Multiple explosions, gunfire rock Sikh Gurdwara in Afghanistan's capital

News Network
June 18, 2022

Kabul, June 18: Several blasts and gunfire hit a Sikh Gurdwara in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Saturday, according to media reports.

The blasts occurred in the Karta Parwan area of Kabul, Tolo news tweeted along with the video after the blasts. Gunfire was also reported from the area.

Karte Parwan Gurdwara is located in the area.

The casualties in the blast were unknown.

"We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred Gurudwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments," the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi tweeted.

Abdul Nafi Takor, a Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, confirmed the attack but did not provide further details or say whether there were casualties, The Associated Press reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province has in the past claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques and minorities across the country.

"We heard a huge blast in Kart-e-Parwan neighbourhood at around 6 a.m. local time. The blast was followed by another explosion which occurred about half an hour after the first blast. The whole place has now been sealed off," China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an eyewitness as saying.

The security forces have cordoned off the area for precautionary measures, he said.

The blast sent a column of thick smoke into the sky and triggered panic, the witness said.

"There is fear of possible casualties. Several warning shots were also fired by the security forces," he added.

Community leaders estimate just 140 Sikhs remain in the Taliban-ruled country, mostly in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital Kabul.

In March 2020, at least 25 worshippers were killed and eight others injured when a heavily armed suicide bomber stormed a prominent gurudwara in the heart of Kabul, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority Sikh community in the country.

The Islamic State terror group had claimed responsibility for the attack in the Shor Bazar area.

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News Network
June 25,2022

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Mumbai, June 25: The Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) on Saturday detained activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai in connection with a foreign fund case related to her NGO. 

Teesta Setalvad’s NGO had provided information about the 2002 Gujarat violence to the police and her name has been mentioned in the Supreme Court judgment which upheld the SIT’s clean chit to Narendra Modi. 

The move of the Gujarat ATS comes hours after Union home minister Amit Shah in his interview with news agency ANI slammed Teesta Setalvad and said her NGO gave baseless information about the Gujarat riots. 

Teesta Setalvad's lawyer said the police barged into her house and assaulted her. First, the activist was taken to Santa Cruz police station. From here, she will be taken to Ahmedabad city police station.

"I have read the judgment very carefully. The judgement clearly mentions the name of Teesta Setalvad. The NGO that was run being run by her - I don't remember the name of the NGO- had given baseless information about the riots to the police," Amit Shah, in an exclusive interview, told ANI.

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the appeal by Zakia Jafri, wife of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gujarat violence, and said that the appeal was "devoid of merits." A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, upholding the Special Investigation Team or SIT's 2012 clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots case, said that Setalvad, co-petitioner in the case, exploited the emotions of Zakia Jafri.

"Antecedents of Teesta Setalvad need to be reckoned with and also because she has been vindictively persecuting this lis [dispute] for her ulterior design by exploiting the emotions and sentiments of Zakia Jafri, the real victim of the circumstances," the top court said in its order.

A total of 68 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the riots triggered by the burning of a train coach in which 59 pilgrims perished in February 2002. A decade later, the SIT report, exonerated Narendra Modi, citing "no prosecutable evidence" in the Gulbarg Society case.

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News Network
June 29,2022

New Delhi, June 29: The rupee depreciated 11 paise to a record low of 78.96 against the US dollar in opening trade on Wednesday, weighed down by persistent foreign capital outflows.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a weak note at 78.86 against the American dollar, then lost ground to quote at 78.96—its all-time low level, registering a fall of 11 paise from the last close.

On Tuesday, the rupee plunged by 48 paise to close at record low of 78.85 against the US dollar.

The rupee opened weaker against the dollar on Wednesday as renewed focus on the weak economic outlook prompted losses on Asian currencies and shares, said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.

"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could be present to curb volatility, but the strength of crude oil could cap appreciation bias," Iyer said, adding that the range for the rupee on Wednesday is 78.50-79.10.

The rupee has lost 1.87 per cent so far this month and has eroded a staggering 6.28 per cent since the start of this year.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.88 per cent to $116.94 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.08 per cent lower at 104.42.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 474.05 points or 0.89 per cent lower at 52,703.40, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 137.75 points or 0.87 per cent to 15,712.45.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday as they offloaded shares worth ₹1,244.44 crore, as per stock exchange data.

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News Network
June 23,2022

Mumbai, June 23: Amid a rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, party MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Sena is ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra if the group of rebel legislators camping in Assam returns to Mumbai in 24 hours and discusses the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Shinde is currently camping with 37 rebel MLAs of the Sena and nine independents in Guwahati, which has plunged the party-led state government into a crisis. The NCP and Congress also share power in the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation.

"You say you are real Shiv Sainiks and will not quit the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your demand will be considered positively. Don't write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp," Raut told reporters.

"The rebels who are out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of the MVA, show guts to come back to Mumbai. You say you have issues only with the government and also say that you are true Shiv Sainiks...Your demand will be considered. But come and talk with Uddhav Thackeray," he added.

CM Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to quit the top post amid the rebellion by Shinde and later also vacated his official residence in south Mumbai before moving to his family home in suburban Bandra. 

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