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NCP leader Mani C Kappan to join hands with UDF

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Kottayam(Kerala) [India], February 13 (ANI): Ahead of assembly polls in Kerala, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Mani C Kappan and the incumbent Pala legislator, is all set to join hands with United Democratic Front (UDF).
Addressing a press meet here on Saturday, Kappan said he would join the ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yathra’ lead by Ramesh Chennithala, the opposition leader, along with seven NCP district leaders on Sunday when the Yathra will reach Pala.
The NCP leader said that national leadership can take their decision but he would leave the Left Democratic Front ( LDF) and will contest from Pala constituency.
“I believe the national leadership would back my decision, and if they continue the alliance with Left Democratic Front (LDF) then I will join hand with UDF,” he added.
Kappan made this U-turn after he told that he would not shift to the UDF camp and would abide by the decision taken by NCP national leadership.
However, NCP leader and Transport Minister AK Saseendran said he does not stand with Kappan’s decision.
Meanwhile, the NCP state president said national leadership has completely rejected Kappan’s claims.
“There is no support from Sharad Pawar for the move made by Kappan. He does not enjoy any support. His stand is suicidal,” said Peethambaran.
NCP leader Saseendran alleged that it should be suspected that Mani C Kappan had made an agreement with the UDF earlier. His decision was based on a pre-arranged script.
Saseendran demanded that Kappan should resign as MLA, adding “His decision to leave LDF and to join UDF was an injustice to people who had made him MLA”.
Pala legislator returned from Delhi on Saturday morning after talks with NCP leader Praful Patel on Friday.
Ahead of assembly polls, Kappan wanted the sitting seat of Pala which the Left front is keen to give to Kerala Congress headed by Jose K Mani, a new entrant in LDF. Instead, he was offered Kuttanad, which he has rejected.
Kappan had given hints earlier that if he does not get Pala, he would rather shift to UDF putting the national leadership in a fix.
NCP national leadership is expected to make the final decision on the matter.
NCP leader had registered a win in the Pala assembly by-polls by a margin of over 2,900 votes by defeating UDF candidate Advocate Jose Tom in September 2019. (ANI)

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Milind Ekbote terms Kondhwa a ‘mini Pakistan’, booked by Pune Police

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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 6 (ANI): A case has been registered against Samast Hindu Aghadi president Milind Ekbote by Pune Police for allegedly making a video with the intent to disturb communal harmony as he called Kondhwa a ‘Mini Pakistan’.
In a video that has surfaced on social media, Ekbote opposed the Pune Municipal Corporation’s decision to allot money for building Haj House in the Kondhwa area.
“Pune Municipal Corporation’s decision to build Haj House in Kondhwa is unfortunate. The decision of the PMC will endanger the life of the people, the central intelligence agency’s report says Kondhwa is ‘Mini Pakistan’ and it has a sleeper cell of terrorists and under the grab of building a cultural place, the administration is violating the Supreme Court’s order which restricts building a religious place without approval from the administration,” Ekbote purportedly said in the video.
He also said that his organisation would do every possible thing to make sure this Haj house is not built in the area with Rs four crore of public money that the Municipal corporation is likely to spend.
“Complainant Satish Kale, who is a leader of the Sambhaji Brigade organisation, has claimed that Ekbote’s statement not only disturbs the communal environment in the city but also provokes a particular community against others,” as mentioned in the FIR.
A case under section 153,153(a),153(b),295(a),500,501,502,120(b) and 505(1)(C),505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with several other relevant sections has been registered with Kondhwa Police Station.
Ekbote was accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case and was booked on charges of inciting violence in that case. (ANI)

