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SEPTEMBER 6, 2019
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Singapore Press Holdings
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
V.K. Santosh Kumar
Marketing Team Head
Army commander cycles from
Delhi to Jaipur to take charge
An Indian Army senior general on
Sunday cycled from New Delhi to
Jaipur to take charge of the
prestigious South Western Command,
choosing not to fly in a service aircraft
or drive in a cavalcade of cars, both of
which he is entitled to.
Lieutenant-General Alok Kler, 58,
cycled 280km with his sons Aiman
and Arman to take charge of the
Sapta Shakti Command in the
Rajasthan capital. The trio stopped
only for short tea breaks.
Lt-Gen Kler had earlier cycled to
Jhansi and Ambala Command to take
Kedarnath cave becomes tourist
hotspot after PM’s visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
17-hour meditation at a Kedarnath
cave in Uttarakhand in May has led to
an increase in bookings of the
From one booking before his visit
to 78 now, the Rudra meditation cave
has become a tourist attraction with
people waiting to book their spots,
A day before the last phase of the
national elections earlier this year,
Mr Modi had visited the Kedarnath
and Badrinath shrines. Pictures of him
meditating were widely shared on
Protests after reporter probed
over school meal expose
Authorities’ attempt to charge a
journalist who exposed the poor
quality of meals served at a
government school in Uttar Pradesh
triggered protests on Tuesday over
fears of worsening press freedom in
Mr Pawan Jaiswal made national
headlines after reporting that
impoverished primary school students
in a district in Uttar Pradesh were fed
bread with salt instead of a mandated
The report led to widespread
criticism of the local government,
which responded by launching a
criminal probe against Mr Jaiswal.
“It is a cruel and classic case of
shooting the messenger,” the Editors
Guild of India said in a statement.
Bengaluru civic body fixes
potholes after ‘moonwalk’
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara
Palike (BBMP), the administrative
body responsible for civic amenities in
Bengaluru, promptly responded to
street artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy’s
novel complaint by fixing the potholes
on which he had “moonwalked”
dressed as an astronaut on Sunday.
His aim was
to expose the
of roads in
main road have since been filled up
with mud, bitumen and asphalt.
The 40-year-old artist-activist later
thanked people for flagging the
complaint by sharing and retweeting
the minute-long video of his
“moonwalk” on social media.
Army to commission first batch of
women soldiers in 2021
The first batch of 100 women soldiers
in the Indian Army is likely to be
commissioned by March 2021.
According to media reports, the
commissioning will take place after
the first batch completes its training,
which will start in December this year.
The women soldiers will be
commissioned into the Corps of
“The training period of 61 weeks is
similar to that of male soldiers,” a
senior Army official told IANS.
At present, women in the Army
work only in the engineering, medical,
legal, signals and educational wings.
Doctor’s killing triggers
resignations in Assam tea gardens
Tea garden workers and staff in Assam
may soon face problems during
medical emergencies as several
doctors attached to tea gardens
tendered their resignations on
The move was prompted after one
of their colleagues, Dr Deben Dutta,
73, was killed by a group of workers
at Teok Tea Estate in Jorhat district
They became agitated after a fellow
worker died during treatment. The
police have taken 26 people into
“Doctors in tea estates are
employed by the management. The
resignations have created a big
problem for us,” said the senior
manager at a tea estate.
Joint effort to clear stray dogs off
Goa airport runway
The Goa government and the Indian
Navy are together trying to tackle the
stray dog menace at Dabolim
International Airport that caused
landing and take-off disruptions twice
in the past one month.
The airport functions from the
Indian naval airbase Hansa in south
“The increase in rampant throwing
of garbage outside the airport and
areas around Dabolim-Bogmalo has
resulted in an increase in dog and bird
menace at the airport which is
seriously impinging the safety of
passengers,” the Navy said.
In the most recent incident last
Sunday, an Air Asia flight to Delhi
had to abort take-off after air traffic
controllers spotted stray dogs on the
It later took off after technical
checks were done.
Congress leaders flay Goa CM for
using banned musical instrument
Congress party leaders in Goa on
Tuesday claimed that a video of the
state’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant
playing an indigenous musical
instrument called Ghumot in the
company of Minister for Garbage
Management Michael Lobo was not in
line with the country’s wildlife laws.
Minutes after the video went viral,
state Congress chief Girish Chodakar
alleged that the Ghumot had been
banned because its drum-head is
made with the the skin of the monitor
The Ghumot is a unique percussion
instrument which is played during
Fireworks factory blast kills at
At least 23 people were killed and
26 injured in an explosion following a
blaze at an illegal firecracker
manufacturing unit in Batala, a town
in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, on
Several people are still feared
trapped under the debris.
The dead included the firecracker
manufacturing unit’s owner and six of
his family members.
