Centre To Organise Chintan Shivir On Functioning Of AIIMS

The Centre will organise a two-day Chintan Shivir (introspection camp) on the functioning of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said sources on Wednesday.
This is the first time that Chintan Shivir will be organised on a theme relating to the functioning of AIIMS. Earlier the date was August 24 and 25 but now according to the sources, the Chintan Shivir will be organised on September 1 and 2.

The experts and stakeholders will discuss standards of teaching, learning, research and service delivery for patients.

The other focus will be patient satisfaction in AIIMS like developing institutional procedures to make facilities available ‘at ease’ to the patients, sources told ANI.

The Chintan Shivir will have directors from all the AIIMS colleges in India and how all AIIMS can be a common platform for various clinical research purposes will also be discussed.

A total of three Chintan Shivirs have been conducted till date this year by the Union Health Ministry.

The last three-day Chintan Shivir was conducted in Kevadia on the future roadmap of the health ecosystem in the country in addition to reviewing the implementation of various Central and State government schemes of the health sector.

Earlier, on May 7 this year, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya addressed the concluding session of Swasthya Chintan Shivir, the 14th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW), at Kevadia, Gujarat from May 5-7, 2022. He was joined by Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog. State Health Ministers, Health Secretaries, State health representatives, representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, NITI Aayog, ICMR and scientists participated in the three-day long conference.

Dr Mandaviya had started his address by stating that “Siddhi (accomplishment) is the driving force behind any Sankalp (resolution).”

Appreciating the participation of around 25 Health and Medical Education Ministers in the 3-day “Swasthya Chintan Shivir”, he had said, “we have been enriched by deep insight of knowledge due to presentation of best practices by states. This provided us knowledge regarding effective implementation of government schemes in the health sector.”

He further stated that “all States have shared one best practice, so now we have more than 25 best practices to learn from and implement across the country. Goals of centre and States are complementary. It is the goal of states which would define policy making at the central level”. (ANI)

Taliban Celebrate Anniv Of Foreign Troops’ Withdrawal From Afgh

The Taliban marked the one-year anniversary of the foreign troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan on Wednesday, local media reported.

The Bagram air base, which was once the largest US military base in the country, is where the Taliban’s leadership and fighters gathered, The Washington Post reported.
Images released by the Islamic outfit’s media outlet show fighters marching in uniforms, followed by columns of armoured vehicles bearing the group’s black and white flag, according to the US daily.

“We are gathered here to celebrate the first anniversary of the withdrawal,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson told local media attending the ceremony. “I am proud that our country was liberated on this day and American troops were forced to leave Afghanistan,” he said.

A day earlier, the Taliban declared August 31 a public holiday, according to a document at Sputnik’s disposal. The festive events were planned to mark the anniversary, the document said.

Earlier, the Taliban also declared August 15 a national holiday to celebrate the first anniversary of its return to power in Afghanistan.

The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, after the collapse of the US-backed civilian government and mass evacuations.

On August 31, 2021, US forces withdrew from the country after two decades of military presence. Since the Taliban’s takeover, the Afghan population has been facing a deepening economic, humanitarian and security crisis.

After two decades of war, tens of thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent, the Taliban are back in power in Kabul and apparently providing sanctuary to al-Qaeda once again.

The withdrawal featured images of utter chaos at the Kabul airport, which some experts compared to the fall of Saigon, stranded Afghan allies and Americans, and a terror attack that left 13 US troops and 170 Afghan civilians dead.

Critics blamed the current Biden administration for failing to act in time despite plenty of warnings that the fall of Kabul was imminent.

Though surveys show a majority of US citizens backed the decision to exit Afghanistan, the chaotic withdrawal process struck a blow to Biden’s poll numbers. (ANI)

India’s Ist Vaccine Against Cervical Cancer To Be Launched Tomorrow

The Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Department of Biotechnology(DBT) are set to launch India’s first indigenously developed Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against Cervical Cancer on September 1, official sources told ANI.

The most awaited vaccine will be launched by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology Jitendra Singh on Thursday.
According to Dr N K Arora, Chairperson of the COVID working group, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said it is an exciting experience to launch a made-in-India vaccine.

“It is very exciting and I must say it makes us very happy that our daughters and granddaughters will now be able to get this much-awaited vaccine.”

