Khamenei leads prayers as millions of mourners gather for funeral of Raisi, companions

News Network
May 22, 2024

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Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has led prayers over the bodies of President Ebrahim Raeisi and his companions in Tehran as millions of people gathered to hold funeral procession.

The martyred lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

The mass public received the coffins of the eight victims of the crash at the University of Tehran on Wednesday morning before Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers on the bodies.

World leaders, presidents, ambassadors and international personalities as well as high-profile figures of the Axis of Resistance, including Ismail Haniyeh, the political bureau chief of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, and Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy secretary-general of Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, attended the ceremony.

The millions-strong procession started from the University of Tehran to the iconic Azadi Square.

Iranians attended a ceremony at Imam Khomeini Mosalla of Tehran as part of mourning ceremonies in the late hours of Tuesday to pay homage to President Raeisi and his late associates.

The northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz and the holy city of Qom were on Tuesday morning and evening the scene of millions of people who had gathered to pay tribute to Raeisi.

The Leader said on Monday that he received the bitter news of the martyrdom of the popular, competent and hardworking president and his companions with great sorrow.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the tragic incident happened when Raeisi and his team were making an attempt to serve the Iranian people.

The entire period of responsibility of this noble and devoted man, both during the short term of the presidency and before that, was completely spent in non-stop efforts to serve the people, the country and Islam, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized.

“Dear Raeisi did not know fatigue,” the Leader said, adding that the Iranian nation lost a sincere and valuable servant in this tragic incident.

Speaking at the ceremony in Tabriz, Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahdidi said that Iran is mourning the loss of a beloved, popular, and humble president.

The Iranian nation is also saddened by the death of a foreign minister who left active diplomacy in the critical moments of the resistance as his legacy, Vahidi added.

He also praised the constructive efforts of the late governor of East Azarbaijan province and the province's Friday prayers leader.

“We had a bad landing in this matter, but we will have a brilliant rise,” Vahidi stressed.

On Sunday, the helicopter carrying Raeisi and his entourage crashed as it was on its way to Tabriz, the capital of Iran’s East Azarbaijan province, from a location on the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan where the Iranian president had opened a major dam project.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and two senior provincial officials along with crew members and bodyguard also died in the crash.

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News Network
June 5,2024

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Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unanimously elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the ruling bloc's leader on Wednesday. The decision was made during a meeting at Modi's residence in New Delhi, a day after the NDA secured a majority in the Lok Sabha election, paving the way for Modi to take the oath for a third consecutive term, a first for any ruling alliance since 1962.

The meeting, attended by prominent leaders such as TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, LJP(R) leader Chirag Paswan, and NCP leader Praful Patel, also saw the passing of a resolution reaffirming the government's commitment to serving the poor, women, youth, farmers, and deprived sections of society.

The resolution said the NDA government will continue working to lift people's living standards for the country's all-round development while conserving its heritage.

"Over the past 10 years, 1.4 billion Indians have witnessed the country develop in every sector under the leadership of the esteemed Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, through the welfare policies of the NDA government. After a long interval of nearly six decades, the people of India have chosen a strong leadership with an absolute majority for the third consecutive time."

"We all take pride in the fact that the 2024 Lok Sabha elections were fought and won by the NDA under the esteemed leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi. All of us NDA leaders unanimously choose the esteemed Mr. Narendra Modi as our leader."

"Under Mr. Modi's leadership, the NDA government is committed to serving India's poor, women, youth, farmers, and the oppressed, deprived, and suffering citizens. By preserving India's heritage, the NDA government will continue to work towards comprehensive development and improving the standard of living for every citizen of India. This proposal was unanimously passed on June 5, 2024, in New Delhi," read the proposal letter passed by the leaders of the NDA in Delhi.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, in a significant move, passed a resolution emphasizing the alliance government's commitment to serving the marginalized sections of society. The resolution, passed during a meeting in New Delhi, highlighted the NDA's dedication to the welfare and empowerment of the poor, women, youth, farmers, and other deprived segments of the population.

