL-76 transport aircraft.

The PLA activity is not limited to Ladakh. Some 60 km from the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, people familiar with the matter said, counter-space jammers had been deployed to ensure that PLA activity is not picked up by an adversary through satellites. It is understood that PLA has deployed Russian S-400 missile systems in depth areas around Nyingchi city across Arunachal Pradesh to cater to any aerial threat.

The net assessment of PLA posture is that China is consolidating its positions with bases and storage depots being set up in Golmud, which is connected to Lhasa through trains with a dual use airport used for both civilian and military purposes in Qinghai province.

While Beijing says that it is committed to disengagement and de-escalation from the Ladakh LAC as agreed upon by foreign ministers S Jaishankar and Wang Yi in Moscow on September 10, the PLA is apparently showing no sign or desire to adhere to the commitment.

As a result of China’s reluctance to take a step back, the Indian Army has been on alert with its troops proactively patrolling within its limits with the XIV Corps Command taken over by Lt Gen PGK Menon of the Sikh Regiment. With snow ready to fall in contested points on Gorga-Hot Springs, North and South Pangong Tso, it will be a long winter for the deployed troops.

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India needs to fix domestic issues to win respect abroad, says Tharoor

He said it was important for India to come across to the rest of the world as an example of a thriving and harmonious society.

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Shashi Tharoor

Underlining that India has been more of a “rule taker” than a “rule maker” at the UN, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said the country needs to fix its domestic issues, including that of the economy, and have “moral authority” if it wants to be a rules contributor to the world.

The former Union minister said he has always argued that India’s international credibility is often a reflection of its domestic postures and the success at home is the best guarantee that “we will be respected and effective abroad”.

“Now we have unfortunately been going through a few very bad years domestically in terms of crumbling social cohesion, the eruption and uncontrollable spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the border troubles with China, the economic collapse after demonetisation, unemployment figures worst recorded in the history in these years, everything is wrong,” he said at a session of the 7th national forum of the Public Affairs Forum of India.

Mr. Tharoor said India must use its capacity to demand constructive changes in global governance.

“India has to be what it was trying to be before the last five years or so which was a sort of an example to the developing world — the world’s first development power,” the former UN Under Secretary General said.

Mr. Tharoor hoped that India would contribute to initiatives to catalyse a new consensus for the world.

“But before it does so, we really have to fix our internal situation first so that we can face the world with greater credibility and with renewed admiration that we used to enjoy till very recently,” he said.

Asked about reforms at the UN and whether they were linked with monetary contributions by member states, Mr. Tharoor said, “I don’t think cheque book alone is important.”

India is a state that has contributed generously and was among the leading donors to UN’s democracy fund, initiatives on ideas, decolonisation, racism, apartheid, and also also contributed in kind through peacekeeping, Mr. Tharoor said.

“India has nothing to be ashamed of, we have very much been at the forefront of international efforts at the UN to do a lot of good work and to contribute in terms of leadership. Yet, we have been more of a ‘rule taker’ than a ‘rule maker’ and these rules have been made by the big powerful countries and we haven’t been counted amongst them,” he said.

“Which is why we need both economic growth and prosperity on the one hand, which has gone down the tubes in the last few years, and we also need moral authority if we want to be a rule contributor,” Mr. Tharoor said.

That moral authority comes from the successful management of our own challenges including the great challenges of religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity in India which the country had been managing very well till recently, he said

It also involves managing some of the contradictions in the neighbourhood and being magnanimous to neighbours rather than being hostile to them, Mr. Tharoor said, claiming that India had slipped on that count recently.

Mr. Tharoor said it was important for India to come across to the rest of the world as an example of a thriving and harmonious society.

“If we can get our act together and lead our country in the direction that we have traditionally aspired to — that has been hailed as a success in the past, we will once again be in a position to set an example whether on the Security Council or off it,” he said.

“If India does this and also prospers economically, people from other countries will state that they cannot imagine a Security Council without India “rather than us demanding it as we are doing it now,” Mr. Tharoor said.

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