FREE PRESS The publishers permit sharing of the e-paper's pdf on WhatsApp and other social media platforms VOL. 13 NO. 99 | BHOPAL | FRIDAY | SEPTEMBER 22, 2023 | PAGES 14 - `3 r Regd. No. Indore MP/ICD 216/2021-2023; DOWNSIZE DIPLOMATIC PRESENCE, CANADA TOLD GOLDEN MOMENT IN INDIA'S PARLIAMENTARY JOURNEY: PM Pg-7 EDITIONS: INDORE, BHOPAL, UJJAIN, MUMBAI, PUNE EDIT AGENCIES New Delhi The government today said it had asked Canada to downsize its diplomatic presence in India and cited the "interference of Canadian diplomats in Indian affairs", as the diplomatic row over the killing of a Khalistani terrorist escalated sharply . This was hours after India suspended visa services in Canada, potentially impacting thousands seeking to travel to India. "The Canadian diplomatic presence in India is larger than what India has and accordingly needs to be downsized," foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters. "We have informed the Canadian government that there should be parity in diplomatic presence. Their numbers are very much higher than ours in Canada... I assume there will be a reduction," he said. The spokesperson added that "Canadian diplomatic interference in our internal affairs is a factor". On India suspending visa applications in Canada, the foreign ministry cited "security threats" that were "disrupting" the work of their officials. Mission personnel were unable to carry Politically condoned hate crimes India, in one of its strongest ‘UNABLE TO PROCESS VISAS OF CANADIANS’ India is "temporarily unable to process visa applications" from Canada because of "security threats faced by our High Commissions and Consulates" in that country, the government said Thursday afternoon, as hostilities escalate over accusations that "agents of New Delhi" killed a Khalistani terrorist and Canadian national - Hardeep Singh Nijjar - on Canadian soil. The Foreign Ministry statement comes hours after BLS International - a private agency hired for initial scrutiny of visa requests cited "operational reasons" to suspend services till further notice. The Indian government has also suspended issue of electronic visas, MEA spokesperson added, stressing that the issue is about "discrimination in how visas are granted by the Canadian side". "We will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis, he said." statements about the Canada govt, spoke of "politically condoned hate crimes" on Thursday. "There is a feeling that these are part of freedom of expression, so these are condoned... there is a concern and we have flagged it," said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. The pointed statement was a reference to Trudeau, who, during his visit to India for the G20, had said that Canada will always defend freedom of expression... conscience and peaceful protest. It will also prevent violence & push back against hatred. The diplomatic row broke out following Canada's allegation that Indian govt agents are involved in the murder of Nijjar. India has refuted the allegations. TRUDEAU AVOIDS INDIAN MEDIA On two occasions, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused questions about India rejecting his allegations relating to 'Khalistan' terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar's killing. He was in the United Nations Headquarters to attend the high-level 78th session of the UN General Assembly out visa functions because of the security environment that they were facing, said the spokesperson. Canada's High Commission had earlier said it would "adjust" diplomat numbers in India after "threats on various social media" against their staff. "In light of the current environment where tensions have heightened, we are taking action to ensure the safe- ty of our diplomats. As a result, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily adjust staff presence in India," it had said in a statement. CONTD. ON P6 NIA seeks info about 10 accused in attack on Indian consulate in San Francisco AGENCIES NEW DELHI The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released pictures of 10 accused involved in attacking the Indian consulate in the USA's San Francisco in March and has sought information about them from the public. In the three separate 'request for identification and information' notices issued against the wanted accused, the agency has sought information of importance that could lead to their arrest or apprehension. While two of the notices carry photographs of two accused each, the third notice shows pictures of the other six accused in the case. The agency has promised not to reveal the identity of anyone sharing information about the accused. According to the NIA, the case was registered following an attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco during the intervening night of March 18 and 19 when some pro-Khalistani entities allegedly trespassed into the consulate and tried to burn it down. The same day, Khalistani supporters, raising slogans, had broken through the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and put up two so-called Khalistani flags on the consulate premises, damaged the building and assaulted and injured the officials, the anti-terror federal agency said. CONTD. ON P6 WOMEN’S BILL GETS RS NOD 33% QUOTA BILL passed with majority vote by House. 215 in favour, none in opposition NEW DELHI News Brief Murdoch steps down as head of News Corp, Fox NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old Australian media magnate whose creation of Fox News made him a force in American politics, is stepping down as leader of both Fox's parent company and his News Corp media holdings. Govt unveils Rashtriya Vigyan Puraskar NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday unveiled a new set of national awards in science, technology and innovation, called 'Rashtriya Vigyan Puraskar', and scrapped nearly 300 awards by various science departments. Pak polls in last week of Jan 2024 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's election commission on Thursday announced that the general elections in the country will take place in the last week of Jan 2024, amid pressure from parties for timely elections in the country. In a statement, the poll body said it reviewed work on delimiting constituencies and initial list for the delimitation of constituencies would be published on Sept 27. The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the historic Bill that will reserve one-third of seats for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, following thorough debate among MPs across party lines. The Bill was passed with majority voting by all the members of the House: 215 votes in favour and no one against it. Concluding the discussion on the Bill — the Constitution (One Hundred and TwentyEighth Amendment) Bill, Linking of Aadhaar with electoral rolls not mandatory: EC OUR BUREAU NEW DELHI: The writ petition filed under Article 