5 soldiers including JCO killed in clash with gunmen in J&K

News Network
October 11, 2021

Jammu, Oct 11: In one of the bloodiest encounters this year, five Army soldiers, including an officer, were killed during an anti-insurgency operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s border Poonch district on Monday.

A defence spokesman said the operation was launched in a village close to Dera Ki Gali in Surankote, Poonch, during early hours of Monday following inputs about the presence of terrorists there.

“The hiding terrorists opened heavy fire on the search parties resulting in critical injuries to a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and four other ranks. They died from their injuries,” he said.

There are reports that a group of heavily-armed militants have managed to sneak from across the Line of Control (LoC) and are hiding in Chamrer forest in Poonch, sources said. Reinforcements of both Army and police, including senior officers, have rushed to the spot.

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News Network
October 24,2021

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Dubai, Oct 24: Pakistan has sailed through while chasing the target of 152 in the much-awaited clash against India as openers Babar Azam and Rizwan put up a decisive century-plus partnership. 

The opening-duo have displayed an absolute masterclass in the high pressure run chase. The target never looked out of reach during the chase as the Pakistani opening pair looked always in control of the required run-rate.

Asked to bat by Pakistan skipper, India has posted a competitive total of 151-7 in 20 overs as Virat Kohli shined with a half-century and also helped by Rishabh Pant's gritty 39.

In reply, Pakistan was off to a steady start as the two openers added 43-0 in 6 overs, at the end of powerplay.

When it came to first innings, India's in-form openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul fell early as Shaheen Afridi's fierce spell of bowling caught the star-studded Indian batting line-up off guard.

Suryakumar Yadav soon followed the openers back to pavilion before Rishabh Pant joined Virat Kohli (57) to consolidate the innings. However, Pant's gritty innings didn't last long as Shadab Khan struck, removing the left-hander for 39 (30).

For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowling line up, scalping 3 crucial wickets for just 31 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Hasan Ali was quite expensive during the innings. The rest of the bowlers kept it tight and chipped away at India's wickets, not allowing the men-in-blue to post a big score.

India and Pakistan renewed their high-profile but one-sided cricket rivalry today in a T20 World Cup blockbuster watched by hundreds of millions of fans across the globe.

It was the first time the two nations had clashed since the 50-over World Cup in 2019.

Playing XI of both teams:

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Chakravarthy, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.

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News Network
October 17,2021

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An elderly woman could be seen running from one person to another screaming through the rain swept roads in this high range hamlet, located at the foothills of Western Ghats mountain ranges, on Sunday morning. "I have lost everything...everything in my life...where should I go?...who will give me a shelter?" the woman, clad in a tattered saree, asked aloud crying and running here and there.

The unexpected torrential rain, which pounded the village on Saturday, washed away every penny of her life time earnings and made her homeless all of a sudden. 

At least 15 people have been killed in Kerala as heavy rain triggered landslides in Idukki and Kottayam districts. Lord Ayyappa devotees have been asked to avoid visiting Sabarimala Temple today and tomorrow. The rescue ops are underway.

"I begged our Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sir to give me two cents of land to construct a 'koora' (hut). I have nowhere to go. My daughters' houses are also submerged. Now I am going to the church to see whether I will get a place there," she told the journalists gathered at the place.

It was the story of many hapless families in Koottickal, located in Kottayam district of Kerala which suffered severe destruction and human casualty due to a series of landslips triggered by heavy rains yesterday.

When the extreme rains showed a slight dip this morning, a large number of people in this village could be seen as displaced and became the inmates of the rehabilitation campus. Many elderly villagers said it was for the first time in their decades-old life that they were seeing and experiencing such severe rainfall. A local shop owner here pointed to his new car, which can be seen as destroyed and partially hanging with its back wheels stuck on a broken wall in his house compound.

"It was my new car parked in front of the house. I was not at home when the flood water suddenly gushed inside the house compound Saturday afternoon. My wife and children somehow managed to run to the neighbour's house," the middle-aged man said. He turned a bit emotional showing the 'mundu' (dhoti) which he was wearing, saying that it was borrowed from the neighbour. Only life was saved and everything else was lost, he said adding that not even in the 2018 floods had he faced such a terrible situation.

The situation was not different in Kokkayar, a hilly hamlet in Idukki district as well, which also witnessed a series of landslips and human casualties on Saturday in incessant rains. A shocked Rajamma, a woman villager, was yet to believe that a four-member family including children, who were seen engaged in some construction activities near her home on the foothills of the hill, swept away by floodwaters in front of her eyes.

The elderly woman said she advised the family to move away from the place when water was seen coming down from the hilltops on a small scale. "But, they continued their work. Suddenly a portion of the hill, where they were standing, caved in... huge boulders started rolling down accompanied by a massive flood of water... I do not remember anything else," the teary-eyed woman said.

George, a middle-aged man engaged in rescue operations, said it was everything fine and calm in the village till 11 PM on Saturday. "But, the situation worsened after that. Around 10 big bridges and the same number of wooden bridges were washed away and the village became isolated soon," he added.

The Army, NDRF, police and the Fire Force along with the locals began rescue operations on Sunday morning at Koottickal and Kokkayar panchayats where over a dozen people are listed to be missing due to numerous landslides accompanied by heavy downpour since Saturday.

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News Network
October 19,2021

Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, Oct 19: Four more miscreants, including a prominent BJP leader who was seen inside the SUV that mowed down protesting farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri, were arrested yesterday.

"Accused Sumit Jaiswal, Shishupal, Nandan Singh Bisht and Satya Prakash Tripathi have been arrested by Lakhimpur Kheri Police and SWAT team of Crime branch. Licensed revolver and three bullets were recovered from Satya Prakash Tripathi and seized," a statement released by senior police official Prashant Kumar said.

Local BJP leader Sumit Jaiswal, who was seen in a viral video escaping from the lead SUV in the convoy of vehicles that crushed the farmers, had earlier filed a murder FIR against unnamed farmers, claiming his driver, friend and two BJP workers were beaten to death after their vehicles lost control due to heavy stone pelting and accidentally hit farmers.

In the viral video, Mr Jaiswal was seen running from the Thar SUV that drove into protesters from behind.

Four farmers and a journalist were run over on October 3 by a convoy of three vehicles, one of which belongs to Union Minister of state for home, Ajay Mishra. Mr Mishra's son Ashish was arrested on October 9, five days after he was named in the murder related to the incident on charges which usually merit immediate arrest. The families of farmers who died alleged in their complaint to the police that Ashish was inside the lead SUV that crushed the farmers. His arrest followed 12 hours of police questioning which in turn came after an intervention by the Supreme Court. 

An FIR was lodged at the Tikonia police station on October 3 over the episode. Later, a counter-FIR was lodged at the same police station on the basis of a complaint by Sumit Jaiswal, who has now been arrested.

Sumit Jaiswal had also claimed that the protesters attacked Ashish Mishra's convoy, not the other way round. He also claimed the car was not moving, and it was the protesters that attacked the convoy.

"We were at the programme venue. There was an atmosphere of fear. They were armed with sticks and rocks and they kept attacking us, abusing us," he said. They also shouted "Khalistan Zindabad. They climbed the car," he said.

Ashish Mishra has denied the charge that he was at the crime scene when the murders took place; he has claimed he was in his paternal village (around two km away) and stayed there all day.

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