Pakistani, Iranian Crew Thank Indian Navy For Saving Them From Pirates

Pakistani, Iranian Crew Thank Indian Navy For Saving Them From Pirates

Pakistani and Iranian crew have thanked the Indian Navy for saving them from Somali pirates in recent days. The Indian Navy has released video of the anti-piracy operation and how they saved the crew members and captured the hijackers.

A member of the rescued Pakistani-Iranian crew explained how pirates dumped their weapons after seeing the Indian Navy. Warning shots were fired by Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra during the anti-piracy mission, according to Indian Navy. The video shared by the Indian Navy on the social media platform X showed disarmed pirates.

In the video, a member of the rescued Pakistani and Iranian crew said, “We were held by Somali pirates. Then, Somali pirates got scared seeing Indian Navy.” The rescued Pakistaqni and Iranian crew said, “Thank you Indian Navy for saving our lives.”

The Indian Navy spokesperson stated that the Indian Navy remains committed to maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

In a post on X, Indian Navy spokesperson stated, “#IndianNavy remains committed to #MaritimeSecurity in the #IndianOceanRegion, in keeping with @PMOIndia’s vision of #SAGAR. Indian Naval warships mission deployed in the #IOR are ensuring security against all #maritime threats, keeping our seas safe for mariners of all nationalities.”

The Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra thwarted the piracy attempt on an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Al Naeemi sailing off the East Coast of Somalia and successfully rescued 19 Pakistani nationals on Monday, the Indian Navy said in an official statement.

INS Sumitra, Indian Navy’s indigenous offshore patrol vessel had been deployed for anti-piracy and maritime security operations East of Somalia and Gulf of Aden. On January 28, warship on PM 28 Jan 2024 had responded to a distress message regarding hijacking of an Iranian flagged Fishing Vessel (FV) Iman, which had been boarded by pirates and the crew taken as hostages.

The FV was intercepted by INS Sumitra and following the SOPs and coercive posturing the vessel and 17 Iranian crew were safely rescued in the early hours of January 29. FiV Iman was sanitised and released for onward transit.

Subsequently, INS Sumitra located and intercepted another Iranian flagged fishing vessel Al Naeemi, which had been boarded by pirates and her Crew (19 Pakistani Nationals) taken hostage.

On January 29, INS Sumitra intercepted the fishing vessel 29 Jan 2024 and through coercive posturing and deployment of her integral helo and boats compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel. The ship also undertook confirmatory boarding to sanitise and to check on the well-being of the crew who were held captive by the Somali pirates.

In a statement, the Indian Navy had stated, “INS Sumitra, over the course of less than 36 hours, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts has rescued two hijacked Fishing Vessels along with 36 Crew (17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani) in Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nm West of Kochi, and prevented misuse of these Fishing Vessels as Mother Ships for further acts of Piracy on Merchant Vessels.”

Indian Naval Ship Sumitra, having thwarted the Piracy attempt on FV Iman, has carried out yet another successful anti-piracy operation off the East Coast of Somalia, rescuing Fishing Vessel Al Naeemi and her Crew (19 Pakistani Nationals) from 11 Somali Pirates.

INS Sumitra, Indian Navy’s indigenous Offshore Patrol Vessel had been deployed for Anti-Piracy and Maritime Security Operations East of Somalia and Gulf of Aden. The warship on PM 28 Jan 2024 had responded to a distress message regarding hijacking of an Iranian flagged Fishing Vessel (FV) Iman, which had been boarded by pirates and the crew taken as hostages. The FV was intercepted by INS Sumitra and following the SOPs and coercive posturing the vessel and her Crew (17 Iranian Nationals) were safely rescued in the early hours of 29 Jan 2024. FV Iman was sanitised and released for onward transit.

Earlier, ithe Indian Navy’s mission-deployed guided missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, on January 18 addressed a distress call from the Marshall Island-flagged MV Genco Picardy following a drone attack on the night of January 17. (ANI)

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Jharkhand: Hemant Soren Resigns, Loyalist Champai Soren To Take Over

Jharkhand: Hemant Soren Resigns, Loyalist Champai Soren To Take Over

Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Chief Hemant Soren resigned on Wednesday evening after over six hours of questioning by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the alleged land scam case.

