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Norway ‘child abuse’: India wants child united with natural parents, says Sushma Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After an Indian woman from Norway wrote to Sushma Swaraj about her son being taken away by Norwegian authorities, the Minister of External Affairs has said that India will convey to the officials that it wants child’s restoration with its parents. Gurvinderjit Kaur, whose son has been taken away by the Norwegian authorities, had approached the Indian Embassy in Oslo seeking government’s intervention, following which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it will now chalk out the future course of action in the case. Kaur had approached the Indian government with the “formal written” request in this regard, BJP leader Vijay Jolly said.”Our Ambassador in Norway is meeting the Norwegian authorities today regarding Aryan. I refuse to accept that foster parents can take better care of the child than the natural parents. The foster parents are totally ignorant of the Indian culture and our food habits.”We want restoration of Aryan to his natural parents. This is our firm stand and Indian Ambassador will convey this to the Norwegian authorities,” she said.Kaur and her husband, who is a Norwegian national, have alleged that authorities in that country have taken away their 5-year-old son Aryan, also a Norwegian national, on a frivolous complaint of abuse. In its response, the Norwegian Embassy had asked for “restraint” in the case, assuring that it is being handled with “complete sensitivity and awareness”.According to Jolly, the Indian Ambassador “is slated to meet highly placed Norwegian officials in Oslo on December 27”. Jolly also maintained that according to the mother, the child is being “daily served porridge and bread while he is fond of Indian food”.This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse.In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway.The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents.In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill treatment of their children, 7 and 2 years. Later, they were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.With agency inputs.

NRI couple in Norway lose child’s curtody: Mother writes to govt; MEA to take action

New Delhi: The Indian woman, whose son has been taken away by the Norwegian authorities, has approached the Indian Embassy in Oslo seeking government’s intervention, following which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it will now chalk out the future course of action in the case.

Gurvinderjit Kaur has approached the Indian government with the “formal written” request in this regard, BJP leader Vijay Jolly said.

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. File photo. AFPUnion External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. File photo. AFP

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. File photo. AFP

Kaur and her husband, who is a Norwegian national, have alleged that authorities in that country have taken away their 5-year-old son Aryan, also a Norwegian national, on a frivoulous complaint of abuse.

Confirming that Kaur has approached the government, MEA officials said they were now “empowered” to pursue the matter with the Norwegian authorities and they will chalk out the future course of action in the case.

The Indian couple had first sought Jolly’s help in getting back the custody of their child, after which he wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who had said that India will provide them help.

In its response, the Norwegian Embassy here had asked for “restraint” in the case, assuring that it is being handled with “complete sensitivity and awareness”.

According to Jolly, the Indian Ambassador “is slated to meet highly placed Norwegian officials in Oslo on 27 December”.

Jolly also maintained that according to the mother, the child is being “daily served porridge and bread while he is fond of Indian food”.

This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse.

In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway. The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents.

In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill treatment of their children, 7 and 2 years. Later, they were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.

First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 21:37 IST

India will provide help to the mother whose boy has been taken away by Norway: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said India will provide help on the request of the mother of the boy, who has been taken away by the Norway authorities even as Norwegian embassy here asked for “restraint” in the case, assuring that it is being handled with “complete sensitivity and awareness”.

Swaraj’s reaction came a day after she had asked the Indian Ambassador in Oslo to send a report on the allegations made by the couple that the Norwegian authorities took away their five-year-old child on frivolous complaint of abuse. While father and son are Norwegian nationals, the mother is an Indian citizen.

“I have received the report. Father and son are Norwegian nationals. We will represent on request of the mother, who is an Indian national,” Swaraj tweeted.

Reacting to the case, the Spokesperson in Norwegian Embassy said the mission is aware and understands “the concerns on the ongoing child welfare case involving an Norwegian/Indian family in Norway”.

File photo of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PTI

File photo of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PTI

“The Embassy would like to reiterate that child welfare cases are handled in accordance to the Norwegian Child Welfare Act, which includes directions from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The Act applies to all children in Norway, regardless of their background, residential status or citizenship. The basic principle of the Act is that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

“Since child welfare cases are highly sensitive, the cases are therefore subject to a strict duty of confidentiality. The Embassy, therefore, requests restraint and assures that the Norwegian authorities are dealing with the case with complete sensitivity and awareness. When available and permissible, updates on the case will be provided to the media and the general public.”

This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse.

In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway. The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents.

In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill treatment of their children, 7 and 2 years. Later, they were were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.

Later, briefing reporters, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Indian Embassy in Oslo is following up the matter.

“Our Ambassador has already established contact with the father who is a Norwegian citizen as is the child. The mother, however, is an Indian passport holder. Following the custody of the child by Norway’s Child Welfare Services (CWS), legal proceedings are currently underway regarding the continuation of such custody,” he said.

The ministry has been informed that the father has engaged a Norwegian lawyer to pursue the matter in the court, Swarup said.

“Given the seriousness of the issue, should we receive a formal representation from the mother, who is an Indian national, our Embassy remains fully prepared to engage with local authorities to impress upon them that this is a humanitarian issue and that the separation of a child from his parents is a matter of distress to the entire family,” he added.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 20:55 IST

Norway child ‘abuse’: India to provide help on boy’s mother’s request, says Swaraj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said India will provide help on the request of the mother of the boy, who has been taken away by the Norway authorities even as Norwegian embassy here asked for “restraint” in the case, assuring that it is being handled with “complete sensitivity and awareness”.Swaraj’s reaction came a day after she had asked the Indian Ambassador in Oslo to send a report on the allegations made by the couple that the Norwegian authorities took away their five-year-old child on frivolous complaint of abuse.While father and son are Norwegian nationals, the mother is an Indian citizen.
ALSO READ Sushma Swaraj seeks report on 5-year-old child taken from Indian couple in Norway”I have received the report. Father and son are Norwegian nationals. We will represent on request of the mother, who is an Indian national,” Swaraj tweeted.Reacting to the case, the Spokesperson in Norwegian Embassy said the mission is aware and understands “the concerns on the ongoing child welfare case involving an Norwegian/Indian family in Norway”.”The Embassy would like to reiterate that child welfare cases are handled in accordance to the Norwegian Child Welfare Act, which includes directions from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”The Act applies to all children in Norway, regardless of their background, residential status or citizenship. The basic principle of the Act is that the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”Since child welfare cases are highly sensitive, the cases are therefore subject to a strict duty of confidentiality. The Embassy, therefore, requests restraint and assures that the Norwegian authorities are dealing with the case with complete sensitivity and awareness. When available and permissible, updates on the case will be provided to the media and the general public.” This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse.In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway. The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents.In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill treatment of their children, 7 and 2 years. Later, they were were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.

NRI couple in Norway lose custody of child, seeks Sushma Swaraj’s help: All you need to know

A five-and-a-half-year-old boy was taken away from his NRI parents by Norwegian authorities on Wednesday, reports said. The officials accused the parents of beating the child. This is the third such incident in the past five years where a child was taken away by the Child Welfare Department of Norway. Speaking to The Indian Express, the father of the boy, Anil Kumar said that the authorities did not even give them prior information. The child, Aryan, was taken into custody on 13 December from his kindergarten school at 9.30 am. “They did not give us prior information. At 10 am, the same day, four policemen came to my house, took my wife into custody, and interrogated her from 11.15 am to 2.45 pm,” said Kumar

Kumar, who is a citizen of Norway, moved to Oslo 26 years ago from Punjab and is a owner of an Indian restaurant. Speaking to CNN-News18, Aryan’s father said that the authorities had absolutely no evidence against them and that the authorities did not have summons to take Aryan.

“Aryan cannot sleep. He cries all the time and he misses us. Aryan’s mother (Gurvinderjit Kaur) hasn’t stopped crying. We have never hit him, there is no evidence against us,” Kumar told the channel.

Kumar, who also is the vice-president of the Overseas Friends of the BJP in Oslo, said that Aryan was sent to a children’s welfare home in Hamar, about 150 kilometres away from Oslo. Kumar is a Norwegian citizen and his wife holds an Indian passport. They have appealed to the Indian government for help alleging that their son was taken away without any evidence and is suffering at a children’s home under the custody of child welfare department. External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Thursday stepped in to help family.

