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Rajasthan Police demolishes property of drug peddler

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Jaipur, May 27 (IANS) Rajasthan Police on Monday demolished the property of a drug peddler in Sriganganagar district using bulldozers.

Police said that the accused had encroached on the government commercial land and built a room on it which was being used for drug peddling.

SP Gaurav Yadav identified the drug peddler as Akash alias Billa.

“We have freed the government land with the help of the Municipal Council team. The price of this property is around Rs one crore rupees,” Gaurav Yadav said.

He said that the action was taken under ‘Operation Seema Sankalp’ which is being jointly run by the district administration and the district police to make Sriganganagar district drug-free.

SP Yadav said that a total of nine criminal cases including two NDPS Act cases are registered against Akash alias Billa in Sadar and Jawahar Nagar police stations of Sriganganagar district.

“The room he built by encroaching on government land, was used for storing, selling illegal drugs and making people consume them,” Gaurav Yadav said.

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He said that further investigation into the case is underway.

–IANS

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PM Modi to lead 10th International Day of Yoga celebrations in Srinagar

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the 10th International Day of Yoga celebrations at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC) in Srinagar on Friday.

As PM Modi performs yoga asanas on the banks of Srinagar’s Dal Lake, with thousands of residents of Jammu and Kashmir, it is set to get global coverage besides spurring a series of celebrations across the globe with some unique events like ‘Yoga for Peace’.

Over 7,000 people from various walks of life will join the Prime Minister on the banks of Dal Lake, Srinagar to mark this special occasion.

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha and Ayush Minister Prataprao Ganpatrao Jadhav will also join the programme.

This year’s theme, ‘Yoga for Self and Society’, emphasises yoga’s vital role in fostering both individual well-being and societal harmony.

The event aims to bring together thousands of participants carrying messages to promote global health and wellness through the practice of yoga.

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On the occasion, PM Modi will also address the gathering and participate in the Common Yoga Protocol session, highlighting yoga’s significance in nurturing physical, mental, and spiritual growth.

Notably, PM Modi has been a pivotal figure in promoting yoga globally.

Since 2015, PM Modi has led the IDY celebrations at various iconic locations, including Kartavya Path in Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ranchi, Jabalpur, and even the UN Headquarters in New York.

His leadership has significantly boosted Yoga’s global popularity and recognition.

In the last 10 years, IDY has set four Guinness Book of World Records.

In 2015, a total of 35,985 Indians performed Yoga at Rajpath along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In 2023, a total of around 23.4 crore people from across the world participated in the IDY event.

As a special initiative, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is organising a unique initiative, ‘Yoga for Space’, to mark the International Day of Yoga 2024.

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All scientists and officials of ISRO will perform Yoga together as per the Common Yoga Protocol guidelines.

The team from the Gaganyaan project is also set to join the global campaign of International Yoga Day by practicing yoga on the occasion.

–IANS

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NEET row: High-level panel being formed, guilty won't be spared, says Education Minister

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Facing flak from various quarters over the paper leak episode in NEET examinations, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday announced the setting up of a high-level committee to probe the irregularities while asserting that none of the guilty will be spared.

Addressing a press conference, Pradhan said that the future of students remains a top priority for the government as it is committed to conducting zero-error exams.

“I want to assure everyone that once we get concrete evidence, none of the guilty will be spared. Our priority is the future of students,” he said.

He also told the press that the government has decided to set up a high-level committee for improving the functioning of the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts a slew of entrance and competitive examinations.

“The committee will give recommendations on improving the NTA’s structure, its functioning, examination process, transparency and data, and security protocol,” the minister stated.

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Declaring the paper leak in Bihar as an “isolated” incident, he said that the future of lakhs of students should not be impacted because of this. He also made an appeal to not spread rumours nor make any attempt to politicise the issue.

The minister also said that his ministry was in regular touch with Bihar Police, with regards to the paper leak of NEET-UG. Notably, at least four students, including a mastermind, arrested in Bihar for NEET paper leak, confessed before the police that they got access to the question paper, a day before the examinations and they also paid a hefty sum for it.

–IANS

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Mehbooba Mufti alleges J&K employees forced to be part of Yoga Day events; authorities refute

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Srinagar, June 20 (IANS) Former J&K Chief Minister and President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, on Thursday accused the UT administration of causing ‘serious inconvenience’ to the people over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Srinagar for International Yoga Day (June 21).

