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LIVE! PM hosts dinner for Abe at iconic terrace hotel

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September 13, 2017


23:41  PM hosts dinner for Abe at iconic terrace hotel:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight hosted dinner for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie at famous 'Agashiye' restaurant in Ahmedabad, known for its elegance and kosher Gujarati cuisine.

Modi played a perfect host to Abe and the first lady at the terrace restaurant, a boutique heritage hotel in the old city.

The iconic hotel offers a view of Ahmedabad's heritage spots including the 'Siddi Sayeed Ni Jaali' mosque the Abes visited earlier in the day.

It is located in the vicinity ofthe main heritage attractions like Bhadra Fort, Juma Masjidand Manek Chowk.

After visiting the 16th century Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in the evening, Modi and the Abe couple took a brief tour of the heritage hotel property and enjoyed the a performance of musical instrument 'Jal Tarang'.

Though the hotel is famous for offering traditional Gujarati food, the menu for the Japanese premier and his wife was mostly kept under wraps. -- PTI

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe witness the playing of the Jal Tarang at the venue of a dinner hosted by Modi in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Photograph: Press Information Bureau of India.
23:32  Dinakaran loyalists lodge complaint against TN police :  A group of MLAs loyal to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dinakaran and camping at a resort in Kodagu district, today lodged a complaint with Karnataka police against alleged harassment by Tamil Nadu police police.

"Tamil Nadu legislators, who are camping at the resort, situated in between Kushalnagar and Sunticopa, have lodged a complaint for alleged harassment by the neighbouring state police," Kodagu Superintendent of Police P Rajendra Prasad said.

The legislators have sought security, alleging harassment by Tamil Nadu police, Prasad said.

A team of Tamil Nadu police had visited the resort to question AIADMK MLA Palaniyappan with regard to a crime, he said.

Police however is awaiting a plea from the resort owner asking for security, as only then can it be done, Prasad said.

Meanwhile, AIADMK Karnataka unit Secretary Va Puagazhendi alleged that the MLAs were being offered monetary inducements to switch sides and are being 'harassed' by the Palaniswami faction.

He said the MLAs had made it clear to Tamil Nadu police which visited the resort yesterday, that they were camping there on their own volition and not under duress.

Puagazhendi said the MLAs in their complaint to police had sought 'necessary steps' to prevent their harassment and added that, if necessary, they would move court.

The MLAs have been camping at the resort since September 9 amidst political turmoil within the party.

Police had visited the resort in search of Palaniappan after the AIADMK General Council meeting yesterday had removed the imprisoned Sasikala from her post of Interim General Secretary and declared all appointments made by her invalid.  -- PTI
22:31  Akie Abe, spouse of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, viewing textile exhibits at the venue of the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for them. Photograph: @PMOIndia/Twitter
22:25  AI plans to take Rs 3,250 cr loans for 'urgent' capital needs:  National carrier Air India plans to take short-term loans of up to Rs 3,250 crore to meet 'urgent working capital requirements', according to a document.

The disinvestment-bound airline, which is staying afloat on taxpayers' funds, expects to get the central government's guarantee for the proposed borrowings shortly.

As part of efforts to revive the loss-making Air India, a ministerial panel is working on the modalities for strategic disinvestment of the carrier and its five subsidiaries.

Against this backdrop, the airline seeking short-term loans assumes significance as it implies possible funds crunch.

In a tender document issued today, the carrier said it is 'looking for government guarantee backed INR short-term loans totalling up to Rs 3,250 crore in the first phase to meet its urgent working capital requirements by September 25, 2017'.

The tenure of the loan will be one year and the amount is proposed to be drawn in two or three tranches.

A senior official said the airline is already facing 'cash deficit' and the loans will help in meeting immediate capital requirements.

'The government of India guarantee, which is expected shortly, will be valid for a period of one year or till the date of disinvestment,' the document said.

Banks have been asked to submit their financial bids by September 19, indicating the amount of government-guaranteed short-term loans they are willing to offer.

Under a turnaround plan approved by the previous United Progressive Alliance regime, Air India is to receive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the government subject to meeting certain performance thresholds.

The 10-year bailout package began from 2012.

So far, the embattled carrier has received around Rs26,000 crore under the package.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle nod to the strategic disinvestment of the airline -- which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000crore -- in June this year.

Subsequently, an Air India-specific alternative mechanism was set up to guide the process.

The ministerial group is looking into treatment of Air India's unsustainable debt, hiving off of certain assets to a shell company, demerger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries,among other aspects. -- PTI
21:19  India to send relief materials for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh:  India will send a consignment of humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh tomorrow for Rohingya Muslims, days after Dhaka briefed New Delhi about the problems faced by it due to the influx of refugees from Myanmar following the ethnic violence in the Buddhist-majority nation.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali had met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar last week and discussed the issue of Rohingyas in detail.