Sushma sought a report from Indian Ambassador in Norway on the allegations made by the Indian couple that the Norwegian authorities had taken away their five-year-old child on frivolous complaint of abuse. BJP leader Vijay Jolly had written to her and the Indian Ambassador in Norway after the couple sought his help in getting back the custody of their child. The parents also alleged that the authorities asked leading questions to the child. “How will a small kid know? The questions were leading. We have never hit our child,” Kumar told News18.

Meanwhile, MEA officials said, “Our Embassy officials in Oslo have spoken to the boy’s father Anil Kumar Sharma and extended full support. However, Sharma informed the mission that he has hired a lawyer to represent him in the case.” When contacted, Norwegian Embassy spokesperson said, “The Embassy became aware of this case yesterday evening. We have asked relevant authorities in Norway to provide us with further information, and are awaiting their response.”

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“We met the child welfare officials twice, on 14 and 16 December, and they haven’t been able to produce any evidence. They said they received a complaint from a person. We are not sure who registered this baseless complaint against us… By doing this, he or she has ruined our family life,” Kumar was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

In his letter to Indian Ambassador Debraj Pradhan, Jolly had raised concern on “forcible custody” of the boy Aryan by Child Welfare Department of Norway on “baseless and fabricated complaint” in Oslo on 13 December. Jolly said he has received a call from a senior MEA official saying that help will be given to the Indian couple.

The Indian embassy in Norway confirmed to News18 that Indian ambassador Debraj Pradhan has already spoken to the child’s father. Quoting sources, the channel reported that Kumar has hired a lawyer to defend his family in court and “the ambassador will be meeting him again.”

Norway’s child welfare department was tight-lipped on the exact facts of the case. News18 reported:

“When the channel (CNN-News18) emailed them to ascertain the status of the case and the charges against the parents they responded saying, “The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion is responsible for the general child welfare policy. However, the government does not have the authority to comment on or intervene in individual cases.”

It is still not clear when the child would be returned to his parents. Government sources have indicated that the legal processes may take time.

This is the third case since 2011 when children have been taken away from their Indian-origin parents by the authorities in Norway on the grounds of abuse. In 2011, a three-year-old and a one-year-old were separated from their parents, prompting the then UPA government to take up the issue with Norway. The Norwegian court later allowed the children to be reunited with their parents. In December 2012, an Indian couple was jailed on charges of ill treatment of their children aged seven and two years old. Later, they were were sent to their grandparents in Hyderabad.

What does the Child Protection Laws in Norway specify?

The Norway child act places great importance on family ties and child’s upbringing in a healthy atmosphere with their parents. According to the  Norwegian Child Welfare Act is applicable to all children and their parents living in Norway, regardless of their residential status, religion and nationality. The general child welfare policy is mainly comes under the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion in Norway. The child welfare cases are handled by the local child welfare services and their job is to conduct family investigations in case of child abuse.

The Child Welfare Service in Nowray is also known as Barnevernet. Barnevernet is an independent body and no ministers can instruct the board in decisions related to the welfare of child. Reports cite many cases where the Barnevernet has been criticised by social workers and child psychologists who argued that they need to reform their methods. Every year nearly 53,000 such cases were handled by the child welfare service in Norway.

How common is the practice of separating children?

The Indian Express reported that over 80 percent of cases where the Child Welfare Services concludes that some kind of intervention is needed, they offer various kinds of assistance to the parents. In 2014, at least 43,000 families got assistance and were let of, while 9,611 children were removed — temporarily or permanently — from the custody of the parents.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 15:02 IST

US Embassy of India warns citizens of increased threat from Islamic State

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a grimly worded message the US Embassy in India warned its citizens after media reports indicated Islamic State’s desire to carry out terrorist attacks in India. They have been asked to be aware of an ‘increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners.The US Embassy wrote on their website: “As we head into holiday season, please be reminded that recent Indian media reports indicate ISIL’s desire to attack targets in India. The U.S. Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets, and festival venues. All U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as detailed in the State Department’s Worldwide Caution of September 9, 2016.”

Embassies get assurance on cash

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A high-level committee headed by an additional secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs is still grappling with the issue of shortage of cash experienced by the diplomatic missions, expatriate Indians, foreign tourists, and money changer associations abroad.Responding to the concerns raised by the Russian Embassy here that the cash crunch was affecting itsfuctioning, the government said the issues were at the advanced stage of being resolved.Earlier, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps stationed in Delhi had also raised the issue on behalf of all the missions.Earlier on Tuesday, in a letter, Russian Ambassador Alaxander Kadakin raised the issue of his diplomats not being able to withdraw enough money thus hampering the normal functioning of the mission. He sought intervention of the External Affairs Ministry so that the withdrawal restrictions for diplomatic staff are lifted. “We are awaiting a reply from the MEA and hope that this is resolved quickly. Otherwise, we will be forced to explore other options which may include raising the issue in Moscow with your Embassy by summoning Indian Minister Counsellor,” a senior Russian embassy official said here. He also warned that options may also include restriction on the cash withdrawals for Indian diplomats posted in Russia. There are approximately 200 staff members in the Russian mission here.After the demonetization process last month, MEA had said it approached the Department of Economic Affairs over three or four types of requests, including those related to maintaining sufficient flow of funds to diplomatic missions. Official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said a committee under an additional secretary that includes officials from finance and the MEA has been set up to look into the issues. The committee has met several times over the past few days to resolve the issue.It is also understood that some other countries such as Pakistan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have also sent letters to the MEA. Pakistan High Commission had threatened a tit-for-tat action and starve the Indian mission in Islamabad of cash against the policies of a private Indian bank which had refused to release salaries of its employees.According to the Pakistani mission, the bank has imposed additional conditions for withdrawal of salaries. These conditions, which came into effect only last week, make it mandatory for Pakistan officials to fill up additional forms specifying their expenditures and also that they exchange their dollars with the same bank. The officials are upset because the exchange rate is much lower than that offered by the bank. Pakistan has told MEA that the bank in question had chosen to target its mission specifically and not imposed similar conditions on other missions. Sources said after the government’sintervention, the issue between the private bank and the Pakistani mission was resolved.The MEA has has received four types of different requests on the issue of demonetization, the first concern being the diplomats who are based in Delhi. “Some of them have told us that diplomatic missions require more funds and the existing limits are insufficient for them. They have requested thatthose limites should be increased for diplomatic missions,” said Swarup. The second set of issues involves NRIs having cash in Indian currency currently abroad. The committee is looking into the issue . The money changers’ associations abroad are also asking what they should do with the stacks of Indian currency they have or how to exchange them.

India supports Nepal Constitution amendment process

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Welcoming the move to amend the Constitution by the Nepal government, India on Sunday expressed support for ongoing efforts to meet the aspirations of all sections of the Nepalese people.”Peace, progress, and stability of Nepal is in interest of both India and Nepal. We have been supportive of the initiative of the Nepal government to meet the aspiration of all sectors of society through dialogue and constitutional process,” the Indian Embassy said in a statement.”India will continue to support Nepal’s peace, stability, and accelerated economic development as per the priorities of the people and government of Nepal,” it said.The Constitution promulgated last year could not be implemented due to the agitation by the Madhesis, mostly Indian-origin. Amendment of the Constitution to redraw the provincial boundary of the country is the key demand of the Madhesi parties. The Madhesi Front last week refused to back the Constitution amendment bill, saying it was not acceptable in its current discriminatory form.The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal (FSF-N) stated that they cannot accept the Constitution amendment bill which has been registered in Parliament by Nepal’s government despite opposition from CPN-UML.

Sushma Swaraj seeks report on Indian in Dubai who walked 1,000 kms for justice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from the Indian consulate in Dubai about an Indian man who walked more than 1,000 kilometres over two years as he had no money to attend court proceedings for obtaining a flight ticket to return home.”I have asked for a report from Indian Embassy in Dubai,” Swaraj tweeted yesterday.Jagannathan Selvaraj, who hails from Tiruchirappalli, braved traffic, heat, sandstorms and exhaustion as he made his way through the busy highways of Dubai, travelling a distance of 22 kilometre one way from his Sonapur accommodation to attend the labour court proceedings.A bus trip from Sonapur to Karama costs a few dirhams, but Selvaraj did not have money to travel by bus and was forced to spend two hours for a one-way trip and another two hours for the return journey after every court hearing.

