Mamata To meet Sonia Tomorrow

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in the national capital for the first time since her victory in the assembly elections, is likely to meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday.

The meeting will take place around 4:30 pm at Gandhi’s residence at 10 Janpath.
Banerjee landed in Delhi on Monday. Earlier today, she met Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Sharma said, “Mamata Banerjee and I have close ties as we have worked together for years. I appreciate her for how she fought the recent polls and won. She has come to Delhi for the first time after victory, so I came and had tea with her.”

Last week, Banerjee had said she will meet President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and leaders of Opposition parties during her two to three day stay in Delhi.

Briefing media persons, West Bengal Chief Minister had said, “I will go to Delhi during the Parliament session and meet some leaders there. I will meet the President and the Prime Minister if given an appointment.”

Banerjee’s visit during the ongoing Parliament’s Monsoon session holds significance as the Opposition is cornering the BJP-led NDA government on a range of issues including price rise, increasing cost of diesel and petrol, and issues related to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is also a standoff between the Centre and Opposition parties over several key issues including the alleged Pegasus snooping controversy and scrapping of farm laws. (ANI)

Harappan City Dholavira In Gujarat Named Heritage Site

Dholavira- a Harappan era city located in present day Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch has been added to the list of World Heritage Sites by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“Dholavira: A Harappan City, in #India, just inscribed on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List. Congratulations!” UNESCO tweeted on Tuesday.
Union Minister of Culture, Tourism G Kishan Reddy took to Twitter to inform that Dholavira is now the 40th treasure in India to be given the UNESCO’s World Heritage Inscription.

“It gives immense pride to share with my fellow Indians that #Dholavira is now the 40th treasure in India to be given @UNESCO’s World Heritage Inscription. Another feather in India’s cap as we now enter the Super-40 club for World Heritage Site inscriptions,” the minister tweeted.

He added, “Today is a proud day for India, especially for the people of #Gujarat. Since 2014, India has added 10 new World Heritage sites – one-fourth of our total sites. This shows PM @narendramodi’s steadfast commitment in promoting Indian culture, heritage and the Indian way of life.”

This comes days after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple in Telangana got inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the nation on the occasion and urged people to visit the ‘majestic Temple complex and get a first-hand experience of its grandness.’

With this successful nomination, India has 40 world heritage properties overall, which includes 32 cultural, 7 natural and one mixed property, a statement from the Minister of Culture, Tourism read.

Italy, Spain, China, Germany and France are the only other countries that have 40 or more World Heritage sites.

The Harappan city of Dholavira, is one of the very few well preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE. It is the sixth largest of more than 1,000 Harappan sites discovered so far.

Occupied for over 1,500 years, Dholavira not only witnesses the entire trajectory of the rise and fall of this early civilization of humankind, but also demonstrates its multifaceted achievements in terms of urban planning, construction techniques, water management, social governance and development, art, manufacturing, trading, and belief system.

With extremely rich artefacts, the well preserved urban settlement of Dholavira depicts a vivid picture of a regional centre with its distinct characteristics that also contribute significantly to the existing knowledge of Harappan Civilization as a whole. (ANI)

Names Of Doctors, Healthcare Workers To Be Sent For Padma Awards: Kejriwal

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the Delhi government has decided to send the names of doctors and healthcare workers for the Padma awards of this year.

During a press conference, Delhi Chief Minister said, “Delhi government has decided to send the names of doctors and healthcare workers for this year’s Padma awards. We want to tell them that we are thankful to them and we want to honour them.”
“The public will tell us these names. People can send their mails to padmaawards.delhi@gmail.com by August 15,” said Delhi Chief Minister.

He further confirmed that the Delhi government has formed a screening committee that will screen the names in the next 15 days and recommend the names to the Delhi government.

“We have made a screening committee that will screen the names in the next 15 days after that (after 15th August) and recommend names to the Delhi Govt. The final names will then be sent to the Central Government,” said Arvind Kejriwal.

Nominations and recommendations for the Padma Awards (Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri) can be submitted on the government’s portal till September 15, 2021.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged to nominate people for the awards.

Instituted in 1954, these awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year and seek to recognize ‘work of distinction’ and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields/disciplines, such as Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry etc.

