23:12 Woman techie set ablaze by spurned youth in Chennai:
A 21-year old woman was set afire allegedly by a former schoolmate for declining his marriage proposal, police said today.
The victim's sister and mother suffered severe injuries when they tried to save her, police said, adding the duo is admitted in a hospital in critical condition.
S Induja, a B Tech graduate and working with an IT firm, died on the spot after Aakash, 22, set her ablaze at her residence last night.
The man has been arrested and was produced in a court today.
According to the police, Aakash, a college dropout, and Induja had studied in the same school. He had been pestering Induja to marry him.
On learning that her family was looking for a groom for her, Aakash went to Induja's residence last night and once again proposed to her.
She rejected the proposal and shouted at him. Enraged, Aakash allegedly doused her in kerosene, set her on fire and fled from the spot, police said.
"Aakash decided to make his marriage proposal to Induja for one last time yesterday. He had made up his mind that if she did not agree to it, she should not marry anyone else," a senior police official told PTI
Demanding a strong punishment to the offender, Pattali Makkal Katchi chief S Ramadoss said it was a 'matter of concern that the government has not taken any steps to rein in violence against women, staged in the name of 'one-side love''. -- PTI
22:43 Country should ask Jaitley to quit for hardships he caused: Sinha:
Criticising Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over imposing a 'deeply flawed' goods and service tax, Bharatiya Janata Party veteran Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said countrymen can rightly demand he quit for the hardships caused and also felt he is a 'burden' on the people of Gujarat.
Jaitley is a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.
Sinha, who has been criticising the Modi government's economic policies, during an interaction with reporters in Ahmedabad, also alleged that the GST was rolled out without giving due consideration to each and every aspect.
Indian economy received 'two shocks' in the form of demonetisation and GST in quick succession, said Sinha, a former union finance minister.
Sinha was invited to poll-bound Cujarat by the activists associated with 'Lokshahi Bachao Andolan' (Save Democracy Movement) to share his views about the current state of economy and impact of demonetisation and GST.
"Our finance minister is not from Gujarat, as he was elected to Rajya Sabha from here. And, he is a burden on the people of Gujarat. If he was not elected from here, a Gujarati would have got the chance," Sinha said while responding to a question.
Sinha said the finance minister believes in only one rule, 'that is 'chitt bhi meri patt bhi meri
', means heads I win, tails you lose'.
The minister takes credit for everything, even if something is not implemented properly. If proper attention was paid while fixing the GST rates, such 'anomalies and anarchy' could have been avoided, Sinha said.
"He cannot take credit for imposing on the country a deeply flawed tax system, and people of this country are well within their right to demand that he should lose his job," the veteran leader said.
On Jaitley's earlier remark that Sinha is looking for a job at the age of 80, Sinha, who insisted that he is not part of any 'Margdarshak Mandal', said he is still fit unlike those 'who give their speech while sitting', an apparent reference to Jaitley, who had sat down in between his budget speech due to health reasons.
"People who give their speeches in sitting position are talking about my age," he said.
Without taking any name, Sinha said attempts were made by some people to create a rift between him and his son -- Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.
"Though some people had made attempts to create a rift between us, they did not get any success," Sinha said in a reference to the political storm that erupted after his article, criticising the Modi government over the state of economy, was published in a newspaper in September.
In that article, Sinha, who was the finance minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government, had criticised Jaitley over the 'mess the finance minister has made of the economy' and said he would be failing in his national duty if he did not speak up.
Responding to a question, Sinha lashed out at Jaitley over calling Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi 'childish' for demanding single tax rate under GST.
"Go back in history and you will find that Jaitley himself had said that we will progress towards a single tax structure. That is what he had said. But when others are saying it, it is childish, and when he said it, it was mature," said Sinha.
The BJP veteran also claimed that the decision of demonetisation has failed to serve its purpose.He also accused Modi of shifting goal posts.
"There is still a question mark on the success of demonetisation. Be it black money, or fake currency or eliminating terrorism, all these problems are still there."
"I believe that GST is an effective tax system, that is the reason why I, too, promoted it when I was heading the Finance Ministry. But the way GST was implemented now, it only increased the hardships of the people," he said.
He even suggested to form a committee under the guidance of GST architect and former chairman of 13th Finance Commission, Vijay Kelkar, to find out the flaws and include the suggestions of that committee in the next union Budget. -- PTI
22:29 Secularism 'biggest lie', says Adityanath:
The word secularism is the 'biggest lie' told post-Independence, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, prompting a strong retort from the Congress today.
