Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat among nine killed in Kashmir, clashes erupt

Sabzar Bhat

Srinagar: Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, who succeeded Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter with government forces in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

Bhat was among eight militants killed in two separate gunfights in north and south Kashmir. A civilian was also killed after forces opened fire on people marching towards the encounter site in Saimoh village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Six militants were killed after army claimed to have foiled an infiltration bid in Rampur sector of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Two militants, including Sabzar Bhat – a lieutenant of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani killed on July 8 last year – and Faizan were killed in an encounter in Saimoh.

The killing of Bhat has triggered protests and clashes across Kashmir valley. Dozens of people have been injured in the ensuing clashes.

(Greater Kashmir)

Tendulkar’s film mints Rs 8.40 cr on opening day in India


Mumbai: “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”, a documentary drama on ace Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, registered an opening day collection of Rs 8.40 crore, according to the makers.

The film released on Friday in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and English.

“Sachin: A Billion Dreams creates history as docu-drama. Biggest opening in the genre with Rs 8.40 crore in India in all languages,” read a statement issued on behalf of the film’s makers.

According to trade analyst Taran Adarsh, it is an “impressive” opening for a film in this genre.

The movie takes viewers through Tendulkar’s journey in his personal and professional life. It features the master blaster himself as he lets his fans into parts of his life they may not have known yet.

Members of the film and sports fraternity have already given the tale a thumbs up.

Responding to the praise coming his way on Twitter, Tendulkar wrote in one post: “For me, it’s always about intention rather than expectation. We gave it our 100 per cent. So glad you liked it.”


Pro-Kannada Outfits Call for Statewide Bandh on June 12

vatal nagaraj

Bengaluru: “Kannada Okkuta called for Karnataka bandh on June 12 demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene to resolve Mahadayi water issue immediately,” said Vatal Nagaraj, president of a pro-Kannada outfit, Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha in a press meet held in Bengaluru on Friday. The issues including Kalasa Banduri and Mahadayi haven’t yet solved, therefore prime minister and chief ministers of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka should move forward to solve the issues immediately, he urged.

A protest march will be held from town hall to Freedom Park in Bengaluru on June 12 as part of the state wide bandh. Meanwhile, a separate protest March will be organised from Bengaluru to Kanakapura via Ramanagar on May 6 urging the state government to implement Mekedatu project and to give information on its stand on Mekedatu issue.


Centre’s ban on cattle sale for slaughter is unconstitutional: Opposition


Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala and the Congress-led UDF today attacked the Centre for the ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre’s decision was “surprising” which was unsuitable for a democratic nation.

“It is not right that a government decides the choice of food of the people. With this decision, the Centre is destroying a sector which employees thousands of people,” Vijayan said in a strong reaction to the Union government’s decision.

The notification was part of Centre’s attempt to implement “RSS agenda”. The Centre should have consulted with the states and sought their opinion before coming with the notification, Vijayan said in a statement here.

While state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the decision was ‘illogical’ and the state would introspect what it could do legally, Local Administration Minister K T Jaleel and Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar felt it was an infringement on the powers of the state and the decision cannot be accepted.

“This was a state subject and the Centre cannot infringe on the state’s rights”, Jaleel told reporters here.

Sunil Kumar said the notification was a challenge to the country’s federal system. India is a democratic nation and the centre’s decision to impose the ban without consulting the states amounted to violation of the federal system, he said.

Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju opined that the decision will destroy the federal structure and will have far reaching consequences.

CPI(M) state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said in his Facebook post that the government led by Narendra Modi, who was an RSS Pracharak, has come out with the notification at a time when the country was all set to celebrate Ramzan.

Echoing similar sentiments, Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the ban was an attempt to usurp the human rights of citizens.

“The Modi Government’s effort from the beginning was to curb the constitutional rights and the ban was the latest example of the alleged fascist moves of the government,” he said.

KPCC President M M Hassan also criticised the decision saying it was against the Constitution and encroachment on the fundamental rights of the citizens.

