Unemployment forces Pratapgarh villagers to make illegal firearms

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Allahabad, Oct. 12 (ANI): Unemployment has forced many villagers in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh district to make illegal firearms.

Villagers say that they are flooded with orders during elections.

"I am making firearms for the last 10-12 years. We make arms for a living and education of our children. During elections we get a good price for firearms because of demand from politicians," said Bajrang Singh (name changed on request), a firearms maker.

Local mafia in the politically sensitive state often use unlicensed weapons to threaten voters and rig elections.

Villagers on Pratapgarh-Allahabad find it difficult to do farming, as most of the land in this region is forest area.

"We can't do farming in the forest. At times we raise livestock but we have started this work (firearms making) which is regular. You can see we can't do any other work in the forest," said Balwan Singh (name changed on request), a firearms maker. (ANI)

Obama should give back Nobel Peace Prize, says ex-Australian FM|World[Adelaide{Adelaide (Australia), Oct.12 (ANI): Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has said that US President Barack Obama should be "man enough" to refuse this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Writing today for AdelaideNow, Downer said the decision to award the prize to Obama "was a political decision of gross stupidity".

Obama "has not had anything like enough time for his policies to bear fruit," he further wrote.

According to Downer, if Obama had refused the prize "he would have helped preserve the integrity of the Nobel Peace Prize and also demonstrate a disarming degree of modesty."

Downer lists a number of "real heroes", such as Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has fought the rule of Robert Mugabe, who he says would be more deserving of the award.

Despite the prize being "a hideous display of cynical politics", Downer writes that "the blame does not all lie at President Obama's feet".

According to news.com.au, Downer blames the Nobel Prize Committee made up of Norwegian politicians.

He singles out Norway's former prime minister and foreign minister Thorbjorn Jagland, who Downer says was "a real party-political player" and "a fool".

Downer recounts the run-in he had with Jagland over stopping the Norwegian ship the Tampa from landing on the Australian mainland with rescued asylum-seekers.

Jagland has made "the worst decision in Nobel Peace Prize history" and "done done real damage to the institution," Downer writes. (ANI)

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