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Army chief gets one month extension in service

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) India’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj C. Pande, who was due to retire at the end of the month, has been given a one-month extension of service, the Defence Ministry announced on Sunday.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet on Sunday approved the extension for Gen Pande for a period of one month, beyond his normal age of superannuation (May 31, 2024), that is up to June 30, 2024, under Rule 16 A (4) of the Army Rules, 1954, the Ministry said.

Commissioned in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) in December 1982, Gen Pande was appointed the army chief on April 30, 2022. He was serving as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff when he was elevated to the top post.

–IANS

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Amit Malviya slams K'taka Congress over fuel price hike

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Amit Malviya, in-charge of BJP’s national IT cell, on Sunday, came down on Karnataka Congress and Rahul Gandhi over the recent fuel price hike in the state.

Malviya took to X to express his discontent, pointing to Karnataka Minister for Industries and Development M. B. Patil, who justified the hike as necessary to fund Rahul Gandhi’s “guarantees.”

“M. B. Patil, Karnataka State Minister for Industries and Development, has said that the hefty fuel price hike was necessitated to fund Rahul Gandhi’s ‘guarantees’. Rahul has ruined every state he has laid his hands on,” Malviya stated.

On Saturday, M. B. Patil defended the move, explaining that the decision to raise fuel prices was crucial to support the state’s guarantee schemes and other developmental projects. He emphasised that, despite the increase, Karnataka’s fuel prices remain lower than those in many other states.

Highlighting the internal conflicts within the Karnataka Congress, Malviya continued: “There is widespread discontent in Karnataka Congress after they fared poorly in Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, D. K. Shivkumar faction pulled in one direction, and now even the Lingayats in the Congress are upset after B. S. Yediyurappa ji was targeted.”

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He urged Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to focus on the instability within the Karnataka government, suggesting the administration might be operating “on borrowed time.”

“Kharge ji should worry about the Congress Govt in Karnataka. It seems to be on borrowed time,” he wrote.

The Congress-led Karnataka government increased the retail sales tax on fuels on Saturday, leading to a rise in petrol prices by Rs 3 and diesel by Rs 3.50. The new prices took effect immediately, surprising many vehicle owners.

Nithish K., Joint Secretary of the Finance Department of Karnataka, issued a notification for the immediate implementation of the new rates.

–IANS

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Govt's focus to create robust framework for social inclusion: Minister Virendra Kumar

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The government’s focus is on creating a robust framework that supports the empowerment and inclusion of all sections of society, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar has said.

The Minister convened a pivotal meeting with Ministers of State, Ramdas Athawale and B.L Verma, reviewed the progress of schemes, and strategised on key departmental initiatives for the next 100 days.

During the meeting, the Secretary of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Rajesh Aggarwal gave a comprehensive presentation on the department’s initiatives followed by modernisation efforts of the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).

“The modernisation of ALIMCO and the achievements of our various bodies are testaments to our dedication towards this goal,” the Minister said.

The participants also engaged in detailed deliberations on the strategic direction and action plans to enhance the department’s outreach and efficiency.

The modernisation of ALIMCO is set to revolutionise the aids and assistive devices for persons with disabilities, while the achievements of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Rehabilitation Council of India, National Institutes, and the National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation stress the department’s commitment to inclusive growth and empowerment, the Ministry noted.

ALSO READ:  SC stays criminal proceedings against TN BJP chief Annamalai

–IANS

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Nara Lokesh hold Praja Darbar in Mangalagiri

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Amaravati, June 16 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Minister Nara Lokesh held Praja Darbar in his constituency Mangalagiri on Sunday to address the problems that the people were facing.

On the second day, the IT, Electronics, and Education Minister met people and heard their grievances.

Lokesh, who is the son of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, assured people that he will always stand by them.

People from various parts of the constituency gathered in large numbers for the programme and narrated their problems to Lokesh.

Representatives of the Andhra Pradesh Velugu Teachers Association appealed to Lokesh that the services of the 2,193 employees who are now on a contract basis, be regularised.

A student, Jagadeesh, appealed to the Minister to initiate steps to clear the fee reimbursement dues to the Nuzvid College so that he will get back his polytechnic certificate from the college.

The non-teaching staff members of Acharya Nagarjuna University wanted their retirement age to be extended to 62 years while Sheik Nazina of Mangalagiri wanted financial assistance for her five-month-old nephew who is suffering from a rare disease.

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K. Kiran Babu of Tadepalli wanted employment for him and his sister, Mounika, who had completed their MBA.

A differently-abled student B. Srinivasa Rao of Tadepalli told Lokesh that though he is now 40-year-old he did not get any kind of employment till now and wanted some kind of livelihood to be provided to him.

–IANS

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Security tightened in Telangana town after communal violence

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Hyderabad, June 16 (IANS) Police tightened security and deployed additional forces in Telangana’s Medak town after a clash broke out between two groups on Saturday night over the alleged illegal transportation of cows for slaughter.

Police intensified patrolling and posted pickets in communally sensitive areas. Police said on Sunday that the situation is peaceful.

Additional forces were rushed to the town from neighbouring districts.

Inspector General of Police A. V. Ranganath was monitoring the situation in the town. He appealed to people to cooperate with the police in maintaining peace. He warned that the miscreants disturbing peace and harmony will not be spared.

Trouble started when a group tried to seize cattle kept at a madrasa for slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha. Two groups clashed resulting in injuries to a few persons.

Later, a mob armed with sticks roamed on streets, attacking shops and business establishments. Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

Seven people were injured in the clash and attack by a mob. Four of them were later shifted to Hyderabad and admitted to Esra Hospital, run by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

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AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi spoke to Director General of Police Ravi Gupta and IG Ranganath.

AIMIM MLA from Karwan constituency in Hyderabad, Kausar Mohiuddin, who called on the injured at Esra Hospital, said the party would ensure peace in Medak as well as quality treatment for all the injured irrespective of their religion.

Meanwhile, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama said on Sunday that Telangana was peaceful sans any communal violence for the last 9.5 years.

“Now in the Congress government, neither there is any law nor any order. Truly shameful that even a peaceful town Medak which never had any communal activity in the past has now become a mess,” he posted on ‘X’ while reacting to Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjed Ullah Khan’s post alleging that Medak police were mute spectators to attacks by RSS and BJP workers on Muslims and their property.

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Khan alleged that ever since A. Revanth Reddy took charge as Chief Minister, communal elements were given a free hand to attack Muslims and damage their property with police being mute spectators.

–IANS

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Kolkata building collapse: Six including promoter named in chargesheet

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Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) A total of six persons have been named as prime accused persons in the chargesheet filed by Kolkata Police in the case related to the collapse of a five-storey under-construction building at Garden Reach area in the southern outskirts of Kolkata on March 17, which claimed 13 lives.

One of the six persons named in the chargesheet filed at a lower court in Kolkata on Saturday includes Md Wasim, the promoter of the said building.

Insiders in the state police said that in the 730-page chargesheet, a number of sections of cognizable offences under the Indian Penal Code including murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, and others have been included.

The mishap in March exposed illegal constructions in the Garden Reach area involving some real estate promoters and high officials in the building section of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).

After the Calcutta High Court directed the state government to submit a report on the mishap, KMC authorities started an investigation into the matter. On the basis of the preliminary report submitted by KMC’s probe committee, three civil engineers attached to the building department of the corporation were suspended.

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A total 170 witnesses have been named in the chargesheet.

–IANS

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