NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

LIVE! India should not rush to judge Trump: Foreign Secy Jaishankar

Write a comment

March 21, 2017

23:41  New US flight rules: Indian authorities await official word:  
Indian aviation authorities will wait for official communication from the US before deciding on whether to issue any travel advisory following the American government's ban on big electronic devices in cabin baggage on
flights from select Middle East and African nations.
In a new order, the American government has barred travellers going to the US on flights from select countries from carrying large electronic devices like cameras and laptops as cabin baggage.
As per the restrictions, passengers would have to check-in any devices bigger than a smartphone -- including iPads, Kindles and laptops -- before clearing security or boarding.

The latest decision of the US administration is "more of a security issue rather than a safety issue", a senior DGCA official told PTI.
There is no official communication so far from the US authorities in this regard, he added.
Since the matter pertains more to security aspects, a decision on whether to issue any kind of travel advisory is likely to be taken by the BCAS after discussions, the DGCA official said.
Only after getting an official communication from the US, any decision would be taken, he added.
22:55  India should not rush to judge Trump: Foreign Secy Jaishankar:  
India should guard against "judging" US President Donald Trump in a "rush" and instead take him seriously, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today said.
Addressing an industry event in New Delhi, Jaishankar also pitched for building strong regional connectivity, which he said was of paramount interest and was set to get a boost in the near future.
Laying out the rules of engagement with Trump, Jaishankar said it was important to keep in mind that intentions do not always translate into outcomes as he spoke on a wide range of issues.
"I think what is important is to take him (Trump) seriously but also with a caveat that intentions are not always outcomes and even in our bilateral ties I would suggest that if there is a point to make at this stage, it is that
don't rush to judgement," he said.
In making his case, Jaishankar referred to a section of the US media's take that the "American Press took him literally but not seriously but public took him seriously but not literally."
Suggesting that there was a perceptive shift across the world from multilateralism towards  bilateralism against the backdrop of a global "uncertainty", Jainshankar referred to the New Delhi's policy of "neighbourhood first".
22:29  RSS accuses Mamata government of encouraging Jihadi groups:  
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today accused the Mamata Banerjee government of encouraging "Jihadi" groups and anti-national elements in West Bengal due to what it called TMC's Muslim vote bank politics.
It also expressed concern over the "declining" Hindu population in the state.
A resolution adopted at the three-day meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the RSS' top policy making body, condemned the extremist violence.

"This (decline in Hindu population in West Bengal) is a matter of serious concern to the unity and integrity of the country," RSS Joint General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said while briefing reporters about the deliberations.
The resolution said the ABPS strongly "condemns the violence by extremists and the Muslim appeasement policy of the state government and calls upon the countrymen to create awareness against the Jihadi violence and the communal politics of the state government."
Hosabale said after partition, the Hindus from East Pakistan were forced to seek refuge in West Bengal.
It was not surprising that due to such large influx, the Hindu population in the state, which constituted 78.45 per cent in 1951 had declined to 70.54 per cent as per the 2011 census, he said.
 According to 2011 census data, Hindus constituted 70.54 per cent of the population compared to 72.47 per cent in 2001. Muslim population rose to 27.01 per cent from 25.25 per cent during the period under comparison.
The meeting also called upon the state government to rise above "petty vote-bank politics" and discharge its constitutional obligations, Hosabale said.
21:19  Fired US attorney Preet Bharara to join NYU Law School:  
India-born former top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, fired by the Trump administration after he refused to quit, will join the prestigious New York University's law school as a distinguished scholar.
The NYU School of Law announced today that 48-year-old Bharara will join the school as a "distinguished scholar in residence" on April 1.
Bharara said the opportunity to join the law school will enable him to continue working on issues that he cares about such as criminal and social justice and honest government.
"I am honored to join the NYU School of Law, one of the great educational institutions in America, and I welcome the chance to contribute in such a thoughtful setting," Bharara said in a statement issued by the law school.
He said that he is "thrilled for this opportunity to continue addressing the issues I so deeply care about, criminal and social justice, honest government, national security, civil rights, and corporate accountability, to name a few."
Bharara also took to Twitter to announce his new position. "This is one way I plan to keep working hard on important issues I care about "@nyulaw," he tweeted.
The former Manhattan attorney is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He has been a frequent visitor to NYU Law and was the convocation speaker in 2015.
Bharara's firing was met with shock and criticism since then President-elect Donald Trump had asked him in November to stay on in his position during a meeting at the Trump Towers.
In a sudden move, the administration this month asked the 46 Attorneys across the US, who had been appointed by former President Barack Obama, to submit their resignations with immediate effect. Bharara had refused to resign and was fired. 
20:36  Now, travel in Rajdhani or Shatabdi at express fare from 1 April:  
Come April and a passenger can avail the opportunity of travelling in Rajdhani or Shatabdi trains even if he or she has booked tickets in other mail/express trains for the same destinations.
Railways is launching a new scheme from April 1 under which waitlisted passengers can get confirmed accommodation in the next alternative train if they opt for the option while booking their tickets.
As per the scheme, there would be no extra charges taken from the passenger or any refund provided for the difference of fare.
Known as 'Vikalp', the alternative train accommodation scheme aims to utilise vacant berths in many premier trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and other special service such as Suvidha trains in all major routes.
Railways has to forego about Rs 7,500 crore in a year in refund to customers for cancellation of tickets for various reasons.
Describing the scheme as a "passenger friendly" move to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers in alternative trains, a senior Railway Ministry official said, 

