INDIA AND CHINA FINALLY BEGIN DISENGAGEMENT AT PANGONG LAKE - The Daily Guardian
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INDIA AND CHINA FINALLY BEGIN DISENGAGEMENT AT PANGONG LAKE

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The disengagement by Indian and Chinese frontline troops from the flashpoints at Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh began on Wednesday. Officials claimed that the process is taking place in a step-by-step manner.

The disengagement plan on the northern and southern banks of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh is based on a consensus reached during the ninth round of Corps Commander level meeting held between the two sides on January 24.

The spokesperson of China’s Ministry of National Defense, Wu Qian said: “According to the consensus reached by the 9th round of the military commander-level talks between China and India, the frontline units of the Chinese and Indian armed forces in Pangong Hunan and North Coast began to simultaneously and systematically organize disengagement on 10 February.” The Indian Army declined to comment, but the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi is expected to issue a statement on Thursday.

Since May 2020, thousands of troopers deployed by India and China were engaged in skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near the Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region. In one of the violent clashes, 20 Indian soldiers and over 40 people from the Chinese troops were killed in the Galwan Valley on 15-16 June.

Though both sides disengaged in the Galwan Valley in July, the stand-off continued at critical points at Pangong and PP17A. In August, Indian troops regained multiple strategic heights in the Chushul sector along the LAC.

However, both countries remained engaged in talks through established institutions and mechanisms like ‘Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs’ (WMCC). Several rounds of talks were held at diplomatic and military levels.

The ninth round was held on 24 January, after which follow-up meetings between the ground level commanders happened, leading to the initiation of the disengagement process with thinning of troops from Wednesday. According to sources, after the thinning of troops, tanks and weapons will be removed from the southern part of the lake.

The north bank of the lake is divided into 8 Fingers. The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as ‘Fingers’ in military parlance. The proposals for disengagement include China moving back to Finger 8 and Indian troops pulling back to the Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger 2 and 3. This will make Finger 4 a ‹no go› zone for some time for both the sides.

There have been regular face-offs between the two armies between Finger 4 and Finger 8, a distance of 8 km, on the northern bank of the lake. India claims the LAC at Finger 8 and had been holding on to the area till Finger 4, but in a clear alteration of status quo, the Chinese have been camping at Finger 4, setting up fortifications between Finger 5 and 8. Turning the Finger area into a no patrolling zone is part of the three-step disengagement roadmap that is under consideration.

In the third step, the Indian Army will withdraw from all the 13 critical heights and territories, including Rezang La, along the southern bank of Pangong Lake which gave India an edge over China.

On August 30 last year, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari and Tabletop that were unmanned till now. India has also made some deployments near Blacktop. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.

The dominance at peaks allows India to dominate the Spanggur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side. If things work out, India would leave the heights occupied on the south of the lake in August-end, as per the disengagement proposal.

Thereafter, withdrawal of troops from several friction points is also proposed and these include the Depsang plains and heights around Gogra, among some other locations.

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PM Modi to address Mann Ki Baat today

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address 2021’s second Mann Ki Baat on Sunday at 11 AM.
“Tune in tomorrow at 11 AM. #MannKiBaat,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
On February 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited people of the country to share their inspiring stories in the field of art, culture, and tourism.
“Through inspiring examples, January’s #MannKiBaat highlighted diverse topics ranging from art, culture, tourism and agri innovation. Would love to hear more such motivating anecdotes for the programme in February, which will take place on the 28th,” PM Modi tweeted and shared a link for the people inviting ideas for the next ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Prime Minister Modi had also shared a toll-free number for people to record their message in either Hindi or English.
In the last Mann Ki Baat in January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the countrymen to write about freedom fighters and stories of their struggle to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day this year.
“Mann ki Baat” is the Prime Minister’s monthly radio programme to the nation, which is broadcasted on the last Sunday of every month. (ANI)

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Rajasthan: MBBS student dies by suicide in Jodhpur

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Jodhpur (Rajasthan) [India], February 28 (ANI): A student studying MBBS died allegedly by suicide in Jodhpur, according to the police official on Saturday.
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“The classmates called the student for dinner at night, but no response was received from the closed room. Despite calling and knocking on the door, there was no response. The student’s cousin, who was preparing for PMT, also came there. When everyone pushed and opened the door, everyone presumed that the student died by suicide,” said Mathur.
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Hisar (Haryana) [India], February 28 (ANI): Khap panchayat in Hisar on Saturday decided to increase the rate of milk against farm laws and rising fuel prices.
“We have decided to give milk at the price of Rs 100/litre. We urge dairy farmers to sell milk at the same price to government cooperative societies,” said the Panchayat spokesperson.
Many people were sitting in agitation against the rising fuel prices coupled with their angst against the recently passed farm laws.
Amid surging fuel prices in the country, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on February 21 termed “less fuel production by manufacturing countries to gain more profit” as one of the reasons behind the price hike.
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Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November last year, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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Gumla (Jharkhand) [India], February 28 (ANI): A civilian was severely injured in Gumla city of Jharkhand after he accidentally stepped on an Improvised explosive device (IED) planted by Naxalites, according to the Jharkhand Police on Saturday.
“A civilian was severely injured in Gumla, Jharkhand after he accidentally stepped on an IED planted by Naxalites with an intention to cause harm to security forces,” read a statement by the Jharkhand Police.
“He was airlifted to Ranchi for treatment,” informed the police. (ANI)

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SC CJI inaugurates new centenary building of Patna HC, RS Prasad reminisces his association

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Patna (Bihar) [India], February 28 (ANI): Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressed the inauguration of the new centenary building of Patna High Court on Saturday and reminisces his association with Patna High Court.
Prasad in a tweet said: “Attended the Centenary Building inauguration in Patna High Court along with CJI Justice Bobde and many Supreme Court and High Court judges and Chief Minister of Bihar.”
While addressing the inauguration, Prasad tweeted and said, “Recalled my association with Patna High Court where I started my law practice and argued many historic cases. Recalled the contributions of the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad who practiced in Patna High Court which was established in 1916.”
“The evolution of Patna High Court is very interesting, it was established in 1916, and later in many ways, it became the identity of the new state of Bihar. Today, Patna High Court is a proud symbol of Bihar’s identity,” said Prasad.
“Recalled the glorious traditions of Patna High Court which was established in 1916 and where great lawyers, freedom fighter and the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad practiced,” tweeted Prasad.
“During challenging times of pandemic 52,353 cases were heard digitally in Supreme Court. 24.55 Lakhs cases were heard digitally in High Courts. 51.83 Lakh cases were heard digitally in District Court,” said the Union Minister.
“We have created a National Judicial Data Grid in collaboration with the Supreme Court where 18.09 Crore case status you can know at a click of a button and 13.59 crore orders and judgments of all the Courts of India are available,” informed the Union Minister.
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Supreme Court Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde inaugurated the new centenary building of Patna High Court on Saturday.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were also present at the event. (ANI)

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Pune: 30-year-old researcher at National Chemical Laboratory found murdered

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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): A 30-year-old researcher at the National Chemical Laboratory was found murdered in the Pashan area of Pune on Saturday.
“A 30-year-old researcher at National Chemical Laboratory was found murdered in Pashan area of Pune, earlier on Saturday. A case has been registered,” informed the Pune city police.
According to police, the victim was brutally murdered and his face was also hit with a stone in order to hide his identity. Morning walkers in the area found the body lying in their way and informed police in the morning at around 8:30 am.
The deceased was a resident of the Jalna district of Maharashtra. The deceased was residing in the Sutarwadi area of Pune and was a research scholar at National Chemical Laboratory in the Pashan area.
According to police the victim was found brutally murdered by the culprit, his throat was also found slit and clothes were also found removed at the time when police recovered the body.
“Further investigation is underway,” the police informed. (ANI)

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