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How India’s ‘most wanted’ terrorists were eliminated on Pakistan soil

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New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Over 20 dreaded terrorists, all on India’s most wanted list, were mysteriously killed in Pakistan and Canada over the last two years.

All those killed were linked to terror outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the banned Khalistan Tiger Force.

While Pakistan continued to be in a denial mode on terrorists enjoying safe haven on its soil, the killing of these individuals, many of whom were involved in terror attacks in India, nailed Islamabad’s lies.

As these terrorists continued to fall prey to assassins’ bullets, questions were raised in various circles as to who killed India’s enemies on Pakistani and Canadian soil.

Are the Indian secret agents behind the neutralisation of India’s most wanted terrorists as has been claimed recently by The Guardian, the world’s leading daily from the UK, in a report quoting unnamed Indian and Pakistani intelligence operatives?

The London-based newspaper reported that the Indian government ordered killings in Pakistan “as part of a wider strategy to eliminate terrorists on foreign soil.”

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has denied the claims by the UK newspaper reiterating an earlier statement that they were “false and malicious anti-India propaganda.”

But the report has bolstered the image of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government that the present dispensation in India has a zero-tolerance approach towards terrorism emanating from Pakistan or any other safe haven abroad.

The Guardian’s “disclosure” report assumes significance as it came close on the heels of PM Modi, at a rally in Bihar said, “Aaj Ka Bharat Ghar Mein Ghus Ke Marta Hai”, with many foreign affairs experts terming the international media report as a great boost for the image of PM Modi in this context.

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“Enemies of India have nowhere to hide,” they remark.

As The Guardian’s report spotlights India’s no-nonsense approach towards terrorism, internal and external security experts are recounting how terrorists on India’s most wanted list were killed one by one in Pakistan and Canada over the last two years. They went down like ninepins on the territory under the control of Pakistan and Canada.

Within the first fortnight of November last year, three LeT and JeM terrorists had been shot dead in Pakistan. Security officials see the same pattern in each case of killing: “Unknown armed men riding motorcycles perpetrated the targeted killings of militants accused of terrorism in India.”

Khwaja Shahid alias Mian Mujahid was kidnapped and later discovered beheaded near the Line of Control in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir on November 5, 2023. He was the LeT terrorist and one of the masterminds of the 2018 terror attack on an Indian Army Camp in Sunjuwan that had claimed seven lives.

Lashkar terrorist Akram Khan, alias Akram Ghazi, was shot dead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bajaur tribal district on November 9, 2023.

Similarly, JeM terrorist Raheem Ullah Tariq, a close associate of Maulana Masood Azhar, was shot dead in Karachi by unknown men on November 13, 2023.

Zahoor Mistry, the terrorist involved in the hijack of the Indian plane IC-814 in Afghanistan’s Kandahar in 1999, was killed in Pakistan on March 1, 2022. He was killed by two bike-borne assailants in Karachi’s Akhtar colony.

Security experts say that top leaders of the terror organisation JeM led by Masood Azhar had attended Mistry’s funeral. Azhar was among the three terrorists released by the Indian government when IC814 was hijacked in 1999. Mistry was said to have been living under a false identity as Zahid Akhund for several years before being shot dead.

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Pakistan had pinned blame on Indian intelligence operatives for this killing, alleging that New Delhi hired assassins for the act.

Similarly, Shahid Latif, another India’s most wanted terrorists, was shot dead in October 2023 by unknown gunmen in Pakistan’s Sialkot. Latif was a key conspirator in the 2016 Pathankot terror attack in which seven security personnel were killed. Latif was killed inside a mosque.

The gunmen fled the scene on a motorcycle after killing him. Latif’s killing was then another significant addition to the list of the terrorists who were eliminated in Pakistan.

One of them was Mufti Qaiser Farooq who was gunned down by unknown men in Karachi. He was shot in a ‘targeted attack’ near a religious institution in Karachi’s Samanabad area in October 2023.

