5 Most Populous Cities in India

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Most Populous Cities in India

With a population of 1.34 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world. Statistically, one in six people on Earth is from India. There are 46 cities with over 1 million people, compared to just 10 cities within the United States. And these are the five most populous of them all. Population numbers are 2019 estimates according to World Population Review.

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5. Chennai

Photo of a colorful Indian temple covered in statues
Credit: Jayakumar / Shutterstock

Population: 10.7 million

Chennai is a coastal city on the Bay of Bengal. It is well known for its artistic, religious, and culinary traditions. With such a long and rich history, Chennai is a popular travel destination for tourists and is one of the most visited cities in the world.

The city is also famous for its healthcare services and boasts of its medical tourism industry. People flock from across the world to get medical care for a fraction of what it would cost in their home country. More than 10.7 million people live in the city of Chennai.

4. Bangalore

Aerial photo of the city of Bangalore, India
Credit: Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock

Population: 11.9 million

Officially called Bengaluru, Bangalore is located in southern India on the Deccan Plateau 3,000 feet above sea level. It is a melting pot of many different cultures and religions. In the city alone, there are over 1,000 Hindu temples, 400 mosques, 100 churches, 40 Jain derasars, two Buddhist viharas, and one Parsi fire temple.

Because of its diversity, Bangalore is one of India’s most progressive cities and offers artsy cafes and modern shopping malls. It has been dubbed the “Silicon Valley of India” because of its numerous new tech startups. There are many parks and lakes scattered throughout the city. As far as Indian cities go, Bangalore is among the easiest to live in — just ask one of the almost 12 million people who call it home.

3. Kolkata

Photo of a busy street in the city of Kolkata
Credit: Mazur Travel / Shutterstock

Population: 14.8 million

Kolkata is located in eastern India on the bank of the Hooghly River. The river empties out into the Bay of Bengal, making Kolkata a hub for manufacturing, transportation, and commerce. The city was originally built in the style of a European city but has since managed to combine East and West to create its own unique identity.

The city was originally named Calcutta, which was the British version of what the locals called it: Kalikata. Kalikata referred to the goddess Kali and was a combination of the three cities that combined to make the metropolis. In 2001, the name Kolkata was officially adopted. The city covers 40 square miles and is home to almost 15 million people.

2. New Delhi

Photo of a busy street in New Delhi
Credit: Steve Photography / Shutterstock

Population: 16.3 million

The city of Delhi is made up of two parts: Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi is a historic city that reaches back into the 6th century and beyond. New Delhi was created under British colonization as the capital of India and the capital of British India. More than 16.3 million people live in New Delhi alone, making it the second most populated city in India.

If you count Delhi as one unified city that includes both New and Old Delhi, the population jumps to nearly 30 million, doubling the population of Kolkata! Because of its massive population, pollution is a major issue for both air and water quality.

1. Mumbai

Photo of the Mumbai city skyline
Credit: Towering Goals / Shutterstock

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India. It is the largest as well as the wealthiest city in the country. The city is home to 37 billionaires, making it the city with the tenth most billionaires in the world. One of the most expensive private residences on Earth is also located in Mumbai. The 27-story, 400,000-square-foot palace is considered second only to Buckingham Palace in terms of cost and size.

While there is immense wealth in Mumbai, that wealth is not spread evenly across the population of almost 20 million people. More than half of the city’s inhabitants live in slums, most without access to clean water or electricity.

Credit: Kriangkrai Thitimakorn / Shutterstock

India: Schools shut in Mumbai after alert of extremely heavy rainfall today

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Schools shut in Mumbai after alert of extremely heavy rainfall today

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted heavy rainfall and has issued a red rain alert for Mumbai and Raigad districts. This indicates a precipitation of more than 204 mm in 24 hours starting Thursday morning.

INDIA Updated: Sep 19, 2019 11:54 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Mumbai
A car stuck in Rain Water under Sanpada Subway during Heavy Rains in Navi Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
A car stuck in Rain Water under Sanpada Subway during Heavy Rains in Navi Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. (Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

Mumbai city and the adjoining areas are likely to witness “extremely heavy rainfall” on Thursday, said an IMD official.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted heavy rainfall and has issued a red rain alert for Mumbai and Raigad districts. This indicates a precipitation of more than 204 mm in 24 hours starting Thursday morning.

