PUNJAB CM CONDEMNS SINGHU VIOLENCE, SAYS THIS IS WHAT PAKISTAN WANTS - The Daily Guardian
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PUNJAB CM CONDEMNS SINGHU VIOLENCE, SAYS THIS IS WHAT PAKISTAN WANTS

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Condemning the violence by some miscreants at the Singhu border, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh urged the Centre to conduct a thorough probe to identify the so-called locals who had purportedly broken through tight security cordons to attack farmers and their property.

“Were they really locals,” asked the Chief Minister, seeking a proper investigation to identify the trouble-makers and ascertain where they came from. “I can’t believe that the local people could have turned against the farmers like this. Miscreants might have been brought from other places by vested interests to foment trouble,” he said, adding that locals calling the farmers traitors was not something he could believe to be true.

Calling for an immediate end to the vilification campaign launched against farmers in the wake of the Red Fort violence, the Chief Minister warned that maligning the farmers in this manner could cause the morale of the armed forces, 20% of which is from Punjab, to go down. Spreading false information against the farmers can create divisions, which can cause problems for Punjab, he further warned, urging the media to handle the situation properly and sensitively.

“What is happening and what happened at Singhu today is what Pakistan wants,” said Captain Amarinder, pointing out that he had been warning for a long time that Pakistan will try to exploit the unrest over the Farm Laws to disturb Punjab’s peace. That was what he had discussed with the Union Home Minister also during his meeting, over which a lot of noise was raised, he said, adding that he had told the HM that drones were coming from Pakistan with weapons, drugs, etc, and while many had been caught in Punjab, some would have passed through. Central agencies should investigate the possible Pakistan role in the recent disturbances and violence during the farmers’ agitation, he said.

The Chief Minister advised the farmers as well the Central government to continue engaging in dialogue to resolve the problem. “I could have resolved the issue by now,” he said, adding that the resolution of the issue needed both sides to talk as friends and not enemies. There needs to be a genuine settlement, he added.

Reacting to allegations that he was behind the farmers’ agitation, the Chief Minister said that the “tragic part BJP is indulging all this without trying to understand why farmers are angry, why they don’t want the laws”.

“We have small farmers and removal of MSP or ending the Arhtiya system will hit them hard,” he said, adding that the Central government does not understand the psyche of the farmers of Punjab. However, he made it clear that while Punjab’s farmers might have led the agitation initially, the movement had now spread across the country.

Asserting that his sympathies, and those of his government and party were with the farmers, which is why they had passed their own bills in the state, the Chief Minister said every farmer in the country has his/her heart at Delhi’s borders at present.

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Cong-Left alliance, ISF to discuss seat sharing at 4:30 pm today

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 27 (ANI): The Congress-Left alliance and Indian Secular Front (ISF) will meet for a discussion regarding seat sharing at 4:30 pm on Saturday.
According to sources, the meeting will take place in Alimuddin.
Notably, ISF has made an alliance with Congress and Left Front to contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Bengal.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls (in contrast to seven-phased polling last time). While the voting will begin on March 27, the counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Uttarakhand: Rishikesh-Srinagar road closed due to landslide

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Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) [India], February 27 (ANI): Vehicular movement on the Rishikesh-Srinagar road near Kaudiyala has been suspended due to a landslide, officials said on Saturday.
“A landslide occurred at NH58 Rishikesh-Srinagar road in Tehri Garhwal. The road is closed near Kaudiyala due to the landslide,” said District Disaster Management Officer Brijesh Bhatt.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Uttarakhand is likely to receive scattered rainfall and snowfall during the next 24 hours.
“Under the influence of western disturbance and cyclonic circulation over north Pakistan and neighborhood, fairly widespread rainfall and snowfall are very likely over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, Muzaffarabad and scattered rainfall and snowfall over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand during the next 24 hours and isolated rainfall and snowfall over there region during subsequent during the next 24 hours,” IMD said in its Saturday bulletin.
A fresh western disturbance is likely to affect Western Himalayan regions from the night of March 2. (ANI)

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Urdu Bulletin: Announcement of Assembly polls in 4 states, UT; Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to polling in 8 phases covered prominently