The NDA is set to meet President Droupadi Murmu to stake claim to form the government under Modi's leadership. JD(U) MP Sanjay Kumar Jha stated, "The government under the leadership of Narendra Modi will soon be formed, and very soon a meeting of all the MPs will take place." Eknath Shinde expressed his support for Modi, stating, "Modiji has got a majority. The NDA will form the government under Modiji's leadership."

According to the sources, discussions were held on the government formation by the NDA. According to sources, PM Modi will take the oath for the third time on June 8. Discussions are ongoing regarding the allocation of key portfolios to alliance members.

Despite the BJP falling short of the magic number for the first time since 2014, the NDA is comfortably above the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha. This victory paves the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third term in office.

Meanwhile, President Droupadi Murmu dissolved the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday after the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.

"The President accepted the advice of the Cabinet on June 5, 2024, and signed the Order dissolving the 17th Lok Sabha in the exercise of the powers conferred upon her by Sub-Clause (2) of Article 85 of the Constitution," a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi tendered his resignation along with his Council of Ministers to President Murmu. The President accepted the resignation and requested that the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers continue until the new government assumes office.

Also, a meeting of the opposition coalition, INDIA bloc, is convened in Delhi on Wednesday evening. INC president Mallikarjun Kharge said that leaders of the alliance will be meeting to discuss the election results and strategy thereafter.

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News Network
June 16,2024

In a move indicative of further saffronisation of Indian textbooks, the new NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook has removed the name of the historic Babri Masjid, referring to it instead as a "three-domed structure." The section on the demolition of the mosque by Hindu nationalist mobs has been reduced from four to two pages, with significant details omitted.

According to the Indian Express, the revised parts include the BJP rath yatra from Somnath in Gujarat to Ayodhya, the role of kar sevaks, anti-Muslim violence following the demolition on December 6, 1992, the imposition of President’s rule in BJP-ruled states, and the BJP’s expression of “regret over the happenings at Ayodhya.”

The old textbook described the Babri Masjid as a 16th-century mosque built by Mughal emperor Babur’s General Mir Baqi. The new version, released this week, refers to it as "a three-dome structure built at the site of Shri Ram’s birthplace in 1528," and claims it had visible displays of Hindu symbols and relics.

The new textbook also praises the 2019 Supreme Court ruling on the Ayodhya dispute, despite criticisms from legal experts and Muslim leaders. The chapter describes the ruling as a 'classic example' of consensus, stating:

“The verdict allotted the disputed site to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust for the construction of a Ram temple and directed the government to provide an appropriate site for the construction of a mosque for the Sunni Central Waqf Board. This resolution through the due process of law, based on archaeological and historical evidence, was celebrated by society. It exemplifies consensus building on a sensitive issue and showcases the maturity of India's democratic ethos.”

The changes in the textbook have sparked controversy, with critics viewing them as an attempt to rewrite history and promote a particular ideological narrative.

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News Network
June 17,2024

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the President of Maldives Mohamed Muizzu on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, even as relations between the two nations have soured since the pro-China president assumed office in November last year. 

In a press release, the Indian High Commission in Maldives shared the prime minister's Eid wishes for the president and the people of Maldives. 

"On the auspicious occasion of Eid Al-Adha, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India @NarendraModi extended warm greetings to His Excellency President of Maldives Dr. @MMuizzu, the Government & the people of the Republic of Maldives," it said in a post on X.

In his message, PM Modi "emphasised the values of sacrifice, compassion and brotherhood, embodied by this festival, which are essential in building a peaceful and inclusive world."

"Prime Minister also highlighted the celebration of the festival, as part of India's multi-cultural heritage, across the length and breadth of India with fervour and gaiety," the message read.

Soon after being elected, Muizzu demanded a complete withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the archipelago. Amid increasing tensions, Indian tourists had announced a boycott of the island nation after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory comments about Prime Minister Modi following his visit to Lakshadweep.

But India extended an olive branch by inviting him to the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi. Union Minister S Jaishankar also held a bilateral meeting with the Maldivian President while he was in New Delhi. "Delighted to call on President Dr Mohamed Muizzu of Maldives today in New Delhi. Look forward to India and Maldives working together closely," he had said on 'X'.

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