“In fact, this is one of the last major vaccines to be introduced. In fact, this is one of the last vaccines that will be launched in the programme. Now, Indian vaccines will be available and we hope that it will be launched in the National Immunisation programme for 9-14-year-old girls,” he added.

“It is very effective and prevents cervical cancer because, 85 per cent to 90 per cent cases, cervical cancer is because of this particular virus and this vaccine is against those viruses. So, if we give it to our young children and daughters, they are protected from the infection and consequently probably 30 years later, cancer does not occur,” Dr Arora further explained.

“There was a shortage in the global market. Now Indian vaccine has come. So, we will be able to take care of our requirements within our made-in-India vaccine,” he said. (ANI)

Drone Intrusion Rises In Punjab Border, Drops In Jammu Along IB: BSF

The number of drones being sighted in Punjab, coming from Pakistan has seen a significant rise this year as compared to the Jammu sector.

According to Border Security Force (BSF), till July this year total of 107 drones flying from across the border side were spotted inside Indian territory, as compared to 97 drones spotted the whole of last year.
As many as 97 drones coming from across the border were sighted by the BSF in 2021 along International Border (IB) including 64 such cases in Punjab, 31 in Jammu and two drones were seen entering from the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu.

From 2022 till July, as many as 107 drones were sighted along IB that including 14 in Jammu and 93 in the Punjab sector and no drone was sighted entering from the LOC in Jammu.

A senior BSF officer said that most of these drones have come from Pakistan and are used to deliver narcotics, weapons, explosives and ammunition.

“There are teams with anti-drone guns deployed in borders. The patrolling parties keep watch on any suspicious aerial activity and often they recover narcotics substances and arms delivered from these drones,” he said.

In the year 2021, BSF shot down one drone in the Ferozpur sector while this year seven drones were shot down and a huge quantity of narcotics that was supposed to be delivered through drones was also recovered.

The total length of Punjab’s border with Pakistan is 553 kilometres and the 198-km stretch of the India-Pakistan border in the Jammu region is guarded by BSF.

Another BSF officer said that there is no effective anti-drone technology available to shoot down every drone crossing the international border but their men on the ground keep watch on drones or any aerial object crossing the border.

“Not only ground, but we also keep an eye on the sky and BSF personnel are trained to shoot down unidentified UAVs. Sometimes drones fly too high to get detected, we only detect it by humming sound when it comes close to ground,” he said. (ANI)

Sheikh Hasina With Narendra Modi

India-Bangladesh Ties: Shared Interests, Mutual Progress

As it often happens with translation so also with media reporting, speeches and observations made by politicians will not convey what are exactly said. To give one example, a leading Dhaka-based TV channel recently attributed to the Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen that during a recent visit to India he made a request to New Delhi that it should do everything that was needed to keep the government led by Sheikh Hasina in power. No denying that a senior politician like Momen will not be making a diplomatic transgression of that kind when in a foreign land specially. Bangladesh would not have been there had India not taken on the Pakistani army in what was then East Pakistan and fought off hostile noises by the then an unfriendly US Administration headed by President Richard Nixon. His principal diplomat Henry Kissinger infamously described Bangladesh as a ‘basket case’ that underpinned the US hostility towards the liberation war and India’s role in that.

After years of political and economic turbulences what Bangladesh has been able to achieve, especially since Hasina’s accession to power in January 2009 is remarkable, earning her plaudits even from unexpected quarters. In the pursuit of the goal to emerge from the status of a least developed country to first attain lower-middle-income status and then march forward to greater wealth creation and also to rid society of religious intolerances, extremism and violence, India has steadfastly stood by Dhaka.

India has self-interest in seeing Dhaka continues to do well economically. This country shares the world’s fifth largest land border of 4,096 km with Bangladesh along West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya. For many years since the birth of Bangladesh in 1971, India had to live with the problem of Bangladeshis, not necessarily the persecuted Hindus but people of all faiths sneaking on to this side of the border in search of livelihood.

The neighbouring country’s economy growing at a clip among the highest in the world since 2010-11 (July to June) with GDP growth registering an all time high of 8.15 per cent in 2018-19 though there was an unavoidable blip in the following year because of Covid-19 pandemic caused slowdown in economic activities and Bangladesh, according to the World Bank, having a per capita income of $2,503 in 2021 against $2,277 for India, the raison d’etre for Bangladeshis to cross the border illegally is no longer there. Moreover, the eastern and north-eastern states sharing borders with Bangladesh have all high rates of unemployment making them unattractive destinations for foreigners to stealthily move in with all attendant risks. Watchers of developments in Bangladesh, including foreign agencies say the transformation of the country’s economy is not due to good economic policies alone but also for consciously creating the ideal political environment for their execution.