All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards. Government servants including those working with PSUs, except Doctors and Scientists, are not eligible for Padma Awards. (ANI)

Indo-Russia Joint Military Exercise In Volgograd

The 12th edition of the Indo-Russia joint military exercise (INDRA) will be held at Volgograd city in Russia next month.

The 13-day exercise will commence on August 1.
The exercise will entail the conduct of counter-terror operations under the United Nations mandate by a joint force against international terror groups, said the Indian Army in a statement.

According to the Indian Army, 250 personnel from both nations will form part of the exercise.

“The Indian Army contingent comprising of a Mechanised Infantry Battalion underwent rigorous training at different locations in India to refine their drills for participation in the joint exercise,” the statement said.

Exercise INDRA-21 will further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability between the Indian and Russian Armies and enable sharing of best practices between the contingents of both countries, the army noted.

The exercise will be yet another milestone in strengthening security cooperation and will serve to reinforce the longstanding bond of friendship between India and Russia, it added. (ANI)

Assam-Mizoram Clash: Sarma Visits Injured Policemen

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday visited Silchar Medical College and Hospital to meet police personnel who were injured in the Assam-Mizoram border clash.

Himanta Biswa Sarma directed the doctors to ensure the best treatment to the injured police personnel and shift the seriously injured for better treatment by air ambulance on priority.
“Visited SMCH to meet injured police officials and directed doctors to ensure the best treatment to them. Asked to send seriously injured personnel for higher level treatment by air ambulance on priority Mins @TheAshokSinghal, @Pijush_hazarika; @DGPAssamPolice; Local MLAs accompanied,” tweeted the CM Biswa Sarma.

As many as six Assam Police personnel have died in an exchange of fire with their Mizoram counterparts, Assam Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.

Suklabaidya said that around 80 people were injured in the firing from the Mizoram’s side. “6 Assam Police personnel have died and around 80 people have been injured in the firing. There was no firing from our side. Firing from the Mizoram side was similar to that by the British at Jallianwala Bagh,” he added.

“A cordial talk with the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) was underway after some men came to our side of the border when the Mizoram side started firing suddenly. As much as I know, the firing continued for at least 30 minutes,” he further said.

Expressing disbelief, the minister said, “We fail to understand the reason behind the move. We live in the same country. They have to cross Assam to enter other Indian states; Assam acts as a corridor to them. Our people never had a bad attitude towards them and still, they did this, we are still shocked.”

A war of words ensued between Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and his counterpart from the neighbouring state Himanta Biswa Sarma after the clash which led the Home Minister to intervene.

In reply to the tweet, Assam Police said miscreants from Mizoram were indulging in stone-pelting and attacking Assam government officials stationed at Lailapur to protect Assam’s land from encroachment.

Assam CM Sarma also replied and shared a clipping and said a superintendent of police from Mizoram was asking Assam’s officials to withdraw from their post, failing which civilians from the neighbouring state would not stop the violence. He sought immediate intervention from the Home Minister Amit Shah and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

How can we run a government in such circumstances?” Sarma wrote.

Soon after, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga wrote to Sarma, “After a cordial meeting of CMs (chaired) by Shah, two companies of Assam Police with civilians lathi-charged and tear-gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today. They even overrun CRPF personnel/Mizoram Police.”

Zoramthanga shared another video with which he wrote that an innocent couple were “manhandled and ransacked by thugs and goons” on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar in Assam. “How are you going to justify these violent acts?” he wrote.

Mizoram CM Zoramthanga said that border disputes in the northeast are a legacy of the colonial era and lasting peace between states is important for further development of the region. (ANI)

Rakul Off To Bhopal For ‘Doctor G’ Shoot

Bollywood actor Rakul Preet Singh has headed to Bhopal to start shooting for her next, an out and out entertainer titled ‘Doctor G’, directed by Anubhuti Kashyap.

The ‘Yaariyan’ actor flew out of Mumbai on Tuesday to shoot in Bhopal. The actor also shared a glimpse of her travelling on her Instagram Story.

The upcoming movie also stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Shefali Shah. For the first time, Ayushmann, Rakul, and Shefali will share screen space together which has certainly piqued the curiosity of the viewers.

