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Vol : 05 : #77 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

BJP to keep its option open about any

tie up with AMARINDER SINGH

New Delhi : While preparing for

next year’s assembly polls, the BJP is

keeping its options open about any

possible tie up or association with former

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder

Singh. The saffron party, however, is

closely monitoring political moves of

the former Chief Minister.

BJP national general secretary and

Punjab in-charge, Dushyant Gautam

told IANS that the BJP has its plan and

strategy for Punjab assembly polls and

is working accordingly with the developing

situation. "No doubt, Singh is a

big name and has had an impact on

state politics but first of all the former

chief minister must clarify his position

about the next political move. We have

our plans and the BJP is moving ahead

with it. We cannot say about Singh’s

plan and currently we can’t say what

will happen in future," Gautam said.

Gautan pointed out that the doors of

BJP is open for all nationalists. "We

are a nationalist party and for us nation

comes first. Anyone who believes in

this is welcome," he said.

Gautam mentioned that the party is

currently working on strengthening

the organisational presence across the

state. "We are focused on getting 51

per cent of vote share and meanwhile

several programs and campaigns are

already going on to expand the party

base in the state," Gautam said.

Former Chief Minister Singh has

made it clear that he was not joining

the BJP but has no intention to continue

in the Congress either. Many party

leaders admitted that Singh will give

4 more soldiers martyred

in anti-terror ops in

POONCH-RAJOURI

Jammu : Four more army soldiers including a junior commissioned

officer (JCO) were martyred during an anti-terror

operation in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and

Kashmir during the last 24 hours.

The operation entered 5th day on Saturday and so far, 9 soldiers

including two JCOs have been killed in this operation.

Lt Colonel Devender Anand, defence ministry spokesman

said, "Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh of Indian

Army were killed in action during search operations being conducted

by the Indian Army along with Jammu and Kashmir

Police in densely forested area of Nar Khas forest in Mendhar

district of Poonch.

"Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh were part of

search operations launched by the security forces to flush out

terrorists hiding in the forested area."

"On 14 October 2021 after a fierce firefight with terrorists,

the communication with Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra

Singh was disrupted." "Relentless operations continued to neutralize

the terrorists and to re-establish communication with the

soldiers. Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh were

killed in action in the fierce fight and their bodies have been

recovered in the evening today," an army statement said.

The operations in the area are continuing.

London : No new Parliament building

is coming up or will be erected in

Britain to replace the Palace of

Westminster, despite it being 1005 years

old and both the House of Commons and

the House of Lords being inadequate to

seat all its respective members. Instead a

massive repair and restoration project is

underway for a construction which came

up in 1016.

In order to achieve the ambitious

objective, over 50 skilled engineers,

architectural surveyors, acoustics and

lighting experts and ecologists spent a

combined 4,700 hours over Parliament’s

recent summer recess investigating and

assembling a most detailed record of the

complex. Sarah Johnson, CEO of the

Houses of Parliament Restoration &

Renewal Sponsor Body, said: "The essential

programme to restore the deteriorating

Palace of Westminster will protect our

world-famous Parliament for generations

to come."

A Parliament House to substitute the

present one, notwithstanding its shortcomings,

has never been a preference for a

British government. Jacob Rees-Mogg,

leader of the House of Commons, emphasised:

"The Houses of Parliament building

is recognised the world over as a symbol of

our nation."

A total of 2,343 rooms, spaces and conference

areas were examined over the summer,

with experts recording thousands of

issues including cracks in stonework and

the BJP’s campaign a major boost and

any tie up will happen only once he

clarifies his stand. "Singh’s image

suits our nationalist politics and he can

be used to pacify farmers protesting

against the three farm laws for the last

one year," a party leader said.

Another leader pointed out that

Singh will help BJP gain the ground

lost after alliance with SAD was

snapped. "Singh’s stature and understanding

of politics will help if we join

hands with him," the BJP leader said.

As part of its ongoing strategy, the

BJP is already concentrating on about

three dozen urban seats of Punjab

spread across the state. A party insider

explained that voters in urban constituencies

have different aspirations.

"Urban voters of Punjab want peace

widespread water damage. The intricate

network of outdated electrical and mechanical

systems was analysed. Many of the

historic features, including original

Victorian stained-glass windows which are

warping and sagging due to age, have

issues. The specialists also studied the

enormous basement and the miles of outdated

and interweaving gas, electrics,

water, sewage, and heating pipes to get up

to date records on the problems that need

fixing.

Work was also done to understand the

provenance of quirky candle and gas light

fittings, some of which were discovered to

have been turned upside down when converted

to electric power over 100 years

ago. Further investigation is ongoing but it

is thought the Palace may contain the oldest

still-in-use gas lighting system in the

world. Several remarkable candle chandeliers

that survived the great fire of 1834

which destroyed the original Palace were

along with prosperity and they will

support the party which promises

both. Earlier they also supported BJP,

now we are working on winning back

their support in next state polls," party

insider said.

The BJP is facing toughest challenges

in Punjab in comparison to

other four states - Uttar Pradesh,

Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand --

where polls will be held together in

February-March next year.

The BJP is contesting assembly

polls on its own in Punjab for the first

time after its one of the oldest ally

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked

away from alliance last year over new

farm laws. In the last Punjab assembly

polls in 2017, the BJP had won only

three out of 23 seats it contested.

UK set to spend $16bn for repairing

Parliament House, but won't replace it

also studied and recorded.

Acoustics experts considered

how to improve audibility within

the building; walked 240 km,

measuring 80 rooms, running 300

individual acoustics tests, taking

2,000 measurements.

Experts in ecology and door

specialists from Manchester, window

surveyors from Glasgow and

architects and engineers from

across London, in addition to historic

surveyors and specialists

from Cambridge, Suffolk and Hampshire,

were involved in the meticulous examination.

The monumental project could consume

30 years and cost up to 12 billion

pounds ($16 billion). If fact the current,

highly technical scrutiny of the state of

play and what needs to be done to deliver a

comfortable, yet visually unchanged interior

and exterior will resume over the winter

and continue next year. The Palace of

Westminster has survived a bombing

threat. Around midnight on November 4,

1605, Guy Fawkes was found in one of its

cellars with barrels of gunpowder. The conspiracy

by persecuted Catholics against the

Protestant dispensation was to blow up the

building. Fawkes and his plotters were executed

for treason. Thus, every November 5,

the Britons mark the day by burning his

effigies. The message from the mother of

democracy is stoic. An iconic Parliament

House is a symbol of the UK’s heritage. It

is irreplaceable.


2

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Owaisi dismisses RSS chief's claim

of increase in Muslim population

Hyderabad. AIMIM President

Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday

said Muslim population growth

rate in the country has had the

sharpest decline among all, dismissing

RSS chief Mohan

Bhagwat's claim that it has

increased.

"As usual, RSS Mohan's

speech today was full of lies &

half-truths. He called for a population

policy & repeated the

lie that Muslim & Christian

population has increased.

Muslim population growth rate

has had the sharpest decline

among all. There's no 'demographic

imbalance'," tweeted

Owaisi while reacting to RSS

leader's Dussehra speech.

The Hyderabad MP said one

has to worry about the social

evils of child marriages and

sex-selective abortions. "84%

of married kids are Hindus.

Between 2001-2011, Muslim

female-male ratio leaped from

936 to 951 women for every

President pays tributes at the Kargil War Memorial

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1000 Muslim men. But, the

Hindu ratio only rose from 931

to 939," he wrote.

On the RSS chief's call for a

population policy, Owaisi

pointed out that India has

already achieved replacement

level fertility rates without any

coercive population policy.

"Similarly, fact-free Mohan

is worried about India's ageing

population & the need to have

younger population to help the

ageing. He should tell his student

Modi about it," said

Owaisi.

"No man has destroyed

India's demographic dividend

like he has. Majority of India is

young; they lack education,

govt support & jobs. What's the

future of a country whose PM

cannot promise anything more

than a few pakora stalls.

Population control policy will

mean fewer youth of working

age. How will they support an

ageing population?" he asked.

Kargil. President Ram Nath

Kovind on Friday visited the

Kargil War Memorial at Drass

and paid homage to the martyrs.

In a sombre atmosphere,

he laid a wreath of white flowers

at the memorial to pay his

homage to the soldiers, who

made the supreme sacrifice to

defend the nation during the

Kargil war. He was accompanied

by Northern Command

chief, Lt Gen Y.K. Joshi.

The War Memorial at the

foothills of Tololing was constructed

in 2004.

The President also participated

in Dussehra celebrations

and interacted with the jawans.

The President reached Drass

in an Indian Air Force helicopter,

accompanied by his daughter

Swati. He was received at

Drass by Ladakh Lt Governor

R.K. Mathur, Ladakh

Autonomous Hill Development

Council Chairman Feroz

Ahmed Khan, and Kargil

District Magistrate Santosh

Sukhdeve.

Prior to reaching Drass,

early in the morning, the

President also paid floral tributes

to the former President Dr

On the RSS chief calling

Taliban terrorists, Owaisi

termed this a direct attack on

Modi, whose government hosted

them in the Indian embassy.

"If they're terrorists, will govt

list them as such under UAPA?

he asked.

He also slammed Bhagwat

for stating that that people in

Kashmir were reaping the benefits

of repealing Article 370.

He pointed out that there have

been 29 targeted killings of

civilians this year and there are

Internet shutdowns and mass

detentions. He said India's

highest unemployment rate of

21.6 per cent is in Jammu and

Kashmir.

On the RSS leader's demand

for National Register of

A.P.J. Kalam on his birth

anniversary at the Northern

Command, Udhampur, in

Jammu and Kashmir.

Late last evening, the

President interacted with the

jawans and officials of all ranks

along with their families at the

Northern Command HQ at

Udhampur. He extended best

wishes to the soldiers on the

occasion of Dussehra.

The President is on a twoday

visit to Ladakh. On

Thursday, he was at Leh, where

he performed Sindhu Darshan

puja.

UK records another 45,066 coronavirus cases

London. Another 45,066

people in Britain have tested

positive for Covid-19,

bringing the total number

of coronavirus cases in the

country to 8,317,439,

according to official figures

released on Thursday. It's

the highest daily number of

coronavirus cases since

mid-July, according to the

official data, Xinhua news

agency reported. The country

also recorded another 157

coronavirus-related deaths. The

total number of coronavirusrelated

deaths in Britain now

stands at 138,237. These figures

only include the deaths of

people who died within 28 days

of their first positive test.

There are currently 7,024

patients in hospital with Covid-

19. The data came as a study

has found coronavirus infections

among children increased

in England last month after

schools reopened.

According to the REACT-1

study led by Imperial College

London, the epidemic was estimated

to be growing among

those under 17, with coronavirus

reproduction number,

also known as the R number,

estimated at 1.18.

The R number indicates

the average number

of people each Covidpositive

person goes on to

infect. An R number

above one means the

coronavirus outbreak is

growing exponentially

while the number below

one means the case rate is

shrinking.

By contrast, the figure

for 18 to 54-year-olds was

estimated at 0.81, indicating

that the epidemic is contracting,

while for those over 55 it

was broadly steady.

More than 85 per cent of

people aged 12 and over in

Britain have had their first dose

of vaccine and more than 78

per cent have received both

doses, the latest figures

showed.

Citizens (NRC), Owaisi said

this was nothing but a weapon

to doubt citizens' Indianness

and harass them. "A govt that

didn't have a count of oxygen

deaths, frontline workers'

deaths, migrant workers' deaths

or farmer suicides thinks it will

verify citizenship of 1.37 billion

Indians."

Stating that Modi failed in

stopping Chinese soldiers from

coming into Ladakh, Sikkim,

Arunachal Pradesh, and

Uttarakhand, he asked why

Bhagwat didn't utter a word

about how our brave-hearts

were treated by Chinese.

"Bhagwat mentioned

Muslim patriots like

Ashfaqullah Khan & Muslims

who had fought in the armies

of Hindu Kings against socalled

Muslim invaders.

Ashfaqullah & Ram Prasad

Bismil were great friends.

Who destroyed such friendships

in the name of

Progressive thinker,

theatre artist G K

Govinda Rao no more

Hubballi (Karnataka).

Noted progressive thinker,

theatre person and writer

Professor G.K. Govinda Rao,

known for his sharp criticism,

passed away in the wee hours

of Friday at his daughter's residence

in Karnataka's

Hubballi.

Rao (86) was active in public

life and participated in all

major public movements in

the state.

Born on April 27, 1937,

Rao started his career as an

English Professor. He had

been a theatre artist for more

than five decades.

Chief Minister Basavaraj

Bommai expressed his condolences

and stated that society

has lost one of the finest

thinkers.

Opposition leader

Siddaramaiah in his condolence

message explained that

Prof. Rao was his well-wisher,

guide and dear friend.

"I am one among the family,

friends and fans who share

the grief of his death. I am

shocked by his death,"

Siddaramaiah maintained.

Minister for Higher

Education

C.N.

Ashwathnarayan stated that

Prof. Rao believed in democratic

values and dialogue. He

raised his voice whenever it

was required in society. "We

Fatherland and Holy land," he

asked.

"The record of Muslim

freedom fighters is such that

even Mohan is compelled to

praise them. The same cannot

be said about RSS & its ideologues.

They were always

epitomes of anti-national

activities & cowardice.

Savarkar advocated use of

rape against Muslim women

during war," Owaisi said.

"RSS cannot coexist in a

society that wants to progress

economically. Society must

choose between RSS's cowardice

& Ashfaqullah Khan's

bravery; RSS's betrayal of

India & Gandhi's patriotism;

RSS's ideology of

whining/resentment &

Maulana Azad's intellect &

education. Society must

choose between RSS's love for

inequality & Ambedkar's

desire for liberty, equality, fraternity

& justice," he added.

have lost a thinker," he added.

Rao had acted in several

Kannada films, including

'Grahana' and has appeared in

lead roles in the Kannada TV

serials, including popular

'Malgudi Days'. He was considered

an authoritative

resource person in the fields

of theatre and cinema.

He also used to give lectures

to university students on

theatre topics.

Rao was a critic of Prime

Minister Narendra Modi,

noted writer S.L. Bhyrappa

and Late Pejavar Seer on the

issues of the treatment of

minorities and blind beliefs.

His literary works include

'Eshwara Allah', 'Manu versus

Ambedkar; Tamma Ayke

Yavudu', 'Shakespeare

Samvaada' and others.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

3

Nihangs told it is a farmers' protest, not

religious movement: Yogendra Yadav

New Delhi. Swaraj India

Convener Yogendra Yadav

on Friday said the Nihang

group, accused of mercilessly

killing a man at the

Singhu border, was several

times told by farmers' leaders

that this is not a religious

movement but a site for

farmers' agitation.

"Our several leaders have

time and again told them

(Nihang group) in the past

one-and- a-half month that

this is a farmers' protest and

not a religious movement.

P.L. Punia to head Congress'

UP Campaign Committee

New Delhi. Congress on Friday

announced five committees for

Uttar Pradesh elections and

appointed General Secretary

P.L. Punia as the head of the

Campaign Committee.

Acharya Pramod Krishnam

has been appointed Chairman

of the Chargesheet Committee,

former Union Minister Salman

Khurshid will head the

Manifesto Committee, Rajesh

Mishra the Planning and

Strategy Committee and former

state President Nirmal Khatri

the Election Coordination

Committee. The Congress has

also appointed four new

General Secretaries, 12 Vice

Presidents and 31 new

Secretaries as it seeks to galvanise

its state unit ahead of

polls. General Secretary in

charge Priyanka Gandhi has

been on forefront in the

Lakhimpur Kheri incident, as

Congress demands the dismissal

of Union Minister of

State for Home Affairs Ajay

Misra Teni for a free and fair

probe into the Lakhimpur

Kheri violence that claimed

eight lives.

One killed as speeding car rams religious procession in Chhattisgarh

Jashpur (Chhattisgarh). At

least one person was killed and

several others seriously injured

as a speeding car ploughed into

people proceeding to immerse

a Durga idol in Pathalgaon area

of Chhattisgarh's Jashpur district

on Friday, the police said.

While a police officer at the

spot said that four people have

died and more than 15 are seriously

injured, Jashpur's

Superintendent of Police Vijay

Agarwal confirmed only one

death so far and a number of

injuries.

Witnesses claimed that the

driver deliberately targetted the

gathering on Raigarh road, and

a viral video of the incident

makes for disturbing viewing.

The immersion procession

had set out from Pathalgaon at

around 1.30 p.m. when the

maroon-coloured Sumo, being

driven at a speed of 100-120

km per hour, crashed into it,

throwing people around "like

footballs" and crushing others,

But even then they remained

there," he said in a video

message.

Condemning the murder

and demanding strict punishment

for the perpetrators

of the barbaric act, he said

that the Samyukt Kisan

Morcha (SKM), will fully

cooperate and support a

legal investigation into the

matter.

The victim, identified as

Lakhbir Singh, a resident

of Punjab's Tarn Taran district,

was residing for the

past three to four days with

the same group of Nihang

Sikhs, who brutally killed

him, he said.

"We are against sacrilege

of any religious text

but on this basis no person

can be allowed to take law

in his own hands," Yadav

added.

Earlier on Friday, the

body of a man with a hand

chopped off was found at

the Singhu border, where

farmers have been protesting

against the three contentious

farm laws for the

past one year.

It is being alleged that

the man was caught while

desecrating the Sikh religious

holy book, however,

an official confirmation

about it is still awaited.

As per the images that

have surfaced on social

media, it is possible that

the man was tortured

before he was brutally

killed, and the incident has

sent shockwaves all

around.

Terrorist involved in shooting J&K

cop killed in Srinagar encounter

Srinagar. A terrorist, involved in the murder

of a Jammu and Kashmir Police officer

in Srinagar, was killed in an encounter

between terrorists and security forces at

Srinagar district on Friday, officials said.

"Killer of martyr PSI Arshid killed in

Bemina encounter," police tweeted quoting

IG, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar.

The encounter ensued after a joint team

of the police and the army, which cordoned

off the area for a search operation

on the basis of specific information about

presence of terrorists, came under fire

from the hiding terrorists and retaliated.

On September 12, Sub-Inspector

Arshid Ahmad was shot dead from a close

range in Khanyar area of Srinagar.

This is the second encounter in

Kashmir on Friday. Earlier, one terrorist

involved in a recent civilian killing was

gunned down in Pulwama district.

Identified as Shahid Basir Sheikh from

Srinagar, he was said to be involved in the

killing of Mohammad Shafi Dar, 45, a resident

of SD Colony, Batmalloo near his

residence on October 2.

including a youth who died on

the spot. The deceased was

identified as Gaurav Agarwal,

21. The Superintendent of

Police told the media that the

reckless driver was caught by

the people and thrashed badly.

A huge quantity of ganja was

also found in the vehicle, which

was set on fire by the enraged

people. However, a police officer

said that there were two

people in the car - Radheshyam

Vishwakarma, 21, and

Shishupal Shahu, both from

Madhya Pradesh. Both have

been arrested. The incident created

anger among the local people,

who, along with the body

of the killed youth, blocked the

Gumla-Katni highway. A police

official said the situation was

critical as more and more people

from nearby areas gathered

there. "Somehow, we managed

to control the situation. But

people are still there on the

spot. Senior officials have also

reached there," he added.


4

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

CPI-Maoist confirms death of top leader R.K. due to kidney failure

Hyderabad. The outlawed

Communist Party of India-

Maoist on Friday confirmed the

death of its top leader, Akkiraju

Haragopal alias Ramakrishna.

The Central Committee of

the banned outfit released a

statement announcing death of

63-year-old leader due to kidney

failure and other ailments.

According to the statement

signed by the party's

spokesman Abhay, he died at 6

a.m. on October 14 while

undergoing treatment.

Also known as Saket,

Madhu and Srinivas, R.K., as

he was most popularly known,

More than 30 dead in

Kandahar mosque blast

New Delhi. More than 30 people

have died while 90 others

have been injured after an

explosion tore through a Shia

mosque during Friday prayers

in the Afghan city of Kandahar,

the BBC reported.

Pictures from inside the Bibi

Fatima mosque show shattered

windows and bodies lying on

the ground with some other

worshippers trying to help.

The explosion's cause is not

yet clear, but it is suspected to

be a case of suicide bombing.

Witnesses said that there were

three blasts in the mosque.

IS-K, a local branch of the

Islamic State, is expected to

claim responsibility for the

attack, the BBC reported.

Kandahar is Afghanistan's

second largest city and the spiritual

birthplace of the Taliban,

so an attack in the city by IS-K,

which is extremely hostile

towards the Taliban, would be

significant.

Last Friday, a suicide attack

on another Shia mosque during

Friday prayers in the northern

city of Kunduz had killed at

least 50 people. IS-K had said

that it carried out the attack,

which was the deadliest since

the US forces left Afghanistan

at the end of August.

IS-K, a Sunni Muslim

group, is the most extreme

and violent of all the jihadi

militant groups in

Afghanistan. Sunni Muslim

extremists have targeted Shia

Muslims, whom they see as

heretics. IS-K has targeted

Afghan security forces, politicians

and ministries, the

Taliban, religious minorities,

including Shia Muslims and

Sikhs, US and Nato forces,

and international agencies,

including aid organisations,

the report said.

China agrees to cooperate in WHO's fresh Covid origin probe

Beijing. China has agreed to

support and participate in the

World Health Organisation's

(WHO) fresh probe to trace the

origins of the Covid-19 pandemic

that has globally infected

21.9 crore people while

claiming 45.5 lakh lives.

The WHO, this week,

launched a new task force --

Scientific Advisory Group on

the Origins of Novel Pathogens

(SAGO) -- of 26 global experts,

and called it "the last chance"

to find the Covid origins.

It is nearly two years since

the virus was first detected in

the Chinese city of Wuhan, yet

the question of how it first

emerged remains unclear.

Several studies/probes into the

was a Central Committee and

Politburo member.

Though the statement has

not mentioned the place where

the top Moist succumbed,

police sources had Thursday

said he died in south Bastar in

Chhattisgarh.

According to the statement,

R.K. suddenly developed a kidney

problem. Though he had

started receiving dialysis, his

kidneys failed. It claimed that

the party provided him the best

treatment but it proved futile.

Terming R.K.'s death a big

loss, the spokesman said his

last rites were performed

origins from scientists, governments,

and independent groups

have not yet solved whether the

virus jumped from animals to

humans in Wuhan markets or

leaked in a lab accident.

While China, since the

beginning has strongly refuted

the lab leak theory, its Foreign

Ministry said the country will

"continue to support and participate

in" (the probe), the South

China Morning Post quoted it

as saying.

At the same time, Beijing

has also called on the global

health body to uphold an

"objective, scientific"

approach, stating that it will

aoppose any political manipulation',

the report said.

amidst revolutionaries. The

party paid him tribute for the

"China will continue to support

and participate in the global

scientific origins tracing, and

resolutely oppose any form of

political manipulation,"

Chinese Foreign Ministry

spokesman Zhao Lijian was

quoted as saying on Thursday.