"I feel the word secularism is the biggest lie (told) in India post-Independence... those who have given birth to and used the word repeatedly should apologise to the people of India...there is no word like secularism," Adityanath said.
He made the remarks while responding to a query about communalism and secularism at an event organised by the Dainik Jagran
group in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur yesterday.
Adityanath said a political system 'cannot be secular'. However, it can be 'sect-neutral', he added.
Adityanath said it was not possible to run a government following a particular way of 'upasana
"I have to look after 22 crore people (of Uttar Pradesh). I am answerable for their security and for respecting their sentiments. But I am not here to appease any particular community or caste," he said.
According to a media report, the chief minister also said there was 'Ram Rajya' under the Narendra Modi government.
The term 'Ram Rajya' is often used for describing an ideal state of affairs.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal hit out at Adityanath for his remarks.
'Yogi Adityanath says 'secularism is a lie' and compares Modi's government to 'Ram Rajya'. This 'Truth' is perhaps the biggest lie,' Sibal said on Twitter. -- PTI
21:52 Saudi Arabia 'allows Yoga as sports activity':
The Saudi Arabian government has approved the practice of yoga as a sports activity, claimed a social media post of Nouf Marwaai, founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation in the Saudi kingdom.
'Yoga, which literally means 'union'. A union of individual with ones well-being, a body to mind, emotions & soul, nation to globe has officially arrived at the sea shore of Saudi Arabia. It has crossed the boundaries of fundamentalism...ideological extremism,' she said in a Facebook post dated November 12.
However, the account is not verified by the social media site.
She also wrote that since, its inception in Saudi, 'Yoga has observed a topsy-turvy path, with me as a medium. God gave me strength to fight all difficulties, real difficulties. God was with me as an observer and infused courage in me whenever required. Here is a day, that finally practicing yoga is no more a deviant behaviour in Saudi.'
She also thanked the Indian government and the consulate general for 'unlimited' support.
This development comes at a time when many Muslims in India and elsewhere are under pressure from their religious leaders not to practice yoga which they claim is 'un-Islamic'.
Last week, Rafia Naaz, a woman yoga teacher in Ranchi, was allegedly threatened by members of her community after she performed yoga.
Yoga has been promoted in a big way by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with concerted efforts by the government, the United Nations has also declared June 21 as 'International Yoga Day'. -- PTIImage only for representation.
Month-wise foreign trade of India in the past one year.
20:44 Pradhyumn killing: CBI checks teen's net surfing records:
The Central Bureau of Investigation was going through the internet surfing records of a Class 11 student, who was apprehended in connection with the killing of seven-year-old Pradhyumn Thakur in Gurugram's Ryan International School, in a bid to figure out his thought process, sources said.
The probe agency had seized the hard-disk of a computer, a mobile phone and some other gadgets from the residence of the teenager, the contents of which were being analysed to understand his internet surfing habits, they added.
The exercise was aimed at finding out what could have led a 16-year-old boy, a piano student, to allegedly take the drastic step of killing a Class 2 student to get the school to defer a parent-teacher meeting and an exam, the sources said.
The agency had searched the boy's residence on September 28, but kept it under the wraps to prevent any speculation about him emerging as a prime suspect in the case, they added.
"They have seized a hard-disk, a mobile phone and some other gadgets. They did not drop any hint that they were probing his role," the father of the teenager told PTI
He alleged that his son was being framed by the CBI. If the blame was pinned on a student, he added, the school management would not be liable to pay damages, but it would have to do so if a staff member was convicted.
"The CBI does not have any answer about the whereabouts of (school bus conductor) Ashok Kumar. Where was he for those nine minutes?" he asked.
He also accused the CBI of torturing his son to extract his confession. -- PTI
19:42 Nursery boy falls into open water sump in school, dies:
A two-and-a-half-year-old boy died today after falling into an open sump in his school located at Malkajgiri in Hyderabad, police said.
The boy was a nursery student in the private school, they said.
According to police, the boy's father had dropped him at the school in the morning.
Later, when his mother came to give him a tiffin box, she failed to find him.
"She immediately called up her husband and informed to him about it. He rushed to the school and they launched a search. After some time, they found their that their son had in the open sump tank," a police official said.
They rushed the boy to a nearby hospital, where he was declared brought dead, the official added.
Investigating officer Manmath Kumar said, the victim's father lodged a complaint with Malkajgiri police station, accusing the school management of negligence leading to the death of his son.
"It is a six-feet deep water sump and the boy drowned after falling into it. A police team visited the spot and based on the preliminary probe, negligence was found on the part of the school management and staff. Accordingly, a case of negligence under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code was registered against them," he said.
