New Delhi: In preparation for the anticipated landfall of cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ near the Jakhau port in Gujarat’s Kutch district, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 33 teams to undertake relief and rescue operations in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The NDRF teams, consisting of approximately 35-40 personnel each, are equipped with essential tools such as tree and pole cutters, electric saws, inflatable boats, and basic medicines and relief items.
Gujarat has been allocated a total of 18 NDRF teams, with four teams stationed in Kutch district, three in Rajkot and Devbhumi Dwarka each, two in Jamnagar, and one team each in Porbandar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Morbi, Valsad, and Gandhinagar. Additionally, one NDRF team has been stationed in Diu, a neighboring Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
In Maharashtra, out of the 14 NDRF teams, five have been deployed in Mumbai, while the remaining teams are on standby. The NDRF and state authorities have undertaken a massive evacuation drive in the coastal areas of Gujarat, relocating over 45,000 people to safer places.
NDRF deputy inspector general (operations), Mohsen Shahedi, stated that the Saurashtra and Kutch area of Gujarat is the primary focus for the federal anti-disaster force. This region, comprising eight districts and 442 low-lying villages, is expected to bear the brunt of the cyclone, leading to strong rains and potential floods.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), ‘Biparjoy’ is forecasted to make landfall on Thursday evening as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with maximum wind speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour. As the cyclone approaches, parts of the Saurashtra-Kutch region have already experienced heavy rains accompanied by strong winds.
Authorities are working diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected areas, and the NDRF teams stand ready to provide relief and support in the aftermath of the cyclone.
Muslim Leaders Resign from JD(S) Following BJP Alliance
JD(S) joins BJP-led NDA; Muslim leaders, including Syed Shafiullah, resign from party roles in response.
Karnataka:The JD(S) has officially joined the BJP-led NDA in preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections next year. In response to this development, senior Muslim leaders, including Syed Shafiullah, who held the position of the party’s senior state vice-president, have resigned from all party positions.
This move by the JD(S) is part of the BJP’s efforts to reconfigure its electoral strategy in various states, both for the forthcoming Assembly polls in five states and the imminent general election. The JD(S), under the leadership of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, has affirmed its alliance with the NDA and emphasized its collaboration with the saffron party to challenge the Congress in Karnataka during the Lok Sabha polls.
Syed Shafiullah, the Senior State Vice President of JD(S), decided to resign from the party due to the JD(S)’s decision to form an alliance with the BJP. In his resignation letter, he expressed his commitment to the party’s secular principles and cited a previous instance when the JD(S) had aligned with the BJP to form the state government. He also noted his previous decision to stay outside the party during that period.
It’s worth mentioning that the JD(S) had previously formed coalition governments with both the BJP and Congress independently, with Kumaraswamy serving as chief minister for 20 months from January 2006 and 14 months from May 2018, respectively.
Shafiullah explained his resignation by stating, “Since the party’s senior leaders are now choosing to align with the BJP, I have no choice but to submit my resignation to the party’s Senior Vice President Office of the State and also my Primary Membership of the Party.”
According to a report by Deccan Herald, several other prominent figures, including former minister N M Nabi, former New Delhi representative Mohid Altaf, youth wing president NM Noor, and former minority wing chief Nasir Hussain Ustad, are also leaving the regional party.
Mobile Internet Services Restored in Manipur After Four-Month Suspension
Mobile internet restored in Manipur after 4-month suspension due to ethnic violence; Chief Minister seeks border control.
Imphal: Mobile internet services, suspended due to ethnic violence in Manipur in early May, have been restored after more than four months as of Saturday.
The services resumed shortly after Chief Minister N Biren Singh‘s morning announcement.
He also urged the cancellation of the free movement regime, which permits individuals residing near the India-Myanmar border to venture 16 km into each other’s territory without documentation.
Addressing a press conference, Singh stated, “The government suspended mobile internet services on May 3 to curb the spread of fake news, propaganda, and hate speech. However, with the improved situation, mobile internet services will be reinstated statewide from today.”
The services were reinstated around 3 pm, according to an official statement.
The chief minister emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing the issue of “illegal immigrants” and stressed the necessity for a complete border fence between India and Myanmar.
“The Union Home Ministry has initiated the fencing of 60 km of the international border in Manipur,” he stated.
Singh argued that the current situation was the result of unplanned policies from previous governments and not a direct consequence of recent decisions.