Champai Soren, the state transport minister and a loyalist of Hemant Soren, will step into his role as the Chief Minister.

“Hemant Soren has resigned from the post of CM. We have the support of 47 MLAs and have proposed to form a new government. Champai Soren will be our new Chief Minister. We have not been given time for swearing in…” Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam said while speaking to media.

Hemant Soren met Governor CP Radhakrishnan at Raj Bhawan and submitted his resignation.

Meanwhile, the JMM leaders confirmed that Soren is in ED custody.

“The CM is in ED custody. The CM has gone to the governor with the ED team to submit his resignation. Champai Soren will be the new Chief Minister… We have enough numbers,” JMM MP Mahua Maji told reporters.

Champai Soren, the state transport minister, is a seven-time MLA and he represents the Seraikella constituency in Jharkhand. Before joining the JMM, he was an independent MLA.

He actively participated in the movement for the separate statehood of Jharkhand and rose to prominence during that movement. Later, Champai came to be known as the ‘Tiger of Jharkhand’.

“We have chosen Champai Soren as the leader of the Legislative Party. We came to the Raj Bhawan to request the governor for the oath ceremony,” JMM leader and state minister Banna Gupta told reporters.

Earlier in the day, a team of ED officials arrived at the residence of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren for questioning in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

As per sources, the ED had issued a fresh summons to Soren, asking him to be available for questioning on January 29 or 31, or else the agency itself will go to him for questioning. This is the tenth summons issued to the Jharkhand Chief Minister, by the ED.

There was heavy police deployment around the Chief Minister’s residence in Ranchi. Meanwhile, section 144 was imposed within a radius of 100 metres outside the CM’s residence, Raj Bhavan and the ED office, amid the anticipation of protests, rallies and processions by the workers of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) against the action of the central agency on Chief Minister Soren.

Earlier in the day, the JMM workers gathered at Morabadi ground against the ED’s action. The workers were gathered in large numbers and were continuously chanting “Hemant Soren Zindabad”.

On Monday, officials from the ED had visited Soren’s residence in Delhi to question him. The central agency seized two cars and Rs 36 lakh but did not find the JMM leader.

Later, Soren, in a letter to the Enforcement Directorate, said he would record his statement before the agency officials at 1 pm on Wednesday, January 31, at his residence in Ranchi.

The Jharkhand chief minister alleged that questioning him at this time was more political and was meant to disrupt the functioning of his government.

According to the ED, CM Soren was questioned as a part of the probe into the ‘huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia’.

The probe pertains to huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by forging official records by showing ‘fake sellers’ and purchasers in the guise of forged or bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores. (ANI)

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Kartik Aaryan Wraps Up Shoot For 'Chandu Champion'

Kartik Aaryan Wraps Up Shoot For ‘Chandu Champion’

Actor Kartik Aaryan has finally completed shooting for his upcoming film ‘Chandu Champion’. After a tough 8-month shoot, he got to taste his favourite Rasmalai at the wrap-up party.

Kartik took to Instagram and shared a video of the wrap-up party from the sets.

In the video, Kabir Khan is seen feeding a spoonful of Rasmalai and wrapping up the shoot on sweet and fun mode.

Sharing the video, he wrote, “This RasMalai Tasted Like Victory !Finally eating sugar after a year !! After more than a year of intense preparation and 8 months of day-n-night shoots across the globe, today we complete the shooting journey of #ChanduChampion. And it couldn’t have been sweeter than my fav, Rasmalai – from the Man himself who carved this challenging path for me… you have been a profound inspiration Sir! @kabirkhankk. #SajidNadiadwala @wardakhannadiadwala#ItsAWrap #FeelingSad #FeelingGuilty #ChanduChampion#14thJune2024.”

As soon as the video was uploaded, fans chimed in the comment section.

