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PM Modi landed in Chennai, High security at Mamallapuram ahead of summit

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On Friday Chinese President Xi Jinping will land in Chennai afternoon to take part in an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu. This will be the second informal summit between PM Modi and President Xi. The first meeting was in Wuhan, China, in 2018, months after a 73-day-long face-off between the armies of the two countries in the Doklam tri-junction in Sikkim.

The timing of this meeting is significant as it comes against the backdrop of a heated exchange of words between the two sides over the Kashmir issue following India’s decision to revoke the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. In the past two months, China on multiple occasions has sided with Pakistan as it tried to internationalize the Kashmir issues by raising its various multi-lateral forums, including the United Nations General Assembly.

A joint statement issued after talks between President Xi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said China is paying “close attention” to the situation in the Kashmir and that it should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter.

In its reaction, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India’s consistent and clear position has been that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country and China is well aware of New Delhi’s position.

Though the informal summit is aimed at the exchange of ideas between the two leaders without any formal pre-determined agenda, it is expected that PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping will agree on new security measures along the Line of Actual Control.

President Xi will be accompanied by top diplomat Wang Yi, while PM Modi’s team includes External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

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2 Naxals killed in an encounter with police in Dantewada

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Two Naxals were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Tuesday, police said.

The skirmish took place in a forest near Munga village around 11.30 am when a team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on a counter-insurgency operation, a senior police

When the patrolling team was advancing through the forest of Munga, located around 400 km from here, and the gun-battle broke out between two sides, a senior official added.

After the exchange of fire stopped, bodies of two ultras were recovered from the spot, the official said.

Some firearms and explosives were also recovered, and a search operation was underway in the area, the official said.

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Controversial Gujarat anti-terror law gets President assent on 4th attempt

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President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, a controversial anti-terror legislation passed by the BJP-ruled state in March 2015.

One of the key features of the new Act is intercepted telephonic conversations, which would now be considered as legitimate evidence.

The announcement on the Presidential assent was made by Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on Tuesday.

The bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, had failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state.

In 2015, the Gujarat government re-introduced the bill by renaming it as the GCTOC but retained the controversial provisions like empowering the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence.

Jadeja said the provisions of the bill will prove crucial in dealing with terrorism and organised crimes such as contract killing, ponzi schemes, narcotics trade and extortion rackets.

“The dream of PM Modi was finally fulfilled today,” he said.

“One of the key features of this bill is that the intercepted telephonic conversations would now be considered as a legitimate evidence. This bill also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors. We can now attach properties acquired through organised crimes. We can also cancel the transfer of properties..,” said Jadeja.

Other provisions of the act include the admissibility of confession made before a police officer as evidence.

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Killed ISIS Chief Baghdadi’s sister captured by Turkish forces in Syria

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Turkey captured the sister of dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Monday in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, a senior Turkish official told Reuters and is interrogating her husband and daughter-in-law who were also detained.

Rasmiya Awad, 65, was detained in a raid near Azaz, the official said, referring to a Turkish-controlled Syrian town near the border. When captured, she was also accompanied by five children.

“We hope to gather a trove of intelligence from Baghdadi’s sister on the inner workings of ISIS,” the official said.

Little independent information is available on Baghdadi’s sister and Reuters was not immediately able to verify if the captured individual was her.

Baghdadi killed himself last month when cornered in a tunnel during a raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria. ISIS, in an audiotape posted online on Thursday, confirmed that its leader had died and vowed revenge against the United States.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said the woman’s capture was evidence of Turkey’s determination to fight against ISIS.

“The arrest of al-Baghdadi’s sister is yet another example of the success of our counter-terrorism operations,” Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter early on Tuesday.

“Much dark propaganda against Turkey has been circulating to raise doubts about our resolve against Daesh,” he wrote, using another name for ISIS.

“Our strong counter-terrorism cooperation with like-minded partners can never be questioned.”

Baghdadi had risen from obscurity to lead ISIS and declare himself “caliph” of all Muslims, holding sway over huge areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014-2017 before ISIS’s control was wrested away by U.S.-led coalition forces including Iraqis and Syrian Kurds.

ISIS said a successor to Baghdadi identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi had been chosen. A senior U.S. official last week said Washington was looking at the new leader to determine where he came from.

World leaders welcomed his death, but they and security experts warned that ISIS, which carried out atrocities against religious minorities and horrified most Muslims, remained a security threat in Syria and beyond.

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