The Archaeological department has discovered a column resembling the historical Ashoka Pillar in Odisha’s Angul. The structure was discovered by locals while digging a patch near a temple in Jharhiamba village. The villagers have placed the column in a temple and have been worshipping it as ‘Shiva Linga’.
A senior government scientist with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has come under flak from activists and social outfits in the city for lodging a case against her cook for allegedly ‘impersonating’ as a Brahmin since May 2016 and lying about her caste.Dr. Medha Vinayak Khole, who is Deputy Director-General for the IMD’s weather forecasting section, sparked controversy with her complaint lodged against the cook Nirmala Yadav at the city’s Sinhagad Police Station on Thursday evening.Police sources said that Dr Khole filed a complaint after she discovered that the cook was not of the Brahmin caste, but belonged to the Maratha community following the recently-concluded Gauri Ganpati festival. The police said that Dr. Khole alleged in her complaint that Ms. Yadav had ostensibly concealed her caste to secure the job as she was under severe financial stress. But according to Ms. Yadav (60), Ms. Khole had never asked her about her caste when she sought work with her in 2016.“She [Khole] only asked my name when I went to her for work last year. It was only after Gauri Ganpati that she [Khole] discovered I was a Maratha and not a Brahmin. Following this, she barged into my house and began assaulting me, while stating that our God was of the streets while theirs was in the heaven. She also threw my mobile phone while abusing me,” Ms. Yadav alleged.Dr. Khole, however, claimed that her “religious sentiments were hurt” as she had wanted a married Brahmin woman to cook for family events such as the death anniversary of her parents and the Gauri Ganapati Festival. She further claimed that she had paid Ms. Yadav wages amounting to ₹20,000 since the past year.In her complaint, Dr. Khole alleged that it was Ms. Yadav who had assaulted her and lodged a case under sections 419 (impersonation), 352 (assault or use of criminal force) and Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).At a time when caste issues are flashpoints across Maharashtra, the case has sparked a furore among Maratha groups. Since Friday noon, a number of Maratha groups, including the Maratha Kranti Morcha, demonstrated against Dr. Khole in front of the Ved Bhavan in Kothrud, leading to tension in the area.Members of the Sambhaji Brigade have demanded a counter-case be filed under against Dr. Khole under the Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 and relevant sections of the IPC dealing with abuse of official position and assault. “It is shocking that an educated woman like Khole can behave in such an insensitive fashion at a time when such issues are particularly inimical to to social harmony. This [case] merely exemplifies just how deeply entrenched notions of caste are. Despite the woman [Yadav] working honestly for a year, Khole had objections with her caste. The complaint against Yadav is utterly false and shameful,” said Santosh Shinde of the Sambhaji Brigade.Members of the outfit met with Joint Commissioner of Police, Ravindra Kadam and demanded an immediate probe into the case.“What is disturbing is the alacrity with which the Sinhagad police lodged the case against Yadav without listening to her side. In contrast, they are extremely tardy when it comes to filing cases pertaining to social boycott or caste discrimination “ said Nandini Jadhav of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) alleging that Dr. Khole had completely distorted the true nature of events by filing a false case.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon to seek a special package to tide over the financial crisis in the State, a minister said on Saturday.Mr. Deb will also meet Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with the same proposal, Transport Minister Pranajit Singha Roy told reporters here.“The State’s financial condition was reviewed in a meeting of the council of ministers yesterday. The State is reeling under deep financial crisis. The budget deficit in the current financial year is ₹ 1,588.19 crore,” Mr. Roy said.Finance department officials have been asked to put forward a comprehensive report on the State’s fiscal condition in the next three days and after getting the report, the Chief Minister will leave for Delhi, he said.The State’s revenue generation is poor while fiscal deficit is on the rise. The State’s own revenue is currently able to manage only 12.94 per cent of its expenditure, he said.To a question, Mr. Roy said agriculture, tourism and many other sectors needed immediate financial attention.He said the cabinet meeting also laid importance on austerity measures and the State’s own revenue generation. The government would implement all its poll pledges including 7th Pay Commission benefits, higher wages for labourers, social welfare benefits for distressed people and free smartphones to the youth.The chief minister will visit Delhi with his proposal before the Assembly session begins on March 23.Mr. Deb took oath as the first BJP Chief Minister of Tripura on March 9, ending the 25-year rule of the Left Front.
