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The 12th century mosque, the Grand al-Nuri in Mosul, from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself the ‘Caliph’ of the world’s Muslims was destroyed by IS as they retreated from the Iraqi troops. Shortly after that, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally announced the liberation of Mosul.

The Iraqi army with help from Iran-trained militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the U.S. Air Force liberated small cities first, such as Ramadi and Fallujah, before moving towards Mosul in October 2016.

Recently IS has faced many setbacks like:

  • Losing more than half of the territories it once held.
  • Finding it harder to recruit new jihadists under strain of battlefield losses.
  • Its leader Baghdadi being either dead or on the run.

But these setbacks do not mean that the IS has been defeated, because of many reasons:

  • It still controls various strategic territories in Iraq. Hawijah, Tal Afar, Salahuddin province and pockets in Anbar and Diyala. In Syria, it still controls Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor.
  • There’s no guarantee that the IS won’t come back to the cities it lost.

In Syria, the battle against the IS, is more complicated than that in Iraq. In Iraq at least there is a consensus of America, the Kurds and Iran and Shia militias about what the legitimate force is against the IS i.e. the Iraqi government. But in Syria, Raqqa is being attacked by SDF and the government troops both. Russia is backing the regime, while the U.S. is supporting the SDF. Turkey, another country that’s involved by its proxies in the war, is wary of the SDF. So even if Raqqa is liberated someday, it will be difficult to reach on a peaceful decision on who will eventually run the city.

IS which started as an insurgency, has transformed itself into a proto-state. Now the proto-state is under attack, but it can retreat to insurgency (uprising/revolt) for its continued survival.

It has changed its strategy very recently. Instead of expanding its territories now, it has become defensive and released a wave of terror attacks in various parts of the world.

IS has established franchises in other countries. Boko Haram, Africa’s most dreaded terror outfit, has declared loyalty to the IS. In eastern Afghanistan, the Islamic State of Khorasa is a branch of the IS, which is controlling the group’s operations in South Asia. In Philippines, armed jihadist groups have declared their loyalty to the IS and are fighting the government forces also.






Today is the 88th anniversary of a great revolutionery freedom fighter, a secularist and a valiant fighter cum social reformer to the core who about eighty eight years ago in 1930 gave the Indian freedom movement a historic turn by outrightly refusing the orders of the then British officer, general Rickett to shoot the freedom fighter Pathans led by the frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan at Kinari Bazaaar, Peshavar then in Afghanistan.

Brave, fearless and valiant fighter ready to sacrifice his life for the country, Chandra Singh Garhwali was then commanding a unit of Garhwali soldiers in Peshawar. The freedom movement was then building up and the pathans of Peshawar who were fully inspired by Gandhiji under the leadership of the towering Pathan leader Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan were opposing the Britishers for their dictatorial actions and communal policybof Hindu Muslim divide thus demanding Azaadi.

General Rickett orderd the entire battalion led by Chandra Singh Garhwali saying FIRE GARHWALI. But revolutionery Chandra Singh in retaliation, shouted defying the British General’s order CEASEFIRE GARHWALIES. Every soldier put their rifles down and the lives of several Pathans could be saved.

Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali was influenced by the Jalliawalan Bagh massacre and wanted to avert another bloodshed. He preferred his court marshel and life imprisonment in the solitary confinement at Kala Pani, Andamaan Nicobaar cellular Jail thus being behind bars for 14 protracted years for the motherland and saving the lives of hundreds of Pathans.

In the entire history of India one can’t find, visualise and experience such an outstanding example of secularism of the Hindus saving the lives of their muslim Pathan brothers despite confronting Life long solitary confinement. Garhwali had thus after the 1857 revolt of Indian sepoys under Mangal Pandey’s leadership against the then neo colonial British rule opened another inspiring chapter of anti British revolutioneries in India which finally helped in attaining full Indepence from the foreign colonial Yoke.

Garhwali never compromised on principles and ethics in public life and even after Independence rejected Nehru’s proposal to become a union minister. He preferred a hard life of a socio political activist believing in secularist values and fighting corruption through out his life. He was ideologically left oriented and preferrred contesting election from Choundkot constituency in Garhwal single handedly with no election resources but only a self made BHOMPU in his hand.

He visited village to village on foot mobilising people for their constititional rights to badly lose elections but never compromised for Congress ticket which he would have easily got and won. He never approached authorities in power for any personal or family benefit. Such a towering personality of the country sadly met his end in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Hospital in 1979 after a prolonged illness. I remember that the then political stalwart n union minister HN Bahuguna alongwith others marched woth Garhwaliji’s corpse to the Communist Party of India’s office where late Indira Gandhi had also come today her last respectful tributes to this towering revolutionery freedom fighter. Salutes to this historical petsonality of Indian Freedom Movement.