Zhao also appeared to leave

the door open to future field

role he played in strengthening

the organisation and serving it

in various roles.

Haragopal was born in

Palnadu region of Guntur district

of Andhra Pradesh in

1958. Son of a school teacher,

he did post-graduation and

worked as teacher for some

time along with his father.

Attracted by the revolutionary

politics, he took membership

of People's War in 1978.

He became active in the organisation

in 1982.

According to the statement,

he became Guntur district

Secretary in 1986 and was elevated

as state committee member

in 1992. Subsequently, he

led the organisation in south

Telangana for four years and in

2000 he became Andhra state

committee secretary. At the 9th

Congress of People's War in

2001, R.K. was elected a

Central Committee member.

In 2004, R.K. led the

People's War in the talks with

then Andhra Pradesh government.

"He placed the people's

demands before the government

and along with other delegates

discussed them effectively,"

said the statement.

The party alleged that after

missions in the country, the

report said.

A joint WHO-China inquiry,

whose findings were released

in March this year, had dismissed

the possibility that the

virus had emerged accidentally

from a laboratory as "extremely

unlikely".

Undermining its own report,

Director General Tedros

Adhanom Ghebreyesus in July,

proposed a second phase of

studies in Wuhan, which

includes audits of laboratories

and markets in the city, citing

that the investigation had been

hampered by a lack of data and

transparency from China.

On Thursday, Zhao said that

the first probe should be the

pulling out of talks, the government

started targeting the

Maoists and when it attempted

to kill Ramakrishna, the

Central Committee shifted him

to Andhra-Odisha border area

and gave him the charge of that

area. He worked as AOB

Secretary till 2014 and since

then, he was guiding the AOB

Committee. In 2018, the

Central Committee included

him in the politburo.

R.K. married Shirisha and

they had a son Munna alias

Pridhvi, who was killed in an

encounter with police in 2018

in Ramaguda.

Kerala's first artificial heart

implantation done successfully

Kochi. Kerala's first artificial

heart implantation was successfully

performed at a private

hospital on a 61-year-old

woman patient.

The cardiothoracic surgical

team at VPS Lakeshore hospital

implanted the Left

Ventricular Assist Device

(LVAD), an advanced and

unique mechanism designed to

aid patients suffering from

heart failure by helping the bottom

left chamber of the heart

(left ventricle) pump blood out

to the aorta and the rest of the

body.

The patient, who has been

undergoing treatment for dilated

cardiomyopathy (DCM) for

the past six years, was admitted

to the hospital with cardiogenic

shock, breathing difficulty, and

hypotension on September 13.

Her condition deteriorated

with ongoing heart failure with

fluid in the lungs (pulmonary

oedema) and she was shifted to

ventilator support.

Even though the option to

bring her back to life was a

heart transplant, which needs a

donor heart and an unpredictable

waiting period, time

was running out and it was then

the doctors decided to implant

LVAD - an artificial heart.

With the family's consent,

the doctors, on October 8 performed

the nine-hour-long

extremely rare surgery which

saved her life.

Now the patient is safe and

sound, she has started taking

food orally, and is in the recovery

phase undergoing rehabilitation.

As per the medical team, she

can live an improved, long, and

normal life with this support.

D.S. Sujith, the cardiothoracic

surgeon who led the team

of professionals, said, as organ

donation is in a plateau phase in

Kerala, ventricular assist

device (artificial heart) is a

boon in the present scenario as

a bridge to transplant as well as

destination therapy.

foundation for future work and

"adhere to a global perspective",

the SCMP reported.

China had, initially, rejected the

second probe accusing the

WHO of "arrogance" and a

"disrespect for common sense".

The proposed members of

the SAGO group include six

experts who visited China as

part of the previous team.

Besides Covid, SAGO will

also look into the origins of

other high-risk pathogens, the

BBC reported.

SAGO's work may be the

"last chance to understand the

origins of this virus", Michael

Ryan, the WHO's emergencies

director, was quoted as

saying.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

ASDA has more to offer you

for DIWALI than ever!

As the time to start preparing for your

Diwali celebrations approaches, ASDA is

there for you with a range of Diwali ingredients,

treats and essential supplies that's

bigger and better than ever. Enjoy reuniting

with your family and friends this year for an

extra-special and memorable festive period

without any worries, thanks to ASDA's

selection of all your favourite products and

trusted brands all under the same roof.

This year, it just got even easier to find

everything you need for the perfect Diwali

celebration, with 35 ASDA stores in key

areas featuring a Diwali product range in the

seasonal aisle for the first time, gathering all

your most trusted brands in one easy-tobrowse

location in-store and making it easier

for you to get ready to celebrate. You can

also shop Asda's Diwali range online HERE.

Asda's Diwali selection has everything

covered, whether you're looking for snacks

and treats, simple cooking from the frozen

range or a complex list of ingredients to prepare

your favourite meal. You don't need to

look any further as the shelves are stocked

with your favourite brands at an affordable

price that'll make all your preparations a

breeze.

This festive season, you can pick up a

10kg pack of Medium Elephant Atta for

only £6, or East End's finest Chakki Atta for

£5.50, as well as a 10kg bag of Trophy's

Basmati Rice for just £10.50, allowing you

to purchase your bulk ingredients with ease.

Cupboard essentials are equally affordable,

with a Rubicon 4 litre pack selling for £4.50

and any 3 KTC tins for just £1.

ASDA is excited to help you celebrate

the festival of lights and ensure everything

is as easy, convenient, and affordable as

possible in the run up to the festival so you

can focus on what's important - celebrating

with your family, friends and loved ones.

Visit your nearest ASDA to begin stocking

up on your favourite Diwali snacks, treats

and supplies, or head to asda.com to browse

your Diwali essentials from anywhere.

Sidhu meets Rahul Gandhi, withdraws

resignation as Punjab Cong president

New Delhi : Congress leader Navjot

Singh Sidhu who resigned as the chief of

party's Punjab unit last month has met

former party president Rahul Gandhi at

his residence here following which he

withdrew his resignation. Congress'

Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat was also

present in the meeting.

After the meeting that took place on

Friday evening, it is believed that the

political situation in Punjab will become

normal now. Punjab Chief Minister

Charanjit Singh Channi is expected to

arrive in the national capital on Saturday

morning to attend the Congress Working

Committee (CWC) meeting.

During the meeting that lasted for

about an hour, Rahul Gandhi took feedback

from Sidhu. After the meeting,

Harish Rawat said: "Sidhu has assured

Rahul Gandhi that he will discharge his

responsibilities properly... and he will

continue as the Punjab state president.

He told Rahul Gandhi that he has withdrawn

his resignation." "He (Sidhu)

shared his concerns with Rahul Gandhi.

We have told him that his concerns will

be taken care of here," Rawat said.

Sidhu had reached Delhi on Thursday

and met organization general secretary

KC Venugopal and Punjab in-charge

Harish Rawat at the Congress headquarters.

On the instructions of the Congress

High Command, Sidhu arrived here on

Thursday evening and held a meeting

with both the leaders. This was the first

meeting held in Delhi after Sidhu's resignation.

The Gandhi family is said to be

angry with the manner in which Sidhu

had resigned, and therefore, he was

called to Delhi. It is expected that now

after Sidhu's meeting with Rahul Gandhi,

the impasse in the Punjab Congress has

been resolved. "Whatever my issues

were... I have told the party high command,

I am sure that Priyanka Gandhi

and Rahul Gandhi will understand my

point and I have faith in their decision.

Whatever decision they take will be in

the interest of the Congress and Punjab,"

Sidhu had earlier said on Thursday after

the meeting.

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

5

For Congress, Dalit lives

are expendable as long as

it suits their politics: BJP

New Delhi : Questioning Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief

Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's silence over the brutal Singhu border

murder, the BJP said that for the Congress, Dalit lives are expendable,

as long as it suits their politics.

BJP general secretary and Punjab in-charge, Dushyant Gautam

told IANS that any death is unfortunate but to draw the attention of

the Gandhi siblings (Rahul and Priyanka), a Dalit has to die in a BJP

ruled state. "Both the Gandhi siblings only react to unfortunate incidents

which happen in BJP-ruled states and remain silent on happenings

in Congress-ruled states.

"Congress Chief Ministers Bhupesh Baghel and Channi

announced compensation for an unfortunate incident in Uttar Pradesh

to politically establish Gandhi siblings but not a single penny for the

Dalit resident in Punjab who was killed yesterday," Gautam said.

The body of Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Tarn Taran in Punjab,

was found hanging with a severed hand, close to the main stage of the

farmers' protest site near the Delhi-Haryana border on Friday morning.

In a tweet, in-charge of the BJP's National Information and

Technology Department, Amit Malviya said: "24 hours after the

gruesome murder of Lakhbir Singh, a Dalit Sikh, Rahul Gandhi hasn't

said a word. Neither has Punjab CM announced any compensation

for the family, which hails from Punjab. Clearly, for the Congress,

Dalit lives are expendable, as long as it suits their politics."

On Friday, BJP general secretary (organization) B.L. Santhosh

tweeted: "They lost every moral right to call themselves farmers. It's

time saner elements if any among them to apologise to nation and

withdraw and engage with government unconditionally."

Taking note of the brutal murder, Chairman of National

Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Vijay Sampla had on

Friday asked the Haryana DGP to immediately arrest the culprits.

Fadnavis: MVA govt

'most corrupt', betrayed

public mandate in 2019

Nagpur (Maharashtra) : In a stinging counter-attack at

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Leader of

Opposition Devendra Fadnavis once again labelled the

MVA government as the "most corrupt" in the state's history,

here on Saturday. Rubbishing Thackeray's statements on

Friday night that the BJP was misusing central agencies like

ED, IT, CBI to target the non-BJP ruled states, Fadnavis

defended the Centre, saying it was not doing so. "If indeed

the Centre had really misused the probe agencies, then half

the MVA cabinet ministers would have been in jail.

See on Page 17


6 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Man killed on Singhu border belonged to Punjab: Hry Police

Chandigarh. Haryana Police said

on Friday that an FIR was lodged

in connection with the murder of a

man belonging to Punjab near the

farmers' protest site on the Singhu

border in Sonepat district.

However, no arrest has been made

so far in connection with the case.

A police spokesperson said

that on Friday, the police in

Kundli got information that

Nihangs had tied a person to a

barricade with his hand chopped

off near the protest site.

It is being alleged that the man

was caught while desecrating the

Sikh religious holy book.

However, an official confirmation

about this is still awaited.

By the time the police reached

the spot, the person had died.

When the police tried to take the

body away, the people at the spot

protested, an official statement

said.

After some efforts, the body

was brought to the Civil Hospital

in Sonepat for post-mortem. An

FIR has been registered under

Sections 302 and 34 of the Indian

Penal Code (IPC).

People were questioned

regarding the incident but, no

concrete information was

received. After making extensive

efforts, the deceased was identified

as Lakhbir Singh, son of

Harnam Singh, a resident of

Chimakhurd village in Tarn

Taran district.

SKM condemns gruesome murder at

Singhu border, disassociates from Nihangs

New Delhi. The Samyukta

Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Friday

condemned the barbaric killing

of a man at the Singhu border

protest site and has disassociated

itself from the Nihangs.

A statement issued by the

SKM said: "A Nihang group at

the scene has claimed responsibility,

saying that the incident

took place because of the victim's

attempt to commit sacrilege

with regard to the Sarbaloh

Granth. It is been reported that

he was staying with the same

group of Nihangs for some

time."

SKM, an umbrella body of

over 40 Indian farmers' unions

against Centre's three farm laws,

has identified the deceased as

Lakhbir Singh from Cheema

Kala village of Punjab.

"The SKM condemns this

gruesome killing and wants to

make it clear that both the parties

to this incident, the Nihang

group and the deceased person,

have no relation with Morcha.

The Morcha is against sacrilege

of any religious text or symbol,

but that does not give anyone the

right to take the law into their

own hands," it said.

The group has demanded that

the culprits be punished according

to law after investigating the

allegation of murder and conspiracy

behind sacrilege.

"This peaceful and democratic

movement is opposed to violence

in any form," the statement

added.

An unidentified decedent

with a chopped left hand was

found tied to an inverted police

barricade at the Haryana-Delhi

Singhu border outside of Delhi

on Friday morning, sending

shockwaves.

The body was found near the

staging area of the anti-farm law

protest site where the farmers

have been demonstrating against

the three farm laws since past 10

months.

The Haryana Police have registered

an FIR against unknown

people in the incident.

The police are yet to ascertain

the identity of the victim.

2nd Covid wave in Delhi shows reaching herd immunity hard with Delta: Study

New Delhi. The severe outbreak

of Covid-19 in Delhi this year

showed not only that the Delta

variant of SARS-CoV2 is

extremely transmissible but that

it can infect individuals previously

infected by a different

strains of the virus, according to

a team of international scientists.

The team led by National

Centre of Disease Control and

the Council of Scientific and

Industrial Research (CSIR),

Institute of Genomics and

Integrative Biology, India, along

with collaborators from the

University of Cambridge and

Imperial College London, UK,

and the University of

Copenhagen, Denmark, used

genomic and epidemiological

data, together with mathematical

modelling to study the outbreak.

To determine whether SARS-

CoV-2 variants were responsible

for the April 2021 outbreak in

Delhi, the team sequenced and

analysed viral samples from the

previous outbreak in November

2020 until June 2021.

Their findings, published in

the journal Science, showed that

the 2020 outbreaks in Delhi were

unrelated to any variant of concern.

The Alpha variant (B.1.1.7)

was identified only occasionally,

primarily in foreign travellers,

until January 2021.

The Alpha variant increased

in Delhi to about 40 per cent of

cases in March 2021, before it

was displaced by a rapid

increase in the Delta variant

(B.1.617.2) in April.

The researchers examined a

cohort of individuals recruited

by CSIR. In February, 42.1 per

cent of unvaccinated subjects

participating in the study had

tested positive for antibodies

against SARS-CoV-2.

In June, the corresponding

number was 88.5 per cent, suggesting

very high infection rates

during the second wave. Among

91 subjects with prior infection

before Delta, about one-quarter

(27.5 per cent) showed increased

levels of antibodies, providing

evidence of reinfection.

When the team sequenced all

the samples of vaccinationbreakthrough

cases at a single

centre over the period of the

study, they found that among 24

reported cases, Delta was sevenfold

more likely to lead to vaccination

breakthroughs than non-

Delta lineages.

Since the first case of Covid-

19 was detected in Delhi in

March 2020, the city had experienced

multiple outbreaks, in

June, September and November

2020. In November 2020, the

capital city had almost 9,000

cases daily, but it declined

steadily between December

Stalin urges 4

CMs to allow

sale of green

firecrackers

Chennai. Tamil Nadu Chief

Minister M K. Stalin has

urged his counterparts in

Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan and

Haryana to reconsider the

ban on sale of firecrackers

and allow sale of green

crackers.

In a letter to his four

counterparts, Stalin requested

them to allow the sale of

firecrackers that falls within

the norms set by the Supreme

Court and the National

Green Tribunal (NGT) in

their states during this

Diwali.

Citing the apex court's

order of allowing green

crackers, Stalin said a blanket

ban was not reasonable.

"Such a ban is not prevalent

in other countries.

Moreover, such a ban if

imposed by other states also,

would lead to the closure of

the entire industry, jeopardising

the livelihood of around

8 lakh persons," Stalin said.

"You would also appreciate

that bursting of firecrackers

is an integral part of

Indian festivals, especially

Diwali. A balanced approach

that gives due regard to environment,

livelihood and public

health is possible and necessary,"

he added.

Nearly 90 per cent of the

country's firecrackers are

made in Sivakasi in Tamil

Nadu and about eight lakh

workers are dependent on

this sector.

2020 and March 2021. However,

the situation reversed dramatically

in April 2021, going from

approximately 2,000 daily cases

to 20,000 between March 31 and

April 1. "The concept of herd

immunity is critical in ending

outbreaks, but the situation in

Delhi shows that infection with

previous coronavirus variants

will be insufficient for reaching

herd immunity against Delta,"

said Professor Ravi Gupta from

the Cambridge Institute of

Therapeutic Immunology and

Infectious Disease.

"The only way of ending or

preventing outbreaks of Delta

is either by infection with this

variant or by using vaccine

boosters that raise antibody

levels high enough to overcome

Delta's ability to evade

neutralisation," he added. The

research was also supported by

the Ministry of Health and

Family Welfare, Council of

Scientific and Industrial

Research, and Department of

Biotechnology.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

7

3 in 10 people globally don't have basic

handwashing facilities at home: Unicef

United Nations. Globally,

around three in 10 people, or

2.3 billion, do not have handwashing

facilities with water

and soap available at home, the

Unicef said.

The situation is worst in the

least developed countries, with

over six in 10 people without

access to basic hand hygiene,

the UN agency said in a fact

sheet on Global Handwashing

Day, which falls on October 15.

According to the latest estimates,

two in five schools

worldwide do not have basic

hygiene services with water

and soap, affecting 818 million

2 more killed in fresh

communal violence

in Bangladesh

Dhaka. A three-member

probe body has been

formed after two more

persons were killed in a

fresh attack in

Bangladesh. The attackers

vandalised puja

mandaps and carried out

attacks on temples in

Noakhali's Begumganj

upazila during the celebrations

of Durga Puja.

The committee is

being headed by

Additional District

Magistrate Md Tarikul Islam,

confirmed Mohammad

Khurshed Alam Khan, deputy

commissioner of Noakhali district.

The committee was asked

to submit its report within

seven working days, he added.

A dead body of a youth

named Pranto Chandra

Namodas, 20, was recovered

from the pond adjacent to

ISKCON temple in

Chowmuhani early on

Saturday. Earlier, another man

was killed and 30 others were

injured after locals carried out

attacks on several temples in

Chowmuhani area of Noakhali.

Meanwhile, Asaduzzaman

Khan Kamal, the home minister

claimed everyone involved

in the communal attack will be

identified and punished under

the law. He said the government

is firmly determined to

ensure that people of all religions

can freely perform their

religious rituals.

Tazul Islam, Minister of

Local Government and Rural

Development of Bangladesh,

has called opon local public

representatives to be alert and

stand strong against those who

would seek to destroy communal

harmony.

"I am making a call to all

students, of which 462 million

attend schools with no facility

at all.

In the least developed countries,

seven out of 10 schools

have no place for children to

wash their hands.

One-third of health care

facilities worldwide do not

have hand hygiene facilities at

points of care where the

patient, health care worker, and

treatment involve contact with

the patient. The latest data

show that some progress has

been made since 2015.

The global population with

access to basic hand hygiene at

public representatives at the

city corporation, municipality,

upazila parishad, district

parishad and union parishad

level, and all other institutions...

Be ready," he said at an

event in Dhaka on Saturday.

On the eighth day of Durga

Puja, Quran was allegedly disrespected

at a temple in

Cumilla which led to attacks on

Hindu places of worship which

triggered clashes.

After that several incidents

occurred in Chandpur,

Chattogram, Cox's Bazar,

Bandarban, Moulvibazar,

Gazipur, Chapainawabganj and

other districts. The BGB personnel

have been deployed in

two dozen districts and security

was beefed up at puja venues.

Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud

Swapan, Whip of the National

parliament and organising secretary

of the ruling Awami

League, after visiting the

affected temples on Saturday,

said Friday's attacks on several

temples at Chowmuhani in

Noakhali were pre-planned. He

said, "A group of fanatic

Bangladeshis planned to destabilise

the country by carrying

out the attacks on the provocation

of the so-called prime minister's

spoiled child. It was not

an isolated incident."

China renews alert for cold wave

Beijing.China's National

Meteorological Centre (NMC)

on Saturday renewed a blue

alert for a cold wave, forecasting

low temperatures and gales

in vast regions of the country.

From 8 a.m. Saturday to 8

a.m. Monday, temperatures are

expected to drop by 6 to 10

degrees Celsius in parts of the

northern, northeastern, central,

eastern, southern and southwestern

regions, Xinhua news

agency reported citing the

Centre as saying.

Some areas in the provinces

of Shandong, Henan, Anhui,

Jiangsu and Zhejiang will see a

temperature decline of above

14 degrees Celsius, according

to the center.

It also forecasts strong and

gusty winds in most of the central

and eastern regions in the

upcoming days.

The Centre advised the public

to take precautions against

the cold weather and strong

winds and suggested traffic and

police authorities prepare for

icy road conditions.

China has a four-tier, colourcoded

weather warning system,

with red representing the most

severe weather, followed by

orange, yellow and blue.

Bill Clinton to receive treatment

in hospital: Spokesperson

home has increased from 5 billion

to 5.5 billion, or from 67

per cent to 71 per cent.

However, if current trends

persist, 1.9 billion people will

still not have access to basic

hand hygiene by the end of the

decade.

The cost to provide hand

hygiene in all homes in 46 of

the world's least developed

countries by 2030 is an estimated

$11 billion.

"Global response efforts to

the pandemic have created an

unprecedented time for hand

hygiene. Yet progress remains

far too slow for the most vulnerable,

underserved communities,"

Unicef WASH Director

Kelly Ann Naylor was quoted

as saying in a statement.

"Hand hygiene cannot be

viewed as a temporary provision

to manage Covid-19.

Further long-term investment

in water, sanitation and hygiene

can help prevent the next health

crisis from coming. It also

means fewer people falling ill

with respiratory infections,

fewer children dying from diarrhoeal

diseases, and more pregnant

mothers and newborns

protected from preventable

conditions like sepsis."

Washington. Former US President Bill

Clinton's health indicators are "trending

in the right direction", but he will continue

to receive treatment at a Southern

California hospital for one more night,

his spokesperson said.

Clinton, 75, was admitted on

Tuesday evening to the University of

California (UC) Irvine Medical Center

in Orange County for a non-coronavirus-related

infection, Xinhua news

agency reported on Saturday.

His white blood count has decreased

significantly, his spokesperson Angel

Urena said on Friday, adding that

Clinton will remain in the hospital

overnight to "receive further IV antibiotics".

Clinton was in an intensive care section

of UC Irvine Medical Center,

though not receiving "ICU care",

KABC-TV, the West Coast flagship station

of the ABC television network,

quoted an aide to the former

President as saying.

The aide told reporters at the

hospital that Clinton had a urological

infection that spread to his

bloodstream, but is on the mend

and never went into septic shock, a

potentially life-threatening condition.

Clinton was in Southern

California for a private reception

and dinner for the non-profit

Clinton Foundation.

After meeting friends in Orange

County on Tuesday, he reported

feeling fatigued, an aide to the former

President was quoted as saying

by The Los Angeles Times.

Clinton, a member of the

Democratic Party, served as the

42nd US President from 1993 to

2001.