"We aim to achieve the twin objectives of providing confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers and ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation by this scheme."
After introduction of flexi-fare system in premier trains, some berths are going vacant while at the same time many passengers could not be accommodated in other Mail/Express trains due to huge demand.
"In any case these berths are running vacant. So whatever we can save in refund is going to be a neat save for us. No additional cost is involved to railways so anything we save will be earnings for railways," the official added.
20:32  Advani welcomes SC advice to resolve Ayodhya dispute:  
Bharatiya Janata Party veteran L K Advani today welcomed the Supreme Court suggestion of an out-of-court settlement of the Ayodhya dispute and said all concerned parties should reach a consensus to resolve it.
"The Supreme Court's observation is a welcome step and I hope in light of the apex court's advise, all concerned parties will reach consensus and will find a solution to resolve the Ram Temple issue," Advani, who was the flag bearer of the Ram Janmabhoomi Andolan in the 1990s, told reporters.
Besides Advani, a host of other BJP leaders including the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also welcomed the apex court's observation.
Adityanath assured cooperation from the UP government in resolving the issue of temple in Ayodhya.
The Supreme Court today said that fresh attempts must be made by all the parties concerned to find a solution to the dispute which is a "sensitive and sentimental matter".
20:31  Just In: Government proposes to make Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax return and applying for PAN
19:24  Just In: Government proposes to make Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax return and applying for PAN
18:56  UP police issues orders to set up 'anti-Romeo squads':   The Uttar Pradesh police today issued orders to constitute 'anti-Romeo squad' in 11 districts of the Lucknow zone to prevent eve-teasing, as the Bharatiya Janata Party had promised during the assembly polls in its 'sankalp patra'.

"In a bid to check incidents of eve-teasing and passing of comments on them (women and girls), 'anti-romeo dal' would be constituted at the police station levels and action under Goonda Act taken against wrongdoers," Inspector General (Lucknow Zone) A Satish Ganesh said.

The Lucknow zone comprises 11 districts adjoining the state capital.

The IG's order said that attempts should be made to check cow slaughter and cattle smuggling effectively and those involved should be booked.

The IG said that in cases where investigation is complete, final report should be submitted in court and review of heinous crimes made so that those involved are sent behind bars.

The IG also directed the police to effectively check crime against women, arrest criminals carrying rewards, follow up on cases lodged under the Gangster Act, check activities of land mafia and curb the sale of illicit liquor.

The BJP's 'sankalp patra' during the assembly polls promised constitution of 'anti-Romeo' squads for checking eve-teasing besides checking activities of land mafia and cow slaughter. -- PTI
17:40  Cash transactions should be capped at Rs 2 lakh, not Rs 3 lakh, says govt:   Change is the only constant in the BJP's digital drive.

NDTV: The government now says cash transactions should be capped at Rs 2 lakh, not Rs 3 lakh, says government. 

Any cash transaction of more than Rs 2 lakh should be penalised at 100 per cent, the government has proposed today.

In his budget presented in February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said cash transactions would be capped at Rs. 3 lakh. The government wants to reduce the limit to Rs. 2 lakh.

The proposal is aimed at curbing black money.

Last month, the government imposed a cap on cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh, taking forward the agenda to move towards a cashless economy. The decision, which comes into effect starting April 1, 2017, is based on the recommendations of Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black money.

The Budget documents pointed out that in India, the quantum of domestic black money is huge, which adversely affects the revenue of the government, thereby creating a resource crunch for its various welfare programmes. Further, it added that black money is generally transacted in cash and large amount of unaccounted wealth is stored and used in form of cash.
17:31  Update: Yogi in LS: Sabka saath, sabka vikas our motto :   UP CM Yogi Adityanath speaking in the Lok Sabha.

"We will work for every section of society of UP," the CM says. "The Uttar Pradesh government will work on the principles set by the PM. I want to thank the PM for laying the foundation stone for the fertiliser factory in Gorakhpur.

