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Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate merged with National War Memorial flame

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Amar Jawan Jyoti at iconic India Gate was merged with the flame at the National War Memorial in a military ceremony followed by a parade on Friday.

The torch bearing the flames from Amar Jawan Jyoti was carried and merged with National War Memorial in a full military tradition.

Soldiers from tri services marched carrying the flame from India Gate to the war memorial metres away from there.

Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), presided over the ceremony. The officer laid wreath first at Amar Jawan Jyoti and then at War Memorial. He was welcomed by three deputy chiefs in full military tradition.

Amar Jawan Jyoti was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. It is a memorial symbolised by an inverted bayonet and soldier’s helmet over it with an eternal flame burning beside it.

Amar Jawan Jyoti’s existence was questioned two years ago when National War Memorial came into existence and the nation got a new eternal flame there.

Earlier tri-services chiefs and visiting delegates used to pay respect at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Even on all important days like Republic Day and Independence Day, tri services chief used to pay respect at Amar Jawan Jyoti.

But with new eternal flame at National War Memorial and wreath-laying ceremony on all designated days being carried out at memorial made the force to merge the flames.

National War Memorial was built in memory of soldiers and unsung heroes who have laid down their lives defending the nation since Independence.

It is spread over 40 acres in the India Gate complex behind the canopy and is dedicated to soldiers killed during the Indo-China War in 1962, Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and in the Kargil Conflict in 1999, and also those in the UN peacekeeping missions.

The defence veterans were divided over merging of flame from India Gate to National War Memorial.

Lieutenant General Satish Dua (Retd) said: “It gives me great satisfaction that the eternal flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate is being merged with the National War Memorial (NWM).”

He further stated: “As someone who had steered the design selection and construction of NWM, I’d been of this view all along …India Gate is a memorial to the fallen heroes of First World War. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was added in 1972 as we did not have another memorial. National War Memorial pays homage to the fallen Bravehearts after independence.
All homage ceremonies had shifted to NWM already.”

Contrary to it Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur stated that the eternal flame at India Gate is part of India’s psyche. You, I and our generation grew up saluting our brave jawans there. While National War Memorial is great, the memories of Amar Jawan Jyoti are indelible.”

He requested to rescind the decision.

Maharashtra

Yuvraj Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje scion withdraws from Rajya Sabha race

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On anticipated lines, Yuvraj Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje, scion of the Kolhapur throne, withdrew from the Rajya Sabha race, here on Friday.

He cited his decision as arising out of self-respect and concern for the masses.

Earlier, Sambhajiraje had explained that since the BJP can get only 2 seats, and the Sena-NCP-Congress one each, he would contest that ‘extra’ sixth seat solo with the support of various major and smaller parties.

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Maharashtra

FIR against unknown person for threatening MP Navneet Rana

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Delhi Police has registered an FIR against an unknown person for allegedly issuing death threats to Member of Parliament Navneet Rana, an official said on Thursday.

“An FIR has been registered at the North Avenue police station under sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district) Amrutha Guguloth said.

Rana’s Personal Assistant, Vikas Goswami, in the complaint, alleged that the parliamentarian received 11 calls on Tuesday in which the caller threatened her of dire consequences if she ever recites Hanuman Chalisa or comes to Maharashtra.

“The caller spoke to her very rudely and in a very inappropriate manner. He abused her, threatened to kill her and said he won’t allow her to enter Maharashtra,” the complaint lodged in Hindi read.

He further wrote that MP Rana was extremely disturbed and scared after several threatening calls.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has started probing the matter, and call detail records of the parliamentarian are being examined.

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Maharashtra

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar file nominations for RS polls in Maharashtra

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Two Shiv Sena leaders — party Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut and Kolhapur District Chief Sanjay Pawar — filed their nomination papers for the upcoming biennial elections to Rajya Sabha, here on Thursday.

In a major show of strength by Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), Raut and Pawar were joined by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Congress Legislature Party chief and Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, many ministers, MPs and MLAs from the three allies.

Simultaneously, the NCP has decided to renominate senior leader Praful Patel for one seat, while the Congress is yet to announce its candidate.

With Sena filing nominations for two seats, the fate of Yuvraj Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje is not clear, as he had planned to contest the RS polls independently with support of all other parties.

There are indications that Sambhajiraje may withdraw from the contest and he is likely to announce his decision here on Friday.

Speaking to mediapersons after submitting their nomination papers, Raut said that both the RS seats “belong to the Sena” and the party would bag them comfortably.

To a question, Raut said even if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fields a third candidate, the Sena nominee would win as it has “more than the required number of votes”.

The RS elections will fill up the vacancies by six retiring members — one each from ruling (MVA) allies, Shiv Sena (Sanjay Raut), NCP (Praful Patel) and Congress (P. Chidambaram), and three from the BJP Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Piyush Goyal and Dr. Vikas Mahatme.

This time, given the re-alignment of the legislature after the 2019 Assembly elections, the BJP can win only two of the three seats it holds, the MVA can win their three seats, and Sena is now contesting the third seat held by the BJP.

The electoral college comprises the 288 MLAs and a candidate must get 42 votes to win a seat in the Upper House of Parliament.

The MVA has 170 MLAs — Shiv Sena 55 (one MLA Ramesh Latke, died in Dubai last week), NCP 53, Congress 44, smaller parties/groups 10 and eight Independents.

On the Opposition side, BJP has 106 with other smaller parties/groups two and five Independents.

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