Army Chief General M.M. Naravane said on Friday that the country’s failure to keep its promises on connectivity and security to its neighbours, coupled with China’s rising footprints are major concerns for the region.
“The rising footprints of China in India’s neighbourhood and its attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the disputed borders have created an environment of confrontation and mutual distrust,” General Naravane said during an annual seminar of Assam Rifles and United Services Institution over the evolving security challenges in the Northeast and the way forward.
The Army chief said that regional and internal connectivity is acutely linked to security.
Talking about the Northeast and the prevailing situation in the region, Naravane said, “It is vital to unleash the potential of Northeast and balance the influence of China.”
He pointed out that with the failure to deliver on promises, delivery deficit has plagued India’s efforts to improve regional connectivity. The Kaladan Multi-modal Transport Project and the Trilateral Highway have both seen cost and time overruns, he pointed out.
Talking about China, Naravane stated that the security environment is characterised by Chinese belligerence in the Indo-Pacific, its hostility towards weaker nations and relentless drive to create regional dependencies through initiatives like the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.
The resultant China-US rivalry has created regional imbalance and instability, the Army chief said.
On Nepal, Naravane said the neighbouring country, which is India’s long-term partner and has witnessed heavy Chinese investment, is going through a period of political volatility.
“While Bhutan has been cautious in its approach, we have seen an upswing in our relations with Bangladesh,” he added.
This year, India is celebrating the Swarnim Vijay Varsh to commemorate its victory over Pakistan in the 1971 War for Liberation of Bangladesh.
The sight of the tri-service contingent from Bangladesh marching down Rajpath on Republic Day bodes well for India’s future relations, although growing radicalisation in the society remains a serious concern. The ongoing dynamics in these neighbouring countries directly impact the security environment in the Northeast.
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Fake notes worth Rs 7.9 cr seized in Odisha, 3 held
Koraput (Odisha) [India], March 2 (ANI): Fake Indian Currency notes worth face value of Rs 7.9 crore have been seized by the police in Koraput district of Odisha on Tuesday.
According to the police, three people have been arrested in connection with this case.
“All the notes were of Rs 500 denomination,” the police said.
A case in this matter has been registered at Pottangi Police Station in the district under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)
People feeling suffocated due to current majoritarian form of democracy, says AIMIM Chief Owaisi
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], March 2 (ANI): Party President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday alleged that people were feeling “suffocated” due to the current majoritarian form of democracy.
Addressing a rally here, ahead of Telangana MLC polls, Owaisi said: “Today, every citizen in India wants that his or her voice should be heard. But, they are feeling suffocated due to the current majoritarian form of democracy. We have to strengthen the participative form of democracy in the country to fulfill dreams seen by freedom fighters.”
Telangana MLC polls are slated to be held on March 14 this year.
Earlier on Monday, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) said that they will contest Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu as well.
“We will contest Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. Some of our candidates won in Gujarat local body polls. I’ll be going to Rajasthan today to review and speak with party members. Our party workers are also working hard in Uttar Pradesh,” Owaisi had said. (ANI)
Punjab Budget session: AAP slams Governor for skipping para in his speech on farmers’ stir
Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday hit out at the Punjab Governor Vijayender Pal Singh Badnore for allegedly skipping the paragraph on the ongoing farmers’ movement during his address in the state Vidhan Sabha on the second day of the budget session.
Addressing a press conference here, Leader of Opposition (LoP) of Punjab Assembly and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema said, “The Governor skipped the paragraph in his speech which mentioned the ongoing farmers’ agitation across the country.”
Terming the Governor’s speech as a hoax, he said: “The speech mentioned that the farmers’ debts were waived off in the state and job opportunities have been created in Punjab. But the reality is that the youths of Punjab are struggling from unemployment and farmers in the state are committing suicide due to loans.”
AAP MLA Aman Arora mentioned that a notice was issued to discuss the ongoing mining mafia in Punjab in the Assembly, but was dismissed by Speaker saying that the issue was not fresh.
