As per details shared by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in the parliament on Thursday, the Chabahar port, which has provided much needed sea-access to the landlocked countries of the region, including Afghanistan, has emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region.
According to the government of India, a total of 2.5 million tons of wheat and two thousand tons of pulses has been trans-shipped from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port till date.
The port was used to supply humanitarian assistance, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under this, India utilized the Chabahar
port to ship 75,000 MTs of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan in 2020. In 2021, India supplied 40,000 litres of environment-friendly pesticide to Iran to fight locust menace.
The said information was shared by the government of India while responding to a question asked by Congress Rajya Sabha MP and senior lawyer, Vivek Tankha.
The port has been utilized by the other Central Asian Countries to access the global market and has increased trade and economic opportunities for the traders of the region as It is a more economical and stable route for landlocked countries of the region to reach India and the global market.
The trilateral agreement to set up the International Transport and Transit Corridor (Chabahar Agreement) was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan during the visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016.
As per the agreement, India is participating in the development of the first phase of the Shahid Beheshti Terminal, Chabahar Port in cooperation with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
India, under this agreement, has committed total grant assistance of USD 85 Million and a credit facility of USD 150 Million for the development of the terminal and has supplied 6 Mobile Harbour Cranes (two 140 tons and four 100 tons capacity) and other equipment worth USD 25 Million.
In December 2018, the Indian company, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL), through its wholly owned subsidiary, India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), took over the operations of the Chabahar Port and since then, it has handled 215 vessels, 16,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and 4 million tons of bulk and general cargo.
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French Rafale jets stop over in India during Indo-Pacific deployment
A French air and space force contingent, including three Rafale jets, was hosted in India during an Indo-Pacific deployment on Wednesday, a statement issued by the French Embassy in New Delhi said.
The contingent, which was en route to New Caledonia, was hosted for a technical stopover at the Air Force Station in Sulur town in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district on August 10-11 during a long-distance deployment from metropolitan France to the Pacific Ocean.
“From 10th August to 18th September, the French Air and Space Force is carrying out a major long-range mission in the Indo-Pacific, code-named Pegase 22. The first stage of this mission aims to demonstrate France’s capacity for long-distance air power projection by deploying an Air Force contingent from metropolitan France to the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean in less than 72 hours (10th–12th August). To achieve this unprecedented 16,600-km deployment, the Air Force contingent made a technical stopover in India, at Air Force Station Sulur,” the statement read.
The contingent, which comprises three Rafale jets and support aircraft, landed at Air Force Station Sulur on Wednesday evening and flew out in the early hours of Thursday after refuelling, as per the French Embassy.
“The operation demonstrated a high level of mutual trust and interoperability between the French and Indian Air Forces, which has been further boosted by the fact that both air forces now fly Rafale jets. It also illustrated the concrete implementation of the reciprocal logistics support agreement signed by France and India in 2018,” the statement read further.
Lauding the IAF’s role in this successful operation, the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, said: “France is a resident power of the Indo-Pacific, and this ambitious long-distance air power projection demonstrates our commitment to the region and our partners. It is only natural that to carry out this mission, we rely on India, our foremost strategic partner in Asia. My heartfelt thanks to the Indian Air Force for welcoming the French contingent.”
In the following stages of Mission Pegase 22, the French Air Force contingent will take part in the “Pitch Black” air exercise taking place in Australia from 17th August to 10th September. The Indian Air Force will also participate in this multilateral drill, along with Australia, Japan, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and South Korea.
Mission Pegase 22 is a powerful demonstration of France’s capacity for quick deployment in the Indo-Pacific. The mission is also proof that the security situation in Europe has not diminished the French and European commitments in the Indo-Pacific. In this respect, it also aims to strengthen ties with key strategic partners, such as India, and underline France’s support for security and stability in the region.
India and France have traditionally had close and friendly relations. In 1998, the two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership, which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.
FIDAYEEN ATTACK ON ARMY POST IN RAJOURI, FOUR JAWANS KILLED
Two terrorists who attacked the army post in Parghal are killed in retaliatory fire.
Four Indian Army soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were killed and one other injured, when two fidayeen tried to enter an army post in Parghal area of Darhal in Rajouri district. The terrorists attacked the post in early hours of the day. However, alert soldiers neutralised the two suicide attackers in retaliatory fire.
“In the early hours of 11 Aug 2022, alert sentries of the Indian Army post at Parghal, District Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir detected some suspicious persons approaching their post taking advantage of the inclement weather and dense foliage. The sentries challenged the two terrorists who threw grenades while attempting to gain entry inside the post.
However alert troops cordoned the area and engaged them in a firefight thereby pinning them. In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were neutralised,” Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand informed the reporters here.
Out of six soldiers who were injured while repulsing the suicide attack by terrorists four succumbed to their injuries.