32 alleged that EC has been insisting its officials to collect Aadhaar numbers of voters and the state officers are forcing the village, and booth level officials to collect Aadhaar number from the voters. The EC has told the Supreme Court that linking Aadhaar numbers with electoral rolls is not mandatory under the Registration of Electors Rules 2022. CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra recently apprised by the poll body that over 66 crores Aadhaar numbers have already been uploaded in the process of finalising electoral rolls. CONTD. ON P6 Presiding Officer Jaya Bachchan listens to Congress MP Rajani Ashokrao Patil in the Rajya Sabha during the Special Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday 2023 — Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “This bill will lead to a new confi- dence in the people of the country It also shows the . positive thinking of all the NGT recalls Rs 5 lakh fine imposed on state government FINDS ALL depts in line for protection of water bodies OUR STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday recalled a fine of Rs 5 lakh imposed on the state government in an order on August 18 for not working for protection of Kaliasot and Kerwa water bodies. The state government had submitted its report on Wednesday . NGT, after state government's report, found that all concerning departments under supervision of the chief secretary are doing the needful for protection of state land and water bodies. The NGT order further said, 'In compliance of the order action taken report has been filed by the state on behalf of the chief secretary . The chief secretary in compliance of the order constituted a high-level committee which submitted that in compliance of the order an enquiry was conducted and action has been taken against defaulting officers. The members of the committee visited the site and submitted the report. The NGT order further observed, 'The state is endavouring all efforts to remove encroachment from state land and to protect it. It is submitted that in the rural areas there are lack of infrastructure and STP is not available there. CONTD. ON P6 political parties which will give new energy to women’s empowerment.” A day earlier, clearing the decks for the landmark legislation, the Lok Sabha Wednesday had passed the women’s reservation Bill with near unanimity: 454 votes in favour and two from the AIMIM against it. Wrapping up a discussion on the Bill, Union Home Minister Shah had assured the Lower House of a “transparent process” to identify seats to be reserved for women. Ramaswamy takes lead over DeSantis WASHINGTON: IndianAmerican entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has overtaken Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to occupy the second slot in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, according to the latest poll. He is a whisker ahead of another Indian-American and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley . However, former president Donald Trump still maintains a big lead ahead of Ramaswamy and others according to a CNN/University of New Hampshire poll. DeSantis, once considered a chief rival of Trump, is in fourth place behind former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. The Trump campaign cheered the poll results saying that "Ron DeSantis has plummeted to the fifth place in the Granite State". CONTD. ON P6 Swati Nayak named winner of Borlaug Award WASHINGTON: Dr Swati Nayak, an Indian scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), has been named the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Norman E Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, with the World Food Prize Foundation describing her as an "outstanding young scientist." Nayak is the South Asia Lead for Seed System and Product Management at the IRRI in New Delhi. Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, the award recognises Nayak for her innovative approach to engaging smallholder farmers in demanddriven rice seed systems, from testing and deployment to equitable access and adoption of climate-resilient and nutritious rice varieties, a release from the World Food Prize Foundation said in a tweet on platform X on Wednesday . The award is given to exceptional scientists under 40 and someone who works in the field of food and nutrition security, hunger eradication in memory of the Nobel awardee and Green Revolution's chief architect Dr Norman QUALITY AT VALUE 22.60c. 22.00c Sunrise : 06.14 Sunset : 06.27 FPJ: www.freepressjournal.in for 24x7 updates FOOD, FUN & FROLIC Pg-14 BILL RAISES QUESTIONS, NOT ANSWERS GOVT CITES interference by Ottawa in Indian affairs r RNI No. mpeng/2010/35815 WEATHER FP Borlaug. Based in Delhi, the scientist from Odisha, Nayak will formally receive the Borlaug Field Award during a ceremony at the 2023 Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue October 24-26 in Des Moines, Iowa (US), the release said. "This moment is a new beginning and a great opportunity to further strengthen my efforts, voice and impact as a field scientist," said Nayak. CONTD. ON P6 Shivraj unveils 108-ft statue of 'Adi Shankaracharya' FP NEWS SERVICE Sanawad/ Omkareshwar Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday unveiled a colossal 108foot statue of the 8th Century Hindu philosopher and saint Adi Shankaracharya in the presence of saints and religious gurus in Omkareshwar. The multi-metal 'Ekatmata ki Pratima' (Statue of Oneness) of Adi Shankaracharya, who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, marks the initiation of the first phase of ambitious Ekatma Dham project. The project includes development of Advaita Lok museum, showcasing the life and philosophy of Acharya Shankar (Adi Shankaracharya) through exhibits reflecting the message of Advaita Vedanta. This will be completed by 2026. The Acharya Shankar International Institute of Advaita Vedanta, which will serve as coordination, research and resource centre for the study and promotion of Advaita Vedanta is also envisioned as part of the multi-phase project. The multi-metal gigantic statue portraying Adi Shankaracharya as 12year-old boy, the age at which his Guru Govindapada at Omkareshwar, deemed that Shankara was ready to write commentaries on major spiritual texts. "My repeated salutations at the feet of Adi Guru Shankaracharya ji and heartfelt thanks to all of you for attending this grand event. Salute at the feet of Jagadguru. Offering darshan of Advaita Vedanta, the 108-feet-tall grand statue of Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya ji, filled with auspiciousness, auspiciousness and auspi- ciousness," CM Chouhan said. Before unveiling the 'Statue of Oneness', Vedic prayers were performed on Mandhata Mountain under the guidance of Prasthanatray Bhashya Parayan and Dakshinamnaya Shringeri Sharda Peeth by around 300 renowned 'Vedic Archaks' of the country .