Farooq was a member of LeT and an aide of its chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

In September 2023, Ziaur Rahman, who was also a LeT operative, was killed in Karachi as two motorcycle-borne unidentified gunmen pumped multiple bullets into their target.

Rahman was on a daily evening stroll when he was gunned down.

The killing of this Lashkar operative was exactly like the murder of Paramjit Singh Panjwar, Chief of Khalistan Commando Force. Panjwar was also wanted by India for terrorism.

Panjwar was gunned down when he was out for a morning walk near his residence in Lahore in May 2023.

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Hizbul commander Bashir Ahmad Peer alias Imtiyaz Alam, one of India’s most wanted designated terrorists was killed by unknown gunmen outside a shop in Rawalpindi on February 20, 2023.

Two weeks after Peer’s killing, NIA had attached his property in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Peer was designated as a terrorist by the government in October last year for his role in sending terrorists and providing logistic support for infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir.

He was the launching Chief of the Hizbul in Pakistan.

Saleem Rehmani was another terrorist to have been shot dead in January 2022 by unidentified gunmen. He was also wanted by India as a terrorist.

In another significant development, unidentified gunmen shot dead a top terrorist commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Riyaz Ahmad alias Abu Qasim, inside Al-Qudus mosque in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir’s Rawalakot September 2023.

He had come from Kotli to offer prayers when he was shot in the head at point-blank range. He was one of the main conspirators behind the Dhangri terror attack on January 1, 2023.

Around seven people had died when terrorists struck Dhangri village in Rajouri district and fired indiscriminately.

This was the fourth such killing of a top terrorist commander operative from across the border in 2023.

Mullah Sardar Hussain Arain, Jamat-ud-Dawah, was shot dead in Nawab Shah district of Sindh in August 2023.

Amidst all the killings in Pakistan, the focus also shifted to Ottawa as Khalistani separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed on Canadian soil, which triggered a massive diplomatic face-off between India and Canada following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of India’s role in the killing of a Khalistani terrorist.

–IANS

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15 Himachal products get GI tag

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Shimla, June 13 (IANS) Fifteen products from Himachal Pradesh have been registered under the Geographical Indication (GI).

This fact came to light in an exhibition featuring registered and potential GI products at the Indira Gandhi State Sports Complex here.

State Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena inaugurated the event that would continue till June 16.

The exhibition showcases about 15 GI products which include Kullu shawl, Kangra tea, Chamba rumal, Kinnauri shawl, Kangra painting, Himachali kala jeera, chulli oil, Chamba chappal and Lahauli socks and gloves.

Additionally, potential GI products identified for registration include Chamba metal craft, Kinnauri jewellery, Spiti chharma, Bharmour rajma, Pangi ki thangi, Chamba chukh, red rice, dasangru and Sirmauri loia, Karsog kulthi, Himachali dham, Himachali musical instruments, Kinnauri apple, and sepu badi.

An application has been made for the registration of Chamba metal craft.

Saxena, while emphasising the importance of GI tags, said these tags were given to products with a specific geographical origin such as Chamba rumal, Chamba chappal, Kangra tea and Kangra painting.

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He said the registration of GI products provides legal protection, enhances their export potential and promotes the economic prosperity of producers in specific geographical areas.

The exhibition offers an opportunity for both locals and tourists to learn about GI products and purchase valuable traditional items.

–IANS

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POCSO case: Victim's brother moves K'taka HC seeking Yediyurappa’s arrest, govt appoints SPP (Ld)

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Bengaluru, June 13 (IANS) In a setback to former Chief Minister and BJP Parliamentary Board member B.S. Yediyurappa, a writ petition was submitted in the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday seeking his arrest in a POCSO case lodged against him in Bengaluru before the Lok Sabha elections.