Some relatives of the victim and locals demanded stern action against the school management and the staff for their 'negligence'.
"Necessary action will be initiated against the guilty once the investigation is completed," the official said.
Further investigation into the case is on. -- PTI
18:36 Another video purporting to show Hardik 'with a woman' surfaces:
A day after a purported 'sex video' of Hardik Patel surfaced, another clip emerged today in which a man resembling the Patidar quota stir spearhead is seen relaxing on a bed with two men and a woman.
The man with a shaven head is seen drinking water while seated on the bed.
Hardik Patel had got his head tonsured in May this year with his supporters to protest against alleged police atrocities on members of his community during the quota agitation.
Though Patel is yet to react to the second video, he had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of playing 'dirty politics' yesterday.
In the video, which appeared to have been shot in a hotel on May 16, 2017, a person with close resemblance to Patel was seen in a compromising position with an unidentified woman.
Commenting on the sex clip purportedly showing him, the 24-year-old Patidar leader said it was the beginning of dirty politics and the BJP would release many more such 'morphed' videos to defame him ahead of polls. -- PTI
18:16 Kashmir human shield: Payout refusal plea to be heard in Dec :
The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission will next month hear an appeal against state government's refusal to act on the commission order awarding Rs 10-lakh compensation to Farooq Ahmad Dar, who was used as a "human shield" by an Army officer earlier this year.
Chairman SHRC Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki yesterday heard the appeal filed by Dar, against the government's decision not to act on the earlier recommendation of the commission.
Justice Nazki listed the matter for final arguments before a division bench of the commission on December 12 and ordered the state government to clear its stand by that date.
Dar was tied to the bonnet of an Army vehicle and taken around 19 villages in Budgam district during a Lok Sabha bypoll in April, purportedly as a shield against stone- pelters. A video showed Dar tied to the vehicle, evoking sharp reactions from the civil society.
However, the Army backed the officer who tied Dar, and honoured with him with the Army chiefs Commendation Card for his sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations. The officer said he took the step to save local people.
The Army's claims that Dar was among the stone pelters was not substantiated by local police officials, who established Dar's statement that he was on his way to another village to offer condolences.
The SHRC in July awarded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim However, in its reply, the state government said the empowered committee of the government examined the order of the rights panel and observed that the grounds on which the compensation was recommended "cannot be accepted". -- PTI
17:01 Lower GST rates may reduce inflation: Report:
The decision to lower GST rates on over 200 items could help pull down retail inflation by 20 basis points from the current levels driven by lower food and beverage prices, says a report.
Retail or CPI inflation rose to a 7-month high of 3.58 per cent in October, driven up by costlier food items, particularly vegetables.
According to global financial services major Nomura, recent decision by the central government to lower tax rates for 213 items including 178 items of daily consumer use is likely to lower CPI inflation by about 20 basis points (0.2 per cent). -- PTIAlso read:
Onion, veggies push inflation to six-month high
16:27 Masjids can be built anywhere but not on Ram Janmabhoomi: Swamy :
(BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said the masjid can be built anywhere but not on Ram Janmabhoomi.
"Masjid can be built anywhere, it's a place to read namaz and masjids are broken in Saudi Arabia and are shifted. So the same way in India, Babri Masjid will be shifted to the borders of Ambedkar districts where lots of Muslims live," Subramanian Swamy told ANI.
"There are 40,000 temples that were demolished; we are not asking for all, we are just asking for three - Krishna's Mathura, Ram's Ayodhya and KashiVishwanath Varanasi," he added.
In new turn of events, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is slated to visit Ayodhya, in a bid to open talks with stakeholders in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, on November 16.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had also suggested that an out-of-court settlement was the best recourse to the dispute.
The apex court will commence the final hearing of the long-standing matter from December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the medieval-era structure. The Babri Masjid was built by Mughal Emperor Babar in 1528. The Hindus, however, claim that a Ram Temple that originally stood there was demolished to construct the mosque. -- PTI
16:24 India home to 2,45,000 millionaires;household wealth at $5 trn:
India's total household wealth stood at USD 5 trillion while the country is home to 2,45,000 millionaires, says a Credit Suisse report. The number of ultra rich in the country is expected to rech 3,72,000 while the total household income is likely to grow by 7.5 per cent annually to touch USD 7.1 trillion by 2022, the report said. -- PTI
15:59 Rahul visits villages for recreation: BJP Kisan Morcha:
BJP Kisan Morcha president Virendra Singh today attacked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying he was "anti-farmer" and often visited villages for "recreation".
