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INDIA WANTS PEACE, BUT READY FOR WAR, SAYS RAJNATH AS ARMY GEARS UP FOR WINTER

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accuses China of illegally occupying 38,000 sq km of land in Ladakh & violating bilateral agreements; Indian Army gets busy beefing up stocks of food, ammunition, fuel and the winter gear.

Rajat Rakesh Tandon

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It was an assertive Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who made a statement in the Lok Sabha on the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and said that India wants peace but is prepared for war.

Talking about his visit to Moscow, Singh said that both he and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had met their Chinese counterparts and “we have clarified that we want to peacefully resolve the issue and would like the Chinese side to work with us, but then there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

The Defence Minister also explained to the House about the current situation at the LAC where China is building heavy infrastructure in a volatile situation. Singh also added that the border issue is still not resolved with China as there is a difference of perception on border lines between the two countries. China continues to be in illegal occupation of approximately 38,000 square km in the UT of Ladakh.

Meanwhile, as per top defence sources, the Army is preparing itself for long, arduous winter in Ladakh, which witnesses sub-zero temperatures and is mostly cut off from the rest of the country for months.

The Army has been beefing up its stocks of food, ammunition, fuel and more importantly the winter gear. Major General Arvind Kapoor, Chief of Staff of the Fire and Fury Corps — also known as the XIV Corps which has the mandate of securing the frontiers along the China and Pakistan borders from Kargil to Ladakh — said the unit takes pride in its advance winter stocking. “Our stocking levels, be it rations, fuel, oils and lubricants, tentage and heating appliances which includes bukhari (heaters) or kero-heaters, or be it ammunition, are in good numbers,” PTI quoted Kapoor as saying.

PTI also quoted Brigadier A.S. Rathore as saying, “We hold complete requirements of supplies for all troops which are deployed in the Ladakh sector. All warehouses are completely full to the brim.”

As for the Defence Minister, he also accused China of blatantly violating the bilateral agreements made between the two countries in 1993 and 1996. Rajnath Singh added that aggression by Chinese soldiers was stopped by “our forces from time to time and in the way it was needed”. Singh also added that there are some details and information related to forces and border areas, but as they are sensitive, “I am not placing those facts on record in the House”.

The Congress chose to walk out after Rajnath Singh’s statement and alleged that the government didn’t allow the Opposition to speak on the issue. Talking to the media after staging a protest, leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, said that he had given notice in the Lok Sabha and they can order discussion under any rule. “Nehru discussed after1962 for two days on China. As the Opposition, we supported the resolution brought by RM (Defence Minister), but I want to question that while speaking, Rajnath Singh praised Mr Modi on tackling the issue, but why was he absent when such a serious matter was being listed in the House.” The Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has been running away from discussion on China.

With agency inputs

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Kashmir: 2 terrorists killed, arms and ammunition recovered

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Security forces

 In a joint operation, Indian security forces gunned down two terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the Anantnag district of South Kashmir. LeT is headed by UNdesignated global terrorist Hafiz Saeed and operates mainly from Pakistan. “Two LeT terrorists killed, incriminating material including arms and ammunition recovered. Search going on, further details shall follow,” said Jammu and Kashmir police in a tweet. 

Chinar corps-Indian Army in a tweet said, “#Update Op Sirhama, Anantnag. Two terrorists killed. One AK and one INSAS rifle recovered. Joint operation in progress.” The firefight between the terrorists and the security forces started in the Sirhama area on Thursday evening after security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on the basis of specific information about the presence of terrorists. As the security forces zeroed in on the spot, where the terrorists were hiding, they came under a heavy volume of fire that triggered the encounter.

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Andhra govt to provide special health cards for animals

Lokeswara Rao

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Andhra Minister

To provide top-notch health care services to all the animals, the Jagan Mohan government in Andhra Pradesh is now giving out health cards to over 1 crore livestock in the state.

 In order to elevate the animal husbandry industry in the state to the next level, the Animal Husbandry department is actively educating the farmers about the best practices followed across the world. Using these health cards, the owners can avail a wide range of necessary healthcare services at the village level, without having to pay a penny.

 The department has also taken up the responsibility of training the breeders via a special course called the ‘Pasu Vignana Badi’, which consists of practical training in the form of demonstrations, apart from imparting theoretical knowledge. 

The Pasu Vignana Badi acts as an encyclopedia for Animal Husbandry related aspects. Right from the Do’s and Don’ts to best practices, everything will be taught to the farmers via the Pasu Vignana Badi. Its main objective is to impart training and render extension services to the farmers at the village level through a low cost, lean structure model, to evaluate present practices adopted by the farmers and suggest suitable improved practices. 

The government has entered into an MoU with Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) to strengthen the Dairy Co-operative societies at the village and district levels by involving women of the village, farmers, producers and other organisations. Steps are being taken to establish Milk Collection Centres at various RBKs and to market hygienic milk products through Co-operative societies.

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Manipur CM inducts 5 new ministers, drops 6 in Cabinet reshuffle

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N Biren Singh

In a major political development, two ex-MLAs got ministerial berths as Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh finally effected a major cabinet reshuffle in his three and a half years council of ministers on Friday amid resentment within the BJP-led coalition government.

