23:26 Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal:
United States President Donald Trump today struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in defiance of other world powers, calling it 'one of worst' pacts in US history.
Trump said in an address at the White House that his goal is to ensure Iran's never obtains a nuclear weapon.
"Today, I am announcing our strategy along with several major steps we're taking to confront the Iranian regime's hostile actions and to ensure that Iran never -- and I mean never -- acquires a nuclear weapon," Trump said.
While Trump did not pull the United States out of the agreement, aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact.
The Iran nuclear deal was signed by Iran and 5+1 group of countries (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany) in 2015 under which Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme for 15 years in exchange for sanctions relief. -- Agencies
22:57 'Modi wave' has waned, says Uddhav Thackeray:
Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray claimed today that the 'Modi wave' has waned and that the BJP now relies on "sympathy wave" to win elections.
He said the national party gets "stomach ache" if the Shiv Sena becomes politically strong.
The BJP narrowed the gap between its tally with that of the Sena in the cash-rich Mumbai civic body as its nominee yesterday won the BMC bypoll from Bhandup, beating the bickering ally's candidate by 4,792 votes.
However, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party today got a boost when six BMC corporators of the Raj Thackeray-headed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena joined it.
"The Modi wave has waned now. The BJP has to rely on sympathy wave to win polls and bypolls. If they (the BJP) get stomach ache with our increased strength, what kind of allies are they?" Thackeray asked.
The BJP's victorious candidate in Bhandup, Jagruti Patil, is the daughter-in-law of corporator Pramila Patil, whose death necessitated the bypoll.
He was addressing the media after inducting six MNS corporators into the Shiv Sena fold. -- PTI
22:33 Big setback for MNS as 6 BMC corporators join Shiv Sena:
Six out of seven corporators of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena today joined the Shiv Sena, giving the party, which rules the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, an edge over the BJP.
With this, Shiv Sena's strength in the BMC, the country's richest municipal body, has increased to 90, eight more than that of BJP, a senior Sena leader said.
Of late, relations between the Sena and BJP, which are in alliance at the Centre and in Maharashtra, have been strained.
MNS corporators Dilip Lande, Archana Bhalerao, Snehal More, Datta Narvankar, Parashuram Kadam and Ashwini Matekar joined the Shiv Sena in presence of its chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Addressing the media after inducting the corporators in the party, Uddhav Thackeray, in an apparent reference to the fact that the MNS is an offshoot of Shiv Sena, said nobody should accuse the Sena of "poaching" as this was homecoming.
"Poaching took place in Arunachal Pradesh and Goa. Today, it was only 'Ghar Wapsi'," he said, adding there was no ulterior motive behind the move.
"They (BJP) must have realised our strength now after seeing what can we do in one day," Uddhav Thackeray said.
Dilip Lande, one of the six corporator, said the main reason behind joining the Sena was "the BJP's plan to oust the Marathi mayor from his post".
"We joined the Sena for the welfare of the Marathi people," he said.
Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab said he has written a letter to the Konkan division commissioner, informing him about the induction of six MNS corporators in the party.
MNS spokesperson Avinash Abhyankar said if these corporators had defected to the Sena, then "appropriate action will be initiated against them".
After winning a by-election in suburban Bhandup yesterday, BJP's tally in the 227-member BMC house rose to 82. Another by-election, necessitated by the death of BJP corporator Shailaja Girkar from Kandivali, is yet to be held.
The Shiv Sena also has the support of four Independent corporators, while the BJP has the support of two Independents.
Manoj Kotak, group leader of the BJP in the BMC, termed the induction of MNS corporators in the Shiv Sena as "betrayal of voters". -- PTI
Image: Six MNS corporators with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Photograph: Sahil Salvi for Rediff.com
22:16 Pranab was more qualified to become PM: Manmohan Singh:
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh today said ex-president Pranab Mukherjee had every reason for grievance at being ignored for prime ministership despite being more qualified but knew "I had no choice" in the
matter, and that smoothened their relationship.
Singh's comments at the launch of Mukherjee's book --'The coalition years -- in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi left the audience in splits.
"In 2004 when Soniaji chose me to become the prime minister, Pranabji was one of the most distinguished colleagues that I had.
"He had every reason to feel a grievance that he was better qualified than I was to become the prime minister, but he also knew that I have no choice in the matter," the former prime minister said as the audience, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, burst into guffaw.
Mukherjee wrote in his book that after the 2004 election victory there was intense speculation in the party about who would be the prime minister, but the consensus within the Congress was that the incumbent should be a political leader with experience in party affairs and administration.
"The prevalent expectation was that I would be the next choice for prime minister after Sonia Gandhi declined. This expectation was possibly based on the fact that I had extensive experience in government," he wrote.
Mukherjee also said that when he declined to join the government headed by Manmohan Singh, Sonia insisted on his being a part of it as he would be "vital to its functioning and also be of support of Singh".
Mukherjee, in his speech at the book release function, decribed the Congress as a coalition in itself, as it brings all ideas on one platform.