The Manipur police have caught a 60-year-old woman with a Chennai connection for attempting to smuggle in nine Myanmar nationals with fake Aadhaar and voter identity cards.The arrest of the nine in Manipur’s border town Moreh on Sunday follows that of 24 Bangladeshi nationals in Tripura. The 24 were caught at Agartala railway station after getting off a train that arrived from New Delhi on May 10.Police in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district said Paritha Begum, a resident of Sriram Nagar in Chennai, was among 10 people caught travelling in two vans with forged documents.“Inquiry revealed the woman from Chennai is part of an international human trafficking network. All the nine Myanmarese with fake Aadhaar cards are from Yangon state in Myanmar, and two of them are into trafficking,” S. Ibomcha, Tengnoupal district’s superintendent of police, told reporters.The police also tracked down two Moreh-based traders — one into software and the other into online ticketing — who had forged the nine Aadhaar cards between them.The police raided the residence and shop of the duo and recovered several Aadhaar cards, biometric finger scan machine, laminating machine, laptops and printers besides other “incriminating documents”.The online ticketing agent, identified as Gopal Krishna, had procured train tickets for the 10 arrested people to Chennai from Dimapur in Nagaland.Referring to the arrest of the nine Myanmar nationals, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on Tuesday evening said the possibility of foreigners moving around with fake Aadhaar was a serious issue.“We perhaps need to verify all Aadhaar cards, as we have a small population and such illegal migration raises serious issues,” Mr. Singh said.He mooted the idea of checking the credentials of passengers arriving at Imphal’s Tulihal Airport.
The Odisha government has proposed to come up with a single revenue act by merging various revenue laws enacted at different point in times.“We will enact single revenue code by consolidating and simplifying various revenue laws as some of the provisions of the existing laws governing land revenue administration are unable to meet the pressing needs of changing times,” said Maheswar Mohanty, State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister.Futuristic outlook A committee comprising Member of Board of Revenue as chairman and 12 other members was tasked to frame revenue code with futuristic outlook which will contain provisions for automation and Internet use.The draft ‘Odisha Land and Revenue Code’ has been prepared by taking into consideration the Odisha Survey and Settlement Act, 1958, the Odisha Special Survey and the Settlement Act 2012, the Odisha Government Land Settlement Act, 1962, the Odisha Prevention of Land Encroachment Act, 1972, the Odisha Land Reforms Act, 1960, the Odisha Consolidation of Holdings and Prevention of Fragmentation of Land Act 1972 and the Odisha Estates Abolition Act, 1951.“There were 299 sections in the present set of seven Acts, whereas the draft code has a total of 107 sections,” said Mr. Mohanty.“There has been no provision for settlement of land in case of encroachment for more than 30 years in the code,” the department said.According to minister, the code will be published inviting suggestions and objections from all sections and after scrutiny of feedbacks, necessary changes will be effected and steps will be taken for enactment of the code.
