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SOURCE: AFI

Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a 34-year-old man who gained notoriety as a social media propagandist for the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday, January 18th, 2024. A special court in Bengaluru convicted Biswas on charges of terrorism and waging war against an Asiatic ally.

Biswas was arrested in 2014 after an investigation by the UK’s Channel 4 revealed his involvement with the @shamiwitness Twitter handle. This account was used to promote ISIS and facilitate recruitment of British citizens to join the group in Syria.

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SOURCE: ANI

Iran’s Ambassador to India Iraj Elahi, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday discussed the development of cooperation between India, Iran.

“H.E. Iraj Elahi ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New Delhi, met with H.E. Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways of India and discussed the development of cooperation between two countries,” as per the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi’s official handle on ‘X’.

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SOURCE: PIB

Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane co-chaired the 12th Joint Military Cooperation Committee (JMCC) meeting with Secretary General, Ministry of Defence, Oman Dr. Mohammed Bin Naseer Bin Ali Al Zaabi in Muscat on 31 Jan 2024.

During the meeting, both sides reviewed and appreciated the robust defence cooperation between India and Oman. The JMCC meeting delved into many new areas of cooperation in the fields of training, Joint exercise, Information sharing, Oceanography, Ship Building & MRO, that would build mutual trust and interoperability between militaries of both nations. Further, they also exchanged views on regional and global issues of shared interest. Both sides discussed effective and practical initiatives to further boost bilateral Defence engagements with focus on defence industries collaboration.

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SOURCE: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the Narendra Modi government has rebuilt Jammu and Kashmir, ending an era of terrorism and violence and giving wings to development by rolling out massive infrastructure and welfare schemes.

In a series of posts on X in both English and Hindi, accompanied by the #PragatisheelJammuKashmir hashtag, Amit Shah also said Prime Minister Modi transformed Jammu and Kashmir by awakening a new hope among youngsters.

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SOURCE: PTI

A CoBRA commando who was injured in Tuesday’s attack by Naxalites on security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region said his morale has not been affected, and he will soon return to the jungles to carry on the fight.

Three personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) including two belonging to its specialized jungle warfare unit CoBRA were killed and fifteen injured in the fierce gunbattle near Tekalgudem village in Sukma district.

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SOURCE: AFI

A diplomatic dispute has been reignited between India and Pakistan, fueled by China’s recent backing of Pakistan’s allegations against India. The crux of the issue lies in Pakistan’s claim of “evidence” linking Indian agents to the killing of two Pakistani nationals and terrorists, a claim India vehemently denies. China, wading into the volatile situation, has declared these allegations “worth attention,” furthering regional tensions.

Earlier this month, Pakistan publicly accused India of orchestrating the killings of two individuals identified as Muhammad Riaz and Shahid Latif. Pakistani Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi declared to have “credible evidence” of Indian involvement, claiming links to “Indian agents.” India swiftly and categorically refuted these accusations, calling them “false and malicious anti-India propaganda.”

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SOURCE: TASS

India is still interested in defense cooperation with Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko told TASS in comments on a Reuters report that alleged New Delhi wants to distance itself from Moscow in this area.

“We have no such information. This is all on Reuters’ conscience. Our Indian partners, as before, are interested in cooperation, including in this area,” the diplomat said. Earlier, a source in New Delhi’s defense circles told TASS that Western countries are now struggling to establish military-technical cooperation with India, while Moscow and New Delhi have had strong ties in the area for a long time and are taking them to the next level.

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SOURCE: TASS

Western countries are making efforts to establish military-technical cooperation with India, which has been in place between Moscow and New Delhi since long, and which they are now raising to a new level, a source from the Indian defense circles told TASS.

According to the source, Russia-India ties on the track of military-technical cooperation are “truly unique and time-tested.” “Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation was being established under the Make in India rules even before this program was widely publicized. Almost 1,000 T-90 tanks and 300 Su-30MKI airplanes have been produced in India,” he reiterated.

