Chinese vessel near Karnataka coast? Probe launched; Navy vigilant; coast guard on high alert

News Network
February 23, 2024

Mangaluru: Coastal security police and Navy intelligence have launched a joint investigation into alleged video purportedly showing a Chinese vessel in the vicinity of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, raising concerns over a possible breach.

Early inquiries suggest the video was captured by the captain of a fishing boat departing from Honnavar, which lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea.

The alleged sighting occurred in international waters about 200 nautical miles off the coast of Honnavar.

According to reports, the authorities have identified the vessel as registered in China’s Fuzhou Port. Inspector Victor Naiman of the Coastal Police Force stationed at Kumta is spearheading the investigation. 

With the suspicion of potential espionage, the Indian navy has remained vigilant while the coast guard maintained heightened readiness. 

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News Network
April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: A striking feature in the candidates list for the April 26 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is the presence of members of Janata Dal (Secular)'s first family.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy, son-in-law C N Manjunath and grandson Prajwal Revanna are all in the fray.

While state JD(S) chief and former Chief Minister H D Kumararaswamy is contesting from Mandya, Prajwal Revanna is seeking reelection from Hassan.

However, Manjunath, an eminent cardiologist, is contesting from Bangalore Rural on a BJP ticket, as per the arrangement between the alliance partners.

With the entry of cardiologist Manjunath into the poll arena, at least nine members of Gowda's immediate family are or have been in electoral politics.

Gowda is a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, while Kumaraswamy is an MLA from Channapatna, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency.

Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha had represented Ramanagara as MLA in the previous assembly, and Nikhil, who is the JD(S) youth wing leader, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandya and 2023 assembly polls from Ramanagara.

Gowda's elder son and former Minister H D Revanna -- father of Prajwal -- is MLA from Holenarsipura, his wife Bhavani Revanna was a member of the Hassan Zilla Panchayat. Their other son, Suraj, is an MLC.

The Gowda family currently has its representation in all the four major houses of public representatives- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

This will be for the second consecutive time in the Lok Sabha elections, when three members from Gowda's family are in the fray from constituencies of the old-Mysore region (south Karnataka), which is considered to be the party's stronghold, because of the dominance of the Vokkaliga community here, to which they belong to.

Gowda (Tumkur), Prajwal Revanna (Hassan), and Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil (Mandya) had contested the Lok Sabha poll in 2019, but only Revanna emerged victorious. In fact, he was among the only two candidates from the then ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, who won; the other being D K Suresh of Congress from Bangalore Rural.

As part of the seat-sharing deal in this Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the BJP would contest in 25 constituencies and the JD(S) in the remaining three -- Mandya, Hassan and Kolar. JD(S) has fielded M Mallesh Babu from Kolar.

In the 2023 assembly polls, three members of the Gowda family had contested - Kumaraswamy (Channapatna), H D Revanna (Holenarasipur), and Nikhil Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). In the 2018 assembly polls, both Kumaraswamy and Revanna had won.

Kumaraswamy, who had then won from two seats - Ramanagara and Channapatna - vacated Ramanagara, which his wife Anita Kumaraswamy subsequently won in the bypolls.

According to some political observers, the perception in some quarters about JD(S) being too family-centric is one of its major drawbacks.

James Manor, University of London professor, who has been a keen observer of Karnataka's politics, during a webinar ahead of assembly polls last year had said, family-centred politics is causing discontent and leading to desertion. 'JD(S) suffers from over-centralisation and dictatorial leadership.'

However, Kumaraswamy has time and again defended family members contesting polls stating that , '....our family members will contest where we don't have a capable candidate, to protect the interest of our party and its workers.'

However, the JD(S)'s dynastic party image has always been used by its political opponents to target it.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president D K Shivakumar, had a dig at Gowda for fielding his son, grandson, and son-in-law, and asked 'Were there no other candidates (in JD(S))?'

