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‘Pangong bridge being built is in area under illegal Chinese occupation’

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India objects to letter by Chinese embassy to MPs.

India on Thursday said the bridge being built by China across Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh is in an area that has been under illegal occupation of that country for around 60 years and India has never accepted such action. At a media briefing, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also slammed China for renaming some places in Arunachal Pradesh and said that instead of engaging in such antics, Beijing should work constructively with India to resolve the outstanding friction points in eastern Ladakh. He described it as a “ridiculous exercise” to support “untenable territorial” claims. “As regards reports about a bridge being made by the Chinese side on Pangong Lake, the government has been monitoring this activity closely,” he said. “This bridge is being constructed in areas that have been under illegal occupation by China for around 60 years now. As you are well aware India has never accepted such illegal occupation,” he said.

Bagchi said India has been taking all necessary steps to ensure that its security interests are fully protected. “As part of these efforts, the government has also, in the last seven years, increased significantly the budget for the development of border infrastructure and completed more roads and bridges than ever before,” he said. “These have provided much-needed connectivity to the local population as well as logistical support to armed forces. The government remains committed to this objective,” he added.

Meanwhile, emphasising that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s summit is not being held due to certain reasons, the MEA said that no material change in the situation has been made, therefore there is still no consensus that would permit holding of the summit.

“We have seen media reports regarding the Pakistan Foreign Minister’s remarks about the SAARC summit. You are aware of the background as to why the SAARC summit has not to be held since 2014,” Bagchi said. “There has been no material change in the situation since then. Therefore, there is still no consensus that would permit holding of the summit,” he added. As per the SAARC charter, if any of the members refuses to attend the meeting, then the summit will not be held. On Monday, a Pakistani Minister said that India has been invited to the upcoming SAARC Summit.

Also, India on Thursday conveyed its strong objection to the letter written by the Chinese embassy to a group of Members of Parliament for attending a dinner reception hosted by Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and said the “substance, tone and tenor of the letter is inappropriate”. Bagchi said that the Chinese side should refrain from hyping normal activities by MPs and “complicate further” the situation in bilateral relations. He said that the Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and parliamentarians as representatives of people undertake activities as per their views. “We have seen the reports about the Political Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy writing letters to Honourable Members of Parliament on their participation in an event. The substance, tone and tenor of the letter are inappropriate,” he said.

“Chinese side should note that India is a vibrant democracy and Hon’ble MPs, as representatives of the people, undertake activities as per their views and beliefs. We expect the Chinese side to refrain from hyping normal activities by Hon’ble MPs and complicate further the situation in our bilateral relations,” he added. The dinner reception in December was attended by MPs cutting across party lines. Zhou Yongsheng, Political Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Delhi, had in his letter expressed “concern” over the MPs attending the event.

Meanwhile, a report from Leh said that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has opened the world’s second-highest motorable road passing through Khardung La even during the extreme winter condition. The route has been kept open after snow clearing operations. It is one of the strategic roads which goes towards both the Pakistan and China borders. BRO has also opened all the important facilities and passes of Ladakh during harsh winters under the most difficult weather conditions.

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PM Narendra Modi extends greetings on occasion of Raksha Bandhan

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Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday extended greetings on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

Taking to Twitter PM Modi said, “Greetings to everyone on the special occasion of Raksha Bandhan.”

Earlier, PM Modi’s Pakistani sister, Qamar Mohsin Shaikh, sent the sacred thread, Rakhi, to PM Modi. Sheikh also wished her luck for the 2024 general elections.

“I hope he (PM Modi) will call me Delhi this time. I have done all the preparations. I made this rakhi by myself by using a Reshmi ribbon with embroidery design,” Shaikh said.

Moreover, Shaikh also wrote the letter and prayed for PM Modi’s long and healthy life.

Talking about the 2024 elections, Shaikh said, “There is no doubt he will be the PM again. He deserves this because he has those capabilities, and I wish him to be PM of India every time.”

Moreover, in 2021, PM Modi’s sister Shaikh sent a rakhi and a Raksha Bandhan card.

Moreover, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also extended greetings to the people of the country.

“Warm wishes to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Rakshabandhan,” Shah tweeted.

Earlier on Wednesday, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami tied rakhi from a large number of women.