An overwhelming Muslim majority country with population of around 170 million with many unsavoury past records of persecution of minorities, the Hindus and others forcing many families to seek shelter in India, it required Hasina and her faithful associates of deep conviction and considerable courage  to steer the country towards secularism and equal rights for all, irrespective of religion. Hasina recently said: “We want people of Bangladesh of all faiths to live with equal rights. You are people of this country, you have equal rights here, you have the same rights as I have… Please don’t undermine yourselves. You were born in this country, you are the citizens of this country.” At the same time, she is pained by attempts to give “colour” to any untoward incidents in a way as to show that the “Hindus don’t have any rights here. And interventions of the government in such unfortunate occurrences are hardly shown in a positive way.”

Like Hasina, her foreign minister Momen has also been a voice of reason, much to the comfort of Indian leaders. Not only did he inaugurate the recent Janmasthami festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna at Chittagong, but he will never miss an opportunity to remind people who matter in the two countries not to give any room to fundamentalists “who will be found in both places. Hasina rule has been a blessing for India which no longer is required to spend anything out of common on border vigil.”

Friendly relations, according to him, have created the environment for around 2.8 million Bangladeshis come to India every year as tourists and in turn “a few lakh Indians are working in our country.” Momen said: “We are very consciously avoiding reacting to any untoward incidents in India – take the case of a particular lady (the reference is to Nupur Sharma’s unfortunate remark on Prophet Muhammad that outraged Islamic nations and also saner sections of society in India) there making some avoidable observations that led quite a few countries to rise in protest – so that it doesn’t become fodder for the extremists in Bangladesh. You also have extremists in your country. Exercise of this kind of restraint is good for stability.”

ALSO READ: Bangladesh – The Next Asian Tiger

What Hasina and Momen are saying is as much in order to prepare the right environment for the Prime Minister’s Delhi visit from September 5 to 7 when she will be holding talks with Narendra Modi and other leaders on economic, water and defence issues and also to send a message to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by Begum Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman that friendship with India is integral to Bangladesh’s economic progress and social cohesion. Mind you, BNP and some extremist groups are working to queer the pitch for Hasina’s Awami League ahead of the general elections due to be held December next year. BNP remains steadfast in arguing that for elections to be held in a free and fair way, a caretaker government should be in charge and not the election commission (EC) that the ruling dispensation has constituted under Kazi Habibul Awal, an eminent retired bureaucrat.

Effectiveness of EC in conducting elections is challenged on specious grounds that the shots will in any case be called by Hasina government. Interestingly, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir gave the game away by saying: “Amidst all political turmoil, elections in Pakistan are held under a caretaker government.”

In fact, the Constitution of Pakistan provides for setting up of a caretaker government after dissolution of Parliament to hold general elections. Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif recently dropped hints in London that elections in his country would likely be held before the incumbent chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa lays down office November end. BNP secretary general looking up to Pakistan for ideas naturally is of concern to Awami League. Any attempts to disturb the march towards secularism under Hasina leadership is of concern to New Delhi since the Hindus still constitute close to 8 per cent of the Bangladeshi population. That country’s 2022 census report says the fall in Hindu population by 0.59 percentage points to 7.95 per cent in 2022 from 8.54 per cent in 2011 is mainly because of outward migration and lower fertility rate attributable to not marrying at an early age and practice of birth control. In spite of the shrinkage over the past decade, the Hindus are still in Bangladesh in large numbers and New Delhi would want them to live in peace.

Economic backwardness is no less a cause of social tensions than religious insanity. As Bangladesh continues to make economic progress, there is realisation in Dhaka that robust trade ties with India, China and other countries offering it more and more duty free and quota free benefits will be supportive of sustainable growth. India, on its part, has to remain economically active in its eastern neighbour to match China’s growing presence there, especially by way of investment in infrastructure projects and supply of defence hardware.