Kabir Khan’s wife Mini Mathur wrote, “Mubarak ho!!! Arre samosa nahin khaya?”

One of the users wrote, “My mouth is watering watching this!! well done, can’t wait to watch it, Champion!”

Kartik has gone through an incredible transformation to get into the shape of his character in Chandu Champion and has prepared very hard for his titular character.

On Republic Day, Kartik treated fans with new look poster.

The ‘Shehzada’ actor shared a picture on Instagram and wrote, “Being a Champion is in every Indian’s blood… Jai Hind. Happy Republic Day #ChanduChampion.”

He can be seen wearing a uniform and a cap.

Helmed by Kabir Khan, ‘Chandu Champion’ is based on the extraordinary real-life story of a sportsman and his spirit of never giving up. Kartik will portray the character of Chandu.

‘Chandu Champion’ marks Kartik’s first collaboration with director Kabir Khan. The film is all set to hit the theatres on June 14.

Recently, on his birthday, Kartik also announced his new project with Karan Johar.

The untitled film will feature Kartik Aaryan in the lead, directed by Sandeep Modi and it is slated to release on August 15, 2025. The film is being backed by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and Ektaa Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms Ltd.

Taking to Instagram, Kartik wrote, “An unforgettable chapter of our glorious Indian history full of valour and sacrifice is now going to be part of my life a subject close to my heart… super proud and excited to embark on a new journey with the extremely talented @sandeep_modi and the powerhouse #karanjohar and @EktaaRKapoor.”

Apart from that, Kartik will also be seen in director Hansal Mehta’s upcoming film ‘Captain India’, director Anurag Basu’s next ‘Aashiqui 3’ and the horror comedy film ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3’. (ANI)

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Modi To Begin Two-Day Visit to Assam From Feb 3

Modi To Begin Two-Day Visit to Assam From Feb 3

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day visit to Assam after accepting their invitation beginning on February 3.

The visit assumes significance ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

CM Sarma said that during his two-day visit, PM Modi will lay the foundation stone and dedicate several welfare works worth over Rs 11,000 crore to the people.

In a post on social media platform X, he said, “I share this with immense joy that in a great honour for us Hon’ble Prime Minister
@narendramodi ji has gracefully accepted our invitation to visit Assam and spend a day with people here. Hon’ble PM will be in Guwahati on the 3rd and 4th of February to lay the foundation stone and dedicate several welfare works of over Rs11,000 crore to the people”.

The CM further said in his post that he chaired several preparatory meetings today ahead of his visit.

According to the reports, the Prime Minister will also address a mega public rally in Guwahati on February 4.

The Office of Assam’s Chief Minister said in a post on X that CM Sarma also reviewed all arrangements pertaining to the visit and directed officials to ensure its grand success.

The Office of Assam’s Chief Minister said in a post on X,” In view of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ‘s visit to Assam, HCM Dr @himantabiswa chaired a series of meetings with various departments at Lok Sewa Bhawan today. HCM reviewed all arrangements pertaining to the visit and directed officials to ensure its grand success.”(ANI)

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AAP-Cong To Move SC Against Chandigarh Mayor Election

AAP-Cong To Move SC Against Chandigarh Mayor Election

A day after the high drama witnessed in the Chandigarh Mayoral poll results, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress will move to the Supreme Court.

He also called the Chandigarh Mayoral poll “an example of murder of democracy.”

“Whatever happened yesterday is an example of the murder of democracy. The budget is coming tomorrow, let’s see what Punjab gets. Aam Aadmi Party Punjab and Congress will move to the Supreme Court against the mayoral election”, CM Mann said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the interim Union Budget on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the members of the Youth Congress staged a protest outside the Mayor’s office in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

There was a rift between the protestors and police at the spot.

Youth Congress workers were heard chanting the slogan ‘Bhrastachar band karo’ (Stop the corruption).

However, the police detained the protestors after a while.

