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War with Pakistan not an option, talks only way to end terror: Sushma Swaraj

When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.

PTI
Declaring that “war is not an option”, India on Wednesday said it had decided to hold dialogue with Pakistan as it is the only way to remove “the shadow of terrorism”.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha that India and Pakistan decided to hold talks on terror when the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif met in Ufa (Russia) in July and then in Paris recently.”We said we can talk so that terrorism comes to an end. So talks (between NSAs) took place in Bangkok where we discussed about terrorism. But one meeting will not bring a solution to all the problem. So we will continue the dialogue,” she said during Question Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.”We have decided that through talks we will resolve the issue of terrorism as talks is the way forward so that the shadow of terror is removed. But we want to make it clear, our Prime Minister has made it clear that talks and terror can’t go together. Dialogue is drowned by the sound of explosion,” she said.Swaraj was speaking against the backdrop of recent decision to re-start the ‘Comprehensive’ dialogue with Pakistan under which various subjects, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir, will be discussed.The External Affairs Minister said Modi had said there was a need for talks to resolve the issue of terrorism.”The Prime Minister said let’s talk on terror. For talks we will have to put in faith. There is no third party. Through talks, both the countries are trying to resolve the issue of terrorism,” she said.Swaraj said following Modi’s conversation with Sharif in Paris on November 30 on the sidelines of climate change summit and in line with the Ufa understanding between the two leaders, the National Security Advisors of the two countries met in Bangkok on December 6.”They held candid and constructive discussions. During my recent visit to Pakistan on December 8-9, the two sides decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial,” she said.

A step back: India will discuss only Pakistan-controlled Kashmir at peace talks, says diplomat

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Renewed dialogue with Pakistan marks beginning of peace, Sushma Swaraj tells Parliament

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How South Asian rivals resumed talks

India and Pakistan agree to resume high-level talks, but can they achieve lasting peace?

Alleged Thai gunrunner extradited to India, accused of supplying Chinese arms to militants

Naru was brought to India on Tuesday and was produced in a special court that sent him to NIA custody till December 21. Naru is accused of illegal procurement of huge quantity of sophisticated arms and ammunitions from a foreign country and supplying the same to insurgent groups in the North-East India.

A Thai national, accused of being a major gunrunner for militant groups operating in North Eastern states, was brought to India and placed under arrest after National Investigation Agency his extradition. Identified as Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich alias Willy Naru, the accused’s name had come up during the interrogation of Anthony Shimray, self-styled foreign secretary of Naga group NSCN (I-M).Naru was brought to India on Tuesday and was produced in a special court that sent him to NIA custody till December 21. Naru is accused of illegal procurement of huge quantity of sophisticated arms and ammunitions from a foreign country and supplying the same to insurgent groups in the North-East India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 58-year-old’s arrest is being considered an extremely important development as he is supposed to be the main liaison between Chinese arms dealers and militant groups waging war against India. He was arrested on the request of the NIA in Bangkok on August 30, 2013, on the basis of an Interpol Red Corner Notice.”Naruenartwanich is a Thai national and was stationed in Bangkok. He had appealed against the order of extradition in the Appellate Court in Bangkok which was rejected November 2015. Accordingly the custody of Willy was given to Chief Investigating Officer of case on December 8 by the Government of Kingdom of Thailand. He was brought to New Delhi and was arrested,” said NIA in a statement.In its charge sheet, the NIA said that the NSCN(I-M) used to get most of its arms from the Chinese arms company NORINCO and Naru had allegedly negotiated the deal.”Investigation by NIA had revealed that the accused Anthony Shimray had negotiated several times with Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich to fix a deal to the tune of US $ 1.2 million to procure huge quantity of arms and ammunition for supply to the NSCN (IM) and other insurgent groups operating in the North Eastern region for waging war against the Government of India. For this deal, US $ 800,000 was paid by accused Anthony Shimray to co-accused Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich,” NIA said. Important development The 58-year-old’s arrest is being considered an extremely important development as he is supposed to be the main liaison between Chinese arms dealers and militant groups waging war against India. He was arrested on the request of the NIA in Bangkok on August 30, 2013, on the basis of an Interpol Red Corner Notice.