"An Indian aircraft will carry the first consignment of humanitarian assistance tomorrow...It will land at Chittagong airport at 11 am," an Indian High Commission spokesman said.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla would hand over the relief materials to Bangladesh's Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, the spokesman added.

Bangladesh, which is facing a big influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the international community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus.

According to the United Nations estimates, over 379,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 25 when fresh wave of violence erupted.

According to media reports, the violence began when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.

Rohingya residents -- a stateless mostly Muslim minority in a Buddhist-majority nation -- allege that the military and Rakhine Buddhists responded with a brutal campaign against them, according to the reports.

Bangladesh had earlier said the new influx of Rohingya refugees is an unbearable additional burden on the country which has been hosting around 400,000 Myanmar nationals who had to leave their country in the past due to communal violence and repeated military operations.

Quader had said on Sunday that Bangladesh needed 'crucial' Indian support in handling the crisis.

"The entire world today is worried with the Rohingya issue (and) their (India's) concern and stand beside us is very crucial at this moment," he had said.

Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali, at a media briefing on the same day, however, referred to the Indian concern about the crisis.

A 'deeply concerned' India last week asked Myanmar to handle the situation in the Rakhine state with 'maturity and restraint' while focusing on the welfare of the civilian population along with that of the security forces and asserted that it was imperative that violence ends there.  -- PTI

IMAGE: Rohingya refugees wait for the food to be distributed by local organisation outside a mosque in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
20:13  Pak troops violate ceasefire in Jammu, Poonch:   Pakistani troops today violated the ceasefire twice by firing and shelling along the International Border in Jammu district and the Line of Control in Poonch, prompting retaliation from the security forces.

Pakistan rangers resorted to small arms firing on BrahmanBella and Raipur border outposts along the border in Pargwal sector of the Akhnoor belt in Jammu from 3.15 pm today, a police officer said.

At 3.45 hours, Pak rangers also fired mortar shells along IB, he said adding that the BSF retaliated.

There was no loss of life or injury to any one so far, he said.

The Pakistan Army resorted to firing and shelling on Indian posts along the LoC in Mankote, Sabjian and Digwar areas in Poonch from 3 pm onwards, another officer said.

Pakistani forces have violated the ceasefire several times in recent days, officials said.

Incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan have increased sharply this year.

Till August 1, there were 285 such violations by the Pakistan Army, while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, according to Army figures. -- PTI
19:30  Dinakaran alleges EPS faction 'intimidating' MLAs of his camp:  All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dinakaran today alleged that the ruling faction led by K Palaniswami was threatening to file false cases against his loyalists MLAs, who are camping in Karnataka, if they did not support the chief minister.

The beleaguered leader, whose appointment as the AIADMK's deputy general secretary was declared invalid at the party's general council meeting yesterday, alleged the TN government sent policemen to Karnataka who 'threatened to file false cases against our MLAs'.

Since September 10, a majority of Dinakaran's loyalist MLAs are putting up in a resort in Karnataka's Coorg district. Dinakaran has the support of 21 MLAs.

"They (MLAs) are being intimidated by sending police personnel... They are being asked to support Chief Minister Palaniswami," he alleged.

Dinakaran said the MLAs told him that 30 Tamil Nadu police personnel, led by five DSPs, visited their resort yesterday.

Policemen were there today as well, he said.

Dinakaran also alleged that the ruling camp was 'nudging' his loyalist legislators, through police, to support the Palaniswami government by offering monetary inducements.

The MLAs would file a complaint with the Karnataka Police in connection with the matter and 'we will move court seeking action against (Tamil Nadu) police and the chief minister', he said.

Meanwhile, former minister and Dinakaran loyalist MLA V Senthil Balaji told reporters in Coorg that Tamil Nadu police personnel came to his room in the resort and asked him 'to talk to the chief minister'.

He alleged they told him that if he did not do so, a case would be slapped against him and he would be arrested.

Balaji alleged he was offered monetary inducement to switch over to the Palaniswami camp.

Dinkaran said former minister and his supporter P Palaniappan has left Karnataka to reach Tamil Nadu.

The MLA is facing a case for allegedly abetting the suicide of a contractor.

"I have got information that Palanipappan has approached court," he said and asked the media to not 'speculate' that the MLA was to be arrested.

"Disseminate the truth," he said. -- PTI
19:06  Railways permits m-Aadhaar as ID proof for travellers:  The ministry of railways said today it has decided to allow m-Aadhaar, a digital version of the Aadhaar card, as proof of identity for travellers in any reserved class. 

The m-Aadhaar is a mobile app launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India on which a person can download his/her Aadhaar card. It can, however, be downloaded only on the mobile number to which Aadhaar has been linked.

To show Aadhaar, a passenger has to open the app and enter his/her password. 

"m-Aadhaar when shown by the passenger on his/her mobile after entering the password should be accepted as a proof of identity for undertaking journey in any reserved class over Indian Railways," the ministry said in a statement. 

