Monday December 18, 2017
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Modi likely to sign 20 agreements during Bangladesh visit

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Agartala/Guwahati: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Dhaka from Saturday is likely to see the signing of 20 agreements besides talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on boosting trade, connectivity and anti-terrorism measures.

Chief ministers of several northeastern states, though they are not accompanying Modi, have requested him to raise the issues of infiltration, border trade and connectivity with Bangladesh.

According to a top Bangladesh government official in Agartala, Modi’s 36-hour stay in Dhaka is likely to see both sides ink as many as 20 agreements.

“Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh could not sign the Teesta treaty due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Teesta water sharing pact will cast a shadow during Modi’s tour,” Tapas Dey, a known expert on Bangladeshi affairs, told IANS

Dey, who visited Bangladesh this week, told IANS: “Though Teesta has been a most fundamental issue for decades, this time both the Awami League government and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have agreed that the issue has some internal implications in Indian politics.”

BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, who refused to pay a courtesy call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in Dhaka in March 2013, is likely to call on Modi.

“This time the BNP has been very positive towards the visit of the Indian prime minister. Modi might meet Khaleda Zia on June 7 on the latter’s request,” Dey said.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who along with other northeastern chief ministers accompanied Manmohan Singh on his Bangladesh visit in September 2011, said Modi’s trip would strengthen bilateral ties.

“The visit is expected to immensely benefit the northeastern states,” Sarkar told IANS. He said it was after Tripura’s pushing that New Delhi agreed to supply 100 MW electricity from a state power plant to power-starved Bangladesh.

Sarkar, a popular face in Bangladesh, said that Dhaka helped “a lot” to tame decades of terrorism in Tripura. He said some camps of northeastern militants still existed in Bangladesh.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has urged Modi to take up issues concerning his state with Hasina.

“Modi should take up the matter of boosting water and surface communication between Assam and Bangladesh and introducing rail links to enhance trade and commercial ties. He must also raise the issue of cross-border infiltration,” Gogoi said in a statement.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma wants more ‘border haats’ (markets) along the India-Bangladesh border.

“Modi can discuss with Hasina about a strategy to develop road connectivity between northeast India and Bangladesh and to use Chittagong port for exports,” Sangma told IANS over telephone.

On June 7, Modi and Hasina would, over video conferencing, jointly inaugurate a ‘border haat’ at Kamalasagar in western Tripura’s Sipahijala district, which borders Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh.

The ‘border haat’ will be the second in Tripura and the fourth on the India-Bangladesh border. The Indian commerce ministry is footing the cost of the border haats to boost trade in local produce.

Modi and Hasina are to flag off two bus services: between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh as well as between Dhaka and Guwahati via Meghalaya capital Shillong and Bangladeshi city Sylhet.

The trial runs have already been conducted.

Both sides are likely to ink an agreement on coastal shipping and effective use of water ways, on tackling human trafficking, besides operationalizing the historic land (enclaves) swap agreement.

“Setting up Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh by India is likely to be discussed,” a Bangladesh official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Noted economist Sekhar Paul told IANS: “Economic cooperation between India and Bangladesh must go hand in hand with strong political support.”

Modi met Hasina on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September and at the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November.

India shares a 4,096-km border, including 1,116-km riverine one, with Bangladesh, the longest border India has with any of its neighbours.

Besides West Bengal (2,216 km), the four northeastern states of Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) together share 1,880 km of border with Bangladesh. (IANS)

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Submarine INS Kalvari Commissioned by PM Modi : Best Example of Make in India

INS Kalvari is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited, real boost to Make in India project

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INS Kalvari, Indian Army
INS Kalvari, Indian Navy (Photo: Twitter/Indian Navy)
  • “INS Kalvari is a great example of ‘ Make in India ‘. I would like to congratulate everyone associated with this submarine,” PM Modi said. PM Modi also thanked France for its co-operation

    In Mumbai PM Modi has commissioned scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy. INS Kalvari has been named after the maritime force’s first-ever underwater craft.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by Prime Minster Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, Maharasahtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, other senior Indian Navy officers, and delegates from France.

The Scorpenes are being built by the Mazagaon Dockyard Ltd under Project 75 with transfer of technology from a foreign collaborator — DCNS of France.

INS Kalvari
INS Kalvari is named after the dreaded tiger shark (Photos: Twitter/Indian Navy)

INS Kalvari : Proud Moment for Indian Navy and Entire Country

It is a proud moment for the the entire country as the submarine is a prime example of flagship program of PM Modi government’s ‘ Make in India ‘ project. The special combat features of the Scorpenes include superior stealth and ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons. The attacks can easily be carried out with torpedoes while submerged or on the surface, making it a deadly weapon.