"It was difficult to have one coalition within and another outside. But that was done," he said.
Mukherjee said in the book he has described the coalition years and tried not to bring in any personal matters. He said running the coalition government seemed difficult but everything worked out smoothly.
Mukherjee said in writing the book about the coalition years of 1996 to 2012, he did not claim the objectivity of a historian, which he is not, but put down things while viewing them as a political activist.
Singh said with their relation smoothened, they ran the government as a cohesive team. He said history would record Mukherjee's great contribution to the management of Indian polity.
The former prime minister described Mukherjee as the "most distinguished living parliamentarian and Congressman", whom everyone in the party looked up to for discussing and resolving ticklish and difficult issues.
"He is a politician by choice. He is the greatest politician living in the country. I became a politician by accident when P V Narasimha Rao asked me to become the finance minister," he said.
Singh described Mukherjee and NCP chief Sharad Pawar as respected senior members of his government both of whom were of great calibre. He said if the UPA government ran smoothly, a large measure of credit would go to Pranab Mukherjee. -- PTI
21:09 Rahul to take over as Congress chief 'soon': Sonia:
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said that her son Rahul Gandhi will soon take over as party chief.
"You have been asking this for so many years and it's now happening," NDTV quoted Sonia as saying.
"It will be done soon," Sonia, the longest-serving president of the Congress, added.
She and Rahul were present at the launch of former president Pranab Mukherjee's autobiography in New Delhi.
Rahul, NDTV reported, refused to be drawn into the subject of his takeover as the party president and deflected questions by referring to a controversy over BJP president Amit Shah's son Jay Shah.
"What about Jay Shah's takeover and his huge increase in his turnover," he commented.
During his trip to the United States, Rahul had said that while he was absolutely ready to take over the Congress it was for the party to elect him to the president's post.
Here's a look at India's foreign trade.
20:36 Govt withdraws gallantry medals given to 3 policemen:
Gallantry medals given to three policemen have been withdrawn after they were found to be involved in corruption and other cases, a Union home ministry official said today.
The three men are Dharmendra Choudhary, former Madhya Pradesh additional superintendent of police, Punjab Police sub-inspector Gurmeet Singh and Jharkhand Police sub-inspector Lalit Kumar.
While Choudhary's Police Medal for Gallantry was withdrawn in September, Lalit Kumar's was taken away in June and Gurmeet Singh's in May, an official said.
The medal given to Choudhary, who was promoted to Indian Police Service from state police service, was withdrawn for allegedly orchestrating a fake encounter, he said.
Choudhary was posted in Jhabua as ASP in 2002 when he gunned down a criminal wanted by police in the encounter.
Choudhary received a gallantry medal from then president A P J Abdul Kalam for killing the wanted criminal.
However, an investigation was ordered by the National Human Rights Commission to look into the encounter following a complaint. It was later found that the encounter was fake, the official said, without divulging further
Gurmeet Singh was given the medal in 1997 on a proposal submitted by the state government for his bravery during service.
He was convicted in a murder case and given life imprisonment in 2006. He was later dismissed from service.
However, the Union home ministry learnt about the conviction only in July 2015. The matter was taken up with the Punjab government, which confirmed the conviction and advised the ministry to initiate the process of withdrawal of the medal, the official said.
After taking views from intelligence agencies, the home ministry sent a proposal to former president Pranab Mukherjee that his medal be withdrawn who then gave his go-ahead.
Lalit Kumar was found to be involved in corruption cases, the official said.
According to guidelines issued by the home ministry, the gallantry medal is withdrawn when the awardee is convicted by any court of law for such an act or conduct involving moral turpitude which brings the police force into disrepute or awardee is dismissed from service for similar act. -- PTI
20:08 One article does not make a person guilty: Varun Gandhi on Jay Shah row:
Allegations do not make a person guilty and one should not take any "absolutist" position based on an article, BJP MP Varun Gandhi today said, referring to a report on the business of BJP president Amit Shah's son Jay
"My broad generalisation is just because one person has written an article does not make a person guilty... without evidence and without giving them a fair (chance)," he said.
Reacting to a question by a student of NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad that the government has absolved Jay Shah without an investigation, Gandhi said, "I am not defending anybody...I am not attacking anybody and I am not speaking about one person."
"My point is everybody needs to have their say if there is any discrepancy then that is a different matter. But, just because one person has raised a finger against somebody does not make anybody guilty," he said.
"My point is let us not tarnish the future of one young man or anyone. Just because somebody has said one thing or media has shown it.
"You and I both know that media can often be wrong... Their interpretations can sometimes be incorrect. So my point is let us not take any absolutists position... sooner or later everything becomes transparent," Gandhi said.
A report in a news portal claimed that Jay's business fortunes zoomed after the BJP came to power in 2014.
Reacting to a query on Rohingya Muslims, Gandhi said, "When I talk about the Rohingya, I said keeping national security interests is paramount, do a case by case analysis of them and see if there are any wrong elements, and if they are then don't let them in.
"But if you find innocent people and they are truly in miserable position then please consider taking a humanitarian view. If you find they are not a great threat to India as some people may have suggested then give them asylum.