Rejecting Gandhi's assertion that the BJP and its leaders were "anti-farmer", Singh said that under the BJP government, budget for agriculture and rural development was raised to over 42 per cent of total allocations.
"Rahul Gandhi is ancestrally anti-farmer. What will he (Rahul) talk about farmers and farming as he cannot tell the difference between plants of jowar and bajra," Singh said at a press conference. -- PTI
15:39 Onion, veggies push inflation to six-month high:
Inflation at the wholesale level rose to 6-month high of 3.59 per cent in October as the prices of food articles, led by onions and vegetables, rose sharply. Inflation, based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was 2.60 per cent in September. Read more
15:27 Pak teen arrested for sexually assaulting chicken:
A teenager has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a chicken and killing it, in Hafizabad, Punjab of Pakistan.
The 14-year-old assaulted a hen in his village near Jalalpur Bhattian on November 11, the Express Tribune quoted the local police, as saying.
The action was taken after the owner of the chicken filed a complaint with the police.
In the complaint, the owner has mentioned that the suspect took the hen to his home and committed the crime.
Representational image. We do not publish photographs of molestation victims.
15:22 Shatrughan's message for PM: Enough of hugging, work for nation:
BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha message for PM Modi (without actually naming him). The PM, who arrived in the Philippines on Sunday, is in Manila to attend the ASEAN-India and the East Asia summits.
Sinha who shares a fractious relationship with the BJP leadership tweeted yesterday, "Highly appreciate Hon'ble PM's multiple initiatives & trips to many nations, latest to Philippines. Hope wish & pray that at least this time the trip gives some fruitful results & is not just another photo op. Hope no one minds! After all we live in a democracy don't we? Jai Hind!"
That was followed by another tweet today: "Isn't it enough of hugging business, photo ops, learning & unlearning about farming. At least during crucial elections, with the sole agenda of India's development, please come back Saheb... and let us work for the nation & it's progress. With love! Jai Hind!"
Sinha is party MP from Patna Sahib and recently came out in support of party colleague Yashwant Sinhas criticism of the current state of the Indian economy.
15:07 UN Chief asks Suu Kyi to allow return of Rohingya refugees:
UN chief Antonio Guterres today met Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and urged her to take steps to ensure the "dignified" return of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who have fled the country to Bangladesh following violence against them.
Separately on the margins of the ASEAN summit in Manila, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also met Suu Kyi and discussed the humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine state.
In his meeting with Myanmar's State Counsellor, the UN Secretary General highlighted the need for allowing the return of displaced Muslims who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.
The Rohingya issue also figured during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump last night.
"The Secretary-General and the State Counsellor discussed the situation in Rakhine State. The Secretary-General highlighted that strengthened efforts to ensure humanitarian access, safe, dignified, voluntary and sustained returns, as well as true reconciliation between communities, would be essential," the UN said in a statement.
Over 6,00,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from predominantly Buddhist Myanmar's Rakhine state since late August after large-scale violence.
The crisis erupted after Rohingya rebels attacked police posts in Rakhine, triggering a military crackdown that saw hundreds of villages reduced to ashes and sparked a massive exodus. -- PTI
14:46 NGT refuses to exempt women, two-wheelers from Odd-even scheme:
Update: The National Green Tribunal today refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from the Delhi government's odd-even scheme and ordered that diesel vehicles over 10 years old be taken off the roads immediately.
The green panel has also asked the city government to identify the most polluted areas today itself and sprinkle water. It also allowed the non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
The Delhi government had yesterday moved the NGT to modify its the November 11 order refusing to exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even car rationing scheme to tackle pollution. As the NGT today refused to modify its order, the city government withdrew its plea. -- PTI
14:24 NGT refuses to exempt women, two-wheelers from odd-even:
The National Green Tribunal refuses to exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even scheme after which Delhi govt withdraws its modification
plea. The NGT also asks the Delhi government to identify the most polluted areas today and sprinkle water. It ordered taking 10-year old diesel vehicles off the road. It allowed non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in the Delhi-NCR.
13:50 Jaitley heads to Singapore :
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will leave on a two-day official visit to Singapore tonight. He is scheduled to meet the Singapore Prime Minister, Deputy Finance Minister and Finance Minister during his visit, apart from senior fund managers and key financial institutional investors for making investments in India.
13:46 Sweet victory: Bengal wins GI battle over rosogolla :
The Geographical Indications Registry today announced that the Rosogolla or rasgulla, unanimous with the Bengali identity, originated in West Bengal and not Odisha.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee celebrated the news with a tweet saying: "Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that Bengal has been granted GI ( Geographical Indication) status for Rosogolla."