A hearing was also held today in the Punjab Haryana High Court regarding tampering with the results of the Chandigarh Mayor election. In the Punjab Haryana High Court, Kuldeep Kumar, who was the mayoral candidate from the AAP and Congress, was being represented by Advocate General of Punjab Gurminder Gary. Advocate Anil Mehta was representing Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

After hearing this entire matter, Punjab Haryana High Court gave three weeks’ time to Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and Chandigarh Administration to file their reply in this matter. Now the next hearing of this matter will be on February 26.

The BJP’s Manoj Sonkar was declared the Mayor of Chandigarh on Tuesday after he won the mayoral polls with 16 votes against the 12 votes bagged by Congress-AAP candidate Kuldeep Tita. Eight votes were declared invalid.

Eight votes, which were declared invalid in the Chandigarh Mayoral polls, have led opposition leaders to raise allegations of rigging with Congress and AAP, attacking the BJP-led central government over the issue. (ANI)

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The West Is Blind To The Rest

The West Is Blind To The Rest

The global fault-lines, which have been ripped open after the ongoing genocide in Gaza, has been unparalleled in world history, especially in the recent past. For instance, western opinion and active participation consequent to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including the order of the International Court of Justice in Hague on Russia, has had no impact on Vladimir Putin.

The mindless war continues with thousands dead across both sides, many of them with shared families, cultures and memories, who fought the Nazis together during and after the Holocaust, and made massive sacrifices. More than 20 million people of Soviet Russia died fighting the fascists. Also, after the Russian invasion, if the heart of America, Britain, France and Germany beats so hard for Ukraine, whatever happened in Gaza?

Remember the ethnic-cleansing and repeated massacres of one community during the civil war in Serbia-Bosnia-Herzegovnia — this too was happening right inside the heart of Europe. It took the entire West months of deadpan detachment to act, before NATO unleashed its jet aircraft and bombs. Slobodan Milosevic, the Butcher of Serbia — was he punished in his lifetime? Many of these butchers were, ironically, former communists in Yugoslavia.

Come to think of it, till the time Adolf Hitler attacked Poland in 1939, America and Europe acted totally blind to the long convoys of trains taking millions of Jews to the gas-death chambers, zigzagging through Europe. They simply chose to look the other way, even while France and Britain pretended to be helpless after the extermination of most of their young men in the first world war, another mindless war where the League of Nations was as impotent, as has been the role of the United Nations during the NATO wars unleashed in Iraq and Syria, the American invasion of tiny Vietnam earlier, while backing dictators of sundry banana republics in Latin America.

Did anyone ever say that George Bush was a war criminal for the tens of thousands of Iraqis dead whereby they did not find one weapon of mass destruction in this insatiable American quest of ‘blood for oil’? And that Bush too should have been hauled up in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague like Ratko Miladic, for the mass murders he unleashed in what was former Yugoslavia? Or Hillary Clinton, for unleashing a relentless wave of destruction in Syria and the bestiality unleashed in the murder of Gaddafi in Libya?

Imagine the mass suffering, as a civil war erupted in Iraq, with the war splitting over to Syria unleashed by Clinton and Barack Obama, with entire communities of Yazidi women taken as sex slaves by the ISIS. Who were the patrons of ISIS and where did they get their arms? The American regimes and its allies have their best interests in keeping the pot boiling in the Middle-East till the time oil exists in its vast underground, and till the time Israel can be used as a strategic military force by the US.

ALSO READ: Gaza – Where Tears Have Run Dry

The ICJ did not order Israel to stop its armed assaults – it has asked it to stop its genocidal actions, thereby recognizing that it is a genocide and that the situation in Gaza is catastrophic. While it may take years to give a final judgement, it has largely followed the nine “provisional measures” demanded by South Africa. It is significant that South Africa which suffered an apartheid regime backed by the US and Britain, is now fighting another apartheid regime, backed by the US and Britain!

The 17 judges in Hague ordered that Israel should do everything in its power to avoid killing Palestinians, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, creating unlivable living conditions in, or intentionally preventing Palestinian births, which is a pointer to scores of children being killed due to the bombing of hospitals, the murder of doctors and nurses, and stark absence of medical facilities.