Extradited NSCN (IM) sent to NIA’s custody till Dec 21

It also said that a non-bailable warrant was issued against Naruenartwanich by the court on April 15, 2011 and a red corner notice was also issued by Interpol.

A special court on Wednesday sent alleged NSCN (IM) member Wuthikorn Naruenartwanich, who was extradited to India from Bangkok, to NIA’s custody till December 21 in a case of allegedly supplying arms and ammunitions to insurgent groups in the north-east. Naruenartwanich, a resident of Bangkok, was produced before District Judge Amar Nath after he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following his extradition. Seeking 15-day police remand of the accused, the NIA told the court that he was one of the conspirators in the case and was required to be interrogated thoroughly to unearth the entire conspiracy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Naruenartwanich is a Thai national and was stationed in Bangkok. Upon request made for extradition of accused Naruenartwanich in the instant case, the criminal court in Thailand has ordered extradition of the accused to stand trial in India in the instant case,” the NIA said. Subsequent to the order of Thai criminal court, Thailand handed him over to Indian authorities on December 8. Now he has been extradited to India, the probe agency said in its remand application filed in the court.It also said that a non-bailable warrant was issued against Naruenartwanich by the court on April 15, 2011 and a red corner notice was also issued by Interpol. During the proceedings, advocate Asim Ali, who appeared for Naruenartwanich, opposed NIA’s plea seeking police remand of the accused. NIA said that the case was lodged against Anthony Shimray, the chief arms procurer on NSCN (IM), T R Calvin, Hangshi Ramson Tangkhul and others under various sections of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for conspiring to procure huge quantity of arms and ammunitions from foreign countries.It claimed that these arms were to be used for committing terror activities to wage war against the government of India and these accused had negotiated with arms dealers in Thailand and China for purchase of arms and ammunitions and had also deposited money for it with the foreign arms selling firms. It said that a charge sheet was filed on March 26, 2011 against Shimray, Calvin, Tangkhul and Naruenartwanich and out of these four accused, only Shimray was under arrest while the others were absconders and red corner notices were issued against them. Shimray is facing trial in the case in special NIA court here.

‘I have come with a message to move forward’, says EAM Sushma Swaraj in Islamabad

“I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj.

Image Courtesy: MEA

Setting the tone for their talks on Wednesday, foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on Tuesday expressed optimism and desire to improve ties which have witnessed strain in the past few months, maintaining the effort will be to carry forward the engagement.After arriving on a two-day visit, primarily to attend a multilateral meet on Afghanistan, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said relationship between the two countries should be better and that she will hold talks with Pakistani leaders to find ways to improve bilateral ties.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj.Swaraj will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaz Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday.Aziz said he was expecting a “good and positive” outcome from the meeting and both sides should take forward the engagement to improve ties.Swaraj’s visit comes after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.Later in the night Sushma Swaraj met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz during a banquet hosted by him for the heads of delegates participating in a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.Aziz greeted Swaraj warmly and both engaged in a brief conversation. Aziz later sat next to Swaraj.The fifth ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, is aimed at enhancing cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the region.The high-ranking delegations from 14 participating states, 17 supporting countries and 12 international and regional organisations are participating in the two-day conference.

Was India made to talk Kashmir in Bangkok, asks Omar Abdullah

Abdullah’s comment came two days after the BJP spokesperson had asked National Conference to clear its stand on Jammu and Kashmir after senior NC leader and Abdullah’s uncle Mustafa Kamal had said “Kashmir was destined to get Independence”

