‘Hanuman Chalisa, Omkara to be played in temples across Karnataka at 5 a.m. from May 9’

News Network
May 8, 2022

Mandya, May 8:  Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik on Sunday said the playing of Hanuman Chalisa or Suprabhata or Omkara or devotional songs will commence at over 1,000 temples in Karnataka at 5 AM from May 9, as he accused the state government of having failed to take action against loudspeakers installed at mosques.

He asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra to show the “guts”, shown by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath there, by taking action against unauthorised loudspeakers from religious places and setting the volume of others within permissible limits.

“Across Karnataka we have contacted more than 1,000 temples. Temple priests, Dharmadarshis and management committees have agreed to play (Hanuman Chalisa, Suprabhata, Omkara or devotional songs) at 5 AM from tomorrow. There is a good response,” Muthalik said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, there is anger against the government for not taking action against those violating Court orders regarding the use of loud speakers.

Alleging some Muslims of being adamant on the issue, he further said, “we will begin our protest against it from tomorrow.” Sri Rama Sene had earlier warned that it will counter morning Azaan with Hanuman Chalisa or Suprabhat or Omkara and devotional songs from 5 AM on May 9, if the government does not take action against loudspeakers installed at mosques.

Accusing the government of trying to scuttle Sri Rama Sene’s protest by threatening temple committees using the police, Muthalik warned the administration, stating that their “dadagiri” will not have any impact.

“Show your dadagiri against Muslim’s mics or loudspeakers and not against us. Keep in mind that you (BJP) are in power because of Hindu votes…we will do it peacefully and won’t create any disturbance,” he said, adding that, temple management committee will do it with the support of Sri Rama Sene workers.

He repeatedly pointed at the action taken by the Uttar Pradesh government against the use of loudspeakers there at religious places.

Nearly 54,000 unauthorised loudspeakers were removed from religious places and the volume of over 60,000 was set to permissible limits across Uttar Pradesh, as part of state-wide drive undertaken by the government there.

Noting that as the first phase of Sri Rama Sene’s drive Hanuman Chalisa or Suprabhata or devotional songs will be played at temples at the morning 5 AM, Muthalik said, “remaining four times Azaan that Muslims perform, for that we will take up, at later stages.” “Why we are doing early morning first because they cannot use mics or speakers between 10 pm to 6 am according to Court, but they use it at 5 AM. So we too will violate and thereby warn the government…our fight is not against Azaan in mosques or offering prayers, but against using loudspeakers,” he said.

Responding to a question, he said, in case the police try to stop Sri Rama Sene workers, it may lead to confrontation, “our Karyakartas will oppose it,” he added. 

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News Network
June 16,2022

Saudi Arabia is set to announce a new visa scheme allowing visa-free travel for GCC residents, according to reliable sources. 

This facility will be applicable to GCC residents with a valid resident and work visa issued by the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qataris immigration authorities.

They are expected be allowed entry into Saudi Arabia for business, tourism, and umrah purposes, with the exception of Hajj.

Sources from the Kingdom’s Ministry of Tourism was quoted as saying by multiple news portals the draft law for the new scheme is ready and will be officially announced within days.

However, according to the report, there might be some exceptions for certain visa categories, such as maid’s visa or construction worker’s visa. Professionals, white-collar workers, and other residents with regular income will likely be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia visa-free.

Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb announced during a TV interview that Saudi Arabia will soon introduce a new visa scheme for GCC residents.

Al Khateeb stressed that the tourist visas launched by the Kingdom in 2019 still exist and there were no specific restrictions for those coming for tourism.

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News Network
June 24,2022

Bengaluru, June 24: BJP leader and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti has said that Karnataka will be divided into two and India will have 50 new states after the next Lok Sabha elections. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself will take the initiative on this issue, Katti added.

Katti, a vocal proponent of separate statehood for north Karnataka, , made the statement at a Belagavi Bar Association event on Wednesday. A video of his speech has now gone viral.

“A debate is trending on social media that over 50 states will be formed in the country after next Lok Sabha polls. It is for sure that North Karnataka will also become a separate state on the basis of population spread across Karnataka. After the 2024 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself will form new states. Maharashtra will become three, Karnataka two, and Uttar Pradesh will become four states,” Katti said.

Saying that Bengaluru city is overcrowded, lacks water supply for citizens who have to spend hours in traffic jams, Katti said that it was high time that IT companies thought beyond Bengaluru. North Karnataka has huge potential, he said, urging people to join hands to demand a north Karnataka state.