8 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Russia invites US for upcoming talks on Afghanistan

Moscow. Russia has invited a

US delegation to participate in

the talks on Afghanistan slated

to take place in Moscow on

october 20, a top official said

here.

Moscow is also currently

considering a proposal by Iran

on hosting in Tehran a meeting

of foreign ministers of

Afghanistan's neighbours,

Xinhua news agency quoted

Zamir Kabulov, Russia's

Special Presidential

Representative for Afghanistan,

as saying on Friday.

A day earlier, the Russian

Foreign Ministry said that postconflict

reconstruction and

humanitarian assistance will be

high on the agenda of the multilateral

talks.

Russia has also invited

Taliban representatives to the

meeting.

The Moscow-format consultations

on Afghanistan

were launched in 2017 on the

basis of the six-party mechanism

for consultations among

representatives from Russia,

Afghanistan, China, Pakistan,

Iran and India.

The first round of the consultations

took place on April

14, 2017 and were attended

by the Deputy Foreign

Ministers and representatives

of 11 countries, namely

Russia, Afghanistan, China,

Pakistan, Iran, India,

Kazakhstan, Tajikistan,

Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and

Turkmenistan.

Pakistanis lash out at Imran Khan for 'petrol bomb'

New Delhi. Known for their

biting wit and unmatched

humour when it comes to

memes, Pakistanis on Twitter

lashed out at the government's

decision to hike the price of

petroleum products, Geo News

reported.

Pakistanis woke up Saturday

morning to find out that the

Ministry of Finance had

okayed a Rs 10.49 per litre hike

in the price of petrol. As

expected, many took to social

media to show their visceral

disdain of the government's

action, the report said.

#PetrolPrice was trending on

Twitter as the netizens vent

their anger on social media.

A Pak twitterati said petrol

stations are set to be the new

spot for "expensive" dates,

given the surge in prices of

petroleum products.

Reacting to the recent hike

in petrol prices, PML-N

Punjab Police bust illegal arms supply racket

Chandigarh. Punjab Police

on Saturday busted an interstate

illegal arms supply

racket in Sangrur district

with the arrest of two persons.

Two country-made

weapons and ammunition

were recovered from their

possession.

The arrested persons have

been identified as Pawan

Kumar, a resident of Aligarh

district in Uttar Pradesh, and

Kulwinder Singh from

Muktsar Sahib district in

Punjab.

Senior Superintendent of

Police Swapan Sharma told

the media that following the

rise in incidents of illegal

weapons supply in Sangrur

and its surrounding areas, a

Special Investigation Team

(SIT) headed by DSP

Yogesh Kumar and

Inspector Deepinder Singh

was formed.

After a month-long investigation,

the SIT managed to

bust the inter-state racket, he

said, adding that this was

one of many trips which

Kumar made to Punjab,

when he was nabbed.

Kumar had supplied several

weapons in Amritsar

and Tarn Taran districts.

The SSP said that Kumar

was working on the behest

of Chanchal Kumar, a resident

of Aligarh, who is posted

at an army formation in

Mau.

Apparently, Kumar was in

contact with illegal arms

manufacturers and he had

several conduits making trips

to deliver country-made

weapons to anti-social elements

in the state.

The SIT revealed that

President and Leader of the

Opposition in the National

Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif said

that following a 14 per cent

increase in power tariff, the

"petrol bomb" on the masses is

a continuation of the "minibudget".

Lashing out at the PTI government,

Shehbaz Sharif said

that Prime Minister Imran

Khan has no right to remain in

office and demanded his resignation,

the report said.

In a statement, PPP

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said

the PTI government has

brought a "tsunami of inflation"

in the country, reacting to the

hike in petrol price.

"The government is actually

charging people for its incompetence.

During the PPP era,

the burden of rising petroleum

prices and products in the

world market was never shifted

to the masses," he said.

Madhya Pradesh has become

a hub of illegal arms manufacturing.

Investigation in the

previous cases also pointed

to Madhya Pradesh as the

place of origin of countrymade

weapons. Sharma said

that recovery of large quantity

of arms and ammunition is

likely in the coming days.

In the last six months,

Sangrur police have registered

17 cases under the

Arms Act and recovered 32

country-made weapons.

In another operation

launched by Ropar police, an

inter-state gang involved in

illegal arms business was

busted with the arrest of five

persons and recovery of five

country-made pistols.

SSP Vivek Sheel Soni

said that police teams had

conducted a raid and

nabbed five persons with

arms who were engaged in

illegal arms smuggling

from other states.

Another Nihang Sikh

surrenders in Punjab

in Singhu murder case

Chandigarh. The second

accused and a Nihang Sikh,

identified as Parminder Singh,

in the Singhu border lynching

incident, on Saturday surrendered

at a gurdwara before the

police in Jandiala Guru in

Amritsar district in Punjab

amidst the presence of a huge

sympathizers.

The local police had to show

patience to allow the accused to

surrender on his own after paying

obeisance and performing

rituals in the shrine.

Earlier, he had announced to

surrender after paying obeisance

at Akal Takht in Amritsar.

Parminder Singh has been

named in the murder of Lakhbir

Singh, who had allegedly committed

sacrilege at the farmers'

protest site on Singhu border on

the periphery of the national

capital on Friday.

His wife accompanying him

at the time of surrender told the

media the family has no

remorse and no regret over the

act of her husband.

"It was an act to punish over

sacrilege. Whoever indulges in

an act of sacrilege, we will treat

them in this manner," she

added.

Police officials told IANS

the accused has been later

handed over to Haryana Police

for further investigation.

Earlier, another Nihang

Sikh, identified as Saravjeet

Singh, took the responsibility

for the brutal murder and surrendered

before Haryana

Police. He was produced before

a court on Saturday and was

remanded to police custody for

seven days.

The incident took place in

the wee hours of Friday on the

Singhu border dividing

Haryana and Delhi when

Lakhbir Singh (30), a resident

of Tarn Taran district in Punjab,

was seen carrying the Sarbloh

Granth -- a holy Sikh religious

scripture -- by a Nihang Sikh

man.

Lakhbir was then accused of

desecrating the Sarbloh Granth.

The arguments soon turned violent

and the man's hand was

allegedly chopped off amid the

chaos.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 9

'Sardar Udham': Cinematography and Vicky

Kaushal shine in astutely recreated period saga

Film: Sardar Udham (Streaming on Amazon Prime); Duration: 162 minutes.

Director: Shoojit Sircar. Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Shaun Scott, Stephen Hogan, Banita Sandhu, Kristy Averton and Amol Parashar.

Rating: ****

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre

in Amritsar in 1919 may be

an incident etched in the memories

of all Indians owing to its

mention in our history textbooks,

but not many know about

the valour and sacrifice of Sardar

Udham Singh, an ordinary lad

from holy city, who witnessed

this tragedy up close and personal.

He was haunted by the memories

of that traumatic day for 21

years before he took revenge by

assassinating Michael O'Dwyer,

the then Lieutenant Governor of

Punjab, upon whose orders

General Dyer opened fire.

How Udham Singh joins

Bhagat Singh's Hindustan

Socialist Republican Association

(HSRA) and moves to London

and there, with the help of others

who are a part of the revolutionary

movement, including a

British woman, Eileen Palmer,

eventually manages to shoot

O'Dwyer and his trial thereafter,

form the crux of this film.

The tale is straightforward,

albeit narrated at a languid pace,

but the plot, narrated in a nonlinear

manner, goes back and

forth in time to establish the

rationale behind Udham's

resolve and provide a glimpse of

his early life and his journey as a

revolutionary.

The film belongs to Vicky

Kaushal, who essays the title

role with subtlety and an underlying

ferocity, all at once. He is a

man with a single-minded mission

and never loses focus.

Is NCB spreading

terror in Bollywood,

asks Nawab Malik

Mumbai. In a fourth stinger attack in the

past 10 days, NCP Minister Nawab Malik

on Saturday asked whether the Narcotics

Control Bureau (NCB) is willy-nilly targeting

film personalities to instil terror in

Bollywood with the help of some outsiders.

Malik revealed details of a NCB witness

Fletcher Patel who claims to be a

family friend of the agency's Zonal

Director Sameer Wankhede and has posted

pictures on social media with a woman

he calls 'Lady Don'.

"Who is this Fletcher Patel and the

other woman, 'Lady Don'? How come this

Fletcher Patel, who's close to Sameer

Wankede figuring as a Witness (Pancha)

in at least three NCB cases. Is it ethically

correct and what does it reflect on the

credibility of the NCB's operations

against drugs," demanded Malik.

Again accusing NCB of carrying out

fraudulent raids on prominent personalities

to grab publicity, the Nationalist

Congress Party (NCP) National

Spokesperson said in the past one year

alone, Fletcher Patel was a Witness in CR

No 38/20, CR No 16/20 and CR No 02/21,

and his team was collecting more information

on other cases.

"After we exposed the two persons

linked with the BJP, the NCB last week

said that they did not know any of the

'Independent Witnesses' they had taken on

record in the cruise ship raids. Then how

come the same Witness Fletcher Patel

appears in multiple NCB cases in the past

one year, known to the NCB chief," Malik

asked.

Later, Fletcher Patel and the alleged

'Lady Don' Yasmeen Wankhede, said to be

a relative of the NCB chief, appeared on

certain media channels and denied Malik's

allegations.

"I have been saying from the beginning

that the NCB is carrying out fake raids on

film personalities but now with the

involvement of Wankhede's friends and

family members emerging as witnesses in

official case, what is the real motive

behind these operations. As in the past, the

NCB must hold a press conference and

clarify," Malik demanded.

He again questioned if the so-called

NCB raids are 'pre-planned' in advance

with close friends like Fletcher Patel taken

in as 'Witness' in multiple cases, violating

the laws.

"Also, who is this 'Lady Don'. It has

come to light that she is a lawyer and connected

with one political party. So what

are their motives and links with the NCB

chief? What is the real racket going on in

Bollywood with these people. The NCB

must reply to this," Malik asked.

Each year of the wait to

achieve his goal is a struggle and

he portrays that with brutal honesty

-- whether it is seeking

refuge under various aliases or

doing odd jobs to buy time or

hone his skills. His body language,

broken English, unbridled

confidence and fearlessness,

all exude the aura of a revolutionary

and freedom fighter.

The screenplay by

Shubhendu Bhattacharya is taut

and well-researched, throwing

light on several historical facts

unknown to many. The period is

recreated with honesty and one

is transported there. The dialogues

are crisp, yet hard-hitting,

particularly O'Dwyer's scathing

speech at Caxton Hall before he

is shot, reiterating that "It is the

right and the duty of the British

to rule India". One can feel

Udham Singh's anger upon hearing

these words, further

strengthening his resolve.

The cinematography by Avik

Mukhopadhyay is atmospheric

and enriches the scenes with

unparalleled brilliance. His lens

brings alive each frame with

candour and the story with it.

Particularly noteworthy is the

heart-wrenching Jallianwala

Bagh massacre scene where the

pain and pathos of those injured

and dying are palpable.

The end of the film, maybe

known to us and predictable, but

the surge of patriotism and the

awe-inspiring feeling for Udham

Singh is something Shoojit

Sircar manages to arouse in each

viewer. The dauntless unremorseful

Udham Singh, with

Bhagat Singh's photograph in his

clenched fist as he lies motionless,

becomes an everlasting

memory.

Overall, with a runtime of

162 minutes, there are moments

when you feel the viewing is a

bit tedious.

3 tips to heal from

the loss of a loved one

New Delhi. Is there a certain time

period to wait to heal from losing a

loved one? This is a difficult question

to answer, but very important to ask. I

personally get asked this question a

lot, and my response is always the

same: "It takes as long as it takes."

Some people want to know exactly

how long their recovery period will be

so they can know when they've "gotten

over" their loss.

It is okay to feel sad. There will be

days when you will want to close all

the blinds, lock yourself in a room and

cry until you have no more tears left to

shed. There will be days when you will

forget all the happy memories

and only remember the

last time you saw your loved

one, how they looked and

smelled, how they made you

happy and how their presence

in your life made you

feel warm and secure.

What is not okay to feel is

any form of regret. Regret

for all the things that you

could not give to that person.

Regret that you didn't even

get to say goodbye. Regret

that life did not turn out the

way it was supposed to. All

of these regrets can put you in a slumber

that you will not be able to escape,

so do not regret a thing!

Every day we hear about a new

death in the news, someone who was

just starting out in their life, or someone

who was on the brink of dying

from a terminal illness. These stories

strike our hearts and make us feel

something inside. We remember how

it felt to lose a loved one and we wonder

if the family affected feels the

same way that we did. If you're reading

this, then you might be having

some difficulty coping with the loss of

your loved one and are desperately

seeking the journey to healing.

Here are 3 tips that can help you

through it:

Surrender to the experience and

unveil

Surrender to the experience of your

loss. Don't try to change it. Surrender

to it being messy, lost, or incomplete.

Surrender to the fact that life does go

on, though not in the same way.

Surrender to not being okay. In truth,

no one can ever really "handle" a loss

and often it affects you deeply, but

what I wish more people knew was

that our grief is more than okay, it's

important. We all carry a story within

us and sometimes those stories are

heavy and painful. Your grief is a story

that tells you more about the experiences

of your life. Don't be embarrassed

of it, don't run from it and don't

let anyone tell you that you're weak for

feeling it. It's okay to feel your feelings.

Bring all your experience, pain and

knowledge into your body

This activity works best when you

are in the presence of something beautiful,

moving or inspiring. It may be

watching the sunset or listening to a

song or seeing a person or a candle or

anything that evokes emotion for you.

Close your eyes and bring your attention

within yourself, down to your

heart, where you can feel the feelings

beneath the feelings. Get cozy with

what's there. Remember that emotions

are neither masculine, nor feminine,

nor right, nor wrong, they simply

exist.

Acknowledge what you're feeling

Acknowledging what you're feeling

is not acknowledging that

you're weak or broken; it's

about accepting the reality of

your situation. Take time to

practice self-care by getting

enough sleep, eating healthy,

and exercising. If it is possible,

go for walks in nature

because it can help you feel

relaxed and re-energized. You

can also meditate to help calm

your thoughts which will ultimately

help you to feel more

relaxed. Share your story with

someone who understands and

get it off your own shoulders.

I strongly believe that there is always

someone out there who can relate to

what you are going through.

The loss of a loved one feels like

losing a piece of your heart forever. It's

an absolute tragedy and it's something

that will affect everyone differently.

One of the best ways to get through the

process of healing after a loss is to surround

yourself with people who have

experienced similar situations. Never

be afraid to seek out professional

advice when needed.


10 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Drone warfare is a new challenge, we

are capable to handle it: NSG DG

Manesar (Gurugram). National Security

Guard (NSG) DG M.A. Ganapathi on

Saturday said that drone warfare is a new

challenge and the NSG is fully capable to

handle it.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the

37th foundation day event of the NSG, here

on Saturday.

"Every security force needs to upgrade

counter drone technology. Drones are an

easy way to create mischief, to drop bombs

and payload like weapons and ammunition,"

he said.

Earlier, speaking at the 37th foundation

day of the NSG, the DG said that the NSG

has been upgrading itself to the new security

challenges and in the last few years, many

initiatives have been taken to strengthen the

counter terror measures.

"To effectively deal with drone attacks,

the Force is now equipped with counter

drone equipment, radar, jammers and drone

killing guns", Ganapathi said.

Referring to the upgradation of the force

in the last one year, he further said that in

light of the drone attacks on Jammu airport

recently, the Counter terrorism Commando

forces of NSG, equipped with anti-drone

technology, been deployed at the Jammu and

Srinagar airports to provide anti-drone cover

to these vital installations.

The force has also destroyed the IEDs and

tiffin box bombs sent across the border

through drones in Amritsar in Punjab, he

added.

The NSG DG further said that the Force

has been equipped with modern weapons and

equipment and also strengthened the infrastructural

setups across the country and

indoor shooting ranges have been established

in Manesar, Delhi, Hyderabad,

Mumbai and Kolkata.

With an aim to increase the efficiency of

the bomb disposal squads, mini-remotely

operated vehicles, total containment vehicles,

and robots have been added to the force,

he added.

He also said that to deal with multiple

attacks at multiple locations at the same

time, the Gandiv 3 mock exercise was conducted

last month and in coordination with

all agencies, and forces were dispatched to

Bhopal, Ahmedabad from Delhi for this

exercise.

Ganapathi also said that NSG's Close

Protection Force has provided security to the

VVIPs in over 4,600 events in the last one

year despite Covid-19 restrictions and also

provided security to the VVIPs in over 260

public gatherings and road shows during the

last assembly elections.

He also said all NSG personnel have been

fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and a 60 bedded

hospital has been set up at NSG campus

here with its own resources.

Devotees immerse Durga idols in Yamuna despite ban

New Delhi. Despite ban on idol

immersion in Yamuna river and other

natural water bodies in the national

capital, several people flouted the

rules issued by the Delhi Pollution

Control Committee (DPCC), a day

before the 'visarjan' (immersion) ritual.

Yamuna Ghat at the ITO was

found littered with idols and other

religious materials on Saturday

morning.

DPCC in its October 13 order had

ruled that idol immersion during

Durga Puja and other forthcoming

festivals in any public place, including

river Yamuna or any other water

body, ponds and ghats, should not be

allowed.

"Consequent pollution of such

water bodies has been a matter of

concern. In addition to silting, toxic

chemicals used in making idols tend

to leach out and pose serious problems

of water pollution. Studies carried

out to assess deterioration in

water quality due to idol immersion

reveal the deterioration of water quality

in respect to conductivity, biochemical

oxygen demand and heavy

metal concentration," the order read.

The DPCC had ruled that idol

immersion rituals may be performed

in a bucket and container within the

home premises.

Convener of Yamuna Jiye

Abhiyan, Manoj Mishra, told IANS,

"The prohibition of idol immersion in

any public place including Yamuna

imposed by DPCC is a welcome step

especially in view of idols made of

Plaster of Paris (PoP) or painted with

lead-based paints. But it is hardly a

measure to rejuvenate the river which

is already overloaded with sewage

and toxic pollutants from industries."

The DPCC had directed the

District Magistrates to enforce guidelines

related to idol immersion,

adding that each violator will be

liable to pay Rs 50,000 to the DPCC

body.

River Yamuna whose catchment

covers parts of Uttar Pradesh,

Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh,

Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya

Pradesh in addition to that of Delhi, is

most polluted in and around the

national capital. Its top pollution

sources are the Sewage Treatment

Plants (STPs), untreated water from

unauthorised colonies as well as

sewer from authorised colonies.

However, a clean and pollutionfree

Yamuna has been the poll promise

of Delhi government for more

than 25 years now.

The first Yamuna Action Plan

(YAP) for which a loan agreement

was signed in 1992, aimed at

improved water quality conservation

and hygienic environment in the river

basin.Talking about the Delhi government's

efforts in delivering on its

promise of a cleaner Yamuna, Mishra

said, "It is too early to say if Delhi

government is delivering on its clean

Yamuna promise which is contingent

to adequate flow in the river on which

hardly any action is underway."

Idol immersion turns

violent in Patna: 1

killed, several injured

Patna. Immersion of Durga

idols turned ugly in Patna on

Saturday after two groups

clashed in which one person was

killed and several others were

injured.

The incident occurred in

Chowk police station in Patna

city near Janata hotel, when the

two groups on way for immersion

of Durga idols in river

Ganga, had an altercation over a

trivial issue.

The altercation took an ugly

turn and they started firing at

each other. One of the bullets hit

a 23-year-old youth Vikky

Chaudhary in his chest.

He was immediately taken to

Nalanda Medical College and

Hospital (NMCH) where doctors

declared him dead, said an official

of Chowk police station.

Patna police deployed a large

number of police force in the

area to bring situation under control.

In another incident, violent

clash occurred in Pali area of

Patna late on Friday night, leaving

more than a dozen persons

injured.

The incident occurred after

some miscreants started misbehaving

with girls and women

during the Vijay Dashmi celebrations.

When it was objected

by the families, the miscreants

opened fire on them. The families

of girls also opened fire on

the miscreants, leading to chaos

in the area.

Two persons, identified as

Pinku Kumar and Chiku Kumar

received gunshot injuries in this

incident. They were admitted in

local hospital and are said to be

out of danger.

715-C Parkfield Road

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

Keen to offer solutions to UAE, says K'taka minister

Bengaluru. Karnataka being a

hub of startups in India is keen to

offer ground-breaking solutions

to private companies and government

organisations of UAE in

various sectors ranging from

logistics to infrastructure, oiland-gas

to environment and

waste management to healthcare

C.N. Ashwath Narayan, the

Minister for IT/Bt and Science

Technology said in Dubai on

Saturday.

Addressing the Inauguration

Ceremony of 3 days event

'World Dubai Expo 2020', he

said that some of the sectors in

the UAE that are witnessing the

massive presence of Indians,

especially Bengaluru based startups

and tech majors.

"Karnakata government

which is playing the role of a

facilitator has been undertaking

all tech-focused initiatives in

line with achieving the vision

set by our Prime Minister

Narendra Modi to make India

reach the 5 trillion dollar economy

by 2025. Shared economic

visions and geopolitical outlooks

have spurred the two

sides (Karnataka and UAE) to

seek to expand cooperation

across multiple domains

including in investment, technology,

and the knowledge

economy", Minister Narayan

explained.

Karnataka is one of the prosperous

states in India with an

estimated GSDP of $220 billion

and has been a leader in

sectors of Information

Technology, I-T enabled services,

Electronics, Machine

Tools, Aerospace, and

Biotechnology, he pointed out.

Further, the Minister added,

11

"Karnataka has a robust Startup

which includes MNCs/GCCs,

incubators, and accelerators.

Besides the State is home to

premier higher education institutions

such as Indian Institute

of Science (IISc), the Indian

Institute of Management (IIM),

the International Institute of

Information Technology (IIIT),

and several others. The state

has sector-specific policies for

IT, BT, Electronics System

Design & Manufacturing

(ESDM), Animation, Visual

Effects, Gaming and Comics

(AVGC) in order to give a push

to the growth of the technology

sectors and innovation in the

State." He said, Karnataka is a

leading global innovation hub

due to partnerships established

with innovation hubs such as

UAE, adding that the government

of Karnataka is interested

to strengthen its relationship

with the UAE on common

grounds of innovation and

technology.

NASA sends Lucy mission to seek out solar system's 'fossils'

Washington. In a novel bid to

seek out the origin of our solar

system, the US space agency on

Saturday launched the Lucy mission,

the agency's first to

Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.

Launched atop the United

Launch Alliance Atlas V 401

rocket from the Cape Canaveral

Space Force Station in Florida in

the US at around 3 p.m. (India

time), Lucy will circle back to

Earth three times for gravity

assists, making it the first spacecraft

to return to the vicinity of

Earth from the outer solar system.

