THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Marking the beginning of a pilgrim season, scaled-down due to Covid pandemic, the Sabarimala Temple opened for the annual Mandalakala-Makaravillakku festival on Sunday evening. Devotees will be allowed to visit the temple from Monday morning, while the Mandalapooja will be performed on 26 December. Melshanti (main priest) A.K. Sudheer Namboothiri opened the doors of the Sanctum Sanctorum and lit the lamps at 5 pm in the presence of Chief Priest Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru.
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Rakesh Tikait to hold Kisan Mahapanchayat in UP’s Saharanpur
Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 28 (ANI): Amid the ongoing framers’ protest at Delhi borders against the three Central agricultural laws, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait will hold a Kisan Mahapanchayat at Lakhnaur in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
According to sources, all preparations for the Kisan Mahapanchayat have been completed. Reportedly, in order to mobilise the historical crowd in Panchayat, BKU leaders were visiting villages and talking to farmers for the last several days.
A company of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and personnel from at least four police stations have been deployed to maintain law and order in the state, said sources.
Police will also monitor the speeches of Kisan Mahapanchayat, they added.
Tikait would be attending farmers’ meetings planned across Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to garner support for the ongoing stir against the new farm laws.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)
DCW demands action taken report from Delhi police in Kalkaji stabbing case
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) took suo moto cognisance in the case of the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy for opposing stalking and eve-teasing of his sister in Kalkaji and issued a notice to the Station House Officer (SHO) of the area.
“Reportedly, the girl has alleged that when she approached the police to lodge the complaint, the police officials refused to take any action. This is a very serious matter. The Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994 mandates the Commission to investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the Constitution and give recommendations to the government on the issue of women’s safety,” said DCW’s notice.
The DCW asked the SHO, Kalkaji to prove the commission with a copy of the FIR registered in the matter, and a copy of the complaint(s) received from the girl (if any) regarding stalking and eve-teasing, and actions taken by the police.
It also demanded details of action taken against the police officials with respect to the allegations made by the girl, details of the accused arrested in the matte and detailed action taken report in the matter.
“Considering the gravity of the matter, please provide the sought information to the commission latest by March 3,” the notice added.
Delhi police, on Saturday, arrested five persons in connection with the incident. A 17-year-old boy was admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre on Friday after being beaten up and stabbed by three boys in the Kalkaji area when he objected to them following his sister and passing indecent remarks.
As per the police, the sister of the injured, who was present with him at the time of the incident, had stated that three boys followed her and passed indecent remarks. When her brother objected, they beat him up and one of them stabbed him on the left side of the abdomen and fled from the spot.
Meanwhile, the victim had told ANI, “It was going on for 2-3 days. They hit my brother and stabbed him when he objected. When I went to a policeman who was around, he said he doesn’t see any blood. When I pointed out I’m covered in it, he shouted at me. Another policeman wrote my complaint.” (ANI)
Madurai DM holds all party meeting ahead of Assembly polls
Madurai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 28 (ANI): Ahead of the scheduled state assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, an all-party meeting was held on Saturday at the residence of the District Collector, T Anbalagan in Madurai.
In the meeting held on Saturday, the District Collector held talks with the leaders from the various political parties in the state and apprised them of the preparations being done.
“As many as 992 of 3856 polling stations have been identified as vulnerable and sensitive, based on the previous incidents,” Anbalagan said in a press conference on Saturday.
The District Collector added that the police personnel on election duty will be selected in a rotational order.
“There are 40 thousand postal votes in the Madurai district. We have given permission to hold public meetings in 21 places. A toll-free number 1950 can be used by the public, to inform the administration of any complaint or suspicion regarding the election process,” he said. (ANI)
Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar takes charge as Western Naval Command Chief
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar on Sunday took charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-In-Chief of Western Naval Command (WNC) from C Ajit Kumar in a ceremony at the Command Post of Headquarters, Western Naval Command, Mumbai.
Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar retired after four decades of service in the Indian Navy.
The outgoing and incoming Commanders-in-Chief were accorded a Guard of Honour after which the handing over of the baton to the new Commander-in-Chief took place. On assuming command, Vice Admiral Hari Kumar laid a wreath at the Gaurav Stambh monument.
“Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy was commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 1, 1983. He specialised in Gunnery and has commanded five ships including a Destroyer and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat,” stated an official statement from the Navy.
“He has held important staff appointments both ashore and afloat and has also been Naval Advisor to the Government of Seychelles. On promotion to flag rank, he has held the appointments of Commandant of Naval War College at Goa, Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Chief of Staff at Western and Chief of Personnel at Naval Headquarters,” read the official statement.
Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar is a recipient of the Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service.
“The outgoing FOC-in-C, Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC has seen extensive operational deployments in response to developing security situations in the post the Pulwama attack and the Galwan crisis across the Indian Ocean Region,” further read the official statement.
“During the period WNC was also at the forefront of anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and in Operation Samudra Setu for the evacuation of Indian nationals from various countries during COVID-19 pandemic,” added the official statement. (ANI)
K’taka minister appeals to CM for reservation to Veerashaiva-Lingayat community
Koppal (Karnataka) [India], February 28 (ANI): Karnataka Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R Nirani on Saturday appealed to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for reservation to the entire Veerashaiva-Lingayat community, saying that there are a lot of sub-sects in the community and reservation is necessary to ensure social justice.
“There are many marginalised sub-sects such as Kumbara and Hadapa in Veerashaiva-Lingayat community who don’t have MPs or MLAs, or the strength to stage an agitation. It is my opinion that the entire Veerashaiva-Lingayat community should be included in the 2A category. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will take an appropriate decision,” Nirani was quoted in a statement.
He further mentioned other communities like Halumatha and Valmiki, who have been demanding reservation and said, “The Social Welfare department will have to consider their demand and finally the cabinet will make a decision after studying the pros and cons.”
He also hit out at former MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar saying that the Congress leader is free to act as per his wish.
“We are all united in the agitation seeking quota for our community. I am not as big a leader as former MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar. Let him take the leadership role and lead the agitation, we will do whatever we could at the government level,” Nirani said. (ANI)
ISRO launches PSLV-C51 carrying 19 satellites
Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 28 (ANI): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday launched Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C51 carrying Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite and 18 other satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
PSLV-C51 launched Amazonia-1, an optical earth observation satellite, and 18 other satellites on Sunday at 10:24 am.
A Brazilian delegation was present at Satish Dhawan Space Centre for the launch. ISRO chief K. Sivan was also present.
PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under the Department of Space. The NSIL is undertaking this mission under a commercial arrangement with Spaceflight Inc. USA.
Amazonia-1 is the optical earth observation satellite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This satellite would further strengthen the existing structure by providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51), which is the 53rd mission of PSLV launched Amazonia-1 of Brazil as the primary satellite. A total of 18 Co-passenger satellites were also lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 10:24 am on Sunday.
The 18 co-passenger satellites include four from IN-SPACe (three UNITYsats from the consortium of three Indian academic institutes and One Satish Dhawan Sat from Space Kidz India) and 14 from NSIL. (ANI)
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