However, Mumbai would receive heavy rainfall on Friday, but Raigad will continue to receive extremely heavy showers that day also, the official said.

Education minister Ashish Shelar has announced that all schools and junior colleges in Thane, Konkan and Mumbai region will remain shut as the weather department forecast a red alert in these regions. He also asked district collectors to keep an eye on the developments.

ashish shelar

@ShelarAshish

In view of heavy rainfall forecasts. As a precautionary measure, holiday is declared for all schools & junior colleges in Mumbai, Thane, Konkan region for today 19 Sep 2019. District collectors in other parts of Maharashtra to decide, based on local conditions.

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This monsoon continued to sweep away records after the city reported its wettest September ever on Wednesday, breaking a 65-year-old record. With another 12 days to go till the end of the month, Mumbai has received 984.3mm rain from September 1 to September 18.

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 07:06 IST

India: 5 Experiences You can Only Have in Mumbai

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Experiences You can Only Have in Mumbai

India’s financial powerhouse and largest metropolis moves at an energetic pace, and it’s a city of diverse parallels where the nation’s thriving Bollywood industry coexists with Asia’s largest slums, and India’s premiere culinary scene with rickety street-side food carts. Between Mumbai’s chronic city noise and stifling heat and humidity, the nation’s most dynamic metropolis overwhelms. But conquer these challenges and you’ll discover a series of unique, only-in-Mumbai experiences.

Take a Bollywood Tour

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As India’s largest film industry, Bollywood produces more films than Hollywood annually. Mumbai prides itself as the center of the Hindi cinematic world and is home to Film City, a film studio complex situated on the outskirts of Sanjay Gandhi National Park that witnesses the action of the industry’s biggest blockbusters. Film City’s official tour is operated by Mumbai Film City Tours in conjunction with Mumbai’s tourism department, and visitors are introduced to a collection of indoor studios and the varied aspects of film making on an organized bus tour. With a knowledgeable guide, explore the history and growth of this industry, as well as Bollywood’s impact on Indian pop culture.

Seek Vintage Cab Rides

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Produced under license from Fiat, Mumbai’s classic black and yellow Premier Padminis dominated the streets for decades as cabs, reaching an all time popularity high in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Outlandish patterns often adorned their interiors, made more eccentric by the presence of vibrant velour seat covers, flower garlands and Hindu deity figurines, alluding to the driver’s personality, beliefs and even home neighborhood. But in a bid to modernize the city’s taxi fleet, it was announced in 2013 that all Padminis over the age of 25, which were manufactured in Mumbai between 1973 and 1998, will be forced to retire. Once ubiquitous and an icon of Mumbai’s transportation system, the Premier Padmini is quickly disappearing from its streets.

Explore a Village Within Mumbai

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Distinctive in character, the tiny village of Khotachiwadi is an enclave of charming old style Portuguese homes, styled with teak-wood and elegantly detailed open verandas on their second stories. Tucked in the neighborhood of Girgaon in South Mumbai, only 23 of the original 65 18th century homes remain intact, many demolished as the city races toward modernity and rapid urbanization. Wander the narrow lanes of one of Mumbai’s oldest communities, and glimpse into its storied past while escaping the city center’s teeming bustle.

Sample a Vada Pav

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One of the city’s favorite street snacks, vada pav was first created in 1966 by a Mumbaikar as an inexpensive, on-the-go item for textile mill workers. The snack originated from a food stall opposite Dadar railway station, where thousands of commuters passed by daily and quickly became a staple item in the city’s street food scene. Nicknamed Mumbai’s burger, the vada pav patty is made by shaping masala infused mashed potatoes into perfect spheres and coated in a thick chickpea batter before deep frying in oil. These golden brown patties are then sandwiched between a pillowy bun and drizzled with tamarind and chutneys for a contrasting flavor and textural experience. Mumbai hosts a competitive vada pav scene, and each of the city’s street vendors entice consumers by claiming the addition of a secret ingredient.

