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Programme on organ and body donation held by United Christian
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69th Independence day celebrated in Nehru Maidan in Mangaluru

Modi asks Delhi police chief to probe church attacks

Following the attack on a convent school in Delhi on Friday, Prime Minister Modi has asked Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi to investigate recent incidents of vandalism targeting Christian institutions.

After meeting the Prime Minister, the Police Commissioner said Mr. Modi had given strict instructions to track down culprits in convent school vandalism.

He added that of six incidents at Christian institutions, including desecration at churches, four had been worked out and there were no connections between them.

The Holy Child Auxilium School was allegedly vandalised on Thursday night, after which the institution has been shut down on Friday. Delhi Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal on Friday condemned the attack on the Christian school in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar area. “I strongly condemn the attack on Holy Child Auxilium School. These kind of acts will not be tolerated," Mr. Kejriwal said.
  • Published in National

Six years after Mumbai attacks, fishing boats to have tracking device

New Delhi: Six years after the Mumbai terror attacks, the government is finally all set to install tracking devices in small fishing vessels free of cost to monitor their movement and curb security threat along the coastline.

Although the previous government had initiated the process, much time went in identifying the tracking technology and deciding on funding of the equipment. There was also strong resistance from fishermen on this issue.

Having addressed these concerns, the Home Ministry has moved a Cabinet proposal seeking approval for installation of transponders "free of cost" in fishing vessels below 20 metres in length for the purpose of tracking their movement up to a distance of 50-km from the coastline.

The ministry has estimated the cost of each transponder at about Rs 16,800 and sought funds to the tune of Rs 336 crore for installing two lakh transponders in small boats.

According to the proposal, the Home Ministry will bear the entire expenditure on transponders while the project will be implemented by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries under the Agriculture Ministry.

Technical assistance would be given by the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) under the Shipping Ministry, it added.

This is being done as there is "no formal mechanism" in place to track the movement of small fishing boats, which has become the "biggest challenge" towards making the coastal security set-up efficient, according to the note prepared by Home Ministry for the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

At present, there is a system in place for tracking vessels above 20-m in length, but there is no such facility for boats below that length.

In the Cabinet note, the Home Ministry has proposed to install 'AIS (P)' transponders in small boats based on the recommendations of the expert committee set up by the Defence Ministry on this issue.
  • Published in Mumbai

Peshawar school massacre mastermind warns of more attacks

Peshawar: The terrorist who supervised the Peshawar school massacre has threatened more attacks, if the military and the intelligence agencies do not stop anti-terror operations, media reported Saturday.

In a video with English subtitles posted on Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan's (TTP) website, Umar Mansoor said that Tuesday's attack on the Army Public School which killed  148 people, including 132 children, was in retaliation to army operations, Dawn online  reported.

Security agencies had intercepted communication between Umar Mansoor, also known as Khalifa Umar and Umar Narey, and the suicide squad during the seven-hour shooting spree at the school that helped identify him as the main handler. Khalifa, TTP's 'commander' for Peshawar and the arms-manufacturing region of Darra Adamkhel, is head of the Tariq Geedar group.

Authorities traced a call to Afghanistan's Naziyan district in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. TTP spokesman, Mohammad Khurasani said in a statement Friday that TTP men had been  "instructed not to target kids in the primary section of the school". "The fidayeen (suicide attackers) were kept informed of these instructions during the attack," he said.

  • Published in World

3 sentenced to death for Riyadh, Alkhobar terror attacks

Jeddah: A special criminal court in Riyadh has sentenced to death three members of a terror cell for killing 20 people and injuring 35 others at the Oasis Residential compound in Alkhobar in the Eastern Province, and the Al-Mohayya complex in Riyadh in separate attacks. Five were each handed 30-year jail terms. The victims of the terror attacks included BBC photographer Simon Cumbers. His colleague Frank Gardner was critically wounded and is now wheelchair-bound. There were also Saudi civilians and policemen among the victims.

The first defendant, N. Boqami, chief of Cell 86, said Al-Qaeda had assigned him and others to storm the Oasis complex in 2004. They had been told that US forces had kidnapped and detained several Sunni Iraqi women during the 2003 invasion. However, he denied all other 27 charges against him, including storming into a facility of the APICORP and the Oasis compound carrying grenades, assault rifles and revolvers on May 29 and holding 45 hostages. The state contends that he was accompanied by Al-Qaeda members Turki Al-Motairi and Abdullah Al-Sobaie during the operation. 

The charge sheet accused them of killing 10 people of various nationalities including two industrial security officers and a cop. It was also claimed that they were party to the assault and murder of 12 and injuring 20 security officers in an encounter at the Waha compound. The state also accused Boqami of ascribing to the takfiri ideology — to declare other Muslims non-believers — questioning the Holy Qur’an, Sunnah and the creed of the early Muslim ummah. 

The state also contends that he rebelled against the ruler by switching his allegiance to Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, the chief of Al-Qaeda in the Kingdom, and taking up membership in an Al-Qaeda subsidiary called “Deterrence and Defense Cell,” which undertook the task of spying on and assassinating civilian officials. 

The court accused him of killing a British man, tying his body to a car and dragging it along a road. The other charges include shooting and killing three Indians and a Japanese citizen, and murdering an Italian hostage and breaking the news to an Arabic television news channel. The court found that he had slit the throat of a Swedish citizen after shooting and killing him. His other victims included 12 others, among them Indian, Swedish, Egyptian, South African, Sri Lankan, and Filipino citizens, the court stated.

He was also accused of leading the terror attack at the Al-Mohayya residential complex in Riyadh in November 2003. The court found that his gang had accompanied two other Al-Qaeda members. They had thrown hand-grenades and opened fire at security guards at the complex to make way for an explosives-laden car. The car was disguised as a military vehicle and carried 300 kg of powerful explosives. They had detonated it, killing 17 people and wounding 122 others of various nationalities.
  • Published in Saudi Arabia
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