Delhi becomes the most polluted city on Earth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi is the most polluted city on Earth right now, and parts of the city has pollution levels almost five times those considered “unhealthy” by the US environment protection agency AirNow, reported CNN.The US Embassy in Delhi placed the capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI) at 999 on Monday which is much higher than the “hazardous” level that is set at 500. To gain some perspective on this, Baoding, China’s most polluted city was at 298 on Monday. The World Air Quality Index recorded the quality level at Chandrapur to be 824, making it the second most polluted city following the capital.Research released earlier this year found that air quality levels exceed World Health Organization’s guidelines for 80% of those living in urban areas around the world. With increased awareness and warnings from the government, shops in one of Delhi’s trendiest areas-Khan market that were selling specialised anti-pollution masks, saw a rise in business as people lined up to buy protection against the smog.The government released an emergency ruling asking schools to be shut and construction work to be halted for three days. Officials stated that the number of vehicles allowed on the street may be curbed if the situation does not abate.

Shiv Sena urges Centre to shut down Pakistan embassy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena on Friday professed the ruling dispensation at the Centre to shut down the Pakistan Embassy and deport their ambassador, alleging that it is the centre from where a whole network against India is channelised.The Shiv Sena in an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamna, said that Islamabad is not stopping for committing ‘anti-India’ activities and in reply of that, New Delhi must take stringent steps to teach the Asian neighbour a lesson.Backing his party’s stand, leader Sanjay Raut said the party outfit has reiterated this demand of taking strict action against Islamabad many times. “We have said this repeatedly, and demanded this time and again that all the Pakistani embassies situated in India should be shutdown. Every place from where their commercial work is done should be shut, because all these centres work against India,” Raut told ANI.”The first thing which should be done is to deport the Pakistan ambassador sitting in Delhi. I would like to ask does the Centre has the guts to do so? As a whole network against India is run from there,” he added.

US warns its citizens in India of a possible terror attack by Islamic State

New Delhi: The United States on Tuesday asked its citizens in India to keep high level of vigilance citing reports indicating that terror outfit Islamic State desires to attack “targets” in India.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

An advisory issued by the American Embassy in New Delhi warned its citizens of an increased threat in places frequented by Westerners in the country.

“Recent Indian media reports indicate ISIL’s desire to attack targets in India. The US Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets, and festival venues.”

“All US citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as detailed in the State Department’s Worldwide Caution of September 9, 2016,” the advisory said.

An earlier advisory, under ‘Worldwide Caution’ section on the US state department’s travel website, says that India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect US citizens directly or indirectly.

“Anti-Western terrorist groups active in India include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e Tayyiba.”

“Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by Westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas,” the worldwide advisory, last updated in September, says.

US issues advisory, warns citizens of heightened ISIS threat in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The United States on Tuesday asked its citizens in India to keep high level of vigilance citing reports indicating that terror outfit Islamic State desires to attack “targets” in India.An advisory issued by the American Embassy here warned its citizens of an increased threat in places frequented by Westerners in the country. “Recent Indian media reports indicate ISIL’s desire to attack targets in India. The US Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets, and festival venues.”All US citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as detailed in the State Department’s Worldwide Caution of September 9, 2016,” the advisory said.US State department in its advisory had stated, “India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect U.S. citizens directly or indirectly. Anti-Western terrorist groups active in India include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e Tayyiba. Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by Westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas”. With agency inputs

Sushma Swaraj helps Pakistani-origin woman get Indian visa on humanitarian grounds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj helped a Pakistani-origin woman whose husband needed to get a liver transplant surgery in Chennai.Shafiqa Bano on October 24 made a request to Swaraj on Twitter to grant her a medical visa for her husband’s treatment for liver cirrhosis at Apollo Hospitals.Owing to the prevailing India-Pak tension, Bano went on to explain her nationality to avoid confusion. She sought Swaraj’s help since this would require approval from the Home Department.Within two days, Bano received a reply from Swaraj stating that she had directed the Indian Embassy to issue her a visa. It is necessary for Pakistani-origin individuals to get visa clearance from department for visa clearance, but Swaraj made this exception on humanitarian grounds.Apollo Hospitals, also took notice and assured Bano of her husband’s prompt treatment.

MEA terms Pak newspaper’s report on Army’s surgical strike as ‘concocted and baseless’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday released a statement terming Pakistani newspaper News International’s report on the surgical strikes as ‘concocted and baseless’.In a report titled, ‘Indian FS admits surgical strike was a bluff’ the newspaper alleged that India’s Foreign Secretary had admitted that no surgical strikes had been undertaken across the Line of Control by the Indian Army. The report claims that the admission by India was made during a recent meeting with German ambassador in New Delhi.On Friday morning, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup released a statement, saying, “News International Pakistan’s story titled “Indian FS admits surgical strikes was a bluff” is completely concocted & baseless. German Ambassador Dr Martin Ney was in group of foreign envoys briefed by Foreign Secy on Sep 29 on the surgical strikes. They have had no further conversation since on this subject.”News International reports that the conversation came to be when Minister Political Ms Rukhsana Afzal from the Embassy of Pakistan, Berlin, visited the Foreign Office to meet with Senior Desk Officer of AfPak Division, Ms Simone Stemmler, and Ms Karen Goebels and Mr Jens Wagner from the German Foreign Ministry. The report details the conversation that took place —”When Ms Rukhsana raised the issue of Uri’s false flag and the so-called ‘surgical strike’, Ms Simmone confided with the Pakistani diplomat that during a formal meeting on the issue of ongoing India-Pakistan stand-off between German Ambassador to India Dr Martin Ney and Indian FS Subramaniam Jaishankar in New Delhi, “the Indian Foreign Secretary has categorically denied and said that there was no ‘surgical strike’ undertaken by Indian army inside Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.”The report also quotes an official source as saying, “With the so-called mantra of surgical strike, the BJP government wanted to achieve many objectives such as to prove to the world that Pakistan is a terror sponsoring state and India has the military muscle to put it under restrain, Kashmir’s freedom movement is nothing more than Pakistan’s sponsored terrorism, to satisfy its populations’ demand of avenging Uri attack and to create an unrivaled political space ahead of UP’s state elections.”In a well-calibrated operation, which started on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, the Indian army moved across the LoC and smashed terror launch pads. This was in response to the September 18 attack on the army base in Uri that killed 19 Indian soldiers.Pakistan has denied any part in the attack on the Uri army base and also continues to deny that any surgical strikes took place, saying there was only cross-border firing that is relatively common along the frontier.

This Indian woman’s battle against patriarchy is inspirational

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The story of Haritha, an Indian living in Amsterdam could be the story of anybody who has survived a failed marriage. She was married for the wrong reasons, had an overanxious father and was pressured to not get divorced. Although Haritha is today a happy, successful and independent woman living in Amsterdam, her road to freedom was a tough one. She shared her story on Humans of Amsterdam, which has been shared 4,000 times on Facebook. It all began when her parents wanted her to get married against her wishes. “I have always been a very ambitious student and after I graduated l wanted to focus on my career as an engineer,” she said.Soon the atmosphere at home began changing and she gave in ultimately, marrying a man she barely knew or loved.Failed from the startFrom the start of the marriage, both Haritha and her husband realised that they shared no connection. After moving back to India, she began living with her in-laws, who forced her to give her entire salary to them. “My husband too was equally controlling and would check my phone regularly and accuse me multiple times of cheating,” she said.It’s not as if she didn’t try. She would buy plane tickets for both of them and take him on holidays. “I hoped that if he would see other cultures he would become a more compassionate person. Unfortunately, nothing changed,” she said.The escapeThe final straw for Haritha was a huge fight with her husband. She asked her manager if she could get a transfer to another country and moved to Amsterdam. “When I arrived at the airport it felt as if I could finally breathe again,” she said.During her stay, Haritha attended a storytelling event with women from the world over. The idea was for women to talk about their experiences of physical and emotional abuse. “These women came out of situations worse than mine, which made me feel strong. I went home, dialled my husband and asked for a divorce. Never in my life had I been so certain.”Patriarchal systemWhen her father found out, he asked her to return to India and sort things out. Haritha had to return anyway for the divorce proceedings. Back home, her family was angry and coaxed her to change her mind. “We then travelled to my in-laws to sort the issue. I was surrounded by people trying to convince me for hours and by the end of it, I wanted to sleep,” she said.When she woke up the next morning, Haritha found that her bag with her passport, phone and credit cards was missing. She confronted her in-laws, who said that they had nothing to do with it. “My leave was almost over and I emailed my boss asking for two more weeks. He agreed,” Haritha said.The last lapWith the help of her sister, Haritha approached a government employee and told that she had lost her bag in the mall and had to return to Amsterdam. The employee then called a friend in the passport office and fixed an appointment for her the next day. “I sat at the passport office for 10 hours; when it was my turn they told me that in order to get a new passport I would need a signature of my father or husband. I lied and convinced her to approve the passport,” said Haritha.Haritha still needed a residency card. Haritha then called the Embassy of Netherlands in Amsterdam, who told her to fly to New Delhi to get the card. “Fortunately at the time, there was a sale and I managed to get an affordable ticket. I got my residency card the next day and immediately booked a flight to Amsterdam.”Haritha recalls how she was able to breathe again after the plane took off. She had been gone for 45 days and Nike had terminated her employment. Luckily, she managed to find another job and is now a software engineer at a leading firm. However, after this story was published by Humans of Amsterdam, a petition has been moved asking Nike to rehire her.Although she’s still not divorced, Haritha knows that she’ll never go back to India. “I do talk to my parents but I find it really hard to trust them,” she said.

