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J-K: Foreign envoys meet LG Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhavan in Jammu

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 18 (ANI): On the second day of their visit to the Union Territory, the group of 24 foreign envoys on Thursday met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhavan in Jammu.
The diplomats also met the Chief Justice of J-K High Court, Pankaj Mittal and were briefed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Srinagar about the various programmes including community engagements and counter-radicalisation.
“Community engagements, counter-radicalisation, the police initiatives in sports, employment opportunities, counselling, and community bond schemes for potential terrorist recruits, “Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Anantnag, Sandeep Chaudhary told a group of foreign missions on the second day of their visit to the Union Territory.
“How police dealt with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining a balance between addressing people’s problems and enforcing COVID-19 restrictions,” Superintendent of Police (SP) East Srinagar, Sheema Nabi, who hails from Kashmir, briefed the delegation on the second day of their visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
“Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) reached out to local people, addressed their issues, and got their cooperation. Human touch and outreach helped the JKP to deal with unprecedented challenges,” Nabi added.
The briefing also discussed the issues like 72 surrenders in 2020, infiltration from Line of Control (LOC) and support of Pakistan Army in helping infiltration, harbouring terrorists, training camps, seized weapons supplied by Pakistan, killing of moderate Kashmir voices by terrorists, the sources said.
As per the sources, other issues discussed in the meeting were Post 370 – no loss of life in Special Forces’ actions, marked reduction in stone pelting, peacefully conducted District Development Council (DDC) elections, initiatives of citizen connect, and outreach to the public, 44 Army goodwill schools having 10,000 students in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, assistance to the population of far-flung areas, glimpses of tourism, culture, and achievements of Kashmiri people.
On Wednesday, the delegation had interacted with representatives of civil society and the government in Srinagar.
Foreign diplomats from Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and the European Union are on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The latest visit of foreign envoys comes in the backdrop of District Development Council polls, which saw huge participation and restoration of 4G mobile internet in the entire region after 18 months, which many see as a return of full normalcy in the Union Territory.
This is the first visit by foreign diplomats to Jammu and Kashmir since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two batches of foreign diplomats had earlier visited Jammu and Kashmir in January and February last year after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. (ANI)

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Kerala HC asks police not to arrest teacher accused of fracturing student’s hand

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Kerala high court directed the police not to arrest a woman maths teacher, who is accused of fracturing the hand of a Class 10 student by beating with a cane. The court issued this directive while hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by the teacher.
A bench of Justice Shircy V heard the bail plea filed by the accused teacher Mariamma KV.
The Aluva police in Kerala have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against a government school teacher for allegedly brutally hitting a student with a cane in school. The incident took place at the Kuttamassery Higher Secondary School in Aluva, Kochi on February 17. The victim is a class 10 student, a boy.
She has been booked under section 324 of Indian Penal Code and section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
The petitioner said in her plea: “Even though the incident was alleged to have occurred at 9.30 am on February 17, the student had attended the exams conducted in the afternoon session and on subsequent days. The complainant got the right hand plastered after five days. The complaint before the police was filed at the instigation of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) president of the school, who is a local political leader.” (ANI)

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Maritime India Summit 2021 to help in furthering growth of India’s maritime economy: PM Modi

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that the Maritime India Summit 2021, which will be inaugurated on Tuesday, will help in furthering growth of India’s maritime economy.
“At 11 AM, 2nd March, the Maritime India Summit would be inaugurated. This Summit brings together key stakeholders from the maritime sector and will play a leading role in furthering the growth of India’s maritime economy,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Maritime India Summit 2021 is being organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways on a virtual platform www.maritimeindiasummit.in from March 2 to March 4 via video conferencing.
The summit will visualise a roadmap for India’s Maritime sector for next decade and will work to propel India to the forefront of the Global Maritime Sector. Eminent speakers from several countries are expected to attend the summit and explore the potential business opportunities and investments in Indian Maritime domain. Denmark is the partner country for the three-day summit. (ANI)

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Rahul Gandhi dances with school students, does push-ups in Kanyakumari

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Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 2 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday interacted and danced with the students at St Joseph Matric Higher Secondary School in Kanyakumari.
Rahul danced on a raised platform along with AICC Tamil Nadi In-Charge Dineshj Gundu Rao and PCC Chief KS Alagiri and students of the school. He also did push-ups on a request by a student during the interaction.
“People give definition that I am a politician. That is just a label that people put to simplify things. But that is not my job. My job is to look at the talents available in the country, understand their strengths, their weaknesses, and help them attain their maximum possibilities,” Rahul said during the interaction.
“My job is to listen carefully what they want and understand their goals. The second part of my job is to try and do whatever I can do, so that they can attain whatever they desire. I am here to understand your those needs,” he added.
When asked by a student what he would ask the PM if he got to interview him in public, Rahul said, “This is a tricky question. India has 1.3 billion people of different ideas, languages, cultures, and visions. Why are you convinced that all the answers come from you?”
Earlier in the day, Rahul had attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for attempting to humiliate and crush Tamil culture.
“This election is about giving a message. First is, that our country is a country of different religions, cultures, languages, histories and we respect all that. We do not accept Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and RSS’ attempt to humiliate and crush Tamil culture, language and Tamil history,” he said.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)

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Tejashwi meets Mamata Banerjee, offers full support of RJD in Bengal Assembly polls