During its 12-year primary

mission, Lucy will explore a

record-breaking number of asteroids,

including a flyby of one

asteroid in the solar system's

main belt and seven Trojan asteroids

near Jupiter.

"Lucy embodies NASA's

enduring quest to push out into

the cosmos for the sake of exploration

and science, to better

understand the universe and our

place within it," said NASA

Administrator Bill Nelson. "I

can't wait to see what mysteries

the mission uncovers!"

Lucy will explore the Trojan

asteroids with a suite of remote

sensing instruments.

Additionally, the navigation

cameras will be used to determine

the shapes of the Trojan

asteroids.

Lucy will be the first spacecraft

to study Jupiter's Trojan

Asteroids.

These small bodies are remnants

of our early solar system,

now trapped in stable orbits

associated with -- but not close

to -- the giant planet Jupiter.

The Trojan asteroids are in

two "swarms" that lead and follow

Jupiter in its orbit around the

Sun and are almost as numerous

as the objects in the Main

Asteroid Belt.

These primitive bodies hold

vital clues to deciphering the history

of the solar system.

"A true mission of discovery,

Lucy is rich with opportunity to

learn more about these mysterious

Trojan asteroids and better

understand the formation and

evolution of the early solar system,"

said Thomas Zurbuchen,

associate administrator for the

Science Mission Directorate at

the agency's Headquarters in

Washington, DC.

The spacecraft's first Earth

gravity assist in 2022 will accelerate

and direct Lucy's trajectory

beyond the orbit of Mars. The

spacecraft will then swing back

toward Earth for another gravity

assist in 2024, which will propel

Lucy toward the

Donaldjohanson asteroid - located

within the solar system's main

asteroid belt - in 2025.

"It will still be several years

before we get to the first

Trojan asteroid, but these

objects are worth the wait and

all the effort because of their

immense scientific value.

They are like diamonds in the

sky," said Hal Levison, Lucy

principal investigator from the

Southwest Research Institute

(SwRI).

On kanshi TV

channel 772.

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6 :00 pm

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6 :00 pm

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12 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Manmohan Singh diagnosed with

dengue, gradually improving: AIIMS

New Delhi. Former Prime

Minister Manamohan Singh

has been diagnosed with

dengue, but his health condition

is gradually improving and

is out of danger, an AIIMS official

said on Saturday.

The official said that the former

Prime Minister's "platelets

are increasing and is out of danger

now".

The veteran Congress leader

was admitted to the AIIMS on

Wednesday evening after he

complained of fever and weakness.

Union Health Minister

Mansukh Mandaviya also visited

him and enquired about his

health.

A team of doctors, under the

guidance of Nitish Nayak, a

well -known cardiologist, are

attending on the former Prime

Minister.

He had developed fever

three days ago and was feeling

weak after which he was rushed

to AIIMS.

Singh had tested positive for

Covid-19 in April this year during

the second wave of the pandemic

and had been admitted to

the AIIMS.

Africa's Covid cases

surpass 8.41 million

Smartphone app helped people

significantly lower their BP

Addis Ababa. The number of

confirmed Covid-19 cases in

Africa reached 8,414,571 cases

as of Friday afternoon, the

Africa Centres for Disease

Control and Prevention (Africa

CDC) said.

The Africa CDC, the specialised

healthcare agency of

the African Union (AU), said

the death toll from the pandemic

across the continent stands at

215,042, Xinhua news agency

reported. Some 7,786,325

patients across the continent

have recovered from the disease

so far, according to the

agency. South Africa, Morocco,

Tunisia and Ethiopia are among

the countries with the most

cases in the continent, according

to the agency.

In terms of caseload, southern

Africa is the most affected

region, followed by the northern

and eastern parts of the continent,

while central Africa is

the least affected region in the

continent, according to the

Africa CDC.

New Delhi. A three-year-long

study involving nearly 28,000

adults has shown that a smartphone

app and a connected

monitor were able to help them

significantly lower their blood

pressure.

The programme, called

Hello Heart, let people track

their blood pressure, weight,

and physical activity and

offered tips on how to manage

blood pressure.

After one year of using the

programme, over 85 per cent of

people with stage 2 hypertension

had reductions in their systolic

pressure, which stayed at

lower levels over the course of

three years, according to the

study published in the journal

JAMA Network Open.

Most participants achieved

and maintained lower blood

pressure during a follow-up

period that lasted as long as

three years, said the

researchers.

"This is the first peerreviewed,

published study

reporting the long-term experience

of a digital health application

for blood pressure management,"

said study author

Alexis Beatty, a cardiologist

and associate professor at the

University of California, San

Francisco.

The 'Hello Heart' programme

included a blood pressure

monitor that automatically

sends readings directly to an

app.

The app monitors trends and

automatically gives users

strategies to improve their

blood pressure with things like

diet and exercise.

This cohort study enrolled

US adults with elevated BP or

hypertension between January

1, 2015, and July 1, 2020. The

hypertension self-management

programme was provided

through the participant's (or

their spouse's) employer health

plan.

The findings suggest that a

mobile technology hypertension

self-management program

can support long-term BP control

and very high BP detection.

Such programmes may

improve real-world BP monitoring

and control, said the

researchers.

Previous studies of mobile

technology-facilitated BP selfmanagement

interventions

have found significant associations

with BP control.

"To our knowledge, this is

the first study reporting longterm

experience with a digital

health application for hypertension

management, with a

magnitude of association that

is potentially clinically meaningful,"

the study authors

noted.

Although weight loss was

associated with lower BP,

weight loss did not appear to

mediate the association

between engagement and

lower BP.

"Thus, other factors were

likely responsible for the association

of engagement and

lower BP. Such factors may

include medication adherence,

sodium intake reduction, stress

management, and sleep management,

which are encouraged

by the app's recommendation

system," the team noted.

Future studies should examine

the efficacy and dissemination

of mobile technologyfacilitated

BP self-management

interventions and their

real-world effectiveness in

other settings and populations

as well as deeper investigations

into the mechanisms that drive

their effects on BP control,

they recommended.

Global Covid-19 caseload tops 240 mn

Washington. The global coronavirus caseload

has topped 240 million, while the deaths have

surged to more than 4.88 million and vaccinations

soared to over 6.58 billion, according to the

Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday morning, the

University's Center for Systems Science and

Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current

global caseload, death toll and the total number

number of vaccine doses administered stood at

240,036,345, 4,888,986 and 6,586,517,325,

respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country

with the world's highest number of cases and

deaths at 44,883,603 and 723,747, according to

the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the

second place with 34,037,592 cases. The other

worst countries with over 3 million cases are

Brazil (21,627,476), the UK (8,400,971), Russia

(7,804,750), Turkey (7,601,596), France

(7,180,773), Iran (5,765,904), Argentina

(5,271,361), Spain (4,984,386), Colombia

(4,978,689), Italy (4,712,482), Germany

(4,366,833), Indonesia (4,233,014) and Mexico

(3,744,574), the CSSE figures showed.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are

Brazil (602,669), India (451,814), Mexico

(283,574), Russia (217,382), Peru (199,775),

Indonesia (142,889), the UK (138,792), Italy

(131,503), Colombia (126,796), Iran (123,695),

France (118,153) and Argentina (115,660).


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

13

Kerala State Film Awards: Jayasurya

wins best actor, Anna Benn is best actress

Thiruvananthapuram.

Malayalam actor Jayasurya,

who just a few day backs

wrote himself into the record

books when his 100th film

was released, on Saturday

added another feather to his

crowded cap when he was

named Best Actor by the

jury of the 51st Kerala State

Film Awards.

The jury was chaired by

the popular actress

Suhashini and the awards

were announced here by the

state's Minister for Films

and Fisheries Saji Cherian.

Jayasurya bagged the

award for his stellar role in

the film 'Vellam'. Anna Ben,

who is 26 years old, got the

Best Actress award for her

role in the film 'Kappela'.

This is the second state

award that Jayasurya has

bagged in his two-decadeold

acting career. Anna, who

is the daughter of popular

script writer Benny P.

Nayarambalam, came to the

notice of audiences and critics

with her 2019 debut film,

'Kumbalangi Nights'. Ever

since, she has been flying

high. 'The Great Indian

Kitchen' directed by Jijo

Baby walked away with the

Best Film award. Sidharth

Siva was named Best

Director for the film

'Ennivar'. The Best

Character Actor award went

to Sudheesh; Sreerekha was

named the Best Character

Actress. The hugely popular

film 'Ayyapanum Koshyum'

was adjudged the Best Film

with Popular Appeal and

Aesthetic Value.

M. Jayachandran got the

award for Best Music

Director and Chandru Selvaj

for Best Cameraman for

their contributions to Sanal

Kumar Sasidharan's

'Kayattam', which was one

of the nominees for the Kim

Jiseok Award at the 2020

Busan International Film

Festival.

Lucky Ali impresses with

his best compositions

79th Golden Globe Awards on

Jan 9, 2022, despite controversies

Mumbai.Noted singer, songwriter

and actor Lucky Ali has

impressed the viewers with the

rendition of his best compositions

like 'O Sanam' and 'Gori

Teri Aakhein Kahen' on the final

episode of 'Unacademy Unwind'.

He performed the songs in a new

style that made the lyrics more

refreshing.

Hailing from a musical family,

the love for tunes and

melodies came naturally to

Lucky Ali, and as he puts it:

"The notes always made more

sense than conversations."

Lucky Ali also believes that

"a song is never really over

because it's a continuation. Like

many of the songs that I've

released, now I sing them differently.

So it has a life after release

also".

Talking about his experience

Los Angeles. The Hollywood

Foreign Press Association

(HFPA) has announced that it

plans to present the 79th annual

Golden Globe Awards on

January 9, 2022, disregarding

the many controversies over

racism and sexism in the journalists'

body, and with no telecast

partner in sight to replace

the American network NBC,

which had disassociated itself

from the event earlier this year.

On Friday, the HFPA

unveiled the traditional calendar

with submission deadlines in

various categories. It put to rest

speculation over the fate of the

79th Golden Globes after the

HFPA was plunged into turmoil

by a 'Los Angeles Times' report

in February pinpointing the

organisation's questionable

internal practices and the lack of

diversity.

NBC, which had been the

HFPA's longtime telecast partner,

decided to drop out because

of the internal issues rocking the

organisation. Matters came to a

head when Tom Cruise returned

the three Golden Globes he had

won in the 1990s and Scarlett

Johansson added her voice to

growing criticism of the HFPA.

Since then, the organisation has

said that it had cleaned up its

act under its new German president.

of performing on the show,

Lucky Ali said: "It was done

very professionally as always. It

was a grand show with great

lighting sequences and ample

space for us to ideate with each

other. Many of us had worked

for the first time with each other,

like the three musicians who had

come from Egypt, Delhi and

Dharamsala."

"So, that was the experience

for me, it was just intense. We

practiced till we got the interpretations

right. Till then we didn't

move on stage. It's just a good

example of connection between

different varied artistes, new

artistes. It was my good fortune

to have been in that environment,"

he added.

SL to restart ETA service

for travellers at airport

Colombo.The Sri Lankan government

has announced that it

has decided to restart the onarrival

Electronic Travel

Authorisation (ETA) service at

its airports for fully vaccinated

international travellers.

In a statement on Friday,

Immigration and Emigration

Department Controller General

Sarath Rupasiri said the issuance

of on-arrival ETA would facilitate

tourists who were unable to

obtain an online ETA due to time

constraints in arranging their

journey to Sri Lanka, reports

Xinhua news agency.

Rupasiri said the facility

would be available at the

Bandaranaike International

Airport in Colombo and the

Mattala Rajapaksa International

Airport in Hambantota.

However, despite the facility,

the controller general advised

travel operators to encourage

incoming tourists to obtain the

online ETA prior to their arrival

in the country to avoid unnecessary

delays at the airport.

Sri Lanka saw the highest

tourist arrivals growth in

September with 13,547 arrivals

while the country recorded

37,000 visitors from January to

September.

IS claims responsibility for

Kandahar mosque bombings

New Delhi. In a statement on its

Telegram channel, the Islamic

State (IS) terror group on

Saturday claimed that its

Khorasan branch (IS-K) carried

out the twin bombings inside the

Shia mosque in Kandahar, that

claimed the lives of 63 people

while injuring 83 others.

In the statement, the terror

group said that two IS-K suicide

bombers carried out the attack

on Friday inside the Bibi Fatima

Shia mosque in the city's police

district one (PD1) when hundreds

of worshippers were offering

prayers, Khaama Press

reported.

The statement said that the

first suicide bomber detonated

his explosives in the hallway of

the mosque and while the second

did it inside.

Initial reports had said that

there were three suicide bombers

who shot at security guards of

the mosque and then entered and

detonated their explosive vests.

It is the second deadly attack

by the group in the past two

weeks targeting the Shia

Muslims in Afghanistan.

Friday's attack came exactly

after a week when another Shia

mosque in Kunduz city was hit

by a suicide bombing which

claimed the lives of at least 50

people.

The IS-K had claimed responsibility

for the attack, which was

the deadliest since the US forces

left Afghanistan at the end of

August.

Earlier this week, Russian

President Vladimir Putin had

said that a large number of IS

militants have been entering

Afghanistan which can threaten

the security of Central Asian

countries.

The Taliban, which took over

Afghanistan in August, said the

IS were only making trouble but

were not a threat.


14 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Farm fires in Punjab this year till now

less than last year's, but more than 2019

New Delhi. The government has

claimed that the number of farm

fires in Punjab, Haryana and

eight districts of Uttar Pradesh

falling in the NCR this season

have gone down compared to

last year. But the numbers for

Punjab till October 13, even if

way less than last year's, are

more than that in 2019.

It is the season of Kharif crop

harvesting in north-west India.

Despite measures by the multiple

government departments,

such as providing happy seeders

and harvester machines, the

farmers in Punjab and Haryana

resort to stubble burning with the

pollution ultimately travelling to

Delhi-NCR. The farmers resort

to stubble burning owing to short

window between harvesting

Kharif crop and sowing for Rabi.

Indian Space Research

Organisation (ISRO) has been

monitoring farm fires on a daily

basis for many years now.

According to the ISRO data, the

cumulative fire count from

October 1 till October 13 for the

year 2019 was 715; for 2020 it

was 2413 and this year, it is 842.

The numbers show that the

stubble burning, called Parali

burning in popular parlance, is

definitely less this year till

October 13 compared to last

year, but it is more than the number

of such incidents 2019.

Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts

lead almost all three years

among the most farm fire incident

districts, the others being

Amritsar, Ferozpur, Gurdaspur,

Kapurthala, FG Sahib and

Faridkot.

The data for three years

shows that Amritsar registered

244 farm fires in 2019, 682

instances in 2020 and till Oct 13

this year, the number stands at

211; Tarn Taran district registered

143 farm fires in 2019, 598

in the year 2020 and 211 till Oct

13 this year; Ferozpur registered

30 farm fires in 2019, 138 in

year 2020 and 31 till now this

year; Gurdaspur had 22 farm

fires in 2019, 162 in 2020 and

just 34 this year till Oct 13;

Kapurthala registered 20, 69 and

41 farm fire incidents in 2019,

2020 and 2021 respectively;

Faridkot registered 11, 52 and 17

while FG Sahib registered 06, 48

and 46 incidents in 2019, 2020

and 2021 till October 13 respectively.

On Friday, the government

claimed that paddy residue burning

events have reduced by

69.49 per cent in Punjab, by

18.28 per cent in Haryana and by

47.61 per cent in the eight NCR

districts of Uttar Pradesh during

the one-month period since

September 15 compared to the

same period last year.

There are two main reasons

why despite so many far farms

this year, the air pollution levels

are considerably less till now.

One, the harvesting of paddy

crop has not picked up as yet as

much as it should have been

because of the delay in withdrawal

of monsoon and second,

the wind direction and velocity

was not favourable for transferring

air pollution to Delhi-NCR

till Thursday.

Data from the Agriculture

Ministry has shown that paddy

harvesting is complete only on

5.51 per cent of the 411.46 lakh

Ha across India. "Even in Punjab

the inclement weather has meant

that the farmers had delayed harvesting

the kharif crop. That will

further narrow down the window

and the farm fire instances are

set to rise," said an official from

Punjab.

According to data from

Punjab, the total paddy crop

area in both Punjab and

Haryana is estimated to be at 31

lakh Ha this year, of which as

much as 26 Ha is under nonbasmati

rice that causes the

stubble burning problem.

Farmers prefer particular variety/varieties

that are offered

substantial value under the government's

Minimum Support

Price (MSP).

This year, after the formation

of the permanent

Commission for Air Quality

Management for Delhi NCR

and Surrounding Areas

(CAQM), the Union Ministers

for Environment and

Agriculture had taken personal

interest and held multiple meetings,

some together, some individually,

with the officials and

political leadership from

Punjab and Haryana both.

Efforts were made by Punjab

government for bio-decomposition

of parali over 5 lakh Ha,

one such meeting on September

23 was informed.

The India Meteorological

Department (IMD) has indicated

that there would be rainfall

in north-west India on October

16 and 17, after which it is likely

that there would be stronger

winds towards Delhi that can

lead to increased air pollution.

System of Air Quality and

Weather Forecasting And

Research (SAFAR) at the

Indian Institute of Tropical

Meteorology (IITM), Pune is a

research-based initiative integrating

multiple factors and

issues forecast for air quality

for Delhi and three other cities.

SAFAR has also been tracking

farm fire incidents based on

satellite images from ISRO and

NASA.

Explained senior IITM scientist

and Director, SAFAR,

Gufrain Beig: "Till the time

monsoon does not withdraw,

there are no calm weather conditions.

Therefore, late withdrawal

of monsoon means local

dust and long-range dust transport

was more. Therefore, the

PM10 particles are more at this

time and PM2.5 particles that

are unhealthier are relatively

very less compared to last

year."

"When monsoon withdrawal

is complete, not just the wind

speed and direction, the temperature

too will then matter.

Then Delhi-NCR will have

more air pollution from parali

burning travelling towards it,"

he said. The CAQM has been

regularly talking with not just

Punjab but also with Haryana

and Uttar Pradesh for ensuring

strict implementation of the

action plan and the framework

to curb paddy residue burning

as per the protocol. CAQM has

also held series of meetings

with state government officials

including the district collectors/

district magistrates of Punjab,

Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

"From Monday onwards,

after this two-day likely rain in

northwest India, will we be able

to gauge the correct scenario

vis-a-vis stubble burning.

Whether or not our efforts at

restricting farm fires are successful

will be known then,"

said an officer from the

Environment Ministry, who has

kept tabs at the development,

but did not want to be quoted

by name.

PIA official was held at gunpoint

for hours by Taliban commanders

New Delhi. The Pakistan

International Airlines (PIA) suspended

its flights to Kabul after

what it called "heavy handed"

interference by Taliban authorities,

including arbitrary rule

changes and intimidation of

staff, The News reported.

The PIA said that ever since

the new Taliban government was

formed, its staff in Kabul had

faced last-minute changes in regulations

and flight permissions

along with "highly intimidating

behaviour" by Taliban commanders.

It said its country representative

had been held at gunpoint

for hours at one point and was

only freed after the Pakistan

Embassy in Kabul intervened,

the report said.

The suspension of flight operations

came as the Taliban government

ordered the airline, the

only international company

operating regularly out of Kabul,

to cut ticket prices to levels seen

before the fall of the Westernbacked

Afghan government in

August.

A PIA spokesman told Geo

News that operations have been

suspended for an "unspecified

period" and that the decision was

taken in the backdrop of "inappropriate

behaviour" demonstrated

by the Afghan authorities.

Undesirable conditions for

the operation of international

flights in Kabul and the Taliban

government's "last minute

changes in decisions" are also

part of the reason PIA made the

move, the spokesman said.

The PIA said it has decided

that no aircraft will go to Kabul

without insurance, the report

said.

Earlier, the Taliban had

warned the PIA and Afghan carrier

Kam Air that their Afghan

operations risked being blocked

unless they agreed to cut ticket

prices, which have reached levels

increasingly out of reach for

most Afghans.

With most international airlines

no longer flying to

Afghanistan, tickets for flights

to Islamabad were selling for as

much as $2,500 on PIA,

according to travel agents in

Kabul, compared to $120-$150

before. The Afghan transport

ministry had said in a statement

that prices on the route should

"be adjusted to correspond with

the conditions of a ticket before

the victory of the Islamic

Emirate" or the flights would

be stopped. It had urged passengers

and others to report any

violations. Flights between

Afghanistan and Pakistan have

been severely limited since

Kabul airport was reopened last

month in the wake of the chaotic

evacuation of more than

100,000 Westerners and vulnerable

Afghans following the

Taliban take over. With a

mounting economic crisis

adding to the worries about

Afghanistan's future under the

Taliban, there has been heavy

demand for flights out and the

main passport office in Kabul

has been besieged by people

trying to get travel documents

since it reopened earlier this

month. Demand for flights has

been further pushed by repeated

difficulties at land border crossings

into Pakistan.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

15

Iran reaches out to Russia, China for help

to counter Turkey-backed Azerbaijan

New Delhi : Iran has advised

Azerbaijan to be cautious of "devil's

costly traps" and avoid making false

statements which could permanently

damage the relations between the two

countries.

While addressing a virtual meeting

of the Commonwealth of Independent

States (CIS) Council of Heads of State

on Friday, President of Azerbaijan

Ilham Aliyev had accused Iran of conspiring

with Armenia and promoting

drug trafficking for nearly three

decades. Aliyev said that by regaining

control over a 130-kilometer section

of the state border with Iran that had

been under Armenian control for nearly

30 years, Azerbaijan has closed the

drug trafficking route from Iran

through Armenia's Jabrayil region to

Armenia and then to Europe.

"The volume of heroin seized by us

in other areas of the Azerbaijani-

Iranian border has doubled compared

to the same period last year. This

means that for about 30 years,

Armenia, together with Iran, used the

then occupied territories of Azerbaijan

for drug trafficking to Europe," said

the President of Azerbaijan.

Reacting strongly to the comments,

Tehran said that "ignoring the principles

and requirements of the neighbourhood

and making false and

unconstructive statements" is not a

sign of good faith and prudence.

"Accusation against a country that the

world recognises as a hero in the fight

against drugs has no effect other than

invalidating the speaker's words.

Beware of the devil's costly traps,"

said Secretary of Iran's Supreme

National Security Council (SNSC) Ali

Shamkhani in a series of tweets.

Iran's Foreign Ministry also strongly

rejected the "astonishing new allegations"

made by Aliyev, calling them

"fabricated". Tehran emphasised the

"leading role" played by Iran in the

fight against drug trafficking, highlighting

that thousands of martyrs and

wounded Iranians during the past four

decades in the fight against this "ominous

phenomenon" is part of the country's

committed and continuous efforts

on this path and which has been

acknowledged by relevant international

institutions over and over again.

