Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Animal

Ranbir-Alia, Rashmika, Bobby Attend ‘Animal’ Screening

Makers of the action thriller film ‘Animal’ on Thursday hosted a special screening of their film at the Jio Plaza in Mumbai.

Several B-town celebs marked their presence at the screening.

Actor Ranbir Kapoor looked dapper as he donned a black checked coat paired with black pants and a white shirt.

He arrived at the screening along with his wife Alia Bhatt, mother Neetu Kapoor, mother-in-law Soni Razdan, father-in-law Mahesh Bhatt and Alia’s sister Shaheen Bhatt.

The thing that grabbed everyone’s attention was Alia’s outfit at the premiere.

The ‘Raazi’ actor exuded boss lady vibes and he wore a black casual suit paired with a white customized t-shirt with her hubby Ranbir’s ‘Animal’ character printed on it.

Rashmika, on the other hand, looked beautiful as she wore a brown one-piece dress for the gala night. She kept her makeup heavy and her hair open.

Actor Bobby Deol kept it casual as he was seen twinning in black with his wife Tanya and son Aryaman Deol.

Bobby was seen clicking pictures with his fans at the premiere.

Actor Anil Kapoor made a stylish appearance in an all-black outfit at the premiere night as he donned a black jacket, paired with matching t-shirt and pants.

Actor Karan Deol also arrived at the premiere night along with his wife Drisha Acharya.

Actor Tripti Dimri looked beautiful in a pink one-piece dress.

Veteran stars Suresh Oberoi and Shakti Kapoor also attended the screening of ‘Animal’.

‘Animal’ is helmed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol, and Rashmika Mandanna in the lead roles.

Recently team ‘Animal’ unveiled the film’s official trailer which received a massive response from the fans.

The 3-minute-32-second trailer hinted that Ranbir’s character had turned fierce because of his violent upbringing during his younger age. Ranbir’s character is protective and obsessive about his father’s love.

He is seen threatening everybody who comes in the way of his love for his father.

Reportedly, the film has a duration of 3 hours and 21 minutes. ‘Animal’ is all set to hit the theatres on December 1 and will be released in 5 languages- Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.

The film will be facing a big Bollywood clash with Vicky Kaushal’s upcoming biopic drama film ‘Sam Bahadur’. (ANI)

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Superstar Shah Rukh Khan

SRK Patiently Waits For Security Check At Mumbai Airport

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday won his fans’ hearts as he patiently waited for the security check at the Mumbai airport.

SRK arrived at the airport premises along with his manager Pooja Dadlani.

Several pictures and videos of the actor surfaced on social media in which he could be seen donning an all-black outfit.

He wore a black jacket paired with black pants and accessorized his look with black shades and a hair band.

In a new viral video, SRK could be seen waiting patiently for the security check at the airport.

The ‘Don’ actor showed his documents and sported a big smile while the check was being conducted.

Soon after the video went viral on social media, several fans swamped down the comment section and praised SRK for humble gesture.

Meanwhile, on the work front, SRK will be next seen in director Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming film ‘Dunki’.

Written by Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani, and Kanika Dhillon, ‘Dunki’ is a heart-warming tale of four friends and their quest to reach foreign shores, it charts the arduous yet life-changing journey they are about to undertake to make their dreams come true. Drawn from real-life experiences, ‘Dunki’ is a saga of love and friendship that brings together these wildly disparate stories, and provides hilarious and heart-breaking answers.

The film features an ensemble cast, with colourful characters portrayed by Boman Irani, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Vikram Kochhar, Anil Grover, starring along with Shah Rukh Khan.

‘Dunki’ is all set to hit cinemas on December 21.

It marks SRK’s first on-screen collaboration with director Rajkumar Hirani, Taapsee and Vicky Kaushal. (ANI)

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paddy harvesting season

Paddy Harvesting Season Ends, Significant Decrease In Stubble Burning

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Thursday said that the paddy harvesting season for the year 2023 came to an end witnessing a significant decrease in stubble burning.

Over the last 3 years, incidents of paddy stubble burning have witnessed a significant decrease, including in 2023, both for Punjab and Haryana.

As per the Environment Ministry Change formulation of district-specific action plans, intensified monitoring at the level of Chief Secretary, Deputy Commissioners and officers concerned in the State Govts, improving availability and utilisation of machines for management and a quantum rise in utilisation of paddy straw for various industrial/commercial applications has led to a substantial decrease in paddy straw burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana.