Currently, the m-Aadhaar app is available on Google Play Store.
18:50  ED files supplementary charge sheet in VVIP chopper scam :  The Enforcement Directorate today chargesheeted a woman director of two Dubai-based firms and the companies in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP choppers money laundering case. 

In the supplementary charge sheet filed before Additional Sessions Judge Arvind Kumar, the ED named Shivani Saxena as an "active" director of Dubai-based M/S UHY Saxena and M/S Matrix Holdings. 

Both the companies have also been chargesheeted by the agency in the charge sheet under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

On January 1, 2014, India scrapped the contract with Finmeccanica's British subsidiary AgustaWestland for supplying 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force over alleged breach of contractual obligations and charges of kickbacks to the tune of Rs 423 crore paid by the firm for securing the deal.
18:47  PM Modi, Abe visit iconic mosque in Ahmedabad :  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe visited Sidi Sayeed mosque. 

The famous 16th century mosque, is the last of the major mosques to be built in Ahmedabad under the Mughal era.

Later, Modi will host Abes for dinner at a hotel in the city. 

18:39   Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe wave to the crowds on the way to Sabarmati Ashram.


For more images of Abe in Ahmedabad click here.
18:12  The evil monkeys:   PM Narendra Modi presented marble sculpture of Gandhiji's famous three monkeys to PM Shinzo Abe
18:06  All veg-Gujju menu at PM's dinner for Shinzo Abe :   Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who arrived in Ahmedabad today on a two-day visit, was accorded a warm welcome by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Ahmedabad airport. Abe, who is accompanied by his wife Akie Abe, has a hectic schedule for the next two days in Modi's home state, including laying of the foundation stone for India's first bullet train, to be run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and to attend the 12th Indo-Japan Summit.


At the dinner tonight, a special menu, albeit vegetarian, has been designed for Abe.


The PM will host the dinner at Ahmedabad's Agashiye, a popular terrace restaurant of the House of Mangaldas Heritage Hotel.

The staff will serve the food in traditional attire - consisting of dhoti, kurta and a safa (headgear).

Around 30 items are expected to be served.

The menu will be Gujarati - likely to include dhoklas, raspatra, gota fritters, rice kichidi, kadhi, a bitter gourd and onion sabji called bharela karela-dungri, and bhakri, rotla and roti, puri.

Some other curry dishes are also expected to be served including tomato soup, mixed-vegetable undhiyu, a garlicky potato dish called lasaniya bateta, and an assortment of dals, yoghurt raita and srikhand. The dessert is likely to include ghee-roasted gram flour sweet mohanthal, halwa and juicy jalebi.

Two chefs have reportedly been appointed from both countries to serve the food.


Image: Mohanthal, one of the desserts which on the menu.

17:01  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his wife Akie Abe and PM Narendra Modi at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.
16:51  After roadshow, PM Modi, Abe visit Sabarmati Ashram:  
After the road show, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited the Sabarmati Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi lived between 1917 and 1930. 

Abe and his wife Akie pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Ashram.

Later, the two leaders will visit the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in the eastern part of the city.

16:41  Arundhati Roy out of the Man Booker race:  
Authors from the United Kingdom and the United States dominated the 2017 Man Booker Prize shortlist announced, as the only long-listed Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, failed to make the cut.
Roy, who won the literary award worth 50,000 pounds for her debut book 'The God of Small Things' in 1997, had featured on the long-list for her latest novel 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness'. 
The book was described as "a rich and vital book" that "comes from the bowels of India" by the judges.
The short-list includes American authors Paul Auster for "4321", Emily Fridlund for "History of Wolves", and George Saunders for "Lincoln in the Bardo". The British authors include Pakistan-born Mohsin Hamid for "Exit West", Fiona Mozley for "Elmet" and Ali Smith for "Autumn".
The final six will now battle for the coveted award to be announced on October 17 at Guildhall here.
The shortlist, which features three women and three men, covers a wide range of subjects, from the struggle of a family trying to retain its self-sufficiency in rural England to an amorous tale of two refugees seeking to flee an unnamed city in the throes of civil war. 
Two first-time female writers -- Fridlund and Mozley -- are joined by two previously shortlisted authors, Hamid, who had been short-listed in 2007 for "The Reluctant Fundamentalist", and Smith, who made the cut for the fourth time. 
Mozley, a part-time worker at a UK bookshop, is also the youngest author on the list, aged 29.
The 2017 judging panel, led by Baroness Lola Young, said the short-listed novels, each in their own way, challenge and subtly shift preconceptions about the nature of love, about the experience of time, about questions of identity and even death.
"With six unique and intrepid books that collectively push against the borders of convention, this year's shortlist both acknowledges established authors and introduces new voices to the literary stage," Young said.
16:15  Modi, Abe set out on 8-km-long roadshow in Ahmedabad:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe begin their roadshow in Ahmedabad. 

The 8-km-long road show starts from the Ahmedabad airport and will culminate at the Sabarmati Ashram.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's standing committee chairman Pravin Patel said a large number of people, including singing troupes will be performing at 28 different locations along the route.