Women tied rakhi to CM Dhami at his residence and Chief Sevak Sadan auditorium and wished him a long life.

“The festival of Rakhi is a symbol of the sacred relationship of brother and sister. The festival communicates zeal and enthusiasm in life along with mutual brotherhood. Festivals are our identity. Festivals play an important role in maintaining the ancient culture,” Dhami said.

However, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of the Savan month. It marks the bond of love between the siblings and this year it will be celebrated on August 11.

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J&K: Terrorist attacks on army camp; 3 soldiers martyred, 2 terrorists killed

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Terrorist Killed

Militants attacked Rajouri military camp in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday in which three soldiers were martyred and two terrorists were killed.

Meanwhile, ADGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh confirmed the terror attack on the army camp. He said that there is an army camp in the Pargal area of ​​the Darhal sector adjoining the LoC. As soon as they entered the area, the terrorists attacked late Wednesday night, in which two jawans were also injured.

According to ADGP Pargal is 25 km away from the Rajouri district. Taking advantage of the darkness of night, the terrorists started firing indiscriminately at the soldiers. Five jawans were seriously injured in the attack, they were taken to the hospital. Doctors declared three jawans brought dead and two injured jawans are admitted to the hospital.

Moreover, security forces said that the terrorists have launched an attack and there may be more terrorists in the area. Due to this, SOG and Army personnel have started a search operation around the military camp. Alert has been declared in all areas around the LoC. Security forces have also intensified patrolling.

However, on Wednesday there was an encounter between terrorists and security forces in Budgam. In the last 24 hours, this is the second encounter in the valley. Security forces had killed all three terrorists during an encounter in Budgam. TRF commander Latif Rather was also among the slain terrorists. The other two terrorists are said to be Pakistanis.

According to ADGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar, Latif and his two accomplices were entrusted with the responsibility of target killing in Kashmir by their masters. Latif Rather was the mastermind of the murder of Kashmiri Hindu Rahul Bhatt, besides TV actor Amrin Butt and female teacher Rajni Bala.

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CONGRESS, LEFT LEADERS CONVERGE FOR RJD MEET

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CPI ML, Congress, and Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders arrived at the residence of Rabri Devi, wife of party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Patna on Tuesday.

The meeting of the RJD convened by its leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, the son of Lalu Yadav also saw leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and leaders of Congress who are part of Mahagathbandhan or the grand Opposition alliance in the state, according to Ajit Sharma, Congress Bihar legislature party leader.

The RJD leaders arriving for the meeting were asked to hand over their mobile phones ahead of the meeting

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NITISH’S DECISION A GOOD START: AKHILESH

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As Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar ended the alliance with BJP, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday termed the move as a “good start” towards taking a stand against BJP by political parties and people.

While talking to mediapersons in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, Yadav said, “It’s a good start. On this day, the slogan of ‘Angrezo Bharat Chhodo’ was given and today the slogan of ‘BJP Bhagaon’ is coming from Bihar. I think soon, political parties and people in different states will stand against BJP.”

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Chirag Paswan seeks President’s Rule in Bihar

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Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan on Tuesday demanded President’s rule in Bihar followed by fresh elections after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar resigned from his post and broke his alliance with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Hitting out at Kumar, Paswan said, “Today, the credibility of Kumar is zero”. He said that fresh assembly elections should be held to allow people to give a fresh mandate.

“We want President’s rule to be imposed in Bihar and the state should go for a fresh election. Do you (Kumar) have any ideology or not? In the next polls, Janata Dal (United) will get zero seats,” said Paswan.

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BJP MEETING GOES IN VAIN

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The meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party over the rift in National Democratic Alliance concluded at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad in Patna on Tuesday.

But it was all in vain as Nitish Kumar resigned from the Chief Minister post and formed the new ‘Mahagathbandhan’ or Grand Alliance with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

After the meeting, party leaders Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya, Renu Devi, Mangal Pandey, Nitin Navin, Amrendra Pratap Singh, and Samrat Chaudhary left Prasad’s house. 

Rumours of a growing rift between the BJP-JDU), that is, the NDA alliance in Bihar intensified after Kumar skipped a key meeting of the NITI Aayog, headed by Prime Minister.

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