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Cyclone ‘Titli’ crosses Odisha coast, no loss of life

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Odisha

Bhubaneswar | Cyclone Titli uprooted trees and electric poles and damaged hutments in Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati districts after making landfall early on Thursday morning, but no loss of life was reported from any part of the state, officials said. The cyclone also triggered heavy rainfall in at least three districts and caused minor damage to power and communication.

“There has been no major damage or report of casualty received from any part of the state so far. Some destruction was reported from Ganjam and Gajapati districts,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said. Power supply and telephone links got disrupted and road communication snapped due to uprooted trees at many places of Gajapati district, the SRC said.

Efforts are on to clear roads blocked by uprooted trees and restore power supply in affected areas at the earliest, he said. In all, eight districts – Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore – have been affected by “very severe cyclone Titli”, he said.

Cyclone ‘Titli’ triggered heavy to very heavy rainfall in Ganjam, Gajapati and Puri districts of Odisha, while damage of hutments and asbestos-roofed houses, street lights, road blockade due to uprooted trees were reported from Ganjam. Road communication between Paralakhemundi and Mohana and some other block headquarters in Gajapati had been disrupted under the impact of the cyclone, he said.

In Ganjam, reports of damage to hutments and other structures and uprooting of trees were received from some areas, he said.

The latest India Meteorological Department (IMD) report said cyclone ‘Titli made the landfall between 4.30 and 5.30 am in south-west coast of Gopalpur near Palasa in Andhra Pradesh with an estimated maximum sustained surface wind speed of 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph. The landfall process has been completed and “the centre of eye of cyclone ‘Titli’ lies over the land,” the IMD said.

The system is now moving northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and it will weaken gradually, it said. An hour after the landfall, Gopalpur in Odisha reported surface wind at 126 kmph, Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh recorded wind speed of 56 kmph.

As cyclone ‘Titli’ entered the land mass, some districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati and Puri, are receiving good amount of rainfall coupled with high speed wind.

Director of Meteorological (MeT) Centre Bhubaneswar H R Biswas said the “very severe cyclonic storm” (VSCS) is being monitored by the coastal Doppler Weather Radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip.

As part of its pre-cyclone preparedness, the Odisha government has evacuated over 3 lakh people living in low-lying areas of the five coastal districts ahead of the landfall. They were accommodated in 1,112 cyclone shelters.

Altogether, 105 pregnant women in Ganjam district and 18 in Jagatsinghpur have been shifted to hospitals, the SRC said.

He said 13 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed at several places along with fire brigade.

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Sedition charges against four Kashmiri students of pvt varsity for ‘celebrating’ Pulwama attack

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Pulwama

Earlier, the Aligarh Muslim University has also suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.

 

Jaipur| Four female paramedical students of Kashmiri-origin have been slapped with sedition charges after being suspended from a private institute here for allegedly celebrating the Pulwama terror attack by posting “anti-national” messages on an instant messaging app, officials said Sunday.

The second-year students of the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir, were suspended for posting on WhatsApp a picture in which they were purportedly seen celebrating the terrorist attack in Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.

The picture soon went viral, prompting the university administration to take action.

In the suspension order, the NIMS registrar said, “You have posted an anti-national message on your WhatsApp for celebrating the killing of Pulwama terrorist attack martyrs. The university will not tolerate and strictly condemns such activities. The act is grave and serious in nature.”

Later, a case was registered against the four students following a complaint by the university administration, a police official said.

The students were booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act. Senior officials are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken thereafter, SP (Rural) Harendra Kumar said.

The Aligarh Muslim University has also suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.

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Media Reports suggesting CRPF was denied air transit facility in J&K “untrue”: MHA

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MHA

In December 2018, the MHA had approved enhancement of air support by increasing routes and in the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector.

 

New Delhi| Movement of paramilitary convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons will continue in Jammu and Kashmir as it is “necessary”, the Home Ministry said Sunday, even though it has increased air support to carry troops to the state.

The statement came after 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus, part of a 78 vehicle convoy, in the state’s Pulwama district.

In the wake of reports suggesting that the central government has rejected a proposal to ferry personnel of paramilitary forces from the Jammu-Srinagar sector by chopper, the ministry said it has significantly enhanced air courier services in all sectors to cut travel time of troops.

“Movement of convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons has been and will continue to be necessary. This is also the case with the army,” the Home Ministry said.

Reports appeared in a section of the media that air transit facility in the Jammu- Srinagar sector for CRPF troops has not been allowed. This is “untrue”, it said.


“Fact of the matter is, over the last few years, the MHA has significantly enhanced air courier services for CAPFs in all sectors to help jawans cut down on travel time during their journey to and back from home on leave,” it said.

In the Jammu and Kashmir sector, air courier service for transportation of jawans of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs) is already in operation for quite some time.

This initially included the Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu sector. Later, at the request of CAPFs in December 2017, the services were extended to the Delhi-Jammu- Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector with seven flights a week.

MHA

Source: Twitter

In December 2018, the ministry had approved enhancement of air support by increasing routes and in the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector.

“In addition, air support is provided by the Indian Air Force as and when required. Several sorties were run for the CRPF in January 2019,” the ministry said.

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Governor’s administration reviews safety and security of J-K students studying outside state

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J-K

Ganai was also informed that helplines have been set up by the office of the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, and the J-K Police to register the queries of the students and parents.

 

Srinagar| The governor’s administration Sunday reviewed the safety and security of students from Jammu and Kashmir studying outside the state in the wake of reports of incidents of harassment in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

Advisor to the governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai reviewed the safety and security of the students from Jammu and Kashmir studying in different colleges and universities outside the state with Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, an official spokesman said here.

He said Khan informed the advisor that he was in constant touch with the authorities in different states who had assured of providing adequate security to the students.

Ganai was also informed that helplines have been set up by the office of the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, and the J-K Police to register the queries of the students and parents and for providing the response in real time, the spokesman said.

The advisor was also briefed about the work being done by the liaison officers appointed for the purpose in various cities in the country under the overall supervision of the principal resident commissioner, J-K, located in New Delhi.

The spokesman said Ganai conveyed to the divisional commissioner that the governor was himself monitoring the work of the liaison officers in various states and also enquiring about the welfare of the students.

Ganai said the governor has given clear directions to the principal resident commissioner to take immediate cognisance of any complaint received from the students and take prompt action by informing the authorities concerned in those states.

He said the Union Home Ministry has issued advisories to all the state governments in this regard.

Khan also informed the advisor that he had personally spoken to some students and parents on the phone who expressed their satisfaction about the work being done by the J&K government for safety and security of the students, the spokesman said.

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