After the formation of a “dangerous” lake near Raini village in Joshimath following the glacier burst causing massive destruction in Chamoli, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has reached the spot, informed Uttrakhand Police Headquarters.
The existence of the lake which was formed due to the accumulation of debris carried by Rishiganga was later confirmed through high-resolution satellite images. And authorities are working hard to avoid another disaster, should water from this lake gush through a breach.
“SDRF team has reached the lake that has formed upstream of Raini village near Tapovan. Though it is a lake, water is discharging from it. The lake appears to be around 350 metres long. We will get more information after the team returns,” said Nilesh Anand Bharan, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Law and Order).
Earlier on Friday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told media persons, “We have information about a lake that has been formed near Raini village in Joshimath. The lake is being monitored through satellites. Right now, we need to be cautious, but there is nothing to be worried about.”
“It is about 400 metres wide. We do not know the depth. A team of scientists will visit the site to keep a check on it. They will air-dropped on the site for 3-4 hours through a helicopter and will submit a report. The Air Force is ready for this,” he added. Meanwhile, the death toll in the Uttarakhand glacier burst incident reached 38 on Friday. According to police, 166 people are still missing following the incident.
The rescue operations that were temporarily halted following a rise in the level of water in the Rishiganga River yesterday will also be resumed today, said Uttarakhand Director-General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar.
“The rescue team will resume the drilling operation in the Tapovan tunnel to gain entry into a smaller tunnel which is 12 meters below the existing tunnel as there is a possibility of human presence there,” he said. A glacier broke in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand on Sunday, which led to massive flooding in Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
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IAF carries out multi-aircraft sortie to commemorate Balakot Operations’ second anniversary
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday said it has carried out a long-range precision strike against a practice target to mark the second anniversary of the Balakot Operations.
The strike was carried out by members of the same squadron who carried out the actual operations.
Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria flew in an upgraded Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft during the multi-aircraft sortie to commemorate the second anniversary of the Balakot Operations.
On February 14, 2019, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) targeted a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Pulwama in South Kashmir killing 40 CPRF personnel.
Days later the IAF launched an air-strike on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The air-strike was launched in the early hours of February 26 and Pakistan’s efforts to launch an offensive the next day to target Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir was thwarted by an alert the IAF.
In the dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, flying a MiG-21 Bison fighter plane and chasing Pakistani jets, crossed over to PoK where his aircraft was shot down. He was taken into custody by Pakistan. India also shot down a Pakistani fighter jet. (ANI)
Ceasefire agreement with Pakistan won’t affect counter-terrorism operations, says Lt-Gen Joshi
Udhampur (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 27 (ANI): Two days after the ceasefire agreement signed between India and Pakistan, Lieutenant General Yogesh Kumar Joshi, GOC-in-C of Northern Command on Saturday said that the pact will not affect the counter-terrorism operations being carried out by the Indian Armed forces.
“Joint statement by the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan, of both sides agreeing for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along Line of Control (LoC) from February 24-25, will not affect counter-terrorism operations. We will continue to remain alert,” Joshi said at a function here.
On Thursday, India and Pakistan had released a joint statement saying that they have held discussions regarding establishing a mechanism for hotline contact among both nations. Both sides also agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC starting from February 25.
Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan also reviewed the current situation across the LoC and other sectors “in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere”.
During the Army’s Northern Command event ‘Investiture Ceremony 2021’, Lt Gen Joshi presented Gallantry and Distinguished Service awards to the family members of the soldiers who laid their lives for the nation.
In his address during the event, Lt Gen Joshi termed 2020 as a “watershed year” for the Armed Forces as they displayed boldness in standing up to unprovoked aggression by Chinese forces in Eastern Ladakh.
“There has been a reduction in terrorist initiated incidents, and other internal matters as a result of tireless efforts of the security forces and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Northern Command of the Indian Army works diligently for peace in Kashmir. Our mission is to maintain peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. (ANI)
8 held for cow slaughtering in Telangana’s Siddipet
Siddipet (Telangana) [India], February 27 (ANI): Telangana police on Saturday arrested eight persons who were allegedly involved in cow slaughtering in Siddipet.
