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Devotees throng Puri to celebrate 15th Tirtha Raj Mahodadhi aarti

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Puri (Odisha) [India], January 29 (ANI): Devotees on Thursday gathered in Puri to celebrate the 15th Tirtha Raj Mahodadhi aarti on the occasion of Paush Purnima.
The 15th Tirtha Raj Mahodadhi aarti, an annual event organised by the Govardhan Peeth, was inaugurated by Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Govardhan Peeth’s 145th Shankaracharya, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati at the Swargadwar on Puri Beach on the occasion of Paush Purnima on Thursday.
Mahodadhi aarti is performed by the Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth, Puri to calm the sea and destroy evil forces.
As dusk fell, the beach glowed with lamps, lights, and fire, amid chants and devotional music. Hundreds of saints and heads of monasteries from all over the country, along with other dignitaries gathered for the grand annual aarti.
The Tirtha Raj Mahodadhi aarti or Samudra aarti is offered to the sea, according to Vedic rituals.
Hymns were sung with the clang of gongs to celebrate the occasion.
According to Govardhan Peeth Shankaracharya, this prayer to the sea is also infused with deep spiritual significance to spread the message of peace and harmony among humanity, and the natural world around us.
“Devotees come here to perform aarti and light up diyas as part of the celebrations,” said Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.
The first Samudra aarti was first performed in Puri in 2007 by the present Shankaracharya of Puri’s Govardhan Peeth, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.
As per the Hindu calendar, the occasion is celebrated on the Purnima of the Shukla Paksha of ‘Paush’ month. Purnima (full moon night) is said to have great religious significance in Hinduism. (ANI)

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PM Modi has time for rally in Kolkata but not for protesting farmers: Sharad Pawar

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], March 7 (ANI): Targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his public rally in poll-bound West Bengal, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said the Prime Minister has time to go to Kolkata but has no time to visit farmers in Delhi who have been protesting against farm laws since November last year.
Pawar alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is spreading “communal poison” in the country.
“The Centre’s responsibility is to establish brotherhood, but BJP spreading communal poison in the country. Farmers have been protesting for 100 days, PM has time to go to Kolkata, rally against the West Bengal government, but no time to visit farmers in Delhi,” Pawar said while addressing a state-level party workers’ meet at the Harmu ground, Ranchi along with the national office bearers of the Party.
Pawar’s comment comes in the light of PM Modi’s rally at Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata, today.
The NCP chief alleged that the Central government is using central agencies to suppress the voices of Opposition in the states, where BJP is not in power.
“The Central government in a way that they use CBI, ED and other agencies to suppress Opposition voices in the states where they are not in the power. All the ministers of the central government are busy campaigning in poll-bound states and the government is misusing the agencies in those states too,” he said. (ANI)

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Mamata not daughter of Bengal but ‘aunt of infiltrators, Rohingyas’: Suvendu Adhikari

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 7 (ANI): Slamming the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari on Sunday said the former is not a daughter of Bengal but the aunt of infiltrators and Rohingyas.
Ahead of the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Brigade Parade ground, Adhikari said, “The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left-Congress alliance both want to divide Bengal with appeasement politics. If TMC comes to power again, Bengal will become Kashmir. What happened to the pundits of Kashmir the same will happen to you.”
Mentioning TMC’s slogan ‘Bangla nijer meyekei chaye’ (Bengal wants its own daughter), Adhikari said, “Nobody accepts you (Mamata Banerjee) as their own daughter. You are the ‘khala’ (aunt) of infiltrators and Rohingyas.”
Hitting out at TMC, he said the party has turned into a private limited company, adding, “The chairman of the TMC private limited company is Mamata Banerjee and the ‘tolabaaj bhaipo’ (corrupt nephew) is its managing director. Mananiya (Banerjee) has bought a thinker with Rs 500 crore. The money was siphoned from MGNREGA, PM Awas Yojana and the smuggling of coal, sand and cow.”
Suvendu Adhikari is contesting against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nandigram seat in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Addressing a public meeting in Behala yesterday, Adhikari said, “If Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was not there, this country would have been an Islamic country and we would be living in Bangladesh. If they (TMC) came back to power, West Bengal will become Kashmir.”
“Nandigram is not a challenge for me. I am going to Nandigram to defeat her (Mamata Banerjee) and send her back to Kolkata. I thank the national party leadership for the responsibility given to me. I will work to make lotus bloom in Nandigram and across West Bengal. She (Mamata Banerjee) is going to lose this election (in Nandigram) by over 50,000 votes,” added Adhikari.

The BJP on Saturday fielded Adhikari from Nandigram against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, setting the stage for a high-profile contest from the seat in the state assembly elections.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray.
State party chief Dilip Ghosh said the Bharatiya Janata Party will definitely win by 200 of the total 294 Assembly seats.

