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Nepal wants river embankment removed, flood threats loom large

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Even as the threat of flood looms large across Bihar and a high alert has been sounded across several districts, Nepal has threatened to break the embankment over the Lal Bakiya river in Baluwa Guwabari area of East Champaran.

 Nepal has been claiming that the land from pillar number 347/5 to 347/7 belongs to it and as such, the CDO (equivalent of district magistrate) of Rotahat district in Nepal, Basudev Dhimre, has asked the Indian authorities to remove the embankment as it falls in their territory or they will break it.

The Bihar government had started flood-fighting work along the western embankment and on 30 May, the Nepali authorities forcibly stopped the work near the Baluwa Guwabari area.

 The SSB jawans stationed in the area were also attacked by people from Nepal. Now even as most of the work has been completed by the Indian authorities, the Nepali government has stopped work in a stretch of 500m which has given rise to fear of floods. Several areas in East Champaran were submerged in the swelling waters of Lal Bakiyariver in 2017 when the river had breached its embankment at almost the same place. Now the villagers are living in fear as a stretch of 500m where no work has been allowed by Nepali authorities remains highly vulnerable with embankment caving in at several places.

The Bihar government has been maintaining the embankment which was constructed during the British era. It’s only his year that Nepal has raised objections on the maintenance of the embankment. The strengthening of the entire embankment has been completed but a stretch of 500m remain vulnerable.

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Reduction in stone-pelting incidents in J-K has helped forces in operations, says CRPF officer Rahul Mathur

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer, who was injured during the Nagrota encounter in September last year after sustaining two bullet-injuries, has said that stone-pelting incidents have reduced in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two years.
Talking to ANI, CRPF Deputy Commandant Rahul Mathur also said that fewer instances of stone-pelting have helped security forces in their operations.
“In the last two years, stone-pelting incidents have come down which has helped the forces in operating in the valley,” Mathur told ANI on Thursday.
Mathur who was injured in the encounter after sustaining two bullet-wounds has joined the service back.
CRPF DG Anand Prakash Maheshwari also echoed Deputy Commandant Mathur’s claims during the force’s annual press conference earlier today and said there has been an overall reduction in violence in the valley in the past year.
“CRPF has neutralised 315 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in last one year and apprehended 251 more. As many as 8 militants have surrendered. 360 arms have been recovered by the force. 41 IEDs were recovered and we had 254 engagement encounters with terrorists. We have witnessed an overall reduction in the violence and an increase in surrenders,” DG said.
He also praised Deputy Commandant Mathur for displaying valour during the Nagrota encounter.
“Under operational achievement in Jammu and Kashmir, we have dealt with terrorism and law and order situation. We have neutralised 215 militants. We neutralised three terrorists in Nagrota, and the importance of that is the deputy commandant Rahul Mathur had set an example of bravely during the operation,” said DG Maheshwari. (ANI)

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PPE-clad man loots jewellery shop in Delhi’s Kalkaji

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New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): A CCTV footage caught a PPE-clad man looting a jewellery shop in the Kalkaji area of the national capital on Wednesday.
According to the footage, the man looted the jewellery shop at 2 am on Wednesday, while wearing a cap.
The man was also seen carrying a rucksack, filling it with the ornaments. He then climbed a rope and probably escaped through the rooftop. (ANI)

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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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