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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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Women’s under-17 assistant football coach Alex Ambrose sacked for alleged sexual misconduct

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Former India international Alex Ambrose who has been charged with allegations of sexual misconduct was sacked from his position as assistant coach of the Indian Under-17 women’s football team.  The allegations were labelled by an unnamed player of the youth team during the squad’s preparation stint in Italy and Norway for the upcoming Under-17 World Cup which will be played in India in October across three different venues namely Bhubaneshwar, Margao & Navi Mumbai. 

Ambrose who plied his trade in the I-League for Mumbai FC who returned to India midway through the preparatory camp on AIFF’s diktat was placed under provisional suspension by the governing body of football in India. 

Without naming the coach, AIFF Acknowledged the incident and made it public through a media release. While the governing body of football in the country refrained from revealing the identity of the player, speculations were ripe and the murmurs grew loud that the unnamed person was indeed Ambrose.

  “An event of misconduct has been reported in the U-17 women’s team, currently on an exposure tour to Europe. The AIFF follows a zero-tolerance policy on indiscipline. As an initial action, the Federation has provisionally suspended the individual pending further investigation,” the statement read. But now as it stands, he has been sacked by the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Arbitrators (COA) tasked with running the daily affairs of AIFF till the federation conducts fresh elections and elect new office bearers. COA had earlier placed him under provisional suspension. 

“Alex Ambrose, Assistant head coach of Under 17 women’s team has been sacked for sexual misconduct. Further action under process,” Dr. S.Y Quraishi, a key member of the COA said on microblogging site Twitter.

Talking to the Daily Guardian, Dr Quraishi said that apart from the disciplinary action, legal action will also be taken against Ambrose. “Yes, definitely we will be taking legal action against him. We are still in the process of finalising the process and understanding the pros and cons of the situation. Once we have ironed few things, that is by tonight or tomorrow morning we will soon be filing an FIR with the police,” Dr. Quraishi told this newspaper over telephone.

Talking about the internal committee which will be conducting a probe on it own as well, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India said, “We already have a committee in place and have requested some other expert as well to join us on this as it will make the committee more strong.”

When quizzed if any special counselling session has been arranged for the members of the squad as the incident could be harrowing for them, Dr. Quraishi said, “No we have not done that yet. The players are still training abroad and once they are back, we will have a proper and thorough discussion with the players.”

The trouble for Ambrose meanwhile does not end here as the All India Federation of Coaches has decided to strip him of core team membership and all associated posts. 

“In light of the recent condemnable incident that happened in the IndiaU-17 Women›s National Team, The Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC)has come to a unanimous decision to strip Alex Ambrose of the core team membership and all associated posts,” AIFC announced through a social media statement.

The Members Associations (AIFF) also took condemned the incident and has requested the COA and AIFF administrators to conduct an independent inquiry as well file an FIR.

“State associations would like to recommend stringent action including legal and exemplary punishment with a life ban from football and even cancelling his coaching licenses,” Members Associations’ said in a statement.

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NEW INDIA SHOULD BE OF DREAMS OF FREEDOM FIGHTERS: PM MODI

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the new India should be an India of the dreams of fighters who gave their lives for the freedom of the country.

PM Modi also called on youths to work toward building New India with new opportunities, growth avenues and dreams. He was addressing the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Alluri Sitarama Raju in Andhra Pradesh’s Bhimavaram. “Our new India should be an India of the dreams of fighters who gave their lives for our freedom. In past eight years, we have worked with full devotion, walking on principles of Alluri Sitarama Raju, we’ve worked towards the welfare of tribals,” he said.The Prime Minister said when the poor, marginalized, women, youth, and all citizens of the country come together, nothing can come in the way of New India.

“During India’s freedom struggle, the youth played a pivotal role. Today, as we are building a New India, the youth needs to come forward and contribute to this vision,” he said.

He further said that for the first time after Independence, to create awareness about Adivasi Gaurav and Viraasat the government is building museums to tell the story of the great tribal leaders of India.

“For the first time since independence, tribal museums are being set up to showcase the tribal pride and heritage in the country. ‘Alluri Sitarama Raju Memorial Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum’ is also being built in Lambasingi, Andhra Pradesh,” said PM Modi.

In his speech, PM Modi further said that it is the responsibility of everyone in New India to fulfill the dreams of heroes.

“Today, it is the responsibility of all of us countrymen to fulfill the dreams of these fighters in Amrit Kaal. Our new India should be the India of their dreams. An India in which poor, farmers, labourers, backward, tribals have equal opportunities,” added PM Modi.

