Raisi was not found, a massive search operation is underway



International Desk, Barta24.com
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Hours after the helicopter crash, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian have not been found.

A massive search operation is underway in remote mountainous areas of Iran's East Azerbaijan province to find them. However, the rescue operation is being hampered due to hostile weather, the country's officials said.

On Sunday (May 19), President of Iran Ibrahim Raisi went to inaugurate a dam in the border area of Azerbaijan. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was also there.

From there, Ibrahim Raisi and other officials with him were returning to Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan province, with a fleet of three helicopters. En route, the helicopter carrying the president crashed near the Zolfa region of East Azerbaijan. The other two helicopters reached their destination safely.

Apart from the Iranian president and foreign minister, Malek Rahmati, the governor of East Azerbaijan Province and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Hashem, the spokesman of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in this province, were in the crashed helicopter.

As the location of the crashed helicopter could not be identified even after a few hours of the accident, there were fears whether they would be rescued alive.

An Iranian official, who did not want to be named, told AFP, "We are still optimistic." But the news coming from the accident site is very worrying. The hostile weather and heavy fog made it difficult for the rescuers to reach the crash site.

The country's Meteorological Department says that the area may experience severe weather till Monday night. An official of the local weather department said there may be rain and heavy fog overnight in the area where the helicopter carrying the president crashed. He said that such weather may remain till Monday.

Iran's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that time is needed to identify the location of the crashed helicopter. He said, "Many rescue teams are searching for the missing helicopter. But time is needed to know where the helicopter crashed because the weather conditions there are very hostile. Along with the rain, there is heavy fog. This is disrupting the rescue work.

Quoting officials involved in the rescue operation, the local media reported that 40 rescue teams participated in the rescue operation. Rescuers are accompanied by ambulances and drones. Emergency services personnel, police and members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as well as the military joined the search operation, the country's army chief, Mohammad Bagheri, said.

Ahmad Ali Reza Beigi, an Iranian parliamentarian elected from Tabriz, said rescuers have not yet identified the location of the crashed helicopter. Heavy rain and fog made their rescue difficult.

Iran's Tasnim media reported that an emergency phone call from the helicopter informed that the helicopter had crashed. The phone call was made by the officials accompanying the President in the helicopter. However, the connection was disconnected before the end of the conversation.

Local media reported that a massive search operation was launched after receiving the news of the helicopter crash. But the helicopter has not been found yet. Rescue work is hampered due to rain and fog.

Iran's Fars news agency reported that in the darkness of the night, nothing can be seen even five meters away in the inaccessible mountainous area. Due to this, the rescue workers are facing a lot of complications.

The cabinet members of the country held an emergency meeting in the situation. After the meeting, the Vice President and some ministers went to Tabriz. IRGC chief Hossein Salami went to the accident site to speed up the rescue operation. He held meetings with various levels of commanders, ministers and local officials of IRGC.

Many other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iraq, have expressed concern over the crash of the helicopter carrying Ibrahim Raisi. Turkey has sent a 32-member rescue team to assist in the rescue operation. These rescue workers are especially skilled in mountain rescue operations.

   

18 lakh 33 thousand 146 people performed Hajj



Islam Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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In the current Hajj program, 18 lakh 33 thousand 164 pilgrims of the world have performed the holy Hajj, said the Minister of Hajj and Umrah affairs of Saudi Arabia. Tawfiq al-Rabia. The country's state news agency SPA reported this information.

In a press briefing on Saturday (15 Jan), he also announced that the stages of Hajj from Makkah to Mina and Arafat were successful without any hitches.

Meanwhile, according to the information of the General Authority for Statistics in Saudi Arabia, it has been reported that pilgrims have come from more than 200 countries around the world this time.

Among them, 63.3 percent of pilgrims came from Asian countries, 23.3 percent from Arab countries, 11.3 percent from Africa and 3.2 percent from America and Australia.

The number of domestic pilgrims in Saudi Arabia is 221 thousand 854 and the number of pilgrims from outside the country is 16 lakh 11 thousand 310. 9 lakh 58 thousand 137 were male pilgrims and 8 lakh 75 thousand 25 were female pilgrims.

15 lakh 46 thousand 345 pilgrims reached Saudi Arabia by air, 60 thousand 251 by land and 4 thousand 714 by sea.

It should be noted that the Hajj formalities started from Friday (June 14). After staying in Mina on Saturday, they will stay at Arafat Maidan and spend the night in the open desert of Muzdalifah. On the third day of Hajj on Sunday (June 16), pilgrims will throw pebbles, sacrifice animals, and shave their heads at the Big Jamarat.

