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Pulwama Terror Attack: A Tragic Reminder

The Pulwama attack, which took place on February 14, 2019, was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent years in the Jammu and Kashmir region of India. The attack was carried out by a member of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), who drove a car filled with explosives into a convoy of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, resulting in the deaths of 40 soldiers.

The Pulwama attack was a shocking and tragic event that sparked widespread outrage in India and raised concerns about the ongoing threat of terrorism in the region. JeM claimed responsibility for the attack, and India accused Pakistan of supporting and sheltering the group.

In response to the attack, India launched airstrikes against JeM targets in Pakistan, escalating tensions between the two countries. Pakistan condemned the violence and denied involvement in the attack, but India maintained that Pakistan was responsible for supporting terrorist groups.

The Pulwama attack also highlighted the role of social media in spreading extremist ideologies and facilitating the recruitment of terrorists. The attacker reportedly had been radicalized through online content, underscoring the need for greater vigilance and regulation of online platforms.

The attack led to calls for greater cooperation and coordination among international and regional actors to address the threat of terrorism. It also highlighted the importance of sustained efforts to prevent and combat terrorism, as well as the need for unity and shared commitment to peace and security in the face of such threats.

The Pulwama attack was a tragic event that had a significant impact on India and the region. It underscored the ongoing threat of terrorism and the need for sustained efforts to prevent and combat it. The attack also highlighted the role of social media in facilitating extremist ideologies and recruitment. It is imperative that international and regional actors work together to address this threat and ensure the safety and security of all people in the region.

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DMK MP T R Baalu writes letter to party MPs aiming to remove TN Governor

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Lok Sabha MP representing Sriperumbudur constituency near Chennai T R Baalu on Tuesday wrote a letter to ‘all the like-minded MPs’ urging them to back a proposal seeking removal of the Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi. “The proposal is to be addressed to President Droupadi Murmu following the gathering of MPs at the Anna Arivalaiyam headquarters and signing of MPs,” the letter stated.

“Members of Parliament belonging to DMK and like-minded political parties are requested to kindly visit Anna Arivalaiyam Headquarters to read and sign in a memorandum addressed to the Hon’ble President of India, pertaining to the immediate withdrawal of the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

People of Tamil Nadu had witnessed clashes between the DMK party leaders and Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi earlier too. In April, DMK Party leaders registered protests against Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi for not sending the NEET Exemption Bill to the President after being passed twice in the state Assembly. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies boycotted a get-together party called by the Governor on the occasion of Tamil New Year day.

Earlier, RN Ravi expressed serious concern over the delay of four days in handing over the Coimbatore blast case to NIA and the possible destruction of crucial evidence in a high-profile terror plot.

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CNG And Cooking Gas Hiked By 40% To Record Levels

The rate paid for gas produced from old fields, which make up for about two-thirds of all gas produced in the country, was hiked to USD 8.57 per million British thermal units from the current $6.1, according to an order from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).

Simultaneously, the price of gas from difficult and newer fields like the ones in Reliance Industries Ltd and its partner bp plc operated deepsea D6 block in the KG basin, was hiked to USD 12.6 per mmBtu from $9.92, the order said. These are the highest rates for administered/regulated fields (like ONGC’s Bassein field off the Mumbai coast) and free-market areas (such as the KG basin). Also, this will be the third increase in rates since April 2019 and comes on the back of firming benchmark international prices.

Gas is an input for making fertilizer as well as generating electricity. It is also converted into CNG and piped to household kitchens for cooking purposes. A steep increase in prices is likely to reflect in higher rates for CNG and piped natural gas (PNG), which has in the last one year risen by over 70 percent. The government sets the price of gas every six months — on April 1 and October 1 — each year based on rates prevalent in gas surplus nations such as the US, Canada, and Russia in one year with a lag of one quarter.

