To counter China, India keen to iron out strains in Iran ties - The Daily Guardian
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To counter China, India keen to iron out strains in Iran ties



With Iran’s growing proximity with China ringing alarm bells in Indian strategic establishments, New Delhi is keen to iron out strain in ties with Tehran to foil Beijing’s bid to enhance its influence in the region.

Sources say that India wants to move fast in this diplomatic goal, for which a comprehensive strategy is being put in place. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have a discussion with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar regarding India’s diplomatic preparedness to reach out to Tehran once the newly-elected President takes charge formally on 2 August.

PM Modi was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Ebrahim Raisi, after he was elected to be Iran’s next President. The PM underlined an urgent need to work with the new regime to “further strengthen warm ties between India and Iran”.  

According to sources, India has made a plan for an early engagement with Raisi’s government in Tehran. India wants to reach out to the new regime with its future plan to expedite the pending projects and invest in some new ones. The day Raisi was elected as the new head of the government in Iran, Indian officials met Iran’s Ambassador to India, Dr Ali Chegeni, apprising him of India’s commitment to carrying forward the warm ties between both the countries. 

In fact, India had to suspend the trade with Iran after the US put strict sanctions on it, following which the ties between both the nations were not that warm. Earlier, Iran has been one of the biggest suppliers of oil to India.  

After the US imposed sanctions on it, Iran, which was facing financial challenges, was looking for some new partners. With India’s trade ties under suspension, China swung into action to use this much-needed opportunity to further its agenda to grow influence in Iran. What set the alarm bell ringing in Indian establishments, Iran last year proposed a $400 billion deal with China which is the biggest deal China signed with any country. This was seen as an example of the growing proximity between Beijing and Tehran.

What has worried India is “China wants alternative markets for its products and it also wants to reduce dependence on South China Sea (SCS)”. It is already in tandem with Pakistan with its project China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China will definitely be looking for an opportunity to extend it to Iran.  The new deal will ensure oil supply to China from Iran. Moreover, it may have greater access to European markets. “India is aware that China is also eyeing Chabahar port which India is developing and a lot of work has been completed. Beijing sees it as India’s reply to its control over Pakistan’s Gwadar port,” an official said. The Dragon fears that its Gwadar plan may be thwarted by India through the Chabahar move.

So, the strategic importance of Iran is also high. With this in view, India has decided to shift its diplomatic mission in top gear to improve relations with Iran. India is also keeping an eye on what happens in the negotiation in Vienna between Iran and the United States for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal. In fact, this development will also be important for India’s diplomatic push on the Iran front. 

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PM Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu extend greetings on Janmashtami



Narendra Modi and Droupadi Murmu

On the occasion of Janmashtami Prime Minister Narendra extended greetings to the people.

Taking to Twitter PM Modi said, “Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. May this festival of devotion and gaiety bring happiness, prosperity, and good fortune to everyone’s life. Long live Shri Krishna!”

Earlier in the morning, President Droupadi Murmu also extended a greeting to the people.

“Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. From the life of Lord Krishna, we can imbibe the qualities of providing education by doing selfless deeds for the welfare of the people. I wish that this holy festival gives inspiration to all of us to give priority to everyone’s interest with thought, word, and deed,” Murmu tweeted.

Meanwhile, on the eve of Janmashtami President Murmu said, “On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens living in India and abroad.

“Lord Krishna’s life and teachings included the message of well-being and virtue. He propagated the concept of “Nishkam Karma” and enlightened the people about the attainment of the ultimate truth through the Path of ‘Dharma’. I pray that this festival of Janmashtami inspires us to follow the path of virtue in our thought, words, and actions,” Murmu further said.

Moreover, Janmashtmi is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna throughout the country. Every year Janmashtami falls in August and September.

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IAS officer in ‘disbelief’ at release of Bilkis case convicts



Bilkis Bano

The release of 11 men convicted in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her 5-year-old daughter and 13 other people during the Gujarat riots in 2002 shocked an IAS officer from the Telangana cadre. As a woman and a government servant, Smita Sabharwal, also known as The People’s Officer, stated that upon learning of the discharge of the defendants in the Bilkis Bano case, she sat in shock.

“As a woman and a civil servant, I sit in disbelief, on reading the news on the #BilkisBanoCase,” the 2001-batch IAS officer tweeted. “We cannot snuff out her Right to breathe free without fear, again and call ourselves a free nation.”

Additionally, Bilkis Bano’s attorney made a statement on the survivor’s behalf in which she said that the release of the defendants had destroyed her confidence in the legal system and left her feeling numb.

“On August 15, 2022, the trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again when I heard that the 11 convicted men who devastated my family and my life and took from me my three-year-old daughter had walked free,” she said in a statement released by her lawyer Sobha. “I was bereft of words. I am still numb.”

She has pleaded with the Gujarati government to “correct this harm” and restore her right to “live without fear and in peace.”

There has been a widespread outcry about the release of the convicts under the previous 1992 remission regime, and many people are demanding the Supreme Court to get involved. Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Jairam Ramesh, among other senior Congress leaders, criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), claiming that the choice would not have been made without the approval of the national government.

After a BJP MLA who served on the state government panel that recommended the release said that some of the prisoners were “Brahmins” with good “sanskaar,” or morals, the argument heated up. The Godhra-based BJP MLA, C K Raulji, claimed to be unaware of the inmates’ possible involvement in the crime.