Kabul dogs roped in to help secure BRICS summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Part of ‘Mission Kabul’ these ferocious canines from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force’s (ITBP) K9 unit have been serving in Indian missions in conflict hit Afghanistan for a while now.Battling terror threats daily, these brave dogs have now been pressed into action to secure the BRICS summit being held in Goa from October 15-16.This is in the wake of intelligence inputs about a possible terror attack. As a result, the contingent comprising German shepherds, labradors and Belgian Melenois have been sent from Kabul to Goa to aid security forces.These dogs were deployed at the Indian Embassy in Kabul for over three years and have experienced all sorts of threats and situations. Calling them “battle scarred veterans” an ITBP official says they had a high success rate when used in anti-terror missions against the Taliban.Sources told DNA that the decision to deploy the dogs serving in Kabul was taken amid several intelligence inputs regarding terrorists using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to blow up the venue.”We got an SOS call to secure and sanitise the venues and hotels where delegates will be staying in the wake of the heightened security alert,” said an ITBP official.According to intelligence inputs, Pakistani-based terrorist groups could conduct terror strikes in Goa near the venue between October 12 and 14 with an aim to disrupt the Summit. The is especially important as meetings of important dignitaries from BRICS countries will begun from October 12.Sources also say that the terror attacks are being planned as retaliation to the “surgical strikes” by the Indian Army destroying terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC).”Since these dogs are experts at sniffing explosives and also detect suspicious movements it was decided to send them,” said an official.There have been several terror attacks on Indian missions in Afghanistan in the last few years including the Embassy in Kabul.ITBP’s dog squad have also been serving in Maoist hit states and play a pivotal role in securing high target installations like the Parliament.Dogs from the force are also part of the Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the Prime Minister. These dogs have also thwarted several terror attacks in the country over the last year when they were part of several operations.Over the years, dog training modules have also been modified to keep pace with growing threat perceptions. Most of the dogs are not just used for sniffing but have also become experts at assault and reconnaissance missions.They go through a 24 week training programme before being pressed into action.

Sushma Swaraj comes to the rescue of Indian stranded in Washington

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In prompt response to a request by a woman, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directed Indian Embassy in Washington to give visa to an Indian to attend his father’s last rites despite the the mission being closed for two days for Vijaya Dashmi and Moharram. Swaraj’s directive to the Embassy came after one Sarita Takru, a resident of Karnal, appealed to the External Affairs Minister on twitter to give visa to her US-based son Abhai Kaul so he can attend his father’s cremation.”Our Embassy in US is closed for Vijaya Dashmi and Moharram. I have sent a message. We will open the Embassy and give visa to your son,” Swaraj tweeted. Soon after Swaraj’s instruction, the Indian Embassy asked Takru to share Kaul’s contact details with it so that visa can be granted expeditiously. Takru said her husband died yesterday and she had expressed anguish after knowing that the embassy will be closed today and tomorrow. “…Can’t get Indian visa before Local Thursday. Is this human?””This dreadful wait must end. Please give my son Indian visa in US so his father may be cremated. Please support. Need empathy,” Takru tweeted. To this, Swaraj responded, saying, “I am sorry to know about the sad demise of your husband. Just wait – I will help you.” The External Affairs Minister is known for her prompt response to Indians in distress abroad.

Gandhi Jayanti: For today’s youngsters, Mahatma is the man who got shot

Mahatma who? Welcome to 2 October.

Are parents and teachers not sending out messages from our history, or is it packaged so badly that heroes of our recent past have become cardboards, and unreal, in both dimension and relevance to the new generation?

Since I lecture a lot of young people on mass communication and corporate conduct, I thought I would conduct a kind of spot Q&A and check out their level of signposting.

Mahatma Gandhi. Getty Images.

Mahatma Gandhi. Getty Images.

It is a surprising thought, especially since several of these under-18s (and some young executives) had no idea who JFK was. They didn’t have a clue either on what a Walkman was, or, how, once upon a time, not so long ago, we had Television sets without remote controls.

I asked a bunch of NRI youngsters if they knew anything about Mahatma Gandhi. I did it over the week as a sort of exercise-in-curiosity. After all, it is 2 October and there are no NRIs where I live are singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

The answers are inscribed as honestly as I remember them. If the language is casual, it is not as disrespecting as the slang and ‘txt’ style that marks today’s expensive education.

I was told he was the dude who got shot, right, like John Lennon.

I was informed with great panache by another aspiring bank executive that he is the Father of the Nation because he told the Brits to get lost and he went to England in winter in a dhoti to meet Winston Churchill. This saga in awareness was further accentuated by the pithy remark that he said, ‘Hey Ram’ when he got shot.

A third member of this group said that Richard Attenborough made a cool film and Gandhi was a tough guy who wouldn’t get off the train in South Africa because he sat in a whites-only compartment and they wanted to boot him out.

He made his own clothes, said a young graduate, looking for a job, and sewed them himself.

Can you stitch? Naaaaaa, he replied, followed by giggles.

A young lady studying Mass Communication was not sure whether he died on 2 October or he was born on that day. But it was a ‘Jayanti’ day, she said, when she was invited to attend a classical dance festival at the Embassy. She couldn’t go because her friend was having a bridal shower.

One reasonably erudite man asked me if he wasn’t the person who stayed in jail like (Nelson) Mandela and used to write letters to his daughter. I told him that it was Nehru who did that. He said, yeah,right, but they were friends, so I am pretty close.

Pretty close, sir.

A young girl looked lovingly at her boyfriend and said, he is the person who promoted khadi.

I was hoping somebody would mention non-violence, the inspiration he gave to Mandela and Martin Luther King, among so many others.

It didn’t get on the stage.

Pretty close. Maybe we don’t need to know. Maybe our youngsters have more important stuff to Google, Facebook, and tweet. Or, may be, we have made Gandhi unreal on this pedestal that today’s 24×7 generation hasn’t got the capacity to figure it out as they whizz down the information highway.

I did not indict any of these people. Neither their parents nor their schools. Not even the authorities. We have all become derelict about the heroes of the past.

We trot out Gandhi on the right day and knock off a few ‘Bapu’ oriented rewrites from the library files. We have made him so inaccessible as a human being that we are in danger of losing him entirely. And why should we know him when Indian leaders don’t, and not even one in ten could, speak of him and his life with any authority.

I didn’t even say anything rude to the lady who said he was on a play when he was shot.

Prayer, play, Lincoln, Gandhi, same difference.

US soldier apprehended at Indira Gandhi International Airport for carrying ammunition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A US soldier has been apprehended at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here for allegedly carrying three live bullets in his baggage. Officials said the incident was reported at around 10:00 PM yesterday when a group of US nationals reached the airport to take a flight to New York and one of them had three live bullets and four empty cases in his baggage which was detected by airport staff.According to the officials, the person, identified as P A Tyler, said he was a soldier in the US army and explained that he had come to India to participate in a joint defence exercise and had due authorisation from United States authorities for keeping the bullets.Tyler said that he did not have any idea about Indian rules and regulations that bar fliers from carrying bullets in the aircraft baggage. He was offloaded from the flight and the matter was handed over to Delhi Police which took custody of the soldier and later approached the US Embassy in Delhi. Further proceedings are on, the officials said.