Stroll Marine Drive at Night

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A leisurely evening stroll along Marine Drive, the city’s beachfront promenade, is a quintessential Mumbai experience, affording views of the skyline as waves crash against the shoreline below. As the afternoon sun dips, Mumbaikars congregate at Chowpatty Beach on the north end of the stretch to witness sunset, chat and snack. The local street food stalls and seductive rooftop bars along the waterfront offer visitors a variety of dining options, making Marine Drive a popular evening destination. Lined by iconic Art Deco buildings on one side, the two-mile-long waterfront stretches from downtown’s business district of Nariman Point to Girgaon Chowpatty in South Mumbai. Marine Drive’s string of street lights glow as the night sky darkens, twinkling on the waterfront that gracefully arcs along Back Bay, earning it the nickname Queen’s Necklace.

10 Most Populated Cities in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

10 Most Populated Cities in the World

Earth is home to more than 7.7 billion people and we have to put them somewhere. For millions of people, cities are that somewhere, with everyone existing next to each other with varying degrees of comfort. These are the 10 most populated cities in the world, according to the World Population Review.

Osaka, Japan | 19.2 Million

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For tourists, Osaka is about two things. The first is eating. The Japanese term “kuidaore,” which translates to “eat yourself broke” or “eat until you drop,” is frequently used to describe the city. The second is shopping. The city is full of stores, outlets, malls, bodegas, stalls and vendors. Between those two, you should have a pretty good idea of what your itinerary will be full of in Osaka.

Beijing, China | 20 Million

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There’s some irony in the fact that 20 million people have such ready access to the Forbidden City, a palace that traditionally carried strict, and often fatal, punishment for unauthorized visitors. Though not ironic is the fact that Beijing remains the seat of the Chinese government. That was the original point of the Forbidden City, after all.

Mumbai, India | 20.2 Million

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Mumbai is another one of those old cities that was renamed by the British empire, and has made the modern decision to change back. That’s why some readers may recognize the name Bombay, which was the name of the city up until 1995, when the political party Shiv Sena came to power in the city. Whatever you call it, there are a lot of people living in the city.

Dhaka, Bangladesh | 20.3 Million

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For a city with so many people, we haven’t heard a whole lot about Dhaka. It’s the capital of Bangladesh, so that’s something. It kind of makes it seem like a city of more than 20 million people is some kind of well-kept secret. Not to Bangladeshis, obviously, but to the rest of us.

Cairo, Egypt | 20.5 Million

Credit: Prin Adulyatham/Shutterstock

Unlike the other cities on this list, Cairo’s population growth is apparently on track for disaster. Just 11 years from now, in 2030, the city’s projected to hit 119 million and the government’s scrambling for solutions. Hopefully they figure something out quickly because 11 years is pretty much the blink of an eye when it comes to city planning.

Mexico City, Mexico | 21.7 Million

Credit: DC_Colombia/iStock

Mexico City’s origins are in some very cool terraforming done by the Aztecs. They expanded a small natural island in Lake Texcoco into an island large enough to house their fortified city, Tenochtitlán, by dumping dirt into the lake until the island was big enough. Today, the sprawl of Mexico City has far exceeded what the island could have held.

São Paulo, Brazil | 21.8 Million

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São Paulo’s size caught us a little off guard. Rio de Janeiro is in the news so often that it’s almost like the default Brazilian city. But São Paulo’s population beats Rio’s by millions. It’s a financial center for Brazil but doesn’t sacrifice culture to achieve it. Case in point, São Paulo’s ethnic diversity is huge, with reasonably large Jewish, Japanese, Italian and Arab populations, among others.

Shanghai, China | 26.3 Million

Credit: Sven Hansche/Shutterstock

The fact that Beijing wasn’t the most populous city in China was a little surprising, though we’d say Shanghai would have been our second guess for “largest Chinese city.” Shanghai’s a great place to experience the convergence of old and new Chinese culture and certainly has enough going on that you won’t be bored. Lost maybe, but not bored.

Delhi, India | 29.4 Million

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Delhi is expanding so much that it’s approaching the next step in the development of cities, where the word city may not even apply anymore. Megacity gets closer, but we’re almost thinking that a modernized form of city-state might be more appropriate. City will work for now, but we imagine there’s going to be an etymologically significant conversation happening in the Indian government soon.

Tokyo, Japan | 37.4 Million

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Tokyo was the only city that could possibly be expected to top this list, even if you didn’t know the exact population. It’s huge and full of people, two things that seem like simple statements until you actually put them in context. It’s constantly brought up in conversations about population density, city planning and the psychology of living in a huge modern city and is the place to watch if humanity’s going to understand its urban future.

