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Talks To Go On, Army To Stand Firm: Rajnath Singh On India-China Standoff – dot newz

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Rajnath Singh applauded armed forces for aptly incorporating the latest technologies

New Delhi:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today expressed confidence that the ongoing talks between China and India for a peaceful resolution of the eastern Ladakh standoff will continue while Indian troops stand “firm” in the region.

In an address at a conference of the top Army Commanders, he said ensuring the availability of the best weapons, equipment and clothing to the troops braving extreme weather and “hostile forces” to defend territorial integrity is a national responsibility.

The defence minister also commended the Army for its firm response to cross-border terrorism.

“Commenting on the current situation along the Northern borders, the Raksha Mantri expressed full confidence that while troops are standing firm, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of crisis will continue,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

His comments came over two weeks after the 13th round of military talks between Indian and Chinese armies ended in a stalemate.

In a strong statement after the talks, the Indian Army said the “constructive suggestions” made by it at the negotiations were neither agreeable to the Chinese side nor could Beijing provide any “forward-looking” proposals.

Referring to the situation along the border with Pakistan, Mr Singh complimented the Indian Army’s response to cross- border terrorism.

“I compliment the excellent synergy between the CAPF/ police forces and the Army in tackling the menace of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The synergised operations in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is getting the region to a stable and peaceful environment conducive for overall growth and development,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Singh reaffirmed the faith of the billion-plus citizens on the Indian Army as one of the most trusted and inspiring organisations in the country.

“I have full confidence in the senior Military leadership. The nation is proud of its Army and the government is committed to facilitate the Army in their forward movement, on road to reforms and capability developments,” he said.

The four-day conference of the top commanders of the Indian Army began on Monday and it has carried out a comprehensive review of India’s security challenges including in eastern Ladakh, other areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Jammu and Kashmir.

The defence minister complimented the forces for the high standard of operational preparedness and capabilities, saying he personally experienced it during visits to various forward areas.

Mr Singh also paid tributes to all the “bravehearts” who made supreme sacrifices in the line of duty.

“The government is focused on enhancing combat capability and ensuring the welfare of soldiers,” he said, adding that the policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat in the defence sector is a major step to meet the future requirements of the armed forces.

He applauded the Indian Army for working towards this goal and remarked that 74 per cent of its contracts by the Army were awarded to Indian vendors in 2020-2021 in keeping with the ”self-reliant India” initiative.

“There are no budgetary constraints for capability development and meeting other requirements of the Army,” he said.

Mr Singh said that the decision to grant permanent commission to women officers in the Army is another significant decision that will ensure equal opportunities for professional growth to all officers irrespective of their gender.

He also complimented the significant contributions made by the Army in military diplomacy to further our national security interests by creating sustainable cooperative relationships with foreign Armies.

In his address, Mr Singh also commended the efforts of the Border Roads Organisation, saying it is working under difficult conditions to connect far-flung areas so that citizens living in those locations are connected.

He also applauded the armed forces for aptly incorporating the latest technologies.

The ministry said Mr Singh appreciated the Army’s efforts to develop niche technologies in collaboration with civil industries including premier educational institutions.

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





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Questions On China Met With Wall Of Silence: Congress’s Manish Tewari – dot newz

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Manish Tewari said the government has scuttled all discussion on Chinese transgressions.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been shy about answering questions in parliament on Chinese incursions, Congress leader Manish Tewari said on Thursday, accusing the government of trying to dodge accountability in an effort to protect its muscular image.

“For the last 18 months, there has been not one substantive discussion in the parliament on the situation in eastern Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh,” Mr Tewari said at the launch of his new book ’10 Flash Points; 20 Years – National Security Situations that Impacted India’.

“Every question that I have asked of the government on the Chinese transgressions has been refused in the name of national security… there has been kind of a blanket attempt that no discussion will be permitted in parliament,” he said.

“The government had given an assurance that they would brief the opposition leaders – this was in the September of 2020 – and they reneged on that commitment. Every time an attempt is made to raise the Chinese transgressions in parliament, they are met with a wall of silence,” he added.

The Congress has been training its guns at the BJP-led government at the Centre over its response to Chinese incursions in Ladakh as well as reports of the country setting up settlements in what India officially considers to be its territory in Arunachal Pradesh.

Last month, after NDTV reported new satellite images that showed how China had constructed a second enclave or cluster of at least 60 buildings in Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress questioned PM Modi’s silence on the issue and accused the BJP government of “deception and deliberate distortion”.

While the Prime Minister has not spoken about Chinese transgressions since his statement last year over the deadly clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley when he said, “No one has intruded and nor is anyone intruding, nor has any post been captured by someone,” and there have been few statements in parliament on the subject, his government last month acknowledged China’s efforts of strengthening its hold on illegally occupied Indian territory with a tactic commonly referred to as “salami-slicing”.

Responding to a question on a US government report, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had told journalists that China has undertaken construction activities in the past several years along border areas, including in areas it has “illegally occupied over the decades.”

“India has neither accepted such illegal occupation of our territory nor has it accepted the unjustified Chinese claims,” he said.



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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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