"I don't think there is anything controversial in what I am saying... My stand is not against anybody... my stand is a very basic humanitarian stand," Gandhi said.
19:11 Use cow dung to control dengue mosquitoes: TN minister:
Tamil Nadu Minister Sellur K Raju, whose participation in an experiment using thermocol to prevent water evaporation evoked ridicule, is facing flak again this time for suggesting use of cow dung to control dengue causing mosquitoes.
Participating in a door to-door campaign to create awareness about dengue in Madurai yesterday, Raju asked the people to sprinkle cow-dung mixed water in their front courtyards to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
"Our forefathers used to sweep and sprinkle cow-dung water in front of homes to keep away mosquitoes. We are not following such practices now. You do the same (sprinkle cow-dung mixed water) neither mosquito nor dengue will come," Raju, Minister for Cooperation, said.
Talking to reporters, the minister said dengue could be controlled easily with the cooperation of the people.
The campaign has been launched at a time when the state has been witnessing a spike in dengue fever cases.
However, his remarks on cow-dung use drew flak on the social media with PMK leader Dr S Ramadoss suggesting Nobel prize for the minister.
Taking a dig, Ramadoss tweeted: "...Nobel prize for science and medicine should be given to him (Raju) only."
The minister had earlier come under criticism for launching an experiment of state public works department to try and cut water loss due to evaporation in the Vaigai Dam by covering a small portion of it with thermocol sheets.
But the effort came a cropper with the sheets being swept away by strong winds.
After criticism over social media, the minister had then said the idea was not his, indicating it came from officials. -- PTI
18:22 RIL Q2 net profit up 12.5% to Rs 8,109 cr:
Reliance Industries Ltd today said its consolidated net profit increased 12.5 per cent to Rs 8,109 crore for the September quarter.
The company had reported a net profit of Rs 7,209 crore in the same quarter last fiscal, RIL said in a regulatory filing.
The company's revenue rose 23.9 per cent to Rs 1,01,169 crore in the reported quarter as against Rs 81,651 crore in the year-ago period.
Its telecom arm, Reliance Jio saw its net losses widening to Rs 270.59 crore in the July-September quarter this fiscal against a net loss of Rs 21.3 crore in the preceding quarter.
The total income of Reliance Jio stood at Rs 6,148.73 crore in the quarter under review.
The financials were announced after the markets closed for trading today. Shares of the company closed at Rs 876.7 apiece, up 0.48 per cent from the previous closing. -- PTI
18:10 Railways' Diwali gift: A cheaper, faster Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani:
A new, cheaper and faster Rajdhani is the railways' Diwali gift to commuters on the Delhi-Mumbai route.
The special train, to be introduced to the sector on October 16 from Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi to the Bandra Terminus in Mumbai, will not only decrease travel time by two hours, but will cost passengers Rs 600-800 less than the two other Rajdhanis already on the route.
"The special Rajdhani will initially run for three months -- from October 16 to January 16 -- for three days a week. The idea was to reduce the travel time by two hours with the current infrastructure and rolling stock. The trials have been successful," said Md Jamshed, Member, Traffic, Railway Board.
Presently, the route is served by the August Kranti Rajdhani and the Mumbai Central-New Delhi Rajdhani.
While the August Kranti Rajdhani takes around 17 hours to traverse the distance between the national capital, the Mumbai Central-Delhi Rajdhani covers it in just under 16 hours.
Neither halts at Bandra.
The new train will take just under 14 hours to run between the two cities and will have three stops -- Kota, Vadodara and Surat.
Jamshed said the train will be beneficial for travellers as it will reach the respective destinations at around 6:00 am, giving them more time to spend in the city as well as helping them avoid suburban peak hour traffic.
The train will chug-off from Delhi on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and from Bandra on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
"Flexi fare shall not be levied on bookings on this train. The fare of the train, however, will be 20 per cent more than the base fare of the existing Rajdhanis on the route. The concession is between Rs 600-Rs 835," said Jamshed.
As compared to the maximum flexi fare for the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani for second AC of Rs 4,105, this train will cost Rs 3270. Similarly, as compared to the third AC flexi fare of Rs 2925, this train will cost Rs 2,325.
The catering services will be optional resulting in further reduction in prices if the passenger chooses to opt out.
The special train will comprise one first AC, two 2AC and twelve 3AC coaches besides a pantry car and two power cars.
The train will be hauled by two electric locomotives for better acceleration, deceleration and higher speed. It will run at a maximum speed of 130 kmph. -- PTI
17:50 Paying obeisance to gods will not get Rahul votes: BJP:
The Bharatiya Janata Party today took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi over his visits to several temples in poll-bound Gujarat, saying that paying obeisance to gods will not get him votes.
Seeking to corner the Congress over the issue of development, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it did everything when it was in power at the Centre to ensure that the Sardar Sarovar project was not completed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently inaugurated the project, which aims to bring irrigation and drinking waters to parts of the state, and the BJP believes that it will be a vote-catching issue in the assembly polls.