Pointing at the crass declarations by politicians, including Israel’s president and defence minister, calling for the elimination of all Palestinians, including children and women, branding the people of Gaza as animals, etc, the court said that Israel should do more to “prevent and punish” public incitement to genocide. The court ordered “immediate and effective measures” to look into the humanitarian catastrophe.

Isreal can disobey the order, but it is morally bound to obey it, even as it its government is totally isolated across the entire globe, while there have been huge protests in Tel Aviv asking Benjamin Netanyahu to quit. Indeed, the Hague ruling is unprecedented because it has created a huge public perception against Israel across the globe, and serious moral dilemma for the US, Britain, Germany and France, who are openly backing the mass murder of children in Gaza, with Joe Biden actually funding the bombings with millions.

Called ‘Genocide Joe’ now, even by his Democrat supporters, especially the millennials, and hitting 80, there have been massive protests in America (300,000 in Washington DC) and in Europe (half-a-million in London) – as well as in other nations. Even the caucus rally in South Carolina by a thoroughly discredited Kamala Harris had Palestinian flags in the audience.

Indeed, Jewish Groups for Peace in America have been the most vociferous against Netanyahu’s brand of Zionism, whereby he is using mythical narratives to unleash the savagery. The role of notorious Jewish lobbies, including among big business and multinationals, have been dissected publicly by activists, academics and journalists, especially that of the shadowy America Israel Pubic Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Not only does this outfit have tremendous power over various American regimes, both Republicans and Democrats, with their huge money resources and powerful connections, they can shape the destiny of the presidential polls in America. There are allegations that they are pumping in huge money to get those candidates defeated who have opposed the regime in Tel Aviv.

It is indeed a bad faith choice for Americans now, between two very old and unprincipled men who have discarded all values of basic humanity and ethics, and who seem untouched by the 10,000 dead children, the daily violation of international laws, the bombing of churches, mosques, schools, university campuses, refugee camps, hospitals, the killings of more than 100 journalists. They stand totally committed to the ultra-orthodox, Rightwing, extremist Israeli regime, and its barbarism in Palestine.

For a capitalist empire with vast inequalities and thousands of homeless on its big city streets in this freezing cold, the collective guilt and anxiety for its relentless mass murders across the globe – from Vietnam to Gaza – is a psychological epidemic. That thousands have consistently protested across its cities, especially women and the young, only shows that a regime which feeds on barbarism has no democratic credibility, and is as inhuman as any other totalitarian or fascist regime.

With all credit to the West and Europe for its resurrection of arts, architecture, classical music, cinema, academics and culture in the post-war scenario, its governments are most often followers of the Hobbesean principle – they are short, nasty, brutish and barbaric. And that they care a damn for democracy, higher civilizational values, and basic human conduct.

Hence, this high moral ground with which the white empire looks down at the Orientals, has been yet again exposed with its total endorsement of the genocide in Gaza. Yet again, it has taken 25,000 human beings to die by Hiroshima-Nagasaki type of bombing, including 10,000 plus children, and infinite suffering and injustice, to show the cracked, blood-stained mirror to these western empires.

Indeed, it is the people of these countries, now on the streets in mourning and in protest for Gaza – they must show the way. It’s time the West and America discovers a radical paradigm shift in its politics, and creates a new counter-culture of humane civilizational evolution, defying the medieval cruelties of the present and the past. Or else, it would continue to be Eyeless in Gaza and other endless stories of stark silence and barbarism!

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President Murmu Address to Parl: India Grew Fastest in 2023

President Murmu Address to Parl: India Grew Fastest in 2023

President Droupadi Murmu, addressing a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday, asserted that 2023 was a historic year for the country when it maintained the tag of being the fastest-growing major economy.

“The year 2023 was a historic year for India, when it grew the fastest among major economies despite global crisis. India grew about 7.5 per cent for two consecutive quarters,” she told the Parliament, on behalf of the central government.

The Indian economy grew 7.8 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively, during the April-June and July-September quarter of the current financial year 2023-24, thus remaining the fastest-growing major economy.

