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IPS officer helps people fight Covid-19

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An Indian Police Service (IPS) officer has been trying to help people in his own way to fight these difficult times arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Karuna Sagar, Director Modernisation, Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D), Delhi, has been supporting the people of Jehanabad (Bihar) from where he belongs to, through different means, be it food items or masks or sanitizers.

“It’s like going back to my roots. Jehanabad has been my ‘karm bhoomi’. Though I have been involved in social activities there for a long time, I thought I should do more during these difficult times. I got in touch with the District Magistrate (DM) and the Red Cross Society to execute relief measures,” he said while speaking to The Daily Guardian.

 Besides distributing masks, Sagar, with the help of Reliance Foundation, got 400 food packets, containing dry ration, distributed in Jehanabad. At his initiative, Star Health Insurance, Chennai, gave Rs 4.12 lakh for distribution of 500 packets of food grains in Jehanbad.  

 Sagar, a 1991-batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre was born in Dhamaul village, under Dhamarua block of Patna district, which is on the Patna-Gaya Road and close to Jehanabad. While he was posted in Tamil Nadu, he got a temple constructed by artisan of Madurai in the South Indian style.

He has been engaged in different social activities like distribution of clothes and blankets in winters. During floods, he arranged two containers of relief materials which were distributed to the people through the Red Cross Society. He is also arranging kits for carpenters who have returned to Jehanabad during the lockdown.

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BJP’s Subhash Sarkar accuses TMC of using police to win polls

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) is using the West Bengal police to win elections, said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and MP from Bankura, Dr Subhash Sarkar on Thursday.
“TMC had won 2014, 2016 and 2019 elections in West Bengal by putting the state police in front and creating hooliganism on its back,” Satkar told ANI.
Sarkar’s statement came as a reaction to TMC leader Firhad Hakim’s earlier statement where he slammed the BJP and alleged that it is using the Border Security Force (BSF) to ‘terrorise’ people to vote in the party’s favour for the upcoming state elections.
Sarkar challenged Hakim to file an FIR if he has any proof to support his claim and further urged the public to see through TMC’s ploy.
“Central forces are there so that people can avoid pressure from the state government. I want to ask the TMC leader that if he has any proof, then he should file the FIR directly. They can also go to the BSF office and action will be taken on their complaint. But, if there is no evidence, then they should take back their statement,” he stated.
He further alleged that the violence against BJP workers is still prevalent in West Bengal and reiterated that the presence of central forces is necessary to reinstate confidence in the public that when they’ll go to vote, no harm will come upon them.
He also criticized the arrest of BJP Janata Yuva Morcha president Suresh Shaw and two other activists by the state police.
“The slogans were raised by their (TMC) people. But, all the legal action will be taken against the BJP workers. We fight with the democratic system. That is why the BJP is gaining people’s confidence,” he stated.
He further alleged that TMC helped in rehabilitating refugees from Rohingya in West Bengal and said, “It is not unknown who gave the statement in their favour when Rohingyas entered Bengal. The West Bengal Chief Minister and all the ministers spoke in their favour. They have made arrangements so that Rohingyas can get voter ID cards and ration cards.”
The Assembly elections in West Bengal are scheduled to happen in April-May this year. (ANI)

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HAL successfully test-fires anti-airfield weapon from Hawk-i aircraft

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 21 (ANI): The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) successfully test-fired a Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from the Hawk-i aircraft off the coast of Odisha on Thursday.
As per a statement from HAL, the indigenous stand-off weapon developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is the first smart weapon fired from an Indian Hawk-Mk132.
The SAAW is a precision strike weapon of the 125-kilogram category used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, runways within a range of 100 km.
HAL test pilots Wing Commanders (Retd) P Awasthi and (Retd) M Patel flew the aircraft and executed the weapon release in a textbook manner. All mission objectives were met.
The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events confirming the success of the trials, the statement added.
Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R Madhavan was quoted in the statement saying that the organisation has been focusing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign and the company-owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed indigenously by DRDO and CSIR labs.
The Hawk-i is HAL’s internally funded program that offers the Indian Armed Forces an upgrade and combat capability, transforming it into an Advanced Jet Trainer providing training on sensors and weapons in peacetime into a potent combat platform during a conflict.
“The training and combat capability of Hawk-i is being indegenous enhanced and HAL is in discussions with Indian Armed Forces for integration of various weapons on Hawk platform,” said Arup Chatterjee, Director of Engineering and R-D. (ANI)

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BJP has to work on 70 pc electorate to win WB polls as TMC holds 30 pc, says Suvendu Adhikari