“Against cumulative 83,002 fire counts on account of paddy stubble burning in Punjab during 2020, the fire counts in the corresponding period were 71,304 during 2021, 49,922 during 2022 and 36,663 during 2023” Ministry said.

Ministry informed that for the Haryana 4,202 fire counts were reported in 2020.

“Against this figure, paddy stubble burning cases were 6,987 in 2021, 3,661 in 2022 and 2,303 in 2023 respectively,” an official statement said.

Punjab recorded an overall 27 per cent decrease in the total fire counts owing to paddy stubble burning during 2023 as compared to 2022.

“In terms of district-wise performance of Punjab in this context, 4 districts namely Muktsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Rupnagar recorded more than 50 per cent reduction in the paddy farm fires during 2023 as compared to 2022, while 5 districts viz,” ministry said.

“Bathinda, Fazilka, Ludhiana, Tarn Taran and Patiala recorded an improvement of 27 per cent – 50 per cent in their respective fire counts over figures in 2022. 11 districts namely Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Malerkotla, Mansa, Moga, Sangrur and SBS Nagar also witnessed a reduction ranging up to 27% in the farm fires during 2023,” it added.

Three districts in Punjab namely Amritsar, SAS Nagar and Pathankot emerged as a concern with an increase in the number of their respective fire counts during 2023 vis-a-vis 2022, the ministry said.

Ministry said that districts where more than 50 per cent reduction in the fire counts was recorded during 2023 as compared to 2022 are Kaithal, Karnal and Panipat while 3 districts Kurukshetra, Sirsa and Yamuna Nagar recorded a reduction between 37 percent-50 percent over the corresponding figures in 2022.

According to the ministry, the single-day highest fire count in Punjab was 5491 in 2020, 5327 in 2021, 3916 in 2022 and 3230 in 2023. The single-day highest fire count in Haryana was 166 in 2020, 363 in 2021, 250 in 2022 and 127 in 2023.

Ministry said that despite a significant reduction in the number of farm fires owing to paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana the resultant improvement did not reflect as much in the daily average AQI of Delhi / NCR during the month of November.

“Primarily owing to highly unfavourable meteorology and climate conditions prevailing over the region particularly since the last week of October, with low-speed winds from the north-westerly direction, very low rainfall and near-calm wind conditions over Delhi which badly impeded the dispersion of pollutants, thus reflecting in a much higher AQI during the month of November, 2023 as compared to the November months in preceding years,” an official statement said. (ANI)

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COP28: Modi Emplanes For Visit To UAE For World Climate Action Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening emplaned for Dubai to take part in the World Climate Action Summit in the United Arab Emirates.

PM Modi will address the opening session of the World Climate Action Summit in the United Arab Emirates and participate in the three high-level side events, of which two will be co-hosted by India.

The Prime Minister visited the UAE in July this year.

Ahead of his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India has always walked the talk when it comes to climate action and added that even during the G20 Presidency, climate was a high priority.

In the UAE, PM Modi will also attend an event related to the Green Credits Initiative.

Addressing a special briefing on PM Modi’s visit to the UAE here on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said the Prime Minister will also attend an event related to Green Credits Initiative.

“The Prime Minister will be travelling to Dubai later this evening to attend World Climate Action Summit which is the high-level segment of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Departing later this evening, he will be attending the summit events tomorrow before returning to India later tomorrow evening,” he said.

PM Modi will also attend the high-level event co-hosted by India and Sweden.

“The second (event on the sides) which is co-hosted by India and Sweden is the launch of Lead IT 2.0, leadership group for industry transition. If you recall, it was a joint initiative launched by India and Sweden in 2019 at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Essentially, this initiative fosters collaboration among decision-makers, bringing together both the public sector and private sector with the objective of accelerating the industry transition to net zero emissions, essentially from heavy industries.”

Kwatra stated that PM Modi will participate in another high-level event ‘Transforming Climate Finance’ which is to be hosted by the Presidency of the COP28 – UAE.

In his departure statement ahead of the COP28 climate talks in Dubai, PM Modi also noted that the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration also included concrete steps on climate action and sustainable development.

