A group of civic society on Aug 14 held protest near the Pakistani embassy in Kathmandu denouncing atrocities over Hindu minorities as well as destruction of Buddha idols and temples. Members of Rastriya Ekata Abhiyan held placards and banners denouncing the move of Pakistan Government and had marched near the Pakistan mission in Nepal when they were stopped by security forces. Alerted by the gathering the Pakistani Embassy called on the local police who seized the banners and holding from protestors and sent protestors back into bus in which they came to the spot.
At least two police personnel were killed in a terrorist attack on police party in Jammu and Kashmir's Nowgam. Police said that terrorists belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit. The incident also left a police personnel injured. The policemen belonged to the 20th battalion of IRP. The police personnel were rushed to a hospital for treatment. On reaching the hospital, two of them were declared dead. The area where the attack took place has been cordoned off. IG Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said, "Two terrorists fired indiscriminately on our police party. Two of our jawans were martyred, one injured. We have identified them, they belong to JeM group. We will neutralise the terrorists soon. We get such inputs every year before August 15 and January 26. We had inputs that they will try (an attack) in some area. Our men were alert and prepared but terrorists came from the rear side and fired on them. In a tweet, Jammu and Kashmir Police said that the attack took place near Nowgam Bypass.
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India gears up to celebrate the nation's 74th Independence Day on August 15. Security has been put on high alert in the national capital. Strict checking on vehicular movement is being done across the city. This year, curtailed celebrations have been planned in view of Covid pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the Tricolour flag at Delhi's Red Fort to mark Independence Day. The Prime Minister will also address the nation on August 15. It will be PM Modi's second Independence Day speech of his second consecutive term in office. In Jammu and Kashmir, a full dress rehearsal was held in Doda ahead of the Independence Day. The Tricolour flag was unfurled by Additional Dy Commissioner, Doda, Kishori Lal. A march past also took place by cadets at the Sports Stadium. Jammu and Kashmir Police, Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) took part in the dress rehearsal. Students of educational institutions also participated and presented cultural program at the event.
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Construction of underground bunkers began at villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector of Baramulla district in view of ceasefire violations by Pakistan. Javed Ahmad, Junior Engineer said, "Total 18 bunkers to be constructed here, work underway for six bunkers is underway." The bunker will be equipped with all the facilities which will allow people to take shelter in the bunkers for days. 18 community bunkers will be constructed in Boniyar and Uri areas out of which construction work on six is being underway and will be finished shortly. Each bunker will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 10 lakh. Each community bunker will consist of two rooms besides a washroom. Local residents of border areas of Uri were heaving a sigh of relief as their long pending demand is being finally met. Ceasefire violation by Pakistan has been increased in recent days and several civilians lost their lives due to these unprovoked ceasefire violation.
After offering prayers at Amarnath Temple, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on July 18 visited a forward post near LoC in Kupwara district and interacted with the soldiers deployed there. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, and Army Chief General MM Naravane. The Defence Minister is on a two-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Massive protests took place in Muzaffarabad city of Pakitan occupied Kashmir. The protest was over mega-dams construction by Chinese firms. The dams are reportedly to be constructed on Neelum-Jhelum river. Protesters chanted slogans in support of Jhelum River. China Gezhouba Group Company will sponsor the $1.54 billion project. "We don’t have money to for food, how will we afford electricity. We oppose the plundering of our natural resources. 6000 Chinese military engineers have entered PoK. Who will pay for them, we don’t know what will happen to us," said PoK Activist, Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza.
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A massive torch rally was held in Muzaffarabad city of Pakistan occupied Kashmir on August 12 to oppose the mega dams to be constructed by Chinese firms on Neelum-Jhelum River. Protestors hailing from ''Darya Bachao, Muzaffarabad Bachao Committee'' (Save River, Save Muzaffarabad) chanted slogans like "Neelum-Jhelum behne do, humein zinda rehne do." Recently, Pakistan and China signed agreements to construct Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydropower Projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project of 700.7 megawatts of electricity as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was signed on July 6, 2020. The dollar1.54 billion project will be sponsored by the China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC). The Kohala Hydroelectric Power Project which will be built on Jhelum River is roughly 7 km upstream of Azad Pattan Bridge in the Sudhanoti District of PoK and 90 km from Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Project was expected to be completed by the year 2026 will be sponsored by China Three Gorges Corporation, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Silk Road Fund. What really irks locals is high Chinese presence in the area, massive construction of dams, and river diversions threatening their very existence. Political activist Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza told ANI."
A large number of engineers carried out a peaceful rally in Muzaffarabad town of illegally occupied PoK to demand the technical allowance, which they say is being deliberately denied to them by the administration. They also issued an ultimatum saying that the intensity of their demonstrations would increase if the government didn't pay immediate heed to their demands. Engineers say that have been treated unfairly by successive regimes despite their selfless and tireless work for the development of the region. Pakistan, which claims the region of its own, has given similar allowances to engineers in its provinces but has turned a blind eye to the demands of these men. All they are asking is a 1.5% technical allowance of their salary as per the 2017 pay scale.
The last rites of Urdu poet and lyricist Dr. Rahat Indori was performed in Madhya Pradesh's Indore. People wearing PPE kits gathered to pay their tribute to the poet. The legendary Urdu poet passed away at age of 70 in Indore's Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences on August 11. 70-year-old poet had suffered two heart attacks and was suffering from pneumonia. Indori was admitted in the hospital on August 09 and was tested positive for COVID-19.
From the supply of antiviral drug remdesivir stabilising in India after shortage as per producer Cipla, to Russia becoming the first nation to declare a vaccine ready for use - here are the top news updates on the Covid-19 pandemic. The health of India's former President Pranab Mukherjee has worsened and his condition is critical, as per doctors. He had recently tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus infection and also undergone an emergency surgery for a brain clot on August 10. Meanwhile, noted Urdu poet Rahat Indori passed away. He was suffering from Covid and experienced two heart attacks before succumbing. The Railways ministry has announced that regular passenger train services across the country will continue to remain suspended until further orders. However, 230 special trains will continue to ply between select destinations. India's Covid tally has crossed the 22.68 lakh-mark with the country noting 50,000+ new cases every day. India's death toll is past 45,200 while over 15.83 lakh patients have been discharged, suggesting a healthy recovery rate. In international news, schools have begun to reopen in countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom. This, even as a report suggested that around 97,000 children in US contracted Covid in the last 2 weeks of July. New Zealand broke its streak of 102 days without a locally transmitted case by finding a new infection. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put Auckland under lockdown. The country now has 22 active cases, with the total Covid tally at a little over 1,200. Watch the full video for more.
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