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Top US generals remind forces of their duty, affirm Biden as next President

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The top-most serving military generals of the US, in an unprecedented statement released on Tuesday, while condemning the “seditious” act of “invasion” of the US Capitol on 6 January by the supporters of President Donald Trump, have reminded the American forces of their “oath to defend the Constitution”.

The letter, signed by America’s most senior general, Mark Milley, and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is comprised of the heads of each military branch, was addressed to the joint force, which is made up of about 13 lakh active members and more than 8 lakh National Guardsmen and reservists. The chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, was appointed by President Trump in December 2018.

“The violent riot in Washington, D.C. on 6 January 2021 was a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process,” the statement said. “We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”

The generals further went on to state that the armed forces will uphold their duty and that President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on 20 January becoming the 46th commander in chief.

“The American people have trusted the Armed Forces of the United States to protect them and our Constitution for almost 250 years. As we have done throughout our history, the US military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” the memo reads.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is made up of the top eight military officials in the country. It includes the chair and vice chair, the commandant of the Marine Corps, the chiefs of staff of the Army and Air Force, and the chiefs of the National Guard Bureau, naval operations and space operations. The Joint Chiefs of Staff serve as the president’s chief military advisers, and generally remain apolitical. Even though the statement has stayed away from giving any political messaging it is being termed as ‘remarkable’ as the chiefs felt that they needed to remind their men of their ‘duty’ and ‘allegiance’.

Multiple US agencies are tracking several threats of violence by supporters of the President in the days ahead of the inauguration and more than 10,000 National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington D.C. to prevent any repeat of what happened on 6 January. The US Defense Department is already investigating whether any US service members played a role in the violence in the Capitol which resulted in the death of five individuals.

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Republic Day: Girl students enthrall spectators at Rajpath with dance highlighting ‘Fit India Movement’

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New Delhi [India], January 26 (ANI): The girl students of Delhi government schools on Tuesday perfomed “Hum Fit Toh India Fit” dance at the Republic Day parade at Rajpath, representing the ‘Fit India Movement.’
“Milkar badhein aao manzil ki aur, laaein Fit India ka Daur” (Let’s move to the destination bringing Fit India) more than a hundred students of Yamuna Vihar’s Government Girls Senior Secondary School enthralled the spectators with a power-packed performance at Rajpath- a boulevard in the heart of Delhi where the Repubic Day’s main function is held every year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the “Fit India Movement” on the occasion of National Sports Day on August 29, 2019. It is a nation-wide campaign that aims at encouraging people to include physical activities and sports in their everyday lives.
The senior students of Delhi Tamil Association Schools presented the folk dances of Tamil Nadu in the parade. The children in colorful attire mesmerised people with their performance.
The diverse folk dances of the southern state in their traditional dresses fascinated all at Rajpath.
Tamil Nadu has a rich tradition of folk arts and crafts displaying skills and dexterity handed down from generations. The conduct of folk dances on occasions of temple festivals and community functions give entertainment, mirth and merry to the villagers.
The Eastern Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata, performed Bajasal, a folk dance of Odisha which is usually performed during weddings.
The Bajasal is one of the most beautiful folk dances of Kalahandi, Odisha. Here ‘Baja’ means the instrument, a drum played in the dance and ‘Sal’ means the place where these instruments are played. Before the marriage function, many pre-marriage functions are held according to their traditional rites and rituals.
Apart from this, the students of Mount Abu Public School and Vidya Bharti School, Delhi also performed dance to highlight the government’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative. (ANI)

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Sasikala’s health condition stable, being continuously monitored: Bengaluru hospital

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 26 (ANI): The health condition of former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader VK Sasikala, who is undergoing COVID-19 treatment here at a Bengaluru hospital, is stable.
“Sasikala is stable and comfortable and is taking oral food normally. She is walking with support,” informed the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) on Tuesday.
The medical college also revealed that she is being treated as per standard protocol for COVID-19 and is being continuously monitored, it added.
The close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalitha was admitted to Lady Curzon Hospital following complaints of fever and later she was admitted to BMCRI and tested positive for COVID-19 in an RT-PCR test on January 21.
She is currently serving a sentence in a disproportionate assets case. In 2019, the Income Tax Department had attached properties worth Rs 1,600 crore belonging to the former AIADMK leader under the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
Following her being sent to prison, a controversy had broken out after a committee report alleged that Sasikala had been receiving special treatment inside the prison. (ANI)

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Be peaceful, country is with you: Punjab CM urges farmers to maintain peace during tractor rally