After visiting the Sabarmati Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi lived between 1917 and 1930, both the leaders would take a break till evening. 

They will then bvisit the iconic Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in the eastern part of the city. The mosque is known across the world for the stone lattice work.

Modi and Abe would then have dinner at 'Agashiye' restaurant located near the mosque.
16:07  That's Shinzo Abe's grandfather :   @IndiaHistorypic 1957: PM of Japan, Nobusuke Kishi (Grandfather of @AbeShinzo ) Arrives In India. Indians Welcome Japan PM #IndiaJapan.
16:06  UPDATE: Modi greets Japanese PM with bear hugs in Ahmedabad :   PM Narendra Modi receives Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at the Ahmedabad airport with bear hugs and a hearty handshake.

The skies are overcast in Ahmedabad, even as a massive road show is set to begin.

The PM greeted Akie Abe, the Japanese PM's wife, and led Abe to the podium where he will receive the guard of honour.

They will visit Sabarmati Ashram and the iconic Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in the eastern part of the city famous for its intricate stone lattice work.

Modi will host a dinner for Abe at a hotel in the old city area.

Ahmedabad has been recently included in the World Heritage City list. Japanese PM will be given an overview of the heritage of the city in prime minister Modi's home state.


15:32  Cong-backed NSUI makes comback in Delhi varsity polls :   Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) today made a comeback in the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections, bagging two of the four crucial posts including that of the president's.

BJP-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which has a stronghold in DUSU, bagged two seats, that of the joint secretary and the general secretary.


Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi @OfficeOfRG
tweeted: Congratulations @nsui on a stellar performance & Pres win in DUSU! Thank students of DU for reposing faith in Congress ideology #NSUIWinsDU


NSUI's Rocky Tusheed won the president's post by a margin of 1,590 votes, while the party's Kunal Sehrawat defeated the ABVP candidate by 175 votes. ABVP's Mahamedha Nagar defeated NSUI's Minakshi Meena by 2,624 votes to win the post of secretary while party's joint secretary candidate Uma Shankar defeated NSUI's Avinash Yadav 342 votes.


A total of 43 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the DUSU elections held yesterday. Last year, the ABVP bagged three posts while the NSUI won the post of joint secretary.
14:58  After 'no' to Rohingyas, citizenship for Chakmas :   The Centre will soon grant citizenship to nearly one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees, who came from the erstwhile East Pakistan five decades ago and are living in camps in the Northeast, officials said today.


The Chakma-Hajong refugee issue was discussed threadbare today at a high level meeting convened by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval among others. In 2015, the Supreme Court had directed the Central government to grant citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees, mostly staying in Arunachal Pradesh.


"The Supreme Court order on Chakmas and Hajongs was discussed in the meeting. We need to implement the order as early as possible," a home ministry official said.


Several organisations and civil society in Arunachal Pradesh have been opposing citizenship to the refugees saying it would change the demography of the state. The Centre is trying to find a workable solution to the issue by proposing that Chakma and Hajong refugees will not be given rights, including ownership of land, enjoyed by Scheduled Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh, the official said.


However, they may be given Inner Line permits, required for non-locals in Arunachal Pradesh to travel and work.


Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the erstwhile East Pakistan. They left their homeland when it was submerged by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s.


The Chakmas, who are Buddhists, and the Hajongs, who are Hindus, also allegedly faced religious persecution and entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram). The Centre moved the majority of them to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh. According to officials, their numbers have gone up from about 5,000 in 1964-69 to one lakh.


At present, they don't have citizenship and land rights but are provided basic amenities by the state government. The Arunachal Pradesh government approached the apex court to review its 2015 order but in vain.


After the Supreme Court's rejection, both the Central and state governments started consultations to find a solution to the issue. The initiative on the Chakma and Hajong refugees comes amid the ongoing row over the Central government's plans to deport Rohingya Muslims, who came to India due to alleged persecution in Myanmar. Rijiju, who belongs to Arunachal Pradesh, has said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants.  -- PTI
14:40  I won't be surprised if Gauri's killers are not caught:  "Those who were first at the site of Gauri Lankesh's murder scene noticed that the place was still open for people to casually walk in and out. 'No forensic evidence of value can remain in such places," points out Aakar Patel.

Read his column on Rediff.com


Image: Gauri Lankesh's sister (in purple) with friends and relatives after the murder.
14:32  UN asks international community to help Rohingya refugees:  The UN has appealed to the international community to keep aside politics and support the ongoing humanitarian efforts to help Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar.


The Rohingyas are a Muslim minority that live in the Buddhist-majority state of Rakhine, and they have experienced decades-long persecution in Myanmar, which -- since gaining independence in 1948 -- has refused to recognise the group as citizens.


The latest calamity was spurred when Rohingya militants attacked dozens of police posts and a military base on August 25. The state military responded with a counter-offensive, burning down villages and driving out civilians, whose population is estimated to be around 1.1 million.