One Army soldier and three militants were killed in an anti-militancy operation in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, a defence spokesman said here.“They were killed in an operation in Danna in Bandipora district of north Kashmir,” Col. Rajesh Kalia said. The identity of the slain militants is being ascertained, he said. Two soldiers were also injured in the operation that began on Friday. He said weapons and other war-like stores were recovered from the site of gunfight. The operation was over, the spokesman said. (Inputs from IANS)
Officials of a district in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh have been accused of trying to suppress media freedom by monitoring WhatsApp media groups and threatening criminal action against journalists not following its directives.However, the administration on Sunday said it was a move to check circulation of fake news and the presence of “fake media portals”. In a joint directive issued by Lalitpur District Magistrate Manvendra Singh and Superintendent of Police O.P. Singh, the admins of all WhatsApp media groups operating in the district had been told to get their groups registered with the District Information Officer or face action.“No WhatsApp media group in the district will be allowed to operate without registration and if found doing so, a case will be registered against the admin of the group under relevant sections of the IT Act,” the two-page directive said.The administration said that it took the step in view of increasing complaints of incidents in which “fake journalists” were intimidating and extorting money from the local people and government staff.“News channels and YouTube portals have been circulating news and rumours that have caused a threat to the social harmony and unity of the district. The district also has many news portals that are not registered anywhere, and do not have a regulatory authority laid down for them,” the directive said.The administration has also specified that no news portal will be allowed to function in Lalitpur without its approval.Clarifying on the directive, the District Magistrate said it was not to restrain the general media but to prevent the misuse of the platform by “fake” news channels and portals.Extortion charges“It is for those who claim to be news channels but have no registration to show it. They go and extort money from people … we have been receiving complaints,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu.He explained that the trigger for the directive came after a recent incident at Kursi village in Mehroni tehsil, where a portal spread news that some people had been denied entry into a temple, creating tension. “We had to deploy forces in the area even when there was nothing of that sort happening,” the District Magistrate said.
Mamata Banerjee’s sop for Durga Puja Popular singer and West Bengal Minister of State for Culture Indranil Sen has lent voice to the lyrics.Mr. Sen, who regaled the audience at the Netaji Indoor Stadium with the song during the function said, “There is a devotional side in the lines Jai Maa Jai Durga…”“The lyrics have been penned by Didi [Mamata] and it is the theme song of a prominent puja committee. I am happy to be associated with it,” she said.Even during the last year’s Durga puja event, the Chief Minister composed the theme song of Suruchi Sangha puja Boichitrer muktoy gantha ekotar monihar (the jewel of unity is stitched with a string of pearls of diversity).Last year, singer Shreya Ghosal lent her voice to the theme song.Suruchi Sangha is one of the most popular Durga pujas of the city West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has composed the theme song for a popular Kolkata Durga puja this year.Ms. Banerjee said on Monday at a function with organisers of Durga puja committees that the lyrics are aimed at bringing back the spirit of agomoni (traditional Bengali songs invoking the goddess) songs in theme music once again.“I had been asked by Arup [Ms. Banerjee’s Cabinet colleague Arup Biswas] to compose the theme song for his Durga puja (Suruchi Sangha) and I decided to retain the spirit of Agomoni songs like Ja Devi Sarbabhuteshu in my lyrics. Hope it will be liked by everyone,” she said.Also Read
Following Goa Congress complaint, the Election Commission of India directed the State government to defer payment of the second installment of ₹9.24 crores towards compensation for land acquisition, to Vedanta real estate developers, a company belonging to BJP’s candidate in Shiroda assembly by-poll during the model code of conduct. Mr. Shirodkar had resigned as Congress MLA from Shiroda along with another MLA Daynanad Sopte in October last year and switched over to BJP inviting by-elections in these constituencies. Already Mr. Shirodkar along with Goa State Chief Secretary is facing a complaint with the Lokayukta on alleging scam in a land acquisition deal in Shiroda by the State government. Late Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who had sanctioned the land deal also has been made part of the complaint
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reviewed the security scenario in Assam besides preparation to deal with any possible law and order situation which may arise after the publication of the final National Register of Citizens on July 31.Attended by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and top officials of the Union Home Ministry and the State government, the meeting presided by Mr. Singh took stock of the prevailing situation in Assam which last week had witnessed a blast, suspected to be carried out by the banned insurgent group ULFA, a Ministry official said.NRC updating process“A detailed review on the present security scenario of Assam has taken place. We have also discussed about the possible situation which may arise after the publication of the final NRC,” Mr. Sonowal said after the hour-long meeting.He said that the State government is extending all assistance for the NRC updating process and is committed to provide security to all citizens. “No genuine Indian should be worried about the outcome of the final NRC,” he said.When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it. The draft NRC included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications.Some 30 lakh of the 40.7 lakh people, left out of the draft of NRC, filed for inclusion of their names in the document. Around 600 objections were submitted by individuals who suspected the citizenship of others who made it to the list.The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the process, has made it clear that the final NRC has to be published on July 31, 2019.Verification onOf the 40.7 lakh people whose names did not figure in the draft NRC, 37.59 lakh names were rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 were on hold. However, they were given an opportunity to prove their Indian citizenship with 1971 as the cut-off year. The verification process is being carried out for these people who had submitted documents afresh.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had claimed that the NRC exercise was carried out with a “political motive” to divide people and had warned that it would lead to “bloodbath and civil war” in the country.
