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MIDDAY NEWS

1400 HRS

26th July, 2017


HEADLINES:
  • The nation is celebrating Kargil Vijay Diwas today; President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi salute the martyrs for their sacrifice.
  • Relief and rescue operations in full swing in flood-affected areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • External Affair Minister informs Lok Sabha that there is no evidence to prove that 39 Indians missing in Iraq are dead.
  • Four non-BJP ruled states move Supreme Court seeking to intervene in the hearing on whether Right to Privacy can be declared a Fundamental Right.
  • JD(U), RJD and BJP meeting with its legislators separately in Patna today amid controversy surrounding Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav.
  • At least 26 Afghan soldiers killed in a Taliban attack on a military base in Kandahar province.
  • And in Cricket, India begin Galle Test on a strong note; Cross the score of 200 with the loss of just 1 wicket; Shikhar Dhawan hits a ton.

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The nation is celebrating the 18th Anniversary of the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas' today. On  the 26th of July 1999, the Indian Army successfully took back its posts from Pakistan at a treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region, after fighting for 60 days. More than 500 Indian soldiers had sacrificed their lives.
Our correspondent reports that on the occasion,
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and three Chiefs of Services paid floral tributes to the martyred soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.

"The vijay diwas celebrates the emphatic victory against Pakistan and honours more than 500 war heroes who laid their lives in protecting the frontiers of the country.  Four Param Veer Chakras, nine Mahavir Chakras, 53 Veer chakras and other medals were awarded for the Kargil war heroes. At Drass War memorial in Jammu and Kashmir, Lt. Gen. D Anbu GOC-in-Charge Northern Command paid tributes to the martyrs and laid wreath Celebrations. At Drass War memorial, started on Monday during which various programs  were arranged.  In Himachal Pradesh, Several functions have been organized by BJP.  Opposition Leader and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal honoured Veer Naris and ex-servicemen for their services towards nation at a function in Hamirpur.  52 soldiers of different ranks from this small hill state sacrificed their lives during the war and two Param Veer Chakra's were given to soldiers from Himachal. TRIPTI SRIVASTAVA, NEWS DESK."

President Ram Nath Kovind today saluted the martyrs and their families for their sacrifice. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, the nation is grateful to the brave men and women of the armed forces who keep the country safe and secure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also remembered the brave soldiers who fought gallantly during the war. He said in a tweet that Kargil Vijay Diwas reminds as of India's military prowess and the great sacrifices the armed forces make while steadfastly keeping India safe.

<><><> 

Relief and rescue operations are on on a war footing in the flood-affected areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

In Gujarat, Army, Airforce, NDRF and other para-military forces are distributing food and other essential commodities in the marooned villages. A total of 53,000 people have, so far, been shifted to safer places. Around 500 villages, most of which are in Banaskantha district, have no power supply. Our correspondent reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas yesterday and announced an immediate assistance of 500 crore rupees.

"Gujarat Chief Minister has cancelled the weekly cabinet meeting today so that Ministers can monitor the relief and rescue works in the affected areas. Narmada Mahotsav and Swagat Online program scheduled on tomorrow also cancelled due to heavy rain and flood. The agencies engaged in relief and rescue operations are facing hurdles due to incessant rain and bad weather. Meanwhile, RSS and other social organisations have prepared the food packets and other relief materials and sent volunteers to the flood affected areas. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

In Rajasthan, Army and a team of NDRF are engaged in rescue work. Eight more deaths were reported in rain related incidents around the state yesterday. Water in most of the flood-affected areas has started receding after comparatively low rainfall. A part of the Narmada canal in Barmer district has been damaged following heavy rain. More from our correspondent:

"Several villages in the Barmer district are submerged under the water following damaged of a part of the Narmada canal which affected the normal life in the areas. The army and a team of NDRF reached the area for rescue work. Rain water from Jalore and Sirohi is flowing into the district through Luni, Sakudi and Bandi rivers. People living in villages and hamlets near the Luni river have been directed to move the higher altitudes. Administration has also shifted few families to safer places. Meanwhile, Northwestern railway has canceled a Ahmadabad-Agra fort train for today due to water logging under the tracks and several trains have been diverted. After a good rainfall across the state, majority of the big dams are almost full to the capacity. Murari Gupta, AIR News, JAIPUR."

<><><> 

The government today said, it cannot declare the 39 missing Indians in Mosul City of Iraq dead without any concrete evidences. Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, the government has been assured by the Iraqi Government that it will provide concrete information with evidences about their being alive or dead.

<><><> 

Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen VK Singh today said, India is committed to find an amicable resolution to the standoff in Doklam tri-junction acceptable to the concerned countries. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Mr Singh said, New Delhi is engaged with Beijing through diplomatic channels to maintain peace and tranquility in accordance with various bilateral agreements, MoUs, protocols and joint statements.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will visit China tomorrow to attend the BRICS meeting in Beijing. The two-day visit comes in the backdrop of ongoing standoff between India and China in the Doklam region. Indian and Chinese soldiers have been locked in a face-off at Doklam in Sikkim sector for over a month after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.