Pakistan to approach Interpol for extradition of Baloch leader Bugti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has said it will approach Interpol for the extradition of Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti who has sought political asylum in India, a media report said.The Pakistan government has decided to write to Interpol for the extradition of Bugti. “The Federal Investigation Agency will send a formal reference to Interpol within the next few days for the extradition of Brahamdagh Bugti,” interior minister Nisar Ali Khan was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune. Pakistan on Friday warned India that by granting asylum to Bugti, it will become an “official sponsor of terrorism”.Bugti, who has been living in Switzerland, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking asylum in India and exuded confidence of a positive response from New Delhi. His application seeking political asylum was received by the Home Ministry in New Delhi which is examining it.Bugti is the President and founder of Baloch Republican Party. He is the grandson of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a Baloch nationalist leader killed by the Pakistan army in 2006. Pakistan government had blamed India for helping Bugti flee Pakistan to Geneva in 2010 via Afghanistan.

If you have the potential, send your suicide bombers to Pakistan: Samajwadi Party dares Raj Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) asked actors and artistes from Pakistan to leave India within 48 hours or it would “push them out”, the president of the Maharashtra unit of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Abu Azmi, on Saturday dared MNS chief Raj Thackeray to send his suicide bombers to Lahore and Karachi instead of intimidating people coming to India from Pakistan legally with India visas.”Today, Pakistan is sending suicide squads (fidayeen) to India, if you have the potential and sympathy, then you should also send your suicide bombers to Lahore and Karachi to fight against Pakistan or you should stop intimidating people who have come to India legally on an India visa. Stop fooling around as it will further dent your votebank,” Azmi challenged Thackeray.”Forget about Pakistan, as you (Raj Thackeray) are a small leader and your reach is limited to Maharashtra only. Today Naxals are attacking policemen in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, and if you are unable to do anything in Karachi and Lahore, then you send your activists in Maharashtra to save our security forces, and then I will understand that you are doing something practical,” the Samajwadi Party MLA told ANI.Accusing the MNS of hooliganism and of breaking the law, Azmi said, “It is true that Pakistani people (terrorists) killed 17 (18) jawans, which had lowered our moral and we should take revenge from Pakistan, but it does not mean that you will threaten artistes and players coming from there. If Raj Thackeray has the potential, he should go to Delhi and get the Pakistan Embassy closed, and he should also stop the Indian Embassy in Pakistan from granting visas to people to visit India, and then, I will understand that you have done something.””But you are threatening those people who have come here on Indian visas so that they come to you and you strike a deal with them, it is nothing but an attempt to make a fool of people. If you have so much pain and you want to push the Pakistani people out, then why only in Mumbai, you should work in the entire country,” he added.The MNS workers’ association on Friday said they would not allow the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees as the movies feature Pakistani actors while giving a 48-hour deadline to the stars from the other side of the border to leave India. MNS Chitrapat Sena president Amey Khopkar warned Pakistani actors that they would face serious consequences in India if they do not leave the nation within 48 hours. “We give a 48-hour deadline to Pakistani actors and artists to leave India or the MNS will push them out,” said Khopkar.This comes at a time when tensions between the two Asian neighbours has escalated to a new level post the killing of 18 army personnel in a dastardly terror attack on an army base camp in the Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir?s Baramulla district.India has blamed Pakistan for the attack as the investigating agencies reportedly recovered weapons and ammunition bearing Pakistani marks from the site. Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of involvement in the Uri terror attack stating India has a traditional tendency of pointing fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil.

Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti approaches India for asylum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exiled Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti, heading the movement in Balochistan, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking asylum in India and exuded confidence of a positive response from New Delhi. Bugti, who is leader of Baloch Republican Party (BRP), said he held talks with top Indian diplomats in Geneva about his asylum as well as that of a number of other Baloch leaders currently staying in Balochistan, Afghanistan and in some other countries.”I went to the Indian embassy and held talks with Indian officials about it (asylum). I am confident that something positive will come out,” Bugti told PTI.Asked whether he filed required papers for his asylum, Bugti, the grandson of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti who was killed by Pakistani forces 10 years ago, refused to share details saying the matter was very sensitive. He said India’s encouragement to the Baloch movement mean a lot for people of Balochistan and that in the meeting, various aspects of the entire issue were discussed.”I am thankful to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raising the issue of Balochistan in his Independence Day speech. It is a very good move. We are hopeful of India’s continued support,” he said.Bugti said he will file the asylum application to the Indian government through the country’s embassy here within next 3-4 days.”We have decided to formally file asylum papers to Indian government soon. We will follow the legal process for the application,” Bugti told reporters here. He is currently living in exile in Switzerland.The Baloch leader on Monday had appealed to India to come out with a policy initiative so that people facing “atrocities” in Balochistan can come and feel secure in India. He said many more Baloch leaders may seek asylum in India and added “we will see who all will need asylum (in India)”.Bugti had gone into exile in Afghanistan after the death of Akbar Bugti in 2006. The Pakistani government had pressured Afghanistan to extradite him following which Bugti shifted to Switzerland in 2010. He had reportedly survived multiple attempts on his life in Afghanistan.

Russia condemns Uri attack, confirms its support to India’s counter-terrorism efforts

Moscow: Russia on Monday condemned the terror attack on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir and said it is “concerned about the fact that, according to New Delhi, the army base was attacked from Pakistani territory”.

The army camp in Uri where the attack happened. PTI

The army camp in Uri where the attack happened. PTI

In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the “criminal act” should be investigated properly and that “its organisers and perpetrators be held accountable”.

“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack against an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri in the early hours of 18 September, which killed 17 and injured 30 service personnel. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a rapid recovery to all those injured,” the statement said, according to the Russian Embassy in Delhi.

“Regarding the Pathankot Indian air base attack in January 2016, we are very concerned about the terrorist attacks near the Line of Control. We are also concerned about the fact that, according to New Delhi, the army base near Uri was attacked from Pakistani territory.

“We believe that this criminal act will be investigated properly, and that its organisers and perpetrators will be held accountable.

“We confirm our continued support for the Indian government’s counter-terrorism efforts,” it said.

Istanbul airport attack: No Indian casualty reported, confirms MEA

There has been no report so far of any Indian casualty in the terror attack at the international terminal of Turkey’s Ataturk airport where three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 36 people.External Affairs Ministry also said that the Indian Consulate has been in touch been touch with Istanbul governorate and has given emergency contact numbers for Indians requiring assistance.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>No reports so far of any Indian among the casualties, the ministry said.Issuing a statement, the ministry said the Indian Consulate and Embassy in Turkey have tweeted emergency contact numbers for Indians requiring assistance.No Indian casualty in Turkey terror attackThe ministry also informed that Turkish Air flights to Delhi and Mumbai departed Istanbul last night as scheduled. “Ataturk Airport operations at Istanbul have resumed but long delays are likely. Many flights are reported to have been diverted to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport. Delays are expected there as well,” the ministry said.

Italian marines case: Girone’s bail conditions relaxed, allowed to go to Italy

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed the bail conditions of Salvatore Girone, one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012, and allowed him to go to his country till an International Arbitral Tribunal decides the jurisdictional issue between India and Italy.

The other marine Massimiliano Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds and his stay there was recently extended by the apex court till September 30 this year.

A vacation bench of Justices P C Pant and D Y Chandrachud sought a fresh undertaking from Italian Ambassador in New Delhi stating that if the International Arbitral Tribunal (IAT) decides jurisdictional issue in India’s favour then he will be responsible in bringing back the marine within one month.

Italian marine Girone's bail conditions relaxed. File photo. PTIItalian marine Girone's bail conditions relaxed. File photo. PTI

Italian marine Girone’s bail conditions relaxed. File photo. PTI

The apex court imposed four conditions on the marine which include that he has to report to police station in Italy on first Wednesday of every month and the Italian Embassy has to inform the Indian Embassy in Rome about the same. It also said the marine will not tamper with any evidence nor influence any witness in the case.

The third condition imposed was that Girone will give an undertaking that he will remain under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

Lastly, if found violating any of the conditions imposed, his bail will be cancelled, the apex court said.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) P S Narasimha said that Centre has no objection to the application moved by Girone if he complies with the conditions imposed by the apex court.

“We support the application on humanitarian grounds subject to his compliance with the conditions imposed by the court,” the ASG said.