The debate over the origin of rosogolla translates into good business for sweet shops in Bengal. A GI tag is a sort of intellectual property identifier recognising the origin of a product. Odisha and Bengal have been locked in a bitter fight over the GI registration of rosogolla since 2015.
13:34 @CNNnews18 Bengal acquires geographical indication for status for Rosogolla. GI authorities reject Odisha's Rosogolla claim.
13:30 Wholesale inflation stood at 3.59% for the month of October 2017 (over October, 2016) as compared to 2.60% for the previous month.
13:14 Ram Rahim enjoying special treatment in jail, says inmate :
A man who was in the same jail as convicted Ram Rahim Singh revealed that the self-styled godman is enjoying himself in prison.
Rahul Jain, the convict out on bail told ANI that the attitude of jail authorities towards Ram Rahim is different as compared to other prisoners, as he enjoys more perks and is given special treatment.
"Authorities say that Baba is in the same jail, but no one has seen him there. No one is allowed to go wherever Baba is kept," Jain said, and added that all other inmates are locked up whenever Ram Rahim is let out of his cell, as he usually goes to the canteen to get water, milk, or juice.
Jain further said that ever since Ram Rahim was admitted in jail, other prisoners are being deprived of basic necessities.
"Since he came, everyone is having a lot of problems. Earlier, we used to freely roam inside the campus, food was also good, but all that changed. Our basic necessities like clothes and shoes also stopped coming in. Our fellow prisoner," he said.
Ashok then approached the judge after, who then pulled up the jail authorities. The supply gradually began after that," Jain said.
Jain also informed that the inmates had also held a strike against the injustice, but it did not change the situation.Jain even rebuffed the reports about Ram Rahim working in the jail."Jail authorities say he works, but we don't believe it. Since we have never seen him, he might or might not be working," he said.
"While rest of the prisoners can only meet visitors for 20 minutes, Ram Rahim's visitors are allowed for two hours," Jain further divulged.He also averred that a special vehicle brings food for Ram Rahim and that the authorities also cut out portion from newspapers which castigate the jail administration.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for raping two minors 15 years ago.
Ram Rahim has been handed two sentences of ten years each for the two counts of rape, and is locked up in Haryana's Sunaria Jail. -- ANI
12:39 Being homosexual is a tendency, not permanent: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar :
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar courted controversy with his statement that being homosexual is a tendency that may change later.
He made the statement at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi after a student asked how he should handle the way his friends and family treated him with respect to his sexual orientation.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar responded saying, "You don't think you are sick or something is wrong with you. If you stand up, nobody can insult you, but...if you feel bad about yourself, nobody can make you feel better.
"This is your tendency now... know that this tendency is not a permanent thing. It may change. I've seen many men who were gay later turn into heterosexuals, and there are those who are normal, who are called straight people, end up being gay later in life."
Sri Sri was at JNU to deliver the 13th Nehru Memorial Lecture. The spiritual leader will be visiting Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on November 16 and will meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as a "courtesy call'.
He clarified that he was not visiting Ayodhya with an agenda but was hopeful there would be an out of court settlement of the Ayodhya dispute.
12:27 Nothing in India can be accomplished without Ram: Adityanath:
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday underscored the importance of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, citing that nothing in India can be undertaken and accomplished without Lord Rama.
"In India, nothing can be undertaken or accomplised without the mention of Lord Rama. He represents our faith, and is the focal point of all the beliefs in India," he told ANI.
The issue of Lord Rama grabbed headlines again yesterday when Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he would travel to Ayodhya and open talks with stakeholders in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute on November 16.
"I will be going to Ayodhya day after tomorrow, and so far, all talks have been positive," he said.
He made the announcement on the sidelines of his lecture to students of a university.
Various attempts have been made by all stakeholders till now to resolve the matter amicably. Earlier, the Supreme Court had also suggested that an out-of-court settlement was the best recourse to the dispute. -- ANI
11:53 Close shave for IndiGo passengers as wild boar strays on runway:
Nearly 160 passengers and crew on board a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight from Visakhapatnam had a narrow escape when a wild boar strayed on the runway and came under the aircraft while it was in the last stage of taxiing.
As the pilot could not have rejected the takeoff at that time, he was forced to get the aircraft airborne but landed back shortly to assess any possible damage to the Airbus plane as a precaution, IndiGo said in a statement today.