“India has walked the talk when it comes to climate action. Our achievements in different sectors like renewable energy, energy efficiency, afforestation, energy conservation, and Mission LiFE are testament to the commitment of our people towards Mother Earth,” the Prime Minister said, according to an official release by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“In keeping with our civilizational ethos, India has always laid emphasis on climate action even as we pursue social and economic development. During our G20 presidency, climate was a high priority. The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration includes numerous concrete steps on climate action and sustainable development. I look forward to the COP-28 taking forward the consensus on these issues,” he said.

According to the departure statement, COP28 will also provide an opportunity to review progress made under the Paris Agreement and chart a path for future action on climate action.

The visit of PM Modi to Dubai comes at the invitation of President of UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“I am travelling to Dubai to attend the World Climate Action Summit of the COP-28 on December 1, 2023. I am happy to see that this significant event is being held under the Presidency of the UAE, which has been an important partner for India in the field of climate action,” the Prime Minister said in his departure statement.

COP28, which stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is taking place in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 – December 12 this year.

Delegates from almost 200 nations will be present at the summit, including world leaders like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will arrive in Dubai later today. (ANI)

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SA Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli

Rohit, Virat To return in Test, Suryakumar, Rahul To Assume Captaincy Mantle in T20Is

Skipper Rohit Sharma and stalwart batter Virat Kohli are set to return to the field after World Cup heartbreak during India’s tour of South Africa but only for the Test format.

However, Rohit and Virat will only feature in the red ball format and will miss the white ball cricket. In Rohit’s absence, Suryakumar Yadav will continue to assume the captaincy role of the team in the T20 format and Ravindra Jadeja will act as his deputy for the same.

For the three ODI games, KL Rahul will take the captaincy charge. The 50-over format will also see the return of Yuzvendra Chahal and Sanju Samson.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced the squad for the Proteas tour which is set to begin in December.

“The Men’s Selection Committee met in New Delhi on Thursday to pick Team India’s squad for the upcoming all-format tour of South Africa. The Indian team will participate in three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches. During the tour, India A will also play two four-day matches against South Africa A and one inter-squad three-day match,” a statement from BCCI read.

The ODI World Cup 2023 finalists squadron is once again re-assembling for their upcoming quest to of the T20 World Cup. BCCI announced the contract extension of head coach Rahul Dravid and the rest of the management.

Dravid’s second stint with Team India will be the tour of South Africa which is slated to begin on December 10, consisting of three ODIs and T20Is each and two Tests. The red-ball leg will start from December 26.

The tour will begin with the three-match T20I affair on December 10 at the Kingsmead Stadium. The second T20I will be played on December 12 at the St George’s Oval. The 20-over format will conclude on December 14 at the Wanderers Stadium.

The 50-over clash will kick off on December 17 at the Wanderers Stadium. The second and final ODI will be played on December 19 and December 21 respectively.

India’s squad for Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohd. Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna.

India’s squad for 3 T20Is: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (C), Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (VC), Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Deepak Chahar.

India’s squad for 3 ODIs: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (C)(wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar. (ANI)

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Chhattisgarh BJP

BJP Trashes Exit-Poll Projections For C’garh

The BJP on Thursday was dismissive of the exit-poll projections for Chhattisgarh and exuded confidence in the party wresting the state from the Congress.

Most exit polls earlier put the Congress in a clear lead in the state while also projecting the BJP to give a close fight to the incumbent, unlike in the last Assembly polls in 2018.

While three polls predicted a clear victory of Congress, others said that the party was in the winning range. The Congress fought the election with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel at the helm.

Reacting to the numbers quoted by the pollsters, BJP leader Santosh Pandey told ANI on Thursday, “Rest assured that the BJP will form the government with an absolute majority in the state. The counting of votes on December 3 will put all speculations at rest.”

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Deputy Chief Minister and Congress leader, TS Singh Deo, put the Congress’s tally at about 60 seats.

“We are happy to note that the exit polls have given a clear edge to the Congress in Chhattisgarh. I believe that we will get about 60 seats. The decision on who will be chief minister will be taken by the Congress high command. We will accept whatever the high command decides,” Singh Deo said.

According to ABP C-Voter predictions, Congress is poised to win 41-53 seats in the state which has a 90-member assembly. The exit poll said BJP is poised to get 36-48 seats and others 0-4 seats.

The India Today-Axis My India poll predicted Congress getting 40-50 seats, BJP 36-46 seats and others getting 1-5 seats.

The Republic TV exit poll gave Congress 44-52 seats, BJP 34-42 seats and 0-2 polls for others.