"Many parties made Dalits a vote bank, capitalised on their plight, but PM Modi realised an AIIMS in Gorakhpur. This government has worked for all sections of society without any discrimination. There used to be a lot of misconceptions created about the government.

"But the PM remained steadfast on his commitment to run a government for the poor, for the farmers without any discrimination.

"Many parties have made Dalits a vote bank, capitalised on their plight. But it is the PM who realised an AIIMS in Gorakhpur.

"I am happy that I have been picked to serve the people of Uttar Pradesh.

"I thank Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for breathing new life into our country's economy.

"Centre gave UP govt 2.5 lakh crore. I will transform UP into the PM's dream state. n the last few years, the centre gave a lot of funds to Uttar Pradesh but there was no model for development

"The people's mandate is a slap on the face of those people who have stifled the growth of Uttar Pradesh," he said.

Making a jibe at the SP-Cong slogan of UP ke ladke, Adityanath said, "Main Rahulji se ek saal chhota hoon aur Akhileshji se ek saaI bada hoon," he told Cong's Mallikarjuna Kharge. In dono (Rahul & Akhilesh) ki jodi ke beech mein jo main aagaya ye aapki viphalta ka ek karan ho sakta hai."
16:25  Will auction Aamby Valley if you don't pay up: SC tells Subrata Roy:  Just in: The Supreme Court says it will auction the Sahara group's Aamby Valley project if the money is not paid by Subrata Roy and others. The  Rs 39,000 crore property at Aamby Valley in Pune was attached by the court in January in an ongoing case against the business tycoon for which he has already spent time in Tihar jail of Delhi.

Sahara, who set up a multi-million dollar business conglomerate, was sent to jail by the top court in 2014 after his group failed to repay the amount to its two crore small investors as ordered by the court.

In an August 2012 verdict, the SC had ordered two of Sahara companies to refund Rs 24,000 crore, along with 15 per cent interest, to more than two crore small investors who had invested in their optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) between the years 2008 and 2011. Sahara was sent to jail on March 4, 2014 for failing to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 crore.
15:54  SC rejects TMC plea, CBI probe into Narada sting will go on :   Bad news for West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. The Supreme court has refused to stay the High Court order in the Narada case. This meas the CBI investigation into the Narada sting will not be stopped. The SC has rejected the petition by Trinamool leaders.

The West Bengal government has sought the Supreme Court's stay on a recent Calcutta high court order that asked the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into bribery allegations made by a news portal against Trinamool leaders, even as the CBI registered a PE on yesterday.

The state government had dismissed the sting as part of a "larger political conspiracy" against the ruling party and declared that it would appeal to the SC against the HC order.

In its appeal filed in the SC on Monday, the state government assailed the HC order as "erroneous", "contrary to law" and hence "liable to be struck down."  The order was passed in "haste" despite the state police taking all steps to get to the truth, the appeal said.
15:47   Ram Mandir issue: Can't settle matter outside court, say Clerics:  The Muslim clerics on Tuesday appeared not to be in tune with the Supreme Court's suggestion that the Ayodhya issue be settled through discussions and said that things would have resolved long back if the matter could have been settled out of court.

"Let the court decide about the land and must give verdict accordingly. But there cannot be any solutions through talks. If it would have been so, things would have resolved long back," Gulzar Azmi, the Secretary of the Legal Cell of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, told ANI.

Zafaryab Jilani, the convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, resonating similar views asserted that the decision cannot be taken outside the court.

"We cannot go for out of court settlement. What Swamy said does not matter. He is gaining publicity just like that as he has no locus standi and we do not want to give him any answer," said Jilani.

The apex court earlier in the day said Ayodhya dispute is a sensitive and sentimental issue, adding its best that this matter is settled amicably.

The court was hearing a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today seeking urgent hearing of Ayodhya dispute in the apex court.The court asked parties concerned to sit together to arrive at a consensus and asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about the decision on March 31.
15:44  Veteran Cong leader SM Krishna to BJP tomorrow:   Veteran Congress leader, SM Krishna will join the Bharatiya Janata Party tomorrow. The move of the ex-Congress leader was expected as he had resigned from all the posts held by him in the grand old party on January 29th itself, citing the grouse of the Congress old guard that they had been sidelined due to age. Krishna had resigned from the Congress and Congress Working Committee as well.

The 84-year-old first became a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1968 from Mandya.

Krishna led the Congress to victory in Karnataka in 1999 and served as the chief minister till 2004.
15:31  Not against Ram Temple but SC should give final verdict: Muslim clerics:   After the Supreme Court described the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya as a "sensitive" and "sentimental" issue and suggested that it would be best if the contentious issue is settled amicably, the Muslim clerics on Tuesday said they are not against construction of the Ram Temple but added the apex court should give a final verdict on the matter.

Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali told ANI in Lucknow that a final statement on the issue will be made only after discussions with the senior clerics.

"Whatever suggestion the Supreme Court gave we respect that. We were never against the construction of the ram temple. But the Ayodhya issue is a very sensitive issue. We will discuss it with senior clerics, our community then only a make final statement. In the past, we had sat for negotiations but due to undue interference by political parties no solution could be found, hence the Supreme Court should give a final verdict," he added.

Echoing similar sentiments, another Muslim cleric Umer Ilyasi said it will be in the best interest of everyone if the matter is resolved keeping the viewpoint of both Hindus and Muslims in mind.

"This issue has been pending in the Supreme Court for a very long time. Now it is better to solve the problem together so that both the sides are happy and in the interest of both the sides," he added.

The apex court today said that fresh attempts must be made by all parties to end the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute through negotiated settlement. The court said it would step in only if the matter can't be resolved through talks.
15:23  Khalistani terrorist arrested :  Delhi Police Crime branch arrest Khalistan Commando Force terrorist Gursewak Singh alias Babla. One country-made pistol has been recovered from him and he was previously involved in about 75 cases including terrorist activities, murder and loot, they added. Further details are awaited. 
15:07  I'll stay with the namaste, thank you!:  Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath called on President Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. 
15:00  Phool khile hain gulshan gulshan:  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met BJP President Amit Shah earlier today in Delhi.
14:42  A Brexit lexicon:  After months of dithering and unkempt debate, the British government has announced that it will seek to commence formal divorce proceedings later this month, giving effect to the referendum in which a wispy majority of Brits voted to leave a union of which they'd been an essential (but not well-loved) part for 44 years. Tunku Varadarajan on the mighty messy departure -- from A to Z. Read
14:24  High-level water talks with India from next month:  India has decided to return to the negotiating table with Pakistan over its disputed hydropower projects in April, following the intervention of the US and the World Bank, the Dawn reports. Read more
14:20  Who's Pakistan's enemy #1? (It's not what you think):  Ask people around you to identify the three greatest threats facing Pakistan. Ordinary people, chatterbox anchors, mullahs, generals and politicians will name everything from corruption, bad governance and religious terrorism, to Indian and American conspiracies, and general moral decay. But few, if any, waste sleep worrying about the country's exploding population. Some educated people do have misgivings, but they show concern only when prodded. Read more
14:15  CRPF cover for OPS?:  AIADMK MPs in the O Panneerselvam camp are meeting home minister Rajnath Singh to seek CRPF security cover for him and their RK Nagar Assembly candidate Madhusudanan. They anticipate life threats to these leaders. 
14:11  UP CM Adityanath relieves all non-govt advisers, chairmen, deputy chairmen and members in corporations, committees and departments of their charge, says PTI. 
13:57  Sinn Fin's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister, has died aged 66.
13:54  Sonia, Rahul to return to India on April 4:  Congress president Sonia Gandhi who is in USA undergoing medical treatment will return on April 4. Her son and the party's vice-president who followed her to the US and is with her now, will return with her. Sonia has been in the US since March 8.

Insiders in AICC confirm that Sonia Gandhi has undergone a battery of medical tests.

In August last year, she fell ill during a road show in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi, and was then hospitalized in Delhi, after which her attendance in parliament has been irregular.

Before flying out, she spoke to senior Congress leaders informing them of her plans; she stated that her son Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Vice President, will take decisions on her behalf.

Rahul's absence in India also means he will be missing the Budget session of Parliament which is on now, which is probably why session is functioning smoothly.

However, once Rahul is back, a bigger challenge awaits him. The party will review its performance in the assembly polls and introspect on reasons for the defeat in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
13:40  After UP, the BJP is certain that it can get away with anything:  A week is truly a long time in politics. On Saturday, March 11, when the assembly election results of five states were declared, the Bharatiya Janata Party's legions of supporters were awash in euphoria. Journalists and commentators ran out of superlatives to describe the party's victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand: stupendous, stunning, spectacular, magnificent, monumental, and, of course, the much abused "historic". Read Manini Chatterjee's column for the Telegraph.
13:35  Mooh mitha time:  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath meets Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi. 
13:29  Shiv Sena calls for complete boycott of Pak:   Expressing grave concern over the recent episode where two Indian Sufi clerics had disappeared in Pakistan, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the Indians and Muslims in the country in particular should isolate Islamabad completely.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that this matter should be thoroughly investigated.