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The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is under the incessant invasion of dangerous wild life and the government of the day and its forest department is conspicous by their absense in not doing anything concrete to counter the wild life’s terrorising menace. The situation has assumed so risky proportions that human life is today completely at mercy of the wild cats and the bears. Number of incidents of gruesome killings at the behest of the maneater leopards, tigers and wild bears have come to notice for the last two years with the number of casualties increasing day by day but of no avail on the part of the state government to set right the situation. A most tragic incident of wild bear attack was reported in a village in Yamkeshwar block where a local inhabitant of Umdaa village, 59 year old CHANDRA PRAKASH was badly injured as he litrally fought with the bear and suffered deadly injuries. The grievously injured is in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh fighting for survival. The injured had gone to the nearby jungle to collect fodder for cows and buffaloes when he was attacked by the wild bear. It is usually said that the bear who remain in the high mountain altitudes come down during the winter season due to the excessive snow covers that creates green food shortages. In addition to this the increasing activities of construction and the so called development has disturbed the wild life particularly the leopards and bears who come near the human settlements i.e. the forests adjoining the villages. When the men and women enter jungles for green grass or animal fodder these wild animals become fearful and attack them in self defence as well as lack of food stuff. While in 2017 about 140 leopards were declared as man eaters there had also been 17 bear attacks in the Chamoli district’s Bhatwari village range grievously injuring several women and children who’d gone in the local jungle for pet animal fodder. In Almora, Rudraprayag and Pauri districts too these incidents of wild life attacks resulting in several casualties have created an alarming situation with the Uttarakhand Forest Department having no clue, whatsoever, to safeguard the precious lives of the states’ inhabitants. Uttarakhand is already suffering from mass scale migration with thousands of villages having become ghost villages. The monkeys, wild pigs had already destroyed the agricultural produce of the villagers and the increasing man eater leopard and bear attacks have also made the life of the villagers tremendously dangerous and unpredictable. In the last week two shocking incidents of leopard attacks were reported from Uttarakhand’s Almora district in which two precious lives of a 6th class student and a twenty five year old were claimed by the maneater tigers. While the dearth of animal preys is cited as one of the prime reason for wild cats coming nearer, towards human settlements to fulfil their hunger , another reason may be due the villages becoming vacant these wild animals find themselves convenient to come closer towards them ( the villages with little population) and kill human beings when confronted with.

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Man eater leopard attacks going unabated in Uttarakhand



The dreaded leopard attacks taking lives the inhabitants in Uttarakhand has become an order of the day with terrifying incidents of tiger attacks increasing day by day with no hope of relief from the government’s side. Uttarakhand is primarily a hilly region with more than 70% part having covered with dense forests.

After the enhanced migration from the interior rural areas, the villages and increasing constructive activities, the wild animals, particularly the leopards, hordes of wild monkeys, beers and even wild pigs have created havoc in the villages destroying cultivated fields and even attacking the local inhabitants. Just yesterday in a horrifying incident of a leopard attack, a young boy was brutally killed with half of his body part eaten by the dreaded leopard in the Manila area of Kumaon, Uttarakhand.

The young boy, son of one Mr. Lal Singh hailing from the village Supi Kaafli Tok Laami Dhar in Uttarakhand who was studying in sixth standard was killed by the leopard yesterday night as per the facebook post of Narayan Singh Bisht, district media Incharge.

The information was immediately given to the forest division who later on retrieved the highly mutilated dead body of the deceased. This is not the single isolated incident of horrifying leopard attack but in Garhwal and Kumaon Uttarakhand, the leopard menace has till now taken hundreds of precious lives of people with no reprieve or relief from the forest department and the government of Uttarakhand. There is yet another news of a young boy of 25 year old having been brutally killed in yet another wild cat attack at Bhainciyakhana block’s Dungri Panchayat in Almora district namely Deepak Kumar.

The people of this himalayan state has become vulnerable prey to the wild cats’attacks and have been prohibited to come out of their houses after 7 PM as the man eater leopards are usually on the lookout for their human prey. It is usually said that after the increasing exodus of the village populatiin to cities and towns there is tremendous dearth of animal preys for these leopards and hence they enter houses in villages hungry and even in the locan towns in search of flesh and make humans their easy prey.

More over, the majority of the hill jungle areas having become barren due to the excessive pine trees has also resulted in shortage of green food animals inside the forests finally compelling the tigers, leopards and cheetas migrate to towns or villages in search of food thus making human beings their easy prey.

Hundreds of people have so far been succumbed to the leopard attacks in this Himalayan state of Uttarakhand but it seems that the government is more concerned to preserve the wild life than to safeguard the human beings. The forest department is literally sleeping and so are the other responsible agencies of the government.

It is high time that the forest department of Uttarakhand should devise concrete methedology or formula to get rid of these man eater leopards failing which the already vacant Uttarakhand villages will literally turn into ghost villages in the near future. The government will have to prioritise whether maneater leopards are important for them or the human beings.

In 2016 the government of Uttarakhand had declared 140 leopards as man eater who’d created havoc in the hill state with their killing spree. After two years their terror is still live with the human killings going unabated.

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