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SOURCE: TASS

Rosatom plans to carry out physical launches at the nuclear power plants in Bangladesh and India in 2024, Director General Alexey Likhachev said.

“This year we are planning two physical launches abroad, which are the Rooppur NPP in Bangladesh and Unit 3 at Kudankulam in India. We are approaching the physical startup in Turkey as well, as the commissioning work will definitely end there,” he said on the Rossiya-24 news channel.

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SOURCE: AFI

In the northeastern Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram, a community of approximately 5,000 people, including individuals like Khiangte and Haokip, identify themselves as descendants of the Manasseh, one of the biblical lost tribes of Israel. Known as the Bnei Menashe, meaning the children of Manasseh, these individuals believe their lineage traces back to the exiled Manasseh tribe, sent into exile by Assyrian conquerors in 722 BC.

Led by Thansima Thawmte, the chairman of the Bnei Menashe Council (BMC) in Mizoram, the community fervently awaits what they call “aliyah,” the return to their ancestral homeland in Israel. Thawmte expressed the collective sentiment of his community, stating, “We are desperately waiting to reunite with the land of our ancestors. It all depends on Israel, when they allow us to enter their land, and we can only pray that it happens soon.”

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SOURCE: AFI

n the midst of a diplomatic spat with India triggered by derogatory comments from certain Maldivian lawmakers directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maldivian envoy Ibrahim Shaheeb reassured that bilateral relations between Male and New Delhi remain positive.

The affirmation from Ibrahim Shaheeb comes in the wake of escalating tensions following remarks made by some Maldivian MPs against PM Modi. Earlier this month, Shaheeb was summoned by the Indian External Affairs Ministry against the backdrop of objections raised over derogatory statements made by Maldivian ministers subsequent to PM Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep.

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SOURCE: REUTERS

India’s exports of low-sulphur diesel to Europe are poised to hit a fresh two-year low in January, after an unprecedented high last month, as Red Sea security risks drive up freight costs, trade sources and analysts say.

Volumes have so far declined by roughly 80% month-on-month to 33,400-58,000 barrels per day (bpd), Kpler, LSEG and Vortexa shiptracking data showed. Persistently high freight costs would be likely to prompt sellers of India-origin cargoes to look to Asia for buyers soon, which would tighten supplies into Europe even further ahead of refinery maintenance season, traders and analysts say.

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SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

The world is on the cusp of what’s likely to be the last big refining boom as India embarks on a capacity expansion to accommodate the country’s rising thirst for fossil fuels. 

The South Asian nation has set in motion a building blitz at its oil refineries to raise production of traditional transport fuels such as gasoline and diesel, which could lift capacity by more than 20 per cent over the next five years. Rystad Energy puts the cost of additions at around $60 billion.

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SOURCE: PTI

Be it terrorism or expansionism, the Indian security forces are giving a befitting response, President Droupadi Murmu said here on Wednesday, while asserting that the Modi government’s efforts to strengthen internal security are visible to everyone.

Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of Budget session, Murmu also said there is a sense of security in Jammu and Kashmir and there has been a significant reduction in the incidents of separatism in the Northeast.

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SOURCE: ANI

While hardcore Naxalites are known to receive extensive training in guerilla warfare upon indoctrination, security forces have uncovered new evidence that seems to suggest that the outlaws have also been using a tactical ploy to evade detection and capture that Palestinian terror group Hamas has been known to employ in its enduring conflict with Israel. During a search operation that followed the latest ambush attack by the Naxalites in their stronghold Sukma on Tuesday, the security forces uncovered a tunnel that the ultras use as a bunker to lie low.

According to sources, the tunnel may also have been used by the Naxalites to lay a trap for the forces. The security personnel carried out an inspection of the underground tunnel, which was uncovered in Dantewada, a known Naxalite hotbed, officials informed.

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