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Patiala (Punjab) [India], January 26 (ANI): Asserting that his heart was with the farmers protesting against the central laws on the Republic Day, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday appealed to the farmers to ensure that their ‘tractor rally’ event remains peaceful.
As per the statement, Singh said that the Centre had deliberately kept Punjab out of the high-powered committee, knowing that the voices of protest would rise from the state. The Chief Minister declared that farmers’ voices will continue to rise till their interests are secured.
Punjab was included in the high-powered committee only after he wrote to the Centre on the issue, neither he nor his government were ever asked or consulted about the new farm laws, the state government said.
The Chief Minister appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfill the demands of the agitating farmers, who are sitting at Delhi’s borders for the past two months. “The farm laws are completely wrong as they are against federalism since agriculture is a state subject under Schedule 7 of the Constitution,” he said.
Unfurling the national tricolor here at Raja Bhalindra Singh sports complex, the Chief Minister recalled the contribution of Baba Saheb BR Ambedkar, who had drafted the Constitution which remains the foundation of the nation’s governance till date.
Hoping that the farmers’ tractor rally today passes off as peacefully as their agitation so far has been, the Chief Minister said, “Old farmers are sitting at the borders of the national capital, not for themselves but their children and the future generations.”
“Be peaceful, and the country is with you. 122 MPs in the UK had spoken in favor of the farmers and other countries had also supported the protests as the farmers had been peaceful all along,” he added.
Protests against the Central agri laws intensified in the national capital on Tuesday as groups of farmers were seen indulging in vandalism of public property and targeting police personnel deployed for Republic Day security.
Reports of farmers breaking barricades to enter Delhi and indulging in vandalism poured from several parts of the city.
Protesting farmers have now reached ITO after breaking police barricades placed opposite old Delhi Police headquarters and were seen attacking police personnel and vandalising vehicles.(ANI)

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Tractor rally: Violence near ITO area as protestors try to run over cops

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New Delhi [India], January 26 (ANI): Violence continued near ITO area in the national capital as tractors driven by protestors deliberately tried to run over police personnel deployed in the area.
Protesting farmers reached ITO after breaking police barricades placed opposite old Delhi Police headquarters and were seen attacking police personnel and vandalising vehicles.
Several people including police personnel suffered injuries during the clash between protesting farmers and police.

Protests against the Central agri laws intensified in the national capital on Tuesday as groups of farmers were seen indulging in vandalism of public property and targeting police personnel deployed for Republic Day security.

Reports of farmers breaking barricades to enter Delhi and indulging in vandalism poured from several parts of the city.
Delhi Police officials sit on the road in Nangloi to block the area where farmers holding tractor parade have reached.
As the protests have intensified, the gates of several metro stations have been closed.
“Entry/exit gates of Samaypur Badli, Rohini Sector 18/19, Haiderpur Badli Mor, Jahangir Puri, Adarsh Nagar, Azadpur, Model Town, GTB Nagar, Vishwavidyalaya, Vidhan Sabha and Civil Lines are closed,” DMRC tweeted.
Entry/exit gates of all stations on the green line, Lal Quila, Indraprastha and ITO metro stations have been closed.
Meanwhile, farmer leader and Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait denied any reports of violence by farmers.
“Rally is going on peacefully. I don’t have any knowledge of it (violence). We are at Ghazipur and are releasing the traffic here,” he said.
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)

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PM Modi greets, waves at people on Rajpath after Republic Day parade

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New Delhi [India], January 26 (ANI): Soon after the conclusion of Republic Day parade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the security protocol and walked on Rajpath, greeting and waving towards visitors seated on both sides of the road.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PM Modi opted for a Namastey and waved them from a distance.
The Prime Minister, encircled with his security posse, was seen waving at the crowd and addressing them with a ‘Namastey’. Last year, the Prime Minister had also shaken hands with a few visitors.

Soon after the conclusion of the parade, tricolour balloons were released.
PM Modi walked for several minutes on Rajpath. People were seen enthusiastically waving at the Prime Minister.

India is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day today. On this day, India adopted its Constitution in 1950. (ANI)

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Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan: Priyanka Gandhi wishes nation on Republic Day

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Delhi [India], January 26 (ANI): A farmers are carrying out a truck rally to protest the central farm laws on 72nd Republic day, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday raised the slogan of ‘Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan’.
“Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan! May our Republic achieve more strength in coming days,” the Congress general secretary tweeted.
Protests against the Central agri laws intensified in the national capital on Tuesday as groups of farmers were seen indulging in vandalism of public property and targeting police personnel deployed for Republic Day security.

Reports of farmers breaking barricades to enter Delhi and indulging in vandalism poured from several parts of the city.

Protesting farmers have now reached ITO after breaking police barricades placed opposite old Delhi Police headquarters and were seen attacking police personnel and vandalising vehicles. (ANI)

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