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India Should Exercise Caution In Its Engagements With Taliban: Former Diplomats – dot newz

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We should be very careful in legitimising the Taliban, former diplomat Gautam Mukhopadhyay said. (File)

New Delhi:

India should keep diplomatic channels open for talks with the Taliban, but move very cautiously towards legitimising it, former diplomat Gautam Mukhopadhyay said on Friday.

Speaking at a discussion organised by the Press Club of India, he said “a false narrative” is being built to project the Taliban as different from what the world saw in Afghanistan two decades ago.

“We must talk to them. That is diplomacy…. We should be very careful in legitimising the Taliban,” he said.

Mr Mukhopadhyay said the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban will have an “inspirational effect” all across the world.

“Basically, it is not possible that what the Taliban has done is going to stay and be contained in Afghanistan. It will have ripple effects, demonstration effects and inspirational effects all across,” he said.

“All those who think that they made a deal with the Taliban and hence, the al-Qaeda will not attack them or that the Taliban will protect them from the ISIS are making a serious mistake,” the former diplomat added.

Speaking at the event, another former diplomat Vivek Katju also said India should keep its diplomatic channels open for talks with the Taliban.

“We should talk to them, explore opportunities, not because their ideology needs to be accepted. Ideological orientations of the Taliban are completely deplorable, antithetical to all that the Indian State stands for,” he said.

Mr Katju said India must keep a close watch on the developments in Afghanistan and work out a policy for future engagements with the neighbouring country.

“The reality is that almost entire Afghanisan is in captivity of the Taliban. We should have a policy for our neighbour,” he said.



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Tax Officials To Reply On Newslaundry Plea Over Leak Of Seized Material – dot newz

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The court orally observed leaking of data is “ethically, morally and legally” wrong. (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court Friday sought Income Tax Department’s stand on a plea by online news portal Newslaundry and its co-founder Abhinandan Sekhri to restrain any leakage of the material seized during a survey operation held earlier this month.

A bench of Justices Manmohan and Navin Chawla granted time to the department’s counsel to seek instructions on giving an undertaking against any leak and asked that the concerned officer join the proceedings on the next date of hearing i.e. September 21.

“Ask your client (to join proceedings) so that we can close it then and there. Let him be by your side..If he gives a statement, we can put a quietus to the matter,” said the bench to the lawyer who asserted that the fear of leak was a “bald apprehension”.

Data of thousands of assessees is in safe custody of the department and it can be used only in accordance with law, said counsel for the department Ajit Shamra.

During the course of the hearing, the bench orally observed, “Normally, no one’s data should be leaked” as it is “ethically, morally and legally” wrong.

“We have seen it on channels, people’s data that has been seized is being displayed… It should not happen,” it remarked.

Senior counsel Siddharth Dave, appearing for the petitioners, said that four notices under the Income Tax Act were issued to his client and a survey was held in the news portal’s premises on September 10, during which several devices, including a mobile phone and a laptop belonging to the petitioner co-founder, were seized by the IT authorities, which contained several information which were of no relevance to any income tax proceedings.

The data may contain personal photos and information pertaining to investigative stories, he said.

The senior lawyer argued that any data breach would be in violation of right to privacy and therefore a direction should be passed to the IT authorities to not leak any data and delete whatever is of no relevance to the proceedings.

It was also contended that any seizure during a survey operation was beyond the scope of survey and that no “hash value” of the seized data was given.

“Please direct them not to leak seized data collected in this purported garb of a survey and allow me to delete (non I-T related) data,” the senior lawyer submitted.

In the petition filed through advocate Nipun Katyal, the petitioners have said that the income tax officers and authorities do not have any power to interrupt the ordinary peaceful citizens of the country in any manner they like by utilizing the large powers given to them, without keeping strictly within the four corners of those large powers.

“The Petitioners are heading a news organization, the Petitioners herein have sources, contacts and other information on the digital machines. It is the fiduciary duty of the Petitioners to protect them and keep it confidential.

“It is further submitted that the legal communication regarding existing cases is present in the personal laptop and phone of the Petitioners. If in any circumstances, the leaks are committed, it shall be a clear breach of the attorney client privilege as well as whistleblowers confidentiality,” the plea says.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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1 Crore Jabs Till 1:30 PM. On PM’s Birthday, Government Aims At Record – dot newz

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The vaccination campaign is key to BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark PM’s birthday.

New Delhi:

As the government raced to deliver a vaccination record on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday today, the country clocked over 42,000 vaccinations a minute, a senior health official said. Vaccinations crossed one crore in the afternoon – for the fourth time in less than a month – setting up a milestone by the end of the day.

Aiming at 2 crore vaccinations as PM Modi turns 71, the government added a ticker to track Covid shots being given across the country.

“Celebrating the relentless efforts of India’s vaccinators against COVID-19, we have added a ticker to show vaccinations happening in near real-time. We are currently clocking over 42,000 vaccinations/minute or 700/second,” tweeted National Health Authority chief RS Sharma, sharing the new feature.

The vaccination campaign is key to the BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark the Prime Minister’s birthday.

“Let’s do #VaccineSeva and give him (PM Modi) birthday gift by getting vaccinated those who have not taken the dose so far,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had tweeted yesterday, urging people to get the shots.

To achieve its target, the BJP had prepped health volunteers “to ensure that the maximum number of people get their COVID-19 vaccines on the day”.

In recent days, India has reported more than one crore Covid shots in a day more than once.

Senior BJP leaders say the party wants to see the day “recorded in history” as one that saw a record number of Covid vaccines given.

By noon, over 94,00,000 vaccinations had been achieved. PM Modi’s home state Gujarat had crossed five lakh doses, more than the daily doses in the last seven days.

By afternoon, Bihar had given Covid shots to 7.3 lakh people, three times more than the average of the last three days. Madhya Pradesh was at more than 5 lakh doses – 75 per cent of the last two days’ average.





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Under-Construction Flyover Collapses In Mumbai’s Bandra, 14 Injured – dot newz

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The under-construction flyover collapsed at about 4.40am.

At least 14 people were injured after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Bandra Kurla Complex in Maharashtra’s Mumbai today. The injured were taken to the VN Desai Hospital and their condition is stable, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

The flyover collapsed at about 4.40am.

Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed police personnel and fire departments on the spot as the rescue work is underway.

There has been no loss of life and no person is missing due to the collapse, Deputy Commissioner Of Police Manjunath Singe told news agency ANI.

The flyover is located at MTNL junction in suburban Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and will connect the complex’s main road and Santa Cruz- Chembur link road. The construction work of the flyover is being undertaken by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Further details related to the flyover’s collapse are awaited.





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