After all the required checks and inspections were carried out by the engineering team, the aircraft resumed its journey, albeit with a delay of one-and-a-half hours, the airline said. There were 159 passengers and crew on board the plane. -- PTI
11:48 Uber India policy head Shweta Rajpal Kohli quits:
Uber India's Head of Public Policy Shweta Rajpal Kohli has resigned from the company, a little over a year after joining the US-based firm. Kohli had joined Uber India in September last year and was responsible for the company's relations with policymakers, regulators, government officials, industry bodies and others.
11:38 Delhi marathon postponed? :
The Delhi High Court issues a notice to the Delhi govt, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the police and the organiser of the Delhi Half Marathon on the Indian Medical Association's plea to postpone the event in view of the poor air quality in the city.
The IMA last week declared a 'public health emergency state' in Delhi with its president Dr K K Aggarwal requesting people to avoid stepping out and asked schools to remain closed. The medical body also requested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to cancel the Delhi Half Marathon scheduled for November 19.
Pollution levels skyrocketed by the hour in Delhi on Sunday, turning the air quality hazardous, which agencies consider unfit for inhalation even by healthier people. People complained of burning sensation in their eyes and heaviness in breathing, reflecting the severity of the pollution.
11:30 London Buses carry Free Balochistan campaign :
The World Baloch Organisation has launched the third phase of its #FreeBalochistan advertising campaign, in spite of attempts to ban and censor its adverts by the Pakistan Government.
More than 100 London buses are carrying adverts that say "Free Balochistan", "Save The Baloch People" and "Stop Enforced Disappearances".
Bhawal Mengal, spokesperson for the World Baloch Organisation (WBO), said, "This is the third phase of our London campaign to raise awareness about Pakistan's human right abuses in Balochistan and the right of the Baloch people to self-determination. We started with taxi adverts, then did roadside billboards and now we are advertising on London buses. The attempts by the Pakistan Government to pressure the UK to ban our adverts have failed. The campaign is powering ahead and will continue for weeks to come. The bullying tactics of Pakistan are an attack on freedom of expression. They are an anti-democratic bid to censor the voice of the Baloch people and cover up the war crimes of the Pakistan Army in Balochistan. This is a peaceful advertising campaign. Pakistan's aggressive reaction is a bare-faced attempt to intimidate the UK Government and Baloch human rights defenders."
Pakistan Government officials, in a clear bid to quash the freedom of expression and to intimidate human rights activists, called the campaign "malicious" and "anti-Pakistan."
They pressurised the British Government to remove WBO's adverts. Indeed, within 24 hours, Transport for London ordered the removal of the taxi adverts; though the billboards remained because they were not on TfL property.
WBO, he said, would continue, peacefully and respectfully, to speak out against human rights violations in Balochistan.Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is a long-time supporter of human rights in Balochistan and is backing the advertising campaign. -- ANI
11:21 Remembering Nehru:
Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar tweets this picture saying: "Namaskar. Bharat ke pratham Pradhan Mantri Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ji ki aaj jayanti hai. Main Pandit ji ki yaad ko pranam karti hun."
Lata Mangeshkar, 88, sang the iconic, Ae mere watan ke logon,
in the presence of Pandit Nehru
at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi, on January 27, 1963. After the function ended she was called by Nehru and she tells the Indian Express, At first I was nervous, thinking I have committed some mistake.
But when I met Panditji (Nehru), I saw tears in his eyes. 'Lata, tumne
aaj mujhe rula diya'," she said.
The song, composed by C Ramachandra, was written by Kavi Pradeep in honour of Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the 1962 war with China.
11:07 US asks Pak to abolish blasphemy laws:
The United States has asked Pakistan to abolish its blasphemy laws at the Universal Periodic Review held in Geneva on Monday, Dawn reported. Representatives from the US and the United Kingdom stressed on religious intolerance and human rights violations and abuses in Pakistan.
11:06 Jay Shah goes missing on day in court :
Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of the Wire, tweets: @svaradarajan 22 hours ago "The Wire team outside the Ahmedabad courts today where Jay Shah did a no show, citing "social work", in his bogus criminal defamation case. First matter I've seen where the complainant is scared to show his face, while the "accused" are happy to smile for the cameras."
With Varadarajan (extreme right) are Rohini Singh (extreme left, the journalist who filed the expose on Amit Shah's son Jay Shah) and next to her is MK Venu, also founding editor of the Wire.
10:50 Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigns as jury head IFFI:
Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigns as jury head of the 48th International Film Festival of India.
This comes after allegations that two films selected by a 13-member jury for the Indian Panorama section were removed from the final list by the I&B Ministry.