Omar Abdullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday asked BJP to answer if India was “made to talk Kashmir” during the meeting between the National Security Advisors of the two countries in Bangkok as there was no mention of it when their prime ministers had met in Ufa.”If Pakistan was made to talk terror, was India also made to talk Kashmir since J&K had found no mention in Ufa (sic)?” Omar wrote on Twitter. Abdullah was reacting to BJP’s statement in which the party had yesterday claimed: “The follow up of Ufa talks has happened. Pakistan has been made to talk terror, which they refused so far.” He asked BJP to make it clear as to what was discussed about Jammu and Kashmir during the talks in the Thai capital.”Perhaps now Mr (Nalin) Kohli will care to make his party’s position clear on what was discussed about J&K (sic),” he tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Abdullah’s comment came two days after the BJP spokesperson had asked National Conference to clear its stand on Jammu and Kashmir after senior NC leader and Abdullah’s uncle Mustafa Kamal had said “Kashmir was destined to get Independence”. On the talks at various levels between India and Pakistan, Abdullah said it is “like cabs when it’s raining – don’t get one for ages and then suddenly 3-4 come around all at the same time.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at COP21 Summit in Paris last week, which was followed by the NSA and foreign secretary level talks in Bangkok yesterday. The foreign ministers of the two countries are expected to meet later this week in in Islamabad where Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to attend a conference on Afghanistan.

Sushma Swaraj to visit Pakistan for ‘Heart of Asia’ meeting, talks with Sartaj Aziz on cards

Swaraj’s visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on Sunday in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.

During her visit, Sushma Swaraj will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was also present during the four-hour-long meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua in the Thai capital.

PTI
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel on Tuesday for a multilateral conference in Islamabad, where she will also hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz, who said the focus would be on the resumption of composite dialogue process.”External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to lead Indian delegation for ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on December 9 in Islamabad,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.Swaraj’s visit comes two days after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on Sunday in Bangkok, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement. She will call on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and meet his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Aziz on the sidelines of the Afghan meet on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Islamabad, Aziz told reporters that Swaraj is arriving tomorrow to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference and during her visit she will also call on Sharif. Aziz said the deadlock in Indo-Pak ties had eased to some extent.During his talks with Swaraj, Aziz said various matters with focus on resumption of composite dialogue process between the two countries will be discussed. Swaraj’s visit comes three years after former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna travelled to Islamabad in 2012 when the countries also inked a visa liberalisation pact.During her visit, Swaraj will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was also present during the four-hour-long meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua in the Thai capital.The joint statement after the meeting of NSAs said the talks were held pursuant to a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate meet in Paris, rejecting the version given by the Indian side then that it was a mere “exchange of courtesies” although Sharif had told Pakistani media that he had a “good meeting” and “doors of dialogue should open”.Before Paris, Modi and Sharif had held bilateral meeting in Russian city of Ufa where they decided that their NSAs would meet to discuss all “terror-related” issues. However, Pakistan had called-off Aziz’ visit after New Delhi had made it clear that he would not be allowed to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders in the Indian capital.

