In what can be termed as a U-turn, the Justin Trudeau government in Canada has now praised the Indian government for holding several rounds of talks with agitating farmers who are sitting on borders of the national capital protesting against the new farm laws. Trudeau conveyed this during his recent phone call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Canada had earlier raised concerns over the farmers’ agitations in India.
“You would have seen the readouts from both sides on the farmers’ protest, PM Trudeau commended efforts of India to choose the path of dialogue as befitting in democracy. He also acknowledges the responsibility of his government in providing protection to Indian personnel and premises in Canada,” Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told reporters here.
Canada also assured security to Indian diplomatic missions and diplomats as massive protests by separatists and pro-Khalistani leaders have been organised ever since the farmers’ agitation started nearly two months ago.
Earlier PM Trudeau, while expressing concern about farmers protest, had said, “The situation is concerning and we are all very worried about family and friends. Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest.”
His comments caused outrage in India and New Delhi termed PM Trudeau’s remarks as unwarranted.
Responding to the question on the supply of vaccines to Canada, the MEA spokesperson said, “Decision on these supplies will of course be calibrated as per domestic production and the requirements of national vaccination programme which is the largest vaccination drive in the world.”
Canada had asked India to allow the supply of Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
Interestingly, this change in the Canadian stand same just a few days after PM Modi, in a tweet, said that he “assured him (Trudeau) that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of Covid vaccines sought by Canada”.
Trudeau is facing a public backlash because of the lack of the availability of vaccines as both Pfizer and Moderna have either cut or delayed shipments to Canada which has got only 1.1 million doses so far.
Indo-Canadian trade bodies welcomed the initiative by Trudeau to call Modi in the wake of the setback to bilateral relations after Trudeau issued a statement in December in support of the farmers’ stir in India.
Calling it a big development in bilateral ties, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce president Vijay Thomas told IANS: “India’s promise to deliver Covid vaccine to Canada is welcome news in the wake of some recent headwinds in our relationship. A big barrier has been broken.”
Thomas said the phone discussion between the two Prime Minister could be the beginning of a new partnership. “Sometimes politics leads to a better trade relationship, but better trade too can lead to a better political relationship. This development will help remove all irritants between our two countries.”
Winnipeg businessman Hemant Shah, who has worked for four decades on India-Canada trade, said: “Trudeau has done the right thing by calling Modi. It has taken decades, efforts, and taxpayers’ money to build our bilateral trade relationship with India. We must not harm it with negative statements.” WITH AGENCY INPUTS
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India reports 15,510 new COVID-19 cases, 106 deaths
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): As many as 15,510 new COVID-19 cases and 106 deaths were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Monday.
With this, the total number of cases reported in the country now stands at 1,10,96,731, including 1,68,627 active cases and 1,07,86,457 recoveires.
The death toll now stands at 1,57,157.
As many as 1,43,01,266 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research, addressing hesitancy over the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the ICMR, a total of 21,68,58,774 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to February 28. Of these, 6,27,668 samples were tested on Sunday. (ANI)
Vice Admiral AB Singh takes charge of Eastern Naval Command
Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 1 (ANI): Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh on Monday took charge as the new Flag Officer Commanding -in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) at the headquarters in Visakhapatnam.
As per a statement, Vice Adm AB Singh took charge as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) from Vice Adm Atul Kumar Jain, who has been transferred to New Delhi to assume charge as the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC).
A parade comprising of Ceremonial Guards and platoons of naval personnel drawn from various ships, submarines and establishments honored the new ENC at the Naval Base.
The Parade was attended by all Flag Officers and Commanding Officers of the naval establishments. (ANI)
MK Stalin pays floral tribute to former chief ministers M Karunanidhi, CN Annadurai
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 1 (ANI): Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin on his birthday on Monday paid floral tribute to his father and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s at his memorial in Chennai.
He also paid tribute to party founder and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, CN Annadurai at Anna Memorial.
On Sunday, Stalin formally expressed his willingness to the party to contest from the Kolathur constituency in the Tamil Nadu Assembly election.
At DMK party headquarters in Arivalayam, Stalin submitted a formal letter to the party’s election committee expressing his willingness to contest from the Kolathur constituency in the upcoming State Assembly elections.
If this happens, then it will be the third consecutive time that he will be contesting from the same constituency.
The 234-members Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2.
Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the polls in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). DMK has joined hands with Congress. This time actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s party Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) is also in the fray. (ANI)
Mehul Choksi is Antiguan citizen, his citizenship has not been revoked, says his advocate
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Denying media reports regarding the revocation of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s citizenship by an Antiguan civil court, his advocate Vijay Aggarwal told ANI that Choksi is still very much an Antiguan citizen and his citizenship has not been revoked.
“My client Mehul Choksi has clarified that he is very much an Antiguan citizen. His citizenship has not been revoked,” Aggarwal told ANI.
According to a media report, Choksi is currently fighting revocation of his citizenship in an Antiguan civil court as Antigua cancelled his citizenship sometime last year.
The report added that as soon as Choksi exhausts his appeal against the revocation of citizenship order, his extradition proceedings will begin as Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne has already assured India of sending him back.
Earlier, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne had said, the citizenship of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, an accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, will be revoked and he will be extradited to India once all his legal options are exhausted.
Choksi, 61-year-old is an Indian-born businessman, residing in Antigua and Barbuda and wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Earlier, Choksi in an interview to ANI, had claimed that he is innocent and all allegations against him are false, baseless and motivated by political expediency.
Choksi holds Antiguan citizenship and is the owner of Gitanjali Group, a retail jewellery company. An arrest warrant for Choksi has been issued in connection with the alleged Punjab National Bank fraud case. He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013.
Recently Nirav Modi, nephew of Choksi was ordered to be extradited to India from the United Kingdom to face charges of conspiring to defraud PNB of more than a billion dollars, a UK judge ruled. (ANI)
SIT to probe Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar murder case
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar case where a woman was stabbed to death by a chain snatcher while resisting the robbery, said DCP Northwest Usha Rangnani on Sunday.
“Special investigation team has been set up for speedy probe that will be monitored by me,” said DCP Northwest.
Earlier, the DCP of Northwest Usha Rangnani had informed that ten police teams have been constituted to probe the case.
The Delhi Police have arrested two persons in connection with a case.
According to the police, a 25-year-old woman was stabbed to death by a snatcher for resisting a robbery bid in the Adarsh Nagar area of the national capital.
The woman was stabbed to death in north-west Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar while trying to resist a snatching bid. She was coming home from a market and was holding her child when the incident occurred. (ANI)
Kumbh 2021: Northern Railways prepares for surge in passengers at Haridwar
Haridwar (Uttarakhand) [India], March 1 (ANI): With passenger traffic at Hardiwar station expected to go up from March 11, the Northern Railways has built four different colour-coded enclosures for passengers to book tickets to various destinations.
“There might be a surge in passengers coming to Haridwar from March 11. We have put four colour-coded enclosures based on the passenger’s destination at Haridwar station. We have made reserved ticket windows inside enclosures,” said Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Northern Railway Uttarakhand.
A centralised hi-tech control room has also been set up by Indian Railways at Haridwar railway station ahead of Kumbh 2021.
The preparations are underway for Kumbh to be held from 1st to 30th April in Haridwar.
The Uttarakhand government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year to 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officers in charge of the Kumbh said that those who attend the religious congregation should do prior registration at a portal and should have a COVID-19 negative report.
Kumbh is not only a religious pilgrimage, but one of the largest mass gatherings at one place. It is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years and spans four locations namely Prayagraj, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik.
The Maha Kumbh is celebrated in a cycle of 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites across India. (ANI)
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