“The notice also mentioned the names of the bigwigs running the mining mafia should be made public but they avoided it,” he told media here. (ANI)
Ward boy arrested for molesting female COVID patient in Maharashtra’s Thane
Thane (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Maharashtra Police on Tuesday arrested a ward boy at Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) COVID-19 Centre in Thane for allegedly molesting a woman patient on February 28.
Police in an official statement said that a case has been registered against the ward boy at Bazarpeth Police Station in Kalyan.
“In a shocking incident, a female COVID-19 positive patient had arrived at KDMC Covid Centre in Kalyan to admit herself for treatment. Here, she alleges, that a ward boy molested her while she awaited treatment. After filing a complaint, now an FIR has been registered and the accused arrested,” the statement said.
It added that the victim informed her husband about the incident via a telephone call and cried out for help, following which the ward boy fled the scene.
“Further investigation in the case is underway,” police added. (ANI)
Air services from Ayodhya I’ntl airport expected to start early next year
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 2 (ANI): After the Central government’s nod for an international airport in Ayodhya, the construction work for the project is on full swing and air services are expected to start early next year, according to a state government official.
This comes ahead of the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
On November 9, 2019, a five-judge of the Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi ruled in favour of Ram Lalla and said that the entire disputed land spread over 2.7 acres will be handed over to a trust formed by the government, which will monitor the construction of a Ram Temple at the site.
In February 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the constitution of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
On August 5, 2020, PM Modi performed the Bhoomi puja for the construction of the Ram Temple.
Recently, the Central government has disbursed Rs 250 Crore and the State government has also allocated a sum of Rs 1000 Crore for the construction of an international airport in Ayodhya.
The state government has approved a total amount of Rs 1001 crore 77 lakh to purchase 555.66 acres of land for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s dream project Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram Airport in Ayodhya.
Apart from this, a separate provision of 100 million rupees has been made for Ayodhya Airport in the next financial year 2020-21. So far, an amount of 9,47.91 crore has been released by the state government to purchase the land. 377 acres of land has also been made available to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for the development of the airport so far.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath started planning a strategy for the all-round development of Ayodhya after coming to power. He instructed to work out an action plan for the international level air connectivity of Ayodhya, including the airport, and other necessary facilities.
The central government also selected the Ayodhya airstrip on October 4, 2018 for the Ayodhya-Hindon air route under the Regional Connectivity Scheme of the Government of India.
On November 6, 2018, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster had announced the development of an airstrip at Ayodhya for large aircrafts such as A 320 and B 737, construction of suitable runway and terminal building. Later, in order to develop an international airport in Ayodhya, the Chief Minister modifying his earlier announcement ordered to develop the airport for Code-E B777-300 type aircrafts.
An MoU was signed on February 24, 2014 between the state government and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for the operation of civilian air services from the state airstrip in Ayodhya.
At that time there was Congress at the centre and Samajawadi Party government in the state and the entire area of the runway was 177 acres and the runway size (length and width) was 1500 meters X 45 meters, but the project remained unimplemented. (ANI)
54 students of Karnal school hostel test positive for COVID-19
Karnal (Haryana) [India], March 2 (ANI): A total of 54 students of a school hostel tested positive for Covid-19 here on Tuesday following which the classes and other academic activities in the school were suspended, informed an official.
Yogesh Kumar Sharma, Civil Surgeon, Karnal told ANI, “54 students of a school hostel have tested positive for COVID-19 in Karnal, Haryana. Our medical teams have reached the spot and the hostel is being marked as a containment zone.”
In February, the Haryana government had decided to reopen schools in the state for students of classes 1 and 2 from March 1.
Schools in Haryana also resumed for the students of classes 3 to 5 from February 24.
Meanwhile, India reported 12,286 new cases in the last 24 hours.
India’s total active caseload stands at 1.68 lakh (1,68,358) today. The country’s present active caseload now consists of 1.51 per cent of India’s total positive cases. (ANI)
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