Chhota Rajan: A petty criminal who went on to rule underworld

Rajan started his career in crime by black marketing movie tickets in the metropolis in 1970s and 80s at Sahakar Cinema in Tilak Nagar under the tutelage of Rajan Mahadev Nair alias Bada Rajan who then headed a small gang and worked with Matunga-based underworld don Vardarajan Mudliar.
File Photo
PTI
From a black marketer of movie tickets to one of the most wanted men in India, dreaded don Chhota Rajan had a roller-coaster ride in the underworld in a crime career spanning decades during which he split with one- time boss Dawood Ibrahiam and survived a near fatal attack.The arrest of 55-year-old gangster, whose real name is Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhaljee, in Indonesia on Sunday marks a significant development in the history of Mumbai’s underworld, subject of many a film, and comes as a boost for Indian security agencies which have been tracking him since long.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajan started his career in crime by black marketing movie tickets in the metropolis in 1970s and 80s at Sahakar Cinema in Tilak Nagar under the tutelage of Rajan Mahadev Nair alias Bada Rajan who then headed a small gang and worked with Matunga-based underworld don Vardarajan Mudliar.Born in Tilak Nagar, where his family still resides, it is said poverty and illiteracy forced Chhota Rajan to take up black-marketing of film tickets.An ambitious Rajan soon graduated from a petty criminal to become the right-hand man of Bada Rajan. In 1983, Bada Rajan was shot dead outside Esplanade Court in South Mumbai by Chandrasekhar Safalika and Abdul Kunju. The killing of his mentor by rival gang members was avenged by Rajan who tipped off Inspector Emmanuel Amolik who killed Safalika in an encounter.Further, Kunju was killed by don Rama Naik’s men in Shell Colony area of Chembur while playing cricket at the behest of Rajan. These two killings helped Rajan stamp his name in the underworld. He then came in contact with Dawood who was an established gold smuggler by early 1980s.Dawood needed a strong man who would look after the gangland activities in Mumbai. He selected Rajan for the job. When Rajan was working with the Dawood faction, most of the old dons like Mudliar and Naik had ceased to exist in the underworld due to police and political pressures. Dawood’s escape to Dubai in 1984 led Rajan to operate the Dawood faction in the city till 1988, after which he, too, fled to the Gulf city.Till 1993, Rajan-Dawood had become a deadly combination in Mumbai’s underworld, said police. However, the serial blasts on March 12, 1993, in which Dawood was one of the conspirators, not only shook Mumbai and the country but also changed equations in the gangland.Rajan split with Dawood, fearing he would be eliminated by his crime boss, and then started a new phase of what later became fabled rivalry between the two. By then Chhota Shakeel, the current Man Friday of Dawood, had gained prominence in D-Company hierarchy and replaced Rajan.According to police sources, Pakistan spy agency ISI, which supported Dawood, told him to eliminate Rajan. The Rajan-Dawood separation ignited a bloody gang war, where their associates targeted each other and also businessmen linked to them. Subsequently, Rajan, along with his close associates, fled from Dubai and vowed to eliminate Dawood and his gang-members. Soon, Rajan started killing the 1993 bomb blasts accused and established himself as a ‘Hindu’ don.Rajan’s big moment came in late 1990s when his gang- members bumped off Dilshad Baig, Dawood’s key associate and a Nepalese Member of Parliament. The death of Baig was a seen as a major loss for Dawood who is said to be currently based in Pakistan.In September 2000, Chhota Shakeel carefully planned a hit on Rajan who was then in Bangkok. His men tracked down Rajan in a hotel and fired at him. Rajan was hit by bullets, but he made a daring escape through the hotel’s roof.Rajan was admitted in a Bangkok hospital from where he later escaped and since then his exact location had not been known though it is said he operated out of South-East Asian countries. Though Rajan survived the attack, he struggled with health problems after that. His standing in the crime world took a beating. Early 2000s saw the elimination of several Rajan gang members in police encounters and in killings by rival gang.In 2005, Rajan’s wife Sujata was arrested under MCOCA, a stringent anti-mafia law. Rajan started concentrating on real estate and other businesses, especially in eastern suburbs of Mumbai, to fund activities of his crime syndicate. His name cropped up when well-known crime reporter J Dey was shot dead in suburban Powai on June 11, 2011. Police had claimed Rajan ordered the hit on Dey and some of his gang members were arrested for the murder.

CM Relief Fund row: Shiv Sena frowns at government’s "unhealthy mindset"

The Sena said those who feel the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni brought “disrepute to the state, should now answer if this incident has brought repute”.
Sena frowns at govt’s “unhealthy mindset”

Taking a dim view of money sanctioned from CM’s Relief Fund for a dance troupe’s foreign tour at a time when a poor girl from Latur district committed suicide, the Shiv Sena has said it depicts “unhealthy mindset of the government”.The Sena said those who feel the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni brought “disrepute to the state, should now answer if this incident has brought repute”.Swati, a Class XI student from Jadala village near Latur, allegedly committed suicide recently as she could not manage Rs 260 for her bus pass to go to school.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In her suicide note, the girl purportedly said she took the extreme step as she could not bear to see her parents suffer and worry about arranging marriage for their daughters.”With the girl’s suicide, it has become clear that those in power can only speak. On one hand Swati committed suicide due to poverty and on the other the state government approves Rs 8 lakh to fund a dance troupe to Bangkok. This depicts the unhealthy mindset of the state government,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.Many such young girls may be on the verge of committing suicide, the ruling alliance partner said while describing such incidents as a blot on the state’s image and sought to know what the government plans to do about it.”At one point, the ‘Latur pattern’ was famous in the education sector. Now, the region has developed a ‘suicide pattern’. It is a blot on the image of Maharashtra. Those who say the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni brought disrepute to the state, should now answer if this incident has brought repute,” the party said.The ‘Latur Pattern’ of study, developed by former principals of a college in Latur, is a combination of special training and intensive coaching, designed to help students in providing point-to-point answers to questions which could be expected in the examination.Taking a dig at its senior ally, the Sena said it was happy that its ministers, who claim to be sidelined in the government, were not consulted before the sanctioning of Rs 8 lakh for the dance troupe.”Shiv Sena ministers say they are not treated with respect and are not taken into confidence before taking decisions. We are happy that we were not taken into confidence before allotting Rs 8 lakh for this foreign tour or we too would have been cursed by Swati,” it said.While the government celebrates its one year in power, it should also ensure such incidents are not repeated, the Sena stressed.An RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali recently found that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had approved Rs 8 lakh for a government employees’ dance troupe to participate in a competition in Bangkok in December.

