Who can arrive in Saudi Arabia directly?

Adv P A Hameed Padubidri
August 27, 2021

Many Indian nationals are confused about the requirement of the direct flight to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As of today, only those who got two vaccines in the KSA are allowed to re enter the country. All other categories of the NRIs (except healthcare workers, mission officials etc) who received one jab in the KSA and another in India and both the jabs in India are not allowed. 

Action against violators 

A strict legal action will be taken against those who violate the Saudi Arabian regulation with regard to the direct entry from the 13 travel banned countries including India. The KSA’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued a warning circular in this regard on August 26.

As per the GACA notification, the Iqama (residence permit) holders, who have taken 2 vaccines in the KSA before they left for India only are required to directly enter into the KSA without ban and without need for 14 days' quarantine in third countries. 

GACA also instructed that all the covid-19 norms and measures must be followed by these expatriates of 13 banned countries including the Indians. Those who violate this order will have to face a  strict legal action which may include heavy fines, deportation and any other action. 

Relaxations in future?

Can we expect some good news for those who got one vaccine in the KSA and one in India or both vaccines (i.e. CoviShield is equivalent to AstraZenica) in India? We can hope for the best as so far we have been hearing good news from the KSA with regard to managing and controlling the covid-19. 

The Indian govt through the vibrant leaderships of Indian Ambassador Dr Ausaf Sayeed and Indian CG Shahid IFS, of the CGI Jeddah, is also working with the KSA authorities in this regard.

Travellers have to comply with the strict covid-19 norms and preventive measures imposed by the both countries. 

The first flight after this announcement will be by next week, from Kochin to Riyadh.

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News Network
October 11,2021

RSS-linked magazine "Panchjanya", in its latest edition, has targetted the Christian church and priests over the widespread allegations of sexual exploitation.

The magazine, that would hit the stands on October 17, has, in the cover story, dwelt on the complaints of sexual exploitation of children and nuns across the world, and demanded an investigation into those allegations in India also.

Citing the instance of France, the magazine said that over 3 lakh children were exploited between 1950-2020, and around 3,000 priests were named as accused.

Panchjanya mentioned that an independent enquiry committee set up in 2018 came across those details during its probe. It also termed Pope Francis' apology in 2019 over these complaints and incidents a "formality under pressure", noting that despite it, episodes of similar nature have not seen any downward trend. 

It also cited complaints and incidents of sexual exploitation reported from various parts of India, underlining that the people of the country have been seeking probes against the church and priests.

Claiming that such incidents are on the rise in India too, it referred to several incidents in Jharkhand and Kerala, besides the rape of a woman in Missionary College, Chennai, and of a nun from Kerala. Panchjanya held the style of functioning of the church responsible for the worldwide decline in the number of nuns.

It said that in Kerala, the number of nuns has reduced to only 25 per cent and therefore, the church is taking into its fold, girls from poor families in states such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Odisha "under the guise of deceit, coercion and allurement".

Earlier, in its October 10 edition's cover story, the RSS-linked magazine had slammed the Congress and its former President Rahul Gandhi, saying the country's oldest political party is passing through its "worst-ever phase".

The Panchjanya had been in the news for its previous issues attacking Infosys and its leader N.R. Narayana Murthy over the glitches in the income tax portal, and then Amazon and its chief, Jeff Bezos, calling the global e-commerce giant "East India Company 2.0".

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News Network
October 22,2021

Mexico City, Oct 22: Two foreigners, including one from India, were killed and three wounded in a shooting at a restaurant in the Mexican Caribbean resort town of Tulum, authorities said on Thursday.

Authorities said one of the dead women was from Germany and the other from India. The three wounded included two Germans and a tourist from the Netherlands.

The shooting broke out on Wednesday night at a street-side eatery that has some outdoor tables, right off Tulum's main strip.

The fight was between two groups that operate street-level drug sales in the area, the Quintana Roo state prosecutor's office said in a statement. The tourists were apparently dining at the restaurant and may have been caught in the crossfire.

One woman died at the scene and the other in a hospital. One of the aggressors, who was also wounded, was subsequently arrested. There was no immediate word on the condition of the wounded tourists.

Tulum has experienced growing pains moving from laid-back beach retreat to major international destination. It had long been spared the violence seen sporadically in larger Cancun and Playa del Carmen farther up the coast.

But in June, two men were shot to death on the beach in Tulum and a third was wounded.

The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pinned its hopes on Tulum, where it has announced plans to build an international airport and a stop for the Maya train, which will run in a loop around the Yucatan peninsula.

But Quintana Roo state, where beach resorts like Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun are located, has been plagued by both violence and corruption.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 22: "It is a matter of pride for all of us that what, at one point of time, Lord Sri Ram and Sri Krishna did in Lanka and Mathura, the same was done by our forces in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday here.

Elaborating the statement, Singh said the 1971 war was one of the few wars which was neither fought to gain control of the land and sky, nor to gain power in any way, but to hand over the power to an able ruler and return.

"This is what Sri Ram and Sri Krishna did, giving reigns of power to able people belonging to the defeated nations," Singh said.

The main objective behind the 1971 Bangladesh war was to protect the dignity of humanity and democracy, he said addressing the IAF conclave as part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations here.

"What could be a better example of the great legacy of India's morality presented by our armies than the 1971 war, that our armies in Dhaka, even after ensuring complete victory, without causing any harm or imposing any kind of political control, handed them power and returned," Singh said.

After the World War II, the world saw the largest military surrender in which more than 93,000 soldiers surrendered simultaneously, he said.

"In just 14 days, Pakistan lost one-third of its army and 1/4th of its air force.

"This war proved to be historic in many ways and scholars and historians later called this war as a classic example of a 'Just War'," he said.

During the war, the Indian government's effort to join hands with the world's big countries and the Friendship Treaty with the Soviet Union also proved to be an important step, Singh said.

"When many powerful countries of the world directly refused to support India, Russia's support came in as a morale booster for the country and it was a great diplomatic achievement," he said.

This move created a framework in which the neighbouring opponents were neutralized and many difficulties in the path were eradicated, Singh said.

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