Yogi Adityanath took a break from the chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh last week to become the mahant of Gorakhnath temple. Hundreds of people turned up at the temple on Saturday to take part in the tilak utsav of Yogi Adityanath by applying tilak on his forehead and getting prasad from him. “The crowd this year was almost three times that of past years,” a temple staff member said.
“This is because Mahantji is now the chief minister, and people, including politicians, who want to develop a bond were in the queue.” Adityanath was in Gorakhnath temple for the last five days to perform the rituals as the temple head priest. He returned to Lucknow on Sunday morning to his role as chief minister. After the tilak utsav, Adityanath led a “Vijay Shobha Yatra” on Dussehra in Gorakhpur city, following the traditions of Gorakhnath temple head priest.
BSF finds tunnel being dug from Pak side in Jammu
The Border Security Force (BSF) unearthed a 14-feet long tunnel, which was being dug from the Pakistani side along the international border and recovered “war-like” store during sanitisation operation along the international border between Vikram and Patel posts near Damana. Inspector General of BSF Ram Awatar said among the items recovered from the location included, a US-made compass, two magazines, 60 rounds of ammunition, a hand grenade and other items. Most of these items were carrying the markings of Pakistan, he added. Terming the tunnelling activity as a 'nefarious act' of Pakistan, the officer said the timely action by BSF foiled a major attack on Indian soil. The officer said a special drive for the detection of tunnels was launched all along the international border in the wake of recent cross-border shelling by Pakistan which left a jawan and a woman dead and scores of civilians injured.
TN, 4 other states get new Governors
Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit was shifted to Tamil Nadu, which has been witnessing a political crisis and did not have a full-time governor for over a year. Purohit was among five governors appointed by President Ram Nath Kovind last week. While Purohit was moved to Tamil Nadu, Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Jagdish Mukhi was appointed in his place in Assam. Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Satyapal Malik was made the new governor of Bihar. Former member of Bihar Legislative Council Ganga Prasad was appointed as the Governor of Meghalaya. Brigadier (Retd) B D Mishra, who earlier served with the National Security Guards (NSG) and spearheaded a successful anti-hijacking operation in 1993, was made the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
Former Chief of Navy Staff Admiral (retd) Devendra Kumar Joshi was appointed as the new Lt Governor of Union Territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands, succeeding Mukhi. Tamil Nadu was so far without a full-time governor for over a year and Maharashtra Governor Vidya Sagar Rao had the additional charge of Tamil Nadu since September last year
Hafiz Saeed sues Pak foreign minister for calling him ‘US darling’
Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has slapped a £1 million defamation notice on Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for calling him the “darling of the United States.” Asif, while speaking at the Asia Society forum in New York last week, acknowledged that Saeed, the Haqqanis and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are “liabilities” for the country but it does not have the required “assets” to get rid of them.
The minister had also said that the United States, which was putting pressure on Pakistan to tackle terrorist groups operating from its soil, once used to treat them as “darlings” just 20 to 30 years back. Saeed’s counsel A K Dogar sent the notice to the foreign minister on behalf of his client who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), a front for the LeT militant group that carried out the deadly 2008 Mumbai attack.
“Saeed is respected as a deeply religious and devout Muslim. Saeed has never been near the White House, not to speak of wined and dined,” Dogar said in the notice.
UAE begins collecting 'sin' taxes on tobacco, energy drinks
The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new "sin" taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks. From Sunday last, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100 per cent and soft drinks at 50 per cent. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the products day before. The new tax push comes as the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices.
The UAE will start collecting a 5-per cent value-added tax on certain goods from January. All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting so-called VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Retired soldier told to prove that he is Indian
Md Azmal Hoque, who retired as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army after serving for 30 years, has got a notice from the Foreigners’ Tribunal, asking him to prove that he was an Indian citizen and had not illegally entered the country from Bangladesh after 1971.
“I have served the Army for 30 years and was posted several times in the border areas. One year after returning to my home state on retirement I get this notice asking me to explain why I should not be identified as a foreigner under provisions of the Foreigners’ Act of 1946,” Hoque said.
Hoque, who settled down in Guwahati after retirement, said a police officer reached his ancestral house in Kamrup district in September with a notice against him from the tribunal. “My younger brother refused to receive it and informed me about it. When I went to the police station to enquire about it, the officer told me it was a notice asking me to prove my Indian citizenship by September 11, which had been sent back,” Hoque said.
He has now been asked to appear before the tribunal on October 13. “Have I been rewarded with this notice for serving the country’s defence, during which period I got six promotions?” he said. He said he wept the entire night after getting a copy of the notice. “What else could I do?” he asked.
President opens Shirdi Airport, first flight to Mumbai
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday inaugurated the newly-built airport at Shirdi in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district. Commercial flight operations commenced later with a flight to Mumbai being operated by Alliance Air. The airport secured the aerodrome licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for commercial operations last month.
Located at 238 km from Mumbai, Shirdi has the famous shrine of Sai Baba and is one of the prominent pilgrimage centres in the country. According to an estimate, about 60,000 pilgrims visit Shirdi every day, out of which the airport authorities plan to tap at least 10-12 per cent. This is the centenary year of the death of Sai Baba. Constructed at an investment of around £35 million, the airport with a 2,500 m-long runway, is capable of handling single narrow-body aircraft, such as Airbus A320 and Boeing 737s.
Actor Tom Alter passes away
Veteran theatre and film personality Tom Alter passed away at his Mumbai residence last week. He was 67. The actor was suffering from skin cancer. He was admitted to a Mumbai hospital in September. He returned home on Thursday and breathed his last on Friday night. He was a recipient of Padma Shri.
An Indian actor of American descent, Tom made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer 'Charas' and later went on to work in films such as 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', 'Gandhi', 'Kranti', 'Bose: The Forgotten Hero' and 'Veer Zara.' But it was his sitcom 'Zabaan Sambhalke' (1993-1997) that made him a household name.
The series, also starring Pankaj Kapoor, was the adaptation of British sitcom, 'Mind Your Language' (1977). He was also a part of other hit TV shows like 'Shaktiman' and 'Captain Vyom,' both extremely popular with kids. Besides films and television, Alter’s presence in theatre has been noteworthy.
Rs 6,00,000 reward for info on J&K braid choppers
The Jammu and Kashmir police have announced a bounty of Rs 6,00,000 for clues about those involved in rising braid-chopping cases that have also led to protests and mob justice across the Valley. The scale of alarm can be understood from the fact that the bounty on the heads of "A category" militants in the state is Rs 5,00,000. Cases of hair of women and girls being chopped have led to a law and order problem with residents thrashing suspects in many areas.
The Jammu division alone has witnessed 100 cases, while Kashmir recorded 45, including unsuccessful attempts. What, however, have alarmed the government are apprehensions that militants and separatists might use braid chopping as a pretext to whip up passions against security forces in the Valley. Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani already has pointed fingers at security forces, and asked people to "act accordingly and expose agencies involved in this heinous crime".