On a related note, Ayushmann has already commenced the Bhopal schedule of ‘Doctor G’. The actor flew to the city of lakes on July 12 and has been actively sharing the glimpses from the shoot on his Instagram handle since then.

The upcoming movie will be based on a campus of a medical institute. While Ayushmann will be playing the role of Dr Uday Gupta, Rakul will be seen as Dr Fatima, a medical student who plays Ayushmann’s senior in the film.

Anubhuti, who is director Anurag Kashyap’s sister, will be making her debut as a feature film director with the upcoming project. She has in the past directed the dark comedy mini-series ‘Afsos’ and the critically-acclaimed short film ‘Moi Marjaani’.

The film has been written by Anubhuti, Sumit Saxena, Vishal Wagh, and Saurabh Bharat. In December, Ayushmann had announced the film with a photo of himself posing with the script of the movie. This marks Ayushmann’s third collaboration with Jungalee Pictures, after Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017) and Badhaai Ho (2018).

Apart from ‘Doctor G’, Rakul will also be seen in Ajay Devgn’s ‘MayDay’, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan. Rakul will play the role of a pilot in ‘MayDay’, which is slated to release on April 29, 2022. Rakul also has another movie titled ‘Thank God’, co-starring Ajay Devgn and Sidharth Malhotra, in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, Ayushmann has several upcoming projects in his kitty including ‘Anek’ and ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’. (ANI)

‘Shilpa Was In Tears, Argued With Kundra During Raid’

Hungama 2 Actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra has a huge argument when the Crime Branch raided their home in connection with the pornography racket case, following which the actress broke down in tears saying she was unaware of her husband’s actions, said Mumbai Police sources on Monday.

“The day crime branch took Raj Kundra to his Mumbai home for the searches, the Shilpa Shetty was questioned too. Shilpa was very upset after the interrogation. She and Kundra had a huge argument where she shouted and asked him what was the need of doing such a thing and why he did everything. The Crime Branch team had to intervene between the couple to pacify the actress,” the sources said.

They informed that Shetty broke down in front of the cops and told them that Kundra had kept her in dark about the content of the app and she did not know anything.

“Shattered Shilpa told Kundra that due to his actions the family name is getting defamed and their endorsements in the industry are being cancelled and the family is facing huge financial losses. She asked him what was the need of doing such things when they achieved a standing in society,” the sources in Mumbai police added.

Giving more details about the case, the Sources informed that Kundra was anticipating his arrest after the property cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested nine people in the connection with the pornography racket case in March.

“Kundra had changed his phone in March so that no data can be recovered. When Crime Branch officials asked him about his old phone, he told them he threw it away. Police believe that the old phone contains many important pieces of evidence and is looking for it,” said sources.

They added that investigation has revealed that Kundra has a ‘Plan B’ ready to escape the investigation on the case.

Meanwhile, Crime Branch has appointed a financial auditor to probe the money trail of Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty and their alleged involvement in the pornography racket case.

“In the investigation, the Crime Branch has found transactions worth crores were done from the joint account of Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra. The Crime Branch suspects that the earnings from ‘Hotshots’ and ‘Bolly Fame’ app used to come into this account,” said the sources.

They added that police is also probing whether money earned from the apps was being invested in bitcoins.

Meanwhile, the police custody of Raj Kundra and Ryan Thorpe is ending on Tuesday, and as per the sources, Crime Branch will seek the extension of their custody from the court today.

Earlier on Sunday, police had informed that four employees of Kundra have turned witnesses against him in the pornography racket case, increasing troubles for him.

Kundra was arrested by the Mumbai Police late on July 19 along with 11 other people on charges related to the alleged creation of pornographic films and will remain in the custody of the Mumbai Crime Branch till July 27.

The property cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch on Sunday summoned Television actor and model Gehana Vasisth and two other people for questioning in connection with a pornography case.

Meanwhile, investigating the porn film case, Mumbai Police Crime Branch has found a hidden cupboard in Kundra’s Viaan and JL Stream office in Mumbai’s Andheri during searches.

As per sources, Kundra will soon face money laundering and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) cases against him as Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to register cases under these Acts against him.

Currently, the case involves the alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps.