Row over Maharashtra CM relief fund money for dance troupe’s Bangkok visit

The sanction of Rs 8 lakh from Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for a dance troupe’s visit to Thailand has sparked a row with the opposition questioning the BJP-led government’s “priorities” at a time when the state is reeling under severe drought.

The sanction of Rs 8 lakh from Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for a dance troupe’s visit to Thailand has sparked a row with the opposition questioning the BJP-led government’s “priorities” at a time when the state is reeling under severe drought.An RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali found that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis approved Rs 8 lakh for a government employee’s dance troupe to participate in a competition in Bangkok in December. He sanctioned the sum that was transferred to Sachivalaya Gymkhana for the dance contest.However, an official of the CMO said there is no wrongdoing in disbursing of the fund.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Registered in 1967 with the charity commissioner, the CM’s relief fund can be used for funding cultural activities, the official said, amid mounting criticism of the move.Maharashtra Congress General Secretary Sanjay Dutt said the government’s priorities are flawed. “It attaches more importance to funds for dance than funds for drought,” he said.NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that the state government “which does not have funds to help cancer and heart patients, was very prompt in giving money for the dance troupe’s visit to Thailand”.The government should recover the money and if it fails to do so, Fadnavis should pay from his pocket, he said.The Gymkhana had sought aid to send its 15-member team of government employees to enable them to participate in a dance competition in Bangkok from December 26-30.The 5th Cultural Olympiad of Performing Arts 2015 is being held in Bangkok by Global Council of Art and Culture.In 2008, former CIC Shailesh Gandhi had revealed through RTI that public money collected between 2003 and 2005, when Congress-NCP regime was in power, went to the organisers of a kabaddi competition, a women’s football match, a ghazal contest, a Marathi actor’s fan club and a Congress MLA’s religious congregation.”The disbursement of the fund is made at the discretion of the Chief Minister, and in accordance with the Chief Ministers directions,” said the official.The official from CMO said the funds were granted for government employees and were not for any commercial performance. “There is no wrongdoing while disbursing the funds,” he said.

dna Must Read at 11 pm: Read the top five stories at this hour

Here are 5 top stories on dnaindia.com at 11 pm.

The following quick read will take you through stories that are making news right now. ‚Äč1) Bangkok blast: Suspect used New Delhi as transit before escaping to IstanbulA key suspect in the plotting of last month’s deadly bombing in Bangkok was last tracked via multiple flights to Turkey, Thai police said on Monday. The man Thai authorities say played a leadership role in the bombing fled to Bangladesh using a Chinese passport on the eve of the blast and two weeks later transited in New Delhi and Abu Dhabi on his way to Istanbul, police said. Read more on this story here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) FTII row: Not leaving post, ready to mediate, says Gajendra ChauhanNot withstanding protests over his appointment as chairman of Film and Television Institute of India, Gajendra Chauhan says he is not ready to leave the position but expressed his willingness to mediate between the agitating students and the government. Read our full report here.3) India v/s South Africa: Ravi Shastri says India will continue to play aggressive cricket “South Africa are the No 1 team in the world. We have to play consistent cricket for long periods of time to put them under pressure. That will be the endeavour. Our style of play will not change,” said team director Ravi Shastri. To read more, click here.4) Commerce Ministry invites consultants for promoting start-upsIn request-for-proposal for selection of consulting agency, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said that government wants to create an environment which will enable individuals and smaller companies, including start-ups and SMEs to grow through innovation and design. Read the complete story here.5) You cannot miss this adorable picture of AbRam and Aryan Khan playing togetherWhen Shah Rukh Khan’s away for shoots, he still manages to be with his kids all the time. Through social network. And when he is around, he spends as much time as he can with his kids at home. Recently, SRK has been posting a lot of pictures of his kids on Twitter. Read more here.