"Unfortunately, it seems that

despite the private and positive messages

received from Baku in different

calls, there is an intention on the part

of Baku to make baseless media statements,

which, of course, will be

answered in due manner," said Iran's

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed

Khatibzadeh.

Countering 'Three Brothers'

The fresh war of words is the latest

addition to the escalating tensions

between the two neighbours which

share a 700-km long border.

Tehran is becoming increasingly

Islamic State suffers big blow

as West Africa leader dies

New Delhi : In a big blow to

radical Islam, the leader of the

Islamic State West Africa

Province (ISWAP) Abu Musab al-

Barnawi is dead, Nigerias top

general has said. "I can authoritatively

confirm to you that Abu

Musab is dead," Lucky Irabor, the

chief of defence staff, told

reporters at the presidential villa

in Abuja, without elaborating.

ISWAP, led by Al Barnawi since

2016, is an offshoot of the infamous

Boko Haram terror group,

which has created havoc in West

Africa. Analysts believe that the

death of Al Barnawi is expected to

have a positive impact on the

region. The terror master controlled large

swathes of territory, imposed taxes on the

local population. He also earned substantial

income by controlling fishing in north

Borno areas, apart from funding and material

support that he received from ISIS, the

Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust reported.

Al-Barnawi had also established many

nodes in the Lake Chad islands, the launching

pad for attacks in three countries -

Nigeria, Niger and Chad. The daily said

that Al-Barnawi had died in late August but

did not give any details.

Al Barnawi's death has delivered yet

another heavy blow to the Islamist movement

in West Africa. Boko Haram leader

Abubakar Shekau was killed in May.

Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi of Islamic

State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) has also

died this year.

Al Barnawi rose to the highest rank in

ISWAP after a bitter power struggle with

Shekou, who pledged allegiance to the

Islamic State in 2015. But ISIS passed on

the leadership mantle to Al Barnawi, who

had a wide following in Boko Haram. Al

Barnawi's father was Muhammed Yusuf,

the founding father of Boko Haram. As a

result, Al Barnawi inherited the loyalty of

many Boko Haram fighters after Yusuf was

killed by Nigerian police in 2009, sparking

a nationwide insurrection.

The ISIS which was in the lookout

to co-opt Boko Haram, finally chose

Al-Barnawi as ISWAP leader over the

rebellious Shekou.

India Narrative had reported earlier

that Shekou was killed in May after

ISWAP assaulted his stronghold in the

Sambisa Forest area.

According to the Nigerian news

website HumAngle, after his bodyguards

were killed or captured, Shekau

surrendered, and tried to cut a deal

with ISWAP. But after he was asked to

issue a humiliating surrender statement,

Shekau blew himself up, detonating

a suicide vest that he was wearing.

All people present during the

negotiations were also instantly killed.

"Africa is going to be the battleground

of jihad for the next 20 years and it's going

to replace the Middle East," BBC quoted

US State Department's coordinator for

counter-terrorism, ambassador Nathan

Sales as saying.

Since Shekau's death, the Nigerian

armed forces say that thousands of Boko

Haram fighters have surrendered to them,

Reuters is reporting. Last month, France

announced that its forces had killed the

ISGS leader al-Sahrawi. ISGS is Islamic

State's affiliate in the Sahel, a strip of land

below the Sahara Desert that includes

countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina

Faso.

worried about the rising Azerbaijani

nationalism inside Iran, where over 25

percent of the population is ethnic

Azeri. Analysts believe that in the

name of "combatting Islamophobia"

and promoting "peaceful co-existence"

of Muslim communities all

over the world, Azerbaijan is busy

nurturing a trilateral partnership with

Turkey and Pakistan to increase its

influence on the Azeris of Iran, especially

after the Nagorno-Karabakh

conflict. The trio also held a two-week

long trilateral exercise 'Three Brothers

- 2021' in Baku mid-September in

which special forces from the three

countries focused on targeting threats

and fostering interoperability.

Referring Azerbaijan, Turkey and

Pakistan as "close friends and brothers",

Commander of the Azerbaijani

Special Forces Lieutenant General H

Mirzayev said that Ankara and

Islamabad's support "from the first

day" of the 44-day counter-offensive

operations launched by Azerbaijan

against the Armenian armed forces

says a lot about the close ties enjoyed

between "our" people.

"Today, cooperation between our

countries in all areas is at the highest

level. Important measures are being

taken to further strengthen and develop

our relations to ensure the region's

and peoples' security," said Mirzayev.

Infuriated Iran then held a military

drill codenamed Fatehan-e Khaybar

(Conquerors of Khyber) along its

Azeri borders, saying that it will not

tolerate foreign presence in the northwest

region of the country.

Tehran reaches out to Moscow

Tehran has also intensified diplomatic

efforts to play an active role in

the region which is witnessing some

intense geopolitical activity after the

Taliban's return in Afghanistan.

Amirabdollahian also told Jeyhun

Bayramov, the foreign Minister of

Azerbaijan, on the sidelines of the UN

General Assembly that "third parties

should not be allowed" to affect the

good relations between the two countries.

On October 14 - "at the initiative

of the Iranian side" - Russia's Minister

of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov held

a telephonic conversation with his

Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir

Abdollahian. According to the Russian

foreign ministry, the situation around

the Joint Comprehensive Plan of

Action on the Iranian nuclear program

was examined as both parties "synchronized

watches" on key issues of

the bilateral agenda, which were discussed

during the talks between the

two ministers in Moscow on October

6. On Friday, Abdollahian also dialled

China's State Councillor and Foreign

Minister Wang Yi and updated him on

the resumption of talks between Iran

and the European Union, which took

place on Friday. The two sides also

expressed their readiness to implement

the 25-year cooperation document

and agreed that the talks will

continue at the same level in Brussels

in the coming weeks.

Youths blackmail K'taka

women over nude pics,

extorts Rs 5 lakhs

Bengaluru : Police

in Karnataka have

launched a manhunt for

two youths in connection

with blackmailing a

woman over nude photos

and videos and

extorting Rs 5 lakhs

from her.

A complaint has been

lodged with the

Basavanagudi Women's

police station in Bengaluru by the 21-year victim in this regard.

She has alleged that the two accused, identified as Chiraag

and Harshith from Bengaluru who met her on Instagram, took

her to a room, gave her juice laced with sedatives and then captured

the images and the video. According to the complaint,

Chiraag came in contact with the victim on September 5, 2020.

They developed a bond, after which they exchanged numbers

and started speaking regularly. Taking advantage, the accused

brought the victim to Mysuru on September 26 on the pretext of

introducing her to his parents. But instead of taking her home,

he took her to a lodging. In the room, he had given juice laced

with sedatives and the victim had become unconscious, according

to the police.

The victim also mentioned in the complaint that accused

Chiraag and his friend Harshith removed her clothes and captured

photos and videos when she was unconscious.

When she woke up later, the accused showed her the photos

and videos and demanded the ransom. The two threatened her

that they would upload the material on social media if the ransom

was not paid. "I have given the accused Rs 5 lakhs. In spite

of that, they have blackmailed me and locked me up in a hotel

room and threatening me to give more money," she said in the

complaint. The police are investigating the case.


16 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Sonia slams Congress leaders for speaking to media

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS)

Addressing the Congress Working

Committee (CWC) meeting, interim

President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday

slammed party leaders for speaking to

the media.

In her opening remarks, she said: "I

have always appreciated frankness.

There is no need to speak to me

through the media. So let us all have a

free and honest discussion. But what

should get communicated outside the

four walls of this room is the collective

decision of the CWC."

Sonia Gandhi's statement comes

after after senior party leader Kapil

Sibal had recently said that "there is

no president in our party, so we do not

know who is taking all the decisions.

We know it, yet we don't know, one of

my senior colleagues perhaps has

written or is about to write to the interim

president to immediately convene a

CWC meeting so that a dialogue can

be initiated".

In her remarks on Saturday, she

also said the party is ready for the

internal elections. "The entire organisation

wants a revival of the Congress.

But this requires unity and keeping the

party's interests paramount. Above all,

it requires self-control and discipline. I

am acutely conscious of the fact that I

have been interim Congress President

ever since the CWC asked me to

return in this capacity in 2019. We had

thereafter, you may recall, finalised a

roadmap for electing a regular

President by June 30, 2021."

But due to the second wave of

Covid-19 pandemic in the country,

this deadline was extended indefinitely

by the CWC in its meeting held on

May 10, she added.

"Today is the occasion for bringing

clarity once and for all. A schedule for

the full-fledged organisational elections

is before you."

She also praised young leaders for

taking over leadership role

"In the last two years, a large number

of our colleagues, particularly the

younger ones have taken on leadership

roles in taking party policies and programmes

to the people, whether it be

the agitation of farmers, provision of

relief during the pandemic, highlighting

issues of concern to youth and

women, atrocities on Dalits, Adivasis

Sonia counters G-23, says

'I'm full-time President'

New Delhi : Responding to queries by Congress dissenters over

who takes decisions in the party, Sonia Gandhi said on Saturday

that she was the "full-time and hands on Congress President".

"I am, if you will allow me to say so, a full-time and hands on

Congress President," she said while addressing the Congress

Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

The Congress President was responding to questions raised by

a group of leaders led by Kapil Sibal over the party's decision

making process and apprehending that former President Rahul

Gandhi is taking all the decisions.

"You are aware that I have been taking them up with the Prime

Minister as have Dr. Manmohan Singh and Rahul ji. I have been

interacting with like-minded political parties regularly. We have

issued joint statements on national issues and coordinated our

strategy in Parliament as well," Sonia Gandhi said in her remarks

on Saturday.

In her opening address, she slammed the Congress leaders for

speaking to the media

"I have always appreciated frankness. There is no need to speak

to me through the media. So let us all have a free and honest discussion.

But what should get communicated outside the four walls

of this room is the collective decision of the CWC."

and minorities, price rise, and the

destruction of the public sector. Never

have we let issues of public importance

and concern go unaddressed."

Regarding the farmers protests, the

Congress interim President said: "The

shocking incidents at Lakhimpur

Kheri betrays the mindset of the BJP,

how it perceives the Kisan Andolan,

how it has been dealing with this

determined struggle by Kisans to protect

their lives and livelihoods.

She said that the economy continues

to be a cause of great concern in

spite of the government propaganda

and the only answer the Centre seems

to have for the country's economic

recovery is selling off national assets

Thiruvananthapuram : At least 8 people

are dead and five persons are reported

missing after heavy rains lashed Kerala

since Friday evening. A team of Army officials

attached to the Pangode Military

camp in the state capital have already left

to Kottayam district and is expected to

arrive shortly where a landslide took place

at Kootikal.

Two families comprising 12 people who

bore the major brunt, of which six people

have been declared dead, while four continue

to be missing. A car with two people

who were asked not to go forward near

Thodupuzha in Idukki district was swept

away by the gushing waters and a few

hours later the dead bodies were recovered

by the locals who swung into action.

Consequent to the rains the authorities

have issued a red alert in 6 districts while

another 6 districts are on orange alert and

two districts are under yellow alert, thereby

indicating that all the 14 districts in the

state are experiencing heavy rains.

Heavy rains have been lashing the state

starting Friday evening leaving roads at

several places flooded and normal traffic

affected at a number of places. The Indian

Meteorological Department has warned of

more rains on Sunday also. Chief Minister

Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday morning

issued an advisory that people have to be

extremely cautious and under no circumstances

should they ignore the warnings

built with great effort over the

decades. "The public sector has had

not just strategic and economic objectives,

it has had social goals as well,

as, for instance, empowerment of

scheduled castes and scheduled tribes

and development of backward areas.

But all this is in jeopardy with the

Modi government's single-point agenda

of 'Becho, Becho, Becho'."

She said that prices of essential

commodities, including food and fuel

continue to rise unabated.

"Could anyone in the country ever

imagine that petrol prices would be

over 100 Rs rupees a litre, diesel

would be nearing the Rs 100 a litre

mark, a gas cylinder would cost Rs

that are given from time to time.

"A 24 hour alert has to be observed and

all those living close to water sources have

to be very cautious and none should venture

in the waters. Travel in the hilly areas

or places where rains are occurring should

be best avoided and areas prone to landslides

have also to be watchful," said

Vijayan. State Ministers have been asked to

coordinate with the various teams of the

Police, Fire Force and the Disaster

Management teams and have started their

900 and cooking oil would be Rs 200

a litre. This is making life unbearable

for people across the country."

Sonia Gandhi also condemned the

killings in Jammu and Kashmir and

said minorities clearly have been targeted.

"This must be condemned in the

strongest possible terms. We have

done so and I do so again this morning.

Jammu and Kashmir has been a

Union Territory for two years. The

entire responsibility for bringing the

perpetrators of these barbaric crimes

to justice is that of the Union government.

Restoring social peace and harmony

and confidence amongst the

people in Jammu and Kashmir rests

with the Modi government too.

"There has always been a broad

consensus on foreign and neighbourhood

policy in our country. But that

consensus has been damaged because

of the Prime Minister continued reluctance

to take the Opposition into confidence

in any meaningful manner.

Foreign policy has become a diabolical

instrument of electoral mobilisation

and polarisation. We face serious

challenges on our borders and on other

fronts. The Prime Minister telling the

opposition leaders last year that there

had not been any occupation of our

territory by China and his silence ever

since is costing our nation dearly," she

added.

The Congress faces many challenges

but, "if we are united, if we are

disciplined and if we focus on the

party's interests alone, I am confident

that we will do well".

8 dead, 4 missing as

heavy rains lash Kerala

work.

Later after chairing a meeting of top

officials, Vijayan said that all arrangements

are in place and none need to be worried as

various relief camps have been opened and

all facilities will be made available at the

camps. He also emphasised that the people

in the camps should be aware that Covid

protocols should be followed.

Meanwhile in areas where there are

heavy rains, tourist centres have been

asked to close down until further notice

and boating services have also been suspended.

At Pathanamthitta district, a car

was swept away by the rushing waters but

an alert auto-rickshaw driver, sensing the

danger, threw stones at the car which broke

the windshield allowing the driver to come

out through it who swam to safety.

Meanwhile, the saving grace is that the

rains appear to have slowed down and that

has come handy for those engaged in rescue

and relief operations.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 17

Unicef official warns of worsening situation in Afghanistan

United Nations : The already dire

situation faced by Afghan civilians

will get worse, and the humanitarian

needs of children and women will

increase over the coming months, a

Unicef official said.

"The situation is critical, and it will

only get worse," UNICEF Deputy

Executive Director Omar Abdi told

reporters at the UN Headquarters in

New York, adding that the humanitarian

needs will increase amidst "a

severe drought and consequent water

scarcity, an uncertain security environment,

continued displacement, the

devastating socio-economic consequences

of the Covid-19 pandemic

and the onset of winter".

Even before the Taliban takeover in

August, at least 10 million children

across the country were in need of

humanitarian assistance to survive,

Abdi said, and at least 1 million of

these children are at risk of dying due

to severe acute malnutrition without

immediate treatment, reports Xinhua

news agency.

The health system and social services

are on the verge of collapse, as

medical supplies are running dangerously

low, and cases of measles and

acute watery diarrhoea are on the rise,

Abdi said.

The economic system is also on the

verge of collapse, he added, noting

many teachers and health workers

have not been paid in at least two

months, and yet they continue to work.

The official also said that the education

gains of the past two decades

must be strengthened, not rolled back.

The number of children enrolled in

schools increased from 1 million in

2001, most of them boys, to almost 10

million children, including 4 million

girls, at present.

The number of schools tripled,

from 6,000 to 18,000. Despite this

progress, 4.2 million children are out

of school, including 2.6 million girls,

he noted.

The Unicef, the UN and humanitarian

partners are sparing no effort to

overcome financial shortfalls, logistical

challenges, and an increasingly

complex geopolitical situation to support

the millions of women, men and

children in Afghanistan who depend

on humanitarian assistance and protection,

the official added.

Educational Institutions, Morning Assemblies & Students

Continue Page 5

Morning assembly is an integral part of

the educational institutions. Almost all the

educational institutions conduct morning

assemblies which include prayers, information

of latest happenings, inspiring thoughts,

speech, national anthem, etc. A good institution

is always particular about their morning

assembly schedule. However, some parents,

as well as students, consider morning assemblies

as a total waste of time. In fact, few students

are always in a lookout to find excuses

to escape from the morning assembly. But,

morning assembly is important for a student's

development. It is essential to understand that

morning assembly is not just about standing

in long queues and singing prayers or national

anthem, but it’s something beyond just

prayers. All the activities carried out in morning

assembly by the students and school staff

have a great influence in every point of life.

The positive effects of attending assemblies

can be felt throughout life. During a morning

assembly, all the students of an educational

institution stand at the same place, as a part of

an institution regardless of their age, culture,

religion, gender, etc. A feeling of unity is

aroused by this act. This feeling of unity stays

forever in the student’s mind and it leads to a

happy society. The students get to know

about their institution and its achievements in

Social Education Voluntary

Association (SEVA) Trust UK, a

Bedford based charity supported by

SEVA Trust UK (India) who are working

for the betterment of education,

health and environment has opened a

new office and a free digital learning

centre in the state of Haryana in India.

On this occasion Naresh Mittal,

Chairman of SEVA Trust UK (India

Operations) and Deputy Chairman

Tejinderpal Singh that that Trust has

been undertaking most of its educational

projects in the state of Punjab and

now more projects will be delivered in

Haryana that can be managed from our

new local office.

The main objective of the trust is to

provide quality education to the needy

students from the rural areas so that talent

can be brought out from these

remote areas. Supported by Altruist

Technologies Pvt. Ltd, through this initiative

of free learning, students will be

given free onlinecoaching using the best

teaching staff and coaches.

a better way because of the discussions that

are conducted by teachers and

students during the assembly.

The headmaster or the principal

addresses all the students and

give valuable moral teachings

for life. This speech of principal

is the thing that can change

the perspective of students.

Each and every word of this

speech is the reflection of the

experience and values. When

students endure these experiences,

it helps them to lead a

successful life. This morning

speech/address from the principal

acts as a strong pillar in

the moral development of students.

Morning assemblies

also consist of news report reading or

thoughts delivering. Some institutions also

encourage the students to showcase small

play delivering some meaningful lesson. All

these activities, give a chance to every student

to be a part of activities. In this way,

confidence is built in the students. Morning

assembly is the best platform to encourage

the students who have achieved something in

academics or extra-curricular activities.

When the achievers are awarded in front of

Naresh Mittal said that to date SEVA

Trusthas already provided scholarships,

educational equipment to over 500

HARPREET

SINGH BRAR

everyone, they feel encouraged. This encouragement

gives them the enthusiasm

to achieve more.

Furthermore, it inspires other students

to perform better in order to

become one of the achievers.

These morning assemblies are a

good idea for discussing the problems

faced by the students or discussing

any activity happening in

the institution that can lead to a

bad effect on a student’s life. For

instance, the act of indiscipline or

immoral behaviour by some students

can be discussed so that it

can be prevented. Student as a

whole understands the problems

and try to find out the solution.

This instills discipline in them.

Thus, morning assembly is a crucial part of

educational teachings.

At the end I suggest that an educational

institute must have a well-planned morning

assembly accompanied with morning prayer,

national anthem, speech, news, the thought of

the day, acknowledgment of achievers and

address by the institution's authorities. Every

day it is necessary to inspire our students

with life teachings that facilitate their mental

and spiritual development.

Fadnavis: MVA govt 'most corrupt',

betrayed public mandate in 2019

The parties like Congress are scared because PM Narendra Modiji

will not rest till he uproots corruption in the country," Fadnavis

asserted. Alleging that massive 'dalali' (middlemen deals) are going

on, Fadnavis declared that as long as corruption exists in the state,

the central agencies would keep coming here.

The BJP leader also alleged that the MVA ministers are having

a 'software' for indulging in 'vasuli' (extortion), and other

corrupt activities are going on in full swing in the state. On the

CM's call to his party workers to "learn from West Bengal",

Fadnavis asked whether the CM wanted to make Maharashtra a

"lawless state" like West Bengal, and said the BJP would fight it

tooth-and-nail. Slamming the CM's challenge to the BJP to

"topple the MVA government", Fadnavis said that the CM was

speaking only out of 'sheer frustration', and claimed the BJP is

not interested in bringing down the government which would

collapse on its own.

Rejecting Thackeray's charges, Fadnavis reiterated that the Shiv

Sena had betrayed the people's mandate in the 2019 assembly elections

by allying with the Nationalist Congress Party-Congress to

form the MVA government, in the name of fulfilling the promise

made to the late Balasaheb Thackeray to have a Shiv Sainik as the

CM. "If you were so keen to make a Sainik the CM, then why did

you bypass all other senior leaders in your party? It was always your

personal ambition to become the CM - nothing wrong in this - but at

least drop this mask now," Fadnavis said. The BJP leader's response

came to Thackeray's thunderous speech at the Shiv Sena's annual

Dassehra rally held in Shanmukhananda Hall.

Bedford charity joins forces with Indian Charities and Private

Sector to offer free digital learning to disadvantaged students

needy children in the last 4 years. "We

have supported many rural schools

including setting up a solar plant, providingfree

tablets, projectors and other

e-equipment to students and rural

schools. Apart from this, the Trust also

organises health, environmental, social

awareness programs and supporting

local communities from low income

backgrounds" said Mittal.

Founder Chairman of SEVA Trust

UK Charan Sekhon, said "We have supported

over 700 students and over 300

families in the UK facing hardships during

Corona pandemic.Now we have set

up a new project in Bedford to support

people fleeing from Afghanistan. In

addition to all the community support

work SEVA Trust teams are doing in the

UK, we are trying to play our sincere

part in serving communities in India and

set up SEVA Trust India Team. We not

have a really strong team working in

India. This new office and digitallearning

centre is another positive stepto

reach out more students and needy people

in north India. We feel it is important

to support the youth, girls empowerment

and developing technical skills at

the early education stage to ensure a

prosper future for the youth from disadvantaged

families''


18 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

US DFC COO to visit India to

boost global health investments

New Delhi : David Marchick, Chief

Operating Officer (COO) of the US

International Development Finance

Corporation (DFC), will travel to India to

advance its investments helping boost

global health and expand Covid-19 vaccine

production capacity throughout the

developing world. Marchick, along with a

delegation, will arrive in India on October

24.

The delegation will visit the office of

Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer

'Biological E' and sign a Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) with the pharma

major to open a new facility with substantial

capacity for vaccine manufacturing.

Amaravati : Dozens of people were

injured in the violence during traditional

fight with sticks during Dasara celebrations

in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district.

Hundreds of villagers of divided in two

rival groups attacked each other with sticks

during Banni festival at Devaragattu village

in Holagonda mandal late Friday

night. Police said more than 40 people

were injured in the clashes but unconfirmed

reports have put the number at 100.