Kundra has been named as the key conspirator by the Mumbai Police which has slapped charges against him under Sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention), 292 and 293 (related to obscene and indecent advertisements and displays) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides relevant sections of the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act. (ANI)

Clashes At Mizoram Border Leaves 6 Assam Cops Dead

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday informed that six jawans of Assam Police have lost their lives while defending the constitutional boundary of state at the Assam-Mizoram border.

This came amid tensions between two states over the border dispute.

Expressing condolences, Sarma wrote on Twitter, “I am deeply pained to inform that six brave jawans of Assam Police have sacrificed their lives while defending constitutional boundary of our state at the Assam-Mizoram border. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.”

The border dispute between Assam and Mizoram seems to have been resolved after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday spoke to Chief Ministers of both states asking them to resolve the crisis, sources said.

A war of words ensued between Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and his counterpart from neighbouring Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma as the former urged Home Minister Shah to look into the matter and immediately end this crisis.

During his two-day trip to Meghalaya last weekend, Shah had held a closed-door meeting with chief ministers of the northeast states.

A clipping shared by Zoramthanga on Twitter showed police trying to stop a clash among men armed with sticks.

In reply to the tweet, Assam Police said miscreants from Mizoram were indulging in stone-pelting and attacking Assam government officials stationed at Lailapur to protect Assam’s land from encroachment.

In reply, Sarma shared a clipping and said a superintendent of police from Mizoram was asking Assam’s officials to withdraw from their post, failing which civilians from the neighbouring state would not stop the violence. He too sought immediate intervention of Shah and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). (ANI)

Manipur Govt To Appoint Mirabai Chanu As Additional SP

Manipur Government on Monday decided to appoint Olympic silver medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu as Additional Superintendent of Police (Sports) in the police department.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh made the announcement during the inspection of the installation of the cryogenic oxygen plant at Porompat and the construction of COVID hospital by DRDO at Kyamgei on Monday.
“Mirabai Chanu would also be rewarded with Rs 1 crore as announced by the government,” he told media persons.

He also said Olympian Judoka Likmabam Sushila Devi would be promoted from the post of Constable to Sub-Inspector.

The Chief Minister said that all the participants would be given Rs 25 lakh each. He also said the state government had decided to establish a world-class weightlifting academy in the state soon.

Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on Monday returned to India after a spectacular show in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. The silver medallist underwent a mandatory RT-PCR test at the Delhi airport.

Chanu received a warm welcome as the staff at the Delhi airport cheered for her upon her arrival from Tokyo.

Chanu had opened India’s medals tally on Saturday as she bagged a silver in the Women’s 49kg category at Tokyo International Forum.

She lifted a total of 202 kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) during her four successful attempts across the competition. (ANI)

India Deploys New Cameras, Sensors At LAC With China

Along with the help of satellites and drones, Indian security forces are also creating a network of surveillance cameras and sensors to keep a close watch on the Chinese Army along the Line of Actual Control.

“A number of these new cameras and sensors have been deployed along the Line of Actual Control from Eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh to keep a track of adversary’s activities”, government sources told ANI here.
“The high resolution unattended or remote-controlled cameras help in keeping a close watch on activities in far-flung areas and locations and also give time to ground troops to reach there,” they said.

The sources said the surveillance network comprising these cameras and sensors is helping the ground commanders respond swiftly to situations there.

The Indian Army had highlighted the need for creating this surveillance network in a briefing to a parliamentary committee to keep a close watch on the Chinese actions there.

Meanwhile, India and China are expected to hold the 12th round of talks any time now to discuss the resolution of issues at the Gogra Heights and Hot Springs friction points.

The Indian security forces and establishment have been asking China to solve the issue first before taking upon other points like de-escalation.

The issue of the Charding Nullah area is also expected to be taken up for discussions in future meetings as the Chinese have put up tents there and not vacating the positions despite Indian requests.

Army sources maintain that a status quo remains in place in the Charding Nullah area the issue which started a couple of years ago.

However, sources said the Chinese have increased the number of tents in the Charding Nullah area around 10 but they have reduced it again.

The Chinese have been talking to India after their aggressive manoeuvres last year, but not much has been achieved other than partial withdrawal along the banks of the Pangong Tso Lake. (ANI)