"I am getting curious as Rahul Gandhi is visiting temples and paying obeisance to gods with sincerity. I am told that social media has highlighted that local leaders told him about how to do 'aarti'," Prasad said, making light of the Congress vice president's visits to temples.
Political watchers believe that Gandhi's temple visits is an attempt by the Congress to counter the BJP's Hindutva plank in the state.
Prasad then launched an attack at him, saying, "Rahul Gandhi ji, paying obeisance to gods does not get you votes. Your work gets. It is necessary to know what your government had done to Gujarat. The Congress conspired to cause as much difficulty as it could to stop Sardar Sarovar project from completion."
Prasad also attacked former home minister P Chidambaram after he joined many eminent citizens in writing a letter to the government against its move to deport Rohingya Muslims.
He wondered as to how Chidambaram, who had replaced Shivraj Patil as home minister following the Mumbai terror attack, could be so "oblivious" to national security.
Prasad also condemned the Congress over its criticism of the Election Commission's decision to not announce Gujarat poll dates with that of Himachal Pradesh, saying it was uncalled for.
"Congress should fight us in Gujarat. Such attacks and allegations against constitutional bodies are uncalled for," he said. -- PTI
Image: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi visits Dwarkadhish temple in Gujarat. Photograph: Kind courtesy @OfficeOfRG/Twitter
17:33 Maha govt cancels registration of 4,548 doctors for not serving in rural areas:
The Maharashtra government has cancelled the registration of over 4,500 doctors for failing to serve in rural areas for a year, which is mandatory, a Directorate of Medical Education and Research official said.
The decision to cancel their registration was taken by the DMER after it found that these doctors have refused to work in rural areas for a year -- a mandatory provision made by the state government.
According to the DMER, these doctors have even failed to pay the penalty incurred for not serving in rural areas.
In all, 4,548 doctors have faced action. They graduated from government-run medical colleges in the state between 2005 and 2012 and have neither served in rural areas nor paid the fine, it said.
A DMER official said, "If the doctors do not serve the bond, they must pay a penalty, which is Rs 10 lakh for an MBBS, Rs 50 lakh for post-graduates and Rs 2 crore for super-speciality doctors."
Head of DMER Dr Pravin Shingare said all the doctors who have faced action, had been given sufficient time to honour their commitment to serve in rural areas or pay the penalty.
"We took this firm step as these doctors violated both the clauses," he said.
A senior official of the state medical education department, said every medical practitioner needs to renew his or her registration with the Maharashtra Medical Council.
Without the registration, these doctors will be called bogus and may invite legal action, he said.
"The objective of the bond is to give doctors exposure to complicated cases. It is a highly educative and learning experience for newly-graduated doctors. Hence, we want them to go to rural areas and work for at least a year," the official said.
The government also provides reasonable allowances for doctors serving in tribal areas. The wages are also high, he said. -- PTI
16:56 Honeypreet will spend Diwali in jail :
Honeypreet Insan and her accomplice Sukhdeep Kaur have been sent to judicial custody till 23rd October by the Panchkula District Court in Haryana.
The jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's 'daughter' has been in police custody and has been arrested in connection with the violence that followed the sect head's conviction in a rape case.
The Haryana Police had sought the remand of Priyanka Taneja (36), widely known as Honeypreet Insan, who calls herself the adopted daughter of the Dera chief, for nine more days. -- PTI
16:29 Chandigarh stalking case: Vikas Barala, friend charged with abduction:
The Chandigarh District Court on Friday framed charges of abduction against the accused son of Bharatiya Janata Party's Haryana unit president Subhash Barala, Vikas Barala, and his friend Ashish, in connection with the stalking case against them.
Vikas Barala was arrested on August 5 on the charges of stalking and harassing an IAS officer's daughter in Chandigarh.
He was, however, granted bail on the same day.After massive outrage in the Parliament and elsewhere, the accused had appeared before the Chandigarh court.
A case was registered by the Chandigarh Police against Vikas and his friend under Section 354 D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 185 (Motor Vehicle Act) of the CRPC on the basis of complaint filed by the woman. -- PTI
16:18 PM to hold 3-day DGP conference in Gwalior:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a three-day conference of DGPs and IGPs on December 1 in Tekanpur in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.
The theme of this year's Director General of Police Conference is 'Cipher Terrorism and social media that affect young children'.
An estimated gathering of 250 IPS Officers will hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak on internal security and on the negative impact of social media among children like "Blue Whale"
Thirty-five DGPs and Joint Directors of the Intelligence Bureau will be participating in the three-day conference.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior functionaries from security agencies will also be there.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is giving a lecture on cross border terrorism.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held this conference earlier in Assam, Bhuj in Gujarat and Hyderabad.
Modi does not want such high-level security conferences to be held only in New Delhi because he wants to enhance the importance of the police in smaller towns as well.