Taking the matter seriously, the Congress government has appointed special public prosecutor (SPP) Ashok N. Nayak to represent the prosecution in the case. According to sources, the Congress government has decided to initiate legal action against Yediyurappa.

The victim’s brother filed the writ petition before the high court, claiming that the police did not take any action though it has been months since the complaint was filed against the veteran BJP leader.

The victim’s mother, who passed away on May 26, had filed a case against Yediyurappa in March this year under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, alleging harassment of her daughter when she went to the former CM’s residence seeking help in a 2015 case of assault.

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The petitioner claimed that the CCTV footage from Yediyurappa’s residence was not seized, and neither was a notice served to the BJP leader under Section 41A, which is a basic step in a POCSO case.

Meanwhile, Yediyurappa had also approached the high court seeking quashing of the POCSO case against him.

He submitted in his petition that he did not indulge in any unlawful act, and alleged that the complainant had a habit of filing complaints.

“I had attended the interrogation after the FIR was lodged. The police had collected voice samples but did not record my statement,” Yediyurappa claimed.

In March, the victim’s mother had filed complaints against 53 persons, including senior police officers, politicians, and bureaucrats.

Commenting on the case, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara said on Wednesday that the investigation is going on and the police are gathering more evidence.

Earlier, the Congress government in Karnataka handed over the case to the special wing of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

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–IANS

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Kuwait fire tragedy: Around 40 Indians killed, says MEA; Jaishankar speaks to Kuwaiti FM

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New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Wednesday spoke to his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya about the fire tragedy in Kuwait City in which around 40 Indians are feared to have died.

According to reports by Kuwaiti media, the fire broke out in a six-floor building that was crammed with migrant workers in the city’s al-Mangaf area.

EAM Jaishankar, in a post on X, said: @Spoke to Kuwaiti FM Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya on the fire tragedy in Kuwait. Apprised of the efforts made by Kuwaiti authorities in that regard. Was assured that the incident would be fully investigated and that responsibility will be fixed.”

S. Jaishankhar said that he urged the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister for the early repatriation of the mortal remains of those who lost their lives.

“He emphasized that those injured were getting the requisite medical attention. We will review the situation after MoS Kirtivardhan Singh reaches Kuwait tomorrow,” he added.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier on Wednesday chaired a review meeting on the fire tragedy in Kuwait at his residence.

PM Modi also announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to the families of deceased Indian nationals from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep sorrow at the unfortunate incident and extended condolences to the families of the deceased. He also wished speedy recovery for those injured.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) said: “In an unfortunate and tragic fire incident in a Labour housing facility in Mangaf area of Kuwait, around 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 injured. The Embassy is ascertaining the full details from the concerned Kuwaiti authorities and the company. We offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved families.”

The EAM statement mentioned that those injured are presently admitted to five government hospitals in Kuwait and receiving proper medical care and attention. According to hospital authorities, most of the admitted patients are stable.

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The EAM statement further said: “Following the incident, Ambassador of India in Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, immediately visited the location of the incident and also the hospitals to ascertain the welfare of the Indian nationals. The Embassy continues to coordinate with local authorities to assist Indian nationals who have been injured in this unfortunate incident and extend all possible support. The Embassy is receiving full cooperation from the Kuwaiti authorities.”

The statement also said that the Indian Embassy in Kuwait continues to remain in touch with local authorities to provide relief to those affected.

“The Embassy has established a helpline +965-65505246 (WhatsApp and regular call) for family members to get in touch. Regular updates are being provided through the helpline,” the EAM said.

The fire broke out while the workers were asleep, and some residents had to jump from the building in an attempt to survive, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas reported, citing witnesses.

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Kuwait’s Emir Meshal Al Ahmad has ordered investigations to determine the cause of the blaze and bring to account those found responsible, Kuna said.

–IANS

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Bihar hospitals see surge in cases of heat-related illnesses

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Patna, June 13 (IANS) Hospitals in Bihar seeing a surge in cases of heat-related illnesses as the state continues to reel under high temperatures and humidity.

