TMC accuses Modi govt of 'federal terrorism' as it stops Australian diplomat from meeting Bengal ministers

Agencies
June 19, 2024

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New Delhi: After the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union government did not allow the Australian Deputy High Commissioner to meet three West Bengal ministers during his proposed visit to the state, the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday alleged 'federal and fiscal terrorism' on the state as people had defeated the BJP in the state.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner Nicholas McCaffrey was to visit Kolkata and Sunderbans between June 18 and 21. During this visit, he wanted to meet Commerce Minister Shashi Panja, Information Technology and Electronics Minister Babul Supriyo and Agriculture Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.

However, Trinamool Congress said, the Oceania Division of the MEA wrote to the High Commission saying that they do "not recommend" meetings as requested by the Australian side with the ministers.

At the same time, the Oceania Division had "no objection from political angle" in the diplomat meeting BJP MPs Sukanta Majumdar and Dilip Ghosh and Trinamool Congress MPs Derek O'Brien and Jawahar Sircar.

Trinamool Congress sources said the Deputy High Commissioner had not come to Bengal as scheduled and their MPs would not have met him when the ministers were not allowed.

The Australian side had requested for meetings to discuss opportunities for collaboration against the backdrop of India-Australia trade discussions and explore areas of economic interest in West Bengal.

Government sources said that they have allowed the Australian diplomat to meet officials at appropriate level based on the principle of reciprocity. They said the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Australia is not allowed to meet Australian ministers.

When contacted, an Australian High Commission spokesperson said, "Australia and India are close friends, with strong strategic, economic and community ties. Australian diplomats travel regularly across India to continue strengthening the political, business, cultural and sporting linkages between our two countries. We don’t comment on the specific details of programs when our officials travel."

Attempt to 'spite Bengal'

Setting stage for another round of confrontation, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha Deputy Leader Sagarika Ghose said the union government's action was 'completely autocratic' and an attempt to 'spite Bengal'. She said they would strongly raise this 'serious issue', which he described as 'fiscal terrorism', in Parliament after discussing it with I.N.D.I.A. allies.

Addressing a press conference here, Ghose and another MP Saket Gokhale claimed that the federal structure of the state is being destroyed.

"The representatives of the states who want to go abroad are being stopped and the way they are doing this in such a dirty, uncivilised manner is very shameful," Ghose said.

Gokhale described the development as "federal terrorism" while alleging that several diplomats have claimed that they were informally told by the union government that they could get clearance for investments only if they choose Gujarat. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 11,2024

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Lokayukta on Thursday, July 11, morning raided 56 locations across nine districts in connection with 11 disproportionate asset cases.

The raids are underway at two locations in Chitradurga and Davanagere, and one each in Kalaburagi, Mandya, Dharwad, Belagavi, Kolar, Mysuru, and Hassan. The officials have raided the properties of 11 government officials, including two retired government employees.

Properties related to Basavaraj Magi, Revenue Officer, BBMP (Kengeri Zone); Shivaraju S, retired executive officer from Mandya; M Ravindra, retired chief engineer at Minor Irrigation Department; Shekar Gowda, Project Director; DH Umesh, Executive Engineer; and MS Prabhakar, Assistant Executive Engineer.

Simultaneously, the Lokayukta officials are conducting raids at the properties of Vijianna, Tahsildar; Mahesh K, superintendent engineer; NM Jagadish, grade 1 secretary; and KG Jagadish, superintendent engineer.

A well-placed officer at the Lokayukta said that they had taken up DA cases even before the raids. They had done the background work to list all the properties linked to officials on whom raids are underway.

The raids are a joint operation of the Karnataka Lokayukta wing and the police wing of the anti-corruption watchdog. The Superintendents of Police (SP) with the Karnataka Lokayukta in the respective districts are supervising the ongoing raids, and over 100 officers are aiding them.

This is the third such massive raid Lokayukta has taken up this year.

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News Network
July 6,2024

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Mangaluru: The dreams of a young girl in Dakshina Kannada district have been tragically cut short. Seventeen-year-old Anita, a first-year PU student from a private college in Beltangady, ended her life, unable to bear the fear that her cherished dream of becoming a doctor might never come true.

Anita, a resident of Bolmanaru in Puduvettu village, passed away after ingesting rat poison. Despite the desperate efforts to save her life at a private hospital in Mangaluru, she succumbed to the poison on July 3. 

She had taken the poison late on the night of June 29, and was initially rushed to a hospital in Ujire on the morning of June 30 before being transferred to Mangaluru for more advanced care.

In a heart-wrenching two-page suicide note, Anita poured out her anguish and hopelessness: "I could not score well in the 10th grade. I dreamt of becoming a doctor and took science in PU, but I am struggling with the subjects. I am responsible for my own death. No one else is to blame."

Anita's story is a sobering reminder of the immense pressure and emotional turmoil that young students can face. Her untimely death leaves behind a community in mourning and raises urgent questions about the support and guidance we offer to our youth.

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News Network
July 12,2024

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Microsoft has reportedly closed the email accounts of Palestinians living abroad, cutting off their access to online services used to contact relatives in Gaza amid the ongoing genocidal Israeli war.

Some Palestinians told the BBC on Thursday that their email accounts were closed without any explanation.

They added that this closure prevented them from accessing bank accounts, job offers, and the Skype application used to communicate with family members in the besieged Gaza.

“They killed my life online," said Eiad Hametto, who lives in Saudi Arabia.

"They’ve suspended my email account that I’ve had for nearly 20 years - It was connected to all my work.”

Hametto also said being cut off from Skype was a huge blow for his family.

Microsoft alleged that the affected users had violated its terms of service, but the Palestinians rejected the claim.

“We are civilians with no political background who just wanted to check on our families,” Hametto stressed. 

Salah Elsadi, who lives in the US, said that his Microsoft Hotmail account and all associated services were deactivated in April.

"I've had this Hotmail for 15 years," he said. "They banned me for no reason, saying I have violated their terms - what terms? Tell me. I've filled out about 50 forms and called them many many times."

Another Palestinian Khalid Obaied said he had paid for a package to make phone calls, but he was banned after 10 days for no reason.

"That means it's only because I’m a Palestinian calling Gaza,” he added.

Israel unleashed its brutal Gaza onslaught on October 7 after Hamas carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 38,345 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza, and injured 88,295 others.

The Israeli aggression has disrupted telecommunication services (landline, mobile, and internet) in the Gaza Strip. 

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