Bangkok blast: Two Indians detained belong to Jammu & Kashmir and Karnataka

Sources said after receiving information from the Indian embassy in Bangkok, background checks were being carried in Kashmir and Bengaluru from where the two boys hail.

A blast took place outside a popular Erawan Brahma Shrine last month in which killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others.
File Photo
Image Courtesy: Reuters
Security agencies are checking the background of two people detained in Bangkok in connection with a bombing at a temple in Thailand who belong to Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka.The two, whose names had been withheld, were called for questioning by Bangkok police after they were seen on CCTV talking to a foreign suspect wanted in Thailand’s deadliest bombing at a temple. Sources said after receiving information from the Indian embassy in Bangkok, background checks were being carried in Kashmir and Bengaluru from where the two boys hail. The sources said that the two were roommates and lived in the same apartment where the arrested suspect was staying.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two Indians were taken away for questioning during a raid at the Maimuna Garden Home apartment in Minburi last night.A blast took place outside a popular Erawan Brahma Shrine last month in which killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others. So far Bangkok police has issued arrest warrants have been issued for 12 suspects. Two have been arrested, both foreigners, one carrying a Chinese passport.

India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway: 10 must visit pit-stops on your road trip to Thailand

If you are planning a road trip anytime after November from New Delhi to Thailand, don’t forget to visit these places.

All set for a road trip to Thailand? It might be an easy task for all those travel freaks as the Indo-Thailand highway, Maynwaddy-Thinggan Kawkareik, of the Asian Super Highway opens this November. The trilateral highway is said to connect Moreh in Manipur to Thailand’s Maesot through Tamu in Maynmar, Mandalay and Myawaddy.The 25.6 km long stretch after being operational will reduce travel time between Thinggan Nyenaung and Kawkareik from 3 hours to just 45 minutes.So, if you are planning a road trip anytime after November from New Delhi to Thailand, don’t forget to visit these places:<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1.Agra: The city of the inevitable monument of love, Taj Mahal, Agra would be the first pit-stop that you should take. Visit the white marble beauty which was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. You can also visit the Agra Fort if you are in this city. Built in the 16th century by the Mughals, this monument is situated near the gardens of Taj Mahal. Also called the Red Fort of Agra, it comprises of Jahangir Palace, Khas Mahal and so on. 2. Lucknow: The next stop after Agra that you should be taking is Lucknow. You can’t miss visiting the famous Bara Imambara if you are in the city of nawabs. Also known as Bhool bhulaiya, this famous architectural building of monuments and statues will leave you spellbound.
Once you are done getting lost and found in the Bhool bhulaiya, you can rejoice yourself with the famous Lucknawy biryani. Take a little break and then move ahead.3.Guwahati: The city best known for its famous temples, Guwahati is the largest city of Assam.This city is the host of diverse wildlife which includes rare animals such as Asian elephants, pythons, tigers, gaurs and many endangered species.And once you are in this city you should not miss the setting sun and then you can ride ahead for your next stop.4. Shillong: Known as the ‘Abode of Clouds’, Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. One must visit the Elephant Falls which is in the outskirts of the city where the mountain stream descends through twin successive falls set in the dells of fern covered rocks.
The beauty of this city will enthral you and after spending a good amount of time in this city you can move ahead to your destination to Thailand.5. Bagan: if you are in this city, then you should know that you are in Myanmar. Bagan is an ancient city located in Burma’s Mandalay Region. The most important tourist spot in this city is the Bagan Archaeological Zone which comprises of well constructed monasteries, pagodas and Buddhist temples.
The city from the 9th to 13th century was called the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan and the monuments seem to overwhelm the landscape of the ancient city.6. Mandalay: Next comes Mandalay. The road through Mandalay will take you for a joy ride as you will come across the famous golden palace monastery which is a traditional Burmese style temple and was built by King Mindon in the 19th century. This monastery depicts tales form the Buddhist mythology through its teak carvings.You can also witness the world’s longest teak bridge which is over two centuries old and covers the Taungthaman Lake in Mandalay’s Amarapura township. You can also visit the Mahamuni Pagoda which is a well-known pilgrimage site known for its enormous gold Buddha statue.7. Naypyidaw: This city which is the capital city of Myanmar will enthral you with its rich and beautiful pagodas.
This city holds the Uppatasanti Pagoda also known as the ‘Peace pagoda’ which is a prominent landmark in Naypyidaw.8.Yangon: After Naypyidaw, your next pit-stop should be Yangon which is also known as Rangoon. This was the former capital of Myanmar and if you are in this city it is hard to miss the Shwedagon Pagoda which is massive, glittering, gold-plated range of temples, stupas and statues. Yangon was the city where Bahadur Shah Zafar was kept captive by the British.You can also visit the Sule Pagoda if you are still in the city.9. Starting point of Thailand: You are about to enter Bangkok when you visit the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace in Thailand. Also known as the Summer Palace, it lies beside the Chao Phraya River in Bang Pa-In district and was formerly used by the Thai Kings.
10. You reach your destination- Bangkok: The capital city of Thailand. Known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, this city has the historic Grand Palace and famous Buddhist temples which includes Wat Arun and Wat Pho.
Its nearly 70 hours covering over 4,200 kms yes, but this may be the best road trip ever.

