Taliban-Appointed Mayor Imposes Sharia Law In Kabul

The newly-appointed Kabul mayor, who is also the head of the Taliban’s municipality commission, Hamdullah Nomani on Monday enforced Sharia law in the capital.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Nomani said that the contractual companies will be paid their dues, roadside vendors will be relocated and corrupt elements will be dealt with in accordance with Sharia law.

Dozens of reports about corruption in the Kabul municipality have been published. Two weeks ago, Pajhwok Afghan News published a report that said municipality employees and police illegally collected around 20 million Afghanis a day from vendors.

The Taliban has been trying to paint a new picture from its earlier rule (1996-2001) when they enforced their version of Islamic Sharia law.

The Taliban earlier ruled in accordance with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law under which women were largely confined to their homes. But now the terrorists have sought to project themselves as a moderate group in recent years when they were negotiating peace talks in Doha. Meanwhile, Afghans remain sceptical.

“What is happening in Afghanistan is completely opposite to the Taliban’s pledge of respecting human rights. Women, minorities and children are the worst affected,” said International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), a non-profit international think tank.

Soon after capturing the capital city, the terrorist group had announced an amnesty for government officials and assured women of basic rights. “However, the past few days have seen women being punished, people from the minority Hazra community being killed and children being subjected to violence,” the IFFRAS report said.

On August 15, Kabul had fallen to the Taliban and since then people are in a state of terror with increasing cases of human rights abuses being reported from several parts of the country.

In recent weeks, the United Nations has received harrowing and credible reports of the impact on civilians of violations of international humanitarian law, as well as violations and abuses of human rights.

Meanwhile, the Taliban backtracked from its assurances to respect women’s rights in Afghanistan and announced a ban on coeducation. This comes after Shaikh Abdulbaqi Haqqani was appointed as the acting minister of higher education in Afghanistan on Saturday. (ANI)

Indian Envoy Meets Taliban Leader In Qatar, Discuss Terror

India has established the first contact with the Taliban ever since they took over power in Kabul and after US forces wrapped up their military mission.

On Tuesday Indian envoy held talks with Doha based Taliban leaders at the Indian embassy, interestingly the request came from the Taliban side.
India has made it very clear to Taliban leadership that Afghanistan soil should not be used against anti-India activities or terrorism.

According to a release issued by MEA, “Today, Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s Political Office in Doha. The meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha, at the request of the Taliban side.”

“Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit India, also came up.”

Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner. The Taliban Representative assured the Ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed.

India believes that Haqqani Network, which has deep linkages with Pakistan spy agency ISI and India-centric terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed may use its proximity and participation in the Taliban government against India.

India has so far maintained that it will wait and watch the evolving situation in Afghanistan; however, this can be seen as the first official contact between India and Taliban leadership.

India is yet to share its official position on recognition of the Taliban. (ANI)

Amit Shah Launches Portal For Registration Of Industrial Units In J-K

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday launched the web portal for registration of units for industrial development in Jammu and Kashmir.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh were also present at the inauguration of the web portal for registrations of units under the ‘New Central Sector Scheme 2021’ for Jammu and Kashmir via video conferencing.

Earlier on August 4, Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, informed that the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade notified “New Central Sector Scheme for industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir” with financial outlay of Rs 28,400 crore on February 19, 2021 and is effective from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2037.

The scheme is applicable for any eligible industrial (manufacturing) entity or eligible service sector enterprise other than those run departmentally by Government, which is registered business enterprise under Goods and Service Tax, he stated.

The minister said that the scheme offers four incentives namely Capital Investment Incentive, Capital Interest subvention, Goods and Service Tax Linked Incentive (GSTLI) and Working Capital Interest Subvention.

“The scheme will help in creation of more employment opportunities and promotion of tourism in the region. The estimated direct employment generation is anticipated to be nearly 78,000 persons, however, the scheme has potential to trigger much more gainful employment indirectly and also, has potential to further promote tourism activities in Jammu and Kashmir,” Parkash had stated. (ANI)

Delhi Schools Prepare To Re-open From Wednesday

Delhi is preparing to re-open physical classes from Wednesday and schools here are gearing up to welcome students after nearly six months after educational intuitions were shut down due to a spike in COVID cases in the national capital.

Schools in the metropolis are set to open with all COVID-19 protocols in place and according to Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
Academic Head of Vidya Bal Bhawan, Nishant Sharma said: “Our school has set up a Covid isolation room with oxygen concentrators and medical team for students. For emergency cases, the school has also tied up with nearby hospitals so that the students can get proper treatment on time.”

“Regular temperature check will be done of the students, even before dropping them to home via school transportation,” he added.

