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Manisha Koirala urges India, Nepal citizens to stay civil

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Amidst a strain in the ties between India and Nepal, actress Manisha Koirala has urged people of both the countries to avoid being “aggressive and disrespectful” towards each other. “A heartfelt request please let’s not be aggressive and disrespectful… we are in this situation together… our respective Govt’s will resolve the issue. In the meantime we can be civil… I remain hopeful,” she tweeted.

Earlier last week, Nepal’s Upper House of Parliament endorsed a proposal to discuss the constitution amendment bill to update the country’s map that incorporates parts of Indian territory. Nepal’s House of Representatives had on 10 June endorsed a proposal seeking consideration of a constitution amendment bill for change of country’s map after a lengthy discussion. Nepal has made offers to India to hold “diplomatic talks to resolve the territorial issue” between the two countries. New Delhi has said that the updated map is “not based on historical facts and evidence” and termed the claims by Nepal as artificial enlargement. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava also said that the move is against the current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues.

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Ram Janmabhoomi will be a unique centre of social harmony: VHP

Sabyasachi Roy Choudhury

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The foundation stone of Ram Janmabhoomi is set to be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 August. The occasion will mark the Ram temple emerging as a unique centre of social harmony, said Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary Milind Parande.

 “Lord Ram conveyed the message of social harmony and empowerment through his own life. The water of thousands of holy rivers across the country and the ‹raj› of holy shrines used in the foundation stone pujan of Ram Janmabhoomi will unite the whole of India and make it a vision of national unity,” explained Parande. He also cited mythological instances like Ahilya uddhar, friendship with Sabari and Nishadraj as examples of social harmony delivered by Lord Ram.

Parande further said, “There has been a lot of discussion about the development of the temple and Ayodhya since the Supreme Court›s decision on how Ayodhya will develop. Since Lord Rama was “maryada purushottam”, His glimpse should be seen in his homeland too.”

 The VHP general secretary also expressed his enthusiasm about a press conference taking take place at the holy site. “This is where Dr Hedgewar›s Sangh-Ganga and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar › s Samta-Ganga originated,” he commented.

He also appealed that on 5 August people should collect in homes, establishments, monasteries, ashrams, etc. and commemorate the bhajan-pujan-kirtan of the beloved deity 10:30 am onwards. He asked everyone to dedicate flowers, perform aarti and distribute prasad. Arrangements are apparently underway to broadcast the Ayodhya programme live alongside the decoration of houses, markets and monasteries.

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SC refuses to remove ex-DGP from Dubey encounter probe panel

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Can’t look at one part of the statement and question integrity,” observed the Chief Justice of India while dismissing two petitions seeking removal of former DGP K.L. Gupta from the Justice Chauhan-led Commission probing the 2 July killing of eight policemen at Bikru and subsequent encounter killings of Vikas Dubey and his four associates.

Appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta highlighted the point made to the press where Gupta commented about the need for a “magisterial inquiry” and that “there is no controversy”.

The CJI asked petitioner Ghanshyam Upadhyay if he felt that the ex-DGP supported the encounter killing. CJI said: “Ex-DGP took a balanced view where he said police found that guilty will be punished. We cannot entertain this based on an apprehension.”

Upadhyay argued that the statement made by K.L. Gupta in Hindi “to present a complete picture” established that having him in the commission will make the inquiry “biased”. The petitioner-inperson advocate Anoop Prakash Awasthi also submitted that the ex-DGP on 10 July had told a news agency “police version must be accepted on face value”.

However, the CJI said, “There is an SC judge and an HC judge also on the panel. The inquiry commission will not be vitiated because of one officer in a trial. Also, you first take the chargesheet and accept it. Accepting doesn’t mean you believe it… A rightminded person who reads the while statement will not believe this man is biased. How can this plea be entertained?”

The Supreme Court was hearing an application filed by Awasthi seeking to reconstitute the enquiry commission set up by the court to probe into the genuineness of the encounter killing of UP gangster Vikas Dubey. Petitioner had urged the top court to replace ex-DGP Gupta with some other ex-DGP from the state, imputing allegations of bias.

Earlier the SC had approved an appointment of a three-member commission headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan along with former Allahabad High Court judge Shashi Kant Agarwal and exDGP K.L. Gupta.

Seeking a report from the commission within two months, the apex court had emphasised “why Dubey was out on bail or parole despite so many criminal cases against him is the single most important factor of the entire matter”.

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Punjab CM withdraws 6,000 cops from non-core duties to fight coronavirus

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Following Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s directives, Punjab Police on Thursday withdrew 6,355 personnel from non-core duties to create Covid-19 reserves and reinforce its field force at police stations and in the armed battalions.

