Afghan fighters erupt with joy as 20 years of US occupation comes to an end

News Network
August 31, 2021

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Kabul, Aug 31: The sound of celebratory gunfire was heard across Kabul early Tuesday after the Pentagon and Taliban separately confirmed that the last US troops had left Afghanistan, ending a two-decade-long war.

The Taliban declared Afghanistan is a “free and sovereign” nation as it hailed the exit of US troops after 20 years of occupation, describing their departure as a “historic moment”.

"Tonight at 12:00 am Afghan time, the remaining American troops left Kabul airport and our country gained full independence," Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's chief spokesman, said in a tweet. "All praise to Allah."

The Pentagon said the last flight had left in the final minute of Monday night, and that all US military personnel were now out of the country.

Correspondents in the city heard celebratory gunfire from several Taliban checkpoints, as well as the cheers of fighters manning security posts in the green zone.

"We made history again," tweeted Anas Haqqani, a senior official in the hardline Islamist movement.

"I am very happy that after 20 years of jihad, sacrifices & hardships I have this pride to see these historic moments."

Another Taliban spokesman, Bilal Karimi, said: "All the American troops have left Afghanistan, we are very happy -- you can listen to the celebratory fire."

The sound of small arms and heavier machine gun fire was still echoing through the night 45 minutes after the first announcement, while tracer rounds lit up the sky.

In a follow-up tweet, Haqqani urged fighters to avoid celebratory gunfire so as to make sure no innocent bystanders were hurt.

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News Network
November 20,2021

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New Delhi, Nov 20: BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has been increasingly offering views divergent from his party, on Saturday posted online a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, listing four big demands following the centre's surprise cancellation of the controversial farm laws.

Reminding the Prime Minister that over 700 farmers would have still been alive had he taken the decision earlier, the MP demanded ₹ 1 crore compensation for those who died in the course of the year-long protest.

He also demanded that all "all politically motivated false" police cases filed against farmers must be dropped and their calls for widening the programme of guaranteed prices for farm produce known as Minimum Support Price or MSP be accepted, saying their movement wouldn''t end without it.

Mr Gandhi also raised the deaths of protesters in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri last month where a BJP minister's son and aides have been accused of running over a group of farmers, triggering violence and leaving eight people dead.

"I thank you for your large-heartedness in announcing that these three laws will be repealed. More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost," he wrote.

"All politically motivated false FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers during this movement must immediately be quashed," Mr Gandhi said.

"This (farmers') movement will not end without the resolution of this demand and there will be widespread anger amongst them, which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for the farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops. The MSP should also be based on the C2+50% formula of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices," he wrote.

On Lakhimpur Kheri, he wrote, "Many leaders sitting in senior positions have given provocative statements against our agitating farmers. It is the result of such statements and the adversarial atmosphere created around the movement, that on October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri. This heartbreaking incident is a blemish on our democracy. It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the Union Minister who has been connected to this incident, so that there is a fair enquiry."

The sharp critique for the BJP is the latest from Varun Gandhi who was dumped from his party's National Executive after calling for justice for the families of farmers killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri and speaking out in support of other farmers protesting the centre's new laws.

A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family that controls the opposition Congress, Varun Gandhi and his mother joined the BJP in 2004 just months before the party went out of power but are believed to have fallen out of favour with the leadership in recent years.

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News Network
November 24,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 24: Police have arrested four accused in connection the recent cold-blooded murder of an 8-year-old girl at Raj Tiles Factory, Parari near Ulaibettu on the outskirts of the city. 

According to police, the accused had gang-raped the child before killing her last weekend. 

The arrested accused are Muneem Singh (20), Manish Tirki (33), Mukesh Singh (20) and Jayban alias Jay Singh (21). All of them are labourers and said to be close friends.

The victim was the daughter of a couple from Simdega district Jharkhand, aged 35 and 28 respectively who work for the factory. The aggrieved couple had four children and they were working for the tiles factory for the last two years.

The girl who went out with her siblings to play after lunch on November 21 did not return even though the other three came back. The parents went searching and found the girl having fallen into a drain inside the factory at about 6 pm.

The police of the rural station here registered a case under Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Four teams were formed to probe the case in light of the seriousness of the crime. 

The teams after thorough verification of CCTV footages, evidences, eyewitnesses, confessions etc, found that a 21-year-old youth from Panna district, Madhya Pradesh, another youth aged 20 from the same place, a 33-year-old man from Ranchi district, Jharkhand and a 20-year-old resident of Panna district, Madhya Pradesh, were involved. Three among them were working as coolies in the said factory while the other was working in Puttur and had come here to meet one among the above four.

Two of the accused had invited the girl into their room in the past several times and had offered chocolates etc to her and indulged in sexual atrocities. When the girl went out to play on November 21 afternoon, the accused forcibly took the girl into the room by holding her mouth tightly shut after which they raped her in turns. As the girl was crying loudly because of bleeding and pain, one of the men smothered her to death. 

They then tossed the body into a drain. When the people in the area including the parents went searching for the girl, the accused had also acted like searching for her, the police said.

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News Network
November 26,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 26: The loud sound heard in several parts of Bengaluru on Friday at noon was not due to vibrations caused by an earthquake or tremor, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell said. 

Mmany Bengalureans took to social media to share that they heard a loud ‘boom’ sound. “Just now heard a loud explosion sound in Bengaluru, then doors and windows vibrated. I felt this in Rajarajeshwari Nagara. #Bengaluru #Bangalore #SonicBoom? Others felt too??” a social media users asked. 

“Loud sound heard again in various parts of Bengaluru along with rattling of windows. What happened this time ? Sonic boom ? Earthquake ? Quarry blast ?” tweeted a journalist.

Reports of sound associated with mild vibrations by the local residents was received from Hemmigepura, Kengeri, Gnanabharathi, Rajarajeswari Nagar and Kaggalipura, Bengaluru today, dated 26.11.2021 between 11.50 am – 12.15 pm, a statement issued by KSNDMC Director said.

"The data was analysed from our Seismic Observatories for any seismic signatures/possible earthquake signals during the said time period. The seismographs shows no signatures of local tremor/earthquake,” the natural disaster monitor added. 

Bengalureans took to social media to report a loud sound with some speculating that it is a sonic boom. 

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