Sun, 10 September 2017
Myanmar military planting land mines in path of fleeing Rohingya?

Timeline  Refresh

20:58   Myanmar military planting land mines in path of fleeing Rohingya?
Myanmar's military has been accused of planting land mines in the path of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in its western Rakhine state, agency reports said quoting Amnesty International.

Two people were reportedly wounded on Sunday by the mines.

Refugee accounts of the latest spasm of violence in Rakhine have typically described shootings by soldiers and arson attacks on villages.

But there are at least several cases that point to anti-personnel land mines or other explosives as the cause of injuries on the border with Bangladesh, where 3,00,000 Rohingya have fled in the past two weeks, the reports said.

An officer of the Bangladesh border guard was quoted as saying that he was awareof at least three Rohingya injured in explosions.

Bangladeshi officials and Amnesty researchers believe new explosives have been recently planted, including one that therights group said blew off a Bangladeshi farmer's leg and another that wounded a Rohingya man.

Both incidents occurred on Sunday.

It said at least three people including two children were injured in the past week.

Amnesty said that based on interviews with eyewitnesses and analysis by its own weapons experts, it believes there is 'targeted use of landlines' along a narrow stretch of the north-western border of Rakhine state that is a crossing pointfor fleeing Rohingya. -- Agencies

IMAGE: Rohingya refugee children are stopped by volunteers as they jostle to receive food distributed by local organisations in Kutupalong, Bangladesh. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
20:02   Stalin meets Guv; claims support of more MLAs than EPS
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president M K Stalin met Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday to stress the need for a strong front in the Assembly.

Congress MLAs were also part of the delegation of opposition parties that met Rao in Chennai.

The DMK leader demanded an immediate floor test from the Governor.

He demanded an order for Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, seeking a vote of confidence and resolves the political crisis in the state.

He apprised the Governor of the current tally of MLAs by his side.

According to him, 119 MLAs are with him, as against the 114 with Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, which is more than the majority which the assembly demands.

He added that they have met the Governor a number of times and if he does not respond to the request within a week then he will 'have to take legal resort and mobilise people's mandate'.

He also said that he will approach the people's court as well. -- ANI
18:54   Cops on alert to foil Honeypreet's bid to escape to Nepal
Photographs of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan have been pasted at police stations bordering Nepal and the law and order machinery is on an alert to ensure she does not sneak into the neighbouring country.

The police stations of Kapilvastu, Mohana, Shohratgarh and Debarua, whose areas border Nepal, have been alerted, Superintendent of Police, Siddharth Nagar, Satyendra Kumar said today.

Honeypreet's photographs have been pasted at these police stations, the official said.

The intelligence mechanism has also been put into service to keep an eye on the activities of those crossing the Indian territory, he said.

The Uttar Pradesh police is also on an alert in Maharajganj, Lakhimpur and Bahraich districts which border Nepal, another official said.

The Haryana police had on September 1 issued a lookout notice against Honeypreet.

UP shares a 599.3 km long open border with Nepal touching seven districts - Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bahraich, Sravasti, Balrampur, Sidhharthnagar and Maharajganj.

Haryana police officials had recently come to Lakhimpur Kheri looking for the whereabouts of Honeypreet, one of the closest aides of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

Additional Superintendent of Police Ghanshyam Chaurasiya, confirmed the arrival of two Haryana police personnel at Gaurifanta border in Kheri.

The Haryana police had shared some information with the Gaurifanta police and made inquiries about her suspected movement towards the neighbouring country through the porous India-Nepal border, the official said.

"However, when no clue about Honeypreet's departure for Nepal could be gathered, the Haryana police personnel returned," the ASP said.

He said that an unclaimed vehicle bearing the registration number of Punjab was seized from the border and a probe was on to ascertain its ownership.

Honeypreet, who is in her thirties, is the adopted daughter of Ram Rahim Singh whose conviction in a rape case triggered mob violence that killed around 40 people across Haryana.

She had accompanied the Dera head when he was brought to the special CBI court in Panchkula for the pronouncement of the verdict in the 15-year-old rape case.

She also travelled along with him in a special chopper which ferried them to Rohtak from Panchkula after the conviction.