When we think about the mammoth, we picture the 3-meter-high, 6-ton beast roaming northern Europe in imposing herds, fending off human hunters with their dangerous tusks. We don’t imagine genetically deformed creatures stumbling through a doomed landscape, going to desperate lengths to stay alive in a rapidly changing world. But now, an unusual feature on some mammoth fossils dredged from the North Sea suggests that inbreeding may have hastened the mammoth’s extinction 10,000 years ago.The strange feature in question is a round, flat area that researchers were surprised to find on a mammoth neck vertebra from the North Sea. This meant that the neck bone once had a small rib attached to it, a rare abnormality that can point to other skeletal problems. When neck ribs—also called cervical ribs—occur in humans, for example, 90% of affected individuals die before they reach adulthood, not because of the rib itself, but because the condition occurs alongside other developmental problems. Neck bones may be fused together, for example, or bones in the lower back may fail to solidify. The condition is also associated with chromosome abnormalities and cancer.Curious as to how widespread the neck rib abnormality might have been among North Sea mammoth populations, researchers led by paleontologist Jelle Reumer of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam in the Netherlands combed local museum collections looking for rib facets on mammoth neck bones that had been dredged from the North Sea. They found them in three of nine cases, the researchers report today in PeerJ. “This seemed [to be] an extremely high incidence,” Reumer says. A similar search among modern-day elephant bones in museums, for example, revealed that only one out of 21 individuals had a cervical rib.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)”Cervical ribs indicate there has been a disturbance of early pregnancy,” says paleontologist Frietson Galis of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, who worked with Reumer on the analysis. A neck rib could be a sign that the mother suffered harsh conditions, like disease or famine, while pregnant, or it could be a sign of genetic trouble due to inbreeding. In the case of the mammoths, Reumer and Galis suspect both.Abnormalities fit in with Reumer’s preferred explanation for mammoths’ extinction, in which climate change fragmented their habitat, separating pockets of the animals from each other. In such small populations, inbreeding ensued, and the loss of genetic variation left the animals with few defenses against new onslaughts from parasites, disease, and human hunting. Galis describes the vicious cycle of inbreeding and vulnerability as an “extinction vortex.” Still, because the cervical rib-sporting mammoth vertebrae weren’t part of complete skeletons, the researchers couldn’t tell if their bearers suffered other deformities.Eleftheria Palkopoulou, a geneticist who has analyzed mammoth DNA but was not involved in the new study, says this scenario fits with her research that shows mammoth populations shrank about 20,000 years ago. She notes that genetic analysis could determine if inbreeding was truly occurring in the last mammoth populations, and that such studies are “now becoming technologically possible.”Paleontologist Daniel Fisher of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is skeptical, however, noting that the study included only a small number of mammoths and that inbreeding could be purely a result of dwindling population rather than a cause. Still, he says, “there’s no question that [the neck rib] represents some interesting natural history.””It’s a fascinating idea,” says Ross MacPhee, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, who was not involved in the study. Still, he notes that the researchers relied on the bones’ approximate ages, which span a period of 20,000 years, but didn’t perform the radiocarbon dating that could pin down the abnormalities to the very last years of the mammoths’ reign. Without that precision, it’s impossible to know if the abnormalities occurred only in a population that was in decline, or if they persisted for tens of thousands of years as an unusual but harmless feature. “I’m just not convinced” that the neck ribs are a smoking gun, he says.