The Rohingya crisis from Myanmar has caused more than 300,000 to flee Myanmar. Expressing concern over the situation, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson to the UN Secretary-General said: "The reports we're getting, the pictures all of us are seeing are heart-breaking to say the least."


"I think the entire international community should support the ongoing humanitarian efforts, regardless of politics. These are people in need. These are very vulnerable people who have crossed the border, who've, as we said, are hungry and are malnourished and deserve to be helped," he said. The spokesperson was responding to a question on role of regional players in helping Rohingya refugees.
13:53  Aung San Suu Kyi to skip UNGA on Rohingyas:  Myanmar State Counsellor and de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend next week's United Nations General Assembly debate as criticism of her handling of the Rohingya crisis grows.


According to reports, about 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's northern Rakhine state for Bangladesh, Nepal and India since the outbreak of violence last month.


Entire villages have been burnt down, leading critics and the United Nations into accusing the NLD Government of ethnic cleansing.


Myanmar's military, however, says it is fighting Rohingya militants and has denied reports that it is targeting civilians.


The Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Rakhine, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which says they are illegal immigrants. They have lived in Myanmar for generations but are denied citizenship.


The UN Security Council is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.


Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi has been criticised by former supporters in the West for failing to do enough to prevent the violence.


She had lived under house arrest for 15 years for her pro-democracy activism, is widely seen as the head of government in Myanmar.


Fellow Nobel laureates, including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai, have called on Ms Suu Kyi to stop the violence.


Suu Kyi was expected to participate in discussions at the General Assembly session in New York, which runs from September 19 to 25.
13:34  Ryan school murder: Boy's father opposes anticipatory bails:  The father of the seven-year-old boy murdered at the Ryan International School in Gurgaon today approached the Bombay High Court seeking to oppose the pre-arrest bail pleas of the trustees of Ryan International Group.


The group's CEO, Ryan Pinto, and his parents -- Augustine Pinto, the founding chairman of the group, and Grace Pinto, its managing director -- had earlier approached the high court seeking transit anticipatory bail apprehending arrest in the case.


The Pintos sought protection from arrest till they approach the court concerned in Haryana. When the pleas came up for hearing before Justice Ajey Gadkari today, lawyer Sushil Tekriwal informed the court that Barun Thakur, the father of the Class 2 student Pradyuman who was killed in the school in Gurgaon, was filing an application seeking to intervene and oppose the bail pleas.


Tekriwal said the application will be filed in the high court registry, following which Justice Gadkari posted the hearing of the anticipatory bail pleas of the Pintos later this afternoon.


In the application, Thakur said he is the complainant in the case and the petition of the trustees is "opposed in strongest possible terms and words as the instant case being a rarest of the rare case where a brutal, diabolical, cold blooded, barbarous, demonic, unpardonable, unprovoked, hellish, cruel homicide has taken place on the campus of Ryan International School."


Pradyuman was found with his throat slit on the morning of September 8 in the toilet of Ryan International School in Gurgaon. Police allege that 42-year-old bus conductor Ashok Kumar killed him with a knife after the boy resisted an attempt to sodomise him.
13:00  Father of 7-yr-old murdered boy files intervening application in Bombay HC opposing pre-arrest bail pleas of Ryan Group's trustees.
12:54  MP schools' directive: Students should say 'Jai Hind', not 'Yes Sir' :  Schools in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh have been directed to ensure that students answer the rollcall with 'Jai Hind' instead of 'Yes Sir or Madam'.


Taking a 'nationalist' approach, School Education Minister Vijay Shah said that this will be implemented in all schools of Satna from October 1.


"I have a military background; my grandfathers have been in the Army. And whenever they come to meet, they always say 'Jai Hind' which I think is a way of respecting your nation, and the feeling of love for your country is shown through his gesture," Vijay Shah told the media.


He said that he didn't like the concept of 'yes sir, yes madam' in schools and hence, directed the schools to do this.


"I asked them to make students say 'Jai Hind,' because they are the future of India and they should respect and love their country; by doing this the love for the nation will increase among them," Shah said.


Shah also said that if this mission is successful, then after the Chief Minister's agreement, he would request to implement this all over Madhya Pradesh, whether it's a public school or a private school.


On being asked whether this would be implemented in the private schools, Shah said, "We can only give them a suggestion regarding this, after this how much they follow it, depends on them. I think this is a nationalist approach so they might consider it. And if they don't listen, we would drop the media on them," Shah said laughingly.  -- ANI
12:38  Forensic Science Laboratory unit reaches the Ryan International School in Gurugram to probe the murder of Pradyuman Thakur.
12:28  Varnika Kundu's IAS father transferred :  Over a month after Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala's son Vikas Barala was arrested for stalking Varnika Kundu, daughter of a senior Haryana-cadre IAS officer VS Kundu, the state government yesterday transferred the bureaucrat.