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Howrah (West Bengal) [India], March 1 (ANI): Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Monday met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and offered his full support to her in the coming assembly polls in the state.
Addressing the media after meeting the TMC supremo at Nabanna, the state secretariat here, Tejashwi told reporters, “It is Lalu ji’s decision to provide full support to Mamata Ji. Our first priority is to stop BJP from coming to power in Bengal.”
He also took a jibe at the “baraat” of BJP leaders in the recent weeks arriving in West Bengal to campaign for the party and questioned their ability to run the government in the state better than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“BJP is such a big party. The BJP has brought a “Baarat” (procession) of all the union ministers to West Bengal. Who is their groom? Name a single BJP leader who is more experienced than Mamta Banerjee in running the government. Will you hand over power to a leader who does not have any experience?” Tejashwi Yadav asked while speaking to ANI.
“The biggest thing is support to courage, Tejashwi bhai is fighting, so we are fighting and vice versa, said the West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee speaking to reporters after the meeting here at Nabanna, the state secretariat.
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Tejashwi Yadav was also scheduled to to chair election committee’s meeting today at her residence in Kalighat.
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Yadav had not attended the brigade ground meeting called by the left, Congress and ISF in Kolkata on Sunday.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)

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Plea filed in SC to establish Transgender Welfare Board to address social welfare issues of trans-people

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): A petition was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre and state governments to establish a Transgender Welfare Board to address the social welfare issues of transgender persons.
The petition filed by Kinner Maa Ek Samajik Sanstha Trust through its President, Salma Umar Khan Sakerker, also sought direction to appoint a standing committee comprising Station House Officers and human rights and social activists to promptly investigate reports of gross abuses by the police against transgender person.
Transgender people should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else and be able to live, and be respected, according to their gender identity, but these people often face serious discrimination and mistreatment at work, school, and in their families and communities, stated the plea filed through advocates CR JayaSukin and Narender Verma.
The petition said that transgender people are deprived of social and cultural participation and hence they have restricted access to education, health care and public places which further deprives them of the Constitutional guarantee of equality before law and equal protection of laws. The community is facing neglect, isolation, insult, social ostracisation are due to transprejudice that runs deeps in the society and transgenders are still considered “untouchable” in India, the plea said.
It added that the main problems that are being faced by the transgender community are of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, lack of medical facilities, depression, hormone pill abuse, tobacco and alcohol abuse, penectomy, and problems related to marriage and adoption, the it added.
“The right to recognition as a person before the law is guaranteed in numerous international human rights conventions, and is a fundamental aspect of affirming the dignity and worth of each person. Legal gender recognition is also an essential element of other fundamental rights – including to privacy, to freedom of expression, to be free from arbitrary arrest, and rights related to employment, education, health, security, access to justice, and the ability to move freely,” it stressed.
The petitioner further said that in 2014 the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India case in which it recognised the rights of transgender people in India and laid down a series of measures for securing transgender people’s rights by mandating the prohibition of discrimination, recommending the creation of welfare policies.
The Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act in 2019 and the statutory provisions of the Act prohibit discrimination against transgender people. But the act violates the NALSA judgment on various fronts, the plea stated.
It said the act violates the NALSA judgement by failing to provide reservations in admissions to educational institutions and public appointments by treating the transgender community as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens.
The act gives the District Magistrate (DM) the power to recognise a person as trans, while the NALSA judgment of the Supreme Court allowed self identification of gender, it noted
The petitioner stated that the NALSA judgment had further said that any insistence on SRS (sex reconstruction surgery) was illegal and stressed that self-determination of gender is integral to one’s personality and dignity. However, the 2019 Act specifies that to identify as male or as female, one must supply proof of surgery to the magistrate. Activists say this gives immense power to the DM, leading to the possibility of arbitrariness and misuse. (ANI)

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Beginning of end of BJP’s ‘jumla raj’ in Goa: Kamat after HC sets aside DMA notification on municipal reservation

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Margao (Goa) [India], March 1 (ANI): Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat on Monday said that the High Court striking down notification dated February 4, 2021, issued by Director of Municipal Administration is beginning of “end of BJP Jumla Raj” in Goa.
Reacting to the decision of the High Court ordering the authorities to issue fresh notification within ten days to complete the process by April 15, 2021, Kamat alleged that the hidden agenda of the BJP Government not to give proper representation to SC, ST and OBC and depriving Women and Bhahujan Samaj from emerging as leaders stood completely exposed.
The Urban Development Department, last month issued the notification reserving 102 wards for women, Schedule Tribes, Schedule Caste and Other Backward Classes in 11 municipal councils, for which elections are likely to take place this month.
The Opposition had slammed the government for the haphazard process which was undertaken without following proper criteria. Sitting councillors, across municipal councils, too have expressed their complete displeasure over the reservations and delimitation.
Accusing the BJP government of always trying to face the Polls with electoral manipulation, he said: “The dictatorial BJP Government has always tried to bulldoze the democratic process of electioneering with high handedness using the Government machinery. It is unfortunate that the people have to go to courts to seek justice against the gross violations of electoral process by the BJP Government.”
“Today, the power has gone to the head of the BJP functionaries. They are least bothered about upholding the Principals of Democracy. I appeal to the people of Goa to teach the insensitive BJP Government a lesson in the forthcoming Municipal Elections,” he added. (ANI)

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