With her address marked the start of the Budget Session of Parliament. Subject to the exigencies of government business, the session may conclude on February 9.

This is President Murmu’s first address in the new Parliament building.

“…This is my first address in the new Parliament building. This grand building has been built at the beginning of the Amrit Kaal. This has the fragrance of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat’…This also has the resolve to honour democratic and parliamentary traditions. Besides this, it also has the resolve to build new traditions of the new India of the 21st century,” Murmu said.

“I am confident that there will be meaningful conversation on policies, in this new building,” the President said.

Speaking about her government, she said, “The achievements that we see today are the extension of the practices of the last 10 years. We heard the slogan of ‘Gareebi Hatao’ since our childhood. Today, for the first time in our lives, we see poverty being alleviated on a large scale.”

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the interim Union Budget on Thursday.

The last session before Lok Sabha polls expected to be held in April-May this year is to provide a total of eight sittings spread over a period of 10 days.

The interim budget typically takes care of the fiscal needs of the intervening period until a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls.

A day before the Session was set to start, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, at an all-party meeting, said the Budget session will mainly be devoted to the Financial Business relating to Interim Union Budget for the year 2024-25 and discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address.

However essential Legislative and other Business may also be taken up during this session. The all-party meeting was attended by 45 leaders from 30 political parties.

In addition, he also informed that Supplementary Demands for Grants for the Year 2023-24 in respect of the Union Government will be discussed and voted.

Presentation and discussion on Interim Budget of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for 2024-25 along with Supplementary Demands for Grants of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the financial year 2023-24 will also be taken up and voted. (ANI)

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Maliwal Begins Her Rajya Sabha Stint With Hanuman Temple Visit

Maliwal Begins Her Rajya Sabha Stint With Hanuman Temple Visit

Ahead of the start of the interim budget session, Aam Aadmi Party leader Swati Maliwal offered prayers in Hanuman Temple at Connaught Place, Delhi on Wednesday.

“Today, before taking oath in the Rajya Sabha, CP took blessings by bowing his head at the feet of Bajrang Bali at the ancient Hanuman temple. Jai Shri Ram, Jai Bajrang Bali,” Swati Maliwal posted on X.

The former Delhi Commission for Women chief will take the oath as a Rajya Sabha Member of AAP today.

“This budget should be such that it benefits the women, the farmers, the poor, the youth and also the middle class,” said Aam Aadmi Party leader Swati Maliwal.

Earlier on January 12, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members Sanjay Singh, Swati Maliwal and ND Gupta were elected unopposed as Rajya Sabha members.

After being elected Rajya Sabha MP, Swati Maliwal said that she would fulfil her duties with true devotion and honesty.

“A new responsibility is starting today. Thousands of women came today to encourage them. I assure all the people of Delhi that I will serve you with true devotion and honesty. Gratitude to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,” Swati Maliwal said.

The AAP leader has also called for the government to take special interest in issues relating to crimes against women.

“Women across the country are breaking all barriers and obstacles to move forward… Women’s safety is a burning issue in the country. Every hour, crimes against women and children are only increasing. It is my request to the central government to pay special attention to this issue and come up with a hard-hitting solution to this problem… If a person sitting at the helm of the government indulges in such crimes, they should be tried even more strictly. Additionally, I demand laws to protect domestic helpers from such crimes…” the AAP leader had said on the occasion of Republic Day.

The three candidates had filed their nominations on January 8 in the national capital.

AAP has renominated Sanjay Singh and ND Gupta for a second term, while Swati Maliwal, who was the former Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), has been sent to the Rajya Sabha for the first time. Swati Maliwal is replacing Sushil Gupta. (ANI)

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Dense Fog Continues To Disrupt Rail, Air Traffic in Delhi

Dense Fog Continues To Disrupt Rail, Air Traffic in Delhi

The national capital as well as the entire North Indian belt continued to be in the grip of severe cold and fog on Wednesday, with the minimum temperature in Delhi recorded at 10°C.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), very dense fog was reported in isolated pockets of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi while moderate fog was observed in isolated pockets of West Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

“The INSAT 3DR Image of 0530 hrs IST shows Dense Fog layer over South Punjab, Haryana & Delhi seen as white patch overlapped by Medium/High Clouds in Red Patches,” read a post on the IMD’s official X handle on Wednesday.

