Top Maoist leader Shankar Rao among at least 29 killed in major encounter in Chhattisgarh

News Network
April 16, 2024

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New Delhi:  Twenty-nine Maoists, including a senior rebel leader - Shankar Rao, who had a bounty of ₹ 25 lakh on his head - were killed by security forces during an encounter in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on Tuesday afternoon. A huge quantity of weapons, including Ak-47 and INSAS rifles, were recovered. 

Three security personnel were injured in the gunfight, which took place in forests near the village of Binagunda after a joint team of District Reserve Guard and Border Security Force were attacked.

Two of the three injured are from the BSF. Their condition is stable but the third - from the DRG - is in critical care. All three received treatment at a local hospital and are to be shifted to a larger facility.

Sources said the fighting began at around 2 PM, when a joint DRG-BSF team was conducting an anti-Maoist operation. The DRG was set up in in 2008 to combat Maoist activities in the state, and the Border Security Force has been deployed extensively in the area to for counter-insurgency ops.

There was another encounter in the district last month, in which two people - a Maoist and a cop - were killed, and security forces recovered a gun, some explosives, and other incriminating materials.

Personnel from the DRG and Bastar Fighters, both units of the state police force, with the Border Security Force, were involved in that operation, officials told news agency PTI. The patrolling team was cordoning off a forested area when fired on indiscriminately, leading to the gun battle.

In November last year, while the state was voting in the first phase of an Assembly election, a gunfight broke out between security forces and Maoist rebels in the same district.

An Ak-47 rifle was recovered from the encounter site.

On the same day, while polling was taking place, Maoists fired at DRG personnel deployed near a polling station in Banda in Dantewada district.

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News Network
May 28,2024

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The United Nations humanitarian chief has hit out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for claiming that the recent deadly aerial assault in the southern Gaza Strip was a “mistake,” saying the carnage was possibly the “most cruel abomination.”

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths made the remarks on Monday, one day after the Israeli strike hit a camp for displaced Palestinians in the city of Rafah and killed at least 50 people and wounded 200 others.

Terrifying scenes of tents in flames and burned victims, many of whom were women and children, sparked an international outcry. 

However, Netanyahu called the air raid a "tragic mistake" and claimed that Israel was investigating the incident.

“Whether the attack was a war crime or a “tragic mistake,” for the people of Gaza, there is no debate. What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination,” Griffiths said in a statement.

“To call it ‘a mistake’ is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives.”

The UN relief chief also pointed to the widespread warnings of a slaughter ahead of Israel's incursion into Rafah, saying, "We've seen the consequences in last night's utterly unacceptable attack."

He further noted that no shelters, hospitals and so-called humanitarian zones are safe in Gaza.

The Rafah carnage came two days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to “immediately” halt its military offensive in Rafah.

The occupying regime began a ground offensive in the overcrowded Palestinian city on May 7, defying calls from the international community, including the United States, not to proceed.

Rafah, situated on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, is home to about a million displaced Palestinians who have fled from the rest of the besieged territory amid a genocidal Israeli war.

EU ministers discuss anti-Israel sanctions

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin, meanwhile, said the European Union has for the first time engaged in a “significant” discussion on sanctioning Israel over its Gaza onslaught.

He said the imposition of EU sanctions was discussed as a possible measure to be taken if Israel does not comply with the ICJ’s ruling to halt its attack on Rafah, Irish public broadcaster RTE reported.

“Certainly, if compliance isn’t forthcoming, then we have to consider all options,” he added.

Martin also said that a number of EU foreign ministers had raised the prospect of bans against Israeli officials who were aiding and abetting violent settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Israel unleashed its US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a surprise operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 36,050 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 81,026 others.

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News Network
May 21,2024

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Bengaluru: Home Minister G Parameshwara on Tuesday said that the Karnataka government has written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking the cancellation of the diplomatic passport held by absconding JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna. This follows an arrest warrant issued by a special court against the Hassan MP wanted in multiple rape and sexual harassment cases.

Speaking to reporters in the city, Parameshwara said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the cancellation of Prajwal's passport.

“But the department writing it, as per the law, is different,” the Home Minister said. “A warrant has been issued now (and) based on the warrant, a letter has been written, stating that a warrant has been issued and the diplomatic passport has to be cancelled.”

Parameshwara said that in case the ministry cancels the passport, it will be impossible for Prajwal to stay in a foreign country and he would be compelled to return.

"We have written to the Ministry of External Affairs as matters related to passports come under them, they will have to respond to it," he added.

Prajwal fled to Germany after the Phase II Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 26. A few days before the polls, explicit videos of women allegedly harassed and sexually assaulted by the MP were leaked and pen drives filled with the visuals were purportedly distributed in Hassan.

Prajwal is accused of raping two women. He is also accused in a separate sexual harassment case, where his father JD(S) MLA HD Revanna is the co-accused.

On Saturday, a Special Court for Elected Representatives issued an arrest warrant against the MP after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the Hassan sex abuse case moved an application.

Earlier the SIT had issued Look Out Circulars and a Blue Corner Notice, seeking the whereabouts of the MP, was also issued by Interpol in response to a request by the SIT via the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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News Network
May 28,2024

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Mangaluru: Attempting to take political advantage of lack of space in a Masjid, wherein a few people had to offer last Friday prayers on a narrow stretch of an interior road for a few minutes in Mangaluru, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has warned of holding mass recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, if instances of offering namaz on the road is reported from anywhere in Dakshina Kannada.

VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell said “instances of offering namaz on roads and public places have come to light in the district. It is a conspiracy to create unrest in the district.”

“The district administration should take action against those who offered namaz on the road. If such incidents recur, the VHP will hold recitation of Hanuman chalisa on the same spot,” he warned. 

In fact, the VHP members submitted a memorandum to Kadri police to take action against those who offered namaz on the road. The police should consider the incident seriously.

In a memorandum, they claimed in spite of having enough space at the masjid, by offering namaz on the road has caused inconvenience to the public.

It may be recalled that the video of a few offering namaz on the street in Kankanady had gone viral on social media, drawing criticism from various quarters.

Commissioner of Police Anupam Agrawal said that a case has been registered against unknown persons for offering prayers on the road at Mangaluru East Police station limits.

FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 341, 283, 143 and 149 and investigation is in progress.

The Commissioner said "video of unknown persons offering prayers on the public road in front of a masjid on May 24 was being circulated in social media. The video was verified and was found that it posed hindrance to the movement of public and vehicles."

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