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BJP Union Minister Suresh Gopi called Indira Gandhi 'Mother of India'



International Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka:
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BJP's Union Minister of State for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Tourism Suresh Gopi has termed late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as 'Mother of India'. He also referred to former Kerala Chief Minister and Congress leader K Karunakaran as a brave administrator and famous Marxist leader of that state EK Nayanar as his 'political guru'.

According to an NDTV report, he paid his respects to the former Kerala Chief Minister at the Karunakaran Samadhi Murali Mandir on Saturday (June 15). He made these comments in response to the questions of journalists there.

Suresh won the Lok Sabha seat from the state of Kerala on a BJP ticket. Suresh Gopi won the Lok Sabha polls defeating Karunakaran's son and Congress leader Muralidharan. He contested the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket. K Muralidharan was third in the April 26 polls.

Suresh Gopi said he had a close relationship with Karunakaran and his wife Kalyanikutty Amma, as well as Marxist leader Nayna and his wife Sarada, a teacher. He went to Naina's house in Kannur. On June 12, he met his family members and cemented the relationship.

Suresh Gopi said that he sees Indira Gandhi as 'Bharathinte Mathavu' (Mother of India). Karunakaran was in his eyes 'the Father of the Congress party in the state'.

Suresh Gopi praised the administrative skills of the veteran Congress leader (Karunakaran) turned actor-turned-politician. He called him a 'brave administrator' of his generation.

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Passionate prayer for Palestine in Hajj sermon



Islam Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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The Imam and Khatib of Masjid Haram, Sheikh Maher Al Muaikili, delivered the Hajj sermon from Masjid Namira, located in Arafat Maidan, Makkah. Hajj sermon starts at 3:14 pm Bangladesh time.

The Imam of the Kaaba said in the Hajj sermon, O people! Obey Allah and His Messenger (PBUH), the Qur'an says, Allah will punish the wrongdoer.

He said, worship is only for Allah and law is only for Allah. And whoever adopts Taqwa will receive sustenance from places he cannot imagine.

He said, Allah is the owner of everything. He revealed the Qur'an as a mercy for us. The Qur'an is a book whose every verse is full of wisdom. This Qur'an shows people the straight path.

In the sermon, he said, Taqwa gives people success and emancipation, those who adopt Taqwa will be free from suffering on the Day of Resurrection. He will adopt taqwa and Allah will provide him with sustenance from places he cannot even imagine. Allah will reward him by forgiving his sins.

He said, Allah sent Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) as a mercy for the people of the world. Those who respect the Prophet (PBUH), believe and follow the rules of the Qur'an which Allah has revealed as guidance are the successful ones.

In the Hajj sermon, he prayed for mercy for the Muslims of Palestine and asked the audience to remember the oppressed Palestinians in their special prayers.

Highlighting the issue of Palestine in the sermon, he said that the Muslims of Palestine are under the grip of war. They are upset. They have no drinking water, no electricity, no food; they are deprived of all the comforts and happiness of the world. Pray for them. They owe it to the Muslim world.

He said, those who are helping Palestinians in various ways, trying to help, helping with ambulances, are also entitled to prayers. Also those who are serving the pilgrims are also entitled to prayers.

During the sermon, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ale Sheikh, and the head of the Holy Kaaba, Imam Sheikh Abdur Rahman Sudais, were present at the Namira Mosque.

Along with the main sermon of Hajj, its translation has been broadcast directly in 50 languages of the world including Bengali.

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Passenger ferry is starting between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka



International Desk, Barta24.com
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Passenger ferry service between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is going to be started. Discussions regarding this have already started between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

This information was published in a report of The Daily Mirror on Thursday (June 13).

According to the report, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka want to start passenger commercial ferry service between themselves. This issue was discussed in the meeting between Sheikh Hasina and Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said this in a message posted on Magic Media X post Wickramasinghe said, "I had a discussion with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina after the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister of India in New Delhi. Various issues including development of relations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, regional cooperation and potential investment came up in the discussion. Sheikh Hasina has promised to help develop Sri Lanka's agricultural system. She also mentioned that Bangladeshi investors will be encouraged to invest in this sector. I will soon send a delegation of Sri Lankan agronomists and experts to Bangladesh to observe the agricultural system in Bangladesh.'

In the X message, he also said, she (Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina) has invited me to the BIMSTEC summit. However, due to the election, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene and Foreign Minister Ali Sabri will represent me there.

It is to be noted that the launching of this first passenger ferry between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is expected to increase tourism and travel between the two countries. The Indo-Ceylon Express ferry operated between India and Sri Lanka until 1982. It was stopped due to the civil war in Sri Lanka. A new ferry between Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka was launched in October last year, after nearly four decades of closure in between.

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