“8 persons of Siddipet district who were involved in cow slaughtering in last few days have been arrested. The arrests took place after a few locals have exposed the slaughterhouse on Friday. Immediately, one town police of Siddipet reached the spot and seized the slaughterhouse,” said Joel Davis, Commissioner of Police, Siddipet.
“A case has been registered under sections 429, 153, 153-A of Indian Penal Code and section 10 of Prohibition of Cows Slaughter Act (PCSA), section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act (PCAA).
The accused were taken into custody today and produced before the court which sent them to judicial remand, the police commissioner said. (ANI)
With Kerala Assembly polls on his mind, Rahul Gandhi stays away from Bengal battle
By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): West Bengal may be the most talked about in the upcoming assembly elections 2021, but former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has so far kept himself away from campaigning in the state.
Tomorrow’s Left-Congress joint rally in Kolkata will not see the presence of Congress top brass, although the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of the West Bengal Jitin Prasada and Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will attend the rally.
Except for West Bengal, Rahul has been continuously campaigning in poll-bound states like Assam and the Union Territory of Puducherry. In Kerala and Tamil Nadu he has had more than one tour this month.
Rahul Gandhi has chosen to skip the Left-Congress joint rally that is being pegged as one of the biggest events ahead of Assembly polls in West Bengal. According to sources, he will turn to Bengal, probably after Kerala elections are wrapped up.
Polling for the 140-member Kerala Assembly in 14 districts will be held in a single phase on April 6, while West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly Polls for 294 seats starting from March 27. The counting in both the states will be held on May 2.
“In Kerala, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has a big challenge to defeat the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, which is being led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPM. The Congress party has joined hands with CPM to fight Assembly polls in West Bengal. Congress strategists feel that if Rahul shares the stage with CPM leaders in Bengal, then it may be at a disadvantage in Kerala. Rahul Gandhi is also an MP from Kerala. In such a situation, nobody wants to take any pleasure in forming their government in Kerala,” a source told ANI.
According to sources, Congress strategists are aware of the ground reality that “Left and Congress alliance in Bengal is being considered out of the main fight for the Assembly polls.”
“It is obvious that Congress does not want to miss the chance of winning Kerala Assembly polls. That is why the map of Bengal is still missing from Rahul Gandhi’s election programs,” they said.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has already said that “Bengal Congress is self-sufficient in the matter of campaigning.”
Jitin Prasad, in-charge of the West Bengal Congress, said, “Rahul Gandhi has to campaign in all five states. Our schedule is fixed at an appropriate time. According to the phase, we are fixing the schedule of Rahul Gandhi’s meetings.”
According to sources even after April 6, the date when Kerala will go to polls, Rahul Gandhi will do very limited campaigning in Bengal.
“The Congress wants that, in case if BJP government formed in West Bengal, then Opposition front at national level including TMC could not blame the Congress. Overall, Congress feels that it does not have a profitable deal but there is a possibility of loss in West Bengal,” they said.
In West Bengal, the Congress is contesting in alliance with the Left parties and the new entrant Indian Secular Front.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.
In the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won three seats.
The BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank.
After BJP’s performance in the 2019 polls, several TMC leaders have joined the party led by JP Nadda. (ANI)
Tarun Bajaj takes additional charge of Revenue Secretary
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs will take the additional charge of Secretary, Department of Revenue, said the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India on Saturday.
The development comes after the superannuation of Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
Pandey, who is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Maharashtra cadre, is scheduled to retire on February 28. He was given the charge of Revenue Secretary in the Finance Ministry in November 2018. (ANI)
Army commander southern command visits Golden Katar Division
Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], February 27 (ANI): A two-day visit of General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command of Army Lieutenant General JS Nain to the Golden Katar Division has concluded, informed PRO Defence of Rajasthan Lt Col Amitabh Sharma on Saturday.
According to a release issued by Sharma, during his visit, Nain carried out a comprehensive review of the operational preparedness along the international boundary in the Southern Sector.
In his interaction with senior commanders, the Lt Gen urged the Army personnel to continue to maintain a high state of battle readiness in an environment of tri-service synergy to safeguard the territorial integrity of the nation.
“It is heartening to see a highly motivated team having a high degree of professionalism and commitment towards training for all eventualities,” Nain said.
The Lt Gen called upon the formation to continue working hard and strive for excellence in all fields. He also complimented the troops for the multiple measures undertaken by them to overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19 (ANI)
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