Sanal Sasidharans Malayalam movie S Durga and Ravi Jadhavs Marathi film Nude have been dropped from the list by the I&B ministry for the Indian Panorama section of IFFI.
The IFFI is scheduled to be held from November 20 to 28 in Goa.
S Durga exposes the reality of a misogynistic society and captures various encounters of a couple running away in the night. Nude explores the life and conflicts of a nude model at an art school. Instead of Nude, the Hindi movie Pihu by Vinod Kapri was finalised as the opening film.
Ghosh is the director of the sleeper hit, Kahaani.
10:27 RSS worker murder: Three arrested :
Three persons were arrested early today in connection with the killing of an RSS worker at Nenmeni near the temple town of Guruvayur in Kerala, police said.
The 23-year-old Anandan, who was riding a motorcycle, had been knocked down by a car carrying his attackers and then hacked to death on November 12.
Those arrested included a brother of Fazil, who was killed four years ago and Anandan was an accused in that case. The arrested are identified as Faiz, Karthik and Jitesh, a top police official said. Asked whether the three were CPI(M) workers, the official said it had not yet been substantiated. -- PTI
10:20 Most Indians are ignorant of Kashmir's history :
It might be tempting to view the prime minister's vitriolic attack on the former Union minister, P Chidambaram, for his remarks on Kashmir last month as election-time rhetoric, aimed at playing the 'nationalist' card in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
In an interaction with local businessmen and intelligentsia in Rajkot on October 28, Chidambaram - not exactly a seditious jholawallah by any stretch of the imagination -- advocated a more accommodative approach to India's most intractable national problem. Read more
10:08 Sensex trades high, takes retail inflation in stride:
The Sensex tested the 33,000 level in opening trade today after some value-buying in select stocks despite retail inflation rising to 7-month high in October. The rupee's modest recovery against the dollar and a mixed global trend were the other deciders.
Retail or CPI inflation rose to 7-month high of 3.58 per cent in October, driven up by costlier food items, particularly vegetables. The rupee was trading higher by 13 paise to 65.29 against the American currency at the forex market today. -- PTI
10:06 Meet India's 3rd transgender cop:
The Rajasthan Police has appointed its first transgender constable after the state High Court's directive.
Constable Ganga Kumari was appointed as the first transgender woman constable after Justice Dinesh Mehta issued the order.
Ganga Kumari, who hails from Jalore, had filed a petition in the court when she was not given appointment by the Jalore Police Superintendent even after qualifying the examinations.
This is the first time in Rajasthan and third time in India when a transgender woman has been appointed at a government position. -- ANI
09:55 VP, PM pay tributes to Nehru on birth anniversary:
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi today remembered country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 128th birth anniversary.
"Wish the nation on the occasion of birth anniversary of first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, today," Naidu tweeted.
Modi, who is in Manila to attend the India-ASEAN summit, also paid tributes to Nehru.
"Tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary," he wrote on Twitter.
Nehru was born on this day in 1889 in Allahabad.
09:45 'Could you spare time?' Kejriwal asks Amarinder for Wednesday meeting :
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter on Tuesday asking his Punjab counterpart for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the deadly pollution levels in the states of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana and solutions to tackle this issue.
In a tweet, Kejriwal wrote, "@capt_amarinder Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wed to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest."
Earlier on Monday, Kejriwal said he would meet his Haryana counterpart in Chandigarh on Wednesday to discuss rising air pollution levels in the national capital as the latter was too "busy" to meet him in Delhi.
The Delhi chief minister has been seeking a meeting with his counterparts from Haryana and Punjab over the last few days to find a solution to stubble burning in the neighbouring states, a major source to high pollution levels in Delhi.
Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the situation warranted Centre's intervention as it has
The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of the two states of Punjab and Haryana has been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region every winter.
Kejriwal had recently said that keeping political differences aside, the Centre, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi governments should come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning which leads to high pollution every year.
09:38 Encounter breaks out in Kulgam, Pulwama districts:
Two encounters broke out this morning between security forces and terrorists in Kulgam and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir, police said.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Nowbug Kund village in Qazigund area of Kulgam this morning after receiving specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area, a police spokesman said.
As the forces were conducting the searches, the terrorists fired upon them, triggering an encounter, he said.
The firing was going on when last reports came in, the spokesman said.
He said another encounter broke out in Laam village of Tral in Awantipora area of Pulwama after the terrorists fired upon a search party of security forces.
Gunfight was going on, the spokesman said, adding, further details are awaited.
09:22 It's put off again: Rahul Gandhi not becoming Congress chief yet:
Contrary to earlier claims from Congress leaders, party vice president Rahul Gandhi's elevation to replace mother Sonia Gandhi as party chief seems to have been put off.