"I have always been saying that India should not keep any relationship with Pakistan. Their artists, their cricket team and others from the neighbouring nation should not be allowed to visit India. Even the Indians should not go there," Raut told ANI.

"Why did they (clerics) go there when they know what kind of relations both countries share? If you are a true Indian then you should be angry with Pakistan," he added while asserting that the Muslims in India must up the ante against Pakistan.

The Shiv Sena leader's remark came a day after two Indian clerics, who went missing in Pakistan returned home.

Syed Asif Nizami, the head priest of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, and his nephew Nazim Ali Nizami were welcomed at the airport yesterday by their family members and a group of well-wishers.

The duo had gone to Lahore on March 8 but went missing mid last week following which India took up the issue with Islamabad.

The two clerics also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday.
12:52  'Yogi's hardline rhetoric won't disappear, it is who he is':  Milan Vaishnav, the author of When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics on UPs new chief minister.

"It seems that Yogi Adityanath was the consensus pick of the BJP MLAs in UP, but it's a risky one for Modi. This is perhaps why the BJP leadership has created a troika-like set-up with two deputy CMs. Yogi has no track record of administration -- and this is what UP so desperately needs.

"The cases against him all involve communal violence and creating enmity between communities. This is the last thing that UP needs right now, when it faces massive development challenges and a jobs crisis.

"Yogi is a divisive figure and that divisiveness is intrinsic to his appeal among voters in eastern UP. In the past, he has allegedly exploited tensions between communities and ratcheted them up, rather than dialing them down.

"His hardline rhetoric may be toned down, but it won't disappear. It is who Yogi is. The challenge for Modi is to ensure that it does not completely overtake the development agenda, but everyone -- especially Modi -- knows what you are getting when you pick an Adityanath. There should be no illusions about that."

"The BJP has always balanced development rhetoric with Hindutva. What upsets so many about this selection is the blatant sop to the latter without any evidence of catering to the former."

Vaishnav is also senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace
12:40  UP CM Yogi Adityanath meets PM, discusses portfolios:  
Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in Parliament. 

The 44-year-old, who became the 21st chief minister of the state, will reportedly discuss portfolios with the BJP top brass. He is also expected to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss law and order situation in the state.

Earlier on Sunday, Adityanath had called upon his Cabinet ministers to declare their source of income, movable and immovable assets. The IAS officers have been asked to furnish details regarding their assets and income within 15 days in a format to be provided by the CMs office.
12:30  Babri Masjid Panel rejects CJI's offer on Ram Mandir issue:  
The Babri Masjid Committee has rejected the CJI JS Khehars offer to mediate in the Ram Janbhoomi-Babri Masjid case.

Dr SQR Ilyas, Joint Convenor the Babri Masjid Committee said that a previous dialogue between the VHP and Babri Masjid Committee did not reach any conclusion, and added that issue has to be settled on the basis of legal position not sentiments.

He said, "We don't agree to that CJI can act as a mediator in this case. The Allahabad HC has already given a judgment. Muslim Personal Law Board feels time of negotiation is over."
11:58  Here's one theory about what Mulayam whispered in Modi's ears at Adityanath's swearing in:  
A gesture speaks a thousand words. There was a moment during the swearing in ceremony of Uttar Pradesh's next Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, when former Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav leaned in to whisper something in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ears - a moment perfectly captured by the press photographers present at the venue.

Telegraph has a theory. Reportedly a BJP politician, who refused to be named, told the paper that he overheard Mulayam telling Modi to take care of his son Akhilesh. "Thoda Akhilesh ka khayal rakhiye," were the words uttered.

On stage, as Mulayam gestured, Akhilesh walked up to Modi and shook his hand. Mulayam reportedly told Modi, according to Telegraph, "Inko sikhaiye" (teach him). 
11:42  Breaking: Sri Lankan Navy arrests ten fishermen from Rameswaram for poaching in Lankan waters on Monday night.
11:28  U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on leading Britain post-Brexit:   She stepped into a whirlwind to lead Britain into the Brexit era. But -- leather trousers aside -- Theresa May's own style is decidedly no-drama. The Vogue interview

11:25  'I am not afraid':  Sandhya Ravishankar, a feisty journalist, is being threatened online for a series of exposes on illegal sand mining in Tamil Nadu. In 2015, she was served a legal notice after one of her exposes was published in the Economic Times. After a series of investigative reports appeared on recently, she was subject to intense trolling on her Twitter feed, and a blog was created to cast aspersions on her journalistic integrity. Following the online harassment, Ravishankar filed a complaint with the Chennai cyber police and met the police commissioner. Ravishankar spoke to's A Ganesh Nadar. Read the interview here.
11:18  SC suggests out of court settlement on Ram Temple dispute:  The issue of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, which has been pending for six years, should be sorted out outside court, the Supreme Court said today. The top court assured that it would step in only if the matter can't be resolved through talks. 

