Why Lakshasweep is turning into a drug and arms smuggling hotspot?

Newsroom24x7 Network

An exclusive report by Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS, (Rtd) published by Chanakya Forum titled “Drugs and Guns Invade Lakshadweep” points to the fact that China now has a controlling stake in the Hambantota Port Project, and the Colombo Port City special economic zone (SEZ).  According to Dr. Menon, the “threatening new Chinese presence” is barely 290 km from the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula – Kanya Kumari, and we hear the news of this massive drugs and guns trafficking into Lakshadweep.

Dr Menon has raised the alarm by underscoring that in this backdrop, the Government of India and the Union Ministry of Defence should sit straight and stay fully alert about the potential threat to India’s security – especially after the Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft intercepted a Sri Lankan vessel Akarsha Duwa with six crew off Minicoy Island on March 5, 2021. Upon questioning, the crew confessed to carrying 200 kg high grade Heroin and 60 kg of Hashish, which was jettisoned in the sea on sighting the Coast Guard ships.

The report goes on to add: “On March 18th 2021, the Coast Guard, had intercepted three vessels on suspicion, and after rummaging, recovered drugs and guns from one of the vessels. The value of the drugs has been estimated at Rs.3000 crores.  Five AK 47 rifles with 1000 live rounds were also seized”.

Further, the report published by Chanakya Forum focuses attention on the interception by the Indian Coast Guard in November 2020 of a Sri Lankan boat and recovery of narcotic drugs and guns worth about Rs.1000/ crores, near Tuticorin. 99 packets of Heroin, 20 boxes of synthetic drugs, a Thuraya set and five 9mm pistols were recovered.

Click here to read the full report by Dr G Shreekumar Menon


Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS, (Rtd) PhD (Narcotics) is Former Director General, National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School Of Economic Intelligence India, Fellow, James Martin Center For Non Proliferation Studies, USA. Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA , Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A., AOTS Scholar, Japan.

Boxing: Pooja Rani wins gold, three other Indian women pugilists lose their final bouts

Harpal  Singh Bedi

Pooja Rani, the champ

New Delhi:  Pooja Rani  was the lone Indian woman pugilist to win the gold as she outpunched  in-form Mavluda Movlonova to retain the  title while her three other  compatriots lost their final bouts at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships  in Dubai..

Seasoned campaigner Mary Kom (51kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) and Anupama (+81kg) claimed silver medals after suffering narrow defeats in their respective finals late last night.
Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (54kg), Monika (48kg) and Saweety (81kg) are among the Indian women pugilists who secured bronze with semi-final finish.

The Olympics-bound  Pooja Rani (75kg) displayed  sharpness and tactical brilliance and put pressure on the opponent with timely punches. 

The Indian kept up  her relentless attack and left no chance for Uzbek boxer , to fight back before  emerging  a  5-0 winner to claim  her second successive gold medal at the Asian Championships.

It is also Pooja’s fourth medal at the championships after gold in 2019, silver in 2012 and a bronze in 2015.

Mary Kom gets Silver

Earlier Mary Kom, Lalbuatsaihi finished their campaigns with silver medals after going down fighting in their respective semi-finals. 

Mary Kom lost to the two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay by split 2-3, Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) also gave her all in another close-fought gold medal but couldn’t manage to get past Milana Safronova of Kazakhstan and suffered a 2-3 defeat to win silver medal in her maiden outing at the Championships.

In the 51kg high-voltage summit clash,  Mary Kom and her Kazakh opponent started the bout with aggressive mindset and soon exchanged powerful blows attempting to unsettle each other. 

The five-time Asian Championships gold medallist Mary Kom used all her experience against Kayzaibay and made her work hard but it wasn’t enough as the later tilted the hard-fought game successfully in her favour and emerged champion with a narrow 29-28, 28-29, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29 scoreline. 

It is the second silver for Mary Kom at the Asian Championships who has previously won titles on five occasion—2003, 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2017 besides silver in 2008.

Later, another  Anupama (+81) lost to Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan 2-3 in yet another nail-biting final.

The defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg) and two other pugilists Shiva Thapa (64kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) will be seen in action  in the men’s finals. 

