Wed, 20 September 2017
Journalist killed while covering protest in Tripura

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. 
23:34   Journalist killed while covering protest in Tripura
A journalist from a local TV news channel from Agartala was today abducted and killed in West Tripura district while covering the agitation and road blockade by the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, the police said.
Superintendent of Police of West district, Abhijit Saptarshi said Santanu Bhowmick, a journalist from 'Dinrat' news channel, was covering the agitation and road blockade by the IPFT at Mandai when he was hit from behind and abducted.

Later, Bhowmick was found with serious stab injuries and was rushed to Agartala Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, the SP said.
Tripura Health Minister Badal Chowdhury condemned the killing and state Information Minister Bhanulal Saha visited the hospital.
The SP said the situation at Mandai was tense. Prohibitory orders under section 144 Crpc were already in  force in the area and more police forces was being rushed tothere, he said.
Over a hundred activists of the Gana Mukti Parishad, the tribal wing of the ruling CPI-M, were yesterday injured in a clash with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura at Chhankhola area of Khowai district, about 40
km from Agartala.
Khowai Superintendent of Police Nagendra Debbarma told reporters that the clash took place when the Parishad supporters gathered at the bus stand at Khowai town to travel to Agartala for a GMP rally.
23:26   Ideology of BJP, Sangh seeks to divide country on religious lines: Digvijay
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh today called on Shankaracharya Rajrajeshwar, considered close to the RSS and the BJP, at his ashram in Haridwar but said he did not believe in the ideology of the twin outfits which is meant to divide the country's polity along religious lines.

The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said he is going to start Narmada Yatra to create awareness about those displaced by it and he had come to the Shankaracharya to seek his blessings before embarking upon his journey.

"There is nothing wrong in meeting Dharmagurus. I was a Hindu, I am a Hindu and I will remain a Hindu.

"But I don't believe in the BJP or Sangh ideologies which seek to divide the country's polity along religious lines," he said.  

Known for making controversial statements from which his party is forced to distance itself from time to time, Digvijay said his demand for a CBI inquiry into Ramdev's guru swami Shankardev's disappearance had fallen on deaf ears. 

He was replying to a question regarding disappearance of a prominent sant of an Akhara in Haridwar swami Mohan Das recently.
22:51   Dinakaran, Stalin dreaming of power; can't topple my govt: EPS
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today made a veiled attack on sidelined All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dinakaran, saying those who had never faced polls were "dreaming" of coming to power, and asserted that his "stable" government could not be toppled by anyone.
Speaking at the birth centenary celebrations of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran in Nagapattinam, he also slammed DMK leader M K Stalin for "dreaming" about dislodging his government.
"Those who have never faced the people through elections are dreaming of coming to power, toppling the government and splitting the AIADMK," Palaniswami said, in an apparent attack on Dinakaran, a former Rajya Sabha member who is spearheading a rebellion against him in the party.
Dinakaran, locked in an intense tussle with the Palaniswami camp, has been demanding the resignation of the chief minister.
He has stepped up his attack on Palaniswami and vowed to send "home" his regime, after the AIADMK general council annulled VK Sasikala's appointment to the top party post earlier this month.
The general council, the top policy making body of the AIADMK, had also held that all the decisions taken by Sasikala, including the one appointing Dinakaran as the party's deputy chief, were "invalid".
"The day dreams of those who want to topple the government are like sand castles, which will soon vanish," Palaniswami said, adding that his government was "very stable".
Targeting Stalin, he said the DMK working president was spending all his time criticising the government, without bothering about the welfare of the people. 

"He always dreams of capturing power," the chief minister said, apparently referring to Stalin's claim that the state government had lost its majority.
21:50   Countdown for exit of Modi govt has begun, says Yechury
Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury today alleged that demonetisation and haphazard implementation of goods and services tax had broken the backbone of Indian economy and held the Narendra Modi government responsible for the economic "downturn".
Citing the defeat of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recent student union elections in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and in the Delhi University, the Left leader claimed that the countdown for the exit of NDA government has already begun.
"The Narendra Modi government is responsible for the downturn in economic growth of the country. First demonetisation then implementation of GST in a haphazard manner has broken the backbone of Indian economy," Yechury alleged.
"The farmers are committing suicide due to debts and the government is totally ignorant towards it. The government is not taking any action to recover the loans given to big corporate houses," he claimed at a press conference in Kolkata.
Yechury alleged that the BJP and its ministers are trying to mislead the nation by putting the blame of economic on "technical reasons".
Referring to the victory of Left alliance in JNU and the Congress student wing NSUI defeating the ABVP in two out of four seats in the DUSU polls, Yechury said, "These election results are a reflection of the changing atmosphere in the country and I can say that the countdown for the exit of the Narendra Modi government has already begun,".
He alleged that "the BJP's communalism is a major threat to the secular fabric of the country".
Yechury claimed it was due to the policies of the previous Congress government that the BJP was able to come to power.
On the controversy over restrictions on immersion of Durga idols, Yechury said such decisions by the state government are a reflection of the "competitive communalism" practiced by the TMC and the BJP in Bengal.
21:46   Pak raises objection with US over greater role for India in Afghanistan
Pakistan has raised objection with the United States over President Donald Trump advocating greater role for India in the war-torn Afghanistan, the country's top diplomat said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York expressed concern over the greater role that Trump advocated for India in his new Afghan policy, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said.
Janjua's meeting with Pence was the highest contact between the two countries since Trump announced his new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia on August 21 in which he had warned Pakistan for its continued support to terrorist groups and warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to do so.
Trump had also asked India to play a greater role in war-torn Afghanistan, much to the dislike of Pakistan.
In the meeting, the two sides resolved to remain engaged and carry forward the relationship that has been on a downward trajectory since announcement of the US policy for Afghanistan and South Asia, the APP news agency reported.
"The meeting on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA session in New York was held in a cordial atmosphere," a handout issued by the Foreign Office said.
"Prime Minister (Abbasi) shared Pakistans concerns and views with regard to the US strategy for South Asia," it said.

