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Intel Israel shared with India on Rajiv Gandhi went missing after former PM's assassination, expert reckons during Usanas Foundation discussion

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New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Pointing out a “glaring instance” of politics destroying an extremely significant piece of intelligence shared between two nations, a security expert on Thursday said that Israel had shared with India certain transcripts about the possible threat to the life of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that went missing after the assassination of the top Congress leader in 1991.

“In recent history, in the last three-four decades, the most critical information Israel shared with us was certain transcripts relating to possible threat to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s life. Eventually, as the situation played out, the threat materialised… Once he was no more, the political dispensations were very different.

“Nations had to work with each other on a day-to-day basis. The situation arose where that particular piece of intelligence got misplaced, removed, or whatever,” said Namit Verma during a discussion titled ‘Intelligence Cooperation and Security Challenges in the Emerging World Order’ organised by the Usanas Foundation.

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Verma, according to the programme’s host and Usanas founder Abhinav Pandya, has been an “expert on global geopolitics with specialisation in security matters” for decades, having also “worked closely with the government on various critical matters of security and foreign policy”.

“In India, we reconstructed the material based on the correspondence with other files. We sought another copy of the transcript, but Israel never provided it. There can’t be a more glaring instance of how politics plays out in sharing intelligence between nations.

“At that point, India was critical, the Soviet Union wasn’t disintegrated and India was a backchannel between the US and the Soviets. Rajiv Gandhi was part of that communication,” he mentioned during the discussion which was also attended by two Israeli security experts, Joseph Rozen and Kobe Michael, the latter having served as Deputy Director General and head of the Palestinian division in the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

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Verma said that such incidents have happened whenever global equations are changing or the existing order is challenged.

“This particular transcript effectively said that the payment had been made… It said that ‘Godman’ has made the payment… What could be more obvious… On the backchannel, all this information was documented and our intelligence agencies were aware of that. They asked for security to be provided which the government of the day did not provide,” the expert told the virtual gathering.

–IANS

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PM Modi reviews Kuwait fire tragedy, announces Rs 2L ex-gratia for Indian victims

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a review meeting on the fire tragedy in Kuwait in which a number of Indian nationals died and many were injured, here at his residence on Wednesday.

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

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

Prime Minister Modi directed that the government should extend all possible assistance. “MoS External Affairs should immediately travel to Kuwait to oversee the relief measures and facilitate expeditious repatriation of the mortal remains,” he said.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Kirtivardhan Singh, Principal Secretary to PM Pramod Kumar Mishra, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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–IANS

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Dalit youth assault: Junagadh protesters demand fast-track probe, addition of Section 120B

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Junagadh, June 12 (IANS) A protest rally was organised in Junagadh on Wednesday in support of the Dalit community demanding justice for NSUI leader Sanjay Solanki, who was allegedly assaulted by the son of a BJP MLA following a verbal altercation.

The rally, which began at the Babasaheb Ambedkar Chowk, saw participation from leaders and members of the Dalit community.

The protesters marched to express their solidarity with Solanki and put forth their demands before the state government.

“The Dalit community through the rally has put forth four primary demands to the government: the addition of Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) against all accused individuals, the appointment of a special public prosecutor to handle the case, a fast-track trial to ensure the case is resolved within six months and emphasis was placed on holding the accused accountable, specifically targeting Jayaraj Singh Jadeja and his family,” sources said.

The controversy began on May 30 when Sanjay Solanki, the president of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) city unit, filed a complaint alleging assault by BJP MLA Geetaba Jadeja’s son, Jyotiradityasinh alias Ganesh Jadeja alias Ganesh Gondal and his associates following a verbal altercation at Kalwa Chowk, Junagadh.

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Solanki claimed he was kidnapped, taken to a deserted farm in Gondal, and subjected to further assault and humiliation, including being forced to apologise on video under threat of a firearm.

Following the complaint, Ganesh and the others involved were arrested by Junagadh police on June 5.

In a show of solidarity, Dalits held a rally demanding strict action against Ganesh Jadeja, and others involved in a caste-based atrocity case.

The protest led to the closure of Gondal’s Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), the largest wholesale market in Gujarat, on Wednesday.

Operations at the APMC in Gondal town, located in Rajkot district, came to a complete halt.

–IANS

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Sachin Pilot to address students at Oxford University on Friday

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Jaipur, June 12 (IANS) Oxford University in the UK has invited senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot to address its students on June 14.

The university has invited Pilot to share his views and have a detailed interaction with the students and the faculty on a wide range of issues.