With no indication when a meeting of the Congress Working Committee will take place, Congress leaders said election of the party chief may now happen after the Gujarat elections.
The likely delay flies in the face of repeated hints from Congress leaders over the last couple of months that Rahul was set to take over the reins just after Diwali and ahead of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls.
These claims were politically significant as they meant that the Gandhi scion would campaign in Gujarat as Congress chief. Amid constant delay, the last window for elevation was said to be the time between the polling in Himachal Pradesh on November 9 and November 19, which is the birth anniversary of party icon Indira Gandhi.
However, Sonia is said to be in Goa on a brief "trip" while Rahul last week embarked on another three-day campaign in Gujarat which will end on Tuesday.
09:06 Philippines President Duterte accepts Modi's invite :
The ministry of external affairs announced that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modis invitation to visit India for the 2018 ASEAN-India commemorative summit, along with other leaders of the ASEAN.
Secretary (East) of the MEA, Preeti Saran, said the invitation to Duterte was extended by Modi during the bilateral discussions.
The two sides sealed four agreements and agreed to cooperate on counter-terror. Both countries have been victims of terrorism for long.
It is the first prime ministerial visit in thirty-six years from India to Philippines. Both sides sealed agreements on defence and logistical cooperation, small and medium scale enterprise, and for collaboration between the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute of Philippines, said Saran.
The PM took the opportunity to invite President Duterte for the (2018) commemorative summit that will be held next year which President Duterte gladly accepted, as have other ASEAN leaders, she added.
Image: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the start of the Special Gala Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in Manila, Philippines. Photograph: Aaron Favila/Pool/Reuters
08:47 Sixth woman accuses former US president Bush of groping:
Another woman has come forward to accuse former United States president George HW Bush of inappropriately touching her.
Roslyn Corrigan, in an interview, said that Bush touched her buttocks when she was 16, during an event in 2003 at a Texas office of the Central Intelligence Agency, reported the Independent.
Corrigan is the sixth woman to accuse the 41st US president of touching them during photo calls.
Corrigan said she was confused and in absolute horror when the incident took place and did not say anything to Bush.
"What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, 'Hey dude, you shouldn't have touched me like that'?" she asked.
Actresses Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick, author Christina Baker Kline, journalist Liz Allen and former politician Amanda Staples have all accused Bush of similar incidents.
08:12 Ryan school murder: Juvenile accused retracts confession:
The juvenile accused of murdering Class 2 student Pradhyumn Thakur at Gurgaons Ryan International School has retracted the confession he was said to have made before investigators.
The investigators forced him to confess, the accused said to a team of CBI officials and a legal-cum-probation officer from the district child protection unit appointed by the Juvenile Justice Board to conduct a social investigation, sources said.
The boy is said to have alleged the investigators beat him up and recorded the confession in their own words.
The accused narrated a different sequence of events to the visiting team to the one he purportedly told investigators in his confession.
He said on the day of the incident, he first visited a temple near his house to say shradh prayers for his grandmother, sources said.
The new developments brought about another twist in the case in which Gurgaon police earlier said the school bus conductor Ashok Kumar stabbed Thakur to death.
CBI sources said Kumar was present in the washroom at the time of the crime, going by CCTV footage, but he was at the urinals and did not notice the boys who were in a cubicle.
00:21 Satisfied with Congress options on reservation: Hardik:
Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel on Monday expressed satisfaction over the three options given by the Congress on how the party would grant reservation to Patels if voted to power and said the community leaders will take a final call by Tuesday.
After studying various documents related to reservation given by the Congress earlier, Hardik claimed that it was a misconception that reservation cannot go beyond 50 per cent.
These options, backed by various provisions in the Constitution and past judgments by the Supreme Court, were submitted to the members of Hardik-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti on November 8 by senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal as part of party's promise that it would grant reservation to the community if voted to power.
"I held a detailed discussion with core PAAS members about the options given to us by Congress. After going through various documents and judgements, I now firmly believe that their formula is right. It is a misconception that reservation cannot go beyond 50 per cent," Hardik said.
He said it is not written anywhere in the Constitution that quota cannot go beyond 50 per cent.
Citing some past judgments by the Supreme Court, Hardik said the apex court had given contradictory judgments about reservation.
Hardik had earlier set a condition that he would support the Congress in the assembly elections, due next month, only if the party committed itself to allotting reservation in education and government jobs to his community.
The polling for the two-phase elections in Gujarat will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18. -- PTI