15:44 Gautam Bambawale India's next ambassador to China:
Seasoned diplomat Gautam Bambawale, India's high commissioner to Pakistan, was on Thursday appointed as the country's next envoy to China. This was announced tonight by the external affairs ministry.A 1984 India Foreign Service officer, Bambawale is expected to take up the assignment shortly, the ministry said. He will replace Vijay Gokhale.
15:41 Talwars unlikely to be released before Monday:
Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar may have to spend the weekend in Dasna jail.
After being found innocent yesterday of murdering their only child, Aarushi, and their domestic help, Hemraj, Nupur and Rajesh Talwar are yet to get a copy of the verdict that acquitted them.
Reports say that a signed copy of the judgment will have to be hand-delivered before the Talwars are freed and the weekend will delay the process.
The 263-page verdict ends, at least for now, the nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad Central Bureau of Investigation court on November 28, 2013 for the double murder that not only transfixed but also shook the nation with its element of filicide.Also read:
There was no evidence to tie Talwars to Aarushi's murder
15:06 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm: Time fixed for bursting crackers in Punjab :
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday fixed the timings - from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm - for bursting crackers on Diwali in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
No one will be permitted to burst crackers before 6.30 pm or after 9.30 pm in the cities.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court also ordered to conduct a draw for giving licences to sell firecrackers.
The High Court has also said that the Police Control Room (PCR) vans would keep a check on flouting of the order.
This comes four days after the Supreme Court restored the ban on the sale of firecrackers till November 1.
The court said, while delivering its order, said it wants to test the effect of the ban on air quality after Diwali.Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated across India by bursting crackers, leaving the national capital thick with smoke and pollution. -- ANI
14:45 The Supreme Court defers to November 21 the hearing in the Rohingya refugee matter, but allows petitioners to approach it in case of any contingency.
14:24 Hizb militant detained in Srinagar :
A Hizbul Mujahideen militant was today arrested by security forces from Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, the police said. "Gulzar Dar was captured during an operation in Pulwama," a police spokesman said. He said further details of the operation are awaited. -- PTI
14:20 Nupur Talwar did dental check-ups on inmates:
A large crowd of mediapersons camped outside Dasna Jail from early morning today, keeping a close watch on every movement in and out of the high-security prison that had housed Rajesh and Nupur Talwar for four years.
The crowds, including curious onlookers, grew as the day progressed, everybody waiting for the Talwars to walk out of jail and back into the unrelenting media spotlight.
The Allahabad High Court yesterday acquitted them in the 2008 murders of their daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj, leaving the question, whodunit.
As the sensational murder case, which continues to remain a mystery, dominated television news and newspaper headlines once again, the media descended outside the jail hoping to capture every moment of their release -- and any bits of information about their life inside jail.
Several broadcast journalists, both from national and local media houses, were seen sending live feed for transmission, hanging on to every small detail and tracking every movement.
Their counterparts in the print media, meanwhile, took notes and relayed 'newsy' details over the phone. Journalists could be seen running after those who had come to meet their relatives inside the jail, seeking to get details about what was going on inside.
"We have not received the court order as yet. We will release them once we get it," Dasna Jail Superintendent Dadhiram Maurya told reporters. A senior jail official added that Nupur Talwar performed dental check-up of fellow inmates.
In a scene reminiscent of the film "Peepli Live", local onlookers added to the crowds swarming outside the jail complex. Extra security personnel was deployed around the jail, about 12 km from Ghaziabad town near the Indian capital.
The sensational 2008 double murder case had captured the imagination of the country and, after the dentist couple's acquittal yesterday, the media glare is back.
The Talwars have been lodged in Dasna jail since November 2013 in connection with the double murder. The Allahabad High Court in its verdict said that neither the circumstances nor the evidence was enough to hold them guilty. Aarushi Talwar was found dead in her bedroom in the Talwars' Noida home on May 16, 2008. Hemraj's body was found the next day from his room in the terrace. -- PTI
14:06 When Rahul Gandhi campaigns, Cong loses: Adityanath:
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday cornered Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying when he takes the onus of campaigning for his candidates, his party loses.
"If Rahul Gandhi is campaigning, it seals a loss for the Congress," Adityanath said, while addressing a rally in Gujarat's Valsad.
Adityanath's comment has come in the wake of preparations for the pcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, for which senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have been holding rallies in the state.
Adityanath further said, "Amit Shah visits Gujarat, and Rahul Gandhi runs to Italy. Doesn't he feel the need to remember or visit Gujarat then?"
The chief minister then targetted Rahul's recent Amethi visit and said the Congress failed to bring any development in the state."Even after ruling there for 14 years, Rahul Gandhi did not facilitate the building of a collectorate in Amethi," he said.
In the run up to the assembly elections in Gujarat later this year, or early next year and the general elections in 2019, the war of words between the two parties has been on a rise.
Rahul Gandhi, who alleged that he was recently denied entry into his own constituency, Amethi, chose Gujarat for a four-phase tour to cover all regions of the state prior to the assembly elections.
The Congress MLAs in Gujarat had alleged the state BJP of horse trading ahead of the assembly elections, which the saffron party outrightly denied.