India TV-CNX poll predicted 46- 56 seats for Congress, 30-40 seats for BJP and 3-5 for others. The numbers for Congress and BJP in the Jan Ki Baat exit poll were 42-53 and 34-45 respectively and it predicted 0-3 seats for others.

The P-Marq poll said Congress is poised to win 46-54 seats with 44.6 per cent vote, BJP 35-42 seats with 42.9 per cent vote and others will get 0-2 seats with 12.5 per cent votes.

The poll done by Today’s Chanakya predicted that Congress will get 57-66 seats in Chhattisgarh with BJP getting 33-42 seats with 0-3 seats going to the others.

Chhattisgarh went to the polls in two phases on November 7 and 17 and the counting of votes, along with that in the other four states, will take place on December 3.

The exit poll predictions came after polling concluded in Telangana, the last of the five states that went to polls this month.

In 2018, the Congress won 68 seats in Chhattisgarh and the BJP won 15 seats. Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) won five seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party won two seats. (ANI)

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Padosan Saira Banu

Film For All Occasions, Ages: Saira Celebrates 55 Years Of Padosan

As the iconic movie ‘Padosan’ completed 55 years, veteran actor Saira Banu recalled working in the movie and shared her shooting experience with Sunil Dutt, Mehmood and Kishore Kumar.

She took to her Instagram handle and wrote, “We are talking about one of the most favourite films of my career, mine, and the public in general. It is ‘PADOSAN’, a film for all occasions and ages. I am glad that I did this because I had refused any work soon after my marriage. It was understood that I would not be carrying on with a professional career.”

Banu continued, “It was then that Mehmood Bhai as he had earlier approached me for this film came running to Sahib, hugged him close, and kept saying in a rhetorical tone ‘Yousuf Bhai you have to let Saira do this film for me. I will not let go of you until you say yes please please’ Sahab was tickled to the bone and kept repeating laughingly ‘Mehmood it is entirely up to Saira, You have to convince her. You have my absolute permission.”

Recalling further how the ace actor Mehmood approached legendary actor Dilip Kumar to allow her to be part of this film, she said, “At that time everyone knew that Sahib had shifted his venue of shooting to the South and Mehmood very considerately committed to Sahib that he would shoot the film in Madras with me to facilitate Sahib and I being together. This was the ‘Cherry on the Cake’ and I said Yes to PADOSAN. I am glad that unlike the dozens of films that I let go of PADOSAN and PURAB AUR PASCHIM were not one of them.”

The veteran actor added, “Mehmood Bhai shared scenes from the Tamil version of PADOSAN, and I laughed my guts out. We started shooting in Madras, and goodness it was a gathering of comedians, creating history with this film. The cast was so perfectly chosen that even I was initially surprised to see Dutt Saab as a simpleton ‘Gaonwalla’, I mean who could have imagined it? Dutt Saab would humorously say, ‘Sairaji Yeh Kyaa Hain, Yeh Hum Kyaa Kar Rahein Hain? Hamein Toh ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ May Kaam Karna Chahiye, Something Romantic and Glamorous.”

She concluded with, “Until PADOSAN, I hadn’t worked with Dutt Saab, who turned out to be lively and funny. On the contrary, Kishore ji was a very subdued gentlemanly star who would get up from his seat respectfully as soon as any Lady walked in. The shooting was a killer. I used to laugh uncontrollably so much that the Unit would turn off all the lights and say ‘Ruk Jao, Abhi Madam Hass Rahin Hain’. It was that difficult for me to stop. Later, I will be sharing anecdotes about PADOSAN that are both funny and interesting.#55YearsToPadosan”

Directed by Jyoti Swaroop, the musical comedy film ‘Padosan’ was released in 1968. It featured Sunil Dutt and Saira Banu in lead roles along with Mehmood, Kishore Kumar, Mukri, Raj Kishore and Keshto Mukherjee. The film was produced by Mehmood and N C Sippy.

The film was a remake of the Bengali film ‘Pasher Bari’, which was based on a short story of the same name by Arun Chowdhury starring Bhanu Bandyopadhyay and Sabitri Chatterjee. (ANI)

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Telangana elections

Jagapathi, Rajamouli Cast Their votes in Telangana Elections

Telugu actor Jagapathi Babu was spotted outside the Film Nagar Cultural Centre polling station in Hyderabad after casting a vote.