Kundu, who was looking after the state's tourism department, has been posted as Additional Chief Secretary, Science and Technology Department.

He will keep looking after State University of Performing and Visual Arts, Rohtak, as its Vice-Chancellor.

When contacted by The Indian Express, Kundu said, "It's up to the government where it deputes me keeping in view my capabilities. I don't have any problem in it. I never tried to stop my transfer order.' Notably, the development came hours after a Chandigarh court dismissed bail application of Vikash Barala on Tuesday. 

-- Indian Express
12:10  Jandhan zero balance accounts drop from 77% to 20%: Jaitley:   As many as 30 crore families have got bank accounts since the launch of India's biggest ever bank account opening drive, Jan Dhan Yojana, three years back, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. About 42 per cent of households were unbanked before the Jan Dhan Yojana, which aims to give every household access to banking facilities by offering them zero-balance accounts across all commercial banks.


Speaking at a conclave on Financial Inclusion, he said the number of zero-balance accounts has reduced from 77 per cent to 20 per cent and even these would become operational once the direct benefit transfer is expanded.


In September 2014, three months after the scheme was launched, 76.81 per cent accounts had zero balance. The number of zero-balance accounts has now come down to 20 per cent of the total, he said. 99.99 per cent of households now have at least one bank account, thanks to the Jan Dhan Yojana. Jaitley said biometric identification number Aadhaar was an evolving idea under the previous UPA regime and it did not have legislative backing.
-- PTI
11:57  Can Sitharaman get the defence dinosaur moving?:  The defence minister has 20 months to learn the military's ethos, culture and to publicly bat for an organisation that feels increasingly marginalised and underappreciated, notes Ajai Shukla.

Read his column on Rediff.com
11:55  The Scotsman who knows India better than many of us:  "Men of the calibre of Shri Ramana Maharishi, Satya Sai Baba, Shri Aurobindo -- you don't get that level of excellence in the West. The quality of Indian saints is unmatched."

Writer Bill Aitken came to India nearly 60 years ago and never returned home to Scotland. An Indian citizen since 1972, he speaks to Archana Masih about finding a religion, a country and discovering India on steam engines and motorbikes.

Do read the first part of a two-part interview exclusively on Rediff.com.
11:49  The choice is between speaking up and keeping quiet :  About a month ago, a US-based cousin was driving back home from work when the car in front of her braked in such a way that she was forced to pull over.

The driver of the car, a large White woman, got off her vehicle, came up to my cousin, said, "You f***ing black w****, go back to your own country!" then turned on her heel and walked away.

In her 20 years in the US, my cousin, a university professor who works with poor, marginalized and dispossessed groups of people (including many 'illegal immigrants'), had never had to face such visceral racial hatred.

She has worked in areas where there are poor Whites who might legitimately feel deprived and upset, whose anger could easily have focused on her - a woman of colour, doing what many feel is a White person's job - and turned violent. But it never had. Until now.

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11:26  Student murder: Ryan moves SC for transfer of case outside Haryana:   Just in: Ryan International School moves the Supreme Court seeking a transfer of the boy's murder case outside the local court at Sohna, Haryana. The school has said that a fair trail is not possible in Haryana.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre and the Haryana police on a plea by the father of the Ryan student seeking a CBI probe into the murder as well as framing of guidelines to ensure safety of children.

The father, Barun Chandra Thakur, has sought laying down of guidelines by which "liability, responsibility and accountability of the management of the school" across the country can be fixed in matters relating to safety and security of children at educational institutions. 

Meanwhile, DNA samples of the accused bus-conductor Ashok Kumar have been sent to the Karnal Lab for testing.

Union ministers Maneka Gandhi and Prakash Javadekar will hold a high-level meeting today to develop a protocol for educational institutions to ensure safety of students following incidents of child sexual abuse in schools, a government official said.

The conference comes in the backdrop of the murder of Class II student Pradyuman Thakur inside Ryan International School in Gurugram for allegedly resisting sexual assault.


Image: Police take a look at the bathroom where the boy was allegedly found with his throat slit.
11:07  From the author of 16 books, this beautiful metaphor...

Shashi Tharoor @ShashiTharoor Fable: To hunt crocodiles,86% water was drained from the pond. No crocodiles were found; they live on land too. But all the small fish died.
10:56  Your face looks like a koala: Parineeti trolled :  Parineeti Chopra gets trolled.

Taking a break from a shoot, Parineeti, who is currently in Australia on a vacation, shared lots of pictures from her visit on Instagram. In one of the posts from Brisbane, the actress is seen cuddling a koala.

The picture turned out to be fodder for trolls with the actress being skinny shamed.

A few of the hate comments read: "Your face looks like a koala. Stop Dieting," a user wrote.

Another user wrote, "Very luck koala, at least he is touching your b*****."

Meanwhile, another one wrote, "pari ...is it small panda....or hardik pandya?"

This is not the first time, the actor has been a victim of internet trolls.

Earlier too the actor has spoken about her struggles of dealing with body-image issues.