So, the price for October 1 to March 31 is based on the average price from July 2021 to June 2022. This is the period when global rates shot through the roof. As higher gas prices can potentially further fuel inflation, which has been stubbornly above the RBI’s comfort zone for the past eight months, the government has set up a committee to review the pricing formula. The committee, under former planning commission member Kirit S Parikh, has been asked to suggest a “fair price to the end-consumer” by September-end but the report is delayed.

The government had in 2014 used prices in gas surplus countries to arrive at a formula for locally produced gas.
The rates according to this formula were subdued and at times lower than the cost of production till March 2022 but rose sharply thereafter, reflecting the surge in global rates in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The price of gas from old fields, which are predominantly of state-owned producers like ONGC and Oil India Ltd, was more than doubled to $6.1 per mmBtu from April 1. Similarly, the rates paid for gas from difficult fields such as deepsea KG-D6 of Reliance went up to USD 9.92 per mmBtu from April 1 against $6.13 per mmBtu.
The panel has been asked to recommend a fair price to end-consumers and also suggest a “market-oriented, transparent and reliable pricing regime for India’s long-term vision for ensuring a gas-based economy,” according to an oil ministry order.

The government wants to more than double the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15 percent by 2030 from the current 6.7 percent. The volume-weighted average of the price prevalent in a 12-month period in US-based Henry Hub, Canada-based Alberta gas, UK-based NBP, and Russia gas are used to fix prices for administered fields of ONGC and Oil India Ltd.

For difficult fields like discoveries in deepwater, ultra-deepwater, and high pressure-high temperature areas, a slightly modified formula is used by incorporating the price of LNG, which too had shot through the roof in 2021. Reliance-bp operated KG fields are classified as difficult fields.

Sources said the increase in gas prices is likely to result in a rise in CNG and piped cooking gas rates in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. It will also lead to a rise in the cost of generating electricity but consumers may not feel any major pinch as the share of power produced from gas is very low. Similarly, the cost of producing fertilizer will also go up but as the government subsidizes the crop nutrient, an increase in rates is unlikely. For producers, it will bring in higher revenues.

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Tamil Nadu Government Denies permission for RSS Rally

RSS planned to Conduct in Tamil Nadu over 50 places in Tamil Nadu on October 2nd, 2022 Gandhi Jayanthi. Tamil Nadu Police department immediately rejected the permission for the Rally. Tamil Nadu Police Department instructed several norms and rules to follow during the rally and dismissed the plea.

The members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had moved the Madras High Court seeking permission to conduct a procession (Route March) wearing their uniform and led by a musical band on 2nd October 2022 and conduct a public meeting after that.

The bench of Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan directed the authorities to grant permission before the 28th of September. The exact order is awaited on 28th September.

VCK Chief Thirumavalavan invited all other parties for a Social rally on the same day. Major parties joined hands with Thirumavalavan. On the 29th of September, The Tamil Nadu government Canceled all Political gatherings and rallies in Tamil Nadu on 2nd October.

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Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates

The MHA banned the PFI and its associates and issued the gazette notification a day after the second nationwide crackdown on the radical outfit in five days with police teams across seven states conducting raids Tuesday and detaining or arresting more than 270 people with alleged links to the radical outfit.

The MHA in the notification issued said the PFI and its associates, affiliates, and fronts have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to India’s integrity, sovereignty, and security, have the potential of disturbing public peace and communal harmony, and supporting militancy in the country. The notification further accused the PFI of “propagating anti-national sentiments and radicalizing a particular section of society” with the intention to create disaffection against the country.

  • The notification said PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, and security of the country and have the potential to disturb public peace and communal harmony of the country and support militancy in the country.
  • The govt said some of the PFI’s founding members are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organizations.
  • There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
  • The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase the radicalization of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organizations, said the notification.

The government alleged that the PFI was found to have links with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), all three of which are banned under Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Affiliate organizations of the PFI, such as the Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation.