He posed for the media after casting his vote.

Several celebrities cast their respective votes for the Telangana Election 2023.

Renowned filmmaker SS Rajamouli also posted a selfie of himself and his wife Rama Rajamouli on his social media handle.

Taking to X, he wrote, We did? DID YOU? Be a proud voter..”

The polling began amid elaborate arrangements in all 119 Assembly constituencies in Telangana on Thursday morning. Voting began at 7 am and will conclude at 5 pm.

As many as 2,290 candidates from 109 national and regional parties including 221 women and one transgender are in the fray.

Their fate will be decided by a total of 3.17 crore voters.

A total of 103 legislators are re-contesting this time, most of them from the ruling Bharat Rasthra Samithi (BRS).

Voters would exercise their franchise at 35,655 polling stations set up across the state.

For the first time in Telangana, a home voting facility is being provided to persons with disabilities and voters above 80 years of age.

Home voting for citizens aged over 80 years and persons with disabilities has also been made available, with about 27,600 voters enlisted to avail of the service on Thursday. About 1,000 other voters have also registered for the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System.

Talking about Veeramachaneni Jagapathi Chowdary professionally known as Jagapathi Babu works mainly in Telugu cinema. He also appeared in Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Kannada films. Babu made his debut in Telugu with the movie ‘Simha Swapnam’. He worked in a number of films and received numerous awards and accolades.

He has worked with directors like Kodi Ramakrishna, S. V. Krishna Reddy, Ram Gopal Varma, Krishna Vamsi, E. V. V. Satyanarayana, Gunasekhar, Chandra Sekhar Yeleti, Siva, A. M. Rathnam, K. Raghavendra Rao, Radha Mohan, Mohan Raja, J. D. Chakravarthy, Boyapati Srinu, Trivikram Srinivas, Vysakh and Sukumar.

SS Rajamouli’s action drama film ‘RRR’s power-packed song ‘Naatu Naatu’ won the Oscar for ‘Original Song’ beating heavyweight contenders like Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

Before entering the Oscars, the song bagged awards on the global stage. In January, ‘Naatu Naatu’ won the Golden Globes in the ‘Best Original Song’ category. Five days later, ‘RRR’ bagged two more awards at the 28th edition of the Critics Choice Awards. One is for the best song and another is for the ‘best foreign language film’.(ANI)

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BSF Pakistan

Pak Rangers Were Totally Unexplainable, Warned Them: BSF DG

Pakistan Rangers were “totally unexplainable” and gave excuses when confronted on violating the ceasefire agreement in Samba on November 9, in which a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed, Border Security Force (BSF) Director General (DG) Nitin Agarwal said on Thursday.

Speaking to ANI on the sideline of the annual press conference the BSF chief said, “Our job is to retaliate every time they (Pakistan Rangers) fire, and we do that. We did it on these three occasions.”

“Our effort is not to create provocation. We don’t provoke. If they fire at us, we definitely return the fire. So, that’s what we did,” Agarwal said.

In the flag meeting, the DG said, “We made it clear that we are not going to tolerate this.”

“You (Pakistan Rangers) must not do this. This was an International Border. This was not even LC. So, it was totally unexplainable why they fired. Probably, they must have some internal issues for which they were trying to gain some accolades in terms of Army victory or something like that,” the BSF chief mentioned.

Asked if any precautionary measures were being taken after the ceasefire violation to avoid casualties, Agarwal said, “We are sometimes exposed to the enemy in our movement in the camp, in the Border Outposts. We are trying to minimise that. We don’t present any opportunity to them.”

Addressing the press conference, he also said, “The jury is still out on why they violated the ceasefire. When we raised the issue with them (Pak Rangers) during a flag meeting, they did not have answers and gave excuses.”

Agarwal said a befitting response was given to the unprovoked firing resulting in casualties on the Pakistani side.

“We gave a befitting reply to the unprovoked firing and there were casualties on the Pakistani side. I want to assure you that the border is completely secure,” he said.

Earlier, a BSF jawan, head constable Lal Fam Kima, was killed after Pakistan Rangers opened unprovoked firing from automatic weapons along the International Border (IB) in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district on November 9. This was the third major ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Ranger, since October 17. Overall, Pakistani forces have violated the ceasefire at least four times this year.

The BSF later lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan Rangers over the unprovoked firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and villages along the International Border.

The decision to recommit to the 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan was taken after a meeting between the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan on February 24-25, 2021.