“Our government has requested the Union Home Ministry to revoke the free movement regime. Furthermore, security forces have not effectively secured the border. Instead of being stationed at the zero point, they were found guarding the border 14-15 km inside Indian territory,” he claimed.
The chief minister also criticized the prevalence of strikes and instances of “widespread verbal abuse against MLAs, ministers, and police officials, which have diverted attention from real issues and fostered conflict among ourselves.”
“In the past two months, the situation has improved, and the frequency of firing incidents has decreased with the deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas,” he noted.
Singh revealed that a nationwide survey had indicated a rise in drug and substance abuse among the state’s youth, which prompted his government to launch a ‘war on drugs’ in 2018.
“This will continue, with a stronger focus on eradicating poppy plantations in the hills,” he added.
Singh further stated that incidents of extortion, kidnappings, and other crimes committed by miscreants impersonating policemen had risen.
“We must remain focused on the genuine issues in the state, namely addressing the influx of illegal immigrants, implementing welfare programs for internally displaced persons, and combating extensive poppy cultivation,” he stressed.
“To establish the rule of law in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Moreh, and Imphal, our government is undertaking multiple initiatives,” Singh concluded.
Since ethnic violence erupted in Manipur on May 3, with the organization of a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ in the hill districts to protest the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status, more than 175 people have been killed, and several hundred have been injured.
Meiteis make up approximately 53 percent of Manipur’s population and primarily reside in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 percent and live predominantly in the hill districts.
Women’s Reservation Bill Scares Political Parties: PM Modi
PM Modi praises women’s role in passing the Women’s Reservation Bill, inaugurates cricket stadium & schools during Varanasi visit.
Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his day-long visit to Varanasi on Saturday, credited ‘women power’ for the passage of the women’s reservation bill named ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam‘ at a special session of Parliament earlier in the week. He emphasized that the bill would provide renewed energy, direction, and momentum to women-led development in the country.
During his visit, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation for an international cricket stadium in the presence of cricketing legends and BCCI officials. Additionally, he inaugurated 16 Atal Residential Schools (ARS) designed to benefit underprivileged and orphaned children. Addressing a gathering of women during his 42nd visit to Kashi over the past nine years, the Prime Minister acknowledged the historical influence of women leaders.
“The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, which had been pending for three decades, has now become a reality. Your strength compelled even those political parties who were initially opposed to it to support the bill in both Houses of Parliament,” Modi said, giving credit to the women of the country. He added, “Your awareness and unity have made all Indian political parties tremble, and that’s why this bill was passed—this is your strength.”
The Prime Minister indirectly addressed those who had objections to the term “Vandan” in the bill, stating, “Who would be respected and worshipped if our mothers and daughters were not?”
During his visit, the Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by women who showered flower petals on him as a gesture of gratitude for the passage of the women’s reservation bill. Speaking at the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University grounds in Kashi, Modi highlighted the historical recognition of women’s leadership in India. He praised the valor and strength of figures like Rani Lakshmibai and Ahilyabai Holkar, emphasizing their contributions to India’s history.
“From Rani Lakshmi Bai and her freedom struggle to the achievements of Mission Chandrayaan in modern India, we have consistently demonstrated the power of women’s leadership in every era,” the Prime Minister remarked.
“Kashi is the holy city of Mother Kushmanda, Mother Shringar Gauri, Mother Annapurna, and Mother Ganga. The glory of their power is embedded in every corner of this place. Therefore, after the passage of Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, I came to Kashi first to seek your blessings,” he added.
Earlier in the day, alongside UP CM Yogi Adityanath and cricketing legends including BCCI chairman Roger Binny, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Madan Lal, Karsan Ghavri, BCCI secretary Jay Shah, and vice-chairman Rajeev Shukla, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for a Rs 451 crore International Cricket Stadium. Designed with attributes inspired by Lord Shiva, this stadium will be the first sports facility in UP developed with the assistance of the BCCI, with an investment of Rs 330 crore from the BCCI and the rest from the UP government. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the stadium would not only benefit athletes but also boost the economy of eastern UP (Purvanchal), becoming a symbol of India’s promising future.
The Prime Minister concluded his visit to Kashi by inaugurating 16 Atal Residential Schools (ARS), including one in Varanasi’s Karsara locality, built at a cost of Rs 1115 crore across all 18 divisions of the state. He dedicated these schools to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who lost their parents during the pandemic, highlighting his vision of combining development with heritage conservation. He expressed hope that these ARS facilities would nurture India’s future leaders, who would excel in both education and other pursuits.
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