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No mediation on Kashmir unless both India, Pakistan agree: UN chief

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UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Antonio Guterres has ruled out any mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue unless all parties agree to it and asked India and Pakistan to address their outstanding issues through talks amidst heightened tensions along the border.

The UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that in principle good offices of the UN chief are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the world body.

Asked about escalating tensions between India and Pakistan due to ongoing skirmishes and firing along the border, Dujarric said, “We’re obviously aware. We’re following this… what’s been going on, really for the last 10 days.”

Asked why the Secretary-General is not so keen to involve himself in this crisis, Dujarric said, “In principle good offices of Guterres are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the UN.”

“As a matter of principle I’m not talking specifically about this issue, but about any issue where there is conflict between parties, the Secretary-General’s good offices are always available,” he said.

“As in any issue…if there are multiple parties, everyone needs to agree on involving the UN. That is true of any mediation effort,” Dujarric said.

“The Secretary-General would encourage both sides to address any outstanding issues through dialogue,” he said.

The relations between India and Pakistan are strained following series of attacks by Pakistan-based terror groups and incidents of ceasefire violations, causing casualties on both sides.

India is opposed to any third-party intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue while Pakistan has continuously sought mediation to sort out the differences.

PTI

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Maoist poster found in Odisha capital threatening to kill missing Kashmiri student

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Bhubaneswar | March 5 2018
A poster allegedly put up by the Maoists was found at Baramunda bus stand creating panic among locals here this morning.
The poster was put up on the wall under flyover with a message demanding the government to release top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who is currently lodged in jail, in seven days or else the Kashmiri student studying at Bhubaneswar AIIMS Suhail Aijaz, who is missing since Feb 9, will be killed.
The Maoists in the poster said that Suhail is in their custody. If the government fails to release Sabyasachi Panda, they will eliminate the Kashmiri student.
Also, the red rebels through the poster threatened explosions at Bhubaneswar railway station and police stations on March 11 if their demand is not met as soon as possible.
While there is no breakthrough in the missing Kashmiri student and a team of commissionerate police returned Bhubaneswar from Kolkata with clueless about him, the latest poster indicates Maoist link in connection with missing of Suhail, who is yet to be traced by police. The poster posed as a bigger challenge to the police, who are yet to clear the authenticity of the poster.
The twin city commissionerate police is investigating into the matter to find out alleged abduction of Suhail by Maoists and authenticity of the poster.
We recovered a handwritten poster and it is being investigated, said DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.
Normally, the Maoists put up the posters in their letterhead using red ink. However, this poster found at Baramunda bus stand was written in blue ink.
When asked to Sabyasachi Panda’s wife Subhashree alias Mili Panda about the poster, she refused any Maoist role behind putting up the poster at Baramunda bus stand.
She refuted the allegations that Sabyasachi’s supporters were behind the incident. She clearly said that her husband was never the cadre belonging to the banned CPI(Maoist), which has allegedly put up the poster on wall under flyover at Baramunda.
“Since my husband is facing trial and legal process in a series of cases, it is baseless to say that any of his supporters will do such thing to release him from jail,” Mili Panda said.

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3 sisters found with decomposed body of woman

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Bankura (WB), Mar 2 2018

The decomposed body of a 60-year-old woman was recovered from a house here where her three sisters, all mentally unstable, were also living, police said today.

The police got the information over phone about

the incident yesterday and recovered the body of Archana Pal from her house at Pratap Bagan area here in the district.

Superintendent of Police Sukhendu Heera said possibly she died on Wednesday.

The body was sent for post-mortem examination.

Her three sisters — all mentally unstable and physically ill — were taken to hospital, he said.

One of them was admitted to the hospital while others were released, the officer said.

They four were the only occupants of the house and their parents had died earlier.

PTI

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MoS Defence says situation at LAC sensitive, cautions against increased ISIS threat

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New Delhi | March 1 2018

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Thursday said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was “sensitive” and has the potential of escalation.

“The situation along LAC (with China) is sensitive. Incidents of patrolling, transgression and standoff have the potential of escalation,” Bhamre said while speaking at the annual army seminar here.

He also said religious fundamentalism was rising and Pakistan was acting as a conduit of eastward spread of Islamic State (IS) ideology.

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