13:20 The Talwars don't live here anymore :
Another family now lives at L-32 Jalvayu Vihar in Noida where 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was found dead in her bedroom in 2008. Since yesterday, the family has been dodging reporters and the media spotlight that have returned to the flat after Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were acquitted by the Allahabad High Court in the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.
Persistent reporters assembled outside the house from 7 am just in case the Talwars returned to their home after their release from Dasna jail in Ghaziabad. Scribes intermittently pressed the buzzer seeking permission to shoot the inside the house but the door remained steadfastly shut. Not giving up, some camerapersons tried to go up to the terrace where the body of Hemraj was found, but the door was padlocked.
The presence of the reporters irked the residents, who were reminded of the May of 2008 when the two were found murdered. Some expressed displeasure, asking the mediapersons to move their cameras and equipment from the way.
But they too seemed infected with curiosity as they discussed the acquittal and wondered who killed Aarushi and Hemraj in the locked house that fateful summer night nine years ago.
Some in the apartment complex, where retired air force and naval officers live, said it was the perfect murder. The guards at the society said the Talwars after their release might live in the house of Nupur Talwar's father, who lived a few blocks away in Sector 25, as tenants were currently living in their apartment. They said the couple was living in Haus Khas in Delhi before their arrest in 2013. -- PTI
Image: Aarushi Talwar was found murdered in her Jalvayu Vihar flat in Noida on May 16, 2008.
13:05 SC refuses to modify cracker ban order in Delhi-NCR:
The Supreme Court has refused to modify its order suspending licence for sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR ahead of Diwali.
The apex court also said it was "pained and sad" that a communal colour had been given to its order.
It also clarified that those who had already bought firecrackers can still burst them.
The order has divided opinion on social media, with some objecting to the ban on celebrations with fireworks during a "Hindu festival".
In November last year, the court had stopped the sale of fireworks within the National Capital Region, which includes Delhi and nearby areas, following the alarming rise in pollution levels after Diwali.
12:22 Pakistani anti-graft court defers Sharif's indictment till Oct 19:
An anti-corruption court today adjourned the indictment of Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in the Panama Papers case till October 19 after lawyers created chaos in the court.
The National Accountability Bureau had registered three cases of corruption and money laundering against 67-year-old Sharif, his family members and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the Islamabad Accountability Court.
The cases were registered weeks after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif as prime minister on July 28 in the Panama
As the court was about to begin the proceedings, lawyers started protesting in the courtroom of Judge Muhammad Bashir against security arrangements which had "restricted their movement in the court premises".
The lawyers threatened to hold up the hearing until action was taken against the police officers that had allegedly manhandled them outside the court.
As a result of the ruckus, Judge Bashir left the courtroom and later announced the postponement of the hearing till October 19.
12:21 UPDATE: No question of corruption: Amit Shah on son's business deals:
BJP president Amit Shah today defended his son Jay Shah in the wake of recent reports that his Temple Enterprises saw a dramatic increase in turnover since the BJP came to power.
Speaking at Panchayat AajTak, the BJP chief defending his son said, "After achieving a turnover of Rs 80 crore, his company suffered a loss of Rs 1.5 crore. Despite this turnover, he did not earn profit. All the payments were made through cheques. There is no question of money laundering."
Taking on the Congress, which has demanded answers from the PM and Shah, the BJP chief said that Congress has faced so many allegations of corruption, yet they haven't filed a single defamation suit, while his son, who has nothing to hide, has filed one.
Jay Shah, son of Amit Shah, on Monday filed a defamation case against news portal The Wire over a report claiming his firm's turnover grew manifold.
In his application, Jay prayed for, 'criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements'.
Just what kind of person is Jay Shah, BJP president Amit Shah's 27-year-old son? The Quint
offers a perspective, here
11:37 Ready to discuss issues: Kher on FTII students' open letter:
The newly-appointed chairman of Film and Television Institute of India, Anupam Kher, says he was on board to discuss the issues and problems faced by the students, as highlighted in their open letter to him.
The 62-year-old veteran actor was on Wednesday appointed the chief of the Pune-based FTII, an autonomous body under the Union ministry of information and broadcasting.
The students of FTII on Thursday wrote an open letter to Kher, voicing their opposition to some short-term courses started by the prestigious acting school and drawing his attention to a slew of other issues being faced by them.
The FTII was founded with an aim to impart learning on different aspects of filmmaking, but it is now slowly being turned into a school that runs short-term crash courses for generation of funds, the letter stated.
Whatever I have to discuss, I would love to discuss it with the students over there. I am like their senior. I was a student there in 1978 and now, 38 years later I will go there as a chairman, Kher saif.
So, I think it is a great time to celebrate but I am not going there with any baggage or any preconceived idea that I have to tell them this or that, he said.
Todays youth can teach a lot to an actor and a personality like me. We will sit across, we will talk about it and we will take this great institution to greater heights, Kher further said.
The letter, signed by FTII Students Association president Robin Joy and general secretary Rohit Kumar, read, We sincerely believe the short-term courses being run (by FTII) cant impart knowledge on filmmaking in such a short duration.