The Haryana police had earlier said that it was in touch with its counterparts in other states and was hopeful that Honeypreet and Aditya Insan, another key aide of the Dera head, would soon be found.

On September 1, the Haryana Police had issued a lookout notice against the two, fearing that they could leave the country.

The police initiated efforts to trace Honeypreet, the adopted 'daughter' of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who describes herself as 'Papa's angel', after it arrested and questioned another sect functionary, Surinder Dhiman Insan, in connection with an alleged conspiracy to help Ram Rahim Singh escape after his conviction by a special CBI court in Panchkula on August 25.

Honeypreet is considered among Ram Rahim's possible successors as the head of the sect. The 50-year-old Dera chief, who is lodged in Rohtak's Sunaria jail, has been sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by the CBI court for raping of two of his disciples.

Honeypreet has also acted in the film MSG 2 - The Messenger and had a guest appearance in MSG - The Warrior Lion Heart, in which the Dera chief played the lead roles.  -- PTI
18:05   Asaram, Ram Rahim et al 'fake' babas, says apex body of sadhus
Irked by recent controversies surrounding self-styled godmen, the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex body of Hindu sadhus, on Sunday released a list of 14 'fake babas' and demanded a crackdown on 'rootless cult leaders' by bringing in a legislation.

Giving out the list, which includes names like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Rampal, Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, the parishad's president Swami Narendra Giri said, "We appeal to even the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis."

The parishad is a council of akharas, which are monastic orders drawing their spiritual lineage from 8th-century seer Adi Shankara, who is said to have established orders of martial monks with the aim of defending the Hindu Dharma.

The development comes close on the heels of a Central Bureau of Investigation court in Haryana sentencing Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim to 20 years in prison for the rape of two of his former disciples.

Large-scale violence took place in various parts of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan following his conviction by the court in the two cases. Forty-one people were killed in Haryana in the clashes.

However, no death was reported from Punjab and Rajasthan.

While Asaram is in jail in connection with a sexual assault case, his son Narayan Sai, also booked in a similar case, is out on bail. Rampal is behind bars, facing trial in a number of cases relating to violence.

"We are going to send copies of this list to the Centre, the state governments as well as all the opposition parties with the demand that a strong legislation be brought to check the activities of these self-styled cult leaders," Giri told reporters in Allahabad.

He also claimed that he had yesterday received a phone call from a person claiming to be a devotee of Asaram, who 'threatened to kill me if a mention was made of his guru in the list of fake babas we planned to bring out today'.

"An FIR has been lodged at the Daraganj police station in the city, based on a complaint of Giri. The matter is being investigated," Senior Superintendent of Police of Allahabad Anand Kulkarni said.  -- PTI
17:03   1 killed, 11 injured as under-construction flyover collapses in Bhubaneswar
A portion of an under- construction flyover collapsed near Bomikhal in Bhbaneswar, killing at least one man and injuring 11 persons, official sources said.

About three-four persons were suspected to be trapped under the rubble, they added.

Around 15 labourers were working on the flyover when the structure collapsed on them in the afternoon.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief at the incident and announced Rs 5 lakh ex gratia for the next of kin of the deceased and free treatment for the injured.

"An exemplary punishment will be meted out to those found guilty," he said.

Satya Patnaik, a 39-year-old businessman, was killed as he, along with his daughter Sheetal, was under the flyover when it caved it, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Central Division, A B Otta told reporters.

Patnaik's daughter was seriously injured and admitted to the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, the RDC said.

The rest of the injured have been admitted to the Capital Hospital, AIIMS and various other hospitals.

Police, fire brigade and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel have been engaged to carry out the rescue operation. Earth-movers are being used for the purpose.

The chief minister said two engineers had been suspended in the aftermath of the flyover collapse.

"I have already ordered an inquiry into the matter. It is certainly a major mistake on the part of the contractor. The job was assigned to Panda Infrastructure," Works Department Secretary N K Pradhan said.

He added that strict action would be taken against those found guilty.

Pradhan said rescuing those trapped in the debris was the first priority of the state government. The flyover project, he said, was under the Roads and Buildings (R&B) Division-4.