69th Independence Day celebrated by Indians across the globe

Hundreds of Indians thronged Indian missions in Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Laos, Cambodia Indonesia to attend the ceremony. The number at the events was large at most places with Saturday being a weekend holiday.

Schoolchildren painted in the colours of the Indian flag cheer as they pose for a group photograph during Independence Day celebrations at The Manekshaw Parade Grounds in Bangalore on August 15, 2015.

AFP photo
The tricolour fluttered proudly at Indian missions across the globe on Saturday with envoys hoisting it to the melodious strains of the national anthem as hundreds of Indians and friends of India gathered to celebrate the country’s 69th Independence Day.In Australia, hundreds of Indians converged at the iconic federation square building in Melbourne on Saturday to celebrate the Independence day and attend the flag hoisting ceremony. The tricolour was unfurled by High Commissioner Navdeep Suri and Bollywood star Anil Kapoor in the presence of other VIPs, dignitaries and a huge crowd. Speaking on the occasion, Suri said the unfurling of flag at the iconic federation square was a matter of great pride for Indians living in Australia. Kapoor, who received a warm welcome, said: “this is a very emotional moment for us with the Indian flag flying at federation square.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Bangkok, India’s ambassador to Thailand Harsh Vardhan Shringla unfurled the national flag at the Indian mission. At least 750 Indians and ethnic Indian Thais attended the event as Shringla read out excerpts of the President’s speech. This was followed by singing of patriotic songs by the children of Modern International School of Bangkok and various Indian associations. The national flag was unfurled across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by Indian envoys. Hundreds of Indians thronged Indian missions in Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Laos, Cambodia Indonesia to attend the ceremony. The number at the events was large at most places with Saturday being a weekend holiday.In Hanoi, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Preeti Saran unfurled the tricolor. Around 300 people attended the event. “This year’s function had an unprecedented level of participation from the Indian community, partly because it was a weekend and because there are large groups of temporary workers from India at IBN, Microsoft/Nokia and other MNCs that recently moved to Hanoi,” Saran said.In Tokyo, India’s ambassador to Japan Deepa Wadhwa unfurled the flag at the Chancery premises. More than 500 Indian nationals attended the programme. Students from Indian International School in Japan, Global Indian International School in Japan and Tathva International School performed patriotic songs.In Singapore, the Indian High Commission celebrated the Independence Day at the Chancery with an open house, hosting more than 1,000 Indians in the citu-state. High Commissioner Vijay Singh Thakur read out the President’s message while students from local Indian schools sang patriotic songs. Indians from all walks of life and business community leaders attended the two-hour celebration.