Ahead of her coming to Delhi, Hasina, much to India’s comfort has given a go ahead to start formal negotiations leading to signing of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA.) Incidentally, even while some other countries, including China are pressing Dhaka for a similar agreement, Hasina administration wants such an arrangement first with India. A joint feasibility study by the two countries says CEPA will give a major lift to export earnings to Bangladesh by 199 per cent and 188 per cent for India. The study further says the expected boost to trade will lead to gross domestic product (GDP) of Bangladesh rising by 1.72% and that of India by 0.8%. New Delhi welcomes Dhaka agreeing that CEPA will be one of the principal issues to be discussed during Hasina visit.

According to UN Comtrade, India enjoys considerable trade surplus vis a vis Bangladesh with its exports to that country exceeding $14bn in 2021 while its imports from the neighbour were worth less than $2bn. Attempts will be made under CEPA to correct the trade imbalance to the extent possible. Bangladesh buys large volumes of cotton and cotton yarn from India for high degrees of value addition into finished garments for exports around the globe. It will be difficult to find a global brand which doesn’t procure large quantities from the thriving garment industry in Bangladesh. Indian raw material cotton and yarns made of that sustain garment manufacturers in the neighbouring country.

The continuing growth and success of garment manufacturing and exports came for praise in India’s 2021 economic survey saying India can take some lessons from its neighbour and focus on specialising in products where it is competitive. India-Bangladesh talks at all levels as a routine will too have focus on sharing of water of rivers that are common to both and an important source of peoples’ wellbeing and sustenance of farming. As many as 54 rivers, including the big ones such as the Ganga, Teesta, Muhuri, Feni and Kushiyara flow through both the countries and water sharing, particularly the elusive Teesta will be discussed by the two prime ministers based on the outcome of proceedings at the Joint River Commission meeting in New Delhi.

Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: B’wood Celebs Extend Warm Wishes To Their Fans

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are in full swing across the country. The festive season is here as the country celebrates the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi on Wednesday.

Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganpati Utsav, which starts on the fourth day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month Bhadrapada, is celebrated with much fanfare in Maharashtra and other parts of western and southern India with lakhs of devotees converging into mandals to seek blessing from Lord Ganesha. The festival is also known as Vinayak Chaturthi or Vinayak Chavithi.
Following the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi, several Bollywood celebrities took to their social media handles to extend greetings to their fans on this auspicious occasion.

Bollywood veteran star Amitabh Bachchan took to his Instagram handle and wished his fans through a ‘Ganesh-Chaturthi’ special post featuring Ganesh made from Peeple leaves “Ganesh chaturthee kee haardik aur anek anek shubhakaamanaen”. https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch6YWJ6hHiM/embed

Actor Abhishek Bachchan also shared greetings via his Instagram post, where he clubbed the post featuring ‘kesariya’ Ganesh with Ganpati Arti sung by his father, veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan. https://www.instagram.com/p/Ch6LGtOoRww/embed

Bollywood diva Alia Bhatt extended wishes to her fans via her Instagram story, she wrote “Happy Ganesh Chaturthi Wishing you and your family happiness, prosperity, and peace”

Global icon Priyanka Chopra extended greetings through her Instagram story, she wrote, “Ganpati Bappa Morya!!”

Actor Akshay Kumar sent his greetings to his fans through his Instagram story, where he posted a motion picture of Lord Ganesh and wrote, “Happy Ganesh Chaturthi”.

The festivities began on August 31 and will conclude on September 9. The festivities will end with the final immersion of the Ganesha idols, called the Visarjan. The festival is celebrated with much grandeur in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat among other states. (ANI)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev Dies At 91

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, died on Tuesday at the age of 91, according to the Russian news agency.

Sputnik News Agency citing the hospital stated that he died after a serious and long illness.
“Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening after a serious and long illness,” the agency citing the Central Clinical Hospital said on Tuesday.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the United Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He was a young and dynamic soviet leader who wanted to reform the communist regime along the lines of democratic principles by giving some freedom to citizens.

When pro-democracy protests swept across the Soviet Union of communist Eastern Europe in 1989, Gorbachev refrained from using force.

He recognized the policy of Glasnost or freedom of speech which was severely curtailed during earlier regime. Gorbachev also began a program of economic reform called Perestroika or Restructuring which was necessary as the Soviet economy was suffering from both hidden inflation and supply shortages. Cultural freedoms were granted to the press and the artistic community during his time.