"A portion of the flyover caved in when we were busy plastering its roof. We had started work at around 8 am," said an injured worker, who was undergoing treatment at the Capital Hospital.

Police Commissioner Y B Khurania and senior officials are monitoring the rescue operations.  -- PTI

Photograph: ANI
16:09   Gurugram child's father seeks parallel CBI probe
Varun Thakur, father of the seven-year-old student, who was brutally murdered at Ryan International School on Sunday, demanded a parallel Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry in the matter to get to reveal the entire truth.

Thakur said that the entire incident took place so fast that it is obvious to suspect the entire episode to be 'pre-planned'.

"Police is doing its job. I just want to request a parallel CBI inquiry so that every detail related to the case is revealed," he said.

The boy's father also requested the protesters to keep calm and not to get involved in any kind of violence.

Thakur's statement came after people protesting outside the school set ablaze a liquor shop near the school and as a result police lathi-charged them.

"I want to request all the parents supporting us to not get involved in any kind of violence. I have lost my child; don't want to other to get hurt. Vandalising things are not correct," Thakur told the reporters.

Gurugram Commissioner of Police Sandeep Khirwar, earlier in the day said that section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act has been invoked in the murder case of seven-year-old student of Ryan International School. -- ANI

IMAGE: Family members and relatives cry during funeral of Pradyuman Singh murdered in Ryan International School premises, in Gurugram. Photograph: PTI Photo
16:03   99% search operation completed at Dera Headquarters in Sirsa
 The Haryana government on Sunday informed that 99 per cent of the search operation at Dera Sacha Sauda Headquarters in Sirsa has been completed.

Speaking to ANI, Information and Public Relations Department of Haryana Government Deputy Director Satish Mehra informed that 99 per cent of sanitisation exercise has been completed.

"After the notice from the Haryana and Punjab Government, the Dera search operation is about to get over. The search was done peacefully in the Dera. The operation is 99 percent completed and but the court commissioner will visits all the sectors and will see if any investigation is left or not. He can visits anytime with deputy commissioner, IG and other officials. Every sector will be investigated according to their instructions," he said.

The search operation inside the Dera Sacha Sauda premises in Sirsa entered its third day on Sunday amidst heavy security deployed around the headquarters.

Yesterday, a skin bank running inside Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters without license was sealed.

Earlier yesterday, the search operations revealed the existence of an illegal explosives factory and firecrackers, which were promptly sealed.On Friday, a computer, hard disks and cash were recovered.

Earlier on September 5, the Punjab and Haryana high court gave orders to conduct a search operation in the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarter, under the supervision of a judicial officer.

This order came after the Haryana Police seized 33 licenced weapons from Dera Sacha Sauda.

These weapons included 14 revolvers, nine guns, four rifles and other modified weapons.-- ANI
15:06   Gurugram murder: School owner to be booked under Juvenile Justice Act
The Haryana government today said it was not averse to ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the killing of the seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School and has asked the Gurugram Police to book the school owner under the Juvenile Justice Act.

Education minister Ram Bilas Sharma also said that there have been lapses on part of the school administration.

"We accept negligence on part of the Ryan International School but the school cannot be de-recognised as the future of 1200 students is at stake," Sharma said.

"We have directed the Gurgaon Police to book the owner of Ryan International School, Albert Pinto under section 75 Juvenile Justice (care and punishment act) Act 15 for punishment for cruelty to child meted out by the custodian in the charge sheet to be submitted in the court within 7 days.

"Some loopholes in the security are visible in the case and the toilet window was also found broken from inside," Sharma told PTI.

He said the charge-sheet in the case will be ready within a week as police was speedily conducting the probe, but stressed that if the parents of the child insist on a probe by the CBI or any other agency the government will accede to their demand.

Talking to reporters here, Sharma also made it clear that school management has to take responsibility for the safety and security of children.

"We are issuing directives in this regard to all schools including private ones," he said.

"We held a meeting today in which the demand to derecognise the school came up, but we also had to take into account the fact that 1200 students are studying there. The parents of students studying in this school were against this step and therefore we felt taking such a step will not be right," he said.

