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TN: Police ‘requests’ tribals to surrender unlicensed country-made guns voluntarily

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Chennai, May 27 (IANS) Tirupattur Police in Tamil Nadu has “requested” the tribals of Jawadhu Hills to surrender their country-made guns voluntarily and in return get a general amnesty.

Police have communicated to the village heads of Jawadhu Hills to surrender the guns at a common place like temples so that the identity of those in procession of the guns is not revealed.

The Tirupattur Superintendent of Police Albert John told IANS that recently during a routine vehicle checkup, police seized some unlicensed guns leading to the convening of a meeting of the village elders and asking them to surrender these guns.

Police said that there are 177 licensed guns in the district which were surrendered in the local police stations in the district due to the Lok Sabha elections.

The natives of Pudur Nadu, Nellivasal Nadu and Pungampattu Nadu in Jawadhu Hills have had a tradition of keeping illegal arms since pre-independence days. This was for hunting as also for protecting themselves against theft and to deliver the hill and forest produce to the local markets and safely return back to the villages.

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Police said that there is no requirement for such illegal and unlicensed country-made guns for the villagers and hence “requested” them to surrender these unlicensed guns.

–IANS

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Cabinet approves MSP for 14 Kharif crops

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the minimum support price (MSP) for 14 Kharif crops including paddy, ragi, bajra, jowar, maize and cotton.

“Some very important decisions have been taken in today’s Cabinet. One very important decision has been taken for the welfare of farmers. Kharif season is starting, and for that, the Cabinet has approved MSP on 14 crops. The new MSP for paddy is Rs 2,300 per quintal, which is a Rs 117 increase over the previous price. The MSP for cotton has been increased by Rs 501,” I&B Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said at a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet has also approved Rs 76,000 crore Vadhavan Port project in Maharashtra, the Union Minister said.

“The third term of PM Modi is very important as it focuses on continuity with change through many decisions for farmers’ welfare,” he added.

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–IANS

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Why PM Modi's visit to Italy for G-7 left Cong grumbling? Has VVIP chopper scam come back to haunt it?

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Italy for the G7 Summit was his first overseas trip in the third term and fifth consecutive visit to the Group of Seven nations.

His warm welcome in Italy, however, ruffled many feathers back home, particularly it left the Congress party ‘rattled’ as it kept questioning the purpose and rationale behind PM Modi’s Italy trip.

Sources suggest that Congress’ grumbling could be because of its ‘fears’ of AgustaWestland scam (VVIP chopper scam) coming back to haunt it, especially at a time when it is basking in the glory of Lok Sabha ‘success’.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya also questioned: “Why was the Congress constantly whining about PM Modi’s visit to Italy for G7 Summit?” He also shared an account of details as to what is making the grand old party ‘anxious and flustered’.

A leading international daily citing sources claimed that Italy has shared their court’s detailed judgement on the AgustaWestland chopper scam, running into 225 pages and also a trail of documents in the bribery scandal with India.

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As it is evident, the damning documents may set the ball rolling and may see the high-profile politicians and middlemen in India nailed for their wrongdoing.

It also claimed that the investigations and prosecution in the VVIP chopper scam of Congress-led UPA era may pick up pace post PM Modi’s return from his recent trip to Italy.

What will make matters worse for the Congress is the trail of classified documents that will ‘fix’ the culpability and also identify the leading faces from the political party who allegedly received kick-backs worth more than Rs 600 crore in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam in 2013.

The chopper scam may not have reached conclusion in India but the Italian court did convict the bribe-givers to Indian counterparts. The sealed Italian documents, handed over to India, are also said to have names of those received kickbacks in the defence scam.

This is bound to ring alarm bells for those who were in power during the UPA-II regime and skeletons of one of the biggest defence scams, which remained buried for a decade, are set to come out of the closet.

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Notably, AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam is a corruption case of UPA-II regime in which bribes were paid to middlemen and perhaps to politicians also, as India inked a deal to buy 12 VVIP choppers by Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica, at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore.

–IANS

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PM Modi to lead Yoga Day celebrations in Srinagar on Friday; launch projects worth crores

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Srinagar, June 19 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 21 will lead the 10th International Yoga Day celebrations here at the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC) situated on the banks of the renowned Dal Lake, besides inaugurating and laying foundation of several projects worth crores during his two-day (June 20-21) visit to Jammu and Kashmir, an official said on Wednesday.

Around 9,000 people are expected to join the Prime Minister during the Yoga International Day celebrations. ‘Yoga for self & society’ is the theme message of this year’s Yoga celebrations.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a statement, said that during his visit to Srinagar, PM Modi will address the gathering of participants on the occasion of International Yoga Day.

Besides, PM Modi will participate in ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ event at SKICC at around 6 p.m. on June 20 (Thursday).

“PM Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects in Jammu and Kashmir. He will also launch Competitiveness Improvement in Agriculture and Allied Sectors Project (JKCIP),” the PMO statement said.

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This year’s Yoga Day event underscores yoga’s profound impact on young minds and bodies.

The celebration aims to unite thousands in the practice of yoga, promoting health and wellness on a global scale.

Since 2015, PM Modi has led the International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations at various iconic locations, including Kartavya Path in Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ranchi, Lucknow, Mysuru and even the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This year’s theme “Yoga for Self and Society” highlights the dual role in fostering individual and societal well-being.