He launched radical reforms meant to reduce party control of the government apparatus. Notably, thousands of political prisoners and their dissidents were released during his rule.

He is accredited with the success of the nuclear disarmament agreement with the United States of America which won him Nobel Peace Prize.

Gorbachev’s first five years in power were marked by significant accomplishments, as per The New York Times. He presided over an arms agreement with the United States that eliminated for the first time an entire class of nuclear weapons, and began the withdrawal of most Soviet tactical nuclear weapons from Eastern Europe.

He withdrew Soviet forces from Afghanistan, a tacit admission that the invasion in 1979 and the nine-year occupation had been a failure, as per the US media outlet. (ANI)

Modi To Lay Foundation Stone Of Kochi Metro Phase 2, On Sept 1

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Kochi Metro Phase 2 on September 1 at 6 pm, informed Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) on Wednesday.

The PM will visit Karnataka and Kerala on September 1 and 2 to commission the first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi and will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of projects worth around Rs 3,800 crores in Mangaluru.
He will also inaugurate phase 1 A of the metro project, the first stretch from SN junction to Vadakkekotta.

The ceremony will be held at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) trade fair and exhibition centre in the presence of Kerala Governor Arif Muhammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Mayor M Anilkumar, Member of Parliament Hibi Eden, Antony Raju (minister of transport), P Rajeeve (minister of Industries, Law and Coir) will grace the function with their esteemed presence.

The proposed Phase 2 corridor of Kochi Metro Rail Project is from JLN stadium metro station to Infopark, Kakkanad will cover 11.2 km. The phase 2 stretch will have 11 metro stations.

Phase 1 extension is the first stretch of work directly taken up by Kochi Metro Rail Limited. With the inauguration of Phase IA, Kochi Metro will cover a distance of at least 27 km with 24 stations. The revenue operations of both the stations will begin at 7 pm, soon after the Honourable PM dedicates the stations to the people of Kochi.

The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety had given approval for the revenue operations of the Petta-SN junction stretch after the inspections.

The works of Vadakkekotta, SN Junction stations and Panamkutty bridge were started on October 16, 2019 and continued even during the covid pandemic. Vadakkekotta is the biggest among the metro stations with an area of 4.3 lakh square feet. Unlike other metro stations, large commercial spaces have been created on both inside and outside the new facilities. Vadakkekotta station depicts Kerala’s role in the freedom struggle as its theme while SN Junction features Ayurveda and its modern approaches.

As part of its preparatory works in line with Phase I Extension, KMRL constructed the two-lane Panamkutty Bridge with a footpath which transformed the stretch into a four-lane corridor. This bridge was opened to the public on February 15, 2021 within a record time of 15 Months i.e, six months ahead of the approved schedule.

On completion, the combined Phase I and Phase II metro network will link the major residential and commercial hubs in the city with major transit hubs such as railway stations and bus stands, thus reinforcing the concept of multi-modal integration and first/last mile connectivity.

As the SN junction and Vadakkekotta stations are opening for revenue operations, KMRL is expecting to touch an average of one lakh commuters per day. (ANI)

Ganesh Idol Installed At Eidgah Ground In K’taka’s Hubbali-Dharwad

Lord Ganpati idol was installed at Eidgah ground in Hubbali-Dharwad on Wednesday after the Karnataka High Court upheld authorities’ decision to allow the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi at the ground.

The Karnataka High Court, in a late-night hearing on Tuesday, upheld the authorities’ decision to allow Ganesh Chaturthi at the Eidgah ground.
The court dismissed the plea filed by the Anjuman-E-Islam and refused to interfere with the decision of the concerned authorities to permit the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi at Eidgah ground.

Preparations could be seen taking place early in the morning following the High Court’s order last night, and a Ganpati idol was installed.

Speaking to ANI, convener, Rani Chennamma Maidan Gajanan Utsav Mahamandal, K Govardhan Rao said that the prayers will be conducted in a traditional way for the next three days.

“Puja will be conducted in the traditional way & we’re going to celebrate this festival for 3 days as per the direction of Municipal Corporation. We’re going to follow all instructions that have been given,” Rao said.

Stating that Rani Chennamma Maidan belongs to Municipal Corporation, the convener said that they had made a request to allow the celebration of the festival.