"However, any kind of lapse, by the management or the owner, against all of them we have initiated action," he said.

"The murder accused has already been arrested. Now, within a week, police after collecting all necessary evidence will submit a chargesheet in court. However, still if the parents are not satisfied, then Haryana government is ready to get the matter probed by any agency.

"I am hopeful that when we will produce the accused before court within a week with all evidences collected by the police, the parents of the child will be satisfied with the action being taken," he said.

Sharma said, "We have fixed a seven-day deadline and in case where the accused is booked under Section 302 of IPC (for murder), this is the minimum time in such cases. However, if the child's parents still feel they are not satisfied,then as per their wish we can get the case investigated by any agency including CBI".

"We have full sympathy with the parents of the child. If any issue of providing financial help the Haryana government comes up will be willing to help," he said.

The minister made it clear that the Haryana government will not show any leniency in the matter.

"Whatever strict action needs to be taken as per law will be taken in this case," he asserted.

He also said a liquor vend near the school has been ordered to be shut down permanently.  -- PTI

Photograph: PTI Photo
14:55   Rahul will not talk about artificial intelligence in US, says Pitroda
As reports emerge about Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi talking about Artificial Intelligence during his two-week visit to the United States, the Technical Advisor involved with the event called the reports 'false'.

Taking to twitter, Technical Advisor Sam Pitroda said, 'I have seen news in media that Rahul Gandhi is coming to the US to give a talk on Artificial Intelligence. This is FALSE information.'

He further said that he doesn't know who is behind the false rumour, but, seems like the news has gone viral.

'Rahul Gandhi is not coming to talk about Artificial Intelligence,' emphasised Pitroda.

Pitroda added that the Congress vice president is coming to meet with students and academicians and various thinking people in the US and will be giving a talk at the University of California, Berkley.

'He will be also meeting with Indian Overseas Congress executive members and others,' said Pitroda.

Rahul also tweeted about the event and said, 'Looking forward to addressing students @UCBerkeley & interacting w/Indian Overseas Congress members w/@sampitroda during my visit to the US.'

The Congress vice president will be interacting with global thinkers, political leaders and overseas Indians this week on international economic and technology issues.

Rahul will be beginning his two-week trip to the US with an address at the University of California, Berkeley, on Monday. -- ANI
14:12   5-yr-old raped in Delhi school: Magisterial probe ordered
The Delhi government on Sunday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the alleged rape case of a five-year-old girl at Tagore Public School.

The report is to be submitted within three days.

The five-year-old girl was raped allegedly by a peon inside a classroom in school premises yeaterday.

Meanwhile speaking to ANI, victim's mother said that no investigation to this matter has taken place as yet.

"No investigation has been taking place. Today it happened with my daughter, tomorrow it could happen with anyone," she added.

The accused, identified as Vikas, 40, who was absconding after the incident, has been arrested.

Speaking to ANI, the victim's father said, "The girl returned home in a very critical condition and told her mother about the horrific incident. The mother of the girl then informed me and we rushed her to the hospital. After the doctors observing her, they informed me to call the police and to file an FIR in this matter. I'm glad that the police have arrested the accused and would want strict action against him. The school has not yet taken any action on this matter."

The police have registered a case against under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and are investigating the matter. -- ANI
13:38   Ashwin, Jadeja rested for ODI series against Australia
India team for first three one-day internationals against Australia has been announced.

The team includes:

Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaspreet Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.

The team against Australia selected in line with the rotation policy and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested, said the BCCI.
13:19   Separatists call strike against Rajnath visit, restrictions continue in Srinagar
Normal life in Kashmir was today hit due to a strike called by separatist groups against the visit of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, even as authorities continued restrictions in parts of Srinagar city for a second consecutive day as a precautionary measure.

While most of the public transport remained off the roads, some vehicles could be seen plying the roads in civil lines area of the city, officials said.

Shops and business establishments remained closed due to the strike called by separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.

'By observing the strike, the people of Kashmir will prove to the world and the Indian leadership that by using military might against the people or harassing the leadership,the people's movement in Kashmir cannot be crushed,' the separatists had said in a statement while calling for shutdown.