The notification banning cattle trade for meat was unconstitutional and violation of federal principles, Dr Varughese George, National General Secretary of Janata Dal(U).

However,Justifying the Centre’s decision, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, blamed the mediafor “distorting” the notification.

The notification had only restricted the sale of animals for slaughter which were used for agricultural purposes, he said attributing “political motives” on the part of media in hiding.


Yeddyurappa will be BJP’s CM face in Karnataka, confirms Amit Shah again


New Delhi: Former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa will be the BJP’s chief ministerial face in the Assembly polls scheduled early next year, party president Amit Shah said today.

During an interaction with PTI, Shah also indicated that Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani would be the party’s choice for the top post in the state, asserting that it would win more than 150 seats in the Assembly polls slated later this year. The Assembly has 182 seats.

He, however, said the party has not yet decided on its chief ministerial face in Himachal Pradesh, which goes to polls along with Gujarat.

“It (Karnataka election) will be fought under Yeddyurappa,” Shah said.

Asked if it meant that Yeddyurappa, who is the BJP’s Karnataka unit chief, will be the chief ministerial face, he said, “He will be.”

The Karnataka unit has been facing factional fight with a group headed by former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa targeting Yeddyurappa’s leadership.

To a question on the party’s state of affairs in Karnataka, Shah said he would visit the state soon. The party had recently taken action against some leaders, suspected to be behind the internal wrangling.

Asked whether Rupani will be the party’s CM face in Gujarat, Shah said, “He is already the chief minister.”
“What does it mean that he will be the chief ministerial face…,” he said in a lighter vein.

Yeddyurappa (74), an influential Lingayat leader, had led the saffron party to its maiden victory in the southern state in 2008, but was forced to resign following charges of corruption against him.

He floated his own outfit in 2011. Though his party performed poorly in the 2013 Assembly polls, it managed to wean away a substantial chunk of the BJP votes, leading to a rout of the saffron party.

He returned to the BJP fold ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.


Hindus, Christians hold ‘beef fests’ across Kerala to protest cattle sale ban


Kasaragod: ‘Beef Fests’ were held in various parts of Kerala on Saturday to protest the Centre’s decision of banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he would approach the prime minister in this matter.

Hindus, Christians and atheists cooked and swallowed beef on the road side in various cities of the state. However, Muslims did not take part in the ‘beef fest’ due to the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan.

Activists of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, opposition Congress-headed UDF and their youth wings took out marches and organised these fests across the state, where beef is widely consumed.

The central government has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather.

Demonstrations were held outside the secretariat in the state capital. “We will eat beef to show our protest against the central government. We want to tell this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” DYFI national president Mohammed Riyaz, who led the protest, said.

In Kollam district, a group of Congress workers cooked beef in front of the DCC office to register its opposition to the Centre’s decision.

District unit chief of Congress, Bindu Krishna told reporters that “beef delicacy will be packed and sent to head post office for delivery to Modi ji.”

Chief Minister Vijayan said he would be sending a letter to the Prime Minister this evening.

In Kochi, Tourism and Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran participated in a ‘beef fest’, where bread and beef curry was served, even as Youth Congress activists took out a protest march in the city.

In Thodupuzha in Idukki district, protesters took out a march with the head of a buffalo.

The Union environment ministry has notified the stringent ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’ under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan yesterday said the new rules are very “specific” and aim to regulate animal markets and sale of cattle.

Reacting to the Centre’s decision, senior Congress leader and former Union minister A K Antony said the notification should be “torn to bits” and “dumped in a dust-bin”.

The UDF will observe ‘black day’ on Monday against the ban, opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said at Thrissur. Front workers will wear black badges and take out protest marches, he said.


India’s campaign ends after 0-3 loss to China at quarters

Sudirman Cup

Gold Coast: India’s campaign at the Sudirman Cup ended after they went down 0-3 against top seed and 10-time champions China in the quarterfinals of the mixed team championship here today.

It was always going to be an uphill task for the ninth seeded Indian team to breach the Chinese wall and though the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy put up a gritty show to challenge the World No. 2 pair of Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong, they ultimately went down.