The proposed MoU is in support of the

historic commitment set out by US

President Joe Biden and the three leaders

of the Quad countries, namely Australia,

India and Japan.

The DFC's support is projected to facilitate

capacity expansion to produce nearly

two billion Covid-19 vaccine doses across

the globe by end of 2022 with more projects

in the pipeline.

The agency is also working on expanding

access to critical therapeutics and

introducing medical equipment designed

for low-resource environments under

DFC's global health and prosperity initiative.

Hectic campaign on for bypolls

to 5 Assam Assembly seats

Guwahati : With Durga

Puja festivities now over, the

campaign for the October 30

by-elections to five Assembly

didates in Gossaigaon and

Bhabanipur.

The Communist Party of

India, which was also an ally of

seats in Assam gathered

the 'Mahajot', has fielded one

momentum on Saturday.

Though there are 31 candidates

in the fray for the five

seats, the main contest is

between the ruling BJP-led

candidate in Thowra -- Krishna

Gogoi. Various other local parties

have put up nominees

while there are 12 Independent

candidates in the electoral race.

alliance and the main opposition

The by-elections were

Congress.

necessitated due to the Covid-

The BJP has fielded

related deaths of two sitting

Phanidhar Talukdar in

MLAs, while two Congress and

Bhabanipur, Rupjyoti Kurmi in

one AIUDF legislator joined

Mariani and Sushanta

the BJP after quitting their

Borgohain in Thowra, while its

Assembly membership.

ally United People's Party were elected in the March- Mariani and Manoranjan Union minister and former

Liberal (UPPL) has fielded April Assembly polls, but all Konwar in Thowra.

Assam Chief Minister

Jiron Basumatary and Jolen the three recently joined the The AIUDF and the Sarbananda Sonowal had

Daimary in Gossaigaon and BJP after quitting their membership

of the Assembly. of which contested the March- recent election to the Rajya

Bodoland People's Front, both vacated his Majuli seat after his

Tamulpur, respectively.

Talukdar, a former leader of The Congress has fielded April Assembly elections as Sabha, but the Election

the Muslim dominated All Jowel Tudu in Gossaigaon, partners of the Congress-led Commission is yet to announce

India United Democratic Front Sailendra Nath Das in 10-party 'Mahajot' (grand the by-election to the seat.

(AIUDF), and ex-Congress Bhabanipur, Bhaskar Dahal in alliance) before breaking the The counting of votes will

leaders Kurmi and Borgohain Tamulpur, Luhit Konwar in ties recently, have fielded can-

take place on November 2.

Dozens injured during traditional stick fighting in Andhra

The injured were admitted to hospitals at

Adoni and Alur. The condition of four of

them is stated to be critical. A police officer

said the violence broke out during the traditional

fight on a hillock at Mala

Malleshwaraswamy temple. Though large

number of policemen were deployed to

prevent the fight, villagers defied the

orders to organise the fight.

As part of the annual celebrations, people

from different villages divide in two

groups to fight with sticks to secure the

idols of the deity. Villagers from Neraniki,

Neraniki Tanda and Kottapeta villages

fight with devotees of Arikera, Arikera

Tanda, Suluvai, Ellarthi, Kurukunda,

Bilehall and Virupapuram.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva took the

form of Bhairava and clobbered two

demons, Mani and Mallasura, with sticks.

The villagers enact the scene on

Vijayadashami day. Group of villagers

from demons' side try to snatch the idols

from the other group, called God's team.

They fight with sticks for the idols.

Thousands of people from various parts of

Kurnool and surrounding districts and even

neighbouring Telangana and Karnataka

gather at the village to watch the traditional

ritual, a part of Dasara celebrations.

The fight results in injuries to several

people every year but devotees consider

these injuries as a good omen. Authorities

conduct awareness programmes every year

to dissuade villagers and even impose prohibitory

orders but they defy the orders on

the ground that the fight is part of their tradition.

Rights activist sues Twitter for

sharing his info with Saudi govt

San Francisco : Twitter has been sued by a human rights

activist for alleging accessing his personal information and sharing

it with the Saudi Arabia government.

In his lawsuit, Ali Al-Ahmed, head of the human rights advocacy

organization Institute for Gulf Affairs, claimed that Twitter

did not have the right to disclose or share his private information

under its own privacy policy and should have done more to protect

his information.

"He names two men in the suit who were indicted last year by

federal prosecutors for working as agents of the Saudi government

while working for Twitter several years ago," the report said on

Friday. The micro-blogging platform was yet to react to the report.

Al-Ahmed claimed that his Twitter account was suspended in

2018 without explanation and was yet to be reinstated despite

repeated appeals.

"While Twitter may wish to play the victim of state-sponsored

espionage, Twitter's conduct in punishing the victims of this

intrigue, including Mr. Al-Ahmed, tells a far different story: one of

ratification, complicity, and/or adoption tailored to appease a

neigh beneficial owner and preserve access to a key market, the

[Kingdom of Saudi Arabia]," the complaint read.

The complaint argued that Twitter should have done more to

protect his information.

3 held in Chennai for smuggling

in gold, electronic goods

Chennai : Three passengers

were arrested on

Friday by the Chennai Air

Customs for trying to

smuggle in gold and electronic

goods. According to

a statement issued by the

Customs, the passengers

arrived from Dubai and

Sharjah by different flights

on Friday. On personal

search, 10 bundles of gold in paste form were found concealed in

their rectum, on extraction of which five gold ingots totally weighing

2.55 kg worth Rs 1.12 crore were recovered. Electronic goods

worth Rs 4.7 lakh were also seized under the Customs Act, 1962.

Non-local street vendor killed

by militants in Srinagar

Srinagar : A non-local street vendor was shot and killed by

militants on Saturday in the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir.

Police sources said a non-local street vendor was shot and critically

injured by militants near the Eidgah park in Srinagar city.

"He was shifted to hospital for treatment where doctors said he

was dead on arrival. The area has been surrounded for searches",

sources said.

Reports say the street vendor has been identified as Arvind

Kumar of Bihar.

Militants had killed a school principal and a teacher in a government

higher secondary school in the same area on October 7.

Two days before that, militants had killed a famous pharmacy

owner, M.L. Bindroo, a Bihari street vendor and a taxi driver in a

series of attacks on civilians.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

19

Gandhi in a New Avatar : Advisor

to Savarkar on Mercy petitions

The Indian Express, 13 October

2021, tells us that Shri Rajnath Singh,

the Indian Defence Minister, has

claimed that “A lot of falsehood was

spread against Savarkar. It was repeatedly

said that he filed multiple mercy

petitions before the British government.

The truth is he did not file these petitions

for his release. Generally, a prisoner

has the right to file a mercy petition.

Mahatma Gandhi had asked that you

file a mercy petition. It was on Gandhi’s

suggestion that he filed a mercy petition.

And Mahatma Gandhi had

appealed that Savarkar ji should be

released. He had said the way we are

running movement for freedom peacefully,

so would Savarkar.”. He also said

that “You can have differences of opinion,

but to see him condescendingly is

not right. The act of demeaning his

national contribution will not be tolerated”.

(Note the threat. Setting up Godse

temples and hero-worshipping him can

be tolerated but no criticism of

Savarkar!)

What are the facts?

Rajnath Singh’s statement is presumably

based on documents pertaining to

the year 1920: a letter from ND

Savarkar, brother of VD Savarkar and

Ganesh Savarkar, to Gandhiji,

Gandhiji’s reply, and an article in Young

India by Gandhiji.

The facts are somewhat at variance

with the claim made by Rajnath Singh.

The first mercy petition was filed nine

years earlier by Vinayak Damodar

Savarkar in 1911 itself, within six

months of his conviction, and numerous

other petitions followed in subsequent

years, without any evidence or claim of

it being at Gandhiji’s suggestion! To

quote from one such petition, submitted

personally to the Home Member, Sir

Reginald Craddock, when he visited the

Andamans jail in 1913, for his release,

offering to be loyal to the British

Government:

“If the Government in their manifold

beneficence and mercy release me, I for

one cannot but be the strongest advocate

of constitutional progress and loyalty to

the English government which is the

foremost condition of that progress. I

am ready to serve the Government in

any capacity they like, for as my conversion

is conscientious so I hope my

future conduct would be. The Mighty

alone can afford to be merciful and

therefore where else can the prodigal

son return but to the parental doors of

the Government?”

Further, as testified by GS Khoparde,

a Savarkar supporter’s question in the

Imperial Legislative Council on March

22, 1920, “Mr Savarkar and his brother

had once in 1915 and at another time in

1918 submitted petitions to Government

stating that they would, during the continuance

of war, serve the Empire by

enlisting in the Army, if released, and

would, after the passing of the Reforms

Bill, try to make the Act a success and

would stand by law and order". In his

reply, the Home Member, Sir William

Vincent, confirmed that: "Two petitions

were received from Vinayak Damodar

Savarkar - one in 1914 and another in

1917, through the Superintendent, Port

Blair. In the former, he offered his services

to the Government during the war

in any capacity and prayed that a general

amnesty be granted to all political

prisoners. The second petition was confined

to the latter proposal”.

Thus, it is very clear that Savarkar

had submitted numerous petitions

between 1911 and 1920, without any

advice or prompting from Gandhi,.

offering loyalty to the British government,

and expressing his willingness to

serve them in any capacity. Therefore

the Defence Minister’s statement that

Savarkar did not file mercy petitions but

did so only on the advice of the

Mahatma is not borne out by the actual

historical record.

So where does Gandhiji come into

the story? Only in 1920, when N D

Savarkar, the younger brother of the two

Savarkar brothers who were in jail,

wrote to Gandhiji seeking his advice

when he found that the list of prisoners

being released under the Royal

Proclamation of Clemency by the

British did not include the names of the

brothers. Gandhiji replied saying it was

difficult to give advice but suggested

that he might draft a brief petition. In

addition, he wrote an article in Young

India on 26 May 1920, titled Savarkar

Brothers, where he refers to the Royal

Proclamation of Clemency and notes

that while many other political prisoners

had been released under this but the

Savarkar brothers were not.

He says “Both the brothers have

declared their political opinions and

both have stated that they do not entertain

any revolutionary ideas and that if

they were set free they would like to

work under the Reform Act…”

(Government of India Act of 1919)

“They both state unequivocally that

they do not desire independence from

the British connection. On the contrary,

they feel that India’s destiny can be best

worked out in association with the

British.”

It is to be noted that nowhere in

Gandhiji’s article is there an appeal for

Savarkar’s release, as stated by the

Defence minister. “Mahatma Gandhi

had appealed that Savarkar ji should be

released.” Gandhiji questions the government

decision not to release them as

they appear to pose no danger to “public

safety” or “danger to the state”, but

does not appeal to the British. Nor does

Gandhiji anywhere say in his article, as

claimed by the Defence Minister, that

“the way we are running movement for

freedom peacefully, so would

Savarkar.” On the contrary, Gandhiji is

emphasizing that the Savarkar brothers

do not want independence, and want to

work under the Reform Act.

There is a strange irony in this entire

episode. That Mahatma Gandhi is being

roped in to establish Savarkar’s nationalist

credentials, that too on such flimsy

grounds! The attempt is to create a picture

in the public mind that Gandhiji

and Savarkar had a close relationship, to

the extent that the latter took Gandhiji’s

advice on such crucial issues as mercy

petitions and that Gandhiji appealed for

his release. It is a clear attempt to try

and normalise Savarkar’s begging for

mercy when numerous other nationalists

refused to do so and Gandhiji even

demanded the severest punishment for

himself.

What are the facts, which we are

expected to forget?

In January 1948, when Gandhi was

assassinated, Savarkar was arrested as

he was suspected of being the mastermind

behind the conspiracy. Sardar

Patel, who was overseeing the whole

case as the Home Minister, being a fine

criminal lawyer, was personally convinced

of Savarkar’s guilt, otherwise, he

would not have agreed to put him up for

trial. He told the Prime Minister,

Jawaharlal Nehru, in unambiguous

terms, ‘It was a fanatical wing of the

Hindu Mahasabha directly under

Savarkar that [hatched] the conspiracy

and saw it through'. (Durga Das, Sardar

Patel Correspondence, 1945–50, Vol.

VI, p. 56.)

In response to the Hindu

Mahasabha’s disclaimer, Patel wrote to

Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the Hindu

Mahasabha leader, on 6 May 1948:

“…we cannot shut our eyes to the

fact that an appreciable

number of the members of

the Mahasabha gloated

over the tragedy and distributed

sweets….

Further, militant communalism,

which was

preached until only a few months ago

by many spokesmen of the Mahasabha,

including men like Mahant Digbijoy

Nath, Prof. Ram Singh and Deshpande,

could not but be regarded as a danger to

public security. The same would apply

to the RSS, with the additional danger

inherent in an organization run in secret

on military or semi-military lines.”

(Sardar Patel Correspondence, Vol. VI,

p. 66.)

Patel further pointed out to Shyama

Prasad Mookerjee, ‘The activities of the

RSS constituted a clear threat to the

existence of Government and the state’.

(18 July 1948, Sardar Patel

Correspondence, Vol. 6, p. 323.)

The Chief Minister of Bombay, B.G.

Kher, explained the political situation in

Maharashtra to Patel, ‘The atmosphere

of hatred against the Congress and

Mahatma sought to be created by the

Hindu Mahasabha culminated in the

assassination of Mahatma Gandhi at the

hands of a few Maharashtrians’. { B.G.

Kher to Patel, 26 May 1948, ibid., Vol.

VI, pp. 77–78.)

Savarkar was eventually not convicted

in the Gandhi Murder Trial due to a

technical point of criminal law: for lack

of independent evidence to corroborate

the testimony of the approver.

However, the Commission of Inquiry

set up in 1965 under Justice Jiwan Lal

Kapoor, a former judge of the Supreme

Court of India, got access to a lot of evidence

that was not available to the trial

judge. Two of Savarkar’s close associates,

A.P. Kasar and G.V. Damle, who

had not testified at the trial, spoke up

before the Kapur Commission, now that

Savarkar was dead, and corroborated

the approver’s statements. It is possible

that If they had testified at the trial,

Savarkar would have been proven

guilty. In fact, the Kapur Commission

came to a conclusion very similar to that

of Sardar Patel: ‘All these facts taken

Mridula Mukherjee

Aditya Mukherjee

Sucheta Mahajan

together were destructive of any theory

other than the conspiracy to murder by

Savarkar and his group’.( Report of

Commission of Inquiry into Conspiracy

to Murder Mahatma Gandhi, 1970,

p.303, para 25.106.)

Immediately after Gandhiji’s assassination,

the Government of India, with

Sardar Patel as Deputy Prime Minister

and Home Minister, banned the RSS

and put some 25,000 of its members in

jail. The Hindu Mahasabha chose to

dissolve itself when confronted with a

ban. Tainted by its link with Gandhiji’s

murder, the Hindu Mahasabha beat a

tactical retreat and Shyama Prasad

Mookerjee, its main leader, founded the

Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951. This was

to be the main political vehicle of Hindu

communal articulation from then

onwards, its frontline political party, till

it merged into the Janata Party after the

Emergency and then was replaced by

the BJP.

It is indeed ironic that the political

forces who lay claim to being the most

ardent nationalists today

played no role at all

when the actual struggle

for India’s freedom was

being fought. Savarkar,

after his release from

prison in 1924, never

took part in any anti-British politics. In

fact, he was the originator of the theory

of Hindutva, which defined authentic

Indians as those whose fatherland and

holy lands, pitribhumi and punyabhumi

, were in India, thereby excluding

Muslims and Christians, whose holy

lands were outside India, from the fold.

The Hindu Mahasabha also became

increasingly loyalist in the 1930s and

1940s. Though the loyalist tendency

was there earlier, initially some of its

leaders participated in Congress-led

movements. But from 1937 onwards,

when Savarkar became the President

and undisputed leader, they joined the

Muslim League in competing for the

crumbs thrown from the Imperial table.

The outbreak of the Second World War

brought the differences with the nationalist

forces out into the open. While the

Congress provincial ministries resigned

in protest against the British

Government’s decision to make India a

party to the War without her consent,

Hindu Mahasabha leaders offered cooperation

to the British, and advocated that

Indians participate in the war-effort and

join the Army. Savarkar, as President of

the Mahasabha, appealed to Hindus ‘to

participate in all war-efforts of the

British Government’ and not to listen to

“some fools” who “condemn” this policy

‘as cooperation with Imperialism’.(

Savarkar, Hindu Rashtra Darshan, pp.

203ff.)

In private, Savarkar told the Viceroy

in October 1939 that the Hindus and the

British should be friends and made an

offer that the Hindu Mahasabha would

replace the Congress if the Congress

ministries resigned from office.(

Linlithgow, Viceroy, to Zetland,

Secretary of State, 7 October 1939,

Zetland Papers, Volume 18, Reel No.

6.)

In accordance with this pro-British

policy, when the Quit India movement

was going on in 1942, and the entire

nationalist Congress leadership including

Gandhiji was in jail, Shyama Prasad

Mookerjee of the Hindu Mahasabha

was a minister in the Fazlul Haq

Ministry in Bengal. The Hindu

Mahasabha also formed coalition governments

with the Muslim League in

Sind and the NWFP. It is another matter

that all this loyalism could not get them

electoral success and they suffered a

rout in the 1946 elections!

The RSS too, as an organisation did

not participate in any of the major battles

for freedom from colonial rule. The

RSS was founded in 1925, and apart

from the Simon Commission Boycott in

1928, at least two major movements, the

Civil Disobedience Movement of

1930–34 and the Quit India Movement

of 1942 were launched by the Congress

after that date. In none of these did the

RSS play any part. Hedgewar, the

founder of the RSS did go to jail in his

individual capacity in 1930, but he kept

the organisation and its members away

from the Civil Disobedience movement.

The government was very clear that it

had nothing to fear from the RSS. A

Home Department note on the RSS

reported that, ‘At meetings of the Sangh

during the Congress disturbances

(1942), speakers urged the members to

keep aloof from the Congress movement

and these instructions were generally

observed’.

It is of course legitimate to ask why

there was a silence on Savarkar in the

RSS and Jan Sangh-BJP camp for over

four or five decades after Gandhiji’s

murder. Was it because it was politically

suicidal to mention Savarkar as he

was associated in the public mind with

Gandhiji’s murder, and now that much

time had lapsed, it could be assumed

that public memory was short and

Savarkar could now be resurrected?

Also, with the new public emphasis on

‘Hindutva’ as part of the new aggressive

phase, it was difficult to ignore the original

creator of the concept. Further, for a

party claiming to be ‘nationalist,’ it is a

little embarrassing not to have any freedom

fighters to show. Therefore, in a

desperate effort to discover nationalist

icons, Savarkar was sought to be cast in

that mould.

A nationalist veil is drawn over

Savarkar’s communalism by remembering

him as Krantiveer, the Andamans

revolutionary. That Savarkar shamed

the revolutionaries by repeatedly asking

for pardon in the Andamans and that he

never took part in any nationalist activity

after his release as he had promised to

the British government, was sought to

be forgotten. And in 2003, when the

BJP-led NDA government was in

power, despite considerable opposition,

Savarkar’s portrait was installed in the

parliament. One would imagine that

even if there is a whiff of suspicion

about Savarkar this should not have

happened. And now the latest: an effort

to legitimize Savarkar by normalizing

his embarassing mercy petitions as

being sanctioned by the Mahatma! The

aim is also to project a close and friendly

relationship between the two, and

thus hide the fact that they had nothing

in common. See on Page 20


20 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Aus island state enters

snap lockdown

Hobart : Parts of Australia's island state of Tasmania entered

a three-day snap lockdown and the next 48 hours remain critical,

Premier Peter

Gutwein announced

on Saturday.

Under the restrictions,

residents in

the southern parts of

the state including

capital city Hobart,

must stay at home

unless very limited

reasons such as

shopping for urgent

household supplies

within 5 km of

home -- only one

person from a

household at any

one time, attending

medical or health

care appointments,

being a permitted

worker, or caring

for a vulnerable person or for other compassionate reasons,

reports Xinhua news agency.

Addressing the media, Gutwein said the aim of the authorities

is to make the lockdown "short and sharp", and committed

grants to support low income, casual and self-employed workers

who have lost income due to an inability to work.

The snap lockdown on Friday night came after a Covid-positive

traveller from the state of New South Wales entered

Tasmania without valid border pass and breached the hotel quarantine

rules.

Gutwein said he asked Tasmania Police to "consider all

avenues" for increasing the punishment on the man who has

been fined A$3,000 ($2,225) for the breaches.

"I have expressed to Tasmania Police that the sum of the fine

that this individual has received at the moment simply doesn't

appear to be in line with the crime," Gutwein said.

"This is a breach that has brought southern Tasmania to a

standstill and I have requested that they consider what other

action can be taken against this person."

Energy Crisis: China's loss is Indian

steel, chemical industries gain

New Delhi : China's energy

crisis is expected to give

cost and production advantage

to India's chemicals and

steel companies in domestic

as well as international markets.

Notably, China's worsening

energy situation has

impacted its industrial segments

and forced factories to

cut production.

It is also threatening to

impact the growth of the

country's vast economy and

place increased strain on

global supply chains.

Globally, the increased

coal prices, high logistics

costs and logistical challenges

have led to a rise in

raw materials costs across sectors.

"However, the order books of Indian manufacturers

would witness growth on

account of lower supply by Chinese counterparts,"

said India Ratings and Research

(Ind-Ra).

"Moreover, the increase in raw material

prices has led to a rise in the prices of the

exported goods, and the resultant adverse

impact on the terms of trade (export price

to the input price) is one of the reasons for

dollar strengthening against the rupee."

As per the report, the weakened rupee

coupled with China's production crunch

will give a boost to Indian exports.

"However, the increased coal prices

have pushed up manufacturing costs globally,

and the agency believes producers

across sectors will pass the increased costs

to the end-user industries, thereby leading

to inflationary pressures, which could

eventually trickle into the Indian economy

as well." According to the report, China's

energy crisis and resultant likelihood of

shutting down of Chinese companies or

intermittent curbs on manufacturing would

prove advantageous to Indian companies,

as the demand for their products is bound

Unesco commends Cambodia's

commitment to strengthen

urban heritage preservation

to rise in both domestic and international

markets.

"Furthermore, the agency opines that

the domestic end-user industries for chemicals,

such as dyes and pigments, pharmaceuticals,

agrochemicals and others, will

pass on the overall increase in costs to consumers,

thereby maintaining their profitability."

On the steel sector, the agency

said the fall in China's steel output and

India's imports of intermediate steel products

would benefit Indian steel players by

way of lower import risks and greater

export opportunities.

Phnom Penh : The Unesco

has highly appreciated

Cambodia's commitment to

strengthen urban heritage

preservation.