India given consular access to
death-row convict Jadhav
India’s Deputy High Commissioner in
Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia on
Monday met death-row convict
Kulbhushan Jadhav after Pakistan
granted consular access to him in line
with an International Court of Justice
Mr Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to
death by a Pakistani military court on
charges of “espionage and terrorism”
in April 2017, following which India
moved the ICJ seeking a stay.
Pakistan claims that Jadhav was
arrested from the restive Balochistan
province on March 3, 2016, after he
entered from Iran.
India maintains that Jadhav was
kidnapped from Iran where he had
business interests after retiring from
the Indian Navy.
Indian Air Force gets eight
In a major boost to India’s air
defence capabilities, eight Apache
helicopters were inducted into the
Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday
at the Pathankot Air Base in
The Apache A64E is an
advanced version which has been
designed by United States
manufacturer Boeing to meet the
Boeing formally handed over the
helicopters’ keys to Air Chief
Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa at
a function in Pathankot.
India signed a multi-billion
dollar contract with Boeing in 2015
for the purchase of 22 Apache
helicopters. The entire fleet is
scheduled to be delivered to the
IAF by next year.
IAF officers standing next to an A64E Apache during the induction ceremony.
A teenager died in Indian Kashmir
nearly a month after being injured in
a protest, officials said on Wednesday,
confirming the first such death since
India revoked the region’s autonomy.
News of the fatality came as Pak-
istan warned that India was “sowing
seeds of war” in the Muslim-majority
region that has long been a flashpoint
between the neighbours.
India and Pakistan both rule parts
of Kashmir while claiming it in full.
They have fought two wars over
the region and their forces regularly
trade fire across a 740km Line of
Control, which is the de facto border.
Asrar Ahmed Khan, 18, from the
region’s main city Srinagar, died on
Tuesday night in hospital, succumbing
to wounds he suffered a month ago,
“He was reportedly injured with a
blunt object in a law and order
situation where a violent crowd was
indulging in stone pelting,” Jammu
and Kashmir Director-General of Po-
lice Dilbag Singh said.
Some protesters said Asrar was hit
by a tear gas canister, though authori-
ties suspected a stone struck him,
Mr Singh said.
The New York Times reported that
Asrar was known as a smart young
man who excelled in school, scoring
495 out of 500 in a recent exam.
“Son, dear son, what good were all
the marks you got?” cried a group of
women, including his mother, who
gathered at his home on Wednesday.
Media have reported at least two
other deaths during protests, but au-
thorities have denied that.
India flooded the Kashmir valley
with troops, restricted movements and
cut off communication as Prime Minis-
ter Narendra Modi withdrew special
rights for Kashmir on Aug 5.
India-administered Kashmir lost its
right to frame its own laws and
non-residents were allowed to buy
property there in changes the govern-
ment said would help the region’s
development and bring it in line with
the rest of the nation.
Mobile and Internet connections
have been off for 31 days.
Hundreds of political leaders and
activists, including three former chief
ministers, have been detained.
Relatives mourn the death of teenager Asrar Ahmed Khan.
Heavy rains cripple Mumbai
Teenager dies in Kashmir as tension escalates
Monsoon rains brought Mumbai to a
standstill on Wednesday, stalling
trains, delaying flights and disrupting
traffic, and forecasters warned of more
wet weather for India’s financial capi-
tal. Authorities advised people to stay
indoors and asked schools and colleges
to close for the day.
“Those living near the Mithi river
have been evacuated to safer places,
but there are no reports of any harm
or casualties so far,” a police
spokesperson said, referring to the
city’s main river.
Around 20 flights were cancelled
and 280 delayed at Mumbai airport,
one of the busiest in the country, and
trains carrying thousands of com-
muters to work were halted on many
“It took me three hours to cover a
distance that usually takes less than an
hour,” Mr Vishwanath Acharya, an
executive who works in the city, said.
The India Meteorological Depart-
ment (IMD) said Mumbai, Thane, Pal-
ghar and Raigad districts in Maharash-
tra averaged 30cm rains during a
36-hour period, while the Vasai-Virar
belt in Palghar got a staggering 50cm.
The IMD has issued a “red alert”
for Mumbai and surrounding districts
which could be lashed by very heavy
rains till Saturday.
On Tuesday, the National Disaster
Response Force, Indian Navy and
Mumbai Police rescued around 1,500
people who were left stranded by the
flood waters of the Mithi river which
overflowed and entered their homes in
Kurla. Mumbai has been hit by heav-
ier-than-usual rain this monsoon, affect-
ing the city’s crumbling infrastructure.
Social media users posted videos of
submerged streets and people wading
Floods in 2005 killed more than
500 people in the city, home to the
country’s two biggest stock exchanges
and headquarters of several major
People climb on to a truck during heavy rains in Mumbai.
September 6, 2019
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