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Assam to give Rs 3 crore to Kerala for flood relief

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Kerala

Guwahati | Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said his state would give Rs 3 crore aid to rain-ravaged Kerala, where 210 have died in the last 10 days.

“The Government of Assam would extend financial aid of Rs 3 crore to Kerala government in view of the devastating flood in the southern state,” an official release said quoting the chief minister.

Sonowal also directed the state Revenue and Disaster Management Department to open helplines to expedite the process of providing relief and rescuing people of Assam stranded in Kerala, it said.

Accordingly, the department opened two helpline numbers and a control room. The helpline numbers are 0361-2237219 and 0361-2237460, while the control room can be reached at 9401044617.

The number of those displaced in the torrential rains in Kerala was today put at 7.24 lakh by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also said most of the affected had been rescued and the government’s focus would now be their rehabilitation.

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Vijay Mallya submits reply in Mumbai Court against ED’s plea terming his fugitive economic offender

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Vijay Mallya

Mumbai | Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya on Monday submitted his reply in the Mumbai special court for the petition filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) terming him a fugitive under the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Earlier during the hearing on September 3, the special court had given a 3 week period for Vijay Mallya to submit its reply on ED’s petition. The new introduced Fugitive Economic Offenders Act confiscate properties of economic offenders who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution. The act also prescribes measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading prosecution by staying abroad.

Vijay Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting Rs 9,000 crore worth loans of various banks in India. Escaping the Indian Agencies Mallya has flown to UK in March 2016. In April 2018 Mallya was arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant.

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Supreme Court refers PIL against female genital mutilation to five-judge constitution bench

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New Delhi | The Supreme Court Monday referred to a five-judge constitution bench the plea challenging practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud was hearing a PIL filed by a Delhi-based lawyer challenging the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) of minor girls of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community.

Female genital mutilation is performed “illegally upon girls (between five years and before she attains puberty)” and is against the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which is India is a signatory”, the plea said, adding the practice caused “permanent disfiguration to the body of a girl child”.

A group of Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community members had earlier told the apex court that the female circumcision is practised by a few sects of Islam, including the Dawoodi Bohra community, and the validity of this be examined, if at all, by a larger constitution bench.

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Pakistan’s ‘one-trick pony’ act on Kashmir has no resonance in UN: India

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New York | With Pakistan expected to rake up the Kashmir issue during the high-level UN General Assembly session this week, India said a “one-trick pony” can “regurgitate” the same act but “single act plays” have no resonance on multi-lateral platforms like the United Nations.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said the UN General Assembly session is a global platform to address global issues, yet each country is sovereign and can do what they feel is in their best interests.

“If somebody else would like to be a one-trick pony, it is for them to regurgitate and act. We have handled this act many times in the past and are confident that we will do so again,” Akbaruddin told reporters here Sunday.

He was responding to a question on Pakistan expected to rake up the Kashmir issue “at a higher decibel” during the high-level session of the 73rd UN General Assembly beginning at the world body’s headquarters Monday.

“Our contention is that the UN works best on multilateralism and multi-lateral platforms work best when nations work in partnerships.

“Single act plays have no resonance in such matters. Anybody can try and be a solo player. However solo players in a multi-lateral context have neither the past or a future,” he said adding that it is a country’s call on how they spend the time allocated to them during the UNGA session.

India works in partnerships, Akbaruddin said, adding that India is proud that its priorities during the General Assembly have great resonance in the international community.

Pakistan has consistently used the platform of the UN General Assembly to rake up the Kashmir issue and its leaders have sought to internationalize it during their addresses in the General Debate. India responds strongly to Pakistan, whose attempts to raise the Kashmir issue every year at the multi-lateral forum have found no resonance with the international community.

Following India’s acceptance of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s request for a meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi were slated to meet on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

However, India called off the meeting, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

Khan had tweeted that he is disappointed at the “arrogant and negative” response by India to his call for resumption of the peace dialogue.

When asked about Khan’s response, Akbaruddin said India is a multi-literalist nation and responds to multi-lateral issues of a global nature that it is confronted with. What you have raised is an issue relating to our bilateral ties. Those will be addressed bilaterally in the format that we desire to address them.

On whether India will raise strongly the issue of cross-border terrorism during the UNGA session, Joint Secretary for UN Political in the Ministry of External Affairs Dinesh Patnaik said the issue of cross-border terrorism has been raised by the country since 1996 when it put in the idea of the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism. Akbaruddin said the scourge has been and is a concern for India.

“It’s a global concern. Terrorism is threatening countries across vast spades of land in diverse continents,” he said adding that terror outfits such as Boko Haram and Islamic State are a threat to several countries across Africa and West Asia.

“Even in our neighbuorhood, terrorism has increased as a major threat. This has been our perennial concern and obviously perennial concerns will be articulated in unison with many other countries who are raising this,” he said.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is expected to highlight the situation in Kashmir during his the General Assembly address, Pakistani media reported on Monday.

Qureshi arrived in New York over the weekend and is scheduled to address the annual world body session on September 29.

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