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Hooghly/Paschim Medinipur (West Bengal) [India], January 21 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari has said that the party has to work on 70 per cent of the electorate while claiming that poll strategist Prashant Kishor in a recent interview said that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has a “fixed deposit” of the remaining 30 per cent in West Bengal.
“Kishore who came to give them (TMC) wisdom, says on news channels that we have 100 per cent (votes) on our (TMC) side, BJP has to fight for 70 per cent (votes). Do you understand? They have 30 per cent fixed deposit. Will all 70 per cent come together? We will win,” Adhikari said on Wednesday while addressing the supporters after a roadshow in Chandannagar in Hooghly.
Adhikari claimed that after losing 18 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, “She (Mamata Banerjee) has hired PK (Kishor) on a Rs 400-crore contract and she will witness the decimation of her party entirely.”
In December, Prashant Kishor, who was roped in by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress for the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021, predicted that the BJP will struggle to cross “double digits” in the 2021 polls.
Meanwhile, Adhikari, who left TMC to join the BJP in December, continued his tirade at a rally in Pashchim Medinipur against Mamata Banerjee’s government.
“I have said ‘Tolabaaj Bhaipo’ (Extortionist Nephew) and they (TMC) got angry saying why did not you say the name. Now I am saying the name. Lodge a case against me. Dilip da has called me to Kharagpur. Last time I had helped them (TMC) win from that turf. This time I will defeat them,” he said.
“The SSC examination has not been conducted with regularity since the TMC administration became incumbent. A huge pool of the youth of Bengal is going around unemployed,” he added.
The BJP has been aggressively campaigning in West Bengal over the past few months with top leaders Amit Shah, JP Nadda visiting the state.
Elections to 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal are slated to take place in the next few months. (ANI)

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TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee sends legal notice to Suvendu Adhikari, seeks apology over remarks

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], January 21 (ANI): Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has sent a legal notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari for making “defamatory statements” against him.
The notice said that if an apology is not tendered in 36 hours, legal proceedings will be initiated.
The notice sent by Kolkata-based advocate Sanjay Basu on behalf of Abhishek Banerjee said that at a public meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held on January 19, 2021 at Khejuri, West Bengal attended by members of the general public and in an interview to a news channel telecast the same day, Adhikari had made “vile, uncouth, vulgar, false, malicious, and defamatory statements against my client”.
“Both were published and circulated over media of various forms. The defamatory statements have been made in an undisguised attempt to tarnish and besmirch my client’s goodwill and reputation amongst the members of the general public…..However, the statements are baseless, distasteful, with malicious falsehoods, and unsupported by an iota of evidence,” it added.
The notice said that by words and insinuations Adhikari has sought to “falsely accuse Abhishek Banerjee of being a ‘tola baaj’ or an `extortionist’ who seeks and makes illegal gains at the expense of the people of West Bengal”.
It said that such statements have been made without any semblance of truth. “Your action is nothing but an attempt to drown the truth about you by using cacophonous lies. You have damaged my client’s impeccable reputation by spreading falsehoods,” the notice said.
Adhikari had left Trinamool Congress and joined BJP last month. (ANI)

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Eknath Khadse seeks quashing of ECIR in Bombay HC

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 21 (ANI): Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse has filed a plea in Bombay High Court seeking quashing of an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) filed against him by Enforcement Directorate (ED) under sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The matter was adjourned to January 25 after a brief hearing.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, appearing for ED, told the court that the agency will not take coercive action till the next hearing.
Earlier on January 15, Khadse had appeared at the ED office in Mumbai after he was summoned in connection to a land deal in Pune. The case dates back to 2016.
The ED had earlier summoned him last December, but he skipped citing health issues.
A former BJP leader, Khadse had to resign from the then-Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led cabinet in 2016 following allegations regarding the land deal. (ANI)

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Farmer unions reject government’s proposal to put new farm laws on hold for about 18 months

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): A day after the government proposed that it is ready to put new farm laws on hold for about 18 months, the protesting farmer unions rejected the proposal and insisted on their demand for the repeal of the three laws.
A press release issued by Samyukta Kisan Morcha after a full general body meeting on Thursday said that “the proposal put forth by the Government yesterday was rejected”.
“A full repeal of three central farm laws and enacting legislation for remunerative minimum support price (MSP) for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement,” said the release signed by Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal.
Noting that 143 farmers had died during the protest, the release said, “these companions have been separated from us while fighting this mass movement”.
“Their sacrifice will not go in vain and we will not go back without farm laws being repealed,” it stated.
The release said Delhi Police had requested them during a meeting to not to hold “parade” in Delhi while the farmers restated their plan of taking out the parade on the outer ring road of Delhi.
“This peaceful movement is becoming the people’s movement. Farmers are uniting for Republic Day through vehicle rallies in many places in Karnataka. Farmers tractor marches are taking place in many places in Kerala. Farmers of Bilaspur and Rampur in Uttarakhand are preparing for the farmers’ parade in Delhi by organising tractor march. Farmers in Chhattisgarh will march towards the Raj Bhavan on January 23 and a group of farmers will also leave for Delhi,” the release said.
Samyukta Kisan Morcha alleged that the ‘Kisan Delhi Chalo Yatra’ of Navnirman Kisan Sangathan, which had started from Odisha, “is being disturbed repeatedly by the Uttar Pradesh Police”.
It said the “farmers’ movement is expected to intensify” in the coming days and a three-day big protest will be held in Kolkata from January 20 to January 22.
The protesting farmer unions and the government held the 10th round of talks on Wednesday.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said after the talks that the government had proposed that implementation of farm laws should be kept on hold for a period of one to one-and-a-half years.
He had said that representatives of farmers’ unions and the government can discuss all issues related to the farmers’ agitation during the period so that an appropriate solution can be found.
The farmer unions had said that they will discuss the proposal in detail. The next round of talks is scheduled for Friday.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 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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