Opening up about her weight loss journey, Pari in an earlier post had written,

"I was constantly made fun of, but the person I was, I generously laughed with them. Today, many people ask me what triggered the weight loss, did I give in to the "Bollywood pressure"?

To that I say - thank god I became an actor and had that pressure!"

Parineeti is currently shooting for 'Golmaal Again' alongside Ajay Devgn, Arshad Warsi and Tusshar Kapoor which is being helmed by Rohit Shetty.
10:44  Dinakaran sacks Palaniswami:  In a parallel universe TTV Dinakaran removes Edappadi Palaniswami from the post of party headquarter secretary, appoints P Palaniappan for the post.

Yesterday, the united AIADMK showed the door to incarcerated interim general secretary VK Sasikala, removing her from the post and declaring all appointments made by her as invalid.

The general council meet also did away with the powerful general secretary post, adopting resolutions to these effect.

The keenly awaited meeting declared as invalid all appointments and removals made by Sasikala till February 15 when she surrendered in a Bengaluru court in connection with a corruption case.

With the general council declaring that decisions taken by Sasikala were not valid, the appointment of her nephew TTV Dinkaran to the post by her is also annuled by default.
10:22  Ahead of ICJ hearing, BJP hopes for early release of Kulbhushan Jadhav:  As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on Wednesday resume hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the BJP expressed hope for early release of the former Indian naval officer.

Speaking to ANI, BJP leader S Prakash hoped that the Indian government will succeed in bringing back Jadhav to India.

"India will make every effort to see that Jadhav is released from Pakistan's illegal detention. He has been sentenced to death by the court of Pakistan without even a hearing and without providing an opportunity to him to put forth his point of view. However, the Indian effort to secure his freedom has delayed the judicial process in Pakistan, and I am sure in the coming hearing the Indian government will succeed in bringing back Jadhav to India," he said.

BJP leader Rahul Sinha also expressed hope for justice in the matter.

"The court will take its decision. We should not comment on it. The matter is in the court and we hope that we will get justice," he told ANI.

The International Court of Justice will on Wednesday resume hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, who was sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan earlier this year on charges of being an Indian spy.India challenged the verdict in the UN top court, which on May 18 asked Pakistan to not execute Jadhav before they decide the case.In its arguments before the court on May 15, India had expressed its fear that Pakistan could execute Jadhav even before the court gave its verdict.

Both India and Pakistan will make their submissions before the ICJ. -- ANI
10:20  'I have lived on the edge for too long':  "The stereotype of an actress is that she's dumb, somebody who will sit on your lap, giggle on stupid jokes, come to the van when she's being called, receive a call at 3 am and come over to your house. So when a girl comes along and challenges this, people get uncomfortable."

Kangana Ranaut gets candid with Rediff.com's Ronjita Kulkarni.

Read the full interview here.
09:56  Ryan murder: Mystery deepens as bus driver hints at cover-up:  
Sourav Raghav, the driver of the Ryan International School bus with whom the accused conductor Ashok Kumar used to work, told the police that he had rushed to the crime scene as soon as the murder took place where he saw the conductor wearing blood soaked clothes.

The driver said that Kumar had been called to help rush the child to a van which took him to hospital. On further questioning, he refuted Kumar's initial claim that the knife was a part of the school bus's tool kit.

He also said that the school staff had asked the conductor to carry Pradyuman to a school van in order to rush him to a hospital."

Raghav also told police that initially he was told the child has fallen in the bathroom and hurt himself. He added that the bathroom used by kids cannot be used by other staff members but no one ensured strictness as many flouted the rules.

"The conductor had said that the knife was a part of school bus's tool kit, but the driver refuted these claims. However, he stated that many others used to often cook and eat nearby, for which the knife could have been purchased by one of them," the officer added.

He said that Raghav who had known Ashok since February, stated that he did not suspect the conductor's character.
09:49  JUST IN: A BJP corporator, Daya Gaikwad, has been booked for allegedly raping a 27-year-old Thane woman.
09:43  N Korea vows to boost weapons programme after sanctions:  
North Korea today vowed to accelerate its weapons programme in response to the "evil" sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council after its latest and most powerful test.

"The adoption of another illegal and evil 'resolution on sanctions' piloted by the US served as an occasion for the DPRK to verify that the road it chose to go down was absolutely right," the North's foreign ministry said in a statement published by the official KCNA news agency.

"The DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country's sovereignty and right to existence," the ministry said.

The fresh sanctions include a ban on the North's textile exports and restrict shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth nuclear test.
09:12  Sharad Yadav says it's a 'struggle' after EC rejects his claims over party symbol:  
A day after the Election Commission of India disposed off senior Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav's application staking claim over party symbol, the rebel party leader said it is a struggle and fight which he would win.

The rebel JD-U leader said that he would speak on this issue in a press conference on Wednesday.

"It is kind of a struggle and fight. We are ready to face this. I did not speak today because I am just listening to everyone right now. I will hold a press conference at 12 noon on Wednesday. I will put forward my future plan in the press conference," he said.

The Election Commission of India on Tuesday disposed off Sharad Yadav's application staking claim over party symbol, saying it was not supported with relevant documents.

Last month, Sharad Yadav had submitted a memorandum to the commission, staking claim over the party.

The JD-U, headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, also approached the ECI to file a counter plea against a petition submitted by Sharad Yadav.

The JD-U also submitted that Sharad Yadav had voluntarily left the party and had involved in anti-party activities. 
08:55  Gauri Lankesh, Kalburgi killed with same gun? Probe suggests so:  
Journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh and Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi were killed with the same 7.65mm country-made pistol, preliminary findings of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory have indicated. 

"Given our wherewithal, we could establish an 80 per cent similarity in the weapon used in the two crimes," a source with access to the preliminary report said.

Kalburgi was shot dead in August 2015 in his Dharwad residence. Forensic reports had established the pistol used to kill Kalburgi was used to gun down communist leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, a few months earlier.

The preliminary report is likely to be submitted to the Special Investigation Team probing the case on Wednesday. Officers who are part of the SIT have questioned about 80 people from different parts of Bengaluru and other districts, including Maoist-affected areas, police sources said. 

The SIT is looking for someone who visited Lankesh's house thrice on the day she was murdered (September 5), once about 30-45 minutes before he shot her. 

The suspect, wearing a white formal shirt with long sleeves and riding a motorcycle, was captured by the two CCTV cameras facing the road -Gauri's house has two other cameras -- first at 3.27 pm.
08:20  Rishi Kapoor on Rahul Gandhi's 'dynasty' comment: Earn people's respect:  
Rishi Kapoor posted a series of angry tweets as a reaction to Rahul Gandhi's speech at the University of California in Berkeley. 

Kapoor took particular offence to the Congress vice president's reference to Bollywood while elaborating on "dynasty politics." 

Rahul Gandhi cited the example of megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his son, actor Abhishek while explaining "dynasty legacy," adding: "Don't go just after me." 

Here's what he actually said: "Dynastic politics is a problem in all political parties. Akhilesh (Yadav son of Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party), (MK) Stalin (son of M Karunanidhi in DMK), Abhishek Bachchan - are all examples of dynastic legacy, also (Mukesh and Anil) Ambani (son of Dhirubhai Ambani), that's how the entire country is running."

In separate tweets, Kapoor wrote: "Rahul Gandhi. In the 106 years of Indian cinema of India, Kapoor's contribution is 90 years. And each generation is chosen by public on merit". 

"By God's grace we are in 4 generations. Prithviraj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor. Randhir Kapoor. Ranbir Kapoor -- Males. Besides all others. You see otherwise". 

"So don't bull**it people on 'dynasty'. You have to earn people's respect and love through hard work not zabardasti and gundagardi."
07:53  Modi-Abe summit: 9,000 cops to keep vigil in Ahmedabad:  
Over 9,000 police personnel will fan across strategic locations in the city to secure it for the two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe beginning today, officials
said today.

Tight security arrangements have been put in place as the two leaders are expected to attend several programmes over the next two days, including the annual Indo-Japanese annual Summit, they said.

As Modi and Abe are also scheduled to visit Gandhinagar on Thursday, over 2,000 policemen will be deployed in the state capital to guard them and other dignitaries.

Soon after their arrival at the airport, Modi and Abe would take part in an 8 km road show that would terminate at Sabarmati Ashram, where apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi spent considerable part of his life.

Later, they will visit a 16th century mosque in the evening and have dinner at a heritage restaurant in the eastern part of the city.

According to Balram Meena, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Control Room, around 70 per cent of the city's police force will be deployed as part of the security arrangements tomorrow.

"Out of the total strength of 10,500 policemen in the city, we will be deploying around 7,000 of them, that is 70 per cent of the total strength. In addition, we have called in 2,000 additional policemen from other parts of the state for the bandobust," Meena said.

"To provide enhanced security, we will also deploy 12 companies of the state reserve police, bomb squad and quick Response teams. We have also sent a request to send a team of NSG commandos. They may also join us," he said.
01:17  Devastation from Irma far more than expected: Trump:  United States President Donald Trump has said that the devastation caused due to Hurricane Irma in the region was worst than anyone expected.

'The devastation left by Hurricane Irma was far greater, at least in certain locations ,than anyone thought -- but amazing people working hard!' Trump tweeted.

Hurricane Irma has slammed into southwest Florida, threatening to bring dangerous storm surges to coastal areas, already battered by the hurricane's powerful winds.

The National Hurricane Center said, in its latest advisory, that Irma, now a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, is about 5 miles north of Naples, Florida.

Trump has approved a request from Florida for a disaster declaration ordering federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts.

The action makes federal funding available in nine counties, including Miami-Dade and Hillsborough, which covers Tampa. -- ANI

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