Delhi lipstick threat grounds plane

A Turkish Airlines plane lands at Delhi airport after crew spot a bomb threat, written in lipstick on a toilet mirror, which turns out to be a hoax.

Plans to elevate Rahul Gandhi as Congress President may be put on hold, hints party

Even though Congress leaders remained busy with the preparations for Sunday’s kisan rally planned by Sonia Gandhi, they dropped subtle hints that plans to elevate Rahul may have wait now for quite some time.

Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi after his return from Bangkok

After his 56-days unexplained sabbatical, which also raised questions on his leadership, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday returned home.Sporting t-shirt and jeans, instead of white khadi kurta, clean shaven Rahul boarded down from Thai Airways plane and drove straight to his Tuglaq lane residence, where his mother Congress president Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Vadra were awaiting him. After spending two hours at his residence, he left to 10 Janpath with all of them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though Congress leaders remained busy with the preparations for Sunday’s kisan rally planned by Sonia Gandhi, they dropped subtle hints that plans to elevate Rahul may have wait now for quite some time.Party spokesman PC Chacko said a Congress Working Committee will meet to discuss “all matters” only after the session ends on May 13.An AICC session is also planned soon after to approve some amendments in the Congress constitution. RPN Singh, a close aide of Rahul from Uttar Pradesh and a former union minister of state for home, dropped a clear hint that the 44-year old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is not taking the party reins any sooner from mother.Though, he returned form Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight, sources say, he had stayed in a Vipasna centre in the outskirts of Yangoon and later left to spend holidays in Europe.But nobody in Congress or even those in know in the government is on record to say certainly where the leader had disappeared and that too just before start of Parliament session.Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has convened a meeting of all party general secretaries and secretaries as also the PCC presidents of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab at the AICC headquarters here on Friday to give final touches to the kisan rally on Sunday.Reaching out to farmersRahul is in time for the farmers’ gathering at Ramlila Maidan planned in his absence by his mother. This will help Congress to recapture the lost rural votes by harping against the land acquisition ordinance and hardly any government help has come to farmers who hare facing tough time due to unseasonal rains which has destroyed their crops.

Posters announce reward for info on Rahul Gandhi’s whereabouts

Reports about Rahul Gandhi’s sabbatical in Bangkok have sparked off a variety of negative and satirical reactions relating to the timing of his ‘holiday’, announced to the media recently by his mother Congress chief Sonia Gandhi herself.

Rahul Gandhi

Reports about Rahul Gandhi’s sabbatical in Bangkok have sparked off a variety of negative and satirical reactions relating to the timing of his ‘holiday’, announced to the media recently by his mother Congress chief Sonia Gandhi herself.In Allahabad, posters have been put up declaring a big reward for anyone giving information about the junior Gandhi’s whereabouts. “Congress ke senapati laa-pata,” reads the legend on these posters. (Leader of Congress missing.) The poster, said to be the handiwork of local BJP leaders, carries a big photo of Rahul Gandhi and that of a BJP leader.The poster holds the promise: “Suchna dene waale ko maala maal kiya jaayega.” (The person giving information will get a huge reward.) Interestingly, the posters have also been put up outside Anand Bhavan, the ancestral house of the Nehru-Gandhi family, as also near the district Congress office.Meanwhile, BJP MP and renowned Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari also took the opportunity to poke fun at the Congress vice-president. “He is an unmarried child. Let him roam around in Bangkok and Pataya,” he quipped while replying to reporters’ questions in Varanasi on Wednesday. “Why are you making such an issue about it. He has all the right to go there,” he was heard saying on a news channel, hiding his face with both his hands to suppress his laughter.The “untimely” sabbatical, reportedly for “introspection” over the Congress party’s steeply dipping electoral fortunes, has sparked off a wave of disenchantment in Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi, too.”It’s totally inappropriate of him to be holidaying at a time when the Parliament would be debating the budget,” said Ramesh Sharma, a local resident. “He should have been there to raise our voice for new schemes and more funds for Amethi’s development,” he said angrily.A local level Congress leader also sounded rather disgruntled as he said: “Ever since the BJP has come to power, schemes started during Congress rule have either been abandoned midway or shifted elsewhere. But our ‘yuvraj’ doesn’t seem to be bothered.”

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