Facts about INS Kalvari

  • The submarine has a length of 67.5 metre and a height of about 12.3 metres. The hull form, fin and hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance.
  • The boat has 360 battery cells, each weighing 750 kg, to power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. The stealth of the boat is further enhanced through the mounting of equipment inside the pressure hull on shock absorbing cradles.
  • This is first of the six Scorpene-class submarines to handed over by MDL. The six submarines are being built as part of the Rs 23,652 crore “Project-75” of the Indian Navy.

“The technology utilised in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons,” an official of the MDL said.

It is really very positive to see Make in India boosting the defence sector. INS Kalvari will surely add more strength to mighty Indian Navy.

– by Shaurya Ritwik, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Rahul Gandhi Points at PM Modi to Vacate the Seat over Gas price Hike

Rahul Gandhi's twitter attack on PM Modi: Vacant your seat over the gas price hike.

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Rahul Gandhi's verbal attack on PM Modi
Rahul Gandhi's verbal attack on PM Modi wikimedia commons

NEW DELHI: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked the Narendra Modi-led central government after the prices of cooking gas was again hiked, asking him to “vacate the ‘Sinhasan’ (post of the Prime Minister)”.

“Mehangi gas, mehanga rashan. Band karo khokala bhashan. Dam bandho kam do. Warna khali karo sinhasan (Expensive gas, expensive ration. Stop making hollow promises. Fix the rates and give employment or else vacate the post),” Rahul Gandhi tweeted attaching a news report of the hike.

Gandhi was referring to the price hike announced by the state-run oil firms on Wednesday.

The prices of the LPG cylinder’s went up by Rs 4.50, while the non-subsidised rates were hiked by a steeper Rs 93 per cylinder.(IANS)

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India will soon ask Malaysia to extradite Preacher Zakir Naik

India will soon approach Malaysia with a request to extradite hardline Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

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India will Request Malayasia to extradite Zakir Naik
India will Request Malayasia to extradite Zakir Naik. wikimedia commons
  • India will seek the Malaysian government’s help in extraditing televangelist Zakir Naik who faces charges of money laundering and inciting hatred through his sermons broadcast on Peace TV, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Zakir Naik obtained permanent residency in Malaysia 

Officials will approach their Malaysian counterparts with the extradition request sometime within the next two weeks, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told a weekly news briefing in New Delhi.

“Any formal request seeking the assistance of a foreign government in cases of extradition requires a completion of the internal legal process involving consultation with other ministries involved in the case,” Kumar said.

“At this stage, we are nearing the completion of this process and as soon as this process is complete we will be making an official request to the Malaysian government in this matter,” Kumar said. “It could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks. But it would be soon and the nature of our request would also be clear.”

Naik fled India a month before terrorist carried out a massacre at a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July 2016. This week, Malaysia’s deputy prime minister said the Islamic preacher legally obtained permanent residency in the country, and that Malaysian authorities would arrest him only if he broke local laws or was found to be involved in terrorist activities.

Naik’s speeches allegedly inspired some of the militants who carried out the siege at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka, where 29 people, including 20 hostages and five gunmen, were killed.

In November 2016, the Indian government banned Naik’s Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Research Foundation, which partly funded the Peace TV channel that is banned in India, Bangladesh and several other countries.

Kumar said because the Indian government had knowledge of Naik’s whereabouts, the legal procedures would be tailored to requirements between the two countries in their extradition treaty.

Advocate challenges charges

“Naik is being hounded because he hails from a minority community. The charges that the investigating agencies are trying to frame are all stale and are hardly incriminating,” advocate S. Hariharan told BenarNews in a phone interview from Delhi.

“The charges lack veracity and would not stand scrutiny in the court of law. We will be challenging the extradition and deportation.”

Last week, the Indian government filed a 61-page charge sheet against Naik alleging he was involved in a criminal conspiracy by lauding terrorist organizations. In April, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in an alleged case of money laundering through his NGO and a shell company.

In Malaysia meanwhile, the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has urged the government to ignore any request from India to extradite Zakir Naik, Reuters reported.

“For Muslim individuals, even when they won by using arguments and not weapons, like Dr. Zakir Naik, they are considered terrorists because their arguments cannot be countered,” PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang wrote last week in an opinion piece published in Harakah Daily.(BenarNews)