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Protesters Block Namaz Again In Gurgaon: ‘Will Build Volleyball Court’ – dot newz

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Last week Hindu groups carried out a “puja” on the site and spread cow dung cakes

Gurgaon:

Opposition to namaz at open spaces in Haryana’s Gurgaon reared its ugly head again today, after members reportedly affiliated with Hindu groups occupied a site in Sector 12A to stop Muslims from praying.

Visuals from the site showed people sitting around – they assembled in the morning and claimed to be making a volleyball court. In effect, though, they are preventing prayers from taking place.

Nearby, rows of cow dung cakes spread across the ground last week – after right-wing groups held a “puja” that included spreading the dung over the namaz prayer spot – remain untouched.

Muslim organisations, who have faced protests and displays of intimidation at this and other sites for the past several weeks, have said they will not offer prayers at this site today.

Today’s protests are the latest in what has become a weekly stand-off over between the two sides, with residents of some Gurgaon neighbourhoods – boosted reportedly by members of right-wing groups – have hit out at the Muslims praying at what they say are public spaces.

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Protesters have occupied the site where namaz>/i> was to be offered

The site in Sector 12A is one of 29 (it used to be 37) “designated” for the offer of namaz after an agreement between Hindus and Muslims following similar clashes in 2018.

Some of these spaces are, in fact, public property, such as one in Sector 47. Others, however, are private property, on which no possible objection can be raised to the offer of namaz.

Last week (before Friday prayers on November 5) Gurgaon authorities withdrew permission to offer namaz at eight of these “designated” sites. The administration said this was after “objections” and warned that if similar “objections” were raised at other sites, “permission will not be given there”.

“Consent from the administration is necessary for namaz in any public and open place,” it said, adding, “If local people have objections at other places also, permission will not be given…”

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Last month Gurgaon Police had to be deployed to keep the peace in Sector 12-A

The administration had said a committee – to be constituted by Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg – will hold discussions on identifying alternative sites, but it is unclear if the committee has met since or if there has been progress in selecting such spaces.

The week before November 5 police detained 30 protesters from Sector 12A; in videos of the stand-off, they could be seen with placards that read “Gurgaon administration, wake up from your sleep”.

Last month they were vociferous protests in several other sectors too, including 12A and 47, at which dozens of people had gathered chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and holding placards reading ‘stop namaz in open spaces’; police had been forced to deploy in large numbers.

Protesters claim “Rohingya refugees” use the prayers as an excuse to commit crimes in the area.

Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar has said everyone has a right to pray, but he also issued a caveat, saying “those offering prayers should not block road traffic”.

Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar – the junior Social Justice minister, and whose constituency is in Haryana, said people must be allowed to pray if the sites had been designated for such purposes.



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China Poses Significant Challenge To India’s Strategic Goals: Air Chief – dot newz

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Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said the Indian Air Force needs to be rapidly modernized. (File)

New Delhi:

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said that China poses a significant long term challenge to India’s strategic goals. He said it should be made clear to the world that today’s India has the capability and will to respond at a level that the nation deems appropriate.

“China poses a significant and long-term challenge to India’s strategic goals. Both People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have enhanced their military capabilities in equipment and infrastructure. The Indian Air Force (IAF) needs to be rapidly modernized, expand its fleet and improve indigenous manufacturing capabilities,” the IAF chief said at a seminar conducted by the Centre for Air Power Studies.

The IAF needs to be rapidly modernized, expand its fleet and improve indigenous manufacturing capabilities, he urged.

The IAF chief said that China’s hegemonic and entrapping policies can provide opportunities for India to leverage in trade and military domains.

He also asserted that India has demonstrated its capabilities during a standoff on the northern border while simultaneously handling the national COVID-19 response.

“In the future, we could be attacked from all fronts, starting from economic strangulation to diplomatic isolation and military stand-offs to information blackouts, in the form of attack by a distributed denial of services. We will need to prepare for the full spectrum,” the Air Force chief cautioned.

