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LIVE! CNR Rao first Asian chosen for Von Hippel Award

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September 23, 2017

23:52  CNR Rao first Asian chosen for Von Hippel Award:  Eminent scientist Professor C N R Rao has become the first Asian to be chosen for the prestigious Von Hippel Award for his immense contribution in materials research.

The award is the United States-based Materials Research Society's highest honour.

It recognises 'those qualities most prized by materials scientists and engineers -- brilliance and originality of intellect, combined with vision that transcends the boundaries of conventional scientific disciplines,' according to the MRS.

The award citation noted Rao's immense work on novel functional materials, including nanomaterials (having particles of nanoscale dimensions), graphene (the strongest and thinnest material) and 2D materials, superconductivity, and colossal magnetoresistance (change in electrical resistance of a material in a magnetic field).

The award will be presented in Boston on November 29, during an MRS meeting, according to a release issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research here of which Rao, a Bharat Ratna awardee, is the founder president.

The award includes a cash prize, trophy and a diploma.  -- PTI
22:53  Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah alleges life-threatening attack:  Prominent Dalit writer and intellectual Kancha Ilaiah today filed a police complaint stating that four persons attacked his vehicle in the town and tried to kill him.

The alleged attack on Ilaiah sparked tension between members of Arya Vysya caste and Dalits who came face to face.

However, the police averted any escalation in tension by dispersing the groups.

A police official said around 200 members of Arya Vysya community held a demonstration at Ambedkar chowrasta (crossing) in the town after they spotted Ilaiah's vehicle.

The writer was headed towards Hyderabad after attending a function at Bhupalpally. The community is angry at Ilaiah over his book Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu (Vysyas are social smugglers), and were demanding apology from the writer, the official said.

He said sensing trouble Ilaiah's driver diverted the car to Parkal Town police station.

In his complaint, Ilaiah stated that four persons attacked his vehicle and tried to kill him, the official said, adding that no FIR was registered in the matter.

The situation became tense after protesters followed Ilaiah to the police station and laid a siege.

Meanwhile, members of Dalit communities came to know about the incident and rushed to the police station.

"Members of both the communities raised slogans against each other," the official said.

Circle Inspector John Narsimhulu and other police personnel pacified the two groups and asked them to leave the campus of the police station.

However, both the groups gathered at the crossing and again started raising slogans, following which police personnel rushed to the spot and dispersed them.

The official said Ilaiah proceeded to Warangal city with a police escort. Arya Vysya associations had held protests in Hyderabad earlier this month alleging that the title of Ilaiah's book and some of its contents were 'derogatory and demeaning' to the community and sought withdrawal of the book.

Following the protests, Ilaiah had lodged a police complaint alleging threat to life over his book.  -- PTI
21:58  She made India extremely proud at world stage: PM lauds Swaraj address:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj finishes her address at United Nations General Assembly with the Sanskrit verse:

May all be happy;
May all be healthy;
May all see what is good;
May all be free from suffering.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi twets:

'Incredible speech by EAM @SushmaSwaraj at the @UN! She has made India extremely proud at the world stage.'

'EAM @SushmaSwaraj was insightful in identifying global challenges & strongly reiterated India's commitment to create a better planet,' he tweeted.

Photograph: PTI Photo
21:20  We built IITs, IIMs; you built LeT, JeM: Sushma to Pak:   Swaraj says, "PM Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship. Pakistan's Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer."

"Pak PM has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters," she said.

She asks Pakistani leaders to introspect as to why India is recognised as global IT superpower while Pakistan is infamous as 'export factory for terror'.

While India made institutes like IIT, IIM and AIIMS Pakistan created terror groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and Haqqani Network, says Swaraj.

"Terrorism is as 'existentialist danger' to humankind," she said.

Photograph: SnapsIndia
21:07  We're fighting poverty, Pak is fighting us: Sushma at UNGA:  EAM attacks Pakistan in UNGA address, saying, "While we're fighting poverty, our neighbour Pakistan is fighting us."

"When Pakistan PM was speaking here tow days ago, and accusing India of terrorism and human rights violation, everyone was saying 'Look, who's talking'."

"India Pakistan got independence together. While India set out on a path of development, Pakistan did what?"

"While we made IITs and IIMs, Pakistan made Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Haqquani Network," she said.
21:02  Sushma lists out Modi's schemes at UNGA:  EAM Sushma Swaraj spells out concerns like terrorism, climate change, maritime security, unemployment, gender empowerment, nuclear proliferation and cybersecurity.

"India has displayed courage and leadership to take tough decisions which have launched interlinked process of sustainable development," she said.

Stressing on PM Modi's economic empowerment approach to eradicate poverty, EAM says, "We are turning them from job-seekers into job-providers."
20:59  Sushma begins UNGA address; praises Jan Dhan, Mudra schemes:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

She says the world is today facing challenges of increasing violence, terrorism, climate change.

Mentions Jan Dhan, MUDRA, Skill India, Ujjawala and other schemes to  alleviate poverty in India. -- ANI
20:15  Sushma's address at UNGA to begin shortly:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be addressing the United Nations General Assembly a short while from now.

She is expected to raise issues like the global fight against terrorism, climate change and the Security Council's reform in her address.

When Swaraj, 65, takes the podium she would be addressing the UN General Assembly for the second consecutive time.

She is expected to deliver her speech in Hindi like the last year.

Swaraj, who arrived New York last Sunday, spent a major part of her day on Friday giving final touches to her speech, in which if there is any indication, based on her remarks at other multilateral forums and bilateral meetings, among other things is expected to include fight against terrorism, reform of the UNSC, climate change and an emerging India's role and responsibilities in the 21st century.  -- PTI
18:28  Woman BJP leader booked for slapping girl:  A first information report has been registered against a local woman Bharatiya Janata Party leader at the Gandhi Park police station in Aligarh for slapping a girl who was sitting with a Muslim youth in a tea shop, police said today.

The FIR was registered last night under sections 323(voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (insult intended to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code against BJP's Aligarh women cell leader Sangeeta Varshney on a complaint by the girl's father, they said.

Varshney had slapped the girl on Monday evening reportedly for sitting in a tea shop with a young man belonging to the Muslim community.

The incident was captured on camera and went viral on the social media.

The police had earlier registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC pertaining to obscenity at a public place against the youth.

He was arrested and released on bail, police officials said.

However, after the video clipping of the incident went viral, there was outrage.

Kalpana Gupta, a women's rights protection group activist, charged Varshney with indulging in moral policing and trying to humiliate the girl publicly despite her assertion that she was an adult and had the right to befriend any one of her choice.

Amid the outrage, the girl's father submitted a complaint following which a case was registered against Varshney, police officials said.

Some activists had allegedly rouged up the girl and the youth and had later called up BJP women's cell leader Varshney, according to reports. -- PTI
17:43  Activist Damania claims 'Dawood' called her to drop case against Khadse:  Social activist Anjali Damania on Saturday claimed she received a threat call from a Pakistan-based number, asking her to withdraw the cases she has filed against Bharatiya Janata Party leader Eknath Khadse.

The former Aam Aadmi Party leader said the Truecaller app -- which reveals caller identity -- showed that the number belongs to 'Dawood'.

The activist lodged a complaint with the Vakola police station in suburban Santacruz about the call.

Police officials from Vakola later visited her home and recorded her statement, she said.

Damania tweeted that she received the call at 12.33 am, asking her to withdraw all cases against Khadse, from a number prefixed with +92 -- the country code of Pakistan.

The app flashed 'Dawood 2' on the screen, she said in the tweet.

Earlier this month, Damania accused Khadse, a former minister, of making obscene remarks against her and demanded his arrest.

Khadse, however, had denied having made any such remarks against the social activist.

Damania told PTI that the caller spoke rudely to her and threatened to make her life difficult.

"I immediately spoke to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and he was prompt to assure me that the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) will seriously look into the matter," she added.

"I also spoke to the police commissioner. Ironically, officers from Vakola police station, which is just a five minute walk away from my home, took over an hour to reach my residence and record my statement," she said.

Damania also alleged that the police are taking the matter 'casually' and did not deem it necessary to post a policeman outside her home.

The activist, through tweets, appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh for action in the matter.

Based on Damania's complaint, an FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication), a police official said.

Damania is among the petitioners who have filed a PIL in the Bombay high court seeking action against Khadse for alleged graft.  -- PTI
16:12  ED files chargesheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shah:  The Enforcement Directorate today filed a chargesheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah and a suspected hawala dealer in connection with a 2005 money laundering case filed against him for alleged terror financing.

The final report, filed before Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, also named the alleged hawala dealer Mohammed Alsam Wani, who is in judicial custody along with Shah.

The case dates back to August 2005 in which the Delhi Police's Special Cell had earlier arrested Wani.

Wani had then claimed that he had given Rs 2.25 crore to Shah, following which the ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the duo.

Shah was arrested by the ED on July 25. The agency arrested Wani on August 6.  -- PTI
15:33  Senior journalist KJ Singh, mother found dead at Mohali residence:  Senior journalist K J Singh and his 92-year-old mother have been found dead at their residence in Mohali, police says.

Police suspects that they have been murdered.

Former deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted, 'Just heard senior journalist KJ Singh has been murdered along with his mother.Condemn this killing and urge authorities to nab culprits imm (immediately).'

'I condemn ghastly murder of senior journalist KJ Singh and his mother at Mohali. Urge police to nab perpetrators imm,' he said in another tweet.

The Tribune reports that 'Singh's throat was found slit while his mother was strangled'.

The report also says that his house was ransacked and several valuables, including Singh's car, are missing.

Singh, in his late sixties, had worked with The Tribune, The Indian Express and The Times of India.
15:08  Phalahari Maharaj arrested on charges of sexual assault:  Kaushlendra Prapanacharya Phalahari Maharaj, who has been charged with sexually assaulting his female disciple, was arrested on Saturday.

The 21-year-old victim from Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur had lodged a complaint against Rajasthan-based Phalahari Maharaj, alleging sexual exploitation.

The 70-year-old self-styled god man was arrested from the government hospital, where he was admitted. -- ANI
14:21  Swaraj to address UN General Assembly tonight:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to raise issues like the global fight against terrorism, climate change and the Security Council's reform in her address to the United Nations General Assembly tonight.

When Swaraj, 65, takes the podium she would be addressing the UN General Assembly for the second consecutive time.

She is expected to deliver her speech in Hindi like the last year.

Swaraj, who arrived New York last Sunday, spent a major part of her day on Friday giving final touches to her speech,in which if there is any indication, based on her remarks at other multilateral forums and bilateral meetings, among other things is expected to include fight against terrorism, reform of the UN Security Council, climate change and an emerging India's role and responsibilities in the 21st century.

On Friday, Swaraj had only one bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during which she raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B.

They also discussed strengthening of the US-India political and economic partnership.

In all, the External Affairs Minister had as many as 27 bilateral meetings with her foreign counterparts.

Swaraj attended 12 multilaterals and two trilateral meetings.

"Our goals are broad. They are global in nature. Some of them are inspirational. There are some of them where we are working for several years and there are some where we hope to have an outcome this year," Syed Akbaruddin, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, told Indian reporters last week.

In addition to the reform of the United Nations, in particular that of the Security Council, Akbaruddin said that issues of climate change, terrorism, people-centric migration and peacekeeping are other key focus areas for India this year.

Indian officials remained tight-lipped on the content of Swaraj's speech.

However, her speech is expected to be reflective of the mood of a new India.

While India strongly responded to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's rhetoric on Kashmir in the UN General Assembly, it would not be surprising that Swaraj asserts the government's position on this one more time. -- PTI
13:36  CEA Arvind Subramanian gets 1-year extension:  Chief Economic Adviser to Government of India Arvind Subramanian gets one-year extension.

Subramanian's three-year tenure was to end on October 16.

Speculations were rife about whether Subramanian will get an extension or not, while it was also reported that NITI Aayog member Bibek Debory may take over as the CEA.

There were also reports of Subramanian's resignation which the finance ministry had rejected. -- ANI
13:02  Fuel prices have started coming down: Pradhan:  Following the hike in petrol prices and the various protests staged all over the country against it, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, on Saturday, said that the prices of the fuel have already started going down.

Speaking to the media, Pradhan said, "The prices have started decreasing. The prices have even gone down in the past two days."

He cited the hurricanes in the United States IMRA and Harvey as a reason for the instability in the petroleum market and the hike in fuel prices.

Pradhan also backed the possible implementation of GST on petroleum products, saying that it would ensure the interests of the people.

"We have appealed to the GST council to implement GST on petroleum products, which would ensure interests of the people. The interests of the state and central government will also be secured," he said.

He also stressed on the need for the state to have a balanced model, so that taxes can be procured without the people being affected by it. -- ANI
12:32  Sharif to regain chairmanship of PML-N:  The Senate on Friday passed the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017, which will pave the way for Nawaz Sharif to again regain chairmanship of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and rejected an amendment proposed by the Pakistan Peoples Party's Aitzaz Ahsan.

The PPP had suggested an amendment in clause 203 of the bill, which said that any individual, who is not qualified to become a member of the parliament, should not be eligible to become a party's chairperson either.

In a session chaired by Raza Rabbani, the upper house passed Election Bill 2017 with a majority vote, through which the legal bar on a person to serve as an office-bearer of a political party, if he is either not qualified to be, or disqualified from being elected as a member of the parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution is set to go.

The bill was passed with the help of two opposition parties -- the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Balochistan National Party-Mengal -- which did not support the opposition during the voting process.Since the bill, already passed by the National Assembly, has been passed with amendments by the upper house, it will go to National Assembly again and, in all probability, the lower house of parliament will approve it, the Dawn reported.

When Law Minister Zahid Hamid sought consideration of the bill, the PPP opposed it; but the house accorded permission with a majority vote of 41 against 34, marking first defeat of the opposition in the house.

The opposition appeared to be ill-prepared as its members were absent during the important legislative business, and the at times some members from the opposition voted in favour of the treasury and on at least one occasion, the PPP itself was divided during voting.

Section 5(1) of the Political Parties Order, which still holds the field, reads, 'Every citizen, not being in the service of Pakistan has the right to form or be a member of a political party or be otherwise associated with a political party or take part in political activities or be elected as an office-bearer of a political party.'

A proviso to the clause reads, 'Provided that a person shall not be appointed or serve as an office-bearer of a political party if he is not qualified to be, or is disqualified from being, elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) under Article 63 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan or under any other law for the time being in force.'

Expressing disappointment over the move by Aitzaz Ahsan, the law minister said that the controversial clause providing for such a bar on holding party offices was first introduced in a dictatorial regime through the Political Parties Act, 1965.

It was removed in 1975 when a democratic government led by the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was in power, he added.

He said the Political Parties Order 2002 brought back the particular provision. He said disqualification was meant to be used against opposition parties.

He said the Political Parties Order was considered in a meeting held on Nov 17, 2014 and a member of the PPP suggested the removal of the said clause and the PML-N had accepted it.

"There was no mention of Panama Papers, let's throw our principles to the winds," an angry Zahid Hamid said on one occasion.In the lower house, the Pakistan Tehreeke-e-Insaf's had recommended amendments which were rejected. -- ANI
11:53  We don't play votebank politics, animals don't vote: PM in Varanasi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses farmers in Varanasi while visiting an animal health fair:

- I want to compliment the Uttar Pradesh government and especially Chief Minister Adityanath for organising the Pashudhan Arogya Mela. This Pashudhan mela will benefit the farmers across the state.

- No such scheme was adopted for livestock in 70 years after Independence.

- For us, governance is not about vote banks or winning elections. Our priority is development of the country. Our priority is not to get votes. We're serving animals through this fair that will never go to cast ballots.

- For us country is bigger than party.

- By 2022, every poor, whether in urban or rural area, will get a home. Building crores of homes will generate jobs, income.

- 'Swachhta' has to become 'Swabhav', its our collective responsibility. A cleaner India will also be a healthier India.  -- PTI, ANI

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi. Photograph: @BJP4UP/Twitter
11:12  Just In: Iran tests new missile despite warnings. Details soon.
11:10  Film producer Kareem Morani surrenders in rape case:  Film producer Kareem Morani on Saturday surrendered before the police in connection with a molestation and rape case.  

This came after the Supreme Court yesterday denied his anticipatory bail. 

A case was registered against Morani on January 18 for allegedly raping a woman on promise of marriage. 

The woman, aged around 25, lodged a complaint with Hayathnagar police. She accused Morani of raping her on different occasions in Mumbai, with false marriage promises. 

The alleged incident took place during 2015, following which, a case was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 417 (cheating), 376 (rape) 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation), 493 (cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage) and other relevant sections.  

Karim Morani is known for producing films like Chennai Express, Dilwale, Ra.One and others.
10:29  Wonder Woman roped in to host 'Saturday Night Live:  
Gal Gadot, who played the female superhero Princess of Themyscira in the box-office blockbuster Wonder Woman, has been asked to host the popular US television show Saturday Night Live, according to the Hollywood Reporter

Also, The Big Sick star Kumail Nanjiani will be hosting the upcoming season. 

This marks the hosting debut for both of the actors.  

Gadot will host the show on October 7 with musical guest Sam Smith, and Nanjiani will host October 14 with musical guest Pink. The appearances will mark Smith's second turn as musical guest and Pink's third. 

Meanwhile, Ryan Gosling and Jay-Z have already been announced for the September 30 season premiere of SNL

SNL recently took home nine Emmy Awards, including for best variety sketch series, best supporting actor for Alec Baldwin and best supporting actress for Kate McKinnon. 

For Gadot, the SNL gig comes in the wake of Wonder Woman's USD 400 million haul at the US box office and she is now in talks to join Bradley Cooper in a supernatural thriller movie.
10:04  2 BSF jawans among 7 injured in Pak shelling:  Pakistani troops targeted Indian border outposts and hamlets in Jammu, Samba and Poonch districts in overnight firing and shelling, injuring two BSF jawans and five civilians, officials said today. 

Continuous violations of the ceasefire by Pakistan along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) have forced hundreds of border residents to flee their homes. 

Pakistan troops engaged in heavy firing and mortar shelling on villages and border outposts in Arnia, R S Pura and Ramgarh sectors along the IB in Jammu and Samba districts since last evening, the officials said. They targeted over 20 villages.  

Three civilians in Satowali village of R S Pura sector were injured in Pakistani shelling and had to be hospitalised, they said, adding that another villager was injured in Treva in Arnia sector. 

In Ramgarh sector in Samba, two BSF jawans suffered minor injuries in Pakistani firing, the officials said.  

Pakistan also engaged in heavy firing and shelling in Poonch sector along the LoC last evening. An eight-year-old boy was injured in the firing, they said. 

Over 500 people were evacuated by the police from a few border hamlets targeted by Pakistani troops last night, they said. The villagers have been housed in a camp. 

Over 20,000 people have also fled their homes and hearths in Arnia and R S Pura sectors in the past few days, the officials said.  

There has been continuous firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the IB and the LoC between September 13 and 18. Firing and shelling resumed on September 21 after a two-day lull. 

A BSF jawan and a civilian were killed and 25 others including five BSF personnel were injured in the shelling and firing by Pakistani troops during the period.  

Incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops have increased sharply this year. Till August 1, there have been 285 such actions by the Pakistan army, while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, according to figures by the Indian Army.
09:21  Minor earthquake jolts Jammu and Kashmir:   An earthquake with magnitude 4.5 jolted Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday at around 5.45 am, the India meteorological department has confirmed. 

However, no loss of life or damage to property has been reported as of now. 

The depth of the earthquake was 150 kilometres, and the coordinates were latitude 34.0 degrees north and longitude 74.7 degrees east.
09:10  Google Doodle celebrates centenary of celebrated Indian chemist:  Google Doodle today celebrates the 100th birthday of Asima Chatterjee, a renowned Indian chemist who was the first female Doctorate of Science in India from an Indian university.  

Born on September 23, 1917, Dr Asima Chatterjee has made various contributions on the research of vinca alkaloids and the development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs.  

According to Google's blog, "Dr Chatterjee primarily studied the medicinal properties of plants native to India. Throughout her career, her research contributed to the development of drugs that treated epilepsy and malaria. Dr Chatterjee's most noted contribution to the field, however, was her work on vinca alkaloids. Alkaloids are compounds made from plants, often to treat medical ailments. Vinca alkaloids, which come from the Madagascar periwinkle plant, are used today in chemotherapy treatment because they help slow down or stall the multiplying of cancer cells." 

Asima joined the Lady Brabourne College in Calcutta Universtiy in 1940 and founded the department of chemistry in the college. 

Asima Chatterjee's work in the field of science opened the doors for millions of women to excel in the field and her research on vinca alkaloids which is now widely used in chemotherapy and helps to slow down the growth rate of cancer cells. 

Her phenomenal contributions have won Asima various awards and accolades from all over the world and she was also honoured with India's third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan. In 1975 she became the first woman to be appointed general president of the Indian Science Congress.
08:39  Trump sends Mattis in first cabinet-level visit to India:   US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will visit India and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman to reaffirm that Washington considers New Delhi a valued and influential ally. 

This is the first cabinet-level official's visit to India under the Trump administration.  

"The secretary will emphasise that the United States views India as a valued and influential partner, with broad mutual interests extending well beyond South Asia," the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.  

During his two-day visit starting from September 26, the Pentagon chief will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate, and meet the prime minister and Sitharaman in New Delhi.  

"The secretary will also express the US's appreciation for India's important contributions toward Afghanistan's democracy, stability, prosperity, and security," the Pentagon said. 

Mattis's visit to India comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York. 

During the meeting, the two leaders among other issues discussed Pakistan, Afghanistan and terrorism. They also discussed the strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi.  

Modi and President Donald Trump had announced a two plus two strategic and defence dialogue between the two countries at the White House in June after the India-US summit.
08:24  Amnesty condemns journo's killing in Tripura:  The killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmick in Tripura is another "sickening assault" on freedom of expression, Amnesty International India has said. 

Killing of journalists cannot become the order of the day and the state governments must do everything in their capacity to prevent scribes from becoming targets for their viewpoints or affiliations, the rights body said.

"Shantanu Bhowmick's gruesome murder again exposes the vulnerability of journalists working in difficult situations. The perpetrators must be brought to justice, if more attacks on journalists are to be prevented," Arijit Sen, programme manager, Amnesty India, said.  

Bhowmick, who worked with a TV channel in Agartala, was covering an agitation by the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura in Mandai area of West Tripura on September 20 when he was hit from behind and abducted. 

Later, the scribe was found with serious stab injuries and rushed to Agartala Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.  

"The killing of 28-year-old journalist Shantanu Bhowmick in the course of his work in Mandai, Tripura, is another sickening assault on freedom of expression," Amnesty said.
00:04  Demonetisation was not required at all: Manmohan Singh:  
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the economy is on a "downhill path" because of the "adventure" of demonetisation undertaken last year which was not required at all, either technically or economically.

Singh, a renowned economist considered to be the architect of the reforms of early 1990s, said demonetisation has not been successful in any civilised country, except some of the Latin American nation.

"I don't think demonetisation was at all required... I don't think it was technically, economically necessary to launch this adventure," he said. 

"The economy has slowed down as I had projected a few months ago as a result of demonetization and also the fact that demonetisation has been accompanied by the GST, which is a good thing that we have done in the long term. But in the short term, there are glitches that need to be resolved. Therefore, the economy has experienced a downhill path," he

There are certain things that need to be done immediately, Singh said.

"When we were in office, investment rate in the economy was 35-37 per cent but now it is less than 30 per cent. Private investment in particular is not growing," he said.

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