Girone, who presently is in the custody of the apex court and residing in Italian embassy here, had filed the application through lawyer Jagjit Singh Chhabra, also seeking a direction that Ministry of Home Affairs and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office be asked to provide him with the “necessary residential permit and exit visa”.

The marines, who were on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie’, are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on 15 February 2012.

Italy and India have been making contrary claims over the right to prosecute the two Italian marines in the case.

Girone had also said the authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport including the Bureau of Immigration and the concerned CISF and other security authorities be apprised of the court’s direction that he can leave India.

The Centre had on the last hearing said the international arbitration proceedings are expected to decide the jurisdictional issue “expeditiously” and the marine can be be allowed to leave on the terms which was imposed on Lattore.

Earlier, the apex court on April 26, had extended the stay of Latorre in Italy till September 30.

The court was informed by the Centre that international arbitration proceedings in the matter would be completed by December 2018.

Solicitor General (SG) Ranjit Kumar had apprised the bench about the schedule of proceedings fixed before International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany.

The apex court had on January 13 asked the Centre to apprise it of the status of international arbitration proceedings in the case.

The court had earlier stayed all criminal proceedings, including the trial of the two marines.

While allowing the joint request of India and Italy, the apex court had said the proceedings would remain stalled till the jurisdictional issue about which country has the right to conduct trial was decided through international arbitration.

The apex court had on 26 August 2015 suspended all court proceedings here in pursuance of an interim order of the ITLOS asking India to maintain “status quo” in the case.

Latorre, who had suffered a brain stroke on August 31, 2014, was allowed by the apex court on September 12, 2014 to go to Italy for four months and after that, extensions have been granted to him.

The complaint against the Italian marines was lodged by Freddy, the owner of the fishing boat ‘St Antony’, in which the two Indian fishermen were killed when the marines opened fire on them allegedly under the misconception that they were pirates.

India pledges US $1 million for Afghan school

India has pledged US $1 million for modernisation and teachers’ training at a prestigious school in Afghanistan as part of its long-standing support to the war-torn country’s education sector.India has decided to grant the financial assistance of US $1 million to the school over a period of 10 years, in pursuance of India’s long-standing support to Habibia School in Kabul, the Indian Embassy in Kabul has said in a statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The school is one of the largest and most reputed schools in Afghanistan. It was established in 1904 by King Habibullah. An Indian, Dr Abdul Ghani, was the school’s first principal.The funds will be utilised for replacement of electricity transformers and related works, immediate civil repairs, modernisation programme and annual routine maintenance. To administer this assistance efficiently and in a transparent manner, a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) was signed on Wednesday between Embassy of India in Kabul, Ministry of Education, Afghanistan and Habibia High School.The MoU was signed by Ambassador of India Manpreet Vohra, Minister of Education Assadullah Hanif Balkhi and Principal of Habibia School Sayed Shah Lala Bakawly. Under this assistance, electrical works including replacement of two transformers have already commenced and civil works are expected to begin soon.These maintenance works are expected to cost approximately US $150,000. During the subsequent nine years, an amount of US $ 60,000 would be released each year to the school for annual routine maintenance. The remaining amount of US $310,000 will be utilised for modernisation programme, teachers’ training, upgradation of school labs and equipment.Many prominent Afghan personalities have graduated from the school including President Ashraf Ghani and former president Hamid Karzai. The renovated school building was inaugurated in 2005 jointly by Karzai and then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. India and its people stand committed to the development of education sector in Afghanistan and assist country in rebuilding and modernising its educational system and institutions, the statement added.

New Delhi: African national beaten to death in suspected racial attack

New Delhi: A 23-year-old Congolese national was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place around 11.45 pm on Friday when the man, MT Olivia had a heated argument with a group of three persons at Kishangadh locality in Vasant Kunj.

Following the argument, the group pounced on Olivia, and as he tried to escape, they chased him for around 20-25 metres and attacked him again with stones.

representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“A case of murder has been registered. We are checking CCTV footage to identify the accused,” additional DCP (South) Nupur Prasad said.

What exactly led to the argument between Olivia and the group is yet to be ascertained. The case is being probed from all angles including robbery and a possible racist attack on the African national.

The Embassy of Congo has been informed about the incident.

Olivia taught foreign languages at a private institute in New Delhi. He lived in South Extension area. Why he had gone to Kishangadh at that hour has also not been ascertained yet, police said.

It was another group of locals who rescued Olivia and called up police. He was rushed to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The locals, however, could not identify the perpetrators or say what had led to the incident. Investigation is underway, police added.

Mother alleges daughter tortured to death by employer in Saudi Arabia

A 34-year-old woman from Hyderabad was tortured to death by her employer in Saudi Arabia, her mother has alleged.A complaint was received by Reinbazar police from Ghousia Khtoom, a resident of Chadarghat, alleging that her daughter, who left for Saudi Arabia last December, was tortured by her master, which subsequently led to her death.”Khtoom alleged that she received a call on May 2 from Saudi Arabia saying her daughter had some chest complaint and was admitted to a hospital and died on the same day,” police inspector G Ramesh told PTI on Monday. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Through the Telangana government, police have requested the Indian Embassy (in Saudi Arabia) there to help bring her body here. Khtoom alleged that her daughter died due to the torture meted out to her,” the officer said. A case has been registered and investigations are underway, he said.

396-year-old Mughal Dewan-e-Khaas comes alive in a new avatar

The 396-year-old Dewan-e-Khaas in the historic Shalimar garden has been restored to its old glory. Thanks to German Embassy, the ancient Dewan-e-Khaas was formally opened for public viewing on Monday. From providing the technical expertise to financial support, the German ambassador to India Dr Martin Ney pulled out all stops to help in restoring the Mughal monument.This came three years after Zubin Mehta-led Bavarian State Orchestra held Ehsaas-e-Kashmir (feeling of Kashmir) concert in the Shalimar garden sparking off massive protests. Four people were killed when CRPF fired at bikers at Gargran-Shopian on September 7, 2013.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Organised and sponsored by the then German ambassador to New Delhi Michael Steiner, the Ehsaas-e-Kashmir show had generated a lot of heat on the political front with separatists and civil society urging him not to “legitimize occupation via a musical concert”.Fast forward to 2016, Germany’s new ambassador to India Dr Martin Ney inaugurated the first phase of the restoration of Dewan-e-Khaas at Shalimar garden on Monday.”Since 1981 Germany has spent more than Rs400 crore on 2,650 projects aimed to preserve cultural heritage in 144 countries. In India alone more than 50 such projects have been undertaken and Rs 22 lakh Dewan-e-Khaas project has now been added to the renowned list of such heritage sites in India,” Dr Ney said.Built by Emperor Jahangir (1605-27 AD), the magnificent Shalimar garden was opened in 1620 AD. The 31 acre garden, which is on the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage site since 2010, also houses Deewan-e-Aam and Deewan-e-Khaas that was used by Mughal royals to meet the people and their spouses.Located on the fourth terrace in the erstwhile zennana (women) quarter of the garden, the Dewan-e-Khaas is positioned in the middle of the terrace amidst a pool of water replete with an array of as many as 120 fountains. The pavilion is single storey, square in plan and has four large openings or vistas, one each on all sides.”The ceilings and naqashi (design) work in both Dewan-e-Aam and Dewan-e-Khaas, had over a period of years deteriorated. The wall naqashi has been periodically redone, most of the time inappropriately, resulting in interventions that have impacted the authenticity of the forms, materials and colors. Further, significant damage has taken place due to seepage of rain water from the roof of Dewan-e-Khaas due to damage to wooden roof”, said Saleem Beg, convenor Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), J&K chapter.Alarmed by the damage, the INTACH Kashmir Chapter had submitted a proposal to German Embassy to help and support a restoration project for Dewan-e-Khaas in 2014. The proposal comprised mainly of restoring the papier mache ceiling and to the extent possible, the wall mouldings, which consequently led to the funding of the papier mache ceiling work in the Dewan-e-Khaas.After receiving approval, the restoration work was started and completed in December 2015. “Prior to taking up onsite conservation of the panels, the conservators were trained in the Art Conservation Centre of INTACH Delhi initially and then at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts,(IGNCA) Delhi”, Beg said.INTACH, Kashmir Chapter undertook the conservation of the ceiling panels in March 2015 and a specialised conservation lab was established on site. “The panels were suffering from a host of conservation issues like material decay, wood rot, loosening up of supports, deterioration of fabric, insect and fungal damages and previous inappropriate repairs,” he said.On tentative list of UNESCO world heritage siteBuilt by Emperor Jahangir (1605-27 AD), the magnificent Shalimar garden was opened in 1620 AD. The 31 acre garden, which is on the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage site since 2010, also houses Deewan-e-Aam and Deewan-e-Khaas that was used by Mughal royals to meet the people and their spouses. Located on the fourth terrace in the erstwhile zennana (women) quarter of the garden, the Dewan-e-Khaas is positioned in the middle of the terrace amidst a pool of water replete with an array of as many as 120 fountains. The pavilion is single storey, square in plan and has four large openings or vistas, one each on all sides.