 Biren Singh is heading a coalition government of the BJP, NPP, Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the LJP. Singh dropped six cabinet ministers-3 from BJP, 2 from NPP and the lone LJP minister and inducted five new faces, reducing the strength of his council of ministers to 11.

 Governor Najma Heptulla in a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan administered the oath of office to the five new ministers — Sorokhaibam Rajen, Vungzagin Valte, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Thokcham Satyabrata Singh and Okram Henry Singh. 

The NPP had four ministers in the BJP-led government in the northeastern state and the party had on Wednesday decided in a meeting that it will come out of the coalition ministry if anyone is dropped from the cabinet. 

Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen was the only woman minister in the 12-member cabinet led by Biren Singh.

 The Chief Minister had gone to New Delhi with BJP state president S. Tikendra Singh on September 21 and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other central leaders.

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Youth found murdered in Telangana’s Sangareddy, honour killing suspected

Lokeswara Rao

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In a shocking case of alleged honour killing, a youth from Hyderabad was kidnapped and murdered allegedly by the family members of his wife for marrying her against their wish. The body of Hemant Kumar, 28, was found in Sangareddy district near Hyderabad. 

Hemant and his wife Avanti were kidnapped by a group of people from their house in TNGO colony in Gachibowli area around 3 p.m. on Thursday. 

While Avanti managed to escape from their clutches by jumping out of a car, they took her husband to the city outskirts and murdered him. 

Hyderabad police have reportedly arrested 12 people in connection with “the kidnap and murder”. They include Avanti’s maternal uncle, cousins and hired killers. 

Hemant and Avanti were neighbours and fell in love about eight years ago. While they wanted to marry but the girl’s family, belonging to an upper caste, was opposed to the marriage.

 Avanti’s parents locked her in the home in November last year and were looking for another alliance. She later managed to escape and on 10 June this year, Hemant and Avanti entered into the wedlock at a temple in BHEL. 

As the couple faced threats from Avanti’s family, they approached Cyberabad Police Commissioner V. C. Sajjanar, who referred the matter to Chandanagar police station. Both sides were called to the police station and Avanti’s family was told not to trouble the couple. 

However, on Thursday a group of more than 10 people in three cars reached Hemant’s house and asked the couple to come with them. 

“We were told that they want to discuss the issue and we boarded the cars. After a few minutes I realized that we have been kidnapped and I jumped out of the car,” Avanti told reporters.

 However, the car carrying Hemant sped away towards Outer Ring Road. Though Avanti and Hemant’s parents alerted police, the vehicle could not be traced and the youth’s family was informed by police early Friday that his body was found in a field near Patancheru in Sangareddy district. 

This is the second such sensational case of honour killing in the state in two years. Earlier, Pranay, (24), a Dalit youth was hacked to death by a hired killer in full public view when he along with his wife Amrutha and mother were coming out of a private hospital in Miryalaguda on September 14, 2018. The sensational murder was caught on a CCTV camera. Amrutha’s father Maruthi Rao, who was against the marriage, had struck the deal to kill Pranay for Rs 1 crore. 

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Farmers protest in unique way against farm bills in Tamil Nadu

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With growing opposition against the Farm Bills, protests were held in various cities of Tamil Nadu on Friday as part of the nation-wide bandh against the “farm reforms”. Led by the Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association President P. Ayyakannu, farmers sat outside the Collector’s office in Trichy with human skulls, chained hands, and nooses around their necks to demonstrate against the Agri Bills passed by the parliament.

 Farmers also protested against the Bills in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tiruppur and Namakkal districts. In Nagapattinam district and at a couple of other places, members of the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist protested on the roads against the Bills. In Tambaram near here, farmers and members of the CPI-M also protested against the Bills. Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister R. Doraikkannu said the Bills will not impact the farmers in Tamil Nadu.

 According to Agriculture Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi, it was Tamil Nadu that first brought in a law for contract farming in the country, and he also assured that the farmers will get the contracted price from the corporates irrespective of market fluctuations. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has also supported the Bills, saying they are beneficial for the state’s farmers.

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Farmer’s pain will hopefully reach the central government, says Captain Amarinder

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CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday said that the pain of agitating farmers, who braved the pandemic and the heat to protest against the agriculture bills, will hopefully reach the central government and expressed hope that it will gracefully back off from its decision regarding these bills.

 “Maybe the distressing visuals of tens of hundreds of farmers out on the roads at hundreds of locations in Punjab, and in several other states, will touch the hearts of the central leadership,” the Chief Minister said adding that perhaps the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will now realize its folly. 

Reiterating his commitment to fight the farm bills till his last breath, Captain Amarinder also urged the President of India not to give his assent to the bills. The bills, if implemented, will have devastating effects for the border state of Punjab, as well as for the entire nation, he warned, charging the Centre with ignoring the farmer’s concerns to promote the interests of their capitalist cronies.

 The Chief Minister said that his government, along with the Punjab Congress, will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers to oppose the bills, and will take whatever steps needed, including moving the courts, in the matter. 

He further said that the Akali double standards have been exposed by the fact that they continued to be a part of the ruling coalition at the Centre and had, till date, refused to even come out with any public criticism of the union government.

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