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Monday,27-September-2021

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MHA hands over Jammu Air Force station attack case to NIA

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has handed over the Jammu Air Force station attack case to National Investigation Agency (NIA), officials said on Tuesday.

The NIA took over the case from Jammu and Kashmir Police which started initial probe along with other investigating agencies under the Explosives Act and other laws. The case was initially registered by Satwari police station.

The anti-terror agency formally took over the case after the MHA’s permission. However, its officials had reached at the spot just a few hours after the blast took place.

For the first-of-its-kind terrorist attack in the country, two drones were used to drop bombs at vital military installation in India on the intervening night of June 26-27. Two consecutive explosions took place within a gap of five minutes at the high-security Jammu Air Force station, injuring two personnel on duty in the technical area. The drones later flew away.

The two back-to-back explosions, which occurred at 1.37 a.m. and 1.42 a.m., injured two Air Force personnel. The roof of a building was damaged, but the explosive devices missed the aircraft hangar nearby. No valuable equipment was damaged in the attack.

The Air Force Station is about 14-15 km from the nearest point on the International Border (IB) with Pakistan. The farthest that a drone from Pakistan has so far come on the Indian side of the IB and Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region is 12 km.

Pakistan-based terrorists are suspected behind using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to attack the Air Force station, the officials said.

The attack on the Air Force Station took place a few hours after Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative with an improvised explosive device (IED) weighing nearly 5 kg in Jammu.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh on Sunday termed the twin explosion a ‘terror attack’.

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PM should think of problems being faced by farmers: Congress

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 Amid the Bharat Bandh, the Congress, which has extended its support to the agitating farmers, has said the Prime Minister should think about the problems being faced by the farmers, especially now when the input costs have increased, and not about the ‘billionaire friends for whom the farm laws were brought.

Pawan Khera, while addressing a press conference on Monday said, “The government has tried to deligitimise the farmers and made all efforts to demean the farmers and every citizen should come out and support them.”

The Congress alleged that ‘the Prime Minister was using diversionary tactics in elections, and he doesn’t have time to talk to farmers’.

Former Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded that the government should talk to the farmers without any conditions.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet in Hindi said, “The farmers non violent satyagraha is intact today but the exploitive government doesn’t like this and that is why #Bharat is Bandh #IStandWithFarmers.”

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted in Hindi, “Farm of the farmer, hard work of the farmer, crop of the farmer. However, the BJP government is eager to let its billionaire friends capture them. Take back the black laws.”

Farmers on the call of Samyukt Kisan Morcha on Monday observed a shutdown. They blocked major highways, including National Highway 1 linking Delhi with parts of Haryana and Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and railway tracks in some states.

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Centre-states review situation in Left-wing extremism affected areas

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The Centre on Sunday held a high-level meeting with the states affected by Left-wing extremism (LWE) to review the situation.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the review meeting with the chief ministers and police chiefs of these states in the national capital.

Chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao, Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren, Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik were present in the meeting held at Vigyan Bhawan here. The Chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal did not attend the review meeting.

Sources said that Shah talked about the need to formulate a new strategy to take decisive actions against these ultras.

The meeting is being held in two sessions. In the first session operational strategy to effective domination in the affected districts was discussed and states were asked to extend cooperation in anti-Maoist operations. In the second session, discussion on the execution of the developmental schemes in all affected states was being held.

It is learnt that in the meeting it was flagged that some states are not cooperating with the Centre in the fight against LWE due to their local issues. “Centre has sought more cooperation from the states to fight against the ultras in a calibrated manner,” sources said.

Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik requested the Union government to consider four laning of road NH 326 from Jeypore to Motu via Malkangiri, providing railway network in LWE affected districts, which are not part of it, providing mobile connectivity to areas of southern and western parts of states and providing banking facilities in these districts.

Sources claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Thackeray demanded additional central assistance for these districts for strengthening the policing network and to carry out development works.

It is further learnt that in the second session, the progress of the various infrastructural developmental schemes such as road requirement and connectivity, and also of aspirational districts programmes in the LWE affected districts were being discussed.

Chief Ministers and police chiefs of 10 affected states — Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Kerala were invited for the review meeting, but a few of them did not attend it for different reasons.

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Priyanka to be in Lucknow from Monday to take stock of poll preps

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Congress General Secretary In charge of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be in Lucknow for a week from Monday evening to take stock of poll preparations in the state.

The Congress leaders say she will be meeting state leaders and also important party workers in Lucknow during her week long tour.

She will have scheduled meetings with the manifesto committee and with the election committee to assess the party’s poll preparedness in the state, sources said.

Priyanka Gandhi is likely to participate in one of the training programmes being organised by the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.

The Congress in Uttar Pradesh will take out a ‘Congress Pratigya Yatra’ with the tagline — ‘Hum Vachan Nibhayenge’, ahead of the Assembly elections, due early next year.

Priyanka has said that the yatra would cover a distance of 12,000 kilometres and will pass through all major villages and towns to connect with the masses.

The date of the yatra is yet to be decided, though sources said it was likely to begin on the Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.

The party is readying the first list of candidates in October, months ahead of the elections. For this, the the Congress in Uttar Pradesh has extended the last date for applications for the Assembly polls. In a letter sent to all party units, UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu said that applications form from prospective candidates will now be received till October 10.

Earlier, the last date for submitting applications was September 25. Each candidate was asked to deposit a sum of Rs 11,000 with the form.

Party sources said that the reason for extending the date was that the number of applications received so far was ‘unsatisfactory’.

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