Oman- Keralite nurse murdered- Husband and Pakistani neighbour detained

A Pakistani national and the husband of Chikku Robert, a nurse from Kerala who was found murdered at her residence in Oman, have been put under detention and are being investigated in the case, External Affairs Ministry said on Friday.”On 21st April in Salala Oman, a nurse from Kerala, Chikku Robert was found murdered. Our mission in Muscat has informed us that the royal Oman police is currently investigating her death. A neighbour, who is a Pakistani national and her husband are under detention and are being investigated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Embassy is in touch with the police authorities concerned. Her mortal remains are in a mortuary in the custody of royal Oman police. The Mission in Oman will continue to follow up the case with authorities concerned including release and transportation of the mortal remains after the investigation is completed as per the wishes of the family,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
ALSO READ Indian nurse murdered in Oman: Sushma Swaraj calls for reportAccording to reports, Robert (25) was stabbed to death at her residence.

Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi gets French honour

Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee has been decorated with one of France’s top honour The Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution in promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development.On behalf of the French President Bhattacharjee, 82, was conferred the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) honour in Delhi late Wednesday evening by French Ambassador Francois Richier. Accepting the award Bhattacharjee said there was need “to learn the fearlessness of Gandhi.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The fearlessness of Gandhi was different. His was made of love and compassion. I remember his room, his doors were always open. One hardly had to take an appointment to meet him.”I remember politicians coming out of the room saying they disagree with his view. They probably didn’t change their view, but did become his friends for sure. That’s the fearlessness we need today, ” she said.”This honour comes in recognition of Bhattacharjee’s remarkable work for promoting peace, solidarity, culture, education, and development through her commitment to perpetuating the memory and legacy of her grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi,” a statement by the Embassy said.The daughter of late Devadas Gandhi and the late Lakshmi Devadas Gandhi, is the widow of the late Jyoti Prasad Bhattacharjee, a leading economist. For the past 28 years, she has been working for the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, founded by Mahatma Gandhi in memory of his wife to serve needy women and children of rural India.The L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is a French government distinction for “persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world.” Some noted Indian recipients of this honour in the past include Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, Shahrukh Khan, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Aishwarya Rai, Raghu Rai, Ebrahim Alkazi, Habib Tanveer, and Upamanyu Chatterjee.

Brussels attack: PM Modi condoles Infosys employee’s death; says young life cut short by mindless violence

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his condolences over the death of Infosys employee Raghavendran Ganeshan, who lost his life in last week’s attacks in Brussels.Taking to micro-blogging site, Modi said, “A young life, full of hope & promise cut short by mindless violence… condolences to family of Raghavendran, who lost his life in Brussels.”The Indian Embassy in Brussels and the Ministry of External Affairs had on Monday confirmed the death of Raghavendran Ganeshan.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Belgian authorities have identified Raghavendran as one of the victims of the barbaric terror attacks of March 22,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.”Mortal remains are in process of being handed to family of Raghavendran, to be taken to India from Amsterdam airport,” the Embassy tweeted.
ALSO READ Brussels attacks: Death toll in blasts rises to 35Ganeshan was missing in Brussels since the deadly terror attacks.The Infosys condoled death of Ganeshan and said it will provide all possible support to the family.
ALSO READ Italy arrests Algerian suspected of forging papers for Brussels, Paris attackersAt least 35 people were killed and over 300 were injured in the attacks at Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station.

Brussels attack: Last call of missing Infosys employee traced, tweets Sushma Swaraj

An Infosys employee from Bengaluru who has been missing in Brussels since the deadly terror attacks was ‘travelling in the metro’, tweeted Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday morning.The missing employee was on Wednesday identified as Raghavendran Ganesh.”Raghavendran Ganesh- We have tracked his last call in Brussels. He was travelling in the metro rail,” said Swaraj.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another tweet, she also praised the work done by Indian Embassy. “I admire the outstanding work done by Indian Embassy under the able leadership of Ambassador Manjeev Puri,” she tweeted.The blasts on Tuesday claimed by the Syrian-based militants four days after the arrest in Brussels of a prime suspect in November’s Paris attacks, sent shockwaves across Europe and around the world, with authorities racing to review security at airports and transit systems, and drawing an outpouring of solidarity.Meanwhile, two Jet Airways crew members — Nidhi Chaphekar and Amit Motwanai — were also injured in yesterday’s explosions at Brussels’ Zaventem airport and Swaraj said they are recovering well. Both Nidhi and Amit are from Mumbai.(People hold a banner reading in French and Flamish “I AM BRUSSELS” as they gather around floral tributes, candles, belgian flags and notes in front of the Bourse of Brussels on March 22, 2016 in tribute to the victims of Brussels It was not clear, however, that the attackers used vests.) – AFPThree suicide bombers who struck Brussels airport and a metro train have been identified, as the manhunt for a fourth man whose suitcase bomb failed to detonate intensified.Prosecutors said brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui had carried out attacks at Zaventem airport and Maalbeek metro station, while bomb-making expert Najim Laachraoui was identified by police sources as the second airport bomber.

Jet Airways makes arrangements to transport its passengers in Brussels

After announcing cancellation of its flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Brussels, scheduled for Thursday, Jet Airways said it is making arrangements to transport its passengers stuck in Brussels. The Brussels airport is closed for operations and is out of bound for passengers.Click Here For LIVE SCORE: India vs Bangladesh, ICC World T20A spokesperson of the airline said that the airline was making arrangements for its passengers in Brussels, “Jet Airways has now made alternate arrangements to transfer its guests from Brussels. All the airline’s guests will travel today to Amsterdam in 15 buses and will be accommodated there in hotels tonight. At the same time, our aircraft will fly from Brussels to Amsterdam as ferry flights.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The airline said that guests will board the Jet Airways aircraft at Amsterdam airport for travel to Delhi, Mumbai and Toronto. The airline also said that it is making alternate arrangements for guests travelling to Newark.Jet Airways is working closely with the Belgian authorities and the Indian Embassy to facilitate an early transit for its guest and crew from Brussels. The airline said that it was closely monitoring the situation in Brussels. The airline’s Emergency Response Centre in Mumbai and the Local Incident Control Centre in Brussels are working round the clock to provide all possible support.Two Jet Airways crew members, identified as Nidhi Chaphekar and Amit Motwanai from Mumbai, were injured in the explosions that rocked Brussels’ Zaventem airport on Tuesday morning which led the airline to cancel all its flights to and from the Belgian capital.

US Commission on international religious freedom denied visa for India visit

A US Commission scheduled to visit India to discuss and report on the conditions of religious freedom in the country has been denied visa by the Indian government.A three-member delegation of US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wanted to make a one-week visit starting today to meet with government officials, religious leaders and activists in India.”We are deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of these visas,” said Robert P George, chairman of USCIRF in a statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As a pluralistic, non-sectarian, and democratic state, and a close partner of the United States, India should have the confidence to allow our visit,” he said.This is not the first time the USCIRF members have not been issued visas. The members, who prepare an annual report on religious freedom in countries across the globe, were denied the visas for the first time in previous UPA regime.USCIRF has been able to travel to many countries, including those that are among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China and Burma, George said.”One would expect that the Indian government would allow for more transparency than have these nations, and would welcome the opportunity to convey its views directly to USCIRF,” George said.The USCIRF delegation was scheduled to leave today and had the support of the State Department and the US Embassy in New Delhi, it said.USCIRF’s principal responsibilities include reviewing, through the lens of international human rights law, the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and making policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress.”USCIRF will continue to pursue a visit to India, given the ongoing reports from religious communities, civil society groups, and NGOs that the conditions for religious freedom in India have been deteriorating since 2014,” George said.USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan US federal government commission with commissioners appointed by the President and the leaders in both Houses of Congress.