Meanwhile, restrictions under section 144 continued to remain in force in six police station areas of Srinagar, the officials said.

Curbs were in force in Nowhatta, Maharaj Gunj, Safa Kadal, Khanyar, Maisuma and Rainawari police station areas of the city.

The restrictions have been imposed in view of the apprehensions of law and order disturbances, the official said.  -- PTI
12:51   Gurugram school murder: Protests turn violent; locals set liquor shop ablaze
Locals protesting over death of seven-year-old Pradyuman set ablaze a liquor shop close to Ryan International School in Gurugram.

The body of the child was found with his throat slit and lying in a pool of blood in a washroom of the school on Friday.

The police lathi-charged the protesters outside the school.

Agitated parents gathered outside the school also broke window panes of classrooms.

Gurugram Police Commissioner Sandeep Khirwar claimed that arrested school bus conductor Ashok Kumar's involvement as the perpetrator of the heinous crime had come to the fore clearly.

Kumar was inside the toilet, waiting for any student to come inside with the motive of sexual assault. The deceased was the first student who entered the toilet, the Gurugram police commissioner said.

Though the police says the conductor has confessed to the crime, the fmily of the boy says the truth is being hidden by framing the conductor and demand a thorough probe.

Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma said, "Action has been taken against management and owner of Ryan International School and if parents are not satisfied with the investigation then the government is ready to get the matter probed by any agency."

He said that under Section 75 of the Juvenile Act, action will be taken against school management.

"Accused will be presented before Court within a week," he said. -- ANI
11:45   From next month, showing off your wealth on social media may land you in trouble
A photo of your shiny new luxury car on Instagram or a costly watch on Facebook may lead the taxman to your door as the tax department from next month will begin amassing virtual information to trace black money.

'Project Insight', likely to be launched next month, will use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.

The tax department will analyse mismatches in income declarations and spending patterns to trace tax evasions and black money, an official said.

The government has also made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory to get a 360 degree view of a person's income and assets.

The tax department had last year signed a pact with L&T Infotech for implementation of Project Insight, which is designed to strengthen the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance.

"Currently beta testing is on and the integrated platform for Project Insight should be launched by next month," the official told PTI.

Project Insight has been initiated by the income tax department for data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widen and deepen the tax base.

It will help the taxmen monitor high value transactions, and curb the circulation of black money.

This is part of the steps the government has taken to unearth and tax undeclared or illegal wealth.

The steps include launch of 'Operation Clean Money' after demonetisation of old higher denomination currency for collection, collation and analysis of information on cash transactions, extensive use of information technology and data analytics tools for identification of high risk cases, expeditious e-verification of suspect cases and enforcement actions.

The information technology-based Project Insight will strengthen the information driven approach for improving tax compliance, the official said.

The new technical infrastructure will also be leveraged for implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

The project will use technology to allow the government collate databases of IT returns, IT forms, TDS/TCS statements and Statement of Financial Transactions received from financial institutions.

As part of Project Insight, a new Compliance Management Centralised Processing Centre (CMCPC) would also be set up for handling preliminary verification, campaign management, generation of bulk letters/notices and follow-up.  -- PTI
11:05   MK Stalin, Congress to meet TN governor today
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president M. K Stalin will meet Tamil Nadu governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday evening, to stress on the on the need for a trial of strength in the state assembly.  

Congress MLAs will also be part of the delegation led by Stalin.  

On August 31, a delegation of opposition parties, including the DMK, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist met President Ram Nath Kovind, to demand a floor test in the assembly.
10:36   60 Indians facing Irma's fury being evacuated from St Martin island
About 60 Indian nationals are being evacuated from the vacation island of St Martin in the Caribbean, which has been devastated by Hurricane Irma, an extremely powerful storm that wreaked havoc in the region.  

Most of the Indian nationals have a transit visa, a temporary short period visa, to the US.  

For those who do not have a transit visa, the Indian embassy in Washington, DC, is working with the state department and the department of homeland security for getting them one, so that they can take the first available flight to the US and then travel back home.  

The US state department yesterday said it has evacuated some 1,200 of US citizens from the Caribbean island St Martin. An estimated 5,000 Americans are still trapped on this small island that is jointly administered by France and the Netherlands. 