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69th Senior National Volleyball C’ship kickstarts in Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], March 6 (ANI): The 69th Senior National Volleyball Championship has kick-started at the Biju Patnaik Indoor Stadium in KIIT Deemed to be University here in which for the first time, players from union territory Ladakh are participating in the championships.
Over 1200 volleyball players — both men and women — are participating in the tournament slated which started on Friday and will continue till March 11.
Speaking to ANI, Rigzin Lhamo, women captain of Ladakh said, “Our team is participating for the first time. Earlier we were selected in the Jammu and Kashmir team in which the preference was given to the players of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh was neglected. This time we have got an opportunity to represent ourselves.”
Mohammad Javed, captain of Ladakh men’s team, said that for the first time after Ladakh was declared a union territory, both the 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams have participated in the tournament.
“Earlier we used to play with Jammu and Kashmir, so we couldn’t get enough chances. For the first time after Ladakh was declared a union territory, both the 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams have participated in the tournament. This is the first experience for us and we have learned a lot from this. After returning from this place, we will develop our game further and improve our team,” he said.
Baqir Ali, coach of the men team from Ladakh, said that an indoor stadium at Ladakh will help them to develop their game further. “There is a talent but there is a lack of exposure and coaching. If we develop these, then the players can represent India.”
Anil Choudhury, Secretary-General, Volleyball Federation of India (VFI), told ANI that a total of 30 men’s teams and 20 women’s teams are participating in the tournament.
The selection of the Indian volleyball team for the Asian Championships and other international tournaments will be conducted based on performance in the senior nationals. The selection committee of both men’s and women’s teams is present for the duration of the tournament.
The championships are being held under the aegis of VFI. In a first for volleyball, Odisha is hosting two consecutive senior nationals as the previous edition was also held here. (ANI)

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Interstate arms racket busted in Delhi, 24 firearms seized, 3 held

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Three interstate arms suppliers have been apprehended by Delhi Police with 24 illegal firearms in Rohini area on Thursday night.
The accused identified as Bhuvanesh Kumar, Roukesh Kumar and Chanderveer Singh have been booked under section 411 of the Indian Penal Code and 25 of Arms Act.
A consignment of 24 illegal weapons along with the mobile phone, SIM card and a stolen car being used in supply of illegal arms has been recovered from them.
A strategic trap was laid acting on specific information about two arms suppliers of Uttar Pradesh who are regular supplier of arms and ammunition to different gangs in Delhi will come near Helipad area, Rohini for supply of large consignment of illegal arms.
“At about 10:25 PM, a white colour car stopped at the T-Point near Helipad on the road towards Karala. Two persons got off from the car, one with black shoulder bag and another with a white carry bag. Both were identified by the secret informer and were warned to surrender before the police team but they did not bother to follow the instructions and rather tried to escape. However, the proactive police team immediately cornered and apprehended them,” police said.
14 illegal pistols were recovered from Bhuvnesh Kumar and 10 illegal pistols were recovered from Roukesh Kumar.
The car was being driven by their accomplice Chanderveer Singh whom they used to pay handsome money for every trip/transportation of illegal weapons, police said. (ANI)

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ATS to probe into explosive-laden vehicle outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence after Mansukh Hiren’s death

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 6 (ANI): After the owner of the explosives-laden vehicle found outside Reliance group chairman Mukesh Ambani’s residence died by suicide on Friday, the case has been transferred to Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), said Maharashtra Home Minister.
“Today, the body of Mansukh Hiren has been found in Mumbra. The cause of death will be ascertained through postmortem. It will be done by a technical team. We have given the responsibility of this investigation to ATS,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh told media persons on Friday.
“Post-mortem of Mansukh Hiren has been done. We will share the details after getting the report,” Avinash Ambure, DCP Zone-1, Thane told reporters.
Maharashtra Police on Friday said an unknown male corpse was found in Retibunder Creek on Retibunder road in Mumbra (w). Later the corpse was identified as Mansukh Hiran, a resident of Thane whose vehicle with gelatin sticks was found parked on Carmichael Road near Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia. Police said prima facie it appears that Hiran died by suicide.
According to sources, a handwritten “threat letter” in “broken English” addressed to Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta Ambani was also found in the vehicle with explosives.
The suspect who parked the car (near Mukesh Ambani’s house) was seen in CCTV footage but has not been identified as he was wearing a face mask and his head was covered with a hoodie, said Mumbai Police.
Mumbai Police has deployed its personnel outside Ambani’s house after explosive materials were found. (ANI)