He also remembered that once, Alluri Sitarama Raju dared the Britishers to stop him.

“Alluri Sitarama Raju once said – “Dum Hai Toh Mujhe Rok Lo!” Today, 133 crore citizens are saying to every hurdle in the path of the country’s development – “Dum Hai Toh Hamein Rok Lo!” said PM.

PM Modi also unveiled the 30-feet tall bronze statue of Alluri Sitarama Raju on the occasion.

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Siddaramaiah’s big birthday bash plan leaves party red faced

R. Jayaprakash

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Barely a few days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had a ‘peace meeting’ with senior state leaders in Delhi, the Siddu camp has put a grand plan in motion to mark his 75th birthday on 12 August outside the party fold, leaving the party high command red faced. The Siddu camp has eponymously called the celebration, the Siddaramaiah, 75 Amrutmahotsav.

The Congress leader had called KPCC President D.K. Shivakumar and Congress Legislative Party Leader in Karnataka state Assembly Siddaramaiah last week on 28 June to bring truce between the warring leaders and discuss party preparations for coming Assembly elections in the state. Elections to the state Assembly are due sometime around May next year. The meeting was held in the presence of Karnataka in-charge Randeep Surjewala and AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal. The meeting followed after Siddaramaiah tried to push his name as chief ministerial face in the next elections through the party high command a week before, when Siddaramaiah was in Delhi along with other state leaders to participate in the Congress ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar.

However, it looks like that Siddu, as Siddaramaiah

is popularly known, has given the party high command’s peace efforts a snub as his camp made a big plan to mark his 75th birthday on 12 August outside the party fold.

During last week’s meeting, it was brought to the notice of party leaders about how Siddaramaiah was making efforts to project himself as chief ministerial face for coming elections and also organising ‘Ahinda’ (acronym for minorities/SC/ST and OBC) programmes outside the party banner and such initiatives would not benefit the party. According to sources, Siddu had been told in clear terms that nobody was above the party and all programmes must happen under the party banner. Yet, he is going ahead with organising a big birthday bash in his name in the state, sources said.

A committee comprising his loyalists – former Industries Minister RV Deshpande, ‘motor mouth’ KN Rajanna and former PWD Minister HC Mahadevappa – has also been put together for ‘Siddaramaiah – 75 Amrutmahotsav’ celebrations. Rajanna had raised some hackles when he said that Deve Gowda would soon be carried by four persons.

The troika is holding a press conference on Tuesday at a star hotel to make the announcement for ‘Siddaramaiah – 75 Amrutmahotsav’ celebrations.

Sources in KPCC told The Daily Guardian Review that the party is unaware of this press briefing and this issue is now being escalated to the party high command in Delhi. “When BS Yediyurappa turned 77 last year, he was the sitting CM then and the programme took place under the banner of the party. But here time and again Siddaramaiah is holding events to project and position himself as though he is indispensable. He hardly does any activity in the party ever since DK was given the charge of the party and now he has resorted to blackmail tactics,” sources said. 

While the press release has already been circulated by the Siddaramaiah’s office about Tuesday’s press conference, it remains to be seen if the party high command would rein in Siddu before it is too late.

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BLACK BALLOONS RELEASED NEAR PM’S CHOPPER, 4 CONGRESSMEN ARRESTED

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Four Congress workers were arrested for releasing black balloons after PM Modi’s chopper took off from Gannavaram Airport near Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Police said there was no security breach on his arrival amid Congress protest and balloons were released five minutes after the Prime Minister’s helicopter left and arrests have been made.

The Prime Minister reached the airport after launching a year-long 125th birth anniversary celebration of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju in Bhimavaram in the state. Police officials said that a strict security cordon was laid around the airport.

Vijay Pal, DSP, Krishna District said four Congress workers have been arrested in the case and a few more are yet to be arrested.

“The four arrested Congress workers will be produced before the court,” he said.

Police said there was no security breach during PM Modi’s arrival at Gannavaram Airport. Balloons were released five minutes after PM’s departure from the airport via chopper. However, the state BJP came down heavily on the government and said the PM’s security was compromised.

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SHAH HOLDS MEETING WITH NIA CHIEF ON UDAIPUR, AMRAVATI

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Days after the Ministry of Home Affairs directed National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the probe of the brutal killings in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and Maharashtra’s Amravati, NIA chief Dinkar Gupta on Monday held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his office in the national capital.