More than 1,100 police, military officials and others were deployed to St Martin and the nearby French Caribbean territory of St Barts, where they used helicopters to identify the cars of people looting stores and homes. 

Deputy Indian Ambassador to US Santosh Jha said over the last 48 hours the main preoccupation has been to get in touch with Indians in all parts of southern US and in the islands in the western Atlantic. 

"I think we should today recognise that they are in a situation of great difficulty," he said. 

"We had (hurricane) Harvey just the previous month in Houston and today we are trying to cope up with Hurricane Irma in Florida. The entire embassy since this morning has been working on that," he said.
10:00   Rahul Gandhi to address overseas Indians in New York
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will interact with global thinkers, political leaders and overseas Indians in the US this week on international economic and technology issues, an organiser of his visit said. 

Gandhi, 47, begins his nearly two-week trip to the US with an address at the University of California, Berkeley, tomorrow on contemporary India and the path forward for the world's largest democracy. 

His great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, delivered a speech at Berkeley in 1949. 

"The purpose of the visit is two-fold. One is to meet interesting and global thinkers, to have a conversation on what is happening world over on economy, on technology, on opportunities, and really understand different views from experts on the global scene," technocrat Sam Pitroda, who isinvolved with the preparations of Gandhi's visit, told PTI. 

Pitroda worked with Gandhi's father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi for nearly a decade to transform India's telecom sector. 

He said Rahul Gandhi will meet overseas Indians at an event in New York as part of an outreach by the Congress party.  

The Congress vice president is also scheduled to visit Washington, DC, and is likely to address members of the think-tank community at an event organised by the Centre for American Progress, and interact with the corporate world at another programme organised by the US-India Business Council. Gandhi may also meet some members of the ruling Republican Party. 

"A lot of these meetings are going to be small and private," Pitroda said. "He wants to understand more about what's happening globally and what's the global view of the situation is," he said.  

The Congress vice president has often visited the US, but this could possibly be the first time in his political career that he would hold public meetings, meet political leaders and deliver speeches in the country.  
09:27   Refugees from West Pakistan challenge Art 35A in SC
Some refugees from West Pakistan, who had migrated to India during Partition in 1947, have moved the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A of the Constitution relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.  

The petition said there were around 3 lakh refugees from West Pakistan but those settled in Jammu and Kashmir have been denied the rights guaranteed under Article 35A which are given to the original residents of the state.  

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud tagged the plea of the refugees, who are settled in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, with similar matters pending before it.  

The apex court had, on the request of Jammu and Kashmir government, posted the matters challenging Article 35A for hearing after Diwali holidays. 

Article 35A, which was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954, accords special rights and privileges to citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. 

It also empowers the state's legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.
09:04   Another Delhi school horror: 5-year-old girl raped
A five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a peon inside the premises of a private school in Shahdara, New Delhi, the police said. 

The accused, identified as Vikas (40), has been arrested, said Nupur Prasad, deputy commissioner of police, Shahdara.  

The incident came a day after a seven-year-old boy had his throat slit for allegedly resisting sexual assault by a bus conductor of a Gurgaon school -- an incident which has sent shockwaves across the country.  

Vikas had been working in the school for the last three years. Previously he worked as a security guard there, the police said.  

He took the girl inside an empty classroom around noon yesterday when he was walking along the corridors after handing over lunch boxes to teachers, the police said. After raping the girl, he threatened her with dire consequences, they added.  

The girl later complained of bleeding and pain in her private parts to her mother. She was taken to a hospital where her medical examination confirmed sexual assault, the police said.  

Traumatised by the incident, the 5-year-old was sent for counselling. 

According to the police, the child said during counselling that she was assaulted by "a man wearing a cap" and also described his physical attributes.  

It was on the basis of this description that Vikas was nabbed, the police said.
08:54   'Hit gang working towards eliminating progressive voices'
"There is a similarity between Gauri Lankesh's murder and that of Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Pansare. What I see is that the tools used are the same. There is a conspiracy of people -- a sort of hit gang that is working towards eliminating progressive voices. 