<><><> 

The Rajya Sabha today witnessed repeated adjournments in the pre-lunch session with opposition and treasury bench members clashing over certain remarks by Anand Sharma of the Congress. The opposition also took strong exception to the observations made by Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who said that some issues are being raised in the House only to get noticed by TV channels. The issue was again raised during the question hour with Kapil Sibal of the Congress observing that the government is denigrating the opposition.

However, Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari said the Deputy Chairman will look into the record.

<><><> 

Congress has demanded suspension of BJP MP Anurag Thakur for alleged filming of Lok Sabha proceedings. The Party also demanded revocation of its six suspended MPs.

<><><> 

Prasar Bharati has an overall shortage of talent and many of the sanctioned posts are vacant. This was stated by Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today. She said, based on the recommendation of Sam Pitroda Committee report, Prasar Bharati is in the process of conducting manpower audit to look into the issue.

<><><> 

Four non-BJP ruled states today moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in the ongoing hearing on the issue of whether the Right to Privacy can be declared as one of the Fundamental Rights under the Constitution. The states are Karnataka, West Bengal, Punjab and Puducherry. They took a stand opposite to the Central government which had said that Right to Privacy is a common law right and not a Fundamental Right. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the four states, initiated his arguments before a nine-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar, saying that in the light of technological advancement, the court is needed to take a fresh look on the Right to Privacy and its contours in the modern day.

<><><> 

The Supreme Court today refused to give any date for hearing on a plea seeking stay on the release of the movie Indu Sarkar. According to the plea, the movie, scheduled to be released this Friday, is full of concocted facts and is totally derogatory. The Bombay High Court had, on Monday, dismissed the plea to stay the Madhur Bhandarkar-directed movie on the 1975 Emergency.

<><><> 

In Bihar, JD(U), RJD and BJP are meeting with its legislators separately in Patna today amid the controversy surrounding Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav. JD(U) has issued whip to its legislators to attend the meeting called by party President and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his residence at 5:30 in this evening. They will discuss the ongoing political situation after an FIR was lodged by CBI against Tejaswi Yadav in a land graft case. Party sources said, the Chief Minister is likely to take a call on Tejaswi, who is the son of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad.
Meanwhile, Shiva Nand Tiwary, a close aide of Lalu Prasad, has threatened to expose all the wrong doings of Nitish Kumar if he takes any action against Tejaswi Yadav. Mr Tiwary said the Chief Minister has no moral right to talk about zero tolerance on corruption. He said Tejaswi will explain about the land graft case only before the CBI and the court.
While the RJD meeting is underway, Opposition BJP will meet in the evening.

<><><> 

Mohansinh Rathwa today took over as the leader of the Congress Legislative Party in Gujarat. Mr Rathwa is an MLA from tribal-dominated Chhota Udepur seat. He took charge as the leader of the opposition in the State Assembly in the presence of senior party leader Ahmed Patel, state party in charge Ashok Gehlot and others.

Mr Rathwa replaced Shankersinh Vaghela, who had resigned last week.

<><><> 

A day after a four-storey building collapsed in suburban Ghatkopar in Mumbai, Shiv Sena worker Sunil Shitap, who owned a nursing home on the ground floor of the building, was arrested today by the Mumbai Police after questioning. He was detained late last night. At least 17 people lost their lives in the building collapse incident. The search and rescue operations are underway. More from our Correspondent:

"Residents of the Ghatkopar’s ill-fated Sai housing society had alleged that the pillars of the building weakened after Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap, who owned a nursing home at the ground floor of the building carried out illegal renovation work in it. Shitap who was detained late last night has been arrested by the Mumbai police today after questioning. A case has been registered against Shitap for negligence and culpable homicide. He is likely to be produced in the court today. Meanwhile the Ghatkopar building collapse issue rocked the monsoon session of Maharashtra assembly on the third day today with the opposition forcing three adjournments while demanding an immediate discussion over the incident. The opposition also demanded a statement from the government over the accident on the floor of the House. The government, however, proposed to hold the discussion later in the afternoon. However, opposition parties refused to accept the suggestion and stuck to the demand for an immediate discussion over the incident. SWEETY JAIN, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."

<><><> 

In Afghanistan, at least 26 Afghan soldiers have been killed and 13 wounded in a Taliban attack on a military base in Kandahar province. Defence ministry today said militants attacked an army camp in Karzali area of Khakrez district of Kandahar last night. The Ministry said, the soldiers killed more than 80 insurgents. 

<><><> 

The World Muhajir Congress (WMC) has urged US administration to use all possible means to eliminate terrorist safe havens in Pakistan. In a memorandum submitted to the US Congress, the group said, Pakistan's military establishment has been systematically turning the country into a safe haven for religiously motivated terrorists. Muhajir is an Arabic-origin term used in Pakistan to describe Muslim immigrants, of multi-ethnic origin, and their descendants, who migrated from India after Partition.

<><><> 

In Cricket, India today began the first Test of the 3-match series against Sri Lanka at Galle on a strong note. They were 241 for 1, when reports last came in. Shikhar Dhawan has scored a ton and was at the crease on 160 with Cheteshwar Pujara on 62. Abhinav Mukund was the first wicket that fell. He was out for 12.

Earlier, India won the toss and opted to bat. All-rounder Hardik Pandya is making a debut for Team India today, while for the hosts, Danushka Gunathilaka is playing his first game.

<><><> 

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