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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Indian troops foil China’s incursion, Modi’s I-Day speech: Top stories today

Here is a low-down of the top stories today, in case you missed some.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 07:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Independence Day at Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Independence Day at Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday.(Sonu Mehta/HT file)

Indian troops foil China’s incursion attempt in Ladakh, minor injuries on both sides after stone-pelting

Indian troops on Tuesday foiled two incursion bids by the Chinese in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region but not before stones were thrown and soldiers injured on both sides as India celebrated 70 years of Independence. The clash near the Pangong Lake, which divides Indian and Chinese territory, comes at a time when the two neighbours are in a standoff thousands of miles away in the disputed Doklam plateau close to Sikkim “Indian and Chinese troops came face to face at two places in Finger Four and Finger Five areas near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region,” a government source said. When Indian troops told the Chinese to retreat, words were exchanged and then a scuffle broke out. “Stones were thrown at each other, resulting in injuries to troops from both sides after which finally the Chinese forces retreated,” the source said.

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Kashmir needs hugs, neither abuse nor bullets: PM Modi in Independence Day speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged a more conciliatory approach towards troubled Kashmir on Tuesday, saying problems can be solved by “embracing” the people rather than resorting to abuse or bullets. “I am clear in my belief on how to win the war against separatism, which is spread by a handful of people,” Modi said from the ramparts of the 17th century Red Fort. “The problem will be solved neither by abuse nor bullets - it will be solved by embracing all Kashmiris… And we are moving forward with this resolve.” In Kashmir, the speech was welcomed cautiously. In a series of tweets, former state chief minister Omar Abdullah said: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating. We look forward to being embraced in the warm grip of understanding, acceptance & respect.

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RSS chief Bhagwat hoists Indian flag in Kerala school, defies collector’s order

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurled the tricolour at a school in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Independence Day, flouting an order of the district administration banning him from doing it. Palakkad district collector Mary Kutty has directed the police to register a case against the head master of Karnakiamman Higher Secondary School, who flouted the district administration’s warning. It was not immediately known whether the district administration will book the RSS chief also. Kutty had on Monday night restrained the school from allowing Bhagwat to hoist the flag, saying it was not proper for a political leader to hoist the national flag in a government-aided school.

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UP madrasas defy Yogi govt order, refuse to sing anthem, record I-Day events

Many madrasas across Uttar Pradesh defied on Tuesday a controversial state government diktat that asked staff and students at the Islamic educational institutions to sing the national anthem and videograph Independence Day celebrations. In Kanpur, Meerut and Bareilly, three of the biggest madrasa centres in the state, students sang Saare Jahan Se Achha, a 20th century patriotic song penned by the poet Mohammad Iqbal and didn’t record proceedings, saying they didn’t want to give proof of their patriotism.

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On phone call with Modi, Trump discussed peace across Indo-Pacific region, N Korea

India and the United States will start a new 2-by-2 bilateral dialogue involving the Indian external affairs and defence ministers and their American counterparts “to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region” and elevate strategic consultations. The announcement came after a phone conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, who had called to congratulate the Indian leader on the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence. This was their fourth phone conversation since Trump’s election last November. Modi thanked Trump for “his strong leadership uniting the world against the North Korean menace”, the White House statement said.

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Govt orders Blue Whale ban, Kerala woman says teenage son hanged self for dare

The mother of a teenage boy in Kerala said her son died in July playing the dangerous and addictive Blue Whale Challenge online game, which the government banned on Tuesday. The remarks of C Anu, a software engineer, follow a spate of attempted suicides across India by boys hooked on the game responsible for scores of teenage deaths around the world. The tragedies and a growing call to ban the game prompted the government to direct internet majors Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove the links of Blue Whale Challenge and the like. The game provokes players to do daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days.

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J-K: CRPF officer’s wife, daughter unfurl flag where he was killed a year ago

The six-year-old daughter of slain CRPF Commandant Pramod Kumar and his wife on Tuesday unfurled the tricolour from the same battalion camp in Srinagar, where exactly a year ago he hoisted the flag and was killed minutes later in an encounter with militants. Kumar’s wife Neha Tripathy and daughter Aarna performed the ceremonial unfurling and saluting the flag at the 49th battalion camp in the Karan Nagar area. Tripathy then performed the traditional drill of distributing sweets to the men of the battalion, once commanded by her husband. She also placed a wreath at the martyr’s memorial built at the camp.

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Prosecution of tax offenders doubles in first three years of Modi govt

Prosecution of tax cheats more than doubled in the three years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over, and more and more suspected evaders are paying up instead of resorting to long-drawn court battles, official figures show. The numbers reflect the government’s focus on fighting corruption, a pledge Modi renewed in his Independence Day speech on Tuesday, saying the days of looting the country were over and that “black money” hoarders had nowhere to hide now. In a country where prosecution of tax crimes is low and conviction rare, the number of cases filed against tax cheats stood at 2,473 between 2014-15 and 2016-17, up from 1,133 cases filed during the three years before that.

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Left condemns DD’s ‘refusal’ to air Tripura CM’s pre-recorded I-Day speech

CPI(M) on Tuesday strongly condemned Doordarshan’s alleged refusal to broadcast a pre-recorded Independence Day speech of Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar after he refused to change parts of the message that Prasar Bharati found inappropriate for the occasion. Doordarshan withheld the speech having references to “gau raksha” and “attacks on minorities”, but aired a live speech of the chief minister given at the Independence Day ceremony in the state capital Agartala on Tuesday morning.

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Trump blames both sides again for Charlottesville violence

US President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that both left- and right-wing extremists resorted to violence during a rally by white nationalists in Virginia, and that some present were peacefully protesting plans to remove a Confederate monument when the upheaval began. Trump, taking questions from reporters in New York, reverted to his initial comments blaming “many sides” for Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, a day after bowing to pressure to explicitly condemn the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. “They came at each other with clubs ... it was a horrible thing to watch,” Trump said adding that left-wing protesters “came violently attacking the other group.”

Tension easing? N Korea holds off on Guam missile plan, Seoul says will stop war

North Korea’s leader has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States does next, the North’s state media said on Tuesday, as South Korea’s president said Seoul would seek to prevent war by all means. Signs of an easing in tension on the Korean peninsula helped stock markets rally for a second day running even as the United States and South Korea prepared for more joint military drills, which infuriate the North, and experts warned it could still go ahead with its provocative plan.

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Google hiring based on race or gender: Fired engineer

In a fresh onslaught on its former employer, James Damore, the engineer who was fired by Google over a memo criticising the company’s diversity efforts, has said that the tech giant is discriminating in its hiring practices. Damore on Monday told CNBC’s TV programme “Closing Bell” that Google was “treating people differently based on race or gender”. “The company is pressing individual managers to increase diversity and is using race or gender to decide which workers are promoted and which teams job candidates are placed on,” Damore was quoted as saying.

Read the story here.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 07:25 IST

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