11:28 Jaypee tells SC it has Rs 2500 cr offer for Yamuna Expressway:
Real estate firm Jaypee Associates has told the Supreme Court it has a Rs 2,500 crore offer for the 165-km Yamuna Expressway project and wants it hived off.
The court has said it will hear Jaypee's Yamuna Expressway matter on October 23.
The SC had earlier asked Jaypee Associates to deposit Rs 2,000 crore towards payment to flat-buyers in a case where they had challenged the company's move to declare itself bankrupt as that would leave them in the lurch.
11:26 Opposition miffed as EC withholds Gujarat poll dates:
The Congress has accused the ruling BJP of pressuring the Election Commission to delay announcing dates for the Gujarat assembly elections, alleging this was done to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "announce sops" at a mega rally planned in state capital Gandhinagar next week.
The Election Commission announced dates on Thursday for elections in Himachal Pradesh and said the Gujarat elections dates would be announced later, though it did say that they would be held no later than December 18, when votes will be counted for Himachal Pradesh.
The Opposition said this deviates from the practice of announcing poll dates together for states where elections are due around the same time. The terms of the present Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assemblies end two weeks apart.
While announcing poll dates for Himachal Pradesh, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti was asked by reporters why dates for Gujarat were announced.
Joti said that while people in Himachal Pradesh sought polling before harsh winter set in in the hill state, the Gujarat government had requested that it be allowed to finish several relief and rehabilitation works following floods in the state, before the code of conduct was enforced.
10:51 Sabarimala case: SC refers matter to 5-judge Constitution bench:
The Supreme Court has referred the issue of restrictions on entry of women to Sabarimala temple to a five-judge Constitution bench.
The top court has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation challenging the ban on entry of women into the Sabarimala hill temple.
The temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district, restricts women aged between 10 and 50 from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple.
In January 2016, the court had questioned the ban, saying this cannot be done under the Constitution.
Image: Devotees gather at the Sabarimala temple.
10:32 #WomenBoycottTwitter is trending. Here's why:
Several Twitter users have called for an organised boycott of Twitter on Friday after the social media platform partially suspended actress Rose McGowans account for violating its terms and policies amid her sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
On Thursday, McGowan said on Instagram that Twitter had limited her access to her account, preventing her from tweeting, re-tweeting and replying to posts. She said was still allowed to send direct messages or read Twitter.
Twitter users urged others on the platform to use #WomenBoycottTwitter while protesting the websites move to restrict McGowans account.
Several users also said Twitters action against McGowan was not justified because US President Donald Trumps account remained active despite his tweets that they found offensive.
The 44-year-old McGowan has emerged as one of the most vocal in Hollywood about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry. She has pushed for the remaining board members of The Weinstein Co to resign in the wake of the allegations against Weinstein.
She also this week called Ben Affleck a liar on Twitter, suggesting the actor knew about Weinsteins conduct. (She and Affleck co-starred in 1997 Going All the Way and 1998s Phantoms.)
10:07 Talwars likely to walk out of jail at 4 pm today:
Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are likely to walk out of Ghaziabads Dasna Jail today at 4 pm, a day after being acquitted in the 2008 murders of their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj.
The Allahabad High Courts 263-page verdict ended a nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013 for the double murder that not only transfixed but also shook the nation with its element of filicide.
Pushpa Sharma, security in-charge at Dasna jail, said she met Nupur Talwar in her barracks after the Allahabad HC acquitted her and husband Rajesh Talwar in the murders.
Speaking of Nupurs conduct in jail, Sharma says she never fought or argued with anyone.
Asked about their release, authorities said that they haven't received the order copy. However, the Talwars' lawyer said the release papers will be sent by fax.
09:41 Nanded civic polls: Cong wins 73; NCP, MIM draw blank:
The Congress has won 73 of the 81 seats in the civic polls in Nanded, the home turf of state party chief Ashok Chavan, as per the final results declared early today.
Denting the BJP's bid to wrest power, the Congress was successful in limiting the saffron party's tally to six in the elections to the Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation.
The results of four seats were kept pending yesterday due to technical reasons and were declared today, an official of the State Election Commission said.
Chavan yesterday attributed the party's win to non-tampering of the electronic voting machines and claimed that the BJP's "return journey" has started.
As per the final tally of the total 81 seats, the Congress won 73, followed by the BJP which bagged six seats. The Shiv Sena just about managed to open its account with one seat. An independent candidate also won a seat.
09:26 Talwar case judge acted like film director: HC:
Exonerating Rajesh and Nupur Talwar of their teen daughter Aarushis murder in 2008 by overruling an earlier verdict, the Allahabad High Court has scathingly likened a lower court judge to a "math teacher" and a "film director trying to thrust coherence into scattered facts".
"The learned trial Judge cannot act like a math teacher who is solving a mathematical question by analogy after taking certain figure for granted... Like a film director, the trial judge has tried to thrust coherence amongst facts inalienably scattered here and there but not giving any coherence to the idea as to what in fact happened," the judgment says according to a report by NDTV.
