ਮੁੱਖ ਖ਼ਬਰਾਂ 

Army back in violence-hit Darjeeling

Kolkata - The Army was today called in, the second time in 30 days, as Darjeeling and neighbouring Sonada erupted after the body of a youth was recovered in Sonada. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, blaming the BJP-led Union Government for the crisis, said if enough CRPF companies had been made available to the state in time, violence would not have occurred in the hills.
“There is total non-cooperation from the Centre”, she alleged at a press conference here. “The Union Government did send seven companies of central forces after trouble broke out in Darjeeling, but six of the seven companies had inherent limitations as these consisted of three companies each of SSB and women CRPF personnel,” she said.
Pointing out that personnel of the SSB and women CRPF were not geared up for the job at hand, Mamata said this only showed that “there was a deliberate attempt” by the Centre to deny her help. She announced a judicial inquiry into the communal violence in Baduria and Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district as well as a probe to ascertain who was responsible for the death of a young man at Sonada on Friday night.
Young Tashi Bhutia’s body was found at Sonada this morning with bullet wounds. The Gorkha National Liberation Front, which had earlier spearheaded the movement for Gorkhaland but was reduced to a fringe force following the emergence of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), claimed that the deceased was one of its activists. “Another Gorkha martyred. Tashi Bhutia alias Khitta, a Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) cadre,  was last night martyred by CRPF in Sonada @ around 11 PM”, Neeraj Zimba Tamang, GNLF spokesman, posted on his Facebook page.
Residents of Sonada took out a procession with Bhutia’s body and clashed with the police who used tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the mob. Miscreants set afire the waiting room of the Sonada railway station — a heritage station on the Siliguri-Darjeeling toy train route. In Darjeeling, Gorkhaland supporters set ablaze an office of the ruling Trinamool Congress and clashed with the police at Chowkbazar. One person was reportedly killed in the violence.  The Army was first deployed in Darjeeling on June 8 and withdrawn on June 24, much to the chagrin of the CM.

Amid 'escalated' North Korea threat,

US carries out missile drill with S Korea

Washington - The US on Wednesday confirmed that North Korea test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time and warned of an "escalated threat" from Pyongyang, while carrying out a joint missile drill with South Korea in response.
In the show of strength that followed the ICBM launch by the hermit nation, US and South Korean soldiers fired missiles into the latter's territorial waters yesterday to showcase their "precision fire capability", chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said.
According to a statement by US forces in South Korea, the exercise "utilised the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and the South Korea's Hyunmoo Missile II, which fired missiles into territorial waters of South Korea along the East Coast."                
The Pentagon said that America's commitment to the defence of its allies in the region -- South Korea and Japan -- in the face of threats is "ironclad".
"The launch continues to demonstrate that North Korea poses a threat to the United States and our allies. Together with the Republic of Korea, we conducted a combined exercise to show our precision fire capability," White said.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who confirmed the launch in a statement, said America would never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.
"The United States strongly condemns North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world," Tillerson said.
The US has also requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which is expected to take place today.
"We intend to bring North Korea's provocative action before the UN Security Council and enact stronger measures to hold the DPRK accountable," Tillerson said.
He also called for "global action" to stop a "global threat".
"The US seeks only the peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the end of threatening actions by North Korea," he added.
At a White House event, US President Donald Trump, without mentioning North Korea, said that the US will handle its challenges. "We do have challenges, but we will handle those challenges. Believe me.

