Dakshina Kannada: Retired soldier collapses during flag hoisting, dies

News Network
August 15, 2022


Mangaluru, Aug 15: A retired army soldier collapsed and died during a flag hoisting ceremony marking Independence Day at a village in Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district on Monday, police said. 

The deceased has been identified as Gangadhara Gowda.

As people across the country celebrated the 76th Independence Day, the Kutrupady gram panchayat in Kadaba taluk too organised a flag hoisting ceremony.

Gowda, who took part in the ceremony, collapsed soon after giving a call for saluting the national flag, police said.

Though he was rushed to hospital, Gowda died on the way, they said.


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News Network
September 27,2022


Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 27: Kerala's ruling CPI(M) on Tuesday said imposing a ban on an extremist organisation or a communal force would not put an end to its activities and if such a step has to be taken then RSS should be the first one to be banned.

CPI (M) state secretary M V Govindan's statement came amidst reports that the Centre was planning to include the Popular Front of India (PFI) in the list of terror outfits.

His statement also comes a day after BJP chief J P Nadda alleged that Kerala was now a "hotspot" of terrorism and fringe elements and life was not safe in the southern state.

"If an organisation has to be banned, then it has to be RSS. It is the main organisation carrying out communal activities. Will it be banned? Banning an extremist organisation will not address the problem. RSS has been banned in the past. The CPI has been banned. "Banning an organisation will not end it or its ideology. They would only come back with a new name or identity. We need to create awareness against such groups and take legal action against them when they commit any illegality," he told reporters.

The CPI (M) leader was referring to the ban on CPI in 1950 and the bans on RSS in pre and post-independence India. Govindan further said that RSS, BJP and the Sangh Parivar are presently seeking the ban on PFI.

"So if communal forces are to be banned, RSS will have to be the first one. But that is not going to happen in the present political scenario in the country," he added.

The CPI(M) state secretary further said that when two communal forces confront each other, they make each other stronger and "that is what is going on now" be it RSS or a minority communal group.

He also answered in the negative when asked whether the Left front joined hands with such organisations to win elections in local body polls.

PFI, whose hundreds of leaders were recently arrested and its offices raided across the country, had called a hartal in Kerala on September 23 during which its activists had allegedly engaged in widespread violence resulting in damage to buses, public property and even attacks on the general public.

Regarding what happened on September 23, Govindan said that while the government and the Left party were not against hartals, as everyone has the right to protest, it was not in favour of violence and destruction of property in the name of agitations.

"The Chief Minister has said strict action would be taken against those who engaged in violence during the hartal. Damaging buses, attacking passengers and destruction of public property is what happened in the name of hartal."

"Strict action will be taken against those involved," he said.

On Monday too, Govindan had said banning extremist organisations will not end their activities.

He had alleged that both majority and minority communal outfits were targeting the ruling Left in the state.

Govindan's statement had come amid growing demand for enforcing a ban on PFI following last week's raids and arrest of the outfit leaders by multi-agency teams, spearheaded by NIA, at 93 locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Kerala, where the PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests.

The arrests were made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and police forces of the states concerned.


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News Network
September 30,2022


Bengaluru, Sept 30: The Karnataka government on Friday directed the education department to submit a report on the activities of madrasas in the state, stirring a controversy.

The education department has taken up the exercise amid the demands to ban madrasas in the state by extremist Hindutva organisations, according to the sources.

It has been alleged by the Hindutva extremists that suspicious activities are going on in madrasas.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommail-led government has asked the department to submit report about 960 madrasas in the state.

A committee has been formed under the leadership of the Commissioner of the education department, which will give comprehensive report on the activities of the madrasas.

BJP insiders said that after the submission of the report, a decision would be made on whether the madrasas should be banned or these should be brought under the jurisdiction of the education department.

The BJP insiders said that the ruling BJP in Karnataka is contemplating the action on madrasas on the lines of the Uttar Pradesh government in connection with madrasas.


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News Network
September 19,2022


London Sept 19: Britain said farewell to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at a state funeral attended by world leaders, before a historic last ceremonial journey through the streets of London packed with sorrowful mourners.

The funeral brought to an end 11 days of national mourning across the United Kingdom that has seen the personal sorrow of the royal family play out in the glare of intense international attention.

Huge crowds gathered in near silence to watch as the queen's flag-draped coffin, topped with the Imperial State Crown, her orb and sceptre, was carried slowly to a gun carriage from parliament's Westminster Hall where it had lain in state since Wednesday.

To the tune of pipes and drums, the gun carriage -- used at every state funeral since Queen Victoria's in 1901 -- was then drawn by 142 junior enlisted sailors in the Royal Navy to Westminster Abbey.

The thousand-year-old church's tenor bell tolled 96 times at one-minute intervals -- one for every year of her life -- stopping a minute before the service began at 11:00 am (1000 GMT).

