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UN chief Antonio Guterres hails Gandhi’s principle of non-violence, denounces terrorism

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Antonio Guterres

New Delhi | United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial here and hailed him as a “great soul” and humanity’s “guide in our troubled world”.

Guterres, later in an interaction with PTI, denounced terrorism as a “plague” that affects the world, and highlighted the significance of the principle of non-violence espoused by Gandhi.

“I feel extremely honoured to pay tribute to this great figure in world history. Today (October 2) also marks the International Day of Non-violence. And, as we continue our work to advance peace, the way to realise the objectives is through non-violence,” he said.

Guterres, currently on a visit to India, his first as the UN Secretary-General, also laid a wreath on the ‘samadhi’ of the father of the nation at Rajghat. “I pay tribute to this greatest soul that has ever lived. Our guide… in our troubled world,” he wrote in the visitor’s book.

According to the UN General Assembly resolution of June 15, 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day of Non-Violence is marked as an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”.

The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

“Gandhi proved that non-violence can change history. Let us be inspired by his courage and conviction as we continue our work to advance peace, sustainable development and human rights for all of the peoples of the world,” Guterres said.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had on Monday said the world must come together to fight against terrorism and urged the UN to come up with “strong, coded actions” to tackle terror, its sponsors and those who are funding and supporting it.

Ahead of his visit, Guterres had said that India was an “important partner” of the UN in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. He also said there were plans to step up cooperation between the UN and India on strengthening capacity in combating terror financing.

A senior official at the UN India Office here said Guterres was leading a small delegation to India during his visit and is scheduled to depart from the country on Wednesday.

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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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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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