In 2021, 72 such cross-border firing incidents were recorded at the international border and Line of Control (LoC), but most were before the two sides agreed to hold the ceasefire.

Prior to this, incidents of cross-border firing on patrolling troops, villagers, the Indian army and BSF forward posts were recorded every year in thousands. In 2020, close to 5,133 incidents of ceasefire violations- the highest since 2003, while 3,479 violations were registered in 2019 when the Indian government revoked Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir

Agrawal was speaking to reporters during the annual press meet at the Border Security Force camp in the Meru area of Hazaribag in Jharkhand on the eve of the 59th Raising Day of the force.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the BSF’s 59th Raising Day event in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh and take the salute of the ceremonial parade here on Friday. (ANI)

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Ram Temple Ayodhya.

Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir To Receive Special Soil From Thailand Before Consecration

In a gesture filled with cultural significance, Thailand is sending soil to the Ramjanmabhoomi ahead of the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

This act follows the earlier gesture of sending water from two rivers in Thailand to Lord Ram’s temple. This unique connection aims to strengthen the cultural ties between Thailand and India, said Swami Vigyanananand, founder and global chairman of the World Hindu Foundation (WHF) in an exclusive conversation with ANI.

In preparation for the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla on January 22, 2024, soil from Thailand is being sent to the sacred site of Ram Janmabhoomi. The initiative was taken by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) with Susheelkumar Saraff, President of the Thailand chapter of VHP, said Swami Vigyanananand.

The collaboration between the two nations is not limited to soil, Swami Vigyanananand said. He added, “India and Thailand have a strong cultural and historical bond. Kings belong to Lord Ram’s descendants. Every king here too has the title of Ram in their name which is an old tradition here, he said. Bangkok in Thailand is part of the Asian southeast country where rich Hindu cultural heritage exists that is why they planned to organise the World Hindu Congress here.

Swami Vigyanananand said, “We have identified 51 countries that will witness Lord Ram’s consecration at Ayodhya. Susheelkumar Saraff and I will be also be present in Ayodhya.”

Expressing his delight over the scheduled consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22 next year, Swami Vigyanananand, chief organiser of World Hindu Congress, told ANI that the ceremony will be telecast live in Bangkok and Hindus from across the globe will converge at the event, engaging in kirtans, bhajans, puja, and recitation.

“We have ordered prasad (food offered to the deity) from Ayodhya. A replica of the Ayodhya temple has been built here. We have also brought an image of the birthplace of Ram Lalla from Ayodhya. Copies of the image will be shared with all the delegates (attending the conference). The festive ambience in Ayodhya ahead of the consecration of the Ram temple should be spread across the world,” he added.

A famous city in Thailand was known as Ayutthaya, where its kings bore the title of ‘Ramatibodhi’ (“Lord Rama”). Ayutthaya has been linked to the context in which Ayodhya is mentioned as the capital of Lord Rama in the Ramayana. Ayutthaya, which was the capital of the Siamese rulers from 1351 AD, was looted and almost completely destroyed by the Burmese forces in 1767.

The name of the Thai religious text is Ramkeen, which has the same status as the Thai Ramayana. Ramanujan, who wrote the book ‘300 Ramayana’, has compared this book with Valmiki Ramayana. It is believed to have been composed afresh by King Rama I in the 18th century and the main villain in this book, Thotsakan, is like Ravana of the Hindu text. The ideal of Ram is depicted in the hero of this book, Phra Ram. However, now the remains of Thai Ayodhya are spread over a large area and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dr Suresh Pal Giri has been teaching in Thailand for 22 years. In an exclusive interview with ANI, he said, “I teach in a religious university in Thailand. The land on which you are standing is a part of the missing link of India. For some years, it was called Thailand, it is genetically Hindu and later with time, elements of Buddhism kept coming into Hinduism and it got mixed.”

He said that even after so many years, Lord Ram is worshipped in Thailand as well as in India. He said, “The similarity between India’s Ayodhya and Thailand’s Ayodhya is that we have not forgotten our ancestors, our existence and our traditions. Even after so many years, we still believe in Lord Ram and worship him in Thailand as well as in India. The king here had also built some Hindu temples in this city. Here, 35 kilometres away from Ayutthaya, there is a temple of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shankar. The city has a 3,000-year-old Hindu temple dedicated to the kings of India.” (ANI)

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