India: 10 killed after century-old Mumbai building collapses

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

10 killed after century-old Mumbai building collapses

The extension of Kesarbai building, which housed 16 families and four shops on the ground floor, caved-in at around 11.40am, causing tremors in several dilapidated buildings in the low-income neighbourhood in south Mumbai, which also houses some of the city’s most upmarket areas.

INDIA Updated: Jul 17, 2019 00:14 IST

HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,mumbai building collapse,dongri
Rescue personnel were seen clearing rubble and cutting through iron girders by hand, and taking the help of local residents, who had formed a human chain, to pass the debris.(Photo: Kunal Patil/ Hindustan Times)

Ten people died, nine were injured and 30 were feared trapped after an illegal extension of a 100-year-old four-storey building collapsed in south Mumbai Dongri area on Tuesday morning, spotlighting the decaying infrastructure of India’s crumbling financial capital that is corroded by poor oversight and monsoon showers.

The extension of Kesarbai building, which housed 16 families and four shops on the ground floor, caved-in at around 11.40am, causing tremors in several dilapidated buildings in the low-income neighbourhood in south Mumbai, which also houses some of the city’s most upmarket areas. Chief fire officer P Rahangdale said many adjoining buildings were rendered unstable, and had to be evacuated. Some part of Kesarbai building was left standing after the collapse.

Cramped and crowded lanes leading up to the site made it challenging for rescue equipment to reach the building, added Rahangdale. Rescue personnel were seen clearing rubble and cutting through iron girders by hand, and taking the help of local residents, who had formed a human chain, to pass the debris.

“My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted earlier in the day. “I hope the injured recover soon.” Union home minister Amit Shah called the collapse “ very tragic”. “Rescue operations are in full swing,” he added. There was no clarity on the number of people stuck under the rubble, which was yet to be fully cleared at the time of going to press even as rescue operations were in their tenth hour. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said the building was roughly 100 years old and illegal, promising that an inquiry will be ordered.

As night fell on the city, hundreds continued rescuing people from under the rubble of the building, located in a bustling lane off Tandel Street. Television channels showed dramatic visuals of a child, wrapped in a cloth, being carried out of the debris by rescue workers. The child is alive, officials said.

Building collapses are common in Mumbai during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy showers lash India’s largest city and weaken the foundation of already decrepit structures. Earlier this month, multiple wall collapses killed 27 people. This was the deadliest collapse of a building since September 2017, when the 117-year-old Husaini building crumbled in Bhendi Bazaar, killing 33 people.

Moreover, ageing infrastructure, poor planning and a maze of conflicting by-laws, building codes and jurisdiction mean that no single authority is responsible for the upkeep of structures, leading to a cycle of accusation after each tragedy.

This was on display on Tuesday. Within minutes of the collapse, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) clarified the building was owned by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA). It also confirmed that in July 2017, the BMC brought to the Mumbai’s building repair and reconstruction board’s (MBRR) — a wing of MHADA — notice that the building was dilapidated and unfit for habitation. A senior BMC officer told HT, “There is no doubt that the collapsed Kesarbai building is owned by MHADA.”

Hours later, Vinod Ghosalkar, chief of the MHADA repair board, denied that the agency owned the building. “So the responsibility of evacuating it or taking action against any persons for its collapse does not rest with MHADA. This is an illegal building, even though it is in the middle of MHADA colony in Dongri,” he said. State housing minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who visited the spot in the afternoon, said, “The building is illegal, and it is privately owned. We are probing about who will be held responsible for the collapse.”

Residents of neighbouring buildings recalled hearing a loud boom. Abdul Gaffar Shaikh, 85, who lives in nearby Kasai building that was among those vacated, said, “Our building experienced tremendous vibrations when the other building collapsed. Everything shook.” BMC opened a shelter centre at nearby Imamwada School for residents of nearby evacuated buildings to take shelter.