'None of them is going to win...JD(S) is a party that has lost strength. If it is really strong, why did they make their son-in-law contest on a BJP ticket?' he said.

Some political analysts held the view that JD(S)' inability to grow beyond the Vokkaliga dominated old-Mysore region -- other than certain select pockets of north Karnataka -- is seen as among its other key drawbacks.

Speculations are already rife in JD(S) circles that Nikhil is most likely to be the party candidate from Channaptna assembly segment, in case Kumaraswamy wins in Mandya.

Ahead of assembly polls last year, differences in the Gowda family had come out in the open with H D Revanna's wife Bhavani wanting to contest from Hassan, but Kumaraswamy had opposed it and finally gave the ticket. 

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News Network
April 14,2024

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Tehran: Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has launched “extensive” retaliatory missile and drone strikes against the occupied territories in response to the Israeli regime’s terrorist attack of April 1 against the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital Damascus.

The Corps announced launching the strikes in a statement on Saturday night, defining the mission as "Operation True Promise."

“In response to the Zionist regime’s numerous crimes, including the attack on the consular section of Iran’s Embassy in Damascus and the martyrdom of a number of our country’s commanders and military advisors in Syria, the IRGC’s Aerospace Division launched tens of missiles and drones against certain targets inside the occupied territories,” the statement read.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, meanwhile, warned that “Whatever country that could open its soil or airspace to Israel for a [potential] attack on Iran, will receive our decisive response.”

The Israeli attack had resulted in the martyrdom of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of the IRGC's Quds Force, his deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, and five of their accompanying officers.

The terrorist attack drew sharp condemnation from senior Iranian political and military leaders, who vowed "definitive revenge."

During a speech in Tehran on Wednesday after leading the Eid al-Fitr prayers, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the Israeli regime “must be punished and will be punished” for the deadly strike on the Iranian diplomatic premises.

The Leader added, “The evil Zionist regime committed another mistake ...  and that was the attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria. The consulate and diplomatic missions in any country are considered to be the territory of that country. When they attack our consulate, it means they have attacked our soil."

In a subsequent statement, the IRGC said the retaliation came after 10 days of "silence and neglect" on the part of the international organizations, especially the United Nations Security Council, to condemn the Israeli aggression or punish the regime in line with Article 7 of the UN Charter.

Iran then resorted to the retaliatory strikes, the Corps added, "using its strategic intelligence capabilities, missiles, and drones" to attack "targets of the Zionist terrorist army in the occupied territories, successfully hitting and destroying them."

The statement, meanwhile, warned the United States -- the Israeli regime's biggest supporter -- that "any support or participation in harming Iran's interests will result in a decisive and regrettable response by the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic."

"Furthermore, America is held responsible for the evil actions of the Zionist regime, and if this child-killing regime is not restrained in the region, it will bear the consequences," it noted.

The Corps concluded the statement by cautioning third countries against letting their soil or airspace be used for attacks against the Islamic Republic.

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News Network
April 14,2024

New Delhi, Apr 14: In response to the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Sunday issued a statement expressing serious concern over the potential threat to regional peace and security.

"We are seriously concerned at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran which threatens the peace and security in the region," the MEA said in the statement.

The ministry called for an immediate de-escalation of the situation, emphasizing the importance of exercising restraint and refraining from further violence. 

Stressing the need for diplomacy to prevail, India urged both parties to step back from confrontation and seek peaceful resolutions to their differences.

"We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy," the MEA said. 

India, closely monitoring the evolving situation, assured that its embassies in the region are actively engaging with the Indian community, providing support and assistance as needed.

"We are closely monitoring the evolving situation. Our Embassies in the region are in close touch with the Indian community," the MEA affirmed.

Highlighting the significance of maintaining security and stability in the region, India reiterated the importance of all parties involved prioritizing peaceful dialogue and cooperative measures. "It is vital that security and stability are maintained in the region," the MEA said.

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