India awaiting details from Pakistan, visit by SIT: Government on Pathankot attack

India on Wednesday said it was awaiting a visit by Pakistan’s Special Investigation Team and other details in connection with the Pathankot terror attack, days after Pakistani authorities registered an FIR in the case.”The government awaits details from Pakistan and also awaits visit by Pakistan’s SIT,” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, replying to a question in Lok Sabha said. Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Monday had that the SIT from Pakistan may visit Pathankot in the first few days of March and that his country was pursuing the investigation seriously.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In first official confirmation, he had also said Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, named by India as the mastermind of the Pathankot attack, has been under “protective custody” since January 14. Singh said NSAs and Foreign Secretaries of the two countries are in regular touch and that Pakistan conveyed to India that leads provided to it about the attack are being investigated.”The government of India is committed to addressing all outstanding issues with Pakistan through bilateral peaceful dialogue, as envisaged in the Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration,” he said. He said after the Pathankot attack, it was conveyed to Pakistan that it must take firm and immediate action against the organisations and individuals in Pakistan responsible for and linked to the attack.”This was done at the highest level when Prime Minister received a call from Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif on January 5,” he said. Pakistani authorities had lodged an FIR in connection with the Pathankot attack on February 18, without naming Azhar.Referring to a press release issued by Pakistan on January 13, he said it mentioned about apprehending several individuals belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad and sealing of the outfit’s offices. Replying to a separate question on attack on Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan last month, Singh said government was awaiting detailed information from Afghan authorities regarding “result” of their investigation into the attack.He said in view of the attack, government has undertaken further review of security measures in the Embassy and four consulates in coordination with Afghan authorities.

British tourist falls unconscious, dies in Amber fort

An 82-year-old British tourist died in Jaipur allegedly after she fell unconscious during a visit to the Amber Fort, police said.Brenda Gormley suddenly fell unconscious following which other tourists informed local authorities, who rushed her to a government dispensary where she was declared dead, a police official said.The body was sent to a mortuary at Sawai Madho Singh hospital and the British Embassy informed of Gormley’s death, station house officer, Amber police station, Kaptan Singh said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said post-mortem can be conducted, to ascertain the cause of death, only after British Embassy officials or someone from her family came and contacted the Police Commissionerate. During her saty she was residing at the Rambagh Hotel since February 5, the SHO said.

WikiLeaks’ Assange ‘arbitrarily detained’ in embassy, U.N. panel to say | Reuters

STOCKHOLM/LONDON WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange‘s three-and-a-half-year stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid rape investigation in Sweden amounts to ‘arbitrary detention’, a United Nations panel will rule on Friday.

Assange, who enraged the United States by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, appealed to the panel saying he was a political refugee whose rights had been infringed by being unable to take up asylum in Ecuador.

The former computer hacker denies allegations of a 2010 rape in Sweden, saying the charge is a ploy that would eventually take him to the United States where a criminal investigation into the activities of WikiLeaks is still open.

His leaks laid bare often highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders from Vladimir Putin to the Saudi royal family.

Britain said it had never arbitrarily detained Assange and that the Australian had voluntarily avoided arrest by jumping bail to flee to the embassy.

But the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled in Assange’s favour, Sweden said.

“Should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me,” Assange, 44, said in a short statement posted on Twitter.

He had said that if he lost the appeal then he would leave his cramped quarters at the embassy in the Knightsbridge area of London, though Britain said he would be arrested and extradited to Sweden as soon as he stepped outside.

Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.

Later that year, the group released over 90,000 secret documents detailing the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan, followed by almost 400,000 internal U.S. military reports detailing operations in Iraq.

More than 250,000 classified cables from U.S. embassies followed, then almost three million dating back to 1973.

POLITICAL REFUGEE?

In his submission to the U.N. working group, which is due to publish its findings on Friday, Assange argued that his time in the embassy constituted arbitrary detention.

“(The) working group has made the judgment that Assange has been arbitrarily detained in contravention of international commitments,” a spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry said, confirming an earlier report by the BBC.

He said that he had been deprived of fundamental liberties including access to sunlight and fresh air, adequate medical facilities and legal and procedural security.

While the ruling may draw attention to Assange’s fate, it is unlikely to immediately affect the current investigations against him.

“We have been consistently clear that Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy,” a British government spokeswoman said.

“An allegation of rape is still outstanding and a European Arrest Warrant in place, so the UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden,” she said.

Swedish prosecutors said the U.N. decision had no formal impact on the rape investigation under Swedish law. A U.S. Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks is ongoing.

STAY OR GO?

Britain, where Assange is wanted for jumping bail, has spent over 10 million pounds ($15 million) on keeping guards outside the embassy for over three years,

“There seems to me a real risk that if he left the embassy that he may expose himself to arrest or questioning,” said Philip Lynch, director of the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, an NGO.

“A decision that effective confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy constitutes arbitrary detention – it doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that the underlying arrest warrants and extradition requests are unlawful.”

Per Samuelson, one of Assange’s Swedish lawyers, said if the U.N. panel judged Assange’s time in the embassy to be custody, he should be released immediately.

“It is a very important body that would be then saying that Sweden’s actions are inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. And it is international common practice to follow those decisions,” Samuelson told Reuters.

Since Assange’s confinement, WikiLeaks has continued to publish documents on topics such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the world’s biggest multinational trade deals.

($1 = 0.6859 pounds)

(Additional reporting by Matt Siegal in Sydney, Daniel Dickson in Stockholm, Michael Holden and Kate Holtin in London, Alistair Scrutton and Simon Johnson in Stockholm, Tom Miles in Geneva, Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Tanzanian woman assaulted: Twitter mocks Karnataka Home Minister for his insensitive comment

Karnataka Home Minister Dr. G Parameswara stirred up controversy on Thursday with his comments about the assault on a Tanzanian woman in Bengaluru.The victim, a BBM student and her three friends were allegedly attacked by an angry mob after a 35-year-old female pedestrian was knocked down by another car belonging to a Sudanese student on January 31. The mob beat up the students and set their car on fire.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The incident came to light on Tuesday when the victim approached the All African Students Union, following which a complaint was raised to the Tanzanian Embassy. It was also alleged that the woman was stripped and paraded naked by the angry mob. In a press conference, the minister rubbished all reports of the incident being a racist attack. He also stressed that the victim was not stripped or paraded naked.However, a certain comment by Parameswara has generated extreme outrage among the masses. The Home Minister said that, “Had the Sudanese man not killed someone in the accident, maybe this incident wouldn’t have happened.”This comment has not gone down well with several Twitteratti who have condemned it too. Check out few tweets here:

Declassified files prove Netaji did not live in USSR: website

The 100 Indian government files declassified by India confirm that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose did not live in the former Soviet Union in or after 1945, said a UK website set up to chart the last days of the nationalist leader.The Russian government informed the Indian Embassy in Moscow in 1992 and 1995 there is no record of Bose being in the Soviet Union in or after 1945, the website bosefiles.info said as it reiterated its claim on December 7 denying that Bose escaped to the Soviet Union in 1945. The website was set up in London to chronicle the truth about how Bose met his end.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As a maiden disclosure it rendered the speculation among a section of people that he escaped to the Soviet Union instead of perishing after a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945 redundant. Notes exchanged between the Prime Minister’s Office and other union ministries in the mid-1990s uphold the revelation made by bosefiles.info that there were two replies from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to queries from the Indian Embassy categorically stating its point.In the first response on January 8, 1992, the Russians said “no information whatsoever is available on the stay of the former President of the Indian National Congress, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, in the Soviet Union in 1945 and thereafter”. In the second response dated October 27, 1995, the Russians reiterated “no information has come to light on the stay of Subhash Chandra Bose on the territory of the former USSR in 1945 and in subsequent years”.Ashis Ray, Bose’s grandnephew and creator of website bosefiles.info, reacted, “The confirmation from the declassified Indian government files is gratifying. It proves the website has been on the right track from day one”.Ray added, “Nothing in the 100 files released by Modi contradicts the facts collated and posted on bosefiles.info and no file anywhere in the world ever will. We are dealing with truth and nothing but the truth”.Bose died in an air crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, according to documents that form part of 100 secret files, comprising 16,600 pages which were made public by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Netaji’s 119th birth anniversary yesterday.

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