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Second Indian Dies in Russia Allegedly with Wagner Army

A second Indian national, Mohammed Asfan, has died in Russia while allegedly working for the Wagner Army.

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Second Indian Dies in Russia Allegedly with Wagner Army
(Photo: newindianexpress)

A tragic incident has once again brought attention to the involvement of Indian nationals in Russia’s Wagner Army, with the recent death of Mohammed Asfan. The Indian Embassy in Moscow has confirmed the demise and assured efforts to repatriate Asfan’s remains to India.

Second Indian Dies in Russia

This incident follows closely on the heels of another loss suffered by India, with a Gujarati national falling victim to a drone attack on the Russia-Ukraine border in Donetsk just weeks prior. These incidents shed light on the presence of Indians in roles supporting the Russian military apparatus.

Acknowledging the recruitment of Indians in the Russian army, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has stated that around 20 individuals have approached the Indian mission in Moscow regarding their involvement. However, conflicting reports suggest that the actual number may be higher. Many of these recruits were engaged as security aides, albeit with claims of mistreatment surfacing among them.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reiterated the Indian government’s awareness of these recruitments and the ongoing engagement with Russian authorities for the discharge of Indian nationals from such roles. Concerns have been raised regarding the circumstances under which these individuals were recruited, with allegations of deception and coercion by foreign recruiters associated with the Wagner Group.

The Wagner Group, officially known as PMC Wagner, is a private military company with ties to the Russian state. Previously under the control of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of President Putin, the group has been involved in various conflicts, including the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Reports suggest that Indian nationals have been drawn into this conflict through deceptive means, leading to calls for caution among the Indian diaspora in Russia.

In light of these developments, Indian authorities have urged nationals to exercise vigilance and refrain from involvement in conflicts abroad. The tragic loss of Mohammed Asfan serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with such engagements and underscores the need for heightened awareness and caution among Indian citizens residing or working in Russia.

Bengaluru

Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 ‘Forest Bathing’ at Cubbon Park – Viral Post

Debate erupts as Trove Experiences offers Rs 1,500 forest bathing in Cubbon Park. Is commercializing Shinrin Yoku ethical? Explore the controversy.

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Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 'Forest Bathing' at Cubbon Park - Viral Post
(Image:troveexperiences.com)

In Bengaluru, Trove Experiences’ decision to monetize Shinrin Yoku, a revered Japanese practice, has stirred controversy. The offering of guided forest bathing experiences for Rs 1,500 has triggered outcry and ridicule, igniting a fierce debate over the commercialization of a sacred ritual.

Research highlights the benefits of communing with nature, emphasizing its capacity to alleviate anxiety, depression, and uplift mood and self-esteem. Shinrin Yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, has long served as an escape from urban chaos, offering a slow, deliberate stroll through wooded areas to soothe modern malaise and restore well-being.

However, criticism has mounted with the introduction of paid guided forest bathing experiences, a novelty in Bengaluru. Trove Experiences’ initiative has sparked a firestorm of debate with its Rs 1,500 forest bathing excursions, conducted not in a forest but at Cubbon Park, where strolling has always been free.

On Trove Experiences’ website, the description of their offering underscores the need for city dwellers to reconnect with nature amidst the stress of urban life. The immersive forest walk promises to leave participants feeling centered and revitalized.

Yet, screenshots of Trove Experiences’ pricing have circulated widely, provoking outrage and mockery. Social media users have derided the notion of paying for a forest bathing experience in a park where grass-touching remains free. The viral post on X has garnered significant attention, with thousands of likes and comments reflecting widespread skepticism and humor.

The controversy surrounding Trove Experiences’ commercialization of Shinrin Yoku underscores broader questions about the ethical boundaries of monetizing sacred practices and the commodification of nature’s healing benefits. As debates continue, the clash between commercial interests and cultural reverence remains unresolved, leaving many to ponder the true essence of Shinrin Yoku amidst the uproar.

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Bengaluru

Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event

Tejasvi Surya faces criticism at Bengaluru campaign event as investors demand answers on Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam.

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Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event
(Image: timesnownews)

Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya encountered a turbulent situation during a recent election campaign event in the city. The event, held at the Laxmanrao Imandar auditorium, took an unexpected turn when investors who had suffered losses in the multi-crore scam involving the Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha demanded accountability from the parliamentarian.

The investors, visibly frustrated by the delay in compensation for their losses, sought answers from Surya and other leaders present, including Basavanagudi BJP legislator L A Ravi Subramanya. Despite attempts by the leaders to assuage their concerns, the investors remained dissatisfied with the responses provided.

Footage from the event circulated on social media platforms, capturing the moment when Surya was escorted out of the venue by his security personnel. During his exit, he engaged in heated exchanges with some of the investors who approached him with their grievances.

The incident drew attention from various political quarters, with Karnataka Congress seizing the opportunity to criticize Surya’s handling of the situation. The party took to Twitter to highlight the MP’s departure from the event, characterizing it as an escape through an “emergency exit door.”

In response, Surya’s office released a statement accusing Congress workers of disrupting the meeting and attempting to derail the BJP’s campaign efforts. The statement condemned the alleged tactics employed by Congress workers, including pushing and shoving attendees, and emphasized the BJP’s commitment to a positive and development-oriented campaign.

The controversy surrounding the campaign event underscores the ongoing fallout from the Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam, which came to light in 2020. Despite efforts by regulatory authorities and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation to mitigate the impact on depositors, many individuals remain uncompensated for their losses.

The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation into the scam revealed instances of fund misappropriation and financial irregularities, leading to the attachment of the bank’s properties worth Rs 159 crore. With over 15,000 depositors yet to receive full compensation, the Karnataka government’s decision to hand over the probe to the CBI reflects the seriousness of the situation.

As the election campaign in Bengaluru South unfolds, the incident involving Tejasvi Surya serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by politicians in addressing the grievances of affected constituents amidst ongoing controversies and political scrutiny.

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Bengaluru

Fatal Bike Accident in Bengaluru: Man Dead, Two Injured in Pit Fall

Tragedy struck in Bengaluru as a bike accident claimed a life and left two critically injured after plunging into a water pipeline pit. Get the details here.

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Fatal Bike Accident in Bengaluru: Man Dead, Two Injured in Pit Fall
(Representational Image)

A tragic incident unfolded in Bengaluru, leaving one man dead and two others critically injured after their bike veered off the road and fell into a pit dug up for a water pipeline. The mishap occurred on Sunday, shocking locals and prompting questions about safety measures in construction zones.

According to police reports, the bike’s rider failed to notice the deep pit and drove straight into it. Despite efforts by locals to rush the injured to the hospital, one of the bikers succumbed to his injuries on the spot, while the other two are battling for their lives in critical condition.

Eyewitnesses lamented the lack of barricades or warning signboards near the pit, blaming civic authorities for negligence. A complaint lodged by one of the survivors demands action against the water board contractor responsible for the site.

In response, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board refuted allegations of lax safety measures, asserting that barricades were indeed in place. However, they claimed that the riders were intoxicated, which led them to overlook the warning signs.

Ram Manohar, Chairman of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, emphasized that corrective measures would be taken pending the outcome of the police investigation. He cited reports suggesting that the bikers were performing a wheelie, a risky maneuver where the front wheel is lifted off the ground, contributing to the accident.

Regardless of the circumstances, the incident underscores the importance of safety protocols in construction areas and the need for both authorities and citizens to remain vigilant on the roads. As investigations continue, the hope is that lessons will be learned and actions taken to prevent such tragedies in the future.

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