Abbasi and Pence agreed to work together to carry forward the bilateral relationship and discussed matters relating to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
"It was agreed that the two countries would stay engaged with a constructive approach to achieve shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region," the FO statement said.
21:07   Firing in Sashastra Seema Bal camp in J&K, 1 jawan killed
A jawan of the Sashastra Seema Bal was killed and another injured in suspicious firing at a camp of the paramilitary force in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
It is being verified as to whether it was a terror attack or a case of fratricide, SSP (Ramban) Mohan Lal told PTI.
"There was firing under suspicious circumstances in an SSB camp in Banihal belt of Ramban district this evening," he said.
He said one security man was killed and another injured in the firing.
The SSB is deployed in the area for protection of a construction company involved in setting up of rail tunnel.
20:29   Post-Doklam, Rajnath to visit Sino-Indian border in U'khand
Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to visit the Sino-Indian border in Uttarakhand next week, the first by a senior minister in the Modi government after the resolution of the stand-off in Doklam, officials said.
During the visit, the home minister will interact with jawans of the Indo Tibetan Border Police, which guards the 3,488 km-long India-China border, and assess various development activities in the frontier.
This will be for the first time a senior minister of the Narendra Modi government is visiting the borders with China after the resolution of the Doklam standoff late last month.
The Chinese and Indian troops were in a face-off situation for more than two months in Dokalam in Sikkim sector after the Indians stopped the construction of a road by China's army.
The home minister is expected to review the situation on the border, address a 'Sainik Sammelan' and assess the progress in various infrastructure projects, a home ministry official said.
Singh may also visit an ITBP post located at Barahoti in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, another official said.
There were reports that Chinese soldiers had entered 800 meters into the Indian territory in Barahoti on July 25 and stayed for some time before returning to the Chinese territory.
The 3,488 km-long India-China border stretches through Jammu and Kashmir (1,597 km), Himachal Pradesh (200 km), Uttarakhand (345 km), Sikkim (220 km) and Arunachal Pradesh (1,126 km).
 The Sino-Indian border is not fully demarcated and the process of clarifying and confirming the Line of Actual Control is in progress.
The area is characterised by high-altitude terrain and thick habitation which have resulted in inadequate development of infrastructure in these regions.
To redress the situation arising out of lack of infrastructure along border with China, the government has decided to undertake construction of 73 roads of operational significance.
Of these, 27 roads involving 804.93 km are being constructed by home ministry in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 1,937 crore. 