Congress leader Milind Deora said it was time for the people of Mumbai to seek an explanation from the government. “This is unfortunately something that happens in Mumbai every year during monsoon. Walls collapse, there are potholes on roads where people die and young boys fall into manholes,” he added.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 16, 2019 23:51 IST

India: 20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes as rains continue to wreak havoc

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes as rains continue to wreak havoc

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

MUMBAI Updated: Jul 02, 2019 07:35 IST

Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Mumbai
mumbai rains,malad,wall collapse in malad
A wall of Sinhgad College, Ambegaon collapsed at around 1:15 am on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, killing at least 7 people. (ANI / Twitter )

At least 13 persons were killed in a wall crash in Malad, north-west Mumbai and another seven perished in a wall collapse in Pune, early on Tuesday as rains continued to wreak havoc in large parts of Maharashtra.

In the wake of the incessant rainfall, the state government has declared July 2 as a public holiday for Mumbai.

According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb, collapsed on some adjoining hutments in which more than 13 people were killed, around 1 am on Tuesday.

Early on Tuesday, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside, killing at least seven persons.

In both the incidents, many more victims are still feared under the rubble and teams of NDRF are at the site for rescue and relief operations.

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

Early today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi declared all schools and colleges shut for the day as a precautionary measure.

Air, road and rail traffic was also hit for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and rains have so far claimed around 50 lives in the past five days in the state so far.

First Published: Jul 02, 2019 07:23 IST

Indore India: 4 Story Hotel Collapsed Killing At Least 10

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

(NEW DELHI) — A four-story rickety hotel building collapsed in central India, killing at least 10 people and injuring three, police said Sunday.

Rescuers working through the night with sledgehammers and chain saws pulled alive 10 people from the debris of the building, which came crashing down Saturday night in Indore, a city in Madhya Pradesh state, said police officer Sanju Kamle.

Up to five people may still be trapped under the rubble, said Nishant Warwade, the district collector.

The Times of India newspaper said the dilapidated building collapsed after a car smashed into its front portion.

The hotel with 25 rooms was located in the commercial hub of Indore, close to railway and bus stations. Indore is around 900 kilometers (560 miles) south of New Delhi.

Building collapses are common in India as builders try to cut corners by using substandard materials, and as multi-story structures are erected with inadequate supervision. The massive demand for housing around India’s cities and pervasive corruption often result in builders adding unauthorized floors or putting up illegal buildings.

In August 2017, 33 people were killed when an apartment building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai.

Al Qaeda threatens attacks in Delhi, Mumbai

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Al Qaeda threatens attacks in Delhi, Mumbai for ‘victory’ in Kashmir

In a video interview with al Qaeda’s mouthpiece, released on jihadi online networks, Usama Mehmood, spokesman of al Qaeda in Indian sub-continent, said there could be no easy solution to the Kashmir issue which needs “blood and sweat” of Muslims.

INDIA Updated: Dec 27, 2017 21:51 IST

Indo Asian News Service, New Delhi
Calling for attacks in Delhi and Mumbai, the al Qaeda said it was necessary for “the jihadi movement to strengthen and expand its activities in the region and target Indian interests.”
Calling for attacks in Delhi and Mumbai, the al Qaeda said it was necessary for “the jihadi movement to strengthen and expand its activities in the region and target Indian interests.”(PTI Photo)

Global terror network al Qaeda that formally announced its affiliate in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this year has said targeting Indian cities and sidelining Pakistan and its army were key to jihadi success in the state.

In a video interview with Al Qaeda’s mouthpiece, released on jihadi online networks, Usama Mehmood, spokesman of al Qaeda in Indian sub-continent, said there could be no easy solution to the Kashmir issue which needs “blood and sweat” of Muslims.

Mehmood, in the 42-minute video recorded in Urdu, said it was necessary for “the jihadi movement to strengthen and expand its activities in the region and target Indian interests.

“India has protected itself by deploying 600,000 troops in a small place like Kashmir. We will target it and its interests in Kolkata, Bangalore and New Delhi, it will come to its senses, its atrocities will be controlled and its grip on Kashmir will weaken by the will of Allah,” said the group’s second-in-command in the sub-continent.

This is the first detailed al Qaeda talk on its activities in Kashmir since July 27 this year when the group announced it was establishing an affiliate in Jammu and Kashmir called Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, headed by the 23-year-old former Kashmir commander of the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen, Zakir Musa.