In a post on X, Mehbooba Mufti said, “An occasion for celebration has become one that fills people with dread. A day before International Yoga Day, all government employees along with schoolchildren have been ordered to show up at different venues at ungodly hours. Even pregnant employees have not been spared. A pregnant employee was threatened to choose between her job or being present at the event.”

The visit by PM Modi, who reached here on Thursday evening, is his first trip to the Union Territory after being elected as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive term.

The authorities in J&K, meanwhile, strongly refuted Mehbooba Mufti’s allegations pertaining to PM Modi’s visit.

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In a statement, J&K Director Colleges said, “A misinformation is circulating on social media regarding Yoga Day celebrations, wherein it has been alleged that employees are being forced to participate in the event, female employees are made to change their clothes, and even pregnant women are forced to take part in celebrations.

“This misinformation is strongly refuted. Participants in the Yoga Day celebrations have volunteered to take part in the event, and no employee was compelled to join the event against his/her will. Employees are not required to change their clothing. They have been provided with long tunics to wear over their existing attire, ensuring their comfort and convenience.”

The statement added: “The employees’ well-being has been prioritised. Pregnant employees and those with medical conditions have not been asked to participate in the Yoga Day celebrations. People are urged to verify facts before spreading false narratives that can cause unnecessary concern and confusion.”

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–IANS

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Civic bodies poll in Nagaland after 20 years, 2.76 lakh voters to decide fate of 523 candidates

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Kohima, June 20 (IANS) Over 2.76 lakh voters would decide the fate of 523 candidates in the June 26 elections to three municipal councils and 36 town councils in Nagaland in civic polls being held after a gap of 20 years, officials said on Thursday.

State Election Commissioner (SEC) T. John Longkumer said that 670 nominations were submitted and subsequently 79 candidatures were withdrawn while 64 candidates were elected unopposed.

Four nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny.

He said that no candidate is contesting in the town councils in eastern Nagaland, where Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) gave a vote boycott call in support of their statehood demand for ‘Frontier Nagaland Territory’.

Longkumer, a former Director General of Police of Nagaland, said that a total of 2,76,229 voters, including 1,40,167 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the urban bodies poll.

Of the total of 418 wards in the urban civic bodies, 142 wards are reserved for women.

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The SEC said that many national and local parties are contesting the elections. These include the BJP, the Congress, the Janata Dal-United, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Rising People’s Party, the Republican Party of India-Athawale, and the Lok Janshakti Party-Ram Vilas.

The SEC earlier served a show cause notice to the ENPO, the apex body of seven backward Naga tribes in eastern Nagaland who urged the people to abstain from participating in the civic polls to press for its statehood demand. People in the six districts, which have over four lakh voters, remained indoors on April 19 in polling to the state’s sole Lok Sabha constituency, responding to its call.

SEC officials said that 108 companies of state security forces would be deployed to maintain security while 8,100 personnel would be posted to conduct the civic polls.

–IANS

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Railways conduct trial run on world's highest rail bridge in J&K

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Srinagar, June 20 (IANS) Indian Railways on Thursday conducted a successful trial run of an eight-coach MEMU train on the newly electrified 46-km section between Sangaldan and Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir passing through the world’s highest Chenab Rail Bridge.

Sharing the news, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in a post on X said: “Successful trial run of MEMU train between Sangaldan-Reasi section of USBRL project. Jammu & Kashmir.”

The trial run was conducted at a speed of 40 km per hour. The MEMU train started at 12:35 p.m. from Sangaldan and reached Reasi at 2:05 PM, passing through nine tunnels with a combined length of 40.78 km.

The USBRL project was inaugurated in multiple phases, starting with the 118-km Qazigund-Baramulla section in October 2009, followed by the 18-km Banihal-Qazigund section in June 2013, and the 25-kilometer Udhampur-Katra section in July 2014.

The latest phase, including the 48.1-km Banihal-Sangaldan section, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20, 2024.

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The successful trial run signifies the nearing of the completion of the USBRL project. This project after completion is expected to enhance social integration, facilitate easier movement of people and goods, and boost economic activities such as tourism and trade in the region.

–IANS

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