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Dalai Lama get first COVID-19 shot in Dharamshala

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Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Dharamshala.
He received the dose at Zonal Hospital here at 7:10 am. He was kept under observation for about half an hour.
The 86-year-old was undergoing self-quarantine since January last year and he came out of his residence on Saturday after over a year.
The Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) had requested the state and central government to make arrangements for the spiritual leader’s vaccination nearly two months ago, Palden, the Health Secretary of the CTA told ANI on Wednesday.
There are currently 589 active COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh, as per the union health ministry. As many as 57,428 recoveries and 997 deaths have been reported in the state so far.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus commenced on March 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi got himself vaccinated at the All India Institue of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, on Monday.
Several prominent political leaders in the country, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, have already taken the first jab of the vaccine against coronavirus. (ANI)

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Women officers in Indian army– source of inspiration to many

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New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The women officers in the Indian Army, who continue to serve the nation in various roles, are passionate about motivating young girls to join the Armed forces.
The women officers who maintain a balance between personal and professional life, are the perfect example of Women’s empowerment. They are also a source of inspiration for many who want to join the forces.
While speaking to ANI, many of the women officers who are in the major rank of the Army, feel that they will be certainly deployed in combat roles in the future. They said that there is no gender discrimination in the environment and conduct of the Army.
A major in the Indian Army is responsible for various strategic roles. The major commands and directs a military unit and every soldier in his/her unit follow his/her order.
Indian Army’s Major Euthica, who hails from Patna, said that she was motivated to join the forces from a serial called ‘Aarohan’ where actor Pallavi Joshi had played the role of the naval cadet. She has been in the service for 13.5 years.

“I decided to join the forces when I was in class 6. I had a passion to be in uniform. I am here now, it gives me much more push to myself to perform better and prove myself better every day from the previous day. I have put 13.5 years in the service. I have been posted in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir and insurgency affected areas of Nagaland, Manipur and Assam. I am presently posted in the Ladakh region. It has been a great journey, challenges have been there, but it also gives confidence,” she said.
“It would take time to be in combat roles for women officers. The way this organization has been accepting us in all facets, gradually all opportunities will be opened. I am sure we are going to go ahead in all roles. The moment women will be allowed in combat roles, I look forward to all the opportunities where women will be there at par with males,” she added.
Major Anjali Prasad said that the environment of the Indian Army is always women-friendly and it has given equal opportunities to women to perform at par with men.
“I have been posted to various terrains. There is no gender discrimination when it comes to operational things. I have also been utilised as an architect in the army and also in other roles. It gives me satisfaction that being in this role, you can inspire the younger generation. We are empowered in the Army. We have been accepted in all roles,” she said.
Major Suchitra Chellappan said that she has been serving the nation being in the Indian Army uniform for the past 15 years.
“The challenges that emerge in our work acts as motivation. Army facilitates your requirement both professionally and in personal life too. We did not feel any regret,” she said.
When asked how long will it take to see women in the combat roles, Chellappan said, “Don’t think operation part happens at war front only. Lady officers are also posted in high-altitude and other difficult areas including Naxalite areas.”
In February, Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik told Rajya Sabha that a total of 9,118 women are serving as officers in the three defence forces while the approval has been granted for inducting 1,700 females as jawans in the corps of military police.

In addition to the provision of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in Judge Advocate General and Army Education Corps, the Government of India has recently announced a grant of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in all other Arms/ Services in which they are eligible for commission. Further, the Government has sanctioned 1,700 women in the Military Police Corps in a phased manner.
The Indian Air Force undertakes various induction publicity measures to encourage youth including women to join IAF. Modules like direct contact programme, print and electronic media are extensively used to create awareness about IAF and educate students about the various mode of entries.
Women are employed as officers in the Indian Navy since 1992 wherein only three avenues were available to Women viz. Law, Education and Logistics. However, over a period of time, the number of other avenues has been opened for women induction. (ANI)

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