“We took the decision on the basis of a Supreme Court order. We were asked to look at their (convicts’) behaviour and decide (on their early release),” Raulji told MoJo, a news portal. “We asked the jailer and learnt that their behaviour was good in the prison…also, some of the convicts) are Brahmins. They have good ‘sanskaar’ (values),” he added.

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35% pollution in the country is due to diesel and petrol, says Nitin Gadkari



Nitin Gadkari

While speaking on the problem of the import of crude oil and increasing pollution in the country Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that it is necessary to promote alternative fuels to reduce the import of crude oil and reduce pollution.

Meanwhile, Gadkari said that 35% of the pollution in the country is due to diesel and petrol. That’s why we need import-free, cost-effective, pollution-free, and indigenous products. On the launch of the country’s first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus, Gadkari said that electric vehicles are cost-effective as compared to diesel vehicles.

Apart from this, he said that the import of crude oil in India is a big challenge. The way rates are being raised, we are already experiencing this challenge. It is very difficult to even for the common man.

Moreover, Gadkari said the time has come for the automotive sector to switch to alternative fuels like electricity, ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG, bio-LNG, and hydrogen.

However, the Union Minister said that the current size of the Indian auto industry is Rs 7.5 lakh crore. It has the potential to provide maximum employment along with paying maximum taxes to the Central and State Governments. He said that my wish is to make this industry Rs 15 lakh crore by the end of the year 2024 and it is possible.

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I-Day celebrations were staged for the first time in Canada, hotbed for Khalistanis




The 76th anniversary of India’s independence was commemorated for the first time in Surrey by the Indian Consulate General in Vancouver. British Columbia’s Surrey is a haven for Khalistani separatists. The Surrey Gurdwaras, Dashmesh Darbar and Guru Nanak Sikh, are opposed to India and in favour of Khalistan. Following the murder of Ripudaman Malik, the man cleared in the 1985 Air India bombing, there were increased concerns about the activities of radicals in Khalistan, which led to the celebrations in the city of British Columbia.

The city of Surrey observed “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Day” on August 15, 2022, according to a proclamation made by Mayor Dough McCallum. The declaration emphasised the close ties between India and British Columbia, where more than 400,000 people are of Indian heritage.

“[Like] the history of India’s freedom movement, the journey of 75 years after independence is a reflection of the hard work, innovation, and enterprise of ordinary Indians, whether in the country or abroad,” the proclamation read.

There were declarations made by the mayors of Nanaimo, Burnaby, Victoria, and New Westminster that were distinct yet related.

The Indian Consulate General in Vancouver collaborated with the Naad Arts Centre in Surrey to put on the “Amrit Mahotsav Concert” at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby. The concert’s strong points were Kathak, Laavni, Gidha performances, Bhratnatyam dance, and Indian Classical Fusion.

Over 600 people attended the event, including Councillor Sav Dhaliwal of the City of Burnaby; Raj Chouhan, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia; Randy Weakes, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan; Jinny Sims, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Government of British Columbia; and a number of Members of Parliament.

The Amrit Mahotsav performance, which was held in accordance with the “Jan Bhagidari” (people’s involvement) approach, was a celebration of the rich and varied cultural legacy of India, stated Consul General Manish in his opening remarks.

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Excise Policy case: CBI raids at 21 locations in Delhi-NCR, including premises of Manish Sisodia



Manish Sisodia

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is raiding the premises of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. On Friday the CBI officials reached the residence of Manish Sisodia. Sisodia himself has informed about the action of CBI by tweeting.

“CBI has arrived. We are honest, building a future for lakhs of children. Unfortunate that in this country, whoever does good work is hassled just like this, that is why our country is still not number 1,” Sisodia said.

“I extend my welcome to the CBI. I will cooperate with the investigation so that the truth comes out at the earliest. Till now many cases have been filed against me but nothing has come out. Nothing will come out of it either. My work cannot be stopped for a good education in the country,” Sisodia tweeted.

According to the information, the CBI team is raiding more than 21 locations across Delhi-NCR. The CBI is conducting these raids in connection with the alleged excise scam in Delhi.

“Raids are going on at 21 places in Delhi and NCR, including the residence of Manish Sisodia and premises of four public servants in the Excise Policy case,” a CBI official said.

Moreover, Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came in support of Manish Sisodia. Taking Twitter Kejriwal said, “I welcome CBI. We will cooperate fully. There have been many such probes, and raids in past. Nothing came out. Nothing will come out this time too.”

Earlier in July, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena demanded a CBI probe into revamped excise policy in Delhi. He also approved the suspension of 11 officials including Gopikrishna and deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari.

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Two unidentified bodies of Children found in a suitcase in Newzealand




Police in New Zealand are looking into the suspected murder of two kids whose remains were discovered in suitcases purchased during an online auction for an unclaimed locker last week.

Following the discovery of the remains by a family searching through the contents of a storage locker they had unknowingly purchased, police in Auckland opened a homicide investigation last week.

According to a statement released by the police on Thursday, the two children were between the ages of 5 and 10 and had been deceased for some time. They continued, without giving further specifics, “The luggage had been in storage for a while.”

Although the children have not yet been officially identified, detective inspector Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua told reporters that they might have kin in New Zealand.

He continued that it was probable that the children’s families were oblivious to their deaths.

Police withheld information regarding the children’s cause of death and any potential suspects.

The family who discovered the bodies was unrelated to the victims.

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