On June 28, a tailor Kanhaiya Lal Kumar was beheaded by two men inside his shop in Udaipur in the broad daylight, while a chemist shop owner Umesh Kolhe was killed by several men in Amravati on June 21.

In Udaipur, curfew was relaxed for 12 hours on Monday as the situation in the Rajasthan city, which was gripped by communal tension following the brutal murder of a tailor by two men, remained peaceful. Mobile internet services were also restored after remaining suspended for days.

Following the incident, curfew was imposed in areas falling under the limits of seven police stations — Dhan Mandi, Ghanta Ghar, Hathi Pole, Amba Mata, Suraj Pole, Bhupalpura and Savina.

“A curfew relaxation of 12 hours, from 8 am to 8 pm, has been given today. The situation is absolutely normal,” Udaipur Collector Tara Chand Meena said. Another official said the suspension of mobile internet services in the city ended at 12 pm. Superintendent of Police Vikas Sharma said, “Policemen are deployed in the city to maintain law and order and the situation is normal and completely under control. Udaipur has been peaceful and appeals have been made to people to maintain the peace.”

In Amravati killing case, a district court in Amravati sent the key accused and Irfan Sheikh, the mastermind in the murder case to police custody till July 7. The accused, identified as Irfan Sheikh, was arrested by Amravati police in Nagpur on Sunday. The six accused have been identified as Mudassir Ahmad (22); Shah Rukh Pathan (25); Abdul Thoufique (24); Shoaib Khan (22); Atib Rashid (22) and Yusufkan Bahadur Khan (44).Investigators so far believe that the chemist was killed allegedly in retaliation for a social media post supporting BJP’s Nupur Sharma who had made controversial comments on the Prophet in a television debate.NIA on Thursday said it suspects the role of a “terror gang and not a terror outfit”.The anti-terror agency, however, made it clear that there is a role of a bigger gang behind the brutal killing and that it was not just an act done by only two persons, who were arrested by state police after the incident.

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Jaishankar-Wang likely to meet in Indonesia, LAC row may figure

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar will deliver a stern message to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the border stand-off.

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are likely to meet in Indonesia this week during which the Line of Actual Control (LAC) stand-off may be discussed. Sources told The Daily Guardian Review that Jaishankar and Wang may hold talks on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which is scheduled to be held in Bali on 7-8 July. The FMs’ meeting is being hosted by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.  

The interactions at the foreign ministers’ meet will set the stage for the G-20 Summit which will be hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo later this year. At the FM’s Meet, Jaishankar will outline India’s stand on food, energy security and global supply chains, sources said. Jaishankar may also engage with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Definitely, the Ukraine situation will be one of the key agendas during the talks between the Indian and Russian foreign ministers. Jaishankar is set to reaffirm India’s stand favouring dialogue to resolve the problems between Russia and Ukraine. The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers had last met Jaishankar in India in March and April, respectively.

EAM Jaishankar is also likely to hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from various countries in the West including the US. He will also hold a separate meeting with the host Indonesian Foreign Minister.

All eyes will, however, be on Jaishankar’s meeting with Wang Yi, during which the LAC deadlock may figure. The diplomats on both sides are exploring the possibility of scheduling a meeting of Jaishankar and Wang on the sidelines of the G-20 FMs’ meet.    

Top diplomatic sources informed that if the meeting takes place, Jaishankar will deliver a stern message to his Chinese counterpart on the LAC problems. “Wang will be told that normal ties between India and China will be back on track only if the boundary row is resolved,” sources said. This will be a clear message for Chinese President Xi Jinping as well, who wanted bilateral relations to be normal between New Delhi and Beijing ‘without waiting for resolution’ of the LAC issue, sources add.

Wang had come with Xi’s proposal on 25 March, and Jaishankar had rejected it outright.  Wang reiterated this proposal during his recent meeting with India’s ambassador to China, Pradeep Rawat. Rawat had also rejected the proposal, emphasizing the criticality of maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas for realizing the full potential of India-China relations and its positive implications for the world, particularly Asia.

During his talks with Wang, Jaishankar is going to reaffirm India’s stand that China should first cooperate with India to resolve standoff over LAC and then the other normal processes in bilateral ties will be restored. The 15th round of negotiation between military commanders of India and China on 11 March failed to break the impasse on mutual withdrawal of troops from Hot Springs or Patrol Point 15 in eastern Ladakh. Next round of talks at the military commander level will be held and a date will be fixed once Jaishankar returns from Indonesia after meeting Wang, sources said.  

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