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Fresh protests in Sabarimala, 28 devotees taken into preventive custody

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Sabarimala

Sabarimala | Twenty-eight people were taken into preventive custody at the Sabarimala Temple late Sunday night after fresh protests broke out at Nadapanthal area in Sannidhanam where hundreds of devotees agitated against the police restrictions.

On the second day of the two month-long pilgrimage season, the devotees gathered at the covered pathway to the temple when they were asked to leave Sannidhanam. Due to the early incidents of violence at the hill-top shrine, the police had imposed strict restrictions for devotees at Sannidhanam, including not allowing them to stay back in the night.

Superintendent of Police (special officer) Pratheesh Kumar said the 28 people were detained for violating Section 144 that prohibits assembly of more than four people at a spot. “Section 144 had been declared in the area. We had asked them to disperse after the Harivarasanam but most of them refused,” the SP said. He said the police was not against devotees offering prayers.

“Those who have to offer ‘neyyabhishekam’ (anointing deity with ghee) can stay back. They can recite prayers also. We are not against it. The police will assist those who want to offer prayers,” he said.

Currently, the police, led by the SP, is taking the detained protesters to the Pamba police station which is around 3.5 km downhill. Police sources said they had information that the protesters might create trouble at Sannidhanam and they had taken precautions accordingly.

Rajesh, one of the protesters, said, “We are devotees and we started reciting prayers but the police did not allow us, saying section 144 (prohibitory orders) has been imposed.”  He said he did not mind getting arrested for reciting prayers at Sannidhanam.

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Soldier killed as Pak army violates ceasefire along LoC in Rajouri

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security

Jammu| An Army soldier was killed when Pakistan violated the ceasefire by heavily shelling forward areas and posts along the Line of Control with mortar bombs in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district Thursday, officials said.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in Keri belt of Sunderbani sector this morning, they said.

One soldier was was killed in Pakistani firing, they added.

Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire over 110 times along the LoC since January.

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National

CRPF jawan kills 3 colleagues in J-K

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CRPF

New Delhi| Three CRPF personnel were killed Wednesday after a colleague allegedly fired at them after an altercation at their camp in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

 

The alleged fratricide incident happened at around 10 pm when constable Ajit Kumar shot three of his colleagues from his service rifle at the 187th battalion camp of the force in the Battal Ballian area in Udhampur, they said.

 

The officials said while three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed in the firing, Kumar also shot himself and is critical in a hospital.

 

Kumar hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and was rushed to a military hospital nearby, they said.

 

The deceased have been identified as head constables Pokarmal R of Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, Yogendra Sharma of Delhi and Umed Singh of Rewari in Haryana.

 

The incident is said to be triggered after the jawans had an altercation, they said.

 

Senior CRPF and police officials have rushed to the spot, they added.

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National

Vice president, PM greet nation on Holi

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Narendra Modi

 

New Delhi| Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday greeted people on Holi, saying the festival symbolises the victory of good over evil.

In his message, Naidu said, “Holi is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is a festival that expresses joy and camaraderie.”

 

Modi hoped that the festival of colours will bring peace, harmony, prosperity and happiness in our lives.

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