“Rani Chennamma Maidan belongs to Municipal Corporation, so we had requested on behalf of Samiti Mahamandal that this Ganpati Utsav should be allowed here. We’ll install the Ganpati idol within half an hour,” he said earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, in a late-night hearing, Justice Ashok S Kinagi of Karnataka High Court dismissed the plea filed by the Anjuman-E-Islam and refused to interfere with the decision of the authorities to permit the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi at Eidgah ground at Hubbali-Dharwad.

The court noted the ground in dispute belongs to respondent authorities and they are carrying out regular activities there.

The court said that the prayer for interim relief sought by the petitioner does not deserve merit and the same is rejected.

The court also said that the petitioner is not entitled to the benefit of the interim order passed by the Supreme Court.

Some of Hindu organisations submitted an application to install Ganesh idols and hold cultural activities on the said property.

Dharwad Municipal Commissioner granted permission for celebrating the Ganesh Chaturthi festival under certain conditions.

The authorities’ decision was challenged in the Karnataka High Court by the Anjuman-E-Islam.

Earlier today, President Droupadi Murmu extended greetings on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and prayed for peace and prosperity in the lives of the citizens.

“Hearty greetings to all the countrymen on Ganesh Chaturthi. Mangalmurti Lord Ganesha is a symbol of knowledge, accomplishment and good fortune. I wish that with the blessings of Shri Ganesh, there should be a spread of happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone’s life,” the President tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.

The Prime Minister shared a shloka in Sanskrit while extending wishes and wrote on Twitter, “Best wishes on Ganesh Chaturthi. May the blessings of Lord Shri Ganesh always remain upon us.”

Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated every year with great fervour in India with thousands of devotees thronging temples and ‘Ganeshotsav pandals’ to offer their prayers.

Ganesh Chaturthi, which began today and 2022 marks the return of its celebration after 2 years of COVID-induced restrictions.

Also known as Ganeshotsav, this auspicious ten-day starts with Chaturthi Tithi and ends on Anantha Chaturdashi. Devotees of Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and good fortune, mark his birth during the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapada month. (ANI)

Suspended BJP Leader Seema Patra Held For Torturing Domestic Help

Suspended BJP leader Seema Patra, who was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly torturing her house help, claimed the allegations against her are politically motivated and she is being framed in a false case.

“These are false allegations, politically motivated allegations. I have been implicated,” said Patra.
Ranchi Police have arrested the suspended BJP leader after a case was registered against her at the Argora police station.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Police had confirmed that the team rescued a 29-year-old woman on August 22, after she was allegedly physically tortured by her employer. She was working as a domestic help at the residence of an ex-IAS officer.

Patra, the former BJP leader was also a member of the National Working Committee of the BJP’s women’s wing and her husband, is a retired IAS officer. She has been accused of torturing her 29-year-old house help and serving her no food and water for days.

The maid has alleged that Patra beat her with rods and an iron pan. She was also forced to lick urine off the floor, the help alleged. “I have throat issues. What you heard is exactly what happened to me. Madam used to beat me up when I used to make a mistake while working,” she said.

The house help was taken to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), where she is currently undergoing medical treatment.

The BJP suspended Patra on Tuesday after a video of the victim went viral alleging that Patra tortured her.

Jharkhand minister Champai Soren also confirmed the incident and said the government would hear the matter through fast-track courts.

“Ranchi Police arrested BJP leader Seema Patra today morning for torturing Sunita Khakha. The victim is currently undergoing treatment and after that, she will be provided with all possible help from the government. We will deliver justice to the victim through speedy trial,” the minister tweeted on Wednesday.

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister and current Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Jharkhand Assembly, Babulal Marandi also visited the victim at RIIMS today. He called the incident extremely painful and demanded a fast-track inquiry into the case.

“I visited the victim, it is so painful to see her like that. I can’t even imagine that someone can be this demonic. There is absolutely no space for such inhuman behaviour. If you are not satisfied with your house help, then let her go, but beating her like this just makes no sense. It’s good that the BJP has suspended her, there are many people in our party but if someone does anything like this, it doesn’t mean we will tolerate that. In this case, I would also like to congratulate CM Hemant Soren for airlifting her to RIIMS on time. I wish he keeps on doing such things,” the BJP leader told ANI.

Earlier on Tuesday, the National Commission for Women on Tuesday ordered action against the wife of former IAS officer Maheshwar Patra for allegedly assaulting and harassing their house help. (ANI)