The central weather forecasting agency informed further that Delhi, which has been experiencing freezing cold over the last few weeks, recorded its lowest maximum temperature and second-lowest minimum temperature in the last 13 years this January.

A thick layer of fog enveloped the national capital as the city woke up another bitterly cold morning on Wednesday.

The weather agency predicted a wet spell over the Western Himalayan Region and adjoining plains till February 4, with the intensity peaking on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Light/moderate fairly widespread to widespread rainfall/snowfall very likely over Jammu,

Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan & Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

during next 6 days (30th January to 04th February) and decrease significantly thereafter,” the IMD posted on X.

In Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district on Wednesday, trees and houses were seen covered under a blanket of snow as it received fresh snowfall.

Met officials, meanwhile, forecast isolated heavy rainfall or snowfall over Kashmir Valley, Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday and Thursday.

It also predicted fresh snowfall in Devbhoomi–Uttarakhand–on Wednesday.

Strong surface winds of the order at 30-40 kmph are likely over Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi on Wednesday, according to the IMD.

Later, on Wednesday, the maximum temperature in Delhi is expected to go as high as 24°C while for the better part of the day, the mercury is likely to hover around the 11°C mark, the weather office informed, adding that residents in the national capital will also experience breeze at a speed of 3.66.

Meanwhile, visibility issues were reported from across the national capital as a thick fog descended on the city.

Visuals from multiple locations in Delhi showed locals on streets gathering around bonfires to keep warm.

Speaking to the ANI, a resident in the Red Fort area said commuters were facing hassles as buses were running late and, in some parts, public vehicles were hard to come by because of the bone-chilling cold outside.

“We are lighting bonfires to keep ourselves warm. I fear that this cold might persist well into February. Due to the heavy fog and icy cold, customer footfalls to my shack have come down to a trickle,” a shopkeeper said. (ANI)

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Raghav Refers Chandigarh Mayoral Unconstitutional

Raghav Refers Chandigarh Mayoral Unconstitutional

AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha on Tuesday termed the Chandigarh mayoral polls as “unconstitutional and illegal” while calling it an act of “deshdroh” (treason) and demanded action against the presiding officer and a criminal case against him.

He accused the BJP of “orchestrating” the hijacking of the polling after sensing its defeat in the election.

Raghav said first the presiding officer was made to fall ill and later BJP appointed its minority wing leader Anil Masih as the presiding officer.

“Victory of our alliance was certain, but sensing imminent defeat, the BJP hatched conspiracies. First, the presiding officer, who was to conduct polls on January 18, was made to fall ill. Thereafter an attempt was made to buy councillors of the AAP. When BJP’s ‘operation lotus’ failed, then they did fraud (in the mayoral polls),” said Chadha.

“BJP’s presiding officer did not allow any election agent of any party to come forward during counting of votes. Whenever counting takes place, election agents of parties are allowed to come. Then after the BJP’s presiding officer inked the ballot paper using his pen and then declared them invalid during the counting of votes,” he added further.

“It’s happened for the first time in the history of Chandigarh mayoral polls that, 8 of 36 votes were declared invalid,” said Raghav as he demanded an FIR against the presiding officer.

Chadha also talked of approaching the high court, seeking to set aside Tuesday’s “electoral fraud” and demanding action. He also said, “Otherwise people of this nation will lose faith in democracy”.

BJP’s Manoj Sonkar won the Chandigarh mayoral elections on Tuesday, the first election battle against the INDIA bloc by defeating the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Kuldeep Kumar.

Meanwhile, BJP secured 16 votes for its mayor candidate Manoj Sonkar and Kuldeep Singh, the joint candidate of Congress and AAP was able to manage 12 votes. 8 votes were declared invalid. (ANI)

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