"Urban heritage, including

its tangible and intangible

components, constitutes a key

resource in enhancing the liveability

and resilience of urban

areas, and fosters economic

development and social cohesion

in a changing environment,"

the UN agency said in

statement on Friday.

The commendation came

after Prime Minister Hun Sen

on Tuesday issued a circular

on preventing the demolition

and destruction of heritage

buildings in the kingdom, aiming

at promoting heritage conservation

and sustainable

development.

In line with the Law on the

Protection of Cultural Heritage

promulgated in 1996, the circular

was designed to preserve urban heritage

buildings, including religious, public

and private buildings, habitats and ancient

houses.

It also set out recommendations to prevent

destruction and any form of modification,

alternation or damage to the appearance

of urban heritage buildings.

"Cambodia has a long-standing record

for its efforts on cultural conservation, and

this circular will further strengthen the balance

between urban growth and sustainable

development, and reaffirm Cambodia's

commitment to Sustainable Development

Goal 11, highlighting the importance of

cultural and natural heritage for making

safe and resilient cities," the Unesco said.

"The circular will also promote the universal

respect for cultural rights for all

through the restoration and preservation of

cultural heritage," it added.

The Southeast Asian nation has rich cultural

heritage with three Unesco World

Heritage Sites -- Angkor Archeological

Park, the Temple of Preah Vihear, and the

Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk.

The Agency said it has been working

closely with Cambodia's relevant authorities

to promote the conservation of these

sites, and it will continue to provide technical

assistance to the government and stakeholders

for the preservation of cultural and

urban heritage.

Continue Page 19

Gandhi in a New Avatar : Advisor to Savarkar...

Savarkar as the ideologue of Hindutva and leader of the Hindu

Mahasabha was a consistent and vehement critic of Gandhiji, especially

of his non-violence and inclusive attitude towards the Muslims.

There could not be a sharper contrast between their formulations of

who India belongs to. Savarkar clearly says that “India must be a

Hindu land, reserved for the Hindus”. He unambiguously asserts that

Hindus should be “masters in our own house, Hindusthan, the land of

the Hindus”. (Hindu Rashtra Darshan, pp 92, 63). Gandhiji, on the

other hand, in his famous speech in Bombay in August 1942 where

he gave the call for ‘Quit India’, declared unequivocally: “Those

Hindus who, like Dr. Moonje and Shri Savarkar, believe in the doctrine

of the sword may seek to keep the Mussalmans under Hindu

domination. I do not represent that section. I represent the Congress.

The Congress does not believe in the domination of any group or any

community. It believes in democracy which includes in its orbit

Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Jews—every one of the communities

inhabiting this vast country….Millions of Mussalmans in

this country come from Hindu stock. How can their homeland be any

other than India?”

One cannot help thinking what a contrast there is between

Savarkar and his men, and revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh who

prided themselves on never asking for clemency, choosing to suffer

all punishment, including death. In fact from the very early days

Indian nationalists had evolved the practice of bravely accepting

responsibility for committing anti-British acts, face trials, using the

trials for further propagation of nationalist goals and then willingly

accept imprisonment, exile or even death as punishment.

It is pertinent to note that Savarkar’s habit of petitioning the government

for release from internment and making offers of good

behaviour did not end with his release from British jails in 1924.

Within three weeks of his arrest in connection with Gandhiji’s murder,

on 22 February 1948, he made a representation to the Police

Commissioner from Arthur Road Prison expressing his ‘willingness

to give an undertaking to the Government that refrain from taking

part in any communal or political public activity for any period the

Government may require in case I am released on that condition’.

Even the most brilliant advocate would find it difficult to prove that

this too was on Gandhiji’s advice, unless of course so strong was the

bond between the two that the atheist Savarkar could claim communion

with Gandhiji’s spirit!


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi : First the Taliban

destroyed the iconic 6th-century

Buddha statues in 2001, triggering outrage

across the globe. But now, with

international recognition nowhere in

sight, the Taliban now say they have

become saviours of Buddhist relics, that

would bring tourists to Bamiyan, the

province that is separated from the rest

of Afghanistan by the famous Salang

pass.

"As an Islamic Emirate’s official in

Bamiyan, I am trying my best to preserve

these priceless and historical monuments

of our province. Local and foreign

tourists can visit Bamiyan’s historical

sites and Buddhas," Mawlawi Saiful-Rahman

Mohammadi, Head of

Bamiyan’s Information and Culture

Directorate told the state-run Ariana

news.

But then, why did the Taliban destroy

the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.

Mohammadi justifies the previous

decision saying that they destroyed the

Buddhas based on religious ideology in

2001.

"The Islamic Emirate did not make a

hasty decision at that time [2001], it was

reviewed and researched based on

Islamic laws and then they destroyed

them," he said.

The 2001 destruction in Bamiyan is,

by far, the most spectacular attack

against the historical and cultural heritage

of Afghanistan ever committed

during the recent period of turmoil the

country has passed through-a period

that began with the Communist Coup of

NEWS

April 1978.

Ironically, Mullah Hasan Akhund,

who executed the order of the founder

of the Taliban- Mullah Omar, is now the

Prime Minister of the new Taliban government.

The same man is now promising

to safeguard all ancient heritage of

Afghanistan. During the fight for Kabul,

which ended on August 15, the group

had asked their fighters to "robustly protect,

monitor and preserve" relics, halt

illegal digs, and safeguard "all historic

sites." They have forbidden selling of

artefacts in the art market. Their statement

said: "No one should try to disturb

such sites or think about using them for

profit."

At the crossroads of Chinese, Indian,

and European civilizations, Afghanistan

was once better known for its wealth of

cultural history stretching back 3,000

years. Afghanistan is the destination

from where Buddhism spread to China,

and it is this hallowed ground,

Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism,

and Hinduism flourished, both before

and after the advent of Islam in the 7th

Century AD.

In addition to the Buddhas of

Bamiyan, the entire Bamiyan Valley is

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

Once destroyers of Bamiyan Buddhas, brazen Taliban

now want to protect relics in the province

A Proud Moment: Faculty

Dr. Jagbir Singh has been appointed

Professor in Delhi University

It is a proud moment for Dr. Jagbir Singh and his family when he is appointed as

full Professor in University of Delhi. Internationally recognized

expert Prof. Jagbir Singh is teaching Geography

at Swami Shraddhanand College in the Department of

Geography. Previously, he worked as Professor cum

Director on Deputation basis in Haryana Government

(India), University of Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram Chair

for Sustainable Development, Sonepat, and Haryana.

Prof. Jagbir Singh has specialization in Disaster

Management; Environment and Sustainable

Development & Spatial Information Technology .Prof.

Singh is the first Indian Research Scientist to complete a

Ph.D. on Ecological and Environmental Threats to the

Great Barrier Reef, Australia. He has also completed his MBA degree in Disaster

Management from IP Govt. University, New Delhi, India. Prof. Jagbir Singh has

completed three months course on Religion, Conflict and Peace from Harvard

University, USA and three months course on Community Based Disaster Risk

Management organized by World Bank. Prof. Jagbir Singh delivered a guest lecture

at Indiana State University, USA in 2012. He presented his paper at the International

Conference, held at Philadelphia, Winder University, USA. His book on Disaster

Management: A Data Analysis Approach was released by Her Excellency, the Head

of UN DRR, and Switzerland.

Prof. Jagbir Singh has convened thirty International Conferences-cum-workshops

and fifty National Conferences and workshops related to Disaster Management,

Environment and Sustainable Development. He has written fifteen research papers

in International and National Journals and ten books including Disaster

Management, Tsunami Disaster, Environment and Development and his new book

on Mass Disasters & Crisis Management Skills is under progress. Prof. Jagbir Singh

has visited USA, Canada, France, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia,

Singapore, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Nepal, Fiji,

Bangladesh, and Switzerland. Being a member of International Association of

Hydrological sciences, Canada, Prof. Jagbir Singh contribution into this field is

commendable. Prof. Jagbir Singh is a great philanthropist. He has been engaged with

charitable foundations thereby helping the poor and needy people in India.

-Dr. Rahul Kumar,

Senior Correspondent, the Asian Independent, UK-

Gunshots during

army search

operation in

J&K's Poonch

Jammu : Gunshots were heard

on Thursday during the search and

cordon operation started by the

army in Surankote area of J&K’s

Poonch district, police said. Police

sources said the army started a cordon

and search operation involving

several villages adjacent to Dhera

Ki Gali in Surankote area.

"Gunshots were heard as the

cordon and search operation progressed

in the area", a source said.

Thursday’s operation was started

by the army three days after five

soldiers, including a JCO, were

killed by terrorists in the same area.

Self-studying is a

learning method

where students

direct their own

studying outside the

classroom and without

direct supervision.

Since students

are able to take control

of what and how

they are learning,

self-study can be a

very valuable way

for many students to

learn. Exploring a

topic on his or her

own encourages the

child to actively

engage with the

information. Self-studiers are able to

think about topics more deeply and

make connections between what they

are learning. And when students are

engaged (and excited) about what they

are learning, they re able to remember

it better. Self-study also helps build

study skills your child can use to

explore new topics. Self-study is all

about searching out new information on

a topic that child is interested in.

Seeking out this information themselves

gives students a chance to learn

more about that topic (rather than just

what they are taught in class).

As students do more self-study,

Harpreet Singh Brar

21

laden with ancient archaeological

remains, some of which were stolen by

Taliban fighters in August this year after

the fall of Kabul. The area is also the

heartland of the Hazaras, the Shia

minority persecuted by the Taliban. In

mid-August Taliban fighters blew up a

statue of Abdul Ali Mazari, a Hazara

leader they executed in 1995.

Now back in power, the Taliban are

promising to be a very different kind of

ruling authority. They have posted

guards outside the National Museum in

Kabul. But there are many other museums

throughout the country, as well as

sites such as the Old City of Herat.

While the words are fine, it is the

Taliban’s actions that will count. So far,

the Taliban has not been following

promises it made in Doha that includes

mainly preserving human rights,

women’s rights and education and inclusive

government.

Many Archaeologists and curators

responsible for preserving Afghanistan’s

national heritage have already left the

country. There is fear that the Taliban

government will not allow contemporary

artists to work. The world already

saw what happened in the last few

weeks: they enacted a music ban and

forced art galleries to close. Several

singers and artists have already left the

country. The Taliban has also destroyed

their galleries and their equipment following

their departure.

(The content is being carried under

an arrangement with

indianarrative.com)

The Benefits & Importance

of SELF-STUDY

many become more

confident learners.

They are able to see

themselves as an

independent person

who is able to learn

new things without

anyone helping

them. This can be a

major motivation

boost for students.

Self-study allows

students to take

learning at their own

pace, focusing on

areas they are most

interested in (or

want to understand a

bit better). This

helps reduce feelings of frustration,

anxiety, or boredom that students may

struggle with in a classroom setting.

Curiosity is one of the biggest (and

often overlooked) pieces of motivating

students to learn. When students aren t

engaged with what they are learning,

they absorb less of the information.

They study to memorize rather than

understand. Self-study allows students

to choose something they are interested

in and excited to learn about, leading to

a more effective learning experience.

MSW, B. Ed, PGDGC, DECE

Certified Counsellor

Main AFS road, Bathinda


22 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Graves Weeping under the

Snow

(A tribute to the Indigenous children who died in

Canadian residential schools)

O sweet children under the weeping graves!

These are not just your graves

These are the graves of your mother tongue

Graves of the lullabies that you couldn’t listen

Graves of your mothers’ unsung songs

Your tiny feet dancing in your homes

They are buried in the the same soil

The wings and feathers that you used

To dance like birds

They too are buried here.

By taking you far away from your homes

What lessons were they teaching?

You cried when you saw the big

walls devoid of love

Sitting quietly in the classroom

Tears flowing over the faces

Holding heads in your hands

You remember your homes.

The backyards from your naive memory

Were being forgotten daily

In the falling snows

Standing quietly and watching tall trees

You must be remembering your mothers

How could you know where was your home?

And how far away you have come

The home seemed to be hiding behind big trees

Sometimes it seems to be across the clouds

In the shadows of the clouds

The faces of your parents seemed visible

A far away white cloud looked like grandparents.

Who were those teaching you?

Sometimes they seemed like teachers

Sometimes as executioners

Strange words of our so-called civilized people

Pierced yours hearts

Your cries reached your homeland far away

Reaching out to your mothers

Creating nightmares and darkening the sky

When you felt homesick

You may be saying prayers in your mother tongues

Or your lips freeze and eyes become stones.

Your every innocent game we killed!

What you considered a playground

Was actually your graveyard, o children!

We were killing you word by word

The decorated wings on your heads and shoulders

We were plucking out one by one

Who could have tended to the lashes on your body

If not mothers?

Dear children!

To our hazy eyes

You merely looked like objects.

From your silently weeping graves

We have even taken away the stones

There is a grass now and few trees

You have become like grass

You have become like trees

Now the grass and trees

Became the stones of your graves.

From your sleeping graves

The wind blows past

As if you are howling

When it rains

The water pours down

As if you are crying.

On this earth o children!

The graves are everywhere

Some are the graves of mother tongues

Some are of the buried songs

Some are of the cultures crying profusely.

Under our big national flags

Hidden are the graves of children's ribbons

In our great history books

Hidden are the words stolen from your tongues

Genocide is not just of humans

It is also of language

Of culture and civilization

Of decorated feathers on your heads.

Schools may also be concentration camps

Can be like gas chambers

Any of us at any time

May become a Nazi

Our integrity dies very quickly.

O Children! For you and your parents

The roads became impassable

The news channels died

Homes worn-out while waiting for you

Mothers kept crying while waiting to have dinner

with you

Parents have been sitting in your path all their lives

Yet they could not bring you home

Every season they frozen and melted like ice.

O Children! Your innocent graves

Will rise some day

You will wake up slowly

To write down our dark deeds on white snow

The white snow will then melt

And become tears of humanity.

O innocent children sleeping in weeping graves!

Please forgive us

We can’t give you the lullabies

Nor mothers’ love you missed

We can never give you the childhood

Or the folk songs you can sing

Can't give you the feathers we took from your heads

Nor the first words that your mothers taught.

Those who survived our culture wars

Get up and stone the the collapsing buildings

And the lessons taught in these schools

For all these have been the devil’s work

Throw some stones at us too

For we kept on pushing our language

On the young souls

Detached from their mother tongue

We kept loading our heavy religion

On your innocent heads.

The earth of your graves

Ate all the evil words we taught

And all the immoral prayers we made

Now you are completely divine

You are as pure as the mother earth

You are now meeting your homeland

Meeting your parents.

After killing flower-like children

We have now lay flowers on your graves

Some tiny boots and new clothes

You stayed without them for too long

While snow continued to fall

Rain continued to pour

The leaves kept falling from the trees

The seasons kept changing

You have been forced to live in the dark for too long

We have now lit a few candles for you

How can we apologize to you?

O Children! We've now become even worse

We are clearing up forests

Strangling the Mother Earth

We are making a lot of bullets

Building a lot of tanks

Making deadly bombs

To kill more children

And those who aren’t even born yet

The children killed with these weapons

Won’t even find any graves

Earth scorched by the heat of bombs

Will become grave stones for them

And none of us will survive

To tell what else is buried

With these innocent children!

————————

Amarjit Singh Amneet,

Punjab, India

+918872266066

Translated by:

Davinder Singh Garcha,

Virginia, USA

ds_garcha@yahoo.com

'Najeeb Movement

Not A Struggle For

Muslim Victimhood'

New Delhi: (Yadvinder

Deedawar) (Smaaj Weekly)

Students Islamic Organisation of India

(SIO) held 'Justice for Najeeb Conference'

at its headquarters to mark five years of

the enforced disappearance of Najeeb

Ahmed, a Muslim student at Jawaharlal

Nehru University (JNU). Several students

and activists spoke at the event, who criticised

the authorities for their failure in

tracing Najeeb and taking action against

his assailants.

In this conference, Nadeem Khan,

Convenor, United Against Hate, said that

despite so many protests across the country,

Najeeb hasn't found justice. He added,

"I don't think there have been as many

protests in anyone else's case as in

Najeeb's case. It is clear that if you are a

Muslim then you cannot get justice. As

long as discrimination against Muslims

continues in universities, Najeeb's movement

will continue."

Snehashish Das, General Secretary of

Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students

Association (BAPSA) and student of JNU

said, "Najeeb was a simple and sincere

Muslim student. But being a Muslim is

enough to make you disappear in India.

The country has always been a Hindu

Nation and has systematically crushed the

Muslims. In this country, pre-planned violence

is perpetrated against Muslims and

then a narrative is built that these people

themselves are responsible for the violence."

"Many of us are making a systematic

effort to teach Muslim students.

We have to come forward and support

them in every possible way," said

Zeeniya, a research scholar at Jamia

Millia Islamia and a former JNU student.

Sadat Hussain, a research scholar at

JNU, shared his sympathy with Najeeb's

mother. He added, "Najeeb's struggle is

not a struggle of our victimhood but it is to

ensure that such an incident never happens

again. While there is a mechanism in

every university to prevent raging, there

must also be a mechanism for the safety of

Muslim students on campus."

*Students Islamic Organisation of

India (SIO)* Secular students of Asia

Booked for rape, AIIMS

doctor still at large

New Delhi. A doctor working with the All

India Insitute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

here has been booked for allegedly raping

his junior colleague inside the campus, officials

said here on Friday.

The incident occurred on September 26,

when the victim went to the accused person's

room to celebrate the birthday of one

of their colleagues.

She alleged that her senior colleague

raped her inside his room.

On October 11, the victim filed a complaint

against the accused at the Hauz Khas

police station after which the police registered

an FIR under Sections 376 and 377 of

the Indian Penal Code.

During the course of the investigation,

the statement of the victim doctor was

recorded before the Magistrate.

The accused doctor is at large and efforts

are on to nab him.

"Raids have been conducted at some of

the possible places, but the accused is still at

large," the police said, adding that technical

surveillance has also been mounted to nab

him.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

23

Hindutva movement is causing waves

(Asian Independent) : In the manner

conditions are being created

through Hindutva movement, nobody is

safe because the protection given by the

Constitution is being diluted. The

Police Authorities who have responsibility

to safeguard the public are working

against them. They are failing to

fulfil their duties as per Indian

Constitution. They are supporting

actions those are terrorising public.

Recently Manish Gupta a business

man with his two associates went to

Gorakhpur to see the progress as

claimed by the UP Government. To this

claim, the posters are also displayed all

over in Delhi.

On arrival in Gorakhpur, they

booked a room in a hotel for the night.

About 12.30 am, the U.P. Police came

to their room to carryout investigation.

They were completely baffled by their

arrival. The police explained that they

have been instructed to carry out some

checks but did not to find anything.

Manish Gupta did not like in the

manner the Police was behaving

towards them so he said “why are you

treating us as terrorists.” This statement

gave Police opportunity they were

seeking. Even after knowing that he

was from a High caste Hindu family,

they beat him so mercilessly that has

resulted in his death.

Following his death, the Police representatives

are visiting his wife and

asking her to drop the charges. They are

offering her substantial amount of

money and guarantying employment

but she insists for proper investigation

and wants the culprits to be punished.

This shows that the Police forces are

working in conjunction with the

Government even knowing that this

Government is trying to reinstate

Manusmriti that was outlawed because

it spread of segregation through castes.

Mostly policemen/women serving in

the Police are from poor families and as

to their financial conditions are left

with no choice but to carry out the

orders. The Government is taking

advantage of their circumstances and

the Constitution opposes such gains.

In Uttar Pardesh, a minister’s son is

being blamed for intentionally driving

his motor over the protesting Kisaans

and through this incident unfortunately

eight Kisaans have lost their lives. The

Government and Godi media are all

keeping quiet about this.

The Kisaans (farmers) of Punjab

started the movement against the

Government when it introduced three

farm laws during lockdown, without

any consultation or debate in the

Parliament. The protest that started

about a year ago in Punjab has now

spread throughout India and the

Government is still holding back from

arbitrating the matter because it wants

Ambani and Adhani to take control of

all the agriculture land in India.

The farmers are not just fighting for

their own livelihood but also for millions

of other who are dependent on the

farmers for their survival. If Hindu

Rashtra takes over then automation will

Take steps to keep edible OIL

prices in check, Centre to states

New Delhi : The Department

of Food and Public Distribution

has written to all the major oil

producing states to take appropriate

and immediate action to

ensure that the prices of edible

oils are brought down to commensurate

levels, in line with the

import duty reductions.

The Centre has written a letter

in this regard to Rajasthan,

Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,

Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West

Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra

Pradesh, all of which are major

oil producing states, a release

from the Department said on

Thursday.

The letter mentioned that the

respective state government has

to ensure that full benefits of

duty reduction made by the

Centre are passed on to the consumers

in order to provide

immediate relief from the prevailing

high prices of edible oils,

especially during the festival

season.

"This would also help in

bringing down the food inflation

and provide relief to ordinary

consumers by reduction in the

Mitej Teji

be introduced and the Higher Castes

will get the opportunities to employment.

The lower end of the society will

be starved to death and to stop this

becoming a reality the 85% have to get

together on one platform. Only then this

Hindu Rashtra movement can be

stopped.

Through Kisaan protests, the

Government’s progress in implementation

of Hindu Rashtra has slowed down

and this in return has made the Indian

citizens much wiser to what awaits in

store for them if Hindutva takes over.

What is happening in Uttar Pardesh

under name of JAI SHREE RAM is

indeed scary and this is going to be a

norm in Hindutva raj. The Dalit, Sc, St,

prices of edible oils by Rs 15-

20 per kg (approx)," the

release said.

In a bid to reign in the continuous

rise in cooking oil

prices since the past one year,

the Centre has slashed the

basic duty on crude palm oil,

crude soyabean oil and crude

sunflower oil from 2.5 per

cent to nil. The Agri-cess on

these oils has been brought

down from 20 per cent to 7.5

per cent for crude palm oil

and 5 per cent for crude soyabean

oil and crude sunflower

oil. The basic duty on RBD

palmolein oil, refined soyabean

and refined sunflower

oil has been slashed to 17.5

per cent from the current 32.5

per cent. The duty reduction

will be effective from October

14, 2021 up to March 31, 2022.

Before Thursday's reduction,

the agricultural infrastructure

cess on all crude edible oils was

20 per cent. Post the reduction,

the effective duty on crude palm

oil will be 8.25 per cent, while

for crude soyabean oil and crude

sunflower oil, it will be 5.5 per

cent each from earlier 22.5 per

cent for crude palm oil, crude

sunflower oil, crude soyabean

oil and 32.5 per cent for RBD

palmolein, refined soyabean oil

and refined sunflower oil.

New Delhi : Pakistan Prime

Minister Imran Khan has said

that the "technical issues" in the

appointment of the Director-

General of the Inter-Services

Intelligence (ISI) would soon be

resolved, Geo News reported.