September 18, 2022: NIA Conducts Raids at 23 Locations in PFI Case. National Investigation Agency (NIA) was conducting raids at more than 23 locations across the country in connection with a terror-related case involving the Popular Front of India (PFI).

September 22, 2022: PFI Stages Protests in Various Cities of Kerala; Calls For Statewide Strike. Popular Front of India (PFI) on Thursday staged protests across Kerala against the raids carried out in their organization’s offices, houses of leaders, and other premises by multi-agencies led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. 

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Tamil Nadu Cabinet approves ordinance to ban online gambling in the state

The development comes after the Supreme Court of India issued notice on 10 September on a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the Madras High Court’s judgment that had struck down the state’s ban on online gambling such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes.

Earlier, The Government of Tamil Nadu had moved the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court’s order that struck down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 that banned the playing of games such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes. However, the HC had said that there was nothing to prevent the State from enacting a new law to regulate these games.

The Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Aniruddha Bose had sought a response from gaming firms such as Junglee Games, Play Games24x7, and the Head Digital Works and industry body All India Gaming Federation on the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal seeking restoration of the ban.

On 10 June 2022 Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu announced that a committee will be formed to analyze the after-effects of Online Gambling games.

On 27 June 2022, A Committee formed led by Retired Chief Justice Chandru.

Committe investigated and received feedbacks from public

On 29 August 2022, Committe submitted proposed law

On 26 September 2022, Tamil Nadu Government passed ordinance

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Actor Jacqueline Fernandez was granted interim bail

The court asked the ED to file a reply and granted her interim bail till then. On the request of Jacqueline’s lawyer, the court granted interim bail to Jacqueline on a bail bond of ₹50,000. On August 31, predecessor judge Praveen Singh had taken cognizance of a supplementary charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate and asked Fernandez to appear before the court.

With Dussehra festivities starting next week opposite Delhi’s Red Fort, police in Delhi have increased security in and around the monument. The Luv Kush Ramlila, the capital’s most prominent, is expected to be attended by more than 5,000 people every day, including VIPs. And with Covid numbers dwindling, this year’s festivities are expected to be particularly frenetic.

Jacqueline Fernandez seeks to postpone questioning in extortion case

In a bid to facilitate better last-mile connectivity and transportation services to rural and outer parts of the national capital, the AAP-led Delhi government has planned to procure around 2,300 nine-meter-long mini electric buses, christened “rural feeders”. According to a senior government official, the buses will be brought out under the FAME-II scheme through

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Delhi court accepts Vadra’s explanation for four-day UAE stopover

A Delhi court on Saturday discharged a show-cause notice issued to Robert Vadra for allegedly violating terms and conditions while traveling to the UK via Dubai. The court said it was satisfied with the businessman’s explanation that he stayed in Dubai for a medical emergency while traveling to the UK via UAE in August this year, but warned him to remain careful in the future. The court then took on record Vadra’s compliance report, stating that he had shown sufficient cause and satisfactory explanation for the four-day stopover in UAE.

Vadra, the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, is currently on bail in connection with a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). On September 20, the court expressed its displeasure with Vadra’s explanation and said this was a violation of the terms and conditions of the permission granted to him, and issued a show-cause notice asking him why his fixed deposit (FD) was submitted to the court should not be forfeited.
Also read: Congress chief polls: Stage set for Tharoor vs Gehlot contest?
On Saturday, Special Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen observed: “From the contents of the affidavit, I am satisfied that the omission is not intentional, the explanation is not an afterthought, and conduct of the applicant does not lack in bona fides and good faith.” The court further observed: “The applicant has tendered an unqualified and unconditional apology for the lapse which is accepted in the circumstances as noted above. However, the applicant is warned to remain careful in the future. The show cause notice stands accordingly discharged.”

The ED, represented by Special Public Prosecutor NK Matta, had alleged that “the violation is deliberate and intentional and that the applicant has tried to circumvent the order of the Court”. Vadra’s lawyers had submitted that a mistake had occurred since an amended application seeking permission to stay over in Dubai for four days, during the trip to the UK, had not been filed.