The event will encourage grassroots participation and the spread of yoga in rural areas.

‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ event on June 20 is a pivotal moment for the region, showcasing progress and providing inspiration to young achievers, the PMO statement noted.

On the occasion, PM Modi will also interact with the young achievers of Jammu and Kashmir, and also inspect stalls.

PM Modi will also lay the foundation and inaugurate 84 major developmental projects worth over Rs 1,500 crore.

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The inaugurations will include projects related to road infrastructure, water supply schemes and infrastructure in higher education etc.

Additionally, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation for projects like improvement of Chenani-Patnitop-Nashri section, the development of Industrial Estates and construction of six government degree colleges.

PM Modi will also launch the Competitiveness Improvement in Agriculture and Allied Sectors Project (JKCIP) Project worth Rs 1,800 crore.

The project will be implemented in 90 blocks across 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir, and will have the outreach of 3,00,000 households covering 15 lakh beneficiaries.

PM Modi will also distribute appointment letters to more than 2,000 people appointed in government service, the PMO statement said.

–IANS

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Bihar govt takes preventive measures to tackle floods

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Patna June 19 (IANS) Every year, monsoon floods wreak havoc in Bihar, particularly in the northern districts of the state.

While the government spends crores of rupees to take preventive measures each year, the situation has not changed much over the years.

“The state government is keeping an eye on all the concerned developments. We have constituted a dedicated control room besides deploying trained people at places where floods have a greater impact,” said Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, state Minister for Water Resources.

This year, the Water Resources department has worked on 150 pre-flood schemes and spent around Rs 350 crore, sources said.

Every year, a large number of people die due to the floods. Even though the monsoon is yet to arrive in Bihar, the water level in the Kosi River in north Bihar has started rising. On Tuesday, a bridge on the Bakra River in Araria district collapsed due to a sudden rise in the water level.

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The Water Resources department started preparing for the floods from June 1.

The control room is functional now, while the leave of all the employees of the department, including engineers, has been canceled. The department is monitoring the water level in the rivers, along with the condition of the catchment areas and embankments.

It has taken several measures to protect the more than 3,700 km long embankments in Bihar. More security personnel have been deployed on the embankments while experts have been deployed in the control room for constant monitoring.

In 2021, the Bihar government spent Rs 1121.73 crore for 317 schemes, Rs 748.54 crore for 296 schemes in 2022, Rs 898.04 crore for 330 schemes in 2023, and Rs 350 crore for 149 schemes in 2024 as part of its flood control measures.

A large number of people die due to floods in Bihar each year. According to the data of the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority, the number of people drowning between June and December is continuously increasing in the state, with 205 people drowning in 2018, 630 in 2019, 1,060 in 2020, 1,206 in 2021, while 1,256 people died in 2022.

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Former Water Resources Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Jha always maintained that Bihar would not get relief from floods until dams are not be built in Nepal.

Experts in water management feel that Bihar will get relief from floods only when the water coming from Nepal is controlled. For this, the Centre and the state will have to work together because it is an international matter.

Dinesh Mishra, a scholar and an expert on the flood situation in Bihar, holds the state government responsible for the flood menace.

“Everyone in the government, including the engineers in the Water Resources department, knows about siltation. Instead of coming up with a permanent solution to resolve the problem, the government looks only at temporary measures.

“When the Kushaha tragedy on the Kosi River happened in 2008, the Nitish Kumar government gave compensation to the affected family members and they remained silent. No one asked about permanent solutions.

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“The state government opens a control room in Patna to monitor the flood situation every year from June 1 to October 15. Every year, floods happen in July. Why doesn’t the control room remain functional throughout the year? They know well about the problems but fail to address them,” Mishra said.

–IANS

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Calcutta HC allows autopsy of BJP worker to be done in front of his wife or kin

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Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday allowed the post mortem of an arrested BJP worker who died under mysterious circumstances in hospital, to be done in front of his wife or anyone else deputed by her.

Sanjay Bera, a BJP worker from Debra in West Midnapore District of West Bengal allegedly died after being repeatedly admitted to hospital. His family members have alleged that he died due to injuries inflicted by the police.

The single-judge Bench of Justice Amrita Sinha gave the direction after the first hearing on a petition by Bera’s family seeking a CBI probe, as well as an autopsy at a central government-controlled hospital in Bengal.

However, Justice Sinha directed that the post- mortem be conducted at the state-run SSKM Medical College & Hospital.

She also allowed the wife of the deceased or any other representative deputed by her, to be present during the autopsy.

Justice Sinha also directed video-recording of the entire post-mortem process and handing over of the body to the family members after the process is over.

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The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on June 26.

The family members moved the petition at Justice Sinha’s Bench just hours after the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

“Police arrested Bera on June 4 and he was sent to judicial custody. He got admitted to Medinipur Medical College after that but he was sent back to judicial custody on June 11. He was again sent to hospital and he died on Tuesday. Police are giving a lame excuse that he incurred a head injury after falling down,” Adhikari claimed.

On Wednesday, Bera’s family members claimed that when he was arrested on June 4, he had no injury marks on his body. However, when he was presented in court the next day he had injury marks on his head.

–IANS

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