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VIDEO | Meet this octogenarian who gave up 4 jobs for his honey dream

Hirra Azmat





Srinagar, Sep 20: Outside the high walls of famed Harwan garden stands a makeshift apiary nestled under a towering mulberry tree.
The air around it rings with the growing buzz, as Mohammad Shaban Kumar, an 80-year-old beekeeper, carefully lifts the lid off the wooden beehive box, giving a live demonstration of his emotional relationship with bees.
With his face covered in a net to shield against stings, Shaban uses his ever-ready yellow screw driver to extract honey from a sticky frame of hexagon-shaped honeycomb.
“I treat them like my children, and in return, they reciprocate my love for them. Normally, the bees used in apiculture sting only in self-defense. If you handle them with care, they don’t attack you.” says Shaban with a smile, allaying the fears of getting stung.



His beekeeping journey dates back to Maharaja’s rule.
“I started bee keeping right in 1957,” the old beekeeper, who never felt like giving up on his passion despite witnessing the brutal stages of conflict, says.
“I have seen the hardest of times. The guns roared and there were days when I earned literally nothing, but I never thought of switching my profession,” he says.
The old man says he sacrificed four lucrative government jobs to live his dream.
“I have worked in an engineering college, fisheries department, wild-life department, and silk-factory. My passion kept on calling me and one day I decided to turn my dream into reality,” says Shaban, who earns around “Rs 2 lakh” annually.
The old beekeeper finds utmost satisfaction in this profession and has been researching and experimenting with the bees over the years.
“There is lot of Barakah (blessings) in this field of work, but it demands lot of hard hard work and patience,” says Shaban, who lives with his wife and four sons.
He maintains around five to six beehive boxes in his apiary. From cooking to cleaning the wet frames inside the boxes, he does everything by himself.
“I make sure the boxes are cleaned properly by spraying sulphuric acid at regular intervals,” the beekeeper says.
He owns three farms and 250 beehives.
Till date, he has employed no helpers and lives alone. His family lives in a big concrete house some kilometers away from the apiary.
He believes that youngsters should explore this field of work instead of running after the “unattainable” government jobs, as this can prove to be a viable career option.
“Why should we only run after government jobs? Apiculture is a growing field and there is a lot of scope in it. The government should also create more avenues for the apiculturists so that more youth are drawn towards it,” Shaban says.



Goel is new RAW chief, Arvind Kumar appointed IB head




New Delhi, Jun 26:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday appointed Samant Goel as the next chief of India’s external spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Arvind Kumar as the Director, Intelligence Bureau.

Both are Indian Police Service officers of 1984 batch with Goel belonging to Punjab cadre and Kumar, to Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

Goel heads operations for the external intelligence agency.


Meanwhile Arvinda Kumar is the Director, Intelligence Bureau.

PM Modi, as chairman of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, also cleared the empanelment of 1986 batch IPS officer in the rank of Director General.

Both are Indian Police Service officers of 1984 batch with Goel belonging to Punjab cadre and Kumar, to Assam-Meghalaya cadre.

Goel heads operations for the external intelligence agency.

Goel according to a report has handled Punjab militancy at its peak in the 1990s and is a Pakistan expert. A mild-mannered police officer, Samant Goel has impeccable integrity, said a senior R&AW officer.

Arvind Kumar has been closely involved in tackling left-wing extremism at the Intelligence Bureau. The special director-rank officer is also the intelligence agency’s Kashmir expert and has been closely involved in formulating and executing the Centre’s approach on militancy in the valley.

Kumar, who started out his career in the police service from Assam, had moved to the intelligence bureau early in his career after a stint as superintendent of police of Sonitpur, one of the state’s largest districts. He never went back to Assam police and continued to work at the Centre, mostly at the intelligence agency.

Samant Goel, in contrast, spent a considerable part of his career in Punjab where he was posted to oversee security, intelligence and the border range.

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Pompeo meets PM Modi, discusses key strategic issues

Press Trust of India



New Delhi, Jun 26: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and discussed various aspects of the bilateral relationship to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership.

Pompeo, who arrived here on Tuesday night, will hold detailed discussions with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the afternoon and have a working lunch with him.

“Working together to further deepen our strategic partnership. Secretary Pompeo called on PM Narendra Modi to exchange views on various aspects of Indo-US relationship. PM will meet President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with pictures of the meeting.


Ahead of the strategically-important India-US talks, diplomatic sources on Tuesday said India met the US waiver criteria for procuring the S-400 missile defence system from sanctions-hit Russia, and asserted that New Delhi could not “wish away” its defence ties with Moscow.

Besides India’s missile defence system deal with Russia, terrorism, H-1B visas, trade and the situation arising out of US sanctions on buying oil from Iran, are likely to be discussed on Wednesday during the talks between Jaishankar and Pompeo.

Pompeo’s talks here will be the first high-level interaction between the two countries after return of the Modi government to power last month.

Pompeo’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, later this week

 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday said that India and the US should stand together in the defence of religious freedom rights for all and asserted that the world is worse off when they are compromised.

“India is the birthplace of four major world religions. Let’s stand up together in defence of religious freedom for all, let us speak out in favour of those rights, for whenever we do compromise those rights, the world is worse off,” Pompeo was quoted as saying .

Pompeo’s remarks come in the backdrop of a recently-released US State Department report on ‘International Religious Freedom’ that said mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against the minority communities, particularly Muslims, are continuing in India.

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AGH militant killed in Tral gunfight: Police




Srinagar, Jun 26: A militant of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind was killed in an encounter with government forces at Branpatri forest area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.

A joint team of army, SOG and CRPF laid a siege at Branpatri, forest area of Tral in Awantipora today morning.

A police spokesman said that the cordon was laid following credible inputs. As the joint team launched searches, the militants opened fire leading to an encounter, the spokesman said.


During the course of gunfight, one militant was killed and his body along with arms and ammunition was recovered. The officer identified the slain as Shabir Ahmad Malik of Nagbal Tral.

As per the police records, he was initially affiliated with proscribed LeT outfit and later on was part of Zakir Musa group, the spokesman said.

“Shabir, as per police records, was wanted by law for his complicity in several terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” he said.

“He was part of groups responsible for planning and executing militant attacks in the area. Several militant cases were registered against him including case FIR No. 43/15 of Police Station Trikuta Nagar pertaining to the planning and making preparations for carrying out terror attacks in Jammu,” the spokesman said.

Pertinently with the efforts of Police and security forces, it was a clean operation. No collateral damage happened during the encounter, the spokesman said.

After conducting all legal medico formalities, the body of the slain was handed over to his family for last rites, an official said.

Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the funeral of the slain at his native place. He was later buried amid pro-freedom slogans.

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