While 202 Covid-19 reserves have been created in police stations across districts, another 20 have been constituted in the armed battalions, to improve operational readiness for enforcement of the various safety norms and protocols in place in the state.

The decision was taken during the Covid-19 review meeting chaired by CM Captain Amarinder Singh. DGP Dinkar Gupta said, “ The manpower mobilisation exercise was undertaken from 17 July, and as of 23 July, 3669 personnel were part of the 202 Covid-19 reserves in districts while 475 were in the Covid-19 reserves of the Armed Battalions.” According to the DGP, the diversion of force has been done from non-core police duties at district police offices, police lines, saanjh kendras, those attached with police/civil officers and threatened persons, and officials on temporary attachment with other units.

Post the exercise, additional 1,800 police personnel have been mobilised at the police stations, across the ranks of constable to inspector.

The additional personnel deployment, in addition to 475 in the Covid-19 reserves, has been made at Shambhu Barrier (118).

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Haryana education department to reduce Class 9-12 syllabi

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Haryana Education Minister Kanwar Pal said that in order to reduce mental pressure over students, state Board of School Education will reduce the syllabus of the students studying in classes IX to XII in the present academic session of 2020-2021. The Minister said that the schools remained closed across the country and state during the lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic due to which holding of regular classes in the classrooms was not possible, although the State Government has made adequate arrangements to impart online education. In order to reduce mental pressure on students, now the State Government has decided to reduce the syllabus for the academic session 2020-21 in schools affiliated to the Board of School Education Haryana following the pattern of CBSE.Mr Kanwar Pal said that to reduce the syllabus, the State Government has instructed the Board of School Education, Haryana to set up a Committee by coordinating with SCERT Gurugram and to put up the proposal within a week after exploring all possibilities in this regard. He said that till now the syllabus that has been taught online to the students of IX to XII classes should also be included in the syllabus, so as to benefit the students. The Education Minister said that the State Government does not wish to put academic pressure on the students, and wants to continue imparting necessary education, therefore there will be reduction in syllabus for the students studying in classes IX to XII.

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Even I have been a victim of nepotism: Saif Ali Khan

Priyanka Sharma

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As the controversy around nepotism and alleged camps deepens after Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, actor Saif Ali Khan, who is the son of veteran actor Sharmila Tagore and cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan, has rocked Internet with an recent interview with a news portal in which he has claimed to be a victim of nepotism.

 Saif said, “There is inequality in India that needs to be explored. Nepotism, favoritism and camps are different subjects. Even I have been a victim of nepotism but nobody speaks of that. I’m happy to see more people from film institutes come to the forefront.”

Ever since then, social media users have been flooding the Internet with contrary opinions. “Name people Saif! Do not fear those who have power,” said one user. While another user commented, “He should be reminded how he was awarded the national award for his role in Hum Tum because his mom was the chairperson of censor board.

” In the same interview, Saif heaped praises on Sushant’s acting and called him “a talented actor and a good-looking guy”. He continued, “I thought he had a bright future. He was polite to me and appreciated my guest appearance in the film. He wanted to talk about many topics like astronomy and philosophy. I got the feeling he was brighter than I was.”

For the unversed, Saif Ali Khan will be making a guest appearance in Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film Dil Bechara, which is slated for a digital release on 24 July.

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People will see a whole new shade of me in ‘Bunty aur Babli 2’: Siddhant

Uday Pratap Singh

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Siddhant Chaturvedi is an actor who moulds himself into the mask of the characters and brings them to life on the screen. A great example of that would be none other than his debut film Gully Boy where he made quite an impact on the audience and gave them the character of MC Sher which got etched in everyone’s minds.

When asked about how the actor feels on the Ranveer Singh-starrer Gully Boy having a cult following and MC Sher receiving a lot of admiration, he says, “Ha ha really? ‘Cult following’ is a heavy word. I think the film as a unit had that impact on the people. It’s just not me, it’s everything about the film.”

Talking more about his character MC Sher and his upcoming films, Siddhant adds, “As far as MC Sher is concerned, it’s got a lot of love, especially among the younger lot. It’s a great feeling but at the same time Bunty has to gear up his game and I’m very confident that people will see a whole new shade or should I say shades of me in Bunty Aur Babli 2.”

On the work front, Siddhant Chaturvedi released his debut track Dhoop, which received immense appreciation and is an ode to the frontline workers.

 Other than his song, on the film front, the young actor has multiple projects in the pipeline as he will next be seen in Bunty Aur Babli 2, followed by Shakun Batra’s next with Deepika Padukone and Ananya Panday

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