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NIA raids six places for investigation related to Pathankot attack

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New Delhi: Six places were raided in the town of Amritsar and Gurdaspur in Punjab on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) detectives following the 2nd January Pathankot terror attack.

The places where the raids were carried out belong to suspected Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh and his two companions who were allegedly kidnapped by the terrorists hours before they mounted the attack at the air base.

“Two days after the lie detector test of Salwinder Singh, we carried out raids at six locations, four in Gurdaspur and two in Amritsar,” an NIA official said.

“The locations include the residential places of Singh, his friend Rajesh Verma and his cook Madangopal.”

Singh’s lie detector test was conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday.

Singh, at present, is posted as assistant commandant of 75th Punjab Armed Police after being shunted out as the superintendent of police headquarters at Gurdaspur.

Six Pakistani terrorists believed to be from the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit sneaked into Punjab from across the border and took the Punjab Police officer hostage before taking away his vehicle.

They attacked Singh’s friend and cook, but left the police officer himself unharmed and untouched, raising suspicions about his role in the whole episode.

The six terrorists later attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, killing seven security personnel.(IANS)

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National Investigation Agency Arrests one in Kerala Terror Camp Case

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Kerala Terror camp
The person arrested was identified as Azharudeen aka Azhar, 24, a resident of Narath in Kerala. ians

New Delhi, Oct 10: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday said it has arrested one accused of organising Kerala Terror Camp Case in Kannur district in 2013.

The person arrested was identified as Azharudeen aka Azhar, 24, a resident of Narath in Kerala.

An NIA official told IANS that Azhar was arrested on Monday night. He would be produced before the trial court in Ernakulam later on Tuesday.

The counter-terror agency said the arrest involved April 23, 2013, case when the secret training camp was organised by Thanal Foundation Trust inside one of its building to impart training in using of swords and explosives.

On January 20, 2016, the National Investigation Agency Special court had found 21 persons of the Popular Front of India (PFI) guilty of the charges including criminal conspiracy, membership of unlawful assembly, possession of arms and explosive substances, inciting communal disharmony, assertions prejudicial to national integration besides organising the terrorist camp.

The case was first registered by the state police, before it was taken over by the NIA in August 2013.(IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya. 

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Be a farmer on weekends at Citrus County Hoshiarpur

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Hoshiarpur
Wheat field in Phagwara Punjab India. Wikimedia

Hoshiarpur, Oct 2, 2017: Punjab is better known for India’s “green revolution” in agriculture and for contributing the maximum foodgrain to the national kitty. And now a progressive horticulturist and entrepreneur is offering hands-on experience to visitors to try their hand at how farming is actually done.

“Be a farmer on weekends at Citrus County — Hoshiarpur. Get your kids to the farm to give them a unique experience in a typical farm in Punjab. Let then come and indulge in plucking fruit and sowing vegetable seeds in the fields on their own.” This is how Harkirat Ahluwalia, owner of the Citrus County farm resort, puts it.

“We are offering guests, especially children, first-hand experience of doing farming. This is something that people have never tried before. The experience gives them the satisfaction of doing hard work and experiencing what life is like in the countryside,” Harkirat, who along with his wife Jasveen runs the resort, about 140 km from Chandigarh, told IANS.

The guests at the farm can sow seeds, pluck citrus fruit, plough the fields, milk cows, drive a tractor and take a ride to a nearby forest and rivulet in a tractor-trolley.

Fresh home-cooked food, which is prepared on earthen stoves at the ground level, home-grown organic vegetables and warm hospitality add up in equal measure to make the experience a refreshing one.

“Glamping”, or luxury tenting, as Harkirat puts it, is also part of the farm experience.

The nine air-conditioned tents at Citrus County, with attached bathrooms, offer luxury stay with king-sized beds in the midst of the sprawling orchards of kinnow (a citrus fruit) and tall poplar trees.

Also Read: Indian Agriculture status, Importance & Role In Indian Economy 

The farm resort is located in Chaunni Kalan village, five km short of Hoshiarpur on the Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh highway.

“Cycling enthusiasts are welcome to get their wheels along and we will provide them the best possible tracks,” said Harkirat, who is a post-graduate in Mass Communication from Panjab University and himself a cycling and biking enthusiast.

In the past, the resort has seen couples from other countries going through wedding rituals the Indian way to give them a real-time feel of the country’s culture and marriage ceremonies.

The unique thing in couples opting for the Indian-style wedding is that they are already married and are middle-aged or even older. The couples are accompanied by their friends, relatives and even children and grandchildren for this unique experience. (IANS)