The soldiers killed in the attack are Subedar Rajendra Prasad of Maligoven village in Jhunjhunu and Riflemen Lakshmanan D of T Pudupatti village in Madurai, Manoj Kumar of Shahjahanpur village in Faridabad and Nishant Malik of Adarsh Nagar in Hisar.
Special Operation Groups of the police were immediately sent to cordon off the area. The police and army were already on high alert after intelligence inputs regarding the movement of two suspects in Darhal area. Mukesh Singh, Additional Director General of Police, Jammu, said, “As reported by 11 Raj Rifles, someone tried to cross the fence of the army camp at Parghal. Sentry challenged and an exchange of fire took place. Additional parties dispatched for the location which is around 6 km from police station Darhal.”
According to sources, the two terrorists came from South Kashmir and were camping in Darhal for the past few days. CCTV cameras installed in shops of the Darhal market captured the movements of these terrorists carrying guns.
Sources said that the terrorists were armed with AK series rifles, grenades and other arms and ammunitions, which could hold them longer against a retaliatory fire by security forces.
They were also carrying thousands of rupees in Indian currency. Wire cutter to cut fence to sneak into the army operational base and knives for close attack on army jawans were also recovered from the terrorists killed in the operation.
Notably, the attack comes a day after three LeT terrorists were neutralised by security forces in Budgam. One of the killed terrorists was involved in the killing of civilians Rahul Bhat and Amreen Bhat.
Noida Assault Case: UP Court rejects Shrikant Tyagi’s bail plea
Uttar Pradesh court rejected the bail plea of Shrikant Tyagi on Thursday for assaulting and abusing a woman.
Uttar Pradesh police arrested Tyagi on Tuesday near Noida. In a viral video, Tyagi was seen assaulting and abusing a woman at Grand Omaxe in Noida’s Sector 93.
Earlier on Monday, the police recovered his luxury vehicles and bulldozed his residence in the society. The Noida administration began the demolition of illegal construction at the Grand Omaxe, Noida. After this, the people of society were seen distributing sweets amongst themselves.
The FIR was lodged against Tyagi after a group of his supporters entered the society and started shouting slogans. The Gangster Act against Tyagi had also been invoked by the police.
“A separate FIR under IPC sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 482 (punishment for using a false property mark) has been registered against the accused in light of the Fortuner car recovered from the society premises on Saturday,” Additional DCP Ranvijay Singh said.
Earlier speaking to media persons Tyagi said, “I express my regret on the incident. She is like my sister, the incident is political and was done to decimate me.”
Meanwhile, the Noida Police said that Tyagi was using an MLA sticker on his car and was given by UP MLC Swami Prasad Maurya.
However, Srikant Tyagi claims to be a member of Bharatiya Janata Party Kishan Morcha. He has been accused of allegedly abusing and pushing a woman during an argument of Grand Omaxe society. The video of the said incident occurred on 5 August.
2 die, 6 others injured in communal clash in Karnataka’s Koppal
A clash broke out between two communities in which two people died and six others were injured. The incident took place at the Hulihyder village of Koppal district in Karnataka.
On the occasion of Muharram, a Hindu boy went to meet a Muslim girl, following which an argument broke out between the two sections.
The two people who lost their lives were identified as Pasha Walli (22) and Yenakappa Talavad (60). In the alleged communal clash two people succumbed to their injuries and died in the hospital.
Meanwhile, after this people from both communities joined them and started beating each other. So far, eight people were injured in the clash.
Moreover, in the area, the local administration has imposed Section 144.
However, further investigation into the matter is underway.
Income Tax raids in Maharashtra; Rs 390 crores assets seized
The Income Tax Department raided the premises of a textile trader, steel, and real estate developer in Maharashtra. While raiding the Income Tax Department seized properties worth crores of rupees.
The raids lasted from 1 August to 8 August at the businessmen located in Jalna district. The total value of the seized assets is around 390 crores. It includes 56 crores of cash and 32 kg of gold, diamonds, and pearls. The department has also seized relevant documents.
According to officials, the businessman was accused of tax evasion, and based on information received in this regard, the Income Tax Department team raided last week.
Moreover, a senior official of the department said 56 crore cash and seized jewelry are worth Rs 14 crore. Apart from documents, digital data has also been found in the action.
However, the Income Tax Department has also raided the houses, offices, and factories of steel makers in Jalna. In recent days, the investigating agencies have taken many big actions in some states including Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal and have seized cash worth crores of rupees.
WB SSC Scam: Former SSC Advisor Shanti Prasad and Chairman Ashok Saha sent to CBI custody
Former West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) advisor Shanti Prasad and former SSC chairman Ashok Saha were sent to CBI custody.
Earlier on Wednesday Saha and Sinha were arrested in connection with the teacher recruitment scam.
Shanti Prasad and Ashok Saha were produced before the Alipore Court on Thursday. In which the CBI was granted custody till 17 August of these two persons.
However, the arrests come after former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee’s arrests.
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