Subramanian Swamy had requested the court to take up the Ram Mandir appeal, which has been pending for six years before the top court.

The court asks parties concerned to sit together to arrive
at a consensus.

"It is an issue of sentiment and religion. First sit together and sort out.  Both sides have moderators and hold meeting," said Chief Justice JS Khehar, while hearing a petition by senior BJP leader.

In response, Swamy said it is difficult to make both communities sit together and only judicial intervention is needed.

The Chief Justice then asked Swamy to mention the case on March 31
and if the parties want him to mediate, then he is ready for the task. 
11:04  An epic journey: The day the Dalai Lama came to India:   The Tibetan spiritual leader's upcoming visit to Tawang, the district through which he first entered India, is probably behind China's new desire to claim the area. Claude Arpi recalls the Dalai Lama's arrival in Tawang in March 1959 and explains why His Holiness will once again receive a grand welcome, whether Beijing likes it or not. Do read

IMAGE: The Dalai Lama, second from right, arrived in India on a yak on March 31, 1959. Photographs: Kind courtesy Claude Arpi
10:58  Adityanath's Delhi diary: Back-to-back meets with prez, PM, BJP biggies :  After assuming office as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Parliament today.

A peek into the Yogi's diary today...

11:30 am: Meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

12:10 pm Meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

12: 40 pm: Meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence.

1:30 pm:  Talks with President Pranab Mukherjee.

Post-lunch: Meetings with BJP president Amit Shah, Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and party veteran Lal Krishna Advani.

5:50 pm: Leaves for Lucknow.

Adityanath, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, was on March 19 sworn-in as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister while Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma took oath as deputy chief ministers of the state.
10:43  Ritwik Ghatak's daughter dies:  Eminent filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak's daughter Samhita has died. She was 60. Samhita died of cardiac arrest in her sleep on Monday, her niece said. Her daughter Aditi had died in an accident in 2012. Samhita was only 19 years old when Ghatak, the Meghe Dhaka Tara maker, passed away. Samhita is survived by her husband and her 90-year-old mother.
10:36  US Defence Secy to meet Ajit Doval on March 24: Pentagon:  Just in: US Defence Secretary to meet Ajit Doval on March 24, says Pentagon.

India and the US will discuss a wide range of bilateral security issues and defence ties during National Security Adviser Ajit Dovals visit to the country. US Defence Secretary James Mattis will meet Doval on March 24, Pentagon Spokesman Capt Jeff Davis told reporters during an off-camera news conference.

They are likely to discuss a wide range of bilateral security issues and those related to the defence relationship. Clearly India is a very strong security partner and a force in the region. We continue to have very good relationship with India in the region, Davis said in response to a question.

The Mattis-Doval meeting later this week would be one of the highest-level meetings between the two countries after the Trump Administration came to power on January 20. Doval is also expected to meet his American counterpart Lt Gen H R McMaster at the White House, the first between the two national security advisors.
10:30  Sri Lankan Navy apprehends 10 Indian fishermen and one boat from Ramanathapuram, Rameswaram in the sea north of Delft Island.
10:29  Thanks for making me realise it was your show, Sunil Grower responds to Kapil Sharma:  Sunil Grover broke his silence on the ongoing tussle between him and comedian Kapil Sharma, sharing a note on social media in which he asked the latter to "start respecting human beings also apart from animals."

Kapil yesterday tried to put all rumours of his feud with Sunil rest by saying he loves his co-star as an artist and considers him as his elder brother. The 35-year-old host of "The Kapil Sharma Show" even took to Facebook to dismiss reports of the duo involved in a tussle while travelling together in a flight.

However, Grover today tweeted that he is deeply hurt with Kapil's behaviour. "Bhai ji! Yes, You hurt me deeply. We with you has been a learning experience. Just one advice start respecting human beings also apart from animals. All are not as successful as you are. All are not as talented as you are. But if they all are talented like you, who will value you.

"So, have some gratitude towards their existence. And also, If someone is correcting you, don't abuse that person. Refrain from using foul language In front of women who had nothing to do with the stardom you carry, they are by chance just traveling with you," Sunil wrote.

Sunil, who plays Dr Mashoor Gulati and Rinku Bhabhi on Kapil's show, further said that, "thanks for making me realise it was your show and you have power to throw out anybody, anytime."

