Human rights group from Kashmir asks UN to probe mass graves in Gilgit, Balochistan - The Daily Guardian
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Human rights group from Kashmir asks UN to probe mass graves in Gilgit, Balochistan

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 16 (ANI): In a bid to highlight the plight of minority communities in Pakistan, a human rights group from Kashmir has issued a memorandum calling on United Nations to look into the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and probe the mass graves in Gilgit and Balochistan.
“We ‘Voice for Peace and Justice’ also demand Human Rights Council (HRC) and urge the United Nation’s team to send a high powered fact-finding mission to probe the presence of mass graves in Gilgit and Balochistan, particularly in Khuzdar district and HRC use its efforts to pressurise Pakistan government to stop human rights violation in Gilgit, Balochistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Pok),” the Voice for Peace and Justice (VPJ) said in a memorandum.
The rights group also asked the world body “to force Pakistan to stop the killing of innocent people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan.”
“HRC must ask Pakistan for the immediate withdrawal of forces from so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan part of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir forcibly occupied by Pakistan in 1947,” VPJ said in the memo.
It further asked the Human Rights Council to put pressure on Pakistan to stop human rights violations in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Gilgit-Baltistan and POK.
HRC must ask Pakistan immediately to stop sending terrorists, weapons, and anti-India propaganda on social media in Jammu and Kashmir and close terror base camp in Pakistan, VJP said.
“The Voice Peace and Justice – a platform of young and vibrant youths of Jammu and Kashmiri (UT) demand intervention of the HRC to ask Pakistan to withdraw its troops from Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, which it has illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947 and stop sending terrorists to Jammu and Kashmir for its interests in the name of so-called Jihad,” the rights group said.
It further said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports emerged that rations were being denied to minority Hindus and Christians in the coastal areas of Karachi. The Saylani Welfare Trust, carrying out the relief work, said: “that the aid was reserved for Muslims alone.”
Gilgit-Baltistan is economically rich in minerals, forests, water, and tourism. Historically it was part of Jammu and Kashmir and two famous rulers of the state were belonging to the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Religious discrimination in Pakistan is a serious issue for the human rights situation in modern-day Pakistan. Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Shias and Ahmadis among other religious minorities often face discrimination and at times are even subjected to violence. In some cases, Christian churches and Ahmadi mosques and the worshippers themselves have been attacked. (ANI)

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No violation of Foreign Exchange Act at KIIFB, says Kerala Finance Minister

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 4 (ANI): Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Wednesday said that there was no violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in alleged case of external borrowings of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) through Masala Bonds.
“There is absolutely no violation of FEMA as we have received No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Reserve Bank of India (RBI),” said Thomas Isaac while speaking to ANI.
The Finance Minister further said: “There is a guideline that authorizes any body corporate to seek their permission to borrow through Masala bonds. KIIFB is body corporate.”
Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case against KIIFB for external borrowings through Masala Bonds without the permission of the union government.
Yesterday, ED sent a notice to KM Abraham, CEO of KIIFB and asked him to appear before its Kochi office on March 5. It also sent a notice to Deputy Managing Director Vikramjit Singh and asked him to appear before it on March 4.
KIIFB was constituted by the state government as a corporate body. In November 2020, it had initiated an investigation into the Masala bonds of the KIIFB, as per the sources.
Recently, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accused the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government of giving all the budget money to KIIFB. (ANI)

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Shimlipal Sanctuary fire brought under control, CM Patnaik asks officials to take preventive steps

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 4 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday held a review meeting with senior government officials and instructed them to take preventive measures after a fire raged in the Shimlipal Wildlife Sanctuary (STR) for days and has now been controlled.
Directing senior officials to take immediate preventive action Chief Minister said in a statement that “Shimlipal is not only a treasure trove of Odisha or India but also an invaluable asset of the whole world.
Informing the Chief Minister, Additional Chief Secretary Department of Forests and Environment, Dr Mona Sharma said that the blaze has been bought under control.
“No casualties were reported. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been issued to control the fire and no major trees have been damaged,” Sharma said, adding that the PCCF Wildlife is monitoring the situation and taking preventive steps at the spot.
Earlier on Tuesday Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted, “Distressed to learn about the forest fires raging in Simlipal Tiger Reserve from social media platforms. Request the urgent attention of Union Minister for Environment & Forest, Prakash Javadekar and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on this alarming situation at one of the most important biosphere reserves of the country.”
Later Union Minister Prakash Javadekar informed through a tweet that “he has ordered officers to take immediate action.” (ANI)

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Forest Department rescues leopard hit by moving vehicle in Nashik

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Nashik (Maharashtra) [India], March 4 (ANI): A leopard was hit by an unidentified moving vehicle when it was crossing a road in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, the forest department said on Wednesday.
However, the animal has rescued by the forest department.
“The leopard was rescued by our team and the treatment of the animal is underway. Though it is in a critical condition, we are trying our level best for its recovery,” said the Deputy Conservator of Forest.
Earlier in February, a leopard died after being hit by an unidentified moving vehicle on Manor highway in Palghar district. The carcass was handed over to the forest department.

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Three held with 265 gm brown sugar in Odisha’s Bhadrak

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Bhadrak (Odisha) [India], March 4 (ANI): Three people were arrested for allegedly peddling 265-gram brown sugar and cash and mobile phones were recovered from them in Odisha’s Bhadrak, police said on Wednesday.
Additional Superintendent of Police Jatin Panda said, “We have arrested three persons and recovered 265 grams brown sugar, 12 mobile phones, cash and a Scooty from them.”
Further details are awaited. (ANI)

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Odisha cancels MoU with Vedanta for constructing beds for medical college

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Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India] March 4 (ANI): The Odisha government cancelled the MoU signed with Vedanta Ltd for constructing a 500-bed teaching hospital for the medical college due to an inordinate delay in project execution, said a release on Wednesday.
According to the state Health and Family Welfare Department, the MoU was signed in March 2018 between the state government and Vedanta Ltd for the construction of beds for medical college at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district.
Now, the government has handed over the project to Worked Department and it will construct 650 bedded Teaching Hospital as required under the guidelines of the National Medical Commission for the establishment of Kalahandi Medical College and Hospital. (ANI)

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Bugin Ho school imparts education to tribal children in interesting ways in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 4 (ANI): A school at Godibari near Chandka in Odisha provides education to tribal children through story-telling, songs, dance, book reading and skits.
Bugin Ho, which means a place for good people, is an educational institute for indigenous school dropout children that encourages them not to drop out of regular schooling.
Speaking to ANI, the chief advisor of the school Sabita Patnaik said: “Women workers of the village set up Bugin Ho Siksha Kendra with the help of an NRI woman, Bandana Patnaik who lives in Bangkok for the education of these children. I have taken over the institute in 2012, and have been running it since then.”
She said that besides regular classes, students are given lessons on tribal language, art, and culture.

“We are conducting sessions in the morning and afternoon. It began with 10 to 12 students, but now the school strength is 60, with more girls. In fact, NGOs from neighbouring villages have also shown interest in replicating the model. The school has its gates open for all–both school-going students who seek remedial classes and those out of school,” Patnaik added.
Talking about COVID-19, she said: “During the pandemic, the children were facing issues as classes had turned online. But the institute had facilitated online learning and also created awareness about the coronavirus.
The students are also taught to take care of the kitchen garden in the school backyard. The lessons are taught through innovative methods. (ANI)

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