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PM Modi to visit Kedarnath on Diwali

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Congress

Dehradun | Prime Minister Narendra Modi will Wednesday visit Kedarnath on the occasion of Diwali to offer prayers at the Himalayan shrine and review Kedarpuri reconstruction projects.

The prime minister will arrive at around 9.45 am, Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh said, adding that after offering prayers at the temple, Modi will inspect the reconstruction projects underway at Kedarpuri.

He will also be shown a video at the guest house within the temple premises to apprise him about the progress of the projects at the township, Singh said further.

The foundation stone of Kedarpuri reconstruction projects was laid by Modi during his visit to the temple last year.

Snowfall in the higher reaches of the mountains of Uttarakhand has enhanced the beauty of the temple and its surroundings.

All preparations have been made in view of the prime minister’s visit with the road from the helipad to the temple totally cleared of snow, Singh said.

Several new features including a meditation cave 400 metres above Kedarnath will greet Modi during his visit this time. Built at a secluded spot 400 metres above the shrine, the cave will be shown to the prime minister from a distance as he is not scheduled to go there, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal said.

Other new features for Modi to see at the shrine this time will be a much wider Mukhya Aksha, the passage from the point of confluence of Mandakini and Saraswati to the facade of the temple and the retaining walls constructed on the banks of the two rivers, the official said.

Kedarpuri reconstruction has been on Modi’s priority list and he keeps monitoring its progress on regular intervals via video conferencing.

It would be his 10th visit to the state after assuming office in 2014.

National

For million problems in India, there are billion solutions: PM Modi

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Narendra Modi

Mumbai | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said films and society are reflection of each other and like cinema, India too is changing with times.

The prime minister was speaking at the inauguration of the National Museum of Indian Cinema here. “The country is changing and finding its own solutions. If there are a million problems, there are also a billion solutions,” the PM said.

“Films have an important role in India’s soft power,” Modi said, while narrating how he was struck by popularity of Indian films overseas when he met and interacted with the leaders of foreign countries. He assured the film industry that effective steps are being taken to curb piracy and “camcording”.

“A single-window system for obtaining permissions for film shoots and related matters are on the anvil,” he said. Like the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, there could be a global film summit in India, the prime minister suggested.

“Films also play a big role in the growth of the tourism sector, which gives employment to even the poorest people, even ‘chaiwala’ makes money when tourism grows,” he said.

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National

Delhi court extends interim protection from arrest to Vadra’s aide till Feb 6

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Robert Vadra

New Delhi | A Delhi court on Saturday extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest granted to Manoj Arora, a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, in a money-laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Arora was cooperating in the probe. “He joined the probe yesterday. So far he is cooperating,” Special Public Prosecutor D P Singh, appearing for the ED, said.

ED’s Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana sought two more weeks for arguments on the application which was allowed by the court. The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property — located at 12, Bryanston Square — worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

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Zakir Naik case: ED attaches assets worth Rs 16.40 cr under PMLA

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zakir-naik

New Delhi | The ED has attached fresh assets worth Rs 16.40 crore in connection with its money-laundering probe against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, it said on Saturday.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a statement, said it had issued a provisional order for attachment of Naik’s assets, located in Mumbai and Pune, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The estimated value of the immovable assets was Rs 16.40 crore, the central probe agency said.

This is the third such attachment in the case by the ED. The agency is probing the case after taking cognisance of an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Naik, who is said to be based in Malaysia at present.

With the latest order, the total value of assets attached in the case by the ED stands at Rs 50.49 crore.

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