Cases of heat stroke, diarrhoea, stomach ache and headache saw a significant rise in recent days, paramedics said on Wednesday. Around 400 such patients visited the sub-divisional hospital in Patna’s Masaurhi on Wednesday. A similar trend was seen in other government and private hospitals in the state capital.

“Majority of the patients who are coming to the hospital are suffering from heat stroke. We have advised them to avoid going out in the scorching sun and consume liquids, easily digestible and vitamin-rich foods. A heatwave ward has been permanently set up in our hospital,” said Dr Sanjita Rani, incharge of Masaudhi sub-divisional hospital.

The situation in PMCH, NMCH, IGIMS, AIIMS Patna, Kurji Holy Family and other hospitals in the capital city remained the same. Several other parts of the state also reported a significant surge in heat-related illnesses.

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In view of the scorching heat, Patna’s District Magistrate (DM) S. Kapil Ashok on Wednesday ordered the closure of all schools and coaching institutions till June 15.

The maximum temperature in Patna remained between 43 and 46 degrees Celsius during the last few days.

“In the light of the weather department’s forecast, there is a possibility of students falling ill due to the heat wave. Thus, all the educational institutions and coaching institutes of the district will remain closed from June 13 to June 15,” the Patna DM said in an order issued on Wednesday. The DM said coaching institutes can conduct their classes through online modes during the period.

“The Met Department has issued a heat wave alert in Bihar for the next 48 hours. There is a red alert in the districts of North West, South West and South Central Bihar, while there is a yellow alert in other districts. In this season, there is a need to follow the instructions given by the Disaster Management Department regarding protection from heat,” said Anand Shankar, Meteorologist at the Patna Meteorological Centre.

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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed all DMs and civil surgeons to ensure adequate arrangements of medicines in hospitals of their respective districts. He also directed the power distribution companies to ensure electricity supply round the clock in the state.

Besides heat-related illnesses, administration during the month of June also remains on alert for Chamki fever (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) which led to the death of several children in Muzaffarpur and its adjoining districts in 2019.

As per studies, Chamki Fever remains at its peak from June 9 to 21.

“The Health Department is fully alert and special precautions are being taken till June 21. ASHA workers have been directed to visit door-to-door in their areas every day. Special attention is being paid to weak children. It is advised to immediately consult a doctor if any child’s health deteriorates,” said Dr Satish Kumar, Vector Borne Disease Control Officer-cum-ACMO of Muzaffarpur.

–IANS

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NCP decides to nominate Sunetra Pawar for June 25 Rajya Sabha bypoll

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Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday decided to nominate party chief and Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar for the Rajya Sabha bypoll to be held on June 25.

Sunetra Pawar’s name was finalised at a meeting convened by Ajit Pawar with the party ministers at his official residence in Mumbai.

Incidentally, Sunetra Pawar lost to her sister-in-law and NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule from Baramati in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Sunetra Pawar will file her nomination on Thursday, the last date for filing nominations.

With her nomination, the party has taken a conscious decision to rehabilitate her ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections likely to be held in October this year.

The party’s move is aimed to checkmate NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his party MP Supriya Sule in Baramati in the run-up to the Assembly elections.

While Ajit Pawar is likely to contest from Baramati in the Assembly elections, the NCP (SP) is promoting Yogendra Pawar, his nephew, against the NCP chief.

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At Wednesday’s meeting, NCP Working President Praful Patel proposed Sunetra Pawar’s name and asked the ministers to express their views.

Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde supported Patel’s proposal, saying that it would boost the morale of the party cadres, especially in Baramati following the defeat of Sunetra Pawar in the general elections.

However, senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was an aspirant for a Rajya Sabha nomination, said that while he has no objections to Sunetra Pawar’s nomination, why was a parliamentary board meeting not called to recommend her name?

–IANS

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