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



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Gen Rawat Was On “Very Safe” Mi-17V-5, Crash Confounds Experts – dot newz

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India owns a fairly large fleet of Mi-17V-5 helicopters that are often used to ferry VIPs.

New Delhi:

The Mi-17V-5 helicopters are extremely reliable and are the workhorses of the Air Force, several former army officers told NDTV after one of these choppers crashed in Tamil Nadu, with Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and several members of his family on board. The crash perplexed the experts, who said the flight from Sulur to Wellington did not involve complications.

Four people are dead and another four who survived, have been taken to a hospital. It is believed that there were 14 people on board, including the chopper’s crew and passengers.

The Indian Air Force has already ordered an inquiry into the crash.

The Mi-17V-5 is the latest twin-engine iteration of the Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopter and is used regularly for high-altitude operations. One of the most advanced military transports that can be used in any topography and weather, it is one of the most powerful choppers used by Indian defence forces.

India owns a fairly large fleet of these helicopters that were purchased and inducted between 2013 and 2018.

Most experts NDTV spoke to described it as a “very reliable, safe, stable, and large” helicopter that is also used to ferry VIPs, including the President and the Prime Minister.

According to information available on the website of Rosoboronexport — the Russian arms supplier — the chopper is designed to “carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded”.

“Its armament system includes unguided rockets (up to 80 S-8 80mm unguided aerial rockets), cannons (suspended pods with 23mm cannons and 250 rounds each) and small arms,” the website says.



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‘Smartphones, Scootys, Security’: Congress’ “Women’s Manifesto” Before UP Polls – dot newz

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UP will vote for a new government in 2022, with the Congress challenging the BJP

Lucknow:

Girls studying in Classes 10 to 12 in Uttar Pradesh schools will get smartphones and female graduate students will get scooters, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Wednesday as part of a six-point “woman’s manifesto” ahead of an Assembly election in the state in a few months.

Ms Gandhi Vadra – who is leading her party’s campaign in the poll-bound state – read out a number of measures and schemes the Congress plans to implement should it win next year’s election, and demanded that all parties understand “the fact women have to bear with exploitation”.

Promises made by Ms Gandhi Vadra today include the offer of three free LPG cylinders for women – a significant offer given the skyrocketing prices of gas cylinders in the country, something for which the BJP (in power in UP and at the centre) has been severely criticised.

“I hope this women’s manifesto will put pressure on other political parties to also speak about similar issues. We want to release a women-specific manifesto so women have freedom of choice… I have seen that women ka bahut shoshan hota hai but they are fighting for their rights,” she said.

Ms Gandhi Vadra also highlighted the Congress’ promise to reserve 40 per cent of its election tickets for women; “this is not only on paper,” she said, giving late Indira Gandhi – India’s first woman prime minister – as an example of the Congress’ contribution to women in politics.

“Our attempt is to bring real women’s empowerment… at the grassroots level. Women’s empowerment is usually spoken about before elections and then mostly restricted to being on paper. We want to actually empower women on ground,” the Congress leader said.

“Parliament and legislative assemblies have an average of 14 per cent participation by women representatives. That needs to increase… we want that 40 per cent of all seats should be represented by women. This will increase their participation in policy-making,” she stressed.

Apart from smartphones, scooters and free gas cylinders, Ms Gandhi Vadra said women senior citizens and widows would get a monthly pension of Rs 1,000, and every new-born girl will get a fixed deposit in her name. All households with women will get a free internet connection.

Ms Gandhi Vadra also flagged the issue of women’s security – a serious subject given the worrying number of violent crimes against women reported from Uttar Pradesh.

“We want 25 per cent of the police to consist of women. All chowkis to have at least one woman officer and constable,” she said, reminding reporters that many crimes were unreported as the police is reluctant to file a case. “More women in the force will help the cause of women,” she said.

The Congress also promised Rs 10 lakh medical cover for women “for any kind of illness or disease”.

UP votes for a new government in a few months time.

The Assembly election here – for 403 seats – is widely seen as an indicator of how the ruling BJP might fare in the 2024 general election, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party will seek a third consecutive term in power.



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