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Tripura police rescue three 'missing' minors

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Tripura police rescue three 'missing' minors

Agartala, June 22 (IANS) Three minors, who reportedly fled from their homes, were rescued by the police on Saturday a day after they went ‘missing’ in Tripura’s Khowai district.

The police in Dharmanagar in North Tripura district said that after getting a tip-off from their counterparts in Khowai district, a search operation was launched and the three minors, including a girl, were rescued while they were trying to reach neighbouring Assam by road.

The police have handed them over to their parents after completing the formalities.

The three minors, all under the age of 16, reportedly had some issues with their parents due to which they fled from their homes in Khowai district.

–IANS

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Channi vs Bittu: 'Deshdrohi' charge on ex-Punjab CM after war of words in Lok Sabha

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Channi vs Bittu: 'Deshdrohi' charge on ex-Punjab CM after war of words in Lok Sabha

Channi vs Bittu: 'Deshdrohi' charge on ex-Punjab CM after war of words in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Thursday witnessed a heated altercation between Congress leader & former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, and Union Minister Ravneet Singh Bittu, who recently switched from the grand old party to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The war of words between Channi and Bittu also led to brief adjournment of the House. Moments later, Bittu released a video message and accused the former of misleading and misguiding the nation.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, the Union Minister of State for Railways and Food Processing Industries, said that the former Punjab chief minister was utterly wrong in claiming that the farmers were booked under NSA. He termed it an outrageous ploy to demean and mock the farmers.

“Today, a former Chief Minister (referring to Channi) behaved in an anti-national manner and misled the world through the Lok Sabha. He claimed that the NSA was imposed on the farmers, which is not the case. It was against the radical forces (Amritpal Singh) which wanted to break Punjab away from India,” he pointed out.

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Bittu also slammed the Congress leadership for backing Channi in the House.

“While he spoke, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Rahul Gandhi was sitting there, enabling these statements,” he said.

Earlier, during a discussion on the Union Budget, Channi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and listed out ‘instances of undeclared Emergency’.

“This government does not treat all citizens equally. They are only concerned with staying in power. The BJP is responsible for a financial emergency in the country. They only talk about past Emergencies, but today, there is an undeclared Emergency,” Channi said.

He also advocated for Amritpal Singh, a pro-Khalistan leader and MP from the Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, who has been imprisoned under the NSA.

He argued: “Twenty lakh people elected an MP, and he (Amritpal Singh) is being imprisoned under the NSA. Freedom of speech is being suppressed, and the people of his constituency cannot voice their concerns in this House. This is also an Emergency.”

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The heated face-off between Channi and Bittu also drew the attention of lawmakers.

During the discussion on Union Budget, Channi referred to the assassination of Bittu’s grandfather and former Punjab CM Beant Singh. The alleged personal remarks left the Union Minister infuriated, who shot back by saying, “my grandfather sacrificed his life for the nation and not for Congress party”.

–IANS

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Marathi litterateur Fr. Francis D'Britto passes away; CM, MVA condole (Ld)

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Marathi litterateur Fr. Francis D'Britto passes away; CM, MVA condole (Ld)

Marathi litterateur Fr. Francis D'Britto passes away; CM, MVA condole (Ld)

Palghar (Maharashtra), July 25 (IANS) Fr. Francis D’Britto, a well-known Marathi literary figure, environmentalist who founded the ‘Harit Vasai’ movement, and a Catholic priest, passed away following a prolonged illness at his home near Virar on Thursday.

A Marathi Sahitya Academy Award laureate (2013), he was 81 and a native of his birthplace Jeladi village in Nandakhal, under the Holy Spirit Church home parish of the Virar region.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Congress state President Nana F. Patole, Nationalist Congress Party (SP) General Secretary Jitendra Awhad, Shiv Sena (UBT) National Spokesperson Kishore Tiwari and other dignitaries paid rich tributes to Fr D’Britto’s literary prowess and contributions to environment.

In January 2020, he was elected the President of the 93rd All India Marathi Literary Conference held in Osmanabad, ranked as the most prestigious calendar event in the state literary world.

Among other works of literature, Fr D’Britto is renowned for his translation of the Holy Bible-New Testament, into lucid Marathi titled as “Subodh Bible-Nava Karar”, a monumental work in a prose format that took him over 13 years from 1997 to complete, which became an instant best-seller with over three reprints.

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With this, Fr D’Britto became only the second person after a Britisher and 17th century missionary priest Fr Thomas Stephens (1549-1619) had translated the Holy Bible to Marathi, titled as “Krista Purana” in a poetry form.

Besides, he penned over four dozen books in Marathi and scores of columns and articles in various Marathi publications, while transforming a religious magazine, ‘Suvarta’ which he helmed as editor for many years.

Educated in Palghar, he completed his priesthood training at the St. Pius College in Goregaon east and graduated from the University of Pune, before going to pursue his Masters in Theology from Gregorian University in Rome (Italy).

On return, he joined the Jeevan Darshan Kendra Trust in Vasai as a priest and later launched the ‘Harit Vasai Sanrakshan Samiti’ to prevent the ‘ecological plunder’ of the Vasai-Virar region in the 1980s-1990s by the realty sharks.

