Corona as weapon to target VVIPs?

The world’s best intelligence agencies make efforts to get access to rival nations’ top political leaders’ health status and records. The deadly coronavirus pandemic has made them apprehensive about the possibility of it being used to “target” political personalities either by domestic or foreign actors, including terrorist organisations and the enemy within. Top political leaders at the helm of affairs are physically protected by highly trained men operating through many security layers. But Covid 19 has thrown open the possibility of someone suffering from the disease to sneak in “deliberately” to infect the VVIP despite extraordinary pandemic checks and protocols in place.

Two cases have alarmed the intelligence community—of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the US President Donald Trump. Knowledgeable sources in Washington told The Sunday Guardian that Trump getting hit by the virus at a time when the US Presidential election is less than a month away has made US intelligence agencies wonder whether someone made a deliberate attempt to infect him, to slow down his campaign. “It could be a normal case of the virus reaching the White House as Trump is known not to take precautions, but the timing has alarmed us,” a source said.

Back home, surely someone must be making efforts to check if anyone infected with coronavirus “deliberately” made an effort to reach within his proximity. A trusted IB source said, “We are aware about the possibility of C-Virus becoming a weapon/handle to target a VVIP without arousing suspicion.”

LOW KEY SINDHU DARSHAN

Sindhu Darshan festival is held in Leh, Ladakh, every year in June on the full moon day of Guru Purinma. Devotees gather near the bank of the Indus river, also known as the Sindhu. The festival, which attracts a large number of foreign and domestic tourists is a celebration of the river. Because of the pandemic it could not be organised in full form and spirit in June.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Indresh Kumar some days ago inaugurated the 24th Sindhu Darshan festival on the bank of the river with prayers and a holy bath in Leh. A limited number of 130 pilgrims from various states participated with enthusiasm. The RSS’ functionary was accompanied by senior BJP leader from Delhi, Vijay Jolly; former Gujarat Minister, Maya Kodnani; former Home Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Gyari Dolma; BJP Assam MLA, Shiladitya Dev; and BJP Tripura MLA, Ram Prasad Paul. Jolly told The Sunday Guardian that a decision was taken to organise Sindhu Mahakumbh at Leh from 21 to 26 June in 2021.

Indresh Kumar and his team used the occasion to visit Ladakh BJP state office to meet the union territory’s BJP president and Member of Parliament Jamyang Tsering Namgyal. Indresh Kumar gifted Rs 1 lakh to the widow of martyred Special Frontier Forces’ Tibetan soldier, Tenzin Nyima (53), who had died after he stepped on an anti-personnel mine near the southern bank of the Pangong Tso on the night of 29-30 August. To cheer the Indian troops, 3,000 boxes of sweets were distributed to soldiers at Leh. Indresh Kumar’s team paid a courtesy call on Leh-Ladakh Buddhist head, Lama Rimpoche Kushok Thiksey. They offered prayers at Buddhist Soma Gompa (monastery) at Leh’s main market.

PM’s Mann ki Baaat inspires HP university to research desi dogs

Encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent call in his “Maan Ki Baat” to opt for “desi breeds” of dogs, the Palampur Agriculture University has decided to initiate research work on “Gaddi dogs” or “Indian Panther Hound”—an exotic breed of dogs reared by Gaddi shepherds of Himachal Pradesh. PM Modi had urged veterinary scientists that Indian breeds should be made better and more useful and “next time when people think of keeping a dog then they must bring one of the Indian breed dogs home”.

“Gaddi dog”, due to its fighting capability with snow leopards is also known as “Indian Panther Hound”. With the decreasing trend of nomadic lifestyle, the population of “Gaddi dogs” is reducing at an alarming rate. The Palampur Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor, Prof H.K. Chaudhary, told The Sunday Guardian that he had directed veterinary scientists to initiate a research and conservation programme to scientifically breed and conserve the pure germ plasm of this prestigious breed.

Man Mohan can be contacted at rovingeditor@gmail.com