"You are the wittiest, and the best in your field. But don't act like a 'God'. Take good care of yourself. Wish you lot more success and fame." Minutes after Sunil's tweet, Kapil replied, "@WhoSunilGrover today packed up at 6 am after so long and I missed so many things... Love you... See you in the evening at your home."
10:24  Brexit by Bansky:  The British artist, who has become a global phenomenon over the past decade but whose real identity is a closely guarded secret, has this on Brexit. UK begins leaving the EU on March 29.
10:00  PM Narendra Modi arrives for the BJP's Parliamentary meet in Delhi.
09:58  I may not be welcome in Trump's America: Stephen Hawking :  British scientist Stephen Hawking has admitted his fear of not being welcome in the United States anymore, with Donald Trump being President.

Hawking described President Trump's election as "a definite swing to a right-wing" and a "more authoritarian approach," reports CNN quoting his interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain.

His comments about the US President resemble to those he made in May last year, before Trump became the Republican nominee.

At the time, Hawking described Trump as "a demagogue, who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator."

Taking a critical stance on Scott Pruitt, who was appointed as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Hawking said that the man did not believe that carbon dioxide causes climate change and called for his replacement.

"Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent. It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for [Trump's] second term, God forbid," he said.

Hawking also did not mince words for Britons who voted to leave the European Union in last year's Brexit referendum.

"A main worry for the British people was the feeling that Eastern Europe migration would take their jobs and undercut their wages. The majority voted accordingly and I see this as short-sighted. A hard Brexit would leave us isolated and inward looking," he said.

When assked if he believed he was the most intelligent person in the world, Hawking gave an ideal witty response, " I would never claim this. People who boast about their IQ are losers."
09:39  EU marks 60th birthday in Rome under Brexit's shadow:   European Union leaders gather in Rome this week to proclaim their "common future" on the bloc's 60th birthday, despite a wave of crises including Britain's looming exit from the bloc. The 27 leaders will use Saturday's anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957, to hail the peace and prosperity they say the project has brought Europe in the aftermath of World War II. But the ghost at the banquet will be British Prime Minister Theresa May, who instead of joining the party in the splendour of a 16th-century palazzo will be in London preparing to trigger the Brexit divorce just four days later. From migration and terrorism to populism and the eurozone debt crisis, Brexit is one of a host of existential challenges clouding the birthday celebrations of a union formed to rebuild Europe from the ashes of war.
09:37  ED arrests sandmining baron Sekhar Reddy:  ED arrests sand mining baron Shekhar Reddy and two others in Chennai in connection with a money laundering case post demonetisation.

Sekhar Reddy allegedly used public servants to change demonetised currency, the CBI's FIR filed in December has said.

The CBI's FIR copy on the money laundering case against Reddy claims that the sand mining baron used a certain number of unknown public servants and bank employees to change the demonetised currency into new notes.

After getting information from the Income Tax department about a seizure of Rs 24 crore new notes from a 'Tata Ace' vehicle at Vellore, and the huge amount of demonetised currencies and many kilos of gold acquired from Reddy's residence, the CBI arrested him, Prem Kumar and Shrinivasulu under IPC 120-B r/w 409, 420 IPC and section 13(2) r/w 13(1) (c) on December 21.

The chargesheet has clearly stated that Reddy is a government contractor, partner of SRS Mining based in Chennai and operates majority of sand quarries at Vellore and neighbouring districts.

The CBI then accuses Reddy and his associates to have deprived the public in enforcing their right by using unknown public servants from different banks to illegally convert demonetised notes into new notes.

"The bank officials who were trusted with the new currency notes to be distributed to the public, as per the instructions given to the bank from time to time by the RBI, defying the same they helped the accused persons for a consideration," claims the FIR.
09:31   Indian-American teen arrested a year after he strangled his mother:  A 17-year-old Indian-American boy has been arrested in North Carolina in connection with killing his mother.

Arnav Uppalapati was arrested by Cary police on Friday after more than a year for the death of his 51-year-old mother Nalini Tellaprolu.

Tellaprolu, who worked at Duke Medical Center, was strangled on December 17, 2015 with a plastic bag over her head.

The incident has sent "shock waves" among the community. "It's very devastating. There's never been an incident where a son has taken the life of his own biological mother. It really sends shock waves," Satish Garimella, a Morrisville town councilman of Indian descent, was quoted as saying by the local 'The News&Observer'.

Uppalapati was 16 when he reported coming home from school and finding his mother's body in the garage with a plastic bag over her head. Her feet were in the back seat of a car. She may have been beaten before she was strangled, the report said, citing the autopsy report.

Uppalapati was a person of interest in the case from the outset, said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

One telling clue were early reports that indicated there were no signs of a forced entry into the family's two-story, USD 450,000 home at the Upchurch Farms subdivision, Freeman said.

"We're shocked as a community. This was not something we expected to hear. She focused all of her energy on her kids," said Padma Tummala, a long-time friend of Tellaprolu.

