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India forces Nepal to drop ‘boundary issue’ from talks

As the two neighbouring countries plan to hold discussion on 17 August, assertive Indian diplomacy derails Nepal’s plan to push ‘boundary issue’ as one of the agendas of the parley.

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Through its aggressive diplomacy, India has derailed Nepal’s plan to push ‘boundary issue’ in the agenda which has been set for the talks to be held next week between both the nations. As India and Nepal decided to hold a talk probably on 17 August, Nepalese diplomats tried to include border issues as one of the agendas of the parley, which the Indian side was unwilling to discuss now.

Sources say it could be the Chinese ploy to prod Nepal to bring up contentious issues to bring the ties between both the neighbouring countries to a new low so that it could further its agenda to increase its influence in Kathmandu.

Therefore, India did not agree to Nepal’s repeated calls for a dialogue on the boundary issue including the recent dispute over Himalayan nation’s new political map.

India has set the agenda asking Nepal to keep focus on “reviewing progress in development and economic projects”. India argued that the meeting is being held under the mechanism set by both the countries which deals only with India-funded projects and their review. Why should there be any other issue side by side?

 In the meeting, India will remind Nepal of its cooperation with it at the time of crises including the one resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. India has supplied Covid-related medical aid to Kathmandu including 10 ventilators this week only. The meeting through video conferencing will be held between Indian Ambassador in Kathmandu, V.M. Kwatra and Nepal’s foreign secretary S.D. Bairagi. Other officials of Indian embassy and Nepalese foreign ministry will also be joining the meeting.

“The meeting will be riveted to economic and development projects, and ways to expedite the implementation of pending projects,” said a diplomat. In what is being seen as a result of diplomatic efforts by India, Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said, “There is no alternative to talks, as we can’t hold our entire ties hostage to the differences over the boundary issues.”  

“The meeting will focus only on the agenda India has set and nothing except that (read contentious issues) would be there,” an official added. However, India considers it to be an important meeting as it was long due and it is now going to be held in the backdrop of China expediting its efforts to increase its clout in the regions surrounding India.

Chinese growing ambition to this effect is already visible in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

China has always been trying to hijack the projects which Nepal wanted to hand over to India. With this in view, India is going to showcase the projects that it has implemented fast in Nepal so far and the also ones which are on the anvil. Diplomats will try and impress upon the Nepalese side how India could be of more use to them instead of other countries. After earthquake ravaged Nepal, it was India which helped it reconstruct and renovate all that was ruined by the catastrophe. India will apprise Nepal that New Delhi has allocated Rs 800 crore in this year’s budget for projects there.

 It may be recalled that India’s inauguration of a new road from Dharchula to Lipulekh on the Mansarovar Yatra route had angered the K.P. Sharma Oli government, which came out with a new map of Nepal. The area of 370 sq km at the tri-junction of Nepal, India and China (Tibet), which India maintains is its territory, was added to it. That is not all. The Nepali parliament passed a constitution amendment bill to legitimise the alteration or addition of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura to the map. “But India’s projects in Nepal are the only agenda that would come up in the meeting as it is being held under the mechanism set up to review the projects only,” asserted an official.

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Dalits and backwards receiving quota benefits post- Article 370 move, says Amit Shah

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Union Home minister Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir addressed a rally in the border district of Rajouri on Tuesday.


He said that after the abrogation of Article 370, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, reservation benefits were being given to Dalits, backwards and those living in the hills.


Shah first visited Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine on Tuesday in Katra. After this, he went to address a rally in the border district of Rajouri. Shah said, “Today’s rally and your ‘Modi-Modi’ chants are answers to those who said if Article 370 is abrogated, there will be a blood bath.”
He said only three families used to rule Jammu & Kashmir, but now the power is with 30,000 people elected to panchayats and district councils, adding development of Jammu and Kashmir is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s priority.


After the rally, the home minister will launch development projects and lay foundation stones for various projects at the Convention Centre in Jammu.
On the second day of his visit on Wednesday (October 5), Shah will review the security situation in the Union territory at a meeting slated to be held at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.


This is the second visit of the minister to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 by the Modi govt in 2019.

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Iran accuses US of ‘hypocrisy’ over anti-hijab protest

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Following President Joe Biden’s statement that he will impose “further costs” over its response to protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, Iran accused the US of “hypocrisy” on human rights on Tuesday.

Since the 22-year-old Kurdish woman died on September 16 following her arrest by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict clothing code for women, protest has erupted across the Islamic Republic.

Numerous individuals — largely protestors but also security personnel — have died as a result of the street violence, and hundreds have been arrested.

It would have been better for Mr. Joe Biden to think a little about the human rights record of his own country before making humanitarian gestures, although hypocrisy does not need to be thought through,” foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in an Instagram post, reported by Iranian media.

“The US president should be concerned about the numerous sanctions… against the Iranian nation, the sanctions whose imposition against any nation is a clear example of a crime against humanity,” he added.

Kanani was responding to a statement issued by the White House late on Monday in which Biden stated he would impose unspecified more sanctions against Iran later this week in addition to the crushing sanctions already in place over Iran’s nuclear activities.

This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters. We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely,” Biden said.

“The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery,” he added.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the top leader of Iran, charged earlier Monday that Israel and the US were behind the turmoil roiling the nation.

“I say clearly that these riots and the insecurity were engineered by America and the occupying, false Zionist regime, as well as their paid agents,” he said.

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Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilin awarded Nobel Prize in Physics

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This week is highlighted for the Nobel Prize 2022. Awards in different categories will be distributed this week. On Tuesday, Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded.


Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilin got the Nobel Prize at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
“The 2022 physics laureates’ development of experimental tools has laid the foundation for a new era of quantum technology. Being able to manipulate and manage quantum states and all their layers of properties gives us access to tools with unexpected potential,” the Nobel Prize committee said announcing the winners.


Last year as well, the prize was awarded to three scientists – Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi- for their work in explaining and predicting complex forces of nature which aided the understanding of climate change.


Monday marked the beginning of the Nobel Prize announcements, with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo winning the prize in medicine for his research on Neanderthal DNA.
Throughout the week, the prize will be awarded for chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday while the economics award will be given on October 10.

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Pakistan: Restaurant manager arrested after acid served in water bottles

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Bizarre news has made it to the headlines from Pakistan when a restaurant served acid in water bottles. The incident occurred at historic Greater Iqbal Park’s ‘Poet Restaurant’ on September 27. The minors are still undergoing medical treatment at a hospital.

The restaurant manager has been arrested by the Lahore police. An FIR has been registered against the manager for serving acid to two minors in water bottles at a birthday party at an eatery. According to the FIR, Muhammad Adil said he had a family birthday party at the poet restaurant.
“As the staff served the water bottles my nephew Ahmad washed his hands with it. Soon afterwards he started crying and we witnessed that his hands and arms suffered burn injuries as acid contained the water bottle,” complainant Adil said.


The other victim Wajiha, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, niece of Adil, started vomiting as she had drunk the acid in another water bottle.
Both were rushed to the hospital where the condition of Wajiha is stated to be critical.
Following section 336B of the Pakistan Penal Code (punishment for harm by corrosive chemicals), police have filed a case against the restaurant management and five other staff members.


Police official Tahir Waqas told PTI on Monday, “We have detained the restaurant manager Muhammad Javed, and raids were being conducted for the detention of others listed by the complaint.”
According to him, the eatery has been shut down by the police until they conduct their investigation. The officer declared, “This is an unusual situation, and we are looking into it thoroughly.

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Uttrakhand: Rescue ops underway for 28 climbing trainees caught in avalanche at Danda-2 peak

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Uttrakhand Rescue

According to Uttarakhand’s chief minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, up to 28 people could be trapped in an avalanche that struck Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain summit on Tuesday.

The imprisoned people, who are all students at the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi, are the subject of rescue operations. An avalanche reportedly struck the team this morning around 9:00.

“Information about 28 trainees of the Nehru Mountaineering Institute being trapped following an avalanche in Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak has been received. Rapid relief and rescue operations are underway by the district administration, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel,” CM Dhami said.

At the earliest, rapid relief and rescue operations are being carried out by the district administration, NDRF, SDRF, Army and ITBP personnel along with the team of NIM to rescue the trainees trapped in the avalanche in Draupadi’s Danda-2 mountain peak,” tweeted the chief minister, Dhami.

A team from the SDRF has hurriedly arrived at the Sahastradhara Helipad in Dehradun to rescue the trainees caught in an avalanche for rescue activities.

CM Dhami claimed that he had called Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, and asked for the army’s assistance in accelerating the rescue effort.

He has assured us that he will give us every possible help from the centre. A rescue operation is being conducted to bring out everyone,” Dhami said. 
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also took to Twitter and expressed his anguish over the loss of lives and consoled the bereaved families who lost their family members. 
“Deeply anguished by the loss of precious lives due to the landslide which has struck the mountaineering expedition carried out by the Nehru Mountaineering Institute in Uttarkashi. My condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet. 
“Spoke to CM Uttarakhand, Shri @PushkarDhamiand took stock of the situation. Rescue operations are underway to help the mountaineers who are still trapped. I have instructed the IAF to mount the rescue and relief ops. Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being,” Singh said. 

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Bombay High Court grants bail to Anil Deskmukh, remains in jail

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In a money laundering case brought by the Enforcement Directorate, the Bombay high court on Tuesday granted bail to former Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh.

The bail was granted on a surety amount of Rs 1 lakh. The ED has asked for a two-week delay in the order’s implementation.

Deshmukh was arrested in November of last year and moved the high court after his bail request was rejected earlier this year by a special PMLA court.

Deshmukh has been given bail in the ED case, but he will continue to be held in relation to the CBI case that was brought against him in April of last year.

The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the High Court to quickly hear and resolve the NCP leader’s case because it had been pending for six months.

Deshmukh’s lawyers, Vikram Chaudhari and Aniket Nikam, argued that the senior NCP politician ought to be given bail in light of his age (72), good health, and lack of prior convictions.

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