According to the Vasai Bishop House spokesperson, Fr Bernard Fernandes, Fr D’Britto’s mortal remains were kept at his ancestral home in Jeladi where a large number of teary-eyed people, including many tribals with whom he worked in the social field, turned up to pay their last respects.

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His final journey started from there to the Holy Spirit Church at Nandakhal and after the holy mass, the funeral rites were performed in the adjoining cemetery on Thursday evening.

–IANS

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Chandrababu Naidu compares Jagan Reddy to Pablo Escobar

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Chandrababu Naidu compares Jagan Reddy to Pablo Escobar

Chandrababu Naidu compares Jagan Reddy to Pablo Escobar

Amaravati, July 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday launched a scathing attack on his predecessor Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, comparing him to late Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Speaking in the state Assembly while releasing a White Paper on law and order, Naidu said in his 40-year political career, he has not seen a politician like Jagan Reddy as he went on to compare him with Escobar.

Naidu’s attack came a day after a protest by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader in Delhi over what he called deteriorating law and order situation in Andhra Pradesh, and the attacks on YSRCP leaders and cadres after the formation of the TDP-led coalition government in the state.

“Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord… he was a narco-terrorist. He turned politician and then launched his cartel to sell drugs. He earned $30 billion at that time, which is now worth $90 billion,” Naidu said.

The Chief Minister added that Escobar was arrested in 1976 and in 1980, he became the richest drug lord in the world.

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“One can become rich by selling drugs as well,” he said.

“Jagan Mohan Reddy aimed to become richer than Tata and Ambani. That’s why I always say few have needs, few have greed and few have mania and these maniacs can do anything,” he said.

Naidu also spoke in detail about the life of Escobar, who became an MP 1982. He mentioned that Escobar resorted to retaliatory attacks when he was barred from politics. The drug lord was killed by Colombian police in 1993.

“A series was also made on Escobar’s life. I want people in the state to watch it,” he said.

TDP leaders have been claiming that Andhra Pradesh became the drug capital of the country during Jagan Reddy’s rule.

–IANS

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HC seeks reports from state, Centre over rising HIV cases in Tripura

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HC seeks reports from state, Centre over rising HIV cases in Tripura

HC seeks reports from state, Centre over rising HIV cases in Tripura

Agartala, July 25 (IANS) Acting on a PIL, the Tripura High Court has issued notices to both the state and Central governments seeking comprehensive reports on the rising HIV cases in the state within two weeks, officials said on Thursday.

Court sources said the PIL was taken up suo-moto by the high court after the reports of an alarming increase in HIV cases and deaths, particularly among the students and the youth of the state.

A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh and Justice Arindam Lodh took up the PIL following a letter from Justice T. Amarnath Goud, a judge of the high court, which highlighted the gravity of the issue.

The bench expressed its deep concerns over the rising HIV cases in the bordering state, a court official said.

The court noted that new cases must be identified regularly and necessary actions should be taken at the earliest.

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The high court also asked the governments to explain the reasons behind the surge in HIV cases, the measures currently in place, and the strategies to curb students injecting drugs through the intravenous mode, a key factor for the spread of the disease in Tripura.

Between April 2007 and May 2024, 828 students registered as PLHIV (People Living With HIV), 47 of whom died during the 17 years.

The Project Director of Tripura State AIDS Control Society, Samarpita Dutta, said that in 2022-23, 67 persons, including two students, died, while in 2023-24, 44 people died after being infected by HIV.

Presently, Tripura has approximately 8,000 known HIV-positive cases, though experts believe the figure represents only a fraction of the actual numbers, as many cases remain untracked.

The state recorded its first HIV case in 1996. Since then, there has been a marked increase in the number of infections, especially among high-risk groups such as youths using intravenous drugs, female sex workers, truck drivers, migrants, and gay people.

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–IANS

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Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to attend two additional legal meetings with his lawyers

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Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to attend two additional legal meetings
 with his lawyers

Delhi HC allows CM Kejriwal to attend two additional legal meetings
 with his lawyers

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has allowed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who faces corruption and money laundering charges in the alleged liquor scam, two additional legal meetings with his lawyers through video conferencing in a week till he is confined to Tihar Jail.

Allowing CM Kejriwal’s plea seeking permission to spend more time with his legal team, the court said that his request for additional meetings cannot be termed unreasonable.

A bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna rejected the prosecution’s contention that no special status can be given to the incarcerated Chief Minister as not available to other inmates under the jail policy.

“The opposition that no special status can be given to the petitioner as available to other jail inmates, again has no merit because it is not a situation of seeking any special favour as it has sought to be argued on behalf of the state, but it is a fundamental right which is sought to be enforced,” it said.

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In its detailed judgment, the Delhi HC said that it could not be ignored that similar relief of additional legal meetings has been allowed to co-accused Sanjay Singh.

Earlier on April 10, a Delhi court had rejected Kejriwal’s plea to enhance the number of meetings to five per week. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court observed that CM Kejriwal was not even utilising the permitted two legal interviews per week with his counsel solely for discussing his pending litigations and has rather used the allotted time for purposes other than legal interviews. In his application, the AAP supremo had claimed that two weekly meetings with his lawyer, as permitted by the court, were insufficient as he faced multiple cases in various states and needed more time for consultations.

–IANS

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