The al Qaeda announcement was promptly rejected by militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. Even the Hurriyat Conference dismissed it, saying the Kashmir issue was political and had nothing to do with global Islamist jihad even as the longstanding militant outfits also espouse an Islamist outlook for Kashmir.

Mehmood called on all Muslims in the sub-continental region, including from India, to “stand behind the Kashmiri people and perform their duties for jihad in Kashmir”.

“It is imperative to wage jihad against India. It can only happen when jihadi activities are strengthened in the entire region.

“We should help our Kashmiri brothers first, defend our jihad from apostatic forces like Pakistan Army and its policies and then expand the jihadi activities,” he said, terming the Pakistan Army “an obstacle in the path of victory, is an enemy of the sharia and a slave of global infidels”.

“It fights only for its salary, personal aggrandisement and plots of land. It is the same army that spills the blood of the mujahideen for American dollars.”

Citing al Qaeda’s attacks against the US within and outside America, he said: “Look at America. Securing itself has become difficult for America throughout the world. We will make it difficult for the Indian Army and Indian government the same way and make its peaceful world a war zone.”

The video also shows clips of slain al Qaeda military commander Illyas Kashmiri and frequently cites quotes from the book of Afzal Guru, who was hanged for his involvement in the 2001 Parliament attack.

Pastors in India Beaten, Forced to Sign Apology Letter Because the Gospel Offends Hindus

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Pastors in India Beaten, Forced to Sign Apology Letter Because the Gospel Offends Hindus

(PHOTO: REUTERS/DANISH SIDDIQUI)A protester holds a placard during a rally by hundreds of Christians against recent attacks on churches nationwide, in Mumbai, February 9, 2015. Five churches in the Indian capital New Delhi have reported incidents of arson, vandalism and burglary. The latest was reported last week when an individual stole ceremonial items.

Two pastors who were attacked and beaten by Hindu extremists right before the beginning of a three-day Gospel meeting in India’s Chhattisgarh state were forced to apologize because their conference and the words of Jesus caused snowflake radicals to be offended.

A local pastor told Morning Star News, a nonprofit news agency that reports on Christian persecution, that pastors Vijay Jogi and Santosh Rao were coerced by police into signing an apology letter to a mob of Hindus who prevented them from holding their Gospel meeting that was to be attended by over 1,000 people at Railway Grounds in Charoda.

On Nov. 16, a group of about 70 Hindu nationalists attacked the pastors just minutes before the event was about to start.

“Pastor Vijay Jogi and Pastor Santosh Rao were receiving the people at the entrance,” Pastor Amos James told the outlet. “Suddenly a mob of 70 Hindu Dharm Sena and Bajrang Dal activists gheraoed (encircled) the entrance, and Pastor Jogi and Pastor Rao were beaten and summoned to the police station.”

Jogi told Morning Star News that the extremists slapped Rao three times and then proceeded to beat them both.

Jogi explained that before the start of the meeting, he had received a call from local police warning them to call the meeting off. It wasn’t until after the attack that they realized that “these people will not let us conduct prayers.”

According to Jogi, the Hindu extremists became upset when they saw the words of Luke 7:22-23 in pamphlets around the area advertising the event.

That verse states: “And [Jesus] answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.'”

“The Hindu activists began arguing with us, ‘You are promoting blind beliefs. How can lame walk? How can deaf hear? How can you raise the dead? When your God can do all this, why are you people going to the doctors then?'” Jogi recalled.

“They told me it is very wrong that I have written these lines,” the pastor continued. “I said, ‘I did not write these words. It’s a verse taken from the Holy Bible and applies to the entire humankind.”‘

The activists declared, “We are offended by these lines,” Jogi said.

“If because I quoted these lines in the pamphlet, it is offending you at personal level, I apologize to you brothers. We are very sorry,” Jogi recalled telling the Hindu radicals.

Although Christian leaders in the area have had no issues holding events in that location in the past 20 years, the Hindu mob reportedly claimed that the pastors needed to have approval for the event from the sub-judicial magistrate in addition to approval from the railway police.

The extremists then took the pastors down to the police station, where the pastors were also questioned by the police about needing the approval of a sub-judicial magistrate.