19:52   Rahul should give account of work of his three generations: Amit Shah
Bharatiya Janaat Party president Amit Shah today asked Rahul Gandhi to give an account of the work of his three generations, a reference to Nehru-Gandhi family's reign.
He made the remarks at a meeting of BJP workers in Dehradun, targeting the Congress vice president who has been attacking the Modi government and questioning its handling of the economy.
Shah said the Modi government has completed three years and the BJP has been giving account of its performance.
"Now Rahul Gandhi should give an account of the works of his three generations," he said.
The BJP chief did not elaborate but was clearly referring to the governments of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Addressing a press conference separately, Shah credited the Modi government with starting an era of "politics of performance" in the country. 
"If you compare how things were when we took over in 2014 and how they are at present, you will find a big difference," he said.
He said the UPA government was mired in scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore and suffered from "policy paralysis" while the BJP government has been able to give a "transparent and performance-oriented" government, which is also decisive.
"A major change is evident all over the country today and the credit goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi under whose leadership historic decisions like demonetisation, crackdown on benami property, a uniform tax regime under GST were taken. They put an end to a parallel economy run by black money," the BJP chief claimed.
19:10   Mehbooba asks police to adopt 'humane' approach
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today asked the police to adopt a more "relaxed and humane" approach in dealing with situations, so that the men in uniform acted as an "institution of public reassurance", rather than a "cause of fear" among the masses.
Chairing a meeting of senior police officers of the Kashmir province in Srinagar, she asked the force to take to social and community policing, an official spokesman said.
Mehbooba said a "compassionate and responsive" approach towards the law abiding citizens would automatically isolate the criminal elements in the society.
"This attitudinal change would make crime eradication much easier and also improve the image of the force in the eyes of the public," she said.
The chief minister asked the district superintendents of police to follow a "social catharsis" approach while dealing with the youth, which she said would persuade them not to trade the path of violent waywardness, thereby ushering them towards positive and gainful purposes in the society.
She also directed the officers to ensure that the incidents of breach of standard operating procedures by jawans after a security operation did not recur.
Asking the officers to enhance their public outreach in their respective areas, Mehbooba directed them to periodically visit the distant and far-off areas of their districts to get a feel of the needs and difficulties of the people.
She also directed them to step up the investigation in the cases of public interest.
Flagging drug abuse as a major challenge for the police, society and government, the chief minister directed the officers to go the whole hog against drug peddlers and those involved in the cultivation, transportation and trading of bhang in the state.
She directed them to use the most stringent provisions of law, including those of the Public Safety Act, against them so that the youth was saved from falling prey to drug abuse.
18:43   Govt will announce additional measures to boost economy: FM
The government is working on additional measures to bolster economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said while maintaining that inflation is well under control.
GDP growth hit a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the June quarter.
The minister said an announcement with regard to the additional steps will be made after consulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Jaitley has held a series of meetings in the past few days with some of his ministerial colleagues and senior government officials to take stock of the situation and firm up steps to push up growth.
On inflation, Jaitley said it is still within the statutorily fixed monetary policy target of 4 per cent.
"During monsoon period, vegetable prices generally go up. This is spike period. When it is 3.36 per cent in the spike period, it is under control as per the traditional Indian standard," he said.
Retail inflation hit a five-month high of 3.36 per cent in August.
"We have taken note of all economic indicators which are available... the government will take any additional moves which are necessary. I am not in a position to announce today in the press conference. I will be certainly consulting the prime minister before that and when we decide, you will come to know," he told reporters in New Delhi.
He further said this is a proactive government and has been reacting to the situation as when the situation demanded.
"We have been taking appropriate actions... we have been consistently moving on the reform agenda," he stressed.

Two years ago, India was touted as a rare bright spot in a gloomy global economy, with GDP growth outpacing a slowing China.
But since early 2016, GDP growth has fallen for six consecutive quarters, slumping to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter, with India losing the fastest growing economy tag to China for the second straight quarter.
Sectoral reasons and action points would be prepared, sources said, adding that high-level discussions with ministries such as the railways have been held to assess the capital requirement for the year and more such meetings would follow.

IMAGE: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses the media after a cabinet meeting in New Delhi. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI Photo
18:05   I invite Adityanath to visit my village and say which tree will bear what fruit: Akhilesh
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today called Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's 'white paper', highlighting the failure of previous regimes, a "book of lies".
He allged that the Adityanath government failed to bring about any development in the past six months.
"The 'white paper' released by him is a book of lies. The BJP just looks for misleading issues to garner votes," the former chief minister told reporters.
The Uttar Pradesh CM, in its 'white paper' released two days ago, indicted the previous Mayawati (2007-12) and Akhilesh Yadav (2012-17) governments over alleged corruption and anti-people policies.
Alleging that the BJP fooled farmers on loan waiver, Akhilesh said they have understood that the government had played a cruel joke on them.
"While highlighting his achievements, Adityanath forgot to check the certificates of the meagre loan amount that he has waived so far," he said.
He also hit back at the chief minister for saying that Akhilesh did not know the definition of a 'farmer'.
"I invite the CM to visit my village with me and say which tree will bear what fruit," he said.
The former CM said the Adityanath government was hampering development work in the state by calling off the projects initiated during his regime.
"The double engine" (state and Centre together) government should work at the speed of a 'bullet train' but it is not doing so. I challenge the government to perform better than my government," he said.
Asked about the CM's charges that two riots took place every week during the previous regime, Akhilesh said, "There is no law and order in the state. Policemen are being beaten up. The morale of the force has gone down."
The SP chief also raised the issue of the saffron party's alleged association with convicted 'godman' Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, and said that a number of photographs show BJP leaders with the Dera chief.
The ruling party is just trying to divert attention from core issues, Akhilesh said. 

17:24   Cant Durga Puja, Muharrum be held together, asks court
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal over notification imposing restrictions on Durga idol immersion (Vijaya Dashami) and Muharram falling on the same day.