Khan, according to sources,

made the statement during a

meeting of the PTI

Parliamentary Committee.

During the meeting, the

Pakistan premier took the participants

into confidence over the

prevailing political situation in

the country. Khan said that "no

one has a better relationship with

the military than me", adding

that there was no misunderstanding

between the government and

the military, the report said.

The Prime Minister had convened

an emergency meeting of

Adhivasi and Muslims are falling prey

to mob lynching and rapes. The offenders

are being let loose but the victims

are being locked. There is no justice for

the poor and this barbarism in Uttar

Pardesh is exactness of what was happening

during the era of Manusmriti

and this is again going to happen if

Hindutva takes over.

Following mowing down of the

protesting Kisaans, the Supreme Court

has stepped in because the authorities

even after a filed FIR against the

offender, the Police were showing

leniency towards his arrest because he

was a Minister’s son.

It seems there are different laws for

the general public and the ones in

authority. The Constitutional laws are

same for all but Manusmriti stands in

favour of the higher caste Society and

this is visible in this and many other

arrests. Evidences are present but the

Police has made no effort at all to make

arrests. In Hindu Rashtra, the Higher

Castes will be able to do as they please.

They will be free to do mob lynching,

rapes and murders without any fear of

being arrested. If anybody complained

his or her tongue will be cut. The lower

end of the society will have to endure

brutality of the rich and this is clearly

visible in Uttar Pradesh.

The Mandirs and the Masjids are

being knocked down and no arrests are

being made. It shows of the confidence

the BJP supporters have. They know

that they are safe because they under

the cover of BJP Umbrella. This type of

the ruling party's parliamentary

group at the Parliament House to

discuss important national

issues. Following the meeting,

Federal Minister for Information

and Broadcasting, Fawad

Chaudhry, held a press conference,

where he said that "the

behaviour worldwide is regarded as terrorism.

Bhagwan Valmiki has given Holy

Ramayana to the Hindus and its message

to all is to live and let others live.

The Ramayana is of much more importance

now than it has ever been. Today

greed has taken over mankind and he

will go to any length to satisfy it.

Protests all over India are ongoing

against the Government and pain of

millions is being ignored. Over eight

hundred farmers have lost their lives

and yet their deaths have had no effect

on the Government.

Bhagwan Valmiki’s Pargat Divas

falls on the 20th October 2020 and will

be celebrated worldwide. Bhagwan

Valmiki Ji is a highly graced figure in

India and his Ramayana is honoured as

gateway to eternity.

The Hindus believe as long as

Himalayas and River Ganges will exit

so shall exit Holy Ramayana.

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, an

ardent freedom fighter, Chief Minister

of Madras, Governor of West Bengal,

Home Minister of India and first

Governor General of India has spoken

very high about Valmiki Ramayana. He

has stated that whatever may happen to

India and it’s politics, the Valmiki

Ramayana will always live on tongues

of civilised people.

May Bhagwan Valmiki bless all with

health, wealth and a prosperous New

Year. Diwali starts New Year on Indian

Calendar. For peace in India is prayed.

Thank you.

Issues in ISI chief's appointment

to be resolved soon: Imran

New Delhi : The National Commission for

Protection of Child Rights on Thursday issued

notice to the Delhi government on a complaint

about a promotional video that features minor

school students. The apex child rights panel said

that the video, in which Chief Minister Arvind

Kejriwal can be seen with large gatherings of

school kids without wearing a mask and avoiding

social distancing, shows clear violations of Covid

protocols and endangers the lives of minor school

decision regarding the appointment

of the ISI DG will be made

in an atmosphere of trust".

Chaudhry quoted the premier

as saying that the "ambiguity

regarding the appointment has

been cleared".

"PM Imran Khan said that

civil-military relations have

never been as good in the entire

history of the country as they are

now," said Chaudhry.

Amid talks of the appointment

of new ISI DG Lt Gen

Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, Imran

Khan had on Wednesday

informed the federal cabinet that

he had told Pakistan Army chief

Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa that he

wanted Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to

continue as the ISI DG for some

time due to the critical situation

in neighbouring Afghanistan.

NCPCR notice to Delhi govt for 'using

minors in promotional videos'

children. The Commission said it received the

complaint from the national convener of the

Odisha-based Kalinga Rights Forum, and the

videos violate the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and

Covid-19 pandemic protocols. "Therefore, the

Commission has accordingly taken cognisance in

this matter under Section l3(1)(i) of CPCR Act,

2005," it said, asking the government to look into

the matter for remedial measures and share the

Action Taken Report within seven days.


24 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

China, Bhutan sign three-step roadmap

for expediting boundary negotiations

New Delhi : Amid the border dispute

with India, China on Thursday

signed a three-step roadmap with

Bhutan for expediting the boundary

negotiations.

India is keeping a close watch on

Bhutan and China's negotiations, as in

the past, the Chinese People's

Liberation Army (PLA) had made

attempts to encroach upon strategic land

mass of Bhutan in the Dhoklam area,

near a trijunction border known as

Donglang.

Currently, India and China are

engaged in a 16-month border dispute

along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

in Eastern Ladakh.

Bhutan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

said in a statement that the Foreign

Minister of Bhutan, Lyonpo Tandi

Dorji, and the Assistant Minister of

Foreign Affairs of China, Wu Jianghao,

have signed a Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) between the

Royal Government of Bhutan and the

Government of the People's Republic of

China on the three-step roadmap for

Telangana opposes move

to transport Singareni

coal to other states

Hyderabad : The Vice-Chairman of Telangana State

Planning Board, B. Vinod Kumar, on Saturday demanded

that coal from the Thadicherla mines of Singareni

Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) should not be

transported to other states.

He said the coal from Tadicherla should be strictly

used for power generation at the Bhupalapally thermal

power plant. His statement came in the wake of the

Centre hinting at procuring coal from SCCL to tide over

the coal crisis facing the country.

Kumar stated that some top officials of the Central

government have given oral instructions to SCCL

authorities to supply coal from Thadicherla mines to

other states. He said transporting Thadicherla coal meant

for Bhupalapally thermal power station to other states

citing coal shortage in those states is not justified.

He urged the Centre to drop any plans to transport

Singareni coal from Thadicherla to other states.

Meanwhile, state Finance Minister T. Harish Rao

alleged that a conspiracy is being hatched by the Centre

to take away Telangana's coal. He claimed that the

Centre is pressurising the state to transport coal to other

states. "Telangana has coal reserves for 15 days while as

per the rules, there should be coal reserves at thermal

power stations for 22 days. Yet the Centre is pressurising

us to give coal to other states saying they have reserve

for 2-3 days," Harish Rao said. The minister said that at

a time when many states, including those ruled by the

BJP, are imposing power cuts, Telangana is supplying

power 24x7 to all sectors. "We are not only meeting our

demand, but are also selling 6-10 million units to the

neighbouring states," he said.

expediting the Bhutan-China boundary

negotiations.

"The MoU was signed in a virtual

ceremony on October 14," said Bhutan's

Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Boundary negotiations between

Bhutan and China began in 1984 and

the two sides have held 24 rounds of

talks and 10 rounds of meeting at the

expert group level.

The negotiations, which have been

conducted in a spirit of understanding

and accommodation, have been guided

Chennai : Even as superstar

Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi

Maiam drew a blank in the rural

local body polls in Tamil Nadu,

the fan club of young superstar,

Thalapathy Vijay won more than

100 seats.

Vijay, who had not given permission

to float a political outfit

and filed a criminal case against

11 persons including his parents,

S. Chandrashekhar and Sobha

Sekhar, in this connection, had,

however, allowed his fans to

contest the polls.

This was the first time that

Vijay, who, going by popularity

ratings is second to Rajinikanth

in Tamil cinema, allowed his fan

club - All India Thalapathy Vijay

Makkal Iyyakam - to contest

by the 1988 joint communique on the

guiding principles for the settlement of

the boundary and the 1998 agreement

on the maintenance of peace, tranquility

and status quo in the Bhutan-China border

areas. "During the 10th expert group

meeting in Kunming in April this year,

the two sides agreed on a three-step

roadmap that will be built on the 1988

guiding principles and help to expedite

the ongoing boundary negotiations,"

Bhutan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

stated. The MoU on the three-step

roadmap will provide fresh impetus to

the boundary talks. It is expected that

the implementation of this roadmap in a

spirit of goodwill, understanding and

accommodation will bring the boundary

negotiations to a successful conclusion

that is acceptable to both sides, it said.

"The MoU will be exchanged

between the two sides through diplomatic

channel," the ministry said.

Earlier on several occasions, Bhutan

had objected to Chinese intrusion into

their land.

Actor Vijay's fan club wins over

100 seats in TN rural polls

from the rural bodies of nine districts

which went to polls.

The actor's fan club won 115

of the 169 seats it contested and

according to its General

Secretary and former Congress

Puducherry MLA Bussy Anand,

won unopposed in 13 seats.

Anand also told the media

that 45 of the 115 winners are

women, and other winners

include farmers, lab technicians,

students, school teachers, and

traders.

The All India Thalapathy

Makkal Iyyakam has more than

10 lakh registered members and

the fans association generally

does not have any political affiliations,

except in the 2011 elections,

when Vijay extended support

to the AIADMK and

Jayalalithaa.

Several political pundits

believe that these results would

lead to Vijay scouting for a larger

role for himself in the future

politics of Tamil Nadu.

"Vijay has done proper

research before jumping into the

fray and he has allowed his fans

to use his name and flag. He

knew that he could win a few

seats given his popularity in

Tamil Nadu. He is likely to take

a plunge in the politics of Tamil

Nadu as there is a clear vacuum

of popular leaders in the state,"

Madurai-based think tank Socio-

Economic Development

Foundation's Director R.

Padmanabhan told IANS.

The Doklam Crisis

In 2017, China was carrying out

infrastructural development work at

Doklam, the tri junction of three countries

-- India, China and Bhutan -- to

which India objected. China had then

claimed that there was boundary dispute

between Bhutan and China and to which

India had no claims.

However, India had refuted the claim

and stood guard there, matching the

deployment of the Chinese troops for 73

days. The standoff was triggered by

China saying that it was constructing a

road within its territory. This was disputed

by India, which said that the road

construction site was on the Bhutanese

territory. In Doklam, India feared that

the Chinese road would give its military

access to heights from where it could

threaten the Siliguri Corridor, India's

tenuous link with its northeastern

region. The crisis was resolved with

diplomatic maturity without losing any

ground. There was no change in the status

quo on the ground and the face-off

ended on August 28, 2017.

Lakhimpur Kheri

violence case: SIT

recreates crime scene

with Ashish Mishra

Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh) :

The Special Investigation Team (SIT),

probing the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, on

Thursday, recreated the crime scene in the

presence of four accused, including Union

Minister's son Ashish Mishra and his

friend Ankit Das, gunman Latif and driver

Shekhar Bharti.

The entire area, where the October 3

incident took place, in which four farmers

were mowed down by an SUV and five

others killed in the ensuing violence, was

cordoned off. The accused were asked

questions about their presence on the spot

even though they knew that farmers were

protesting there.

Thursday is the last day of the police

custody of Ashish Mishra and a huge

police presence was seen at the crime

scene. The SIT arranged for three SUVs

and also dummies to recreate how the

speeding vehicles mowed down farmers

on that fateful day. The SIT cross-checked

the statements of the four people in the

case. During this exercise, the team of

Forensic Science Laboratory, Lucknow

was also present along with the SIT. The

Rapid Action Force (RAF) has also been

deployed along with the Provincial Armed

Constabulary (PAC) on the spot.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021

25

20 DU colleges to get principals soon

New Delhi : The University of

Delhi’s new Vice Chancellor Prof

Yogesh Singh has issued orders to fill

vacant posts after the matter came to his

notice.

IANS had recently raised the issue of

vacant posts of principals in DU colleges.

The Assistant Registrar (Colleges) of

Delhi University has issued a circular to

the Chairperson and Governing Body of

the colleges for appointments to academic

and non-academic posts, including

principal, in the colleges affiliated to

the University of Delhi.

There are more than 20 colleges in

Delhi University which have no permanent

principals. These are all Delhi government

funded colleges. The term of

the governing body of these colleges

has also ended on September 13.

Colleges of Delhi University that do

not have permanent principals are Sri

Aurobindo College, Sri Aurobindo

College (Evening) Motilal Nehru

College, Motilal Nehru College

(Evening) Satyavati College, Satyavati

College (Evening) Shaheed Bhagat

Singh College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh

College (Evening) Shyama Prasad

Mukherjee College, Vivekananda

College, Bharati College, Indira Gandhi

Sports College, Maharaja Agrasen

College, Rajdhani College, Deendayal

Upadhyay College, Acharya Narendra

Dev College, Bhagini Nivedita College,

Gargi College, Kamala Nehru College,

Shivaji College. Apart from this, the

principal of Bhimrao Ambedkar College

is retiring this month.

In the circular issued on Wednesday

Durga Puja idol immersion

prohibited in Yamuna, other

water bodies: DPCC

evening, the concerned colleges have

been asked to take immediate steps to

issue advertisements approved by the

university. Guidelines have already

been given to colleges regarding advertisements

and filling up of posts.

The circular has also said that the

roster register of academic posts should

be prepared and passed. After completing

the recruitment advertisement

process, the college will formally apply

to the university for an expert panel for

appointments.

The circular said that if an acting or

officiating principal is employed in any

college, then necessary steps should be

taken at the earliest to fill those posts on

a regular basis. Teachers have expressed

concern over the absence of a governing

body in 28 colleges funded by the Delhi

government. Due to the absence of a

Governing Body, the work of colleges is

getting affected and no appointment on

academic and non-academic posts is

being made.

Delhi Teachers Association President

Dr Hansraj Suman has said, "all this is

happening very quickly because the

Ministry of Education had in a circular

dated August 24, 2021 asked to fill the

backlog posts of teachers within a year

in a mission mode."

According to him, "due to non-permanent

appointment on the posts of

principals, the appointment of assistant

professors is also not being done in

these colleges. Similarly, the posts of

principals of more than 20 colleges are

lying vacant due to non-appointments

for a long time. The Ministry of

Education and UGC are writing repeatedly

to fill these posts. Recently, the

new Vice Chancellor Professor Yogesh

Singh has issued instructions to fill up

the posts of Principal, Teachers and

Non-Academics immediately after taking

charge."

New Delhi : To prevent water pollution, immersion of Durga Puja

idols in the national capital’s water bodies, including river Yamuna,

has been prohibited by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee

(DPCC). "Consequent pollution of such water bodies has been a matter

of concern. In addition to silting, toxic chemicals used in making

idols tend to leach out and pose serious problems of water pollution.

Studies carried out to assess deterioration in water quality due to idol

immersion revealed the deterioration of water quality in respect to

conductivity, biochemical oxygen demand and heavy metal concentration,"

an order issued by the DPCC said. "Instead, the idol immersion

ritual may be performed within the home premises in a bucket

and container." The DPCC has also ruled that idols be made only

from natural materials "as described in holy scripts".

"Use of baked clay, Plaster of Paris (POP), in idol making are prohibited.

Only non-toxic and water-soluble dyes have been advised to

colour the idols." Worship material like flowers, decorating material

(made of paper), be removed before the immersion of idols and has

been suggested to be collected for disposal in an environmentally

safe manner or handed over to the door to door waste collection vehicle.

Bhaba Tosh Pal, who has

been a member of the Durga

Puja Committee of Mayur Vihar

region for the past 15 years, sais

that they will immerse the idols

in a tanker with the help of a

crane. "It’s more like dipping

the idol and then taking it out,"

he said. Idol immersion will

take place on Saturday.


26 16-10-2021 to 31-10-2021 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

UK suggests 'intensive talks' with EU on Northern Ireland

London : The UK has called for

"intensive talks" with the European

Union (EU) on the Northern Ireland

Protocol after both sides offered their

own proposals to amend it.

In its proposal package published

earlier Wednesday, the EU proposed a

type of "express lane" to facilitate the

movement of goods from Great Britain

to Northern Ireland, including cutting

customs formalities and simplified certification

and an 80 per cent reduction

of the checks for more retail goods for

the Northern Ireland's consumers,

reports Xinhua news agency.

"The EU have now published their

proposals in response to those in our

Command Paper. We are studying the

detail and will of course look at them

seriously and constructively," a British

government spokesperson said in a

statement late Wednesday.

"The next step should be intensive

talks on both our sets of proposals, rapidly

conducted, to determine whether

there is common ground to find a solution,"

the spokesperson said.

The EU proposals came in response

to a new legal text put forward by the

UK's Brexit Minister David Frost on

Tuesday. Frost said the protocol is the

biggest source of mistrust between the

UK and the EU and demands "significant

change". Northern Ireland is at the

centre of the post-Brexit trade dispute

between Britain and the EU. As part of

the Brexit deal, the Protocol stipulates

that Northern Ireland remains in the EU

single market and customs union to

avoid a hard border between

the region and the Republic of

Ireland. However, this leads to

a new "regulatory" border

between Britain and Northern

Ireland. For months, the UK

has complained the rigid operation

of the protocol, part of

the Brexit deal, is unacceptable

because it has severely

disrupted trade, affected consumers

and contributed to

political instability.

UK GDP grew 0.4% in Aug as

Covid curbs continue to ease

London : The UK's gross

domestic product (GDP) is estimated

to have grown by 0.4 per

cent monthly in August as

Covid-19 restrictions continued

to ease across the country, the

Office for National Statistics

(ONS) said. However, the economy

is still 0.8 per cent below

the pre-pandemic level in

February 2020, Xinhua news

agency quoted the ONS as saying

on Wednesday. In August,

the services and production sector

grew by 0.3 per cent and 0.8

per cent month-on-month,

respectively, whereas output in

the construction sector fell by

0.2 per cent, the ONS said.

Notably, output in consumer-facing

services increased by 1.2 per

cent in August, with most of the

growth in the services coming

from "a 5.9 per cent increase in

food and beverage service activities,

and a 47.9 per cent increase

in travel agency, tour operator

and other related reservation

services (growing from historically

low levels)", said the ONS.

"The recovery in hospitality and

culture/recreation activity in the

UK is essentially complete,

according to August GDP -- a

striking reconvergence with consumer

goods trade over summer,"

said James Smith, a developed

markets economist at

financial services firm ING.

Julian Jessop, a British independent

economist, said:

"Economic activity just about on

track to return to its pre-COVID

level this Autumn, which would

be much sooner than most had

expected at the start of the year."

"The 0.4 per cent month-onmonth

rise in GDP in August

confirms that the rapid gains in

output, which in just 16 months

lifted GDP from being 25.1 per

cent below its February 2020

pre-pandemic peak to 0.8 per

cent below, are now behind us,"

said Paul Dales, an economist at

the Capital Economics UK, an

economic research consultancy

based in London. Meanwhile,

Dales said he believes goods and

staff shortages, including energy

crisis, may stall the country's

economic growth and interest

rates hike. "And shortages,

including the petrol/energy crisis,

may prevent GDP from rising

much in the coming months. This

weaker activity outlook may prevent

the Bank of England from

hiking interest rates this year."

Punjab opposes giving

more powers to BSF

Chandigarh : Slamming the

Centre for amending Section 139

of the BSF Act to give the border

and guarding force wider jurisdiction

and terming it tantamount

to an attack on federalism,

Punjab Deputy Chief

Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa

on Wednesday asked Union

Home Minister Amit Shah to

withdraw the decision.

Opposition Shiromani Akali

Dal (SAD) described the decision

as Central rule in the state

through the back door. In a statement,

Randhawa, who also holds

the Home portfolio, said "this

illogical decision was absolutely

against the spirit of the raising

the border guarding forces,

which were required to focus on

the international border and act

as the first line of defence".

He said policing in the hinterland

is not the role of a border

guarding force, rather it would

weaken the capacity of the

Border Security Force (BSF) in

discharging its primary duty of

guarding the international border.

He said that he would personally

call on Prime Minister

Narendra Modi and the Union

Home Minister to resolve this

issue. Meanwhile, the SAD

described the move to hand over

almost half of the state to the

BSF as "the imposition of the

President's rule through the back

door in nearly half of Punjab".

"This virtually turns the state

into a de facto Union territory.

This devious attempt to place the

state directly under the Central

rule must and will be opposed,"

senior Akali leader and former

minister Daljit Singh Cheema

said in a statement. He said this

was at the same time, "a frontal

assault on the federal principle

through highly questionable misuse

of constitutional provisions".

Cheema said it was shocking

the BSF has been given sweeping

powers divesting the state police

of even the normal policing

duties. "As per the Constitution,

only the state government can call

out the Central forces to aid and

assist the state administration. The

Centre cannot thrust these forces

on the state without a formal

request from the state government,"

he said. The Akali leader

also called upon Chief Minister

Charanjit Channi to come clean

on the state government's stand on

the sensitive issue.

DCGI panel clears COVAXIN for

emergency use in kids as young as 2

Previously, the Drug Controller General of India had approved Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D for emergency use in people aged 12 and above

New Delhi : The subject expert committee

of the national drug regulator on

Tuesday cleared Covaxin Covid shot for

emergency use in children aged two to

18 years giving India the first approved

vaccine for use in kids as small as two.

Previously, the Drug Controller

General of India had approved Zydus

Cadila’s ZyCoV-D for emergency use in

people aged 12 and above.

The clearance to Covaxin for children

between two to 18 comes at a time

when schools are reopening with challenges

in respect of protection of children

from disease mounting. Although

there is no clear evidence of children

being more vulnerable to a potential

third wave of the virus, countries have

been expanding vaccination drives to

cover children.

India’s apex national body that lays

down guidance for inoculations – the

National Technical Advisory Group on

Immunisation – is currently working to

give guidance for Covid vaccination in

children.

The NTAGI is already engaged on

which segments among children should

be prioritised for vaccination. The guidance

for ZyCoV-D use among 12 to 18

year olds is also being deliberated upon.

The NTAGI will now take a combined

call on vaccination for children,

with Covaxin also approved today for

emergency use in children. The World

Health Organisation, however, has

given no guidance on Covid vaccine use

among children, with larger evidence

suggesting a natural immunity among

children to viruses. Countries are taking

individual calls on the matter with the

US and UK having taken the lead in

inoculating children against Covid. The

approval of child vaccines by the DCGI

means these can be used provided the

expert vaccination panel that guides

Indian policy on Covid inoculation lays

down the conditions for use. For

instance, when the adult Covid vaccine

drive was launched in January this year,

it was prioritised for elderly and comorbid

populations before being further

expanded. A similar policy could be followed

for children to start with considering

the production would be limited.

It also remains to be seen how Covid

shots for children will be rolled out. The

adult vaccine drive is being managed by

the government, with the Centre procuring

75 per cent produce from manufacturers

for free distribution further to

states. Covaxin is a collaboration

between ICMR and Bharat Biotech.

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