Panghal will be up against the Rio Olympics and world champion Uzbek pugilist Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan. While Assam boxer Thapa will be challenged by the Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig. Second seeded Sanjeet will also have a strong challenge of the Rio Olympics silver medallist Vassiliy Levit, who is chasing his fourth gold medal of the Asian Championships.

Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) secured bronze medals in the men’s section with their semi-final finish at the event which witnessed the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for this Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively.
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Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the land of Israel

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Newsroom24x7 Editor-in-Chief Lalit Shastri has spoken at length in a video produced by Newsroom24x7 on the land of Israel, its history over the last three millennia, how the Canaanites and the Jews – the orginal inhabitants of this territory became victims of invading armies – the Romans, to the Mamluks and the religious crusade, to Muslim rule, and centuries of Islamisation till the arrival of Britsh and the transfer of the mandate territory by the British to Israel in 1948. After this it’s a sordid story of Arab Israel war, followed by treaties and accords for peace and efforts to find a solution to the Palestine issue. While the Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia have worked for a lasting peace in the recent years, the Iran angle and more particularly Iran’s help to Hamas, which is a terrorist outfit deeply entrenched in Gaza, has only aggravated the crisis leading to the May 2021 conflict marked by Hamas using citizens as human shields to fire thousands of rockets targetting Israeli citizens. Of course East Jerusalem, the old city and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, that include the Temple Mount, the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock ,the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, remain a bone of contention. While the Palestinians want possession of Jerusalem, Israelis will never let that happen. Moreover all talk of peace, the present ceasefire notwithstanding, will remain a mirage till Hamas sticks to its proclaimed position that it’s goal is to drive out the Israelis even from Israel.

The latest conflict is being traced to what the Palestinians are terming as Police brutality against the Palestinian residents in East Jerusalam.

Addressing the special session of UN Human Rights Council last week, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said: Two main issues had led to the rise in tensions: the imminent evictions of Palestinian families and their forced displacement in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for settlers, and the Israeli Security Forces’ deployment at the Al Aqsa compound, restricting access to thousands of worshippers during the last days of Ramadan, using force against peaceful protesters and worshippers inside Al Aqsa Mosque.

The UN High commissioner turned a blind eye to an act of terror and refusing to call Hamas a terrorist organisation said: As a result, Hamas and other armed groups had launched a heavy rocket barrage towards Israel, indiscriminately failing to distinguish between military and civilian objects.

During Ramzan, Palestinians clashed every night with the Israeli police who put up barriers to stop evening gatherings at the walled Old City’s Damascus Gate after iftar. Palestinians saw the barriers as a restriction on their freedom to assemble.

Tempers were raging as several Palestinian families that had settled in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood near Damascus Gate feared eviction amid talks that this area would be given to Israeli settlers, some of whom had already moved in when a lower court had ruled that the land in question belonged to Jews in East Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem’s Old City is the hill called Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism. Now two Muslim holy places are there – the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque

Boxing: Mary Kom, Panghal and five other Indians to fight for gold at Asian Championships

Harpal Singh Bedi

Mary Kom

New Delhi: Campaigner Mary Kom, defending champion Amit Panghal and five other  Indian pugilists will be seen in action in the finals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai. 

Mary Kom alongside Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg) will  fight in their respective final bouts on Sunday.

Panghal, Shiva Thapa (64kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) will be seen in action on Monday.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for this Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively.

Aiming for the sixth gold medal in just seven appearances, the veteran Mary Kom will face a stiff challenge from the two-time world champion Kazakh boxer Nazym Kyzaibay in the 51kg final. 

Another Olympic-bound Pooja Rani, who received a walk-over in the semi-finals, will  clash with in-form Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan, who ended the challenge of London Olympics medallist Marina Volnova in the last-4 stage. 

Lalbuatsaihi and Anupama will also face strong Kazakh  rivals in  their respective finals.  
In the men’s section, Panghal  will be up against the Rio Olympics and world champion Uzbek pugilist Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday. 

Assam boxer Thapa,  will be challenged by the Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig. Second seeded Sanjeet will  take on  the Rio Olympics silver medallist Vassiliy Levit, who is chasing his fourth gold medal of the Asian Championships.

Eight Indian pugilists Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) secured bronze medals with their semi-final finish.
HSB