Hidden high in the mountains of Ecuador and Costa Rica is an unusual genus of flowers called Axinaea. When researchers scaled up and down steep mountain slopes to install video cameras in the trees in which these flowers grow, they caught the plants offering a sugar-packed reward to visiting birds: the bellows organ, a bulbous, brightly colored appendage high in sugar and citric acid, which is attached to the plant’s male reproductive organ, or stamen. But as soon as the bird’s beak clamped down, the bellows organ forced air from its spongy tissues into a pollen chamber inside the stamen. The pollen exploded outwards, dusting the unwitting bird’s beak or forehead. When the bird flitted to another tree, it passed on the flower’s pollen to the receptive female organs of other flowers. This is the first case of a flowering plant offering up a food reward on a reproductive organ, the researchers report online today in Current Biology. They speculate that even before it evolved its bellows function, the bulbous organ’s resemblance to fruit seeds may have fooled birds into eating it.
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Bhutan is perhaps the world’s most isolated country. But it is at the cutting edge of the philatelic world, introducing over the years the world’s first 3-D stamp, the first metal stamp, the first silk stamp, the first scented stamp – and, now, the world’s first CD-ROM stamp. The 4 sq. in. CD-ROM stamp narrates documentaries on the history of Bhutan’s monarchy. Related Items
The U.S. State Department designated Indian-origin British ISIS member Siddhartha Dhar among Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) on Jan. 23. In designating Dhar as a global terrorist, the United States is trying to restrict his access to resources.“These designations seek to deny Dhar the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of Dhar’s property and interests in property subject to United States jurisdiction are blocked, and United States persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them,” the State Department statement said.Who is Siddhartha Dhar?Siddhartha Dhar, who is in his 30s, was a leading member of the now-defunct terrorist organization Al-Muhajiroun. In September 2014, he left the United Kingdom to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He vanished after being out on bail for encouraging terrorism in the United Kingdom. He is also known as Abu Rumaysah and was reportedly popular among radical Islamists in London. He is considered to have replaced ISIS executioner Mohammad Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John.”Police had banned him from traveling and asked him to hand over his passport, but he boarded a train to Paris with his family. A few weeks after he vanished he posted a photo from Syria with a rifle and his newborn fourth child.“What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to [IS],” he had tweeted.Dhar is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS video of the execution of several prisoners accused by the terror outfit of spying for the United Kingdom.He was born in a Hindu family but converted to Islam in his teens and took the name Saiful Islam (Abu Rumaysah is a nickname, which means “Father of Rumaysah”). He became a proponent of the al-Muhajiroun network, a banned group in the United Kingdom.He had also appeared on the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live program after gaining fame through his YouTube videos and other speeches about the Sharia way of life. Related ItemsBritainTerrorismUnited States
In an attempt to unshackle the constraints of art galleries and exhibitions, the Asian Art House has teamed up with the JW Marriot Hotel in Pune to showcase a live art exhibition.The week-long offering, titled ‘Conversations with Art’, which showcases the work of noted artists like Sanjay Tikkal, Vijayraaj Bhodhankar, Manoj Das and Steven Gandhi, aims to make art more accessible to audience.Speaking to The Hindu, Rajat Mittra, co-founder, Asian Art House, said, “We had conducted an exhibit at the Marriott last winter, but we wanted to do something different this time. We wanted to evolve and create something unique. Usually artists are taken to galleries and asked to paint live, but this is the first time that they are doing so in a hotel.”The Asian Art House promotes Asian and International art in India by conducting showcases and exhibitions over the country on a regular basis. Incidentally, they also have the largest collection of Vietnamese art in the country. “While we conduct a myriad of art exhibitions, this time around we wanted to do something edgier. Since the artists would be coming down for the event, we thought why not ask them to paint live. So throughout the week, we will have different artists painting, with a musician simultaneously playing a flute or the piano so music and art blend together perfectly,” Disha Shah, marketing and communications manager, JW Marriott, Pune, said.The event accorded an opportunity for the artists to break free from monotony, Mr. Mittra said.He said that while this may not be an ideal scenario, it is a great opportunity for artists to showcase their art to a larger audience.The exhibition witnesses a fusion of different art styles while each artists’ pieces showcase their distinctive traits.Manoj Das’ highly innovative paintings, with his trademark three-dimensional effects, depict Radha-Krishna in various moods. Sanjay Tikkal’s expressionistic, thought-provoking artworks draw upon Mother Nature and its surroundings. Steven Gandhi’s brilliant water colours are imbued with social commentary while Vijayraaj Bhodhankar’s dazzling paintings focus on meditative and spiritual ideas.
Security forces on Wednesday killed a top commander of Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) in an encounter in Pulwama’s Tral.A police spokesman said a group of AGH militants was encircled at Branpatri, a forest area in Tral, in a pre-dawn search operation. “One militant was killed in the exchange of fire. The body was also recovered later,” the spokesman said.According to the police, the slain militant, Shabir Ahmad Malik from Tral’s Nagbal, was affiliated with the AGH, which was led by Zakir Musa. Officials said Malik was among the top commanders of the group and had also released an audio after Musa’s killing in May this year.“Malik was initially affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). He was wanted for his complicity in several crimes, including attacks on security establishments. He was part of groups responsible for planning and executing attacks in the area,” said the police spokesman.His name also figured in an FIR in Jammu’s Trikuta Nagar pertaining to the “planning and preparation for carrying out attacks in Jammu”, the police added.
The Kashmir Valley remained cut off for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as the government anticipated violence after Parliament passed a resolution ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in the Indian Union under Article 370.The Hindu’s Srinagar Correspondent could not send any despatch for lack of connectivity. A senior official in Delhi said the “curfew-like” situation would continue for at least a week, and it would have to be monitored for three-four months.As per the details accessed by The Hindu, at least 15 incidents of stone-throwing were reported in the past 48 hours in Srinagar and Awantipora districts. Some incidents continued for six hours. “One or two boys would come out, throw stones and go back; they would not stay out for long as they might be detained,” the official said.An official said around 8,000 additional Central armed police personnel were rushed to the State on Monday. In the past 10 days, 32,000 additional personnel were deployed in the Valley. Another 32,000, deployed for the Amarnath Yatra, were diverted to secure the interior districts. “The deployment of Central forces is based on verbal orders. There is no written communication any more because such orders leaked in the past, creating panic,” the official said. Central forces posted in the north-eastern region were being sent to the Kashmir Valley. “There are the maximum number of boots on the ground. As of now, there are no personnel in reserve; there is 100% deployment,” the official said. The last time the Valley came under a similar clampdown was in 2013 when the 2001 Parliament attack case convict Mohammad Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri, was hanged and buried in the Tihar Jail in Delhi.“Curfew was imposed for around 10 days then. All major roads were blocked and people were prevented from coming out of their homes as protests and disturbance in law and order arrangements were expected after the hanging of Guru. But for two incidents, there was not much impact on the ground,” said the official. The official added that the situation went out of control after Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8, 2016. “No one anticipated any large-scale violence after Wani’s death, but the Valley remained disturbed for almost six months. It all depends on how prepared the administration is,” the official said. As per government data, from July 8, 2016 to September 6, 2016, 1,732 law and order incidents were reported, and 62 people, including two security men, died. Several Kashmiris were blinded, having been hit by pellet guns, and 82 government buildings, including schools, were burnt or damaged.