Further, he said the school will send consent form to parents via virtual meeting, seeking permission for sending their wards to school. However, he said that only 50 per cent of students will be allowed into the school, as per government guidelines. After receiving consent from parents, the school is set to reopen in a phased manner.

The official further said that only fully vaccinated staff members will be permitted to attend school and physical classes. “If any staff member has not yet been fully vaccinated then, he or she will not be allowed to attend the physical classes till they get themselves vaccinated.”

In addition, he said students or staff members who reside in containment zones won’t be allowed entry till the situation in their area normalises.

Vice-Principal of Mayur Vihar’s Government Girls Secondary School, Sandhya Singh said: “Only 15 to 20 students would be permitted in one classroom to ensure social distancing. As the strength of students in class 9 and 10 is high in the school, so we have divided students into groups and they will be allowed to attend offline classes on alternate days.”

In order to avoid gatherings during lunch breaks, the school has allotted different times for lunch to every classroom. In addition, there will be an hour gap between the morning and evening shifts and students will not be allowed to exit the school in one go but have to disperse one by one, she informed.

“Apart from maintaining social distancing, we also have an isolation room with all the basic medical facilities. In case of emergency, students can be taken to a nearby hospital i.e., Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital for the proper medical treatment,” the vice-principal added.

According to a recent DDMA order, colleges, universities and coaching institutes along with schools in Delhi were allowed to reopen in a phased manner and following certain Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) from September 1.

Delhi Deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio announcing the decision had said that schools will follow a “blended mode” of online and offline classes to ensure that those who are at home do not miss out on their studies.

Sisodia had said that no student will be forced to come to schools and that consent of parents will be mandatory for children to return to schools and if they don’t allow, students won’t be forced or considered absent.

After the first wave of COVID-19 hit the country in March last year, schools had reopened for classes 9 to 11 in Delhi on February 5, 2021, but they were again shut on April 9 after COVID-19 cases rose in the second wave of the pandemic. (ANI)

BrahMos Missile To Be Manufactured In Lucknow, says Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday announced that the next generation BrahMos missiles will be manufactured in his Parliamentary constituency Lucknow.

While inaugurating various developmental projects, The Union Minister said, “You must have got information through newspapers but today I would like to repeat that. Nobody ever imagined that missiles would be manufactured in Uttar Pradesh. BrahMos missiles will be manufactured near Lucknow. The Chief Minister had informed that an estimated over 5,000 people will get employment through this.”
The Defence Minister also announced that soon each household in Lucknow will get Piped Natural gas (PNG) connections.

He further said, “I have been informed by Green gas Limited that a target has been set to provide PNG gas to each household in Lucknow which will reduce the consumption of LPG gas.”

The Defence Minister stated that he aims to make Lucknow the number one city in the country. He also said that he could be able to take up development projects on a large scale in his Parliamentary constituency, only because Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

“I would not have been able to do so much work in Lucknow if Yogi Adityanath had not been the chief minister. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya has also helped me in this. The interest of the Chief Minister and his deputies in the development of the state is the reason behind the speedy progress of the state. The pace of development in Uttar Pradesh has increased under Yogi Adityanath.”

Rajnath Singh also appreciated the Chief Minister’s efforts to take care of those children who were orphaned after the death of their parents due to COVID-19.

“The Uttar Pradesh Government has done a lot of work. But what touched my heart was the way he performed his duties faithfully during the COVID-19, despite being infected himself. He provided financial assistance to orphans. Only a sympathetic chief minister can think do so,” added the Union Minister. (ANI)

Shefali Shah Wraps Up ‘Doctor G’ Shoot

Actor Shefali Shah has finished shooting for her much-awaited film ‘Doctor G’, which stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead roles.

On Tuesday, Shefali took to her Instagram handle and posted a string of images from the wrap-up celebration.
In the pictures, Ayushmann and Rakul can be seen standing on either side of Shefali along with other members of the team behind her, as she cuts her doctor-themed cake.

“Yet another journey comes to an end. No wrong it’s just the beginning of like-minded people coming together, making friends, getting enriched by each and everyone’s contribution to make her and me come alive. Thank you to the beautiful team with amazingly talented, fun and chilled people. Will miss you’ll,” the actor, who is called Nandini in the film, captioned the heartfelt post.

Speaking about ‘Doctor G’, the upcoming movie will be based on a campus of a medical institute.

Ayushmann will be playing the role of Dr Uday Gupta and Rakul will be seen as Dr Fatima, a medical student who plays Ayushmann’s senior in the film.

Anubhuti Kashyap, who is director Anurag Kashyap’s sister, will be making her debut as a feature film director with the upcoming project. She has in the past directed the dark comedy mini-series ‘Afsos’ and the critically-acclaimed short film ‘Moi Marjaani’.

