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PM Modi, Prez Biden hold first bilateral meeting, say ‘new chapter in Indo-US ties has begun



Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Joe Biden at the White House on Friday in his first bilateral meeting with the US President during which the two leaders discussed a wide range of priority issues, including combating COVID-19, climate change, economic cooperation as well as Afghanistan.

Welcoming PM Modi at the White House, US President Joe Biden said, “I have known you for a long time. I am glad that you have come back to the White House. You are well aware of our history. Our relationship has always been good.” In his introductory remark, President Biden also told PM Modi that ”four million Indian Americans are making America stronger every day.”

The US President told PM Modi, “Today we begin a new chapter in Indo – US relationships. Four Million Indian Americans every day making America stronger.”

On his behalf, PM Modi thanked the POTUS for the warm welcome. “I recall our interactions in 2014 and 2016. That time you had shared your vision for ties between India and the USA. I am glad to see you are working to realise this vision,” the PM said.

The Prime Minister further said the trade will continue to play a major role between the countries. “In 2014 and 2016, I got an opportunity to talk to you. You had shared your vision for the Indo-US relations,” PM Modi said. PM Modi further told President Biden, “Mahatma Gandhi always used to say about trusteeship of the Planet. This sentiment of trusteeship is the need of the hour globally.”

“Seeds that we will be sowing in the first year of the 3rd decade of the 21st century will help grow the Indo-US ties. It will also prove transformative for democracies around the world,” PM Modi said after meeting President Biden at the White House. Focussing on technology, the PM said, “Technology is becoming a driving force. We have to utilise our talents to leverage technology for the greater global good,”

While the two leaders have met earlier when Biden was the Vice President of the country, this is for the first time that Biden met PM Modi days after he became the 46th president of the US in January.

Both Biden and Prime Minister Modi have spoken over the phone multiple times and have attended a few virtual summits, including that of the Quad in March hosted by the US president. The last telephone conversation between them took place on April 26.

“This morning I’m hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House for a bilateral meeting. I look forward to strengthening the deep ties between our two nations, working to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, and tackling everything from COVID-19 to climate change,” President Biden tweeted just minutes ahead of the meeting.

President Biden and PM Modi were joined by their senior officials, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Shringla, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

PM Modi, who is visiting the US for the 7th time after assuming office in 2014, had said his visit would be an occasion to strengthen the Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest with President Biden. Among the issues also include discussion about new areas of cooperation, said a senior administration official on the eve of the India-US bilateral summit.

Ahead of the visit, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the two leaders are expected to focus on further bolstering bilateral trade and investment ties, strengthening defence and security collaboration and boosting the strategic clean energy partnership.

“The bilateral meeting (between PM Modi and Prez Biden) will also feature the current regional security situation following recent developments in Afghanistan, our stakes as a neighbour and a longstanding and a preferred development partner of Afghanistan,” he had said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

“In this context, we would undoubtedly discuss the need to stem radicalism, extremism, cross-border terrorism and the dismantling of global terrorist networks,” Shringla added. After the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, India has been saying that its focus was to ensure that the war-torn country’s soil is not used for terrorist activities against it.

Shringla said the importance of smooth post-COVID travel, especially for students, is also an important factor and is expected to be discussed at the talks.

Following the bilateral summit, Prez Biden in the afternoon would welcome PM Modi again at the White House for the first-ever in-person Quad Summit. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan will also attend the summit.

The Summit provides an opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of the Quad leaders’ Virtual Summit in March this year and identify priorities for future engagements based on our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region, the administration official said.

India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.



Reasi Police Arrested 2 Absconders Accused of Kidnapping-Rape after 19 years




Reasi Police has arrested two brothers accused of kidnapping and rape after 19 years. Both have been identified as Abdul Rashid and Makhna son Mian Kharian, resident of Barnaili Thillu Tehsil Mahor Reasi. In 2002, Mahor police had registered a case of kidnapping and rape against both the accused. He kidnapped the woman and kept her with him, and raped her every day.

Reasi police said that both the accused fled away as soon as the case was registered in the police station. Both of them changed their disguise and were living from one place to another. This is the reason why it was difficult to arrest them. Meanwhile, after the investigation proved the case, a charge sheet was presented against them in the court in 2003. The court, on 10/09/2004, issued an order of arrest against both the accused.

The Reasi police team led by SSP Reasi Shailendra Singh made an elaborate plan and laid a trap to arrest the absconding accused. The police succeeded in their strategy, and both hardcore and long-running criminals were arrested. Police officials said that evidence had been collected against both the accused, and soon both will be produced before the court.

SSP Shailendra Singh took over the command of Reasi District Police, the police have arrested more than 100 absconding criminals in the last six months under the scheme of “Arrest of the Ferrari”. This is a record in itself. At the same time, the local people have also appreciated the functioning of the police department under the leadership of SSP Shailendra Singh for pushing the hardcore criminals of the district behind bars in such a short time.

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Two Rajouri residents missing after snowstorm traced in Shopian





Police on Wednesday said the two residents of Rajouri who had gone missing after being caught in a snowstorm in the upper reaches of the district had been traced in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

In an official statement, Rajouri police said that a missing report of the duo was lodged on 24 October in police station Budhal in which it came to fore that one person, namely Javed Shah, son of Haneef Shah resident of Targain along with a relative namely Khadam Shah son of Muzamal Shah resident of Hasote Chasana Reasi went to Kashmir by foot along with their sheep on 22 October. Still, no further communication had been possible with them.

On receipt of this information, a police party from Police Station Budhal was rushed to the upper reaches of snowbound mountains for a search and rescue operation. At the same time, the army also assisted in this operation, whereas police from Reasi district dispatched its teams for this operation, said police.

In the meantime, a specific technical exercise was initiated, and the Budhal police station gathered information based on technical evidence to trace the missing person, police informed.

Based on this technical exercise, the PS Budhal team led by SHO Mustaj Ahmed succeeded in tracking the said person from the Mony Mahal area of Shopian district.

District Police Shopian immediately swung into action and assisted in establishing contact with the missing person, who has now been safely traced.

SP Rajouri, Sheema Nabi Qasba has appealed to the people not to venture on snowbound mountains and areas and to move only on those safe tracks in the winter season.

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AC Approves Creation of 4 new Courts of Additional District & Sessions Judge




The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, accorded approval for the creation of four courts of Additional District & Sessions Judges at district headquarters- one each in District Samba, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Poonch.

Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor, attended the meeting.

The Administrative Council also approved the creation of 40 new posts of different categories (10 each) at the new court complexes in the four selected districts with a financial implication of Rs. 258.245 lacs (salary) and Rs 21.657 lacs (NPS) per financial year.

The gradual increase in the population of Jammu and Kashmir has substantially enhanced the judicial workload, which has necessitated the opening of new court complexes to cater to the increased public demand.

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