The lawyers submitted that they “deeply regretted that out of inadvertence the same was not filed, however, the conduct of the applicant throughout has been nothing less than bonafide.” Vadra’s lawyers had argued that the court had in the past granted Vadra permission to travel to Dubai on three separate occasions.

“That there had been no objection to the applicant’s travel to Dubai or stopover at Dubai on such previous occasions. That this buffer of a brief stay in Dubai was necessitated in the wake of the sudden medical emergency and that the itinerary and travel tickets were duly filed disclosing the break in journey,” his lawyers argued. Earlier, on Wednesday, Vadra tendered his unconditional apology for the alleged violation of the terms and conditions of traveling to the UK, Italy, and Spain.

The ED, however, said that action should be initiated against Vadra. In an affidavit, Vadra said that he made an inadvertent error and instead of “to Dubai”, wrote “via Dubai” in his application seeking permission to travel.

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Ankita Bhandari Murder Case: BJP Expels Ex-Minister Vinod Arya, Son Ankit Amid Outrage

Ankita Bhandari Murder Case: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday expelled Vinod Arya and Ankit Arya , the father and brother of main accused Pulkit Arya, in connection with the murder case of a 19-year-old receptionist, Ankita Bhandari. They have been suspended from the party with immediate effect. This comes amid massive outrage over the murder of a 19-year-old girl in Rishikesh in which Vinod Arya’s other son Pulkit Arya is an arrested accused.
Pulkit Arya is the owner of the resort where Ankita Bhandari worked as a receptionist. Her body was recovered from  Chilla canal in Hrishikesh this morning after she had been missing for five days.
Ankit Arya, the brother of main accused Pulkit Arya has also been relieved by the Uttarakhand government from the post of Deputy Chairman of the Uttarakhand Other Backward Classes Commission.
Vinod Arya, a party leader from Haridwar, has formerly served as a chairman of the Uttarakhand Mati Board with a state minister’s rank. Pulkit’s brother Ankit is the vice president of state OBC Commission.
Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit — who owns the resort in Pauri’s Yamkeshwar block — was arrested Friday along with two employees of the resort for killing the receptionist, who had been missing for the past few days. The three murder accused — Pulkit Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta — were sent to 14-day judicial custody by a court on Friday.
Meanwhile, locals set Vanatara resort, owned by Pulkit Arya, on fire.

WATCH | #AnkitaBhandari murder case: Locals set Vanatara resort in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand on fire.
The resort is owned by BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya. Three accused, including Pulkit, have been arrested in connection with the murder case.
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) September 24, 2022

The incident has triggered massive outrage with locals protesting outside the resort and demanding capital punishment for the culprits. On Friday, locals in Rishikesh gheraoed a police vehicle that was carrying the accused in the murder case and thrashed them.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday night ordered to raze down Vanatara Resort in Rishikesh, which is owned by the accused. He also ordered the formation of a Special Invetsigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.

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Will restore old pension scheme if elected to power in Gujarat: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the BJP of making the elderly dependent by abolishing the old pension scheme.
He assured that the Congress, if elected to power in Gujarat, will restore the old pension scheme, saying it is the right of government employees who strengthen the nation. “By abolishing the old pension, the BJP has made the elderly dependent from self-reliant. The government employees who strengthen the country have a right: The old pension,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

“We restored the old pension in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh. Now the Congress government will come in Gujarat and will bring the old pension,” Gandhi also said, using the hashtag #CongressDegiOldPension.
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia had said on Monday that his party would implement the old pension scheme in Gujarat just like Congress governments have done in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan if it is voted to power in the Assembly polls.

Thousands of retired government employees in Gujarat recently held protests demanding the re-introduction of the old pension scheme. The Gujarat Assembly elections are due in the next few months and the Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in the state.

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