Katti, who represents Hukkeri Assembly constituency, has demanded separate statehood for north Karnataka in the past too, causing embarrassment to the ruling BJP. In 2019, Katti demanded then chief minister B S Yediyurappa award separate statehood to north Karnataka.

In 2021, Katti courted controversy by saying that people “low on confidence” in fighting coronavirus could not be saved.

Siddaramaiah slams

Meanwhile, former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday criticised Katti saying “to even think of dividing the state was equivalent to betraying mother, motherland and mother tongue.”

“Many Kannadigas had sacrificed everything to realise a unified Karnataka. To even think of dividing our state is equivalent to betraying mother, motherland and mother tongue. Minister Umesh Katti has revealed that the discussions are being held at Prime Minister @narendramodi’s level to divide Karnataka. This is a very dangerous development,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Siddaramaiah also sought a clarification from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the issue. “@PMOIndia @CMofKarnataka  @BSBommai should issue clarification about this. This is not the first time Minister Umesh Katti has made such statements,” the former CM said.

CM disowns statement

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday disowned the statement of his cabinet. “There is no thinking or proposal at the government level at all on a separate state of North Karnataka,” Bommai told reporters in New Delhi.   

“This is not the first time Umesh Katti has spoken about it. He has been saying it for many years. He should himself reply to this question”, he shot back to a query posed by reporters.

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News Network
June 26,2022

europeprotest.jpg

Strikes in Europe's transport sector have disrupted air flights and train schedules as transportation companies struggle to cope with rising demand at the start of the peak summer travel season after the COVID restrictions were lifted.

A strike by staff members at Irish airline Ryanair and Brussels Airlines over pay and working conditions forced the cancellation of a number of flights on Saturday.

The workers' strike also disrupted flight schedules in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Belgium.

Since Friday, low-budget airline Ryanair has been forced to cancel 127 flights, an airport spokeswoman told AFP on Saturday.

The walkout forced the cancellation of two flights between Lisbon and Brussels.

The airports at Bordeaux and Marseille said nine and 12 flights respectively would be cancelled on Sunday.

Ryanair flights were also cancelled in France. Damien Mourgues of the SNPNC union said 36 out of 80 flights had been cancelled because of a walk-out by air stewards.

In Belgium, the walkout meant that only 41 percent of Ryanair flights left Charleroi airport near Brussels on Saturday.

The situation in Belgium was further complicated by a three-day strike by Brussels Airlines staff ending on Saturday. The strike has forced the carrier, which is owned by German giant Lufthansa, to cancel about 300 out of 500 flights since

Adding to Europe's traveling problems, Austria Airlines said on Saturday it had had to cancel 52 out of 360 scheduled flights.

USO transport union in Spain said 75 flights from six different cities had been cancelled, noting that the striking staff had been replaced by workers brought in from Morocco, which it cited as a violation on Thursday.

Unions have called for EasyJet cabin crew based in Spain to strike for nine days in July as part of a dispute over pay.

The Swiss airline has already had to cancel thousands of flights this summer because of staff shortages at airports.

Staff shortage

The aviation sector is still struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic which led to staff-cuts as international travel was put on hold.

However, a rise in the number of COVID infections reported by Austria Airlines staff on Saturday led to the cancellation of its flights.

"Our crew members are sick, cases of infection are rising," an Austria Airlines spokeswoman told AFP.

Faced with staff shortages, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport was also forced to announce earlier this month that it would be limiting traveler numbers this summer and cancelling flights.

The shortages have already caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled, while huge queues have angered travelers.

In the UK, the railway system once again came to a halt on Saturday. 

Over the week, tens of thousands of workers have walked in Britain's biggest rail strike in 30 years, with millions of passengers facing days of chaos as both the unions and government have stuck to their guns in a row over pay.

The British transport union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), threatened to continue the industrial action until managers address the workers' grievances, and meet their salary demands.

Despite the ongoing negotiations between representatives from the management and staff, media predicted the strikes to continue.

They attributed further industrial action to the rapidly rising inflation rates exacerbated by sluggish economic growth, saying this combo will likely lead to more workers' strikes across the European continent in the summer ahead.

Unions have said the rail strikes could mark the start of a "summer of discontent" with teachers, medics, waste disposal workers and even barristers heading for industrial action as inflation pushes 10%.

Inflation has soared across Europe on the back of a major rise in energy costs and Britain is not alone in facing strikes. 

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