"I am also on so many hit lists. All these vested interests, people who are promoting a superstitious way of thinking, all go hand in hand with each other."

Narendra Nayak, president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Association, an apex body of rationalist organisations that promote scientific approaches and rational thought and who worked closely with Kalburgi, Dhabolkar and Lankesh, speaks to Caravan magazine, here.

Image: Gauri Lankesh.
08:36   Scientist in row over cook's caste withdraws complaint
A senior IMD scientist withdrew her complaint in which she had accused her cook of concealing her caste and posing as a "Brahmin" woman, two days after the matter drew flak from activists and social outfits.  

Medha Khole had on Thursday filed the complaint against Nirmala Yadav (60) alleging that she lied about her caste and marital status to get the job. 

Khole, a Brahmin, had claimed her sentiments had been hurt as she wanted someone of her caste to cook for religious and other occasions at her house. 

Two days ago, Khole found out that her cook was not a Brahmin and approached the police with a complaint of cheating. 

The complaint drew severe criticism from various quarters and became a talking point on social media.  

A senior police officer, however, said Khole had submitted an application to withdraw the case against Yadav. 

"Khole said it was a personal matter and she neverthought it will trigger a controversy," he said.  

In her application the scientist said she did not intend to hurt anybody's feelings.  

The officer said that as per the procedure, the police will approach the court and file an application seeking to withdraw the case, he said.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/
08:28   J-K: Terrorist surrenders during gun battle with security forces
In a first, a terrorist today surrendered during an encounter with security forces that broke out in Shopian district of south Kashmir last evening, the police said in Srinagar.  

They said Adil, who had joined the terrorists in May this year, surrendered after he was trapped from all sides. 

Jammu and Kashmir police officials assured him that he would not be killed after which he emerged from the debris of the house and laid down his AK-47 in front of police officials. 

This is for the first time in recent months that a terrorist has laid down his arms during an encounter. 

Adil, a resident of Chitipora in Shopian, was immediately whisked away for questioning, they said, adding that the body of another terrorist, identified as Tariq Ahmed Dar, was recovered from the encounter site.  

Dar was involved in many terror-related incidents, they said. 

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police S P Vaid had earlier said that boys who had taken to arms can surrender and the government would consider their case. 

Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation at Barbugh in Imam Sahib area of Shopian last evening after getting information about presence of terroristst there. The ultras opened fire on the search party, triggering a gun battle.
08:12   United Left routs ABVP in JNU students union polls
The United Left alliance has retained all the four seats in the JNU students union election, defeating the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad with considerable margins. 

In a close fight, United Left candidate Geeta Kumari won the president's post by defeating Nidhi Tripathi of ABVP by 464 votes. Shabana Ali of BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association) polled 935 votes, election panel officials said. 

Out of the total 4639 votes polled, 4620 were valid, and 19 votes were discarded after voters put their slips in the wrong ballot boxes, they said. 

For the vice president's post, AISA's Simone Zoya Khan got 1,876 votes out of a total 4,620 votes, defeating Durgesh Kumar of the ABVP who got 1028 votes.  

Duggirala Srikrisha (Left) won the general secretary's post by polling 2082 votes. He was followed by the ABVP's Nikunj Makwana with 975 votes. 

The post of joint secretary has gone to Shubhanshu Singh (Left) who got 1755 votes, while Pankaj Keshari of the ABVP got 920 votes. 

Geeta Kumari said, "The credit for the mandate goes to the students because people still believe that democratic spaces should be saved and right now, the only resistance is from students."  

She also promised to take up the Najeeb issue, JNU seat cuts, new hostels, and others. 

Duggirala said JNU has become more democratic. "We promise to reach out to students everyday and counter the aggressive policies of ABVP." He also vowed to defend the debate and dissent culture in JNU. 

In the central panel, a total of 1512 NOTA votes were polled for all the four posts. In all, 31 councillors have been elected for various posts, the election officials said. 
07:49   One terrorist killed in night-long gun battle in Kashmir
Just In: One terrorist has been killed and another surrendered in the gun battle that broke out last night in Shopian district of south Kashmir, the police said.

Details soon.