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Indian Supreme Court releases convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

Perarivalan was convicted for supplying batteries used in a bomb that killed Gandhi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991

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Indian Supreme Court releases convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case
GNN Media: Representational Photo

India's top court on Wednesday ordered the release of a man jailed over the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, more than 30 years after he was first arrested.

A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao invoked extraordinary powers to grant relief to A.G. Perarivalan, 50, who was already granted parole in March.

Perarivalan was convicted for supplying batteries used in a bomb that killed Gandhi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991.

The bombing was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lankan armed separatist group.

Gandhi's killing by a suicide bomber was seen as retaliation for a 1987 Indian government pact with Sri Lanka to disarm the Tamil guerrillas.

India later withdrew troops deployed to the island country after losing 1,200 of them at the hands of the rebels.

Perarivalan, who was arrested in 1991 and was 19 at the time of the assassination, was first sentenced to death, but later had his punishment commuted to a life sentence.

His case was mired in legal wranglings since he filed a mercy petition in 2015 between the state and the central government.

Tamil Nadu's governor passed the decision on the plea to India's president, but the Supreme Court ruled that this did not have “constitutional value” and invoked special powers to order Perarivalan's release.

Six others are still in jail serving life sentences in the case.

Rajiv Gandhi became India's youngest-ever leader after his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated in October 1984. He ruled until losing an election five years later.

 

 

 

Pakistan

Rigging, incidents of violence disrupts Sindh LG polls

Video of public rigging in Sindh local body elections went viral

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Rigging, incidents of violence disrupts Sindh LG polls

Sukkar: Incidents of rigging and violence are being reported during the Polling for the first phase of Local Government elections in fourteen districts of Sindh.

Polling for the first phase of local government elections in Sindh is underway which started at 8am and will continue till 5pm without any break in 14 districts of the province including Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad, Larkana, Mirpur Khas, Umarkot, Tharparkar, Sanghar, Naushehro Feroze, Kanbar-ShahdadKot, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kahmor, Ghoki and Khairpur.

However, as soon as the balloting started, reports of rigging as well as violence poured in.

A video of rigging during polls goes viral on socila media showing that more than one voter are stamping on their votes publically on the Returning Officer's table.

On the other hand, violence in Sukkur, Kandhkot, Nawabshah, Ghotki and Mirpur Mathelo left dozens of people injured. At least one polling station in Kandhkot was attacked by dacoits.

Polling in Municipal Committee Ward 13 was suspended after a conflict resulted in the death of one person in Tando Adam.

The polling station was immediately shut down after the incident.

In Kandhkot, at least 20 people were reportedly injured as a fight broke out between the workers of rival political parties in ward 10 during the local bodies polls in Kandhkot on Sunday.

A large contingent of police and rangers rushed to the scene to restore the law and order.

A scuffle between PPP and JUI candidates also broke out in Sukkur that left two people injured including JUI general councilor candidate Ghulam Mustafa.

The incident was reported in Fareed Mehr polling station in Pano Aqil.

JUI candidate has alleged that the attack was ‘unprovoked’.

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Afghan health official warns of disease outbreak among earthquake survivors

"The people are extremely needy for food and clean water"

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Afghan health official warns of disease outbreak among earthquake survivors

Kabul: Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease, an Afghan health ministry official said on Sunday, days after a U.N. agency warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

At least 1,000 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in Wednesday s earthquake, after which the U.N. humanitarian office (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern. 

"The people are extremely needy for food and clean water," Afghanistan s health ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told Reuters, adding officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

"We ask the international community, humanitarian organisations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living," he said.

The disaster is a major test for Afghanistan s hardline Taliban rulers, who have been shunned by many foreign governments due to concerns about human rights since they seized control of the country last year.

Helping thousands of Afghans is also a challenge for countries that had imposed sanctions on Afghan government bodies and banks, cutting off direct assistance, leading to a humanitarian crisis even before the earthquake.

The United Nations and several other countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days.

Afghanistan s Taliban administration called for a rolling back of sanctions and lifting a freeze on billions of dollars in central bank assets stashed in Western financial institutions. read more

In Kabul, hospitals more used to treating victims of war have opened their wards to earthquake victims, but a majority of people remain in the areas destroyed by the earthquake.

"Our houses were destroyed, we have no tent... there are lots of children with us. We have nothing. Our food and clothes...everything is under rubble," Hazrat Ali, 18, told a Reuters team in Wor Kali, a village of the hardest-hit Barmal district.

"I have lost my brothers, my heart is broken. Now we are just two. I loved them a lot," he said.

SOURCE: Reuters

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World Drug Day being observed today

This year's theme was to curb the spread of misinformation on the topic and to encourage the exchange of facts related to drugs.

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World Drug Day being observed today

Islamabad: The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or World Drug Day was marked on June 26 every year around the globe with an aim to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving the goal of a world free of drug abuse.

As in other parts of the globe like every year, World Drug Day would also be marked in Pakistan on Sunday to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.

This day was supported by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world. The aim of celebrating World Drug Day was to highlight the harmful effects of drugs.

The focus this year was to curb the spread of misinformation on the topic and to encourage the exchange of facts related to drugs.

Drug trafficking was a growing crime in Pakistan and police and the Ministry of Narcotics and anti-narcotics forces were cracking down on it on a daily basis.

Various events like motor car and bike rallies, drug awareness stage dramas and drug awareness walks, banners, steamers, panaflexes at Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Addas, Roads, Chowks, Traffic Signals and other important public places were being held all over the country, to mark the day.

He said in addition to these awareness activities, ANF also arranged display of banners, steamers, panaflexes at Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Addas, Roads, Chowks, Traffic Signals and other important public places.

Further, Awareness Video messages have also been played on LEDs installed at Airports, Railway Stations, important chowks, Bus Addas, Shopping Malls and other prominent places throughout the country.

Similarly, the Ministry of Narcotics Control and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Pakistan has also organized walk and cycling rally to commemorate the World Drug Day on Sunday here at Gulshan e Fatima Park, Margalla Road.

The event would be attended by Dr Jeremy Milsom Country Representative UNODC and DG Anti Narcotics Force (ANF).

The event would be attended by counterparts, senior government officials, the international community, students from schools, colleges, civil society and the general public.

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