“The police told me to settle the matter here and stop the event immediately,” Jogi claimed. “I was cautioned while Pastor Rao and I were in the police station that the activists are tearing and burning the banners, breaking the tube lights, chairs and dismantling the stage. The police officer told us even if he lodged a case [against the extremists], it would go strongly against us, and that even he can’t help it. The police did not register an FIR.”

Pastor Rao told Morning Star News that Hindu radicals badgered them while they were at the police station and asked questions like “Why are you calling Hindus to your events?” and “Why are you conducting open gospel meetings publicly?” The extremists demanded that the Christian leaders only work among Christians.

Rao explained that once the police were on the Hindu mob’s side, there was “very little hope for Christians in a situation like this.”

While Jogi and Rao were in the police station, they were “forced to sign a letter handwritten by the activists under the supervision of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) worker Rajguru Ghosale.”

“The letter said by conducting this meeting we hurt the feelings of Hindus, we sincerely apologize for it and canceling the event,” Rao recalled. “They slapped me to sign it.”

The pastors told Morning Star News that they will not file charges against the Hindus or the police.

“We will conduct the gospel meetings again in May. We are not giving up this time. With permissions from all the authorities and government officials, we will conduct the meetings,” Jogi was quoted as saying. “The activists are following me wherever I go. I know there is threat to my life. But I have dedicated my life fully to my Lord’s work, and I will be at it till my last breath.”

The news surrounding the Gospel meeting in Charoda comes as India ranks as the 15th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2017 World Watch List.

Most recently, it was reported that seven pastors in Northern India were arrested and could face up to three years in prison after they were accused of forcible conversion. The arrests occurred after the pastors were called to a home in Uttar Pradesh to pray for a recent Christian convert and her husband. However, family members were upset by the couple’s conversion and complained about a forced conversion to police, which eventually led to the seven pastors’ arrests.

Through the past year, a number of Christians have been arrested in Madhya Pradesh state while transporting children to Christian schools after Hindu extremists accused the Christians of forcibly converting Hindu children.

Morning Star News also reported on six Christians in India’s Jharkhand state who were jailed for over a month for praying for a sick Hindu woman.

“India continues its trajectory towards despair,” Wilson Chowdhry, the chairman of the London-based charity British Asian Christian Association, said in a recent statement. “The caste system is gaining renewed impetus, destroying the lives of disenfranchised citizens simply for the families they were born into. Worse, still every minority living in the midst of the Hindu majority are living through a time of increased suspicion and animosity.”

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India Voices Concerns Over Pakistan’s Release Of Mumbai Mass Murderer Tomorrow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE PAKISTANI NEWS AGENCY ‘DAWN’)

((oped) TO SAVE THE LIVES OF MANY THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE IT IS OF UP MOST IMPORTANCE THAT SOMEONE IN PAKISTAN PUT A LITTLE GRAY PILL BETWEEN THIS MANS EYES AS SOON AS HE STEPS OUT OF HIS HOUSE TOMORROW, ISN’T IT?) (trs)

India on Thursday expressed displeasure at the imminent release of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who it accuses of organising the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

A day earlier, the Lahore High Court had refused to extend detention orders against Saeed, whose current house arrest is going to expire on Nov 24 (Friday).

The review board under the chair of Justice Abdul Sami Khan passed these orders after a senior finance ministry official failed to convince the board that the release of Saeed would bring diplomatic and financial problems to the country.

The JuD chief had been placed under house arrest on January 31 for 90 days. Subsequently, his house arrest had been extended several times.

“India is outraged that a self-confessed and a UN proscribed terrorist is allowed to walk free and continue with his agenda,” Raveesh Kumar, India’s foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters at a weekly briefing in New Delhi.

Kumar said Saeed’s release will give an impression that Pakistan supports non-state actors.

Saeed was declared a global terrorist by the US and the United Nations over his alleged role in the attacks that left nearly 166 people dead, including Western nationals.

JuD is considered by the US and India to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group blamed for the attacks.

The United States identifies Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the largest and most active terrorist organisations in South Asia. Founded in 1987 by Hafiz Saeed, Abdullah Azzam and Zafar Iqbal in Afghanistan, the group was headquartered in Muridke before it was disbanded and re-organised.

Following the LHC’s decision to cut his detention short, Saeed had told media that the decision was tantamount to “the victory of truth” and called it “a serious blow” to India’s demands.

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