“We will not get less than 200 (seats). It will definitely be more than 200. We did not begin preparations today, we had started five years back,” said Ghosh.
After winning 3 seats in the 2016 Assembly election in West Bengal, 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. (ANI)

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Delhi Metro carries out massive renovation works on its Red Line

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New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has completed renovation work of 12 out of 21 stations of the Red Line.
To take stock of these massive renovation activities, Dr Mangu Singh, Managing Director of DMRC inspected the various Metro stations with the Director Mr A K Garg and other senior officials of DMRC on the intervening night of 6th/7th March 2021, read a release by the DMRC.
Renovation work was started by DMRC in July 2019 for 21 of its stations between Dilshad Garden and Rithala section of the red line which is amongst the oldest Metro network opened.
The renovation included replacement of exterior, relaying dilapidated granite flooring at concourse and ground levels, chemical polishing of platforms, internal and external painting of stations, toilet block and parking renovation and replacement of analogue CCTV cameras with Digital version for enhanced clarity.
Major stations where the renovation work is almost complete include Dilshad Garden, Jhilmil, Mansarovar Park, Shahdara, Welcome and Shastri Park. The work at the remaining Metro stations will also be completed by May 2021, read the release.
The Red Line was the first Delhi Metro line which became operational in 2002 with the opening of the 8.4 KM long Shahdara to Tis Hazari section comprising 6 stations. (ANI)

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1,300 Delhi Police personnel trained to tackle cyber-crime amid COVID-19 lockdown

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New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): In light of the upward trend in cybercrimes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, about 1,300 personnel of the Delhi Police have been trained through video-conferencing as part of the Police force’ decisive measures against crime.
According to Anyesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Cell, incidents increased two-fold during the peak of the lockdown – from April and July 2020. Out of all these, about two-thirds were driven by online frauds. Cases of extortion by morphing videos of people (especially related to sexual conduct) also increased last year.
“Harnessing the digital platforms, Delhi Police organised online training for police personnel posted in District Cyber Cells and Police Station Cyber Teams. Close to 1,300 personnel were trained through video-conferencing,” Roy said.
Teams of the Delhi Police apprehended cyber-criminals from far-off states such as Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, etc despite movement restrictions amid the pandemic.
“Multiple sessions were conducted for police personnel on Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) analysis, crypto-currency fraud investigations, illegal call centre investigations and investigation of frauds using new financial instruments (UPI, QR Code),” Roy said.
The force took measures against cyber crimes at multiple levels through their three-tiered cyber investigation structure and handled common online frauds such as vishing, social media frauds.
The CyPAD Unit handled complex cases of online frauds and sensitive cases of online harassment. They also focused on dismantling organized cyber-crime syndicates and made sustained efforts resulting in successful detections of cybercriminals operating in the Mewat region who targeted users of resale mobile applications.
Action has also been taken against fraudsters peddling fake websites in the name of popular government schemes such as Ayushman Yojana, PM Cares, etc. (ANI)

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Customs’ job looks after smuggling cases, not MEA: Muraleedharan hits back at Vijayan

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 7 (ANI): Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Sunday hit out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the latter alleged that smuggling increased after he was appointed, saying that it is the job of the Customs department which comes under Finance Ministry to take care of such matters.
“The Chief Minister said that smuggling increased after I became MoS in External Affairs, but he should know that it is not my job to look into smuggling cases. This is the job of Customs’, which comes under the Union Finance Ministry.”
“The Finance Ministry is hell-bent on tacking such matters,” he added.
Muraleedharan also said that the CM should have known that the head of the agency would submit a counter to a notice served in the ongoing smuggling case in the state
“Without verification, he (Chief Minister Vijayan) asked why Customs filed an affidavit. He should know that when the Customs superintendent is served notice, it is natural that the head of that agency will submit a counter,” Muraleedharan said.
Earlier on Saturday, Kerala Vijayan had launched a scathing attack on the central investigation agencies alleging that they have voluntarily taken over the Assembly election campaign for the BJP and Congress.
Addressing a press conference here, Vijayan said, “The aggression of ‘some investigation agencies’ has intensified since the announcement of the Assembly elections. The latest examples of this are the moves by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and the statement that Customs filed before the High Court.”
Responding to this, Muraleedharan said, “We have our capacity. Investigating agencies need not campaign for BJP. (ANI)

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Kyasanur forest disease under control in Karnataka, says official

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Shivamogga (Karnataka) [India], March 7 (ANI): The deadly Western Ghats KFD (Kyasanur Forest disease) has drastically decreased in Shivamogga, with only four new cases being reported from December 2020 till February 2021, the state health department informed.
According to Dr Kiran KS, in charge of KFD-related activities in Karnataka and Deputy director of the virus diagnostic laboratory in Shivamogga, cases have come down due to effective vaccination. Only two cases were reported from Shivamogga and each one from Karwar and Chikkamagaluru, he said.
In 2018 and 2019, cases of the Kyasanur forest disease were reported in Karnataka. Around 445 positive cases were reported in the state, out of which, 345 cases were from Shivamogga alone. As many as 15 deaths were reported and nearly 700 monkeys were found dead.
2019-20 was a comparatively milder year and a total of 287 cases were reported in the state. Cases came down in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra and Kerala as well, the official said.
“Due to COVID-19 lockdown imposed last year, it was a challenge to control the people who came back to their native places. They had not been vaccinated and our department was a little worried. We have identified, approached and educated them,” Dr Kiran said.
“The vaccination is successful and people are educated and come voluntarily to take vaccination and DMP oil,” he added. (ANI)

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