Barack Obama urges world to stand against

‘aggressive nationalism’

Jakarta (Indonesia) - Former United States President Barack Obama has called on the world to stand up for tolerance, moderation and respect for others, while warning that sectarian politics could lead to chaos and violence.
In a freewheeling speech in Indonesia on Saturday, Obama said some countries had adopted “an aggressive kind of nationalism” and “increased resentment of minority groups”, The Guardian reports.
“It’s been clear for a while that the world is at a crossroads. At an inflection point,” Obama said, telling a Jakarta crowd stories of how much the capital had improved since he lived there as a child, in what could be seen as a commentary on the US as well as Indonesia.
“If we don’t stand up for tolerance and moderation and respect for others, if we begin to doubt ourselves and all that we have accomplished, then much of the progress that we have made will not continue,” he added.
“What we will see is more and more people arguing against democracy, we will see more and more people who are looking to restrict freedom of the press, and we’ll see more intolerance, more tribal divisions, more ethnic divisions, and religious divisions and more violence.” Obama was born to a Kenyan father and an American mother. The family moved to Jakarta in 1967 when he was six, and stayed for four years.

No country questioned surgical strikes,

Modi tells diaspora in US


Washington - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the surgical strikes carried out across the LoC proved that India would not hesitate to take the toughest measures to defend itself, while noting that no country in the world had questioned it--an apparent swipe at Pakistan.
Addressing Indian-Americans at a reception in Virginia, Modi asserted that India had been successful in convincing the world about “the face of terrorism that is destroying peace and normal life” in the country.
“When we talked of terrorism 20 years back, many in the world said it was a law and order problem and didn’t understand it. Now terrorists have explained terrorism to them, so we don’t have to,” he said.
Modi said the surgical strikes demonstrated that India, which normally followed the principle of restraint, could also defend its sovereignty and ensure its security when needed.
“When India carried out the surgical strikes, the world realised the our strength and saw that while we exercise restraint, when the need arises, India can also show its strength and might in dealing with terror and protecting itself,” he said to thunderous applause from the diaspora.
India conducted surgical strikes on terror pads across the Line of Control on September 29 last year, 11 days after the Uri attack which claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.
The Prime Minister said the world could have put India in the dock for carrying out the attack across the LoC.
“But for the first time, not one nation in the world raised a single question, about India’s major step to conduct the surgical strikes against terror camps on Pakistani soil.”
“It is a different matter for those who had to suffer due to the surgical strikes,” Modi said, taking another jibe at Pakistan, amid laughter from the audience.
The Prime Minister had some choice barbs for China as well, saying India did not believe in disturbing the global order to achieve its goals. “This is India’s tradition and culture,” he noted, apparently referring to China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.
“We are bound by international law because that is our character and nature. For us the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam--the world is one family--are not just words. This is our nature and character,” he said.
The Prime Minister said India, while following international laws and norms, is also capable of taking the “toughest of steps for our sovereignty, security, peace, our people and progress”.
“Whenever the need arises we have done it and the world will never be able to stop us,” he said.

J&K police officer lynched outside mosque in Srinagar


Srinagar - A deputy superintendent of police was stripped naked and stoned to death by an irate mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people, who caught him clicking pictures near a mosque in downtown area in the early hours of Friday.
The police officer identified as Mohammed Ayoub Pandit was on duty when the mob attacked him, a police spokesman said.
Earlier, police sources had said that Pandit was seen moving around by people near Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area at 12.30 am.
He was allegedly clicking pictures of people while they were coming out of the mosque.
They said people tried to catch Pandit who allegedly fired several shots from his pistol, injuring three people.
The irate mob then caught hold of him and stripped him naked before stoning him to death, sources said.
His body was taken to the police control room for identification and other legal procedures, they said, adding that the situation in the old city had turned tense following the incident.
The mob went on a rampage targeting empty security pickets erected in the area.
Police reinforcements were rushed in to restore normalcy in the area.
Muslims across Kashmir are observing Shab-e-Qadr (the night of power) with night-long prayers and supplications being made inside the mosques and shrines of the Valley.
Authorities have already announced restrictions on movement of people in seven police station areas of the city as a precautionary measure.
The restrictions were announced to maintain law and order as separatists had called for protests after the Friday prayers against the killing of a civilian during protests in Kakapora area of Pulwama district on Thursday.

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