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): In today’s editions various Urdu publications gave prominent coverage to the Election Commission’s announcement of Assembly elections dates in four states- Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal along with Union Territory of Puducherry. They also highlighted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of polling being conducted in eight phases in the state.
Inquilab: The newspaper took the Election Commission’s announcement of dates in four states and a Union Territory as the lead. The article also contained Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of the decision to conduct the polls in eight phases in West Bengal. The publication also highlighted the Congress and left parties’ leaders welcoming the EC’s decision.
The publication also carried a report on Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary’s statement on farmers’ protest with the headline “If the government won’t listen to farmers then the government will be changed”.
Rashtriya Sahara: The daily reported EC’s announcement of poll dates while gave coverage to Mamata Banerjee’s statement “Polling in eight phases an insult of Bengal”.
It also reported that India’s GDP recorded an increase of 0.4 per cent in the third quarter. The newspaper also gave prominent coverage to cricketer Yusuf Pathan’s retirement from international cricket with the headline “Yusuf Pathan said goodbye to international cricket.” (ANI)

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Karnataka: Mobile library rolled out for children in Kalaburagi’s remote areas

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Kalaburagi (Karnataka) [India], February 27 (ANI): A mobile library bus has been rolled out by North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) along with the Zilla panchayat, education department and library department in Kalaburagi district.
The initiative was started with the aim of encouraging children in remote areas to inculcate the habit of reading, said Kurma Rao, Managing Director of the NEKRTC.
“We receive overwhelmingly positive responses from both teachers and students across the district wherever we go. The main objective of this is to inculcate the habit of reading and to get students interested in various kinds of books. The bus is now roaming in interior villages,” Rao said.
The unconventional library, in an old bus with over 4,000 books and about a hundred magazines, will soon allow students to issue books and return them the next time the bus visits.
“Children are very keen to issue books from the library as well so we are planning to come up with a program that will allow students to borrow and return the next time,” Rao added. (ANI)

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Residents of J-K border district thank Centre for ceasefire decision with Pak

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Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 27 (ANI): People living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir around the Line of Control (LoC) have expressed relief and gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan after both sides decided to cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors.
Several residents around the tumultuous area have suffered due to tensions between the two countries, and many have lost limbs, eyes, and other body parts.
Haji Mohd Shafi Naib, Sarpanch of the Pukharni village in Rajouri, described the grim conditions of the people in the village, saying that many used to be terrified to leave their homes due to constant fear.
“We used to be terrified to leave our houses. People rarely left their homes to go to work and schools have been closed for over a year and a half because we didn’t want our children to leave the house. I can point out several houses that have bullet holes on doors and walls. I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his consideration for the people living in the border areas,” he told ANI.
He added, “I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for their decision. We have lost several villagers to cross-border firing and many have lost legs, hands and eyes. Now, we can finally sleep and work in peace,” he added.
Another woman, Sharifa Begum who lost her older brother to a firing at the border told ANI, “I am glad that I can now start a new life and feel safe in my home. We are very grateful to the Modi government for the decision. I lost my older brother to such firing incidents a few years ago. Now my children and I can sleep in peace and focus on their education.”
Earlier on Thursday, after discussions between the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan, the two sides have to cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC)and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24 to 25.
The discussion between the two armies took place at a time when a large number of ceasefire violations were taking place along the LoC and violence levels were going up especially for the villagers living along the LoC on both sides.
“Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24 to 25,” a joint statement issued by the Defence Ministry said. (ANI)

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Congress equally respects all religions, people, castes: Ghulam Nabi Azad

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 27 (ANI): The strength of Congress is that it ‘equally respect’ all religions, people and castes, said the party’s veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu on Saturday.
“Be it Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh, we respect all religions, people and castes. We equally respect everyone, that is our strength and we will continue with this,” said Azad.
Azad’s statement came after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ‘North-South’ remark that came while addressing a public rally in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this week.
Azad was joined by senior Congress leaders Anand Sharma, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kapil Sibbal, Raj Babbar and Vivek Tankha during the ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu.

Most of these leaders are seen as party’s dissenters, also known as G-23 (or the group of 23 dissenting leaders, who had questioned the party’s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi).
Azad, while talking about the presence of senior party leaders in Jammu and Kashmir said, “These leaders are here because, in the last five-six years, all these friends did not speak any less than me in the Parliament over issues of Jammu and Kashmir, its unemployment, stripping off of statehood, finishing off industries and education, and implementation of GST.”
On the condition of anonymity, yesterday a senior leader of the Congress G-23 told ANI that the event in Jammu is a “show of party’s strength” and a message to Rahul Gandhi: “We will tell the country that from north to south, India is one.”
Last year in August, G-23 leaders through a letter to interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed their discontent and urged the top leadership of Congress to bring immediate reforms, including organisational elections from the grass-roots to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) level.
Today, they are once again up in arms against the Gandhi family and their loyal close circle who are holding key positions in the party and the parliament.
Rahul Gandhi was heavily criticised by BJP leaders after he had said “For the first 15 years, I was an MP in the North. I got used to a different type of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was refreshing as suddenly I found that people are interested in issues and not just superficially but going into detail in issues.” (ANI)

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