In his funeral sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the queen's life of duty and service to the UK and Commonwealth.

"People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer," he told the 2,000 guests, who included US President Joe Biden and Japan's reclusive Emperor Naruhito.

"But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered," the Anglican leader added, before the coffin was borne on another procession towards her final resting place in Windsor Castle, west of London.

The longest-serving monarch in British history died at Balmoral, her Scottish Highland retreat, on September 8 after a year of declining health.

Her eldest son and successor, King Charles III, dressed in ceremonial military uniform, followed the solemn processions, alongside his three siblings.

Charles's eldest son Prince William accompanied them alongside William's estranged brother, Prince Harry, and other senior royals.

William's two eldest children, George and Charlotte, who are next in line to the throne, also walked behind the coffin inside the abbey.

Late Sunday, Charles, 73, and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, said they had been "deeply touched" by the public's flood of messages.

"As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you," he said.

Britain, a country much changed since the queen's coronation in the same abbey in 1953, has dug deep into its centuries of tradition to honour the only monarch that most of its people have ever known.

"It's once in a lifetime," said student Naomi Thompson, 22, camped out in the crowds at London's Hyde Park.

"It's a moment of history... She's everyone's granny," added engineer Alice Garret, 28.

Others unable to be in London gathered in cinemas and churches around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to watch the service and procession on big screens.

Auto engineer Jamie Page, a 41-year-old former soldier, stood on Whitehall to observe the funeral procession, wearing his military medals from service in the Iraq war.

"Sixteen years old, I swore an oath of allegiance to the queen. She's been my boss. She means everything, she was like a gift from God," he said.

But on Charles, the oldest person yet to ascend the British throne, Page added: "Who knows, time will tell."

The funeral lasted just under an hour, brought to an end by a bugler playing "The Last Post", before two minutes of silence and the reworded national anthem, "God Save the King".

After an hour-long procession that was to go past Buckingham Palace, the coffin was to be taken west by road to Windsor Castle, where thousands had lined the route since early morning.

Some 6,000 military personnel have been drafted in to take part in proceedings in what Britain's highest-ranking military officer has called "our last duty for Her Majesty the Queen".

The queen will be buried alongside her father king George VI, her mother queen Elizabeth and sister princess Margaret, reuniting in death the family who once called themselves "us four".

The coffin of her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will also be transferred to lie alongside her.

Elizabeth's funeral could not be more different from Philip's at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in April 2021.

Coronavirus restrictions limited mourners to just 30, led by the queen, a solitary figure in mourning black and a matching facemask.

The contrast was profound on Monday, the abbey packed with dignitaries and some ordinary Britons who were honoured for their military or community service, especially during the Covid pandemic.

"You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years; we all were," Biden said on Sunday after signing a book of condolence. "The world is better for her."

In the abbey pews was Liz Truss, whom the queen appointed as the 15th British prime minister of her reign just two days before her death, in her last major ceremonial duty.

All of Truss's living predecessors were there plus her counterparts and representatives from the 14 Commonwealth countries outside Britain where Charles is also head of state.

Whether they remain constitutional monarchies or become republics is likely to be the defining feature of Charles's reign.

The queen's death has prompted deep reflection about the Britain she reigned over, the legacy of its past, its present state and what the future might hold, as well as the values of lifelong service and duty she came to represent during her 70-year reign.

Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have queued, sometimes for up to 25 hours and overnight, to file past the queen's coffin as it lay in state.

Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the Royal Air Force who joined the marathon queue twice, was the last person through the doors and described the experience as "amazing".

"When they came to me and said, 'right, you're the last person', I said, really?!" she told AFP, before heading off to join the crowds for the coffin's procession through London.

Throughout the procession after the funeral, Big Ben, the giant bell atop the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament, tolled and military guns fired at one-minute intervals.

At Windsor, the Sebastopol Bell -- captured in Crimea in 1856 -- and the Curfew Tower Bell also sounded.

A vast television audience was expected to watch the funeral worldwide and live online, in a sign of the enduring fascination with the woman once described as "the last global monarch".

Those lining the streets of London -- already jammed at sunrise on Monday -- said they had to bear witness.

"I will talk about this moment to my children," said Jack Davies, 14, camped out for the procession with his parents at Hyde Park Corner, where the coffin will be transferred from the gun carriage for the drive to Windsor.

"I'll say: 'I was there!'"

At Windsor, the queen's crown, orb and sceptre will be removed and placed on the altar.

The most senior officer of the royal household, the lord chamberlain, breaks his "wand of office" and places it on the coffin, symbolising the end of her reign.

The lead-lined oak casket, draped with the queen's colours, will be lowered into the Royal Vault as a lone bagpiper plays a lament.

A private interment ceremony will take place at the adjoining King George VI Memorial Chapel at 1830 GMT.


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