The event is open to the public and can be accessed online as well, said a member of Pilot’\s team.

“I will be speaking at the Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government on Friday, 14th June at 2 PM (UK) / 6.30 PM (India). I look forward to an engaging interaction with the students and faculty members there. The event is open to the public and can be joined online,” Pilot said in a post on X.

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No fresh incident in Manipur's violence-hit Jiribam, BJP MLA raises concern on breach of CM's security

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Imphal, June 12 (IANS) No fresh incident was reported from Manipur’s violence-hit Jiribam district in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday, while a key MLA of the ruling BJP raised concerns about the security breaches of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s advance security convoy on Monday and demanded an inquiry into this incident.

Police officials in Imphal said that combined security forces comprising Assam Rifles and state police commandos are continuing their strict vigil in Jiribam and adjoining areas, and no fresh incident was reported from the district, adjoining Assam, during the past 24 hours.

However, tension still prevails in the mixed-population district inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris, where a wave of violence broke out after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6.

A senior police official said that two police checkposts, a forest beat office, and at least 100 houses were set afire in Jiribam by attackers on June 7 and 8.

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The district administration has imposed a curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong district for an indefinite period.

An official in Imphal said that Governor Anusuiya Uikey requested the Chief Minister to take all possible steps to bring the situation under control.

More than 940 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter in newly set up seven relief camps after the violence.

Jiribam had so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which has affected Manipur since May 3 last year, and the strife between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi in several districts has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.

Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.

The rioting has also left thousands of houses, government and non-government properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.

Meanwhile, in the wake of suspected militants attacking the advance security convoy of the Chief Minister in Kangpokpi district on Monday, leaving one security personnel injured, BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh demanded action against the officials concerned. He also said that the state government should initiate an enquiry into the lackadaisical attitude of the officers who were given advance intelligence reports by the state government regarding the situation in Jiribam earlier this year.

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Singh, the son-in-law of Chief Minister Singh, in a post on X, said: “These officers should be held accountable for the loss of lives and property of all those affected and, pending such enquiry they should be suspended and strict action should be taken up against them as per procedures prescribed by law.”

“Along with their associate officers, they should also be held accountable for the ambush on the state police team heading as an advance cavalcade for the Chief Minister, which is also related to the Jiribam incident,” he said.

“As a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the state, I demand that the state government have the order issued immediately and fix responsibilities against all the officers and people involved, and further ensure that the people of Jiribam be given adequate security and allowed to continue living at the original place of residence sooner than later.”

–IANS

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BJP-led Odisha govt announces re-opening all four entry gates of Jagannath Temple

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Bhubaneswar, June 12 (IANS) Keeping its poll promise, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Odisha, in its first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, took the decision to re-open all the four entry gates of Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri for the devotees from Thursday morning.

The devotees were allowed to enter the 12th century shrine only through the main gate as the other doors have been closed since the Covid period.

Speaking to mediapersons, Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi said: “We have taken four important decisions in the first Cabinet meeting after the formation of the government. The four doors of the Jagannath temple have been closed for the devotees for the last couple of years. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised to open all the four doors in its election manifesto.

“Keeping in view the promise and the emotions of 4.5 crore Odia people, we took the decision that the council of ministers will visit Puri and ensure the doors open in the presence of the government,” Majhi added.

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He also announced the Cabinet’s second decision regarding the setting up of Rs 500 crore corpus fund for the conservation, preservation, proper management and development of the 12th century shrine.

CM Majhi also announced the decision of the cabinet to fulfill another major promise made by the BJP in its manifesto.

The party had promised to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy to Rs 3,100.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to introduce a new policy ‘Samrudhha Krushak policy’ to address different problems faced by the farmers and to ensure the payment of Rs 3,100 per quintal paddy.

The concerned department has been instructed to prepare guidelines in this regard.

The government will implement the proposal within 100 days after the receipt of detailed guidelines.

Majhi also told the mediapersons that the concerned department has been asked to prepare guidelines and a detailed framework for the implementation of the ‘Subhadra Yojana’, one of the major poll promises made by the party.

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The women beneficiaries will get a cash voucher of Rs 50,000 each which they can encash within a period of two years. CM Majhi said that this scheme will be implemented within 100 days of the formation of the government.

Besides, the BJP government brought joy to the journalists in Odisha by allowing their entry into the Lok Seva Bhavan, the state secretariat, after four years.

The previous BJD government has stopped the entry of journalists into the state secretariat since the Covid-induced lockdown in March 2020.

–IANS

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