The experienced Chinese combination had the last laugh as they beat Ashwini and Satwiksairaj 16-21 21-13 21-16 in the first match that lasted an hour and three minutes.

K Srikanth was then handed the enormous task of taming the Olympic champion Chen Long. In the 48-minute men’s singles match, Srikanth showed some spark but never really came close to threatening the supremacy of the Chinese.

In the end, it was a 16-21 17-21 defeat against Long that saw India slip to a 0-2 deficit in the five-match rubber.

Young pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag Sen then faced Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan in the mixed doubles match and capitulated 9-21 11-21 within half an hour as China registered a 3-0 win over India.

The next two matches – singles, which PV Sindhu was suppose to play, and women’s doubles — became inconsequential.

India had qualified for the knockout stage only once in 2011 but even then it was the Chinese who had ended their campaign with a 3-1 win.

China, which lost only one of their 10 matches in the round-robin stage, dished out another superb performance to outwit the Indian shuttlers and will face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Japan and Malaysia.


Tension grips Kalladka as Muslim youth stabbed by unidentified person

youth stabbed

Kalladka: Police made elaborate security arrangements after a youth stabbed by an unidentified person on Friday afternoon at Kalladka here in Bantwal taluk. An unknown person arrived by a car stabbed the youth, Mohammed Shair who was coming out of the mosque after his Friday prayers. The assailant was managed to escape from the spot after the act and the incident reportedly occurred following a vehicle parking issue. The injured youth is being treated in a hospital here.

All shops and other commercial establishments have been closed for the day as Kalladka is the most communal sensitive area of Dakshina Kannada. Meanwhile, vehicular traffic is reportedly normal on the national highway.


Wreckage of missing Sukhoi-30 found, no trace of pilots


Guwahati: The wreckage of a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet that went missing on May 23 after taking off from Tezpur airbase in Assam has been found though there was yet no information about its two pilots, IAF sources said on Friday.

“The wreckage has been found close to the last known position of the aircraft at a place that has dense foliage,” an India Air Force officer said.

A defence spokesman based in Tezpur said: “The weather is bad, as of now. Hence, it is difficult for the search teams to reach the wreckage spot.”

The Su-30 warplane had taken off from the IAF’s Tezpur air base, located 172 km from the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh around 9.30 a.m. on a routine training mission on Tuesday.

It lost radar and radio contact with the controlling station around 11.10 a.m. near Arunachal Pradesh’s Doulasang area, adjoining China, 60 km north of Tezpur.

Four ground parties of the Indian Air Force, nine of the Indian Army and two of the state administration were involved in the search operation, apart from a C-130 aircraft, advanced light helicopter and Chetak chopper.

Tezpur is one of the three IAF air bases in the country that host the Sukhois.

Last year, a Sukhoi-30MKI crashed near Nagaon town of Assam during a routine sortie. While the two pilots ejected safely, some locals suffered splinter injuries when the plane crashed.


Rahul Gandhi denied permission to visit Saharanpur


Lucknow: The Saharanpur district authorities Friday refused permission to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to visit the strife-torn district.

Rahul was scheduled to visit Saturday Shabbirpur village, where Dalit houses were torched on May 5.

“Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has not been given permission to visit Saharanpur,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Saharanpur, Bablu Kumar.

Kumar replaced SSP Subhash Chandra Dubey, who was suspended on May 24 in the wake of clashes in the district.

BSP chief Mayawati had recently toured the village and lashed out at the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for “failing to maintain law and order” in the state.

Saharanpur has witnessed widespread caste-based clashes his month.

Violence first broke out in Saharanpur about 40 days ago following a procession to mark Ambedkar Jayanti. On May 5, a person was killed and 15 people were injured in clashes between two communities.

About a dozen police vehicles were set ablaze and 12 policemen were injured on May 9.

On May 23, another person was shot dead and two others were wounded, following which the government suspended the SSP and district magistrate and transferred the divisional commissioner and the deputy inspector general of police.

The Centre has sent 400 anti-riot police personnel to Saharanpur to help the state restore peace in the region.