Washington:At least 60 more Indians are being held at a New Mexico facility for crossing into the United States illegally, an Indian diplomat discovered during a consular visit, bringing the publicly-known number of people in custody across the country to at least 112.
Earlier reports had suggested there were at least 40 at the detention centre in Otero in New Mexico and that they had sought asylum alleging religious persecution in India.
There are an additional 52 at a detention facility in Sheridan, Oregon, who were apprehended during the enforcement of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigrants since past May.
According to Indian officials, the Otero detainees have been in US custody since last September and were apprehended during or after crossing over in Arizona and California states. They are said to be mostly from Punjab and Haryana.
The Indian diplomat met around 60 detainees as others refused to see him, which is not unusual for asylum seekers who are claiming persecution in their country of origin.
US immigration and customs enforcement, which runs these detention facilities, has not responded to questions about the Otero detainees and it was not immediately clear if they are being held for deportation or to process their asylum request.
The 52 Indian men held at the Sheridan centre in Oregon — who have described themselves as Sikhs and Christians — are being processed for deportation, a lawyer for the US justice department said during a court hearing on Monday.
Modi urges supporters to take ‘main bhi chowkidar’ pledge
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged his supporters to take the ‘main bhai chowkidar’ (I too am watchman) pledge, saying he is not alone in the fight against graft and social evils.
“Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar. Today, every Indian is saying-#MainBhiChowkidar,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also posted a little over three minutes’ video to drive home his message.
Modi has often described himself as a “chowkidar” who would neither allow corruption nor get corrupted himself.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly hurling the “chowkidar chor hai” (watchman is the thief) jibe at Modi to claim irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale fighter jet deal, a charge the BJP-led government has rejected. PTI
If God cannot fulfill your wishes, how can an MP: Mahesh
Bulandshahr: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma, while addressing a gathering here, asked how a Member of Parliament (MP) can fulfill wishes of people when God himself cannot.
Sharma, who was speaking at a rally in Bulanshahr on March 14, was heard saying: “The biggest fool is God. When God has sent us into the world, then it is his responsibility to arrange for our bread, cloth, house, employment, education for our children. Even today, people in other districts, including eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia, do not get enough food. When the children go to school, they fill the stomach with mid-day meal, the rest are hungry. If the God who created us cannot fulfil your wishes then how could an MP?”
Sharma was addressing a public gathering on Thursday in Bhajan Lal temple in the city. He is also an MP from Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Shah attacks Congress over national security
NEW DELHI: BJP national president Amit Shah has attacked the Congress party over the issue of national security and accused the main opposition party of always being soft on terrorism.
Targeting Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, the BJP chief alleged that the main opposition party had always been “hesitant about terrorism, separatism and Naxalism”.
Shah made these remarks in a strongly-worded blog in which he reiterated that while Congress has always been soft on terror, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has firmly dealt with the issue of terrorism.
It may be recalled that Masood’s JeM had claimed the responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which at least 40 troopers were killed.
The BJP president maintained while India has used all diplomatic channels to build more pressure on Pakistan and isolate it at the global levels, parties like Congress were making statements favouring the neighbouring country.
“This shabby face of Pakistan has been exposed before the world…. In such a situation, Pakistan has been totally isolated… vis a vis militant mastermind Masood Azhar and his organization Jaish-e-Mohammad,” he said in his blog.
He continued by saying that some political parties, including the Congress, were questioning the government, raising doubts over the valour of the armed forces, which was “just helping militants”.
In the later part of his blog, the BJP president accused the Congress party of providing their consent to the then government to release terrorist like Masood Azhar.
He alleged that then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh were part of the all-party meeting in which they had agreed to release Masood Azhar to bring back the passengers held hostage at Kandahar.
Shah also sought to remind that 10 years before the Kandahar flight hijacking, the then Congress government had released 10 terrorists in exchange for then Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed`s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed.
Training his guns at Rahul Gandhi, Shah said the Congress chief has been blaming the BJP for the release of JeM founder Masood Azhar during the earlier NDA government but before making such “insensitive remarks” he should think about the mistakes committed by his own party.
Shah further said that the decisions of his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru on China and Kashmir had “turned into cancer for the country”.
The hard-hitting blog from the BJP chief came after Rahul Gandhi asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not telling the nation that it was the earlier National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which had released Azhar – the man behind the Pulwama suicide bombing.
Gandhi made these remarks while addressing a public rally in Gandhinagar.
Shah added that by raising such questions, Rahul Gandhi was not just “displaying his insensitivity” but also questioning the ”wisdom of senior leaders of his own party.”
“This debate does not start nor end with the release of Masood Azhar. This list is long, and if discussed, the Congress will look like the guilty party,” he wrote in the blog.