The Talwars will walk out of jail today, four years after they were arrested for the killing of Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj at their apartment in Noida near Delhi.
The verdict also strikes down the 2013 trial court order by stating that "the entire judgment is on the whole creation of fanciful reasoning with pick and choose, presuming facts with indomitable obstinancy and taking things for granted, thus, basing conclusion on unfounded evidence."
09:02 Don't deport Rohingyas: Citizens write to Modi ahead of SC hearing:
The Narendra Modi government must lead a "global response" to the "humanitarian tragedy" that is unfolding in Myanmar's Rakhine and prepare a "bold vision" that addresses the needs of thousands of Rohingya who have fled their homes in the wake of violence that has gripped the state.
That is the crux of a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and signed by 51 eminent citizens. The two-page letter was released by human rights organisation Amnesty International India and deals exclusively with the Rohingya crisis and the Indian government's response to it.
The letter was released yesterday, a day before the Supreme Court takes up a petition filed by Rohingya living in India against the government's decision to deport them. The Modi government has told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya are staying in India illegally and are a security threat.
The letter asks the Modi government to reconsider its approach to the Rohingya issue. It has been signed by a cross-section of politicians, human rights lawyers and activists, artists and artistes, entrepreneurs and journalists.
Some of those who have signed the letter include ex-finance minister P Chidambaram, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former union home secretary GK Pillai, MP Majeed Memon, former Army officer and columnist Ajai Shukla, activist Teesta Setalvad, and actress Swara Bhaskar.
08:57 Trump begins Obamacare dismantling with executive order:
US President Donald Trump took his first steps toward fulfilling his vow to dismantle Obamacare, signing an executive order that he says will bring affordable health insurance to millions more people.
The order broadly tasks the administration with developing policies to increase health care competition and choice in order to improve the quality of health care and lower prices.
However, it could also destabilize Obamacare by siphoning out younger and healthier Americans from the exchanges.
The order, Trump said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, would give "millions of Americans with Obamacare relief." It would "cost the United States government virtually nothing and people will have great great health care. And when I say people, I mean by the millions and millions."
Specifically, the President is directing the Labor Department to study how to make it easier for small businesses, and possibly individuals, to join together and buy health insurance through nationwide association health plans. The department could give employers in the same industries more flexibility to offer group coverage across state lines, providing them with a broader range of policies at lower rates.
08:30 SC to hear traders' plea on cracker ban in Delhi-NCR:
The Supreme Court will on Friday hear traders' plea, seeking modification of the October 9 order banning sale of firecracker in the Delhi-National Capital Region till November 1.
The top court on October 9 imposed a blanket ban on sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR in the run-up of Diwali to check the alarming pollution level.
A three-judge bench of the apex court had on Monday restored its November 2016 order, banning sale of crackers in NCR and suspended its September 2017 order - which allowed limited sale but banned imports from other states.
Following the order, the traders mentioned the matter before the court for an urgent hearing.
They said their licences were revived in pursuance of the apex court's September order and that they had procured firecrackers for the sale during Diwali.
The traders told the Supreme Court that the latest order would cause huge loss to them as they have already invested huge amount of money after their licences were revived.
08:01 JUST IN: Ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Poonch, Jammu-Kashmir. Indian army retaliates. This is the third ceasefire violation in last 24 hours.
07:57 Women hopeful for landmark judgment in Sabarimala Temple case:
As the Supreme Court is set to pronounce its verdict on the ban on women's entry into Kerala's Sabarimala Temple, women's rights activists on Friday expressed hope for a positive and landmark judgment in the matter.
Activist Brinda Adige said, "For the last last couple of months, we have been seeing that the Supreme Court is bringing out several progressive and landmark judgments. I am hoping that the entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive. I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark."
Another women right activist Saswati Ghosh also pinned her faith on the apex court's decision.
"I hope it will allow women to enter the temple otherwise we cannot say it is secular country. The restriction will be removed hopefully," Ghosh said.
Earlier, in February, the top court had reserved an order on referring the case to a constitution bench.
The apex court has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation challenging the ban on entry of women into the Sabarimala Hill Temple.
The temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district, restricts women aged between 10 and 50 from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala Temple.
In January 2016, the court had questioned the ban, saying this cannot be done under the Constitution.
00:10 After US, Israel too walks out of UNESCO:
Walking the footsteps of the United States, Israel has withdrawn from the Paris based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Nenanyahu has announced that his country will follow the United States in pulling out of the United Nations' cultural and education agency.
Earlier, the Trump administration withdrew from UNESCO post Washington purported and perceived UNESCO as 'anti-Israel bias'.
The Israeli leader called the US decision to exit UNESCO 'brave and moral', according to a statement.
UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said in a statement: 'After receiving official notification by the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, as UNESCO Director-General, I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO.' -- ANIIMAGE: A Bauhaus building at 56, Lavanda Street in Tel Aviv is called 'the boat' house and was built by Arie Cohen in 1934. The 'White City' of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a UNESCO world heritage site. Photograph: Nir Elias/Reuters