QBullet: Modi Visits LoC on Diwali; Medical Visas For Pakistanis

1. ‘You Are My Family’: Modi Celebrates Diwali With Jawans on LoC

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 19 October, reached the Gurez Valley along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate Diwali with the troops posted in the forward area.

Speaking to jawans on the border, the prime minister said he salutes those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

If we all take a resolution and work on it, then 125 crore Indians will bring India ahead by 125 crore steps by 2022, the 75th year of independence.

Upon reaching Gurez, the prime minister exchanged sweets with the jawans. “Happy to know they practice yoga regularly,” he later tweeted.

Read the full story on The Quint.

Also Read: In Photos: How India Celebrated Diwali 2017

2. At Least 160 Militants Killed This Year, Kashmir Needs Political Initiative: DGP

At least 160 militants have been killed in J&K Police’s latest security campaign this year but Kashmir needs a “political initiative” and the central government should take steps to prevent “jobless” youth from being “influenced by a lot of unwanted and dangerous stuff”, State DGP Shesh Paul Vaid told The Indian Express in an exclusive interview.

There is no doubt that there is a need for a political initiative. Whether there is one going to be taken soon, I am ignorant about it. But I think some progress is happening. Political initiative is the need of the hour.

Following the massive unrest that followed the killing of militant leader Burhan Wani in an encounter last year, Vaid said his worry now is to prevent another “trigger” that will spark strife on the streets again.

(Source: Indian Express)

3. No Ban on Cow Slaughter, BJP Says in Poll-Bound Meghalaya

In Christian-dominated Meghalaya, which goes to the polls early next year, the state unit of BJP has refuted Congress' claims that the Centre has banned cattle slaughter.

JA Lyngdoh, Vice-President, State BJP(The) rules do not, at any point, ban cow slaughter. Though the rules do not say it, the justification for them can perhaps be traced to the direction of the Supreme Court, which passed an order to frame guidelines to prevent animals from being smuggled out of India for the Gadhimai Festival held in Nepal, where large-scale animal sacrifice takes places, and to Bangladesh.

He added the Centre's notification on 23 May regarding cattle slaughter "only regulates" animal markets. Responding to claims that the ban on cattle slaughter is an absolute one, he said: "The rules do not say so. Even if they did, they would have to be struck down as unconstitutional by the high court or the Supreme Court."

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: No, Cows Not Thrown Off Roofs by Cattle Slaughter Ban Protestors

4. Diwali Live: Firecrackers Burst Non-Stop, SC Ban Fails Miserably

What has the Supreme Court ban on sale of crackers in Delhi NCR done? Nothing.

Ahead of Diwali, there were multiple reports of how the ban wasn’t working, and 19 October night stands testimony. The Quint asked people across Delhi NCR to tell us where they live and if crackers were being burst in their vicinity. This is what they told us as the festivities wore on:

Read the full story on The Quint.

Also Read:
Watch the Ramleela Rap: Transgenders’ Hatke Tribute to Lord Ram
A Diwali Away From Home, Taught Me to Make Most of What I Have

5. Maharashtra Loan Waiver Scheme: Farmers to Protest Across State Today

Farmers’ groups that are unhappy with the state’s loan waiver scheme will resume their agitation from 20 October with a state-wide protest.

Dr Ajit Nawle, Convener, Coordination Committee of Agitating Farmers.The conditions that the state government have imposed for approving the loan waiver of farmers means that lakhs of needy farmers will be left out of the scheme. The state government’s plan to distribute the loan waiver sum in steps is to ensure that the wrath of farmers does not get directed against them.

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday released Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of its Rs 34,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme. The government distributed certificates to select farmers mentioning the outstanding sum that is being waived.

Nawle said the state government was still refraining from clarifying the total loan amount to be waived and how many farmers would benefit under the scheme.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: We Know Burning Stubble Pollutes, Govt Won’t Help: Punjab Farmers

6. All Interfaith Marriages Not 'Love Jihad': Court

All interfaith marriages should not be portrayed as 'love jihad' or 'ghar wapsi' and doing so could jeopardise the religious harmony of the state, the Kerala high court said on Thursday. It also ordered police to raid and close down centres run by religious fundamentalists to convert or reconvert those falling in love with people from other religions.

A division bench gave the directive on a habeas corpus petition filed by Anees Hameed of Kannur after his lover, Sruthi, went missing. 

She later told the court that her parents had taken her to Siva Sakthi Yogavidya Kendram at Udayamperoor, where she was detained against her wish and mentally and physically tortured to abandon her lover. The court set Sruthi and Anees free to decide on their choice of religion without interference from her parents or anybody else.

We caution that every case of inter-religious marriage shall not be portrayed on a religious canvass and create fissures in the communal harmony otherwise existing in god’s own country – Kerala.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read:
Here’s Why NIA Demanded the SC Let it Probe ‘Love Jihad’ in Kerala
Supreme Court Asks the Wrong Questions in Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ Case

7. At 2.5 Million, India Tops List of Pollution-Linked Deaths: Study

India has topped the list of countries with pollution-related deaths in 2015, with 2.51 million people dying prematurely in the country that year due to diseases linked to air, water and other forms of pollution, according to a new study published in the reputed medical journal, The Lancet.

India accounted for about 28 per cent of an estimated 9 million pollution-linked deaths worldwide in 2015, the study found. It also topped the list of deaths linked to polluted air (1.81 million) and water (0.64 million).

Most of the pollution-related deaths — 92 per cent — were reported in low and middle income countries, and in rapidly industrialising nations such as India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Kenya, the study said. China, with 1.8 million pollution-linked deaths in 2015, followed India on The Lancet list. Most of these deaths were due to non-communicable diseases caused by pollution, such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health’s study.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: Smog is Coming: Does India Really Care About Its Pollution Crisis?

8. Sushma Swaraj's Diwali Gift: Visas to All Pakistanis With Pending Medical Cases

On the occasion of Diwali, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday announced that India will grant medical visas to all Pakistanis with deserving cases for treatment in the country. Taking to Twitter, Swaraj said, “On the auspicious occasion of Deepawali, India will grant medical Visa in all deserving cases pending today.”

Swaraj’s announcement comes days after she directed the Indian High Commission in Pakistan to issue visas for a string of patients, including a child suffering from eye cancer, a bone marrow transplant patient and to two others for liver transplant surgeries.

(Source: Indian Express)

9. New Kit May Detect Malaria in Seconds, for Just Rs 10

Detection of common mosquito-borne disease malaria could become cheaper and take just 'seconds' with a new portable device, the handiwork of researchers from two Kolkata institutes.

A team of researchers from Institute of Engineering and Management in collaboration with Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, claim to have developed a mobile, low-cost malaria detection system, which can also diagnose dengue with some modifications.

Dr Arindam Biswas, Shibpur Head of Department, IT, IIEST,We have attached a mobile phone camera on a paper microscope which can be used to take image of blood sample on a slide with some chemicals, and the data can be processed at a central server to detect the presence of malaria cell.

"Every patient will incur a cost of only Rs 10 for each test against a drop of blood taken from the tip of his finger, and the remote testing facility will give results within seconds and provide a hard copy of the report," he said.

(Source: The Times of India)

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. Read more on India by The Quint.Watch the Ramleela Rap: Transgenders’ Hatke Tribute to Lord Ram A Diwali Away From Home, Taught Me to Make Most of What I Have . Read more on India by The Quint.