The film has been written by Anubhuti, Sumit Saxena, Vishal Wagh, and Saurabh Bharat. (ANI)

Assam Flood Situation: 10 NDRF Teams Deployed By MHA

The Union Home Ministry is monitoring the flood situation in Assam, in which two children have lost their lives according to an official bulletin and over 3.63 lakh people have been affected so far in 950 villages over 21 districts of the state.

“MHA has been keeping a watch on the Assam flood situation. Ten National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed in the state by Sunday,” an official said.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to enquire about the flood situation in the state and assured all possible assistance.

According to information put out by Flood Reporting and Information Management System (FRIMS), two children, one each in Chenga in Barpeta district and Mayong in Morigaon had drowned in the floodwaters till Monday (August 30).

A total of 3,63,135 persons were affected by the floods in Barpeta, Biswanath, Cachar, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, West Karbi Anglong, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, South Salmara and Tinsukia districts, FRIMS said in its Monday bulletin.

As per the report of FRIMS released by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) as many as 950 villages have been flooded and 30333.36 hectares of crop have been damaged in the state.

A total of 1619 people have been evacuated to relief camps from various parts of the state.

A total of 2,56,144 domestic animals and poultry were also affected in the deluge, which affected infrastructure suchlike roads, houses,anganwadi centres and power infrastructure. The Mayong – Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary was partially submerged on August 30.

Erosions were witnessed in Barpeta, Biswanath, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Morigaon, Nalbari adn South Salmara. (ANI)

17-Year-Old Afghan National Held In J-K’s Kathua

A 17-year-old Afghan national has been apprehended after he reached a COVID-19 testing centre in Kathua’s Lakhanpur as he was not carrying valid documents said police.

“A boy has been apprehended by police Naka party at Lakhanpur around 6:30 am in the morning, an investigation has been conducted and it has come to surface that he has come along with his brother for a treatment at RR Hospital New Delhi,” said RC Kotwal Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kathua.
“According to him (Afghan youth), his brother is under treatment at RR hospital and his brother works in the Afghan Army and we are verifying still that how did he landed up in Lakhanpur, Kathua,” Kotwal stated.

SSP further said, “The police have found some amount of cash both in Indian and Afghan currency and a mobile phone has been recovered.No valid documents have been recovered from his possession.”

” The Afghan youth has claimed that his passport and visa are with the Afghanistan embassy in India and now will verify his claims,” SSP said.

Further, the Jammu and Kashmir police are verifying the claims made by the Afghan youth. (ANI)

Rashmika Excited Over Bollywood Debut

Telugu actor Rashmika Mandanna is extremely excited to make her Hindi debut with ‘Mission Majnu’.

“Firsts are always the most special, and Mission Majnu being my first has given me an opportunity to transcend my boundaries and how. My heart feels happy to know that I started my journey in Hindi cinema with this film with these beautiful people,” she said.

Directed by Shantanu Baagchi, ‘Mission Majnu’ also stars Sidharth Malhotra, Sharib Hashmi, Parmeet Sethi, Anant Mahadevan and Kumud Mishra.

Speaking more about the project, Rashmika added, “In the first narration itself I knew I wanted to be a part of this film because I knew if not, for now, I’d not have done this character again or later on it’s one of those roles. It’s a now or never kinda character. Mission Majnu has given me so many firsts- from exploring the northern part of India, the culture, the language, the people, the industry, and working with such a wonderful team and the co-actors. I couldn’t have asked for more. I love you Team Mission Majnu.”

Apart from ‘Mission Majnu’, Rashmika also has another Hindi film ‘Goodbye’ in her kitty. (ANI)

PM Asks Jaishankar, Doval, Officials To Focus On priorities In Afg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed a high-level group comprising of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior officials to focus on the immediate priorities of India in Afghanistan, sources said.

This group has been meeting regularly over the last few days amid the ongoing Afghanistan crisis.
According to the sources, the group is seized of issues pertaining to the safe return of stranded Indians, the travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities to India, and assuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used in any manner for terrorism directed against India.

“In view of the evolving situation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister had recently directed that a high-level group comprising of EAM, NSA and senior officials focus on the immediate priorities of India,” said the sources.

The group has also been monitoring the ground situation in Afghanistan and international reactions, including the Resolution, passed this morning by the UN Security Council, the sources added.

The United Nations Security Council under the Indian presidency has adopted a resolution on Afghanistan in which the member states reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan and noted the Taliban’s relevant commitments.

The resolution called for the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, and uphold human rights, including for women and children.

On Friday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India is closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and is in touch with other countries as well.

India has evacuated over 550 people in six separate flights, either from Kabul or Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, of these, over 260 were Indians.

New Delhi also facilitated the evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies and are in touch with various countries, like the US, Tajikistan, Iran and others. (ANI)