The court, while hearing a plea against the directive, said that the Mamata administration must not create communal distinction and let people live in harmony. The court also asked why two communities can't celebrate together.

"When you (state government) are firm, there is communal harmony in the state. Why are you creating communal distinction between the two? Let them live in harmony. Do not create a line between them. Let them live together," the court observed.
16:49   'Rahul as Cong prez will give adrenaline rush to party'
Rahul Gandhi's ascension as Congress president would give an "adrenaline shot" to the party, but Sonia Gandhi would continue to play a major role in Indian politics even after the transition, says party veteran Salman Khurshid.

Amid reports that the elevation of the Gandhi scion is round the corner, the former Union minister said the transition is psychologically important for the party.

"It is also in many ways important organisationally because it gives a special... it gives an adrenaline shot to the party, and then every time there is a change of guard, as it were, in any organisation in any country, it brings fresh hope," he told PTI in an interview.

Khurshid said the general feeling in the party is that the transition should happen.

"People will be short-sighted if they think that this is going to be a routine transition because we have a huge psychological and political stature of present Congress president Sonia Gandhi and that's not going to get switched off simply by a transition", he said.

Khurshid said he felt Sonia Gandhi would continue to play a major role in politics but "in which manner she will accommodate that, is really for her to decide."

Maintaining that Rahul had his own style of functioning, he said the Congress vice president had a lot of fresh ideas. At an event in the US recently, Rahul Gandhi had said he was "absolutely ready" to take up an executive responsibility if the party asked him to do so. Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily had hinted last week that Rahul Gandhi may assume charge as early as next month.  -- PTI
16:39   Hooch manufacturers in UP could get death penalty
Acting tough on illicit liquor manufacturers, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to add a new section in the Excise Act to provide for death penalty for spurious liquor makers if its consumption causes death or permanent disability.   

The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, an official release said today.   

The measure would act as a deterrent to illicit liquor manufacturers.   

To stop the practice of manufacturing of spurious liquor, provisions of life imprisonment and death penalty will be incorporated in the existing law through an ordinance, which will have the provision of death penalty depending upon the intensity of the case (death by spurious liquor), the release said.

Image used for representational purpose only
16:34   Former UP CM N D Tiwari suffers brain stroke
Former Union minister N D Tiwari was admitted today to a private hospital in New Delhi after he suffered a brain stroke, his son Rohit Shekhar Tiwari said.   

Sources at Max Hospital in Saket said the condition of 91-year-old Tiwari, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is serious and he is being kept under observation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).   

A team of doctors is attending to him, they said.   

Rohit said his father fell unconscious this morning while having tea at his house in New Delhi.
16:03   'Contract marriage' racket busted in Hyderabad
The police have busted a racket of 'contract marriage' of local women and minor girls with men from the Middle East and Gulf countries.

The police have arrested 20 persons, including eight foreign nationals, in this connection, a senior official said today.

They also arrested three qazis (people who conduct the marriage), four lodge owners and five brokers/agents who mediated to get such marriages solemnised, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone) V Satyanarayana said.

"We busted the 'contract marriage' (short-term marriage) racket and foiled attempts by eight sheikhs from Arab, Oman and Qatar to marry local girls," he said.

"Two minor girls have been rescued. Preliminary investigation has revealed that through the contract marriages, these people planned to traffic at least 20 women and minor girls," the senior police officer told PTI.

Further probe was on into the racket, he said.

The Hyderabad police had in the past also busted several contract marriage rackets in the Old City area wherein such marriages were performed aided by fabricated documents.

The modus operandi of the agents in such rackets is to trap minor girls from poor families by luring them with money, and then practically selling them off to foreigners with the help of priests who solemnise the marriages, police earlier said.

At the time of marriage, the bride is made to sign blank bond papers of talaq, they said. -- PTI
Another view of the street alpona (rangoli) to celebrate the upcoming Durga Puja festival in Kolkata on Tuesday. PTI Photo
15:35   Kilometre-long rangoli ushers in Durga puja in Kolkata
A street art in the form of an alpana or rangoli has covered an entire 1.25-km stretch in South Kolkata, as part of Durga Puja decoration.

"An estimated 350 students from Art College have drawn various colour designs along a 1.25 km stretch from Sarat Bose Road to Vivekananda Park near the Samaj Sebi Sangha puja pandal," said Arijit Maitra, on behalf of the Samaj Sebi Sangha Puja Committee.

The initiative for the alpana was taken with support from a corporate house, he said.

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien tweeted with a video, "#Kolkata getting into the Pujo mood already. Lake Road. See what college students did. Wow."

The artwork was inaugurated by Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee yesterday. The unique rangoli became an instant hit on social media, with its pictures and videos posted and shared multiple times.

#Only in Kolkata. #Only Bengalis.

Image: An aerial