"I still don't believe it. This is completely out of the blue," said Vijay Javvadi, another family friend.

It wasn't clear how police finally broke the case or what motive played a role.Police said in a statement that Uppalapati would be tried on a class B1 felony charge, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison without  parole.
09:18  Cong, NCP join hands to end lal batti culture :  The Congress Party on Tuesday said the red beacon culture should end in all the states to maintain equality in the nation.

Congress leader PL Punia told ANI that the decision to end the red beacon culture has been taken by the Punjab Government and it has shown the right path.

"This is the decision of Captain Amarinder Singh. If it takes place in Uttar Pradesh, we would welcome that. Putting the red or blue light on the vehicles show they are different from others. Everyone is equal in India. The difference that is caused due to the red beacon culture should end," he added.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also lent its voice saying the idea should be discouraged as it causes inconvenience to the commoners and also cost the government.

"Look at the contrast. The newly-elected government in Punjab immediately has decided to do away entirely with read beacon. The Supreme Court also has expressed its anguish with regard to so many vehicles on the streets belonging to various ministers and executive officers. It should be discouraged because it is causing inconvenience to the common people and also costing the government," NCP leader Majeed Memon told ANI.

Asserting that the days of pomp and dignity are gone, the NCP leader said Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti must go to London and see that even its mayor would drive an ordinary car.
09:01  Flying to the US? You can't carry laptops, iPads, cameras:  
The US government is barring passengers on Royal Jordanian Airlines flights from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics in carry-on luggage on certain US-bound flights starting today, the airline has said in a tweet.

The airline yesterday said cellphones and medical devices are excluded from the ban. Everything else, the airline said, would need to be packed in checked luggage.

It is unclear what other countries and airlines the ban will apply to, how long it will be in place or what prompted it.

A US government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks. 
08:50  Will CBI probe Narada scandal? Case in Supreme Court today:  
A dozen top Trinamool Congress leaders will be watching the Supreme Court at 2 pm today when it will decide if the CBI should probe the Narada sting or not. 

A news website, Narada News, had alleged a huge corruption scandal last year when it reported that Trinamool leaders - most of them elected lawmakers - were seen in hidden camera footage taking wads of cash from a man posing as the owner of a company, apparently seeking favours from the Mamata Banerjee government.

On Friday, Calcutta High Court told CBI to hold a preliminary probe within 72 hours and file an FIR. Sources say the preliminary report includes the names of all Trinamool leaders seen on the sting operation footage. Yesterday, Trinamool leaders Saugata Roy and others moved the Supreme Court to stop the CBI probe.

The Calcutta High Court's 72 hours ends today. A CBI team, which has been going through hours of tape and reams of documents, is expected to submit its report to the High Court today - perhaps at the same time as the Supreme Court hearing.
08:26  JUST IN: Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath will meet PM Narendra Modi today in Parliament
07:46  25-year-old arrested for posting 'objectionable photo' of UP CM:  
A 25-year-old man was arrested in Ghazipur for uploading an objectionable picture of Yogi Adityanath, hours after he was sworn in as the UP chief minister, on a fake Facebook account, police said. 

Badshah Abdul Razak, a resident of Professors Colony in Ghazipur district uploaded the image on Sunday night and it was circulated on social media, police said. He forged the identity to create the account.

District magistrate Sanjay Khatri and senior police officers had to rush to the neighbourhood as the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth outfit founded by Adityanath, started gathering in protest.

Tempers ran high as the family and friends of Razak and locals came face to face with the Yuva Vahini members.

A police party raided Razaks house and arrested him.

During questioning, Razak confessed to uploading the image, inspector Surendra Kumar Pandey said.
00:23  FBI probing Russia links to Trump campaign a serious matter: Democrats:  
The FBI investigating the allegations of any links between the Trump campaign and Russia is a serious matter, the Democratic party leadership said, demanding a fair, independent and impartial probe.
"The possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is a serious matter. The investigation must be fair, independent, and impartial in every way, and the FBI must be allowed to follow the facts
wherever they may lead," Senator Charles Schumer, Senate Majority leader, said in a statement.
Schumer said this soon after FBI Director James Comey told a Congressional panel that the agency was probing Russia's meddling in last year's presidential polls, including possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
"The Department of Justice and Trump administration must allow Director Comey's investigation to move forward without any interference, meddling or political pressure of any kind whatsoever," he said.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the existence of a month-long FBI investigation into Trump officials' ties to the Russians confirms the necessity of a comprehensive, independent, bipartisan commission to bring the full truth to light.

Stars spotted!  What's this?

What was Lalettan doing in New Jersey?
Reader Bhargav Govind sends us a picture from...

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos