Thu, 13 July 2017
Something could happen with the Paris Agreement: Trump

Timeline  Refresh

23:35   If elected, would focus on expectations of the youth: Kovind
NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind said today that if elected to the country's highest office, he would pay special attention on fulfilling the expectations of the youth.
Addressing BJP MPs and MLAs, Kovind said he would work as per the Constitution and his focus would also be on ensuring development of all the states and the nation as a whole.
Equality between the people of all castes and communities and promotion of modern education would be his priorities, he said.
Kovind arrived in Jaipur accompanied by Union Information and Broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav.
Naidu said the presidential election was not a fight of principles, as claimed by the Opposition.
He said the NDA had considered Kovind's personality and leadership qualities and therefore had decided to choose him.
The minister claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had made efforts to unanimously decide on the presidential candidate but the opposition parties did not give a satisfactory response.
23:13   Something could happen with the Paris Agreement: Trump
Softening his stand on Paris accord, United States President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that he could change his position on the Paris climate accord, in remarks after talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord," he said at a joint news conference with Macron weeks after announcing that the United States would abandon the 2015 pact, adding: "We'll see what happens."

Macron told the conference he "respected" his US counterpart's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord but that France remained committed to the 2015 pact.

"I respect the decision of President Trump," Macron told a joint news conference in Paris.

"As a result he will lead the necessary thought and work that correspond to his campaign promises. For my part, I remain committed to the Paris accord," he added.
23:03   Mallya laundered over Rs 1,300 crore through 13 shell cos: ED
The Enforcement Directorate has said that liquor baron Vijay Mallya laundered over Rs 1,300 crore through 13 shell companies in US, Ireland, Mauritius and France.
The agency has made this indictment against Mallya in its charge sheet filed on June 14 in the money laundering case involving a loan of about Rs 900 crore from IDBI-KFA bank. 

The chargesheet has indicted eight other persons too for their alleged roles in the case.
The 57-page charge sheet or prosecution complaint, with voluminous annexures, was filed under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act before a special anti-money laundering court in Mumbai.
The ED has also said that these shell companies had no actual activities and was fully controlled by Mallya with former employees of UB group being its directors.
The agency said the only purpose of these companies were to either obtain loan or launder money. The agency also said Mallya has huge property in the US in the name of his daughters -- Leana and Tanya.
The Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case in this deal last year under the PMLA and has attached assets worth over Rs 9,600 crore till now.
The total loan sanctioned and disbursed by the IDBI bank to KFA was Rs 860.92 crore.
22:01   India tops list of countries plagued by spam calls: Truecaller
Troubled by spam calls from banks offering loans or rival operators doling out more data coaxing you to switch? You are not alone. India tops the list of countries most affected by spam calls, says a report.
According to phone directory app Truecaller, India is ahead of countries like the US, Brazil, Chile and South Africa with an average user receiving over 22 spam calls a month.
Compared to this, customers in the US and Brazil get about 20 spam calls a month, while in Kenya the average is about seven calls, Truecaller said in a report.
"On a deeper dive, we found that there are common categories that tie all these spam calls together. These would be operator, debt collection, bank, political, health, spam, telemarketing, financial service, scam and insurance," it added.
In India, telcos and telemarketing accounted for a major chunk of the spam calls at 54 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.
"Many of these operators are seeking to provide special offers for free data, or unlimited calls. Which doesnt sound so bad -- until you get bombarded by them," the report noted.

Truecaller -- which has over 250 million users globally -- used data from its user base to compile the report.
Incoming calls that were marked as spam by users or those flagged by its platform during January-May were considered. During this period, users received over 5.5 billion spam calls. 

21:59   Majority of active terrorists in J&K are Pakistanis: Home ministry
More than 50 per cent of around 220 active terrorists in Kashmir are Pakistan nationals, a home ministry official said today.
He also said that infiltration bids have seen a rise in last five months.
Around 220 terrorists are active in the Kashmir Valley and majority of them are Pakistanis, the official said.
At least 120 attempts of infiltration have been made till May, with 30 militants having been successful at the attempt, he said.
In 2016, there were 370 attempts of infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said, adding as many as 119 terrorists had sneaked into the country that year.
According to data compiled by the home ministry, 88 Kashmiri youths had joined militancy in 2016, the highest in last six years.
In 2014, 222 terrorists tried to enter the country, but only 65 could make it, and in 2015, 121 ultras attempted to cross the border, but 33 of them were successful.
Besides, there has been a steady increase in the number of youths taking up arms in the Valley from 2014 onwards as compared to ones between 2010 and 2013, the data said.
In 2010, as many as 54 youths joined militancy, in 2011, however, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013, it added.
21:38   We have another Gandhiji in PM Modi, says Union minister Sharma
Union minister Mahesh Sharma today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "another" Mahatma Gandhi who, like the father of the nation, had inspired many generations.
The culture minister was speaking at the launch of a book on Gandhi's salt satyagraha.
"Today among us, we are fortunate to have another Gandhiji in the form of our prime minister who is like an inspiration," Sharma said.
The minister, while talking about Gandhi's contribution to the independence struggle, noted that the salt satyagraha was not just about a pinch of salt, but about inspiring generations, something that the prime minister was also
"He (PM) started with the promise that the glow of freedom would reach every person in the country. His dream is to fulfil the dreams of Gandhiji. The Ministry of Culture is duty bound and committed to spreading his dreams and thoughts throughout the world for the sake of humanity," Sharma said.
21:07   Social boycott is now a crime in Maharashtra
Diktat for social boycott issued by caste panchayats has become a crime punishable with jail term up to seven years and penalty that can extend to Rs 5 lakh in Maharashtra, a first in the country.
The new law came into force after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Maharashtra Prohibition of Social Boycott Act, 2015, last month, and it was published in the state Gazette on July 3, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sudhir Shrivastav told PTI.
Under the act, members of extrajudicial bodies like caste and community councils issuing decrees for social boycott can be punished with imprisonment up to seven years and/or a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.
The bill was passed by the state legislature on April 13, 2016 and sent to the Centre for presidential assent.
To ensure speedy justice, the law provides for conclusion of trial within a period of six months from the date of filing of the charge sheet.
Any organisation that delivers a judgment or issues fatwas based on caste, would be viewed as a caste panchayat, even if unregistered, the Act says.
The provisions include compensation to victims if a caste council imposed monetary penalties on them.
An official would be appointed to go into complaints of social boycott, which would include preventing a person from participating in social and religious programmes, festivals, processions, rallies, and from using common
institutions like schools, club houses and medical facilities.
Those who support decrees issued by caste panchayats would also be treated as accused, the law says. 
20:58   Mumbai teen booked for anti-Thackeray comment on social media
A teenager was today booked for allegedly posting an objectionable comment on a social networking site against the Shiv Sena patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray.
A complaint in this regard was lodged by Lal Singh Rajput, a Shiv Sena activist from Mumbai suburban Kandivali, said police.
According to police, one of Rajput's friend had posted a comment about Amarnath terror attack wherein he had appreciated the stand taken by the late Sena chief on terrorism.
However, the accused, aged 17, posted some objectionable comments in response to the post against the Sena founder, the official said.
A case under section section 295 (A)(malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC has been registered against the accused, the official said.
No arrest has been made as of now and the investigation was currently underway, he added. 
20:40   BJP will use 'mantras' to solve problems, taunts Akhilesh
Claiming that GST is beneficial only for big traders, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today mocked the BJP, saying it could even resort to using "mantras" to resolve people's problems without taking any real steps.
"The reality of BJP is coming to the fore. It has made people's life difficult with demonetisation and GST implementation. GST is only for benefit of big traders. It appears that BJP will use 'mantras' to resolve people's
problems and not take real steps," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister told party workers.
Noting that the BJP is used to "spreading lies for political gains," Yadav said his party has to "fight this and counter it".
Accusing the Yogi Adityanath regime of failing on the law-and-order front, Yadav said the state government should explain as to how many criminals and land mafias were put behind bars and what action had been initiated against them.
"The morale of police is down and criminals are ruling the roost. Law and order is out of control," he said.
He alleged that welfare schemes launched during his regime were discontinued as they had the word "Samajwadi" appended to their nomenclature.
"The state government is saying that its growth rate is 6 per cent. However, if they ignore Muslims' contribution in development, it will stand at only 2 per cent," Yadav said, asking party workers to start preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 

20:35   No GST on sale of old jewellery, cars by individuals
The revenue department today clarified that sale of old jewellery as well as old vehicles by individuals will not attract any GST as the sale is not for furthering any business. 

Clarifying on Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia's comments yesterday, the department issued a press statement saying it was informed at GST Master Class that "purchase of old gold jewellery by a jeweller from a consumer will be subject to GST at the rate of 3 per cent under reverse charge mechanism in terms of the provisions contained in Section 9(4) of the Central GST Act, 2017." 

It then went on to state that the said section has to be read in conjunction with another section and "even though the sale of old gold by an individual is for a consideration, it cannot be said to be in the course or furtherance of his business (as selling old gold jewellery is not the business of the said individual), and hence does not qualify to be a supply per se." 

"Accordingly, the sale of old jewellery by an individual to a jeweller will not attract the provisions of Section 9(4) and jeweller will not be liable to pay tax under reverse charge mechanism (RCM) on such purchases," it said.
20:15   Extradition of Vijay Mallya underway: MEA
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay today said the process for extradition of businessman Vijay Mallya is underway.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the matter with British Prime Minister (Theresa May) during their meeting on the sidelines of G-20," Baglay said.

"The fact that the prime minister raised the matter shows the importance India attaches to the issue," he added.

In a June hearing at London court, in a major setback to India, the court expressed surprise that New Delhi has not provided evidence to Mallya yet, who is battling a slew of cases in India over his default case involving Rs. 9,000 crore worth loans to a clutch of public sector banks.

The 61-year-old liquor baron has been out on bail, since his arrest in April in London.

The Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on July 6 heard the extradition case of Mallya and set the next date for September 14.
19:59   Singer Ariana Grande made honorary citizen of Manchester
Singer Ariana Grande has been made an honorary citizen of Manchester after organising 'One Love' concert to raise funds for victims of the May 22 terrorist attack in the British city.
The pop sensation helped raise over 2.5 million euros when she returned to the UK to play a charity gig, just 13 days after the suicide bombing, which struck at her Dangerous Woman gig at Manchester Arena.
Grande shared the news on Instagram, saying she was honoured by the UK government's gesture.
"I don't know what to say. Words don't suffice. I'm moved and honored. My heart is very much still there. I love you. Thank you," she wrote alongside a note.
The council leader, Sir Richard Leese, put forward the motion and described the 23-year-old singer as "a young American woman for whom it would have been understandable if she never wanted to see this place again."
He added, "But no - instead she, as an artist, a performer, was determined that she would not perform again until she had returned to Manchester to perform.

"In doing so, she brought comfort to thousands, she raised millions for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and became the first patron of that fund. And that's why I propose that Ariana Grande is made the first honorary citizen of the city of Manchester."
19:15   China's Nobel-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo dies
Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has died at the age of 61, officials say.

The activist was being treated for terminal liver cancer in a hospital in north-eastern China.

He had been transferred from prison last month, where he was serving an 11-year term for "subversion".

A university professor turned rights campaigner, Liu was branded a criminal by the authorities.
18:57   India rubbishes Pak's claim of usage of chemical weapon in J&K
The ministry of external affairs on Thursday rubbished claims of Pakistan media hinting use of chemical weapons in Kashmir.

MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay on Thursday said, "The claims are completely baseless and incorrect. India is against the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world."

"It was quite surprising to see that what the Government of Pakistan is talking about. They have taken the leaf out of the book of Lashkar-e-Taiba on those ridiculous comments. The government is taking its cue from an internationally banned terrorist organisation," he added.

Last week, Pakistan alleged that the Indian security forces are using ammunition containing chemical agents in Jammu and Kashmir. 
18:12   Over 350 contempt cases pending against government: Law ministry
The government, the biggest litigator in the country, faces 369 contempt cases across courts, a law ministry document states.
According to its data, as on June 12, 2017, a total of 1,35,060 government cases and 369 contempt cases were pending in the courts.
Government litigation includes service matters and conflict with private entities as well as disputes between government departments and between PSUs.
Contempt cases are generally a result of non-adherence to judicial directions and failure to file affidavits on time and appear before courts.
The document, prepared in June, does not mention reasons for the contempt cases.
"Approximately 46 per cent of the total pending cases in courts pertain to the government. These include cases relating to public sector undertakings and other autonomous bodies," says the document, citing data available on the website of LIMBS -- the government's Legal Information Management and Briefing System.
The document clarifies that as LIMBS is a dynamic website, the data is constantly changing.
The railway ministry tops the chart with the maximum number of contempt of court cases pending against it. After the railways, which has 241 such cases, is the ministry of home affairs with 68 cases, the document states.
The ministry of communications has 21 pending contempt cases.
In a series of meetings held in June, the department of justice in the law ministry had asked various central departments to review their pending cases so as to reduce the litigation numbers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in October last termed the government as the "biggest litigant" and had pushed for the need to lighten the load on the judiciary which spends the maximum time in tackling cases where the government is a party. 
17:53   Quick quiz. Is Vande Mataram written in Bengali or Sanskrit?
The national song 'Vande Mataram' is of Sanskrit origin, but had originally been penned in Bengali by Bankim Chandra Chaterjee, the Madras High Court was told today by Tamil Nadu Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy.

The submission before Justice MV Muralidharan was made in response to the judge seeking the law officer's help to settle a dispute over the linguistic origin of the song raised by a B Ed graduate. Petitioner K Veeramani had faced the question "In which language was Vande Mataram first written" in a competitive test held by the Teachers Recruitment Board for appointment as BT Assistant in government schools.

He had moved the court after his answer 'Bengali' to the objective type question was declared wrong by the board. He was awarded 89 marks against the minimum 90 to be eligible for appointment. Claiming that he had missed recruitment to the post by one mark due to the 'wrong' evaluation, the petitioner had sought award of the extra mark, treating his answer to the 'Vande Mataram' question as correct.

When the matter first came up for hearing on June 7, the petitioner's counsel had submitted that Chatterjee wrote the national song in both Bengali and Sanskrit, while the Additional Government Pleader argued that it was written only in Sanskrit and was later translated to Bengali.

The petitioner had contended that in all the books he had studied, Bengali was mentioned as the first language in which the national song was written more than two centuries ago. Following this, the judge had directed the AG to appear before him and apprise the court of the correct answer.

During the resumed hearing today, the AG submitted that 'Vande Mataram' was of Sanskrit origin, but written in the Bengali script. Recording the submission, the judge said he will pronounce the order on the petition on July 17.
17:20   India refutes Pak's claim of visa review for Jadhav's mother
Pakistan today said that it was considering a visa application of the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav for a visit to meet her son who was sentenced to death by a military court.
However, the ministry of external affairs said that India has not got any information on change in visa and consular positions in Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Pakistan's remarks came two days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi said that she had written a "personal letter" to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz asking for approval of Avantika's visa application so that she may travel to Pakistan.

She also said that Aziz did not even respond to her letter.
"I wrote a personal letter to Mr Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan. However, Mr Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter," she had tweeted.

Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military tribunal in April on charges of espionage and terrorism.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.
JUST IN: TCS net profit down 5.9 pc at Rs 5,945 crore in June quarter; revenue up marginally at Rs 29,584 crore.
16:26   The Nitish Kumar link to the Finance Commission
Nand Kishore Singh may head the Finance Commission, say sources. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in talks with with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about the constitution of the 15th Finance Commission. Insiders say that by early August there will be a notification. Apart from being an IAS officer, Singh (76) is also known as a politician and economist.

Other names doing the rounds are Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. The final decision will be taken by the Prime Minister, which is expected to be a political one, since NK Singh is considered to be close to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
16:13   Irom Sharmila to marry Desmond Coutinho in Kodaikanal
Manipur's iconic human rights activist Irom Sharmila has filed an application at the Sub-Registrar office in Kodaikanal to marry her long-time partner Desmond Coutinho, a British national.

Accompanied by Coutinho, she filed the application for registration of marriage under Hindu Marriage Act last evening, Sub-Registrar of Kodaikanal Rajesh said.

The official said permission could not be given for the inter-religion marriage immediately under the Hindu Marriage Act and it could be registered only under the Special Marriage Act, by giving a notice period of 30 days to receive objections, if any.

Meanwhile, the local police and Tehsildar have sought information on the wedding date of the activist, the official said. Sharmila moved to this hill town with Coutinho following her poll debacle in the Manipur state assembly elections in March and her party 'People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance' suffered a rout.
16:10   The person Amit Shah speaks to every day (not the PM)
BJP President Amit Shah is often described as the 2nd most powerful man in India, next only to his boss PM Narendra Modi. Tough, combative, acerbic, Shah is certainly no pushover.

The top two men in India's ruling party, the BJP, are also close confidantes and sources say that in the last three years, not a day has gone by when the two men have not met or spoken to each other over the phone.

But the PM now has to vie for his attention and the source of Shah's distraction is not the party or the Opposition, but a three-month old baby.

Shah's granddaughter, Rudri. 

For the past three months Shah 'speaks' to this new entrant into his family every single day, at least two times a day. He has to hear her voice over the phone, or see her on Skype or Facetime with her. And yes, this correspondent has been witness to Shah's baby talk his granddaughter.

We hear he has been teaching the baby to say the three magic words -- Jai Shri Ram.
15:49   Sasikala's jail kitchen: K'taka CM orders high-level probe
Karnataka Chief Minister  Siddaramaiah today ordered a high-level probe into alleged irregularities at the central prison in Bengaluru, including preferential treatment being given to AIADMK (Amma) leader V K Sasikala. He said strict action will be taken against those found guilty.

"We have taken serious cognizance of the allegation of  irregularities in the Bengaluru Central Prison and ordered a high-level inquiry," Siddaramaiah, who is currenty touring Raichur district, posted on Twitter.

"Request all to await the outcome of this inquiry. Strict action will be taken against any person found guilty of  wrongdoing (sic)," he tweeted.

In a report submitted to DGP (Prisons) H S Sathyanarayana Rao yesterday, Deputy Inspector of General (Prisons) D Roopa had alleged that a special kitchen had been set up in the jail for Sasikala in violation of prison rules.

"There are rumours that the kitchen is continuing to function despite the issue being brought to your (Rao) notice. There is also a talk that Rs 2 crore has been paid as bribe for this.

"As unfortunately these allegations are also against you, it is requested that you look into the matter and take merciless disciplinary action against erroneous officials," the report signed by Roopa said.

She also pointed out other "erroneous" practices in the prison including "preferential" treatment to fake stamp paper scam kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi.
15:33   Amarnath Yatra security: Army Chief Bipin Rawat meets NSA Ajit Doval
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval yesterday and gave a detailed report on the Amarnath security situation.

After the terror attack on the pilgrims during the Amarnath Yatra, the government and security agencies are very alert. General Rawat took stock of the security preparedness.

After the meeting, it was decided that the number of vehicles for safety of people in the route should be increased and also no tourist vehicle should be allowed to go there late in the evening.

The monitoring time of the National Highway has been increased by the security agencies.Moreover, each person crossing the route will be examined on every separate post.

As many as seven people were killed and 19 others injured after a group of terrorists opened fire on a bus carrying pilgrims from Baltal to Mir Bazar around 8.20 p.m. on Monday night.
15:17   Paytm acquires majority stake in
Digital payments startup Paytm on Thursday announced acquiring of a majority stake in, India's leading ticketing platform for events and properties.

"We are excited to partner with Paytm and build India's largest community of event goers. At Insider, we curate the best events and experiences so users can seamlessly discover the best way to spend their leisure time," said founder-CEO, Shreyas Srinivasan.

Adding to this Shreyas Srinivasan said that our platform provides tools, data and analytics to organizers that enables them to conceptualize, market and execute their events more efficiently.
15:13   1.5 million jobs lost in first four months of 2017
About 1.5 million jobs were lost during January-April 2017. The estimated total employment during the period was 405 million compared to 406.5 million during the preceding four months, September-December 2017, says the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Read more
15:12   Nawaz Sharif will not step down, says Pak Cabinet
An emergency meeting of the federal cabinet on Thursday endorsed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's decision to not step down as the premier even as clamour for his exit got louder in wake of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report, reports the Dawn.

While addressing his cabinet in Islamabad, Sharif termed the JIT report a pack of "allegations and speculations", officials privy to the meeting told DawnNews.

Sharif announced that he will not resign as the prime minister on anyone's call, as the cabinet members suggested that he fight the legal battle to vindicate himself in the Panama Papers case.
15:06   Saudi Arabia's Najran fire: List of Indians killed
The 10 Indian nationals, who were killed in the fire that broke at Saudi Arbaia's Najran, belong to Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Here is a list of the names of the people and the states to which they belong:-Bihar: Gauri Shankar Gupta.
Kerala: Kamapalan Sathyan, Baiju Raghavan and Sreejith Kottasseri.
Tamil Nadu: Murokanandan Kaliyan.
Uttar Pradesh: Tabrej Khan, Ateeq Ahmad, Waseem Akram, Vakeel Ahmad.
Details of the other two killed and five injured Indians are still awaited.

As many as 11 people were killed and six were injured after a fire broke out in a windowless house.

"Firefighters put out a blaze in an old house lacking windows for ventilation. Eleven people died of asphyxiation, and six others were injured," in the southern province of Najran, the civil defence said in a tweet.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured that Mohammed Noor Rahman Sheikh, the Indian Consul General in Saudia Arabia, is in touch with the Governor of Najran, Prince Jluwi bin Abdelaziz bin Musaed over the same. The Najran Governor has ordered formation of a committee to probe the incident, the Arab News reported.
14:57   Ramdev launches security firm Parakram Suraksha
Patanjali Ayurveda founder and yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Thursday launched his own security firm titled Parakram Suraksha Pvt Ltd.

Speaking to ANI, Acharya Balakrishna, CEO of Ramdev's Patanjali said, "Security is a very important issue either for a man or a woman. Our aim is to prepare individuals for self and country's security and for this we have formed Parakram. This will help develop military instinct in each and every citizen of the country so as to awaken the spirit and determination for individual and national security. Ramdev has hired retired Army and police personnel to train young interested recruits and plan to make a mark in security," Balakrishna added.

Ramdev's Patanjali, has made him the 25th richest person in India with Rs. 25,600 crore of wealth.

The FMCG venture, Patanjali, which Ramdev had introduced has expanded its market proving a threat to Multinational Corporation and domestic FMCG giants.
14:24   Govt calls all-party meeting on China, Kashmir tomorrow
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will brief leaders of opposition parties on the stand-off with China and the situation in Kashmir tomorrow, official sources said.

Leaders of prominent opposition parties are being invited for the meeting where the two senior ministers will give a detailed presentation on the prevailing situation along the Sino-Indian border and Jammu and Kashmir and the government action, sources said.

Ahead of the Parliament session, beginning Monday, the government is apparently aiming to build a consensus to deal with its biggest neighbour as well on Kashmir issue.
14:13   Now, no AC, sofa, 'show-off' at Yogi's field visits
No AC, air-cooler, red carpet, saffron towel and sofa will be seen during field visits of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, going by a specific order issued by his office.

The Chief Minister's Office has said that Adityanath is "extremely unhappy" over the extravagant arrangements that are made for his visits to homes of martyrs and wants to put an immediate end to this "show-off".

His office has issued an order to this effect to all administrative and police chiefs of districts and other top officials in the state.

"The CM has given clear orders that no special arrangements be made during his visits and any show-off or inconvenience to common people should be avoided," an official said.

During his recent visits to Deoria and Gorakhpur for meeting families of martyred jawans, the administration put up sofas, red carpets and ACs at their residences as a temporary measure. The chief minister has expressed unhappiness over this and wants no repeat of it, the official said citing CMO's order of July 10.

Adityanath had visited on July 8 the family of slain CRPF sub-inspector Sahab Shukla in Gorakhpur who had died in a terrorist attack in Srinagar on June 24.

The local administration covered the entire road to Shukla's house with a red carpet, put up white curtains on the route to block the view of the neighbouring houses, put up saffron-coloured curtains in the martyr's house and also installed an air-cooler, exhaust fan and a recliner sofa for the comfort of the chief minister.

Adityanath did not like the fanfare when he landed there to grieve with the family and hand over a cheque of Rs 6 lakh to them. He is said to have pulled up officials over the same, sources in CMO said.

Earlier on May 12, the chief minister had visited the house of slain BSF jawan Prem Sagar in Deoria. Sagar was killed by a Pakistan Border Action Team along the Line of Control in Poonch.

Local officials had then temporarily put up a window air conditioner, sofa, red carpet and saffron towels for the CM. All these facilities were removed within minutes of his departure from the spot after handing over a cheque of Rs 4 lakh to the grieving family.

That time too, Adityanath had expressed unhappiness with local officials over the same.

Image: An air-conditioner, carpet and a sofa were installed during Yogi Adityanath's visit to a martyr's home in Deoria and taken away immediately after the CM left.
14:01   Churchgate station on high alert over blast call
News 18: Searches being conducted at Churchgate station, Mumbai after a call was received saying there will be a blast at the station. Extra police force deployed at the station, safety measures taken.
Just in: North Korea hit with 5.9 magnitude earthquake, experts rule out nuclear test.
13:52   'Time for a decisive battle against Pak'
Families mourn the deaths of the two Army jawans killed in sniper fire from the Pakistani side along the LoC on Wednesday. Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said two soldiers of Jammu & Kashmir Rifles were killed in Furkiya area of Chowkibal by Pakistani troops in Keran sector of Kupwara. The two jawans killed were Lance Naik Ranjit Singh and Rifleman Satish Bhagat. Rifleman Bhagat's neighbour said, "Security forces are working exceptionally well and we are with them. But the time has come for a decisive battle against Pakistan."

Image: The family of Lance Naik Ranjit Singh mourns his death.
13:45   People have to fight fear, make efforts for prosperous state: Mehbooba
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said people of the valley have to fight the life of fear and the situation held "hostage by some forces", and make efforts for establishing a prosperous state.

She was speaking to reporters after paying floral tributes to the martyrs of 1931 at the Martyrs' Graveyard in downtown locality of the summer capital. "We have to fight this life of fear, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been held hostage by some people. We have to make efforts towards establishing a prosperous state for which these martyrs gave their lives," Mehbooba said.

She said the people of the state should remember the sacrifices of the martyrs who gave up their lives for establishing a democracy and a prosperous state where Kashmiriyat is the basic principle.

The chief minister said the way people of the valley stood together in condemning the attack on Amarnath pilgrims gave a message to entire world that Kashmiriyat was alive.

"The way people with different viewpoints stood together and condemned the attack gave a message once again to the world that Kashmir's Kashmiriyat is alive and people will not tolerate anything which is against Kashmiriyat," she said.

Mehbooba was joined by her Cabinet colleagues and senior party leaders in laying floral wreaths on the graves of the 21 people who were killed in firing by the Dogra army on this day in 1931.
13:05   100 m from edge of Ganga no-development zone: NGT
The National Green Tribunal today passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate the River Ganga, declaring as 'No-Development Zone' an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also declared the following:

-- Environment compensation of Rs 50,000 will be imposed on anyone who dumps waste in the river.

-- All authorities concerned have to complete various projects including setting up of a sewage treatment plant and cleaning drains within two years.

--  The Uttar Pradesh government should be "duty-bound" to shift tanneries within six weeks, from Jajmau in Kanpur to leather parks in Unnao or any other place it considers appropriate.

-- The NGT also directed the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to formulate guidelines for religious activities on the ghats of Ganga or its tributaries.

-- The tribunal also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the secretary of the Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials from UP government to oversee implementation of the directions passed in its 543- page verdict.

-- It also asked the committee to submit reports at regular intervals.

-- The NGT said the concept of zero liquid discharge and online monitoring of affluents should not be applied to industrial units. It said that all industrial units falling in the catchment area of river Ganga should be stopped from indiscriminate extraction of groundwater.

-- The tribunal had heard the arguments of the Centre, the UP government, pollution control boards and various other stakeholders for almost 18 months before reserving the judgement on May 31.

-- The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments: Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.

Image: People watch as a pyre burns on the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur in April. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
12:38   Curfew in Shopian, restrictions in parts of Kashmir
Authorities today imposed curfew in Shopian town and restrictions in many other parts of Kashmir to maintain law and order as a strike called by separatists disrupted normal life in the Valley.

Curfew has been imposed in Shopian town of south Kashmir as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, a police official said. He said curbs on the movement of people have been imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar.

Similar curbs have also been imposed in Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam districts and remaining parts of Shopian district as well. Restrictions on the assembly of people have been imposed in Sopore and Handwara townships in north Kashmir, the official said, adding heavy deployment of security forces has been made in the rest of the Valley.

He said these measures were taken to prevent any untoward incident in view of the strike called by separatists to mark the death anniversary of 21 persons who were killed in firing by the Dogra Army on this day in 1931.

Meanwhile, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut across Kashmir, while public transport was sparse. Mobile Internet remained suspended across the Valley, but BSNL's broadband services were working.

While government offices and banks were closed due to a holiday today, educational institutions remained shut on account of summer vacations.
12:22   VK Singh in Mosul to locate 39 Indians captured by ISIS
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh is in the Peshmarga frontline in Mosul, Iraq, that was liberated from the ISIS recently. He has been tasked with locating and bringing back the 39 Indians reportedly kept in Mosul as hostages of the ISIS. Singh tweeted last night, "Visited Peshmarga frontline in Mosul area to seek information on Indians held by ISIS. Peshmerga still clearing ISiS held areas."

The MEA said that "As soon as the announcement of liberation of Mosul was made by the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi, the Indian government activated various channels for locating those Indians. Iraqi authorities have conveyed that all cooperation would be extended in this regard and instructions have been issued by them to all relevant Iraqi agencies for the same."

Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh will also travel to Erbil and the Ambassador of India to Iraq and the Consulate General in Erbil have been instructed to continue the efforts to locate the 39 trapped Indians on priority.

The 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab, who had been held hostage by the fighters aligned to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Iraqi city of Mosul since 2014.

The Ministry of External Affairs had ealier said that 39 Indians taken hostage in the Iraqi city of Mosul are in the captivity of fighters aligned to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,are alive.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace the 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab and have been reportedly held hostage in the Iraqi city of Mosul since 2014.

Image: Courtesy Gen VK Singh's Twitter account.
While on China, read Brahma Chellaney's column: China's Bhutan land grab aims at bigger target. 
12:00   India planning missile that can target all of China: US Report
India continues to modernise its atomic arsenal with an eye on China and the country's nuclear strategy which traditionally focused on Pakistan now appears to place increased emphasis on the Communist giant, two top American nuclear experts have said.

An article published in the July-August issue of the digital journal - After Midnight -- has also claimed that India is now developing a missile which can target all of China from its bases in South India. India is estimated to have produced enough plutonium for 150-200 nuclear warheads but has likely produced only 120 to 130, wrote Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the article -- "Indian nuclear forces 2017".

India's nuclear strategy, which has traditionally focused on Pakistan, now appears to place increased emphasis on China, the two experts claimed.

While India has traditionally been focused on deterring Pakistan, its nuclear modernisation indicates that it is putting increased emphasis on its future strategic relationship with China," they wrote.

"That adjustment will result in significantly new capabilities being deployed over the next decade that may influence how India views nuclear weapons' role against Pakistan," they said.

Noting that India continues to modernise its nuclear arsenal with development of several new nuclear weapon systems, the two experts estimate that New Delhi currently operates seven nuclear-capable systems: two aircraft, four land-based ballistic missiles, and one sea-based ballistic missile.

"At least four more systems are in development. The development program is in a dynamic phase, with long-range land- and sea-based missiles emerging for possible deployment within the next decade," it said.

India is estimated to have produced approximately 600 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium, sufficient for 150 to 200 nuclear warheads; however, not all the material has been converted into nuclear warheads, it said.

Based on available information about its nuclear-capable delivery force structure and strategy, we estimate that India has produced 120 to 130 nuclear warheads, the article said adding that the country will need more warheads to arm the new missiles it is currently developing.

Kristensen and Norris said that the two-stage, solid- fuel, rail-mobile Agni-2, an improvement on the Agni-1, which can deliver a nuclear or conventional warhead more than 2,000 kilometres is probably targeted on western, central, and southern China.

Although the Agni-4 will be capable of striking targets in nearly all of China from northeastern India (including Beijing and Shanghai), India is also developing the longer- range Agni-5, a three-stage, solid-fuel, rail-mobile, near- intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a warhead more than 5,000 kilometres (3,100-plus miles), it said.

"The extra range will allow the Indian military to establish Agni-5 bases in central and southern India, further away from China," the research article said.

Representational image.
11:34   2 weeks after PM's anti-gaurakshak speech, man beaten up for carrying beef
A person was reportedly beaten up by a mob on suspicion of carrying beef in Nagpur's Bharsingi village. The incident took place on Wednesday at 11.30 a.m, reports ANI.

An India Today report says four people have been detained in connection with the case. Salim Ismail Shah, 36, was thrashed with rods and sticks by a few men said to be members of a group named - Prahar Sanghatan. The fringe group is allegedly linked to local MLA Bachu Kadu.

The latest incident in Nagpur adds to the long list of such unprovoked attack on people accused of carrying beef across the country.

Last month, a teenager - Junaid - was killed and his cousins were thrashed in a train by a mob which accused them of carrying beef. The incident took place when they were returning home in Ballabhgarh, Haryana, from Delhi by a local train after Eid shopping.

Days later the horrific incident, a 200-strong mob beat up a Muslim man and set his house on fire after a dead cow was found outside his home in Jharkhand's Giridih district  
11:16   'Nitish will wait for RJD to make a decision'
Will the mahagathbandhan in Bihar unravel?

Professor Prabhat Ghosh, director of the Asian Development Research Institute, Patna, tells's Archana Masih that Lalu Yadav will try to keep the mahagathbandhan alive, no matter how weak it is. But Nitish Kumar is uncomfortable with the alliance. Read more
11:01   Events in West Bengal show that stereotypes are inadequate
Stereotypes are broad brush generalizations that, while based on facets of reality, often conceal complexities and loose ends. The prevailing stereotype of West Bengal is that it blends high culture and radical instincts with a disdain for hard work and money. This shorthand of the Bengali character is coupled with the generalization that the high-minded people of the state are neither prone to caste politics nor sectarian antagonisms.

Swapan Dasgupta writes for the Telegraph. Read the column here.
10:59   Why Aakar Patel became a vegan
"At home, being vegan is no real problem, and other than dairy (dahi, chhaas, ghee and kadhi) I can eat normally.
"There is, of course, the eschewing of meat and as someone who likes (should I say liked?) Naga pork and beef steaks, and has eaten snake and dog, going vegan is unusual," says Aakar Patel. Read his column here.
Absolutely fantastic job by the person who helms the Mumbai Police twitter handle. Smart, witty tweets that gets the message across without being patronising or stern, like this one on domestic violence. "CP Mumbai Police @CPMumbaiPolice  Your silence is an abuser's power. #Dial100 to #ReportDomesticAbuse." 
10:51   No play does not make PM a dull boy
The mystery of what makes Narendra Damodardas Modi the brightest boy in class has almost been solved. Almost, because there are two contenders.

An effusive classmate called Amit Shah thinks the secret lies in self-less toil, exemplified by Modi's refusal to take even a single day's vacation in the past three years.

An enigmatic - if not mischievous - guru called Mohan Bhagwat believes the credit goes to the "aprasidh (not-so-famous)" journey Modi had undertaken en route to his "ujjwal (bright)" future. The " aprasidh" reference was seen as a reminder of the gurukul called the RSS, for which Modi was once a pracharak.  Read more

10:36   'She played politics with the ease of a sleepwalker'
"Rahul has to learn a lot from his grandmother. She was a natural born 24x7 politician who could outpace all her rivals just on sheer physical stamina. She played politics with the ease of a sleepwalker -- she knew the terrain so well, she could do it in her sleep!

She was a constant communicator, a constant traveller, disposed off government files at lightning speed in between rallies, lived on a frugal diet, practiced yoga and never ever missed a political moment.

If Indira Gandhi had been a young politician today, she would have been in the forefront of the Not In My Name protests. As a youth leader, I can see her marching in the Nirbhaya protest rallies.

She was once asked what the secret to political leadership was and she said (it was) the ability to like all kinds of people. I don't think Rahul fundamentally likes people -- that's probably why he can't deal with them and it shows.

Modi's a terrific communicator too, that's why perhaps he's been able to reach out to the youth. Indira Gandhi was cut from a different cloth from Rahul -- as I said, in politics, she was James Bond."

Sagarika Ghose, the author of the biography Indira: India's Most Powerful Prime Minister tells's Nikhil Lakshman that Indira Gandhi may have left India had Lal Bahadur Shastri not died suddenly in Tashkent in January 1966, a death which led the Congress Syndicate to opt for someone they mistakenly assumed was a 'goongi gudiya' (dumb doll) rather than the obstinate Morarji Desai.  Read the second partof the interview here.

And the first part here.
10:22   Sasikala's Rs 2 cr bribe, massage for counterfeiter Telgi, says top cop
Amid the speculations of former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary V Sasikala getting VIP treatment in Parappana Agrahara central prison where she is lodged in a corruption case, a report by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (Prisons) D Roopa has asserted that a bribe worth Rs 2 crore was given to the prison officials, including the Director General (Prisons) in order to avail special facilities.

Roopa, in a report to Director General (Prisons) HN Satyanarayana Rao, has said there is speculation that Sasikala paid a bribe to prison officials to get special facilities for herself with rumours also of the DG being a beneficiary himself.

The letter, apart from the information about Sasikala, also talks about many other illegal instances inside the prison.

- A special kitchen has been set up for Sasikala, which is against the rule of the jail.

- Roopa has also mentioned about stamp paper scam accused Abdul Kareem (Telgi) too getting special facilities. "Earlier, he was on wheelchair and court allowed people for his assistance. But now, when he is fine, why is this continuing? In fact, three or four undertrials are there to serve him, who even gave him hands and feet massage," the letter stated.

- She also mentioned that she got medical check-up of jail inmates done and in the drug test it has come to light that many convict prisoners are using various types of drug kits in the jail.

- She even exposed that a prisoner in the jail had tried to sexually assault a nurse in the hospital while he was bought for check-up, but no action taken over it.

- Roopa even pointed out that prisoners are harassing doctors to prepare fake report stating they be shifted to hospital citing health reasons.

- She also said that the DGP was trying to interfere with her work. She said a memo was sent by the DGP to her seeking an explanation on why she went to Central Jail on July 10.

Roopa has sent the report to additional chief secretary DGP prisons and home secretary too to take a disciplinary action against the guilty.
09:49   Darjeeling unrest: Gorkhaland supporters burn down tourist information office
Gorkhaland supporters on Wednesday set ablaze a panchayat office and damaged a few government vehicles on the 28th day of the indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling. The indefinite bandh in the hills entered the 29th day which has brought life to a standstill across Darjeeling and neighbouring areas.

According to ANI, a mob late on Wednesday night set on fire to the office of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Tourist Information at Chowrasta in Darjeeling.

The supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which spearheaded the agitation, went on a rally at Chowkbazar in Darjeeling on Wednesday, with the body of Ashok Tamang.

Tamang died on Tuesday night in a hospital where he was admitted after being allegedly injured in Saturday's clashes between the police and GJM supporters.

The GJM claimed that Tamang received serious head injuries during a baton charge by the police. The police, however, said it was not clear whether he died of injuries or some other reason. 
09:26   Former envoy to Trump: Be tough with Pakistan to win Afghanistan's trust
Pakistan's former envoy to the United States Husain Haqqani (pictured) has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to take a tough stand against Pakistan if Washington wants to secure Afghanistan's trust.In an opinion piece titled 'To Win Afghanistan, Get Tough on Pakistan' for The New York Times, Ambassador Haqqani says, "Although the Taliban are said to control or contest 40 percent of Afghanistan's territory, Taliban leaders operate from the safety of Pakistan".

He said President Trump must now consider alternatives as Washington's incentives to Pakistan since the September 11 terror attacks have failed to dissuade the latter from stopping its support to the Taliban and other terror elements.

Ambassador Haqqani opines that for Islamabad, the alliance with the United States has been more about securing weapons, economic aid and diplomatic support in its confrontation with India. He said both the US and Pakistan have disappointed each other because of divergence in their interests in South Asia.
09:22   Pakistan is America's ugliest ally, says US lawmaker
A top US lawmaker has described Pakistan as America's ugliest ally, as on the one hand Islamabad proclaims to be a friend of Washington, but on the other, backs terrorists and terrorism.

In an opinion piece titled 'Pakistan's Long History of Duplicity' that has been published in the Washington Times, Senator Ted Poe, a Republican who represents Texas's 2nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, said Pakistan must be held accountable for continuously working against the interests of the United States.

He said there are three kinds of allies that the United States has -- the 'good', the 'bad' and the 'ugly'.

Poe said the good allies are the ones who share common interests and values with America. The bad ones are those who often sponsor terrorism, undermine America's goals, and flaunt their disdain of the United States, and the ugly are countries like Pakistan who take billions of dollars in aid from the United States and simultaneously back the terrorists responsible for killing Americans worldwide.

He describes countries like Pakistan historically as a "Benedict Arnold". Benedict Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War of the 1770's who originally fought for the American Continental Army, but later defected to the British Army.
08:58   Mevani,Kanhaiya detained for taking out march without permission
Dalit agitation spearhead Jignesh Mevani, student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and 15 others were detained on Wednesday for taking out 'Freedom March' allegedly without permission on the first anniversary of Una flogging incident, the police said.

Mevani, who is the convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, had invited Kumar to take part in the 'Azadi Kooch' (Freedom March) in Mehsana.

A number of Dalit activists gathered at Somnath Chowk in Mehsana before embarking on the march towards Banaskantha district on Wednesday afternoon, the police said.

The Mehsana district authorities had cancelled the permission granted earlier to Mevani for taking out the march.

"We have detained 17 persons from Fatehpura circle. Later, an FIR was registered under IPC section 143 against them for being a part of an illegal assembly.

"We did not arrest them. They were let go afterwards," an official of the Mehsana 'A' division police station, where the FIR has been lodged, said.

As per the schedule, 'Freedom March' will end at Dhanera town of Banaskantha district of north Gujarat after one week.

The key agenda of this march is to mount pressure on the Gujarat government to allocate agricultural land to Dalits, so that they can start a new life with dignity, Mevani had announced last month.

After being released, co-convener of the manch, Kaushik Parmar, who is also named in the FIR, announced that the march will continue as they have the permission to enter Unjha, their next destination. -- PTI
08:58   Mevani,Kanhaiya detained for taking out march without permission
Dalit agitation spearhead Jignesh Mevani, student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and 15 others were detained on Wednesday for taking out 'Freedom March' allegedly without permission on the first anniversary of Una flogging incident, the police said.

Mevani, who is the convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, had invited Kumar to take part in the 'Azadi Kooch' (Freedom March) in Mehsana.

A number of Dalit activists gathered at Somnath Chowk in Mehsana before embarking on the march towards Banaskantha district on Wednesday afternoon, the police said.

The Mehsana district authorities had cancelled the permission granted earlier to Mevani for taking out the march.

"We have detained 17 persons from Fatehpura circle. Later, an FIR was registered under IPC section 143 against them for being a part of an illegal assembly.

"We did not arrest them. They were let go afterwards," an official of the Mehsana 'A' division police station, where the FIR has been lodged, said.

As per the schedule, 'Freedom March' will end at Dhanera town of Banaskantha district of north Gujarat after one week.

The key agenda of this march is to mount pressure on the Gujarat government to allocate agricultural land to Dalits, so that they can start a new life with dignity, Mevani had announced last month.

After being released, co-convener of the manch, Kaushik Parmar, who is also named in the FIR, announced that the march will continue as they have the permission to enter Unjha, their next destination. -- PTI
08:21   Nagaur: 16 cops injured in violence over gangster's encounter, Sec 144 imposed
Violence broke out after a condolence meeting for slain gangster Anandpal Singh when a mob in his native village pelted stones at a police team, leaving 16 personnel, including the Nagaur Superintendent of Police, injured.

A woman probationary IPS officer, Monika Sen, and the gunman of the SP went missing during the clashes but were found later. The officer is fine but the gunman was injured, ADGP law amd order N R K Reddy told PTI.

Superintendent of Police Paris Deshmukh and 15 policemen were injured in the violence at Nagaur district's Sanvrad village.

The SP's vehicle was torched, he said. Three policemen in critical state have been referred to the SMS hospital in Jaipur, Reddy said.

"The violence broke out at the village after the meeting by the Rajput community. They also blocked a railway track but it was cleared and the agitators were removed from there," he said.

A North Western Railway spokesperson said that a passenger train was delayed due to the blockade and some were halted at the Sujangarh Railway Station as the track was damaged.

The meeting was held to demand a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the Anandpal police encounter which took place on June 24 in Churu district.

Section 144 has been imposed and internet services were suspended in Nagaur, Churu, Sikar and Bikaner district.

Even after strict police protection, scores of people belonging from Rajput community joined the protest and even blocked the railways line of the region till the evening.

The people of Rajput community gave the ultimatum of two hours to the administration to approve a CBI probe in the matter, after failing to do so people interrupted the railway lines.

The leaders of the Rajput Community have announced that they will not move from the track till the time government doesn't order to initiate the CBI probe.

The police has cordoned off all the major roads linking Nagaur.

The gangster's family are yet cremate the body and are demanding an investigation by the central agency. -- PTI, ANI

Image only for representation.
00:35   Kashmir is facing challenges because of Nehru-Gandhi family: Smriti Irani
Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday tore into Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for Amarnath terror attack and said history stands evidence that the challenges of Kashmir have been gifted by Nehru-Gandhi family.

"History has evidence that when it comes to challenges with regard to Kashmir, those have been given out to country, courtesy Nehru-Gandhi family," Irani told ANI.

She said Rahul's comment is an example of cheap politics, as he chose to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the nation stands united and is fighting a crucial war against terrorism.

"This kind of comment from Rahul after returning from holiday indicates that he will not leave any single opportunity to do politics," she said.

Further stressing on the same, Irani said such comments are boosting the morale of the terrorists and is an effort to demotivate the people fighting against the terrorists.

"Gandhi is speaking about personal gain in his tweet. There are few questions he needs to answer, that when Congress representative Mani Shanker Aiyar went to Pakistan and requested for help to remove Prime Minister Modi's government, was that for personal gain or was a political strategy?" she asked.
00:09   Make students sensitive to local needs: Prez to universities
Emphasising on quality education, President Pranab Mukherjee asked higher educational institutions to make students sensitive to local socio-economy needs.
"It is not enough for higher education institutions to be modern and relevant. They must be designed to serve and make an impact on society," he said.
The president said students research capability must be used with an aim to innovatively address real world problems that nations face.
"Higher educational institutions must strive to become community assets," he said, dedicating the BML Munjal University to the country at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The university was set up to recognise and celebrate the life of Brijmohan Lall Munjal, one of the most respected industrialists of the country and the founder of the Hero group, a press release issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan quoted the president as saying.
Mukherjee said in the emerging global scenario, the quality of higher education imparted will play an important role in moulding the careers of young men and women.

"In less than 10 years from now, nearly 140 million people will be in the college-going age group. Every fourth graduate in the world will be a product of our higher education system.
"In such a competitive environment, only those professionals who are properly skilled and trained will achieve success.