Agnipath: Struggle in 13 states, 1 killed, Bihar bandh announced today, Defense Minister’s important meeting.

Uttrakhand, India: Violent demonstrations have started across the country against the ‘Agneepath’ scheme related to army recruitment. The heat of violence has reached 13 states including UP, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan.

Most of the ruckus is being seen in Bihar and then in Uttar Pradesh.

Mobile internet service has been stopped for 48 hours in 12 districts of Bihar. Mobile internet as well as SMS service has been suspended for 24 hours in a district of Haryana.

At present, this fire of violence does not seem to be diminishing. Many student organizations in Bihar have called a statewide bandh today. Which has been supported by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP).

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is going to hold an important meeting today. The protest against the Agneepath scheme can also be included in the agenda of this meeting.

Demonstration from Delhi to Himachal

  • In Delhi too, AISA workers demonstrated at the Metro Gate of ITO on Friday.
  • Tires were burnt on National Highway-2 connecting Delhi to Kolkata in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
  • In Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, youths preparing for army recruitment gathered and demanded to withdraw the plan.
  • National Highway was blocked in Haldwani, Uttarakhand. The protesters clashed with the police.
  •  A protester died in Telangana. 13 were injured. The train was torched at Secunderabad railway station. 30 were arrested.
  • In Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, Birla Nagar railway station was vandalized on Thursday and stones were pelted in Bhind-Indore-Ratlam Intercity and Bundelkhand-Express.
  • In the Cuttack district of Odisha, the protesters on the banks of the Mahanadi stormed the army recruitment camp.
  • The agitators were lathi-charged.

30 MPs united in Kuwait’s Parliament to protest against the Government of India

Nupur Sharma, who was BJP’s national spokesperson and Naveen Kumar Jindal, who was associated with Delhi BJP, made controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad, which had reached the Gulf countries, it is not stopped yet.

Uttrakhand, India: On Thursday, parliamentarians in Kuwait’s parliament asked their government to make every effort to put pressure on the Indian government.

According to the news of Kuwait Times, 30 out of 50 MPs of the National Assembly have issued a statement signed by them, strongly condemning the police action on the protesting Muslims of India.

Arab Times wrote, “A total of 30 MPs have issued a joint statement expressing their objection to the derogatory remarks on the Prophet Mohammed. These MPs have appealed to their government of Kuwait and other Islamic countries to exert political, diplomatic and economic pressure on the government of India.

He has also said that peaceful protests of Indian Muslims should be supported. MP Osama al-Saheen, speaking on behalf of 30 lawmakers, said that if this statement had been issued by all lawmakers, it would have been passed unanimously.

Members of Kuwait Institute and Legal Studies have tweeted the signed letter of these 30 MPs.

Thirty MPs have said in their statement, “The members of Kuwait National Assembly reject the insult of Prophet Mohammad on behalf of the Government of India, party and media persons. We also condemn the police action against Indian Muslims.

Agnipath scheme protest live updates: Trains set on fire, internet suspended as protests continue for third day

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Violent protests over Agnipath scheme continued in Bihar for the third day on Friday. Protesters disrupted the movement of trains in various districts of the state.

In the Begusarai district, the agitated youth blocked the Rajbara Gumti road. The movement of trains was affected as agitating protestors chose to voice their concerns by sitting on the railway tracks. Roads were also blocked at many places. During the protest, a tire was burnt on the railway track. Students created a huge ruckus at Sahebpurkamal railway station in the district as well as arson and stone-pelting.

Lakhisarai district witnessed a similar furore. A huge group of protestors jointly marched in the district against the scheme by the Central government. During the protest, slogans were also raised against the Central government.

Local police officials who were present at the spot told ANI, “They were stopping me from shooting a video and even snatched away my phone. About 4-5 compartments are affected. Passengers alighted and managed to proceed on their own.”

On Thursday also, agitations had spilt over to several districts in Bihar as youths protested by lying down on the railway tracks and blocking roads, demanding the scrapping of the scheme.

Huge crowds had gathered at the Bihar’s Chhapra, Jehanabad, Munger and Nawada areas of Bihar, demanding the withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme. A group of army aspirants protested at Bhabua Road Railway Station and blocked the tracks before setting a train on fire.

Govt announces ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme for armed forces

NEW DELHI: According to the TOI, Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday unveiled the “Agnipath” scheme which aims to transform the armed forces.

This move comes in a bid to slash the ballooning salary and pension bills, amid major concerns the move will adversely impact the professionalism, military ethos and fighting spirit of the over 14-lakh strong armed forces.

Agnipath scheme will see around 45,000 youngsters in the age group of 17.5 to 21 being annually inducted into the armed forces for a four-year duration, which will include six months of basic training, with a monthly salary of Rs 30,000-40,000 and allowances. 

They will be entitled to awards, medals and insurance cover like the regular cadre of soldiers, airmen and sailors. 

After four years, only 25% of the “Agniveers” will be retained or re-enlisted in the regular cadre based on merit, willingness and medical fitness. 

They will then serve for a full term of another 15 years. The first four years, served under a contract, are not likely to be taken into consideration for the fixation of the final pensionary benefits.

The other 75% Agniveers will be demobilized, with an exit or “Seva Nidhi” package of Rs 11-12 lakh, partly funded by their monthly contributions, as well as skill certificates and bank loans for help in their second careers.

Russian troops control about 80% of the fiercely contested eastern city of Sievierodonetsk

Russian troops control about 80% of the fiercely contested eastern city of Sievierodonetsk and have destroyed all three bridges leading out of it but Ukrainians were still trying to evacuate the wounded, a regional official said Tuesday.

Serhiy Haidai, governor of the eastern Luhansk region, acknowledged that a mass evacuation of civilians from Sievierodonetsk now was “simply not possible” due to the relentless shelling and fighting. Ukrainian forces have been pushed to the industrial outskirts of the city because of “the scorched earth method and heavy artillery the Russians are using,” he said.

“There is still an opportunity for the evacuation of the wounded, communication with the Ukrainian military and local residents,” he told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that Russian soldiers have not yet completely blocked off the strategic city.

About 12,000 people remain in Sievierodonetsk, from a pre-war population of 100,000. More than 500 civilians are sheltering in the Azot chemical plant, which is being pounded by the Russians, according to Haidai.

In all, 70 civilians were evacuated from the Luhansk region in the last day, the governor said.

A Russian general, meanwhile, said a humanitarian corridor will be opened Wednesday to evacuate civilians from the Azot plant. Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said evacuees would be taken to the town of Svatovo, 60 kilometers (35 miles) to the north in territory under the control of Russian and separatist forces.

He said the plan was made after Ukraine called for an evacuation corridor leading to territory it controls.

Mizintsev, head of the National Defense Management Center, is accused by Ukraine of human rights violations while commanding troops during the long siege of Mariupol, Ukraine’s key port on the Sea of Azov, which has been taken over by the Russians.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s condition critical, Pak Army offers Musharraf air ambulance to to bring him back.

Musharraf, 78, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, was charged with high treason and given a death sentence in 2019 for suspending the Constitution. His death sentence was later suspended.

The Pakistan army has offered to facilitate the return of former strongman General Pervez Musharraf, who is in critical condition and in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates, according to a media report on Tuesday.

“The military contacted the family of Gen. Musharraf and offered its help in his treatment and bringing him back home,” a report in Dunya TV said.

“All arrangements to bring Gen. Musharraf back to Pakistan (are) being made after family’s consent and doctors’ advice. This includes the air ambulance… The institution (of the Army) stands by its ex-chief,” TV anchor Kamran Shahid said in a tweet.

“Gen Musharraf has been hospitalised for the last three weeks due to a complication of his ailment (Amyloidosis). (He is) Going through a difficult stage where recovery is not possible and organs are malfunctioning. Pray for ease in his daily living,” his family said in a statement on Friday.

Russia’s oil export revenue soars to $98 billion as war in Ukraine rages on.

A report shows Russia’s revenues from exports of oil and gas reaching record highs during the first 100 days of the war, with Moscow taking in 93 billion euros ($98 billion), most of it from European Union customers.

The report from the independent, Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) shows the top clients for Russian oil, gas and coal being China with 12.6 billion euros, followed by Germany (12.1 billion euros) and Italy (7.8 billion euros).

The EU last month agreed to halt most Russian oil imports but an embargo on Russian gas is not on the cards at present.

Russia-Ukraine conflict: Nuclear use risk highest in decades

Russia-Ukraine war update: The global nuclear weapon stockpile could rise for first time since the Cold War, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says as its director warns of the increased risk of weapon use today.

An arms research institute says the risk of nuclear war is higher today than at any time since the height of the Cold War.
Russian forces have blown up a bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River, which links the embattled city of Severodonetsk to its twin city of Lysychansk, cutting off a possible evacuation route for civilians, local officials say.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian casualties since the start of the war may pass 40,000 in June.

Moscow-backed officials are solidifying their hold on occupied territories by installing Russian flags in the Melitopol administrative centre, and flying them on a highway to the strategic city of Mariupol, with the sign to the port city’s entrance painted in the Russian flag colours.
The self-proclaimed officials also celebrated Russia Day on Sunday and began issuing Russian passports to residents in Melitopol, Russian state-owned RIA Novosti says.

WTO’s Blanket Food Export Exemptions A Concern For India’s Domestic Food Security

India is not in favour of extending blanket exemptions from export restrictions under the aegis of the WTO on food grains purchased for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) as it would restrict its policy space to deal with domestic food security concerns, an official statement said on Saturday.

In the agriculture sector, the proponents on export restrictions are seeking outcome on two issues – exemption of food material purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes by the WFP from the application of export restrictions, and advance notification of export restrictive measures.

These issues would figure in the 12th ministerial conference (MC) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), beginning here from June 12. MC is the highest decision making body of the 164-member organisation. It is meeting after a gap of four years.

The Indian delegation at the conference is headed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

Russian shelling causes chemical-plant fire in eastern Ukrainian city

Russia-Ukraine War: Non-stop fighting continued in Sievierodonetsk, a small city in the Luhansk region that has become the focus of Russia’s advance in eastern Ukraine.

Russian shelling of the Azot chemical plant in Ukraine’s frontline city of Sievierodonetsk caused a powerful fire to break out after a leak of tonnes of oil, regional governor of Serhiy Gaidai said on Saturday.Speaking on national television, Gaidai did not say if the fire at the plant, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering, had been extinguished.

Ukraine has reported the death of 24 more children in Mariupol. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said his country’s forces were doing everything to stop the Russian offensive, with fierce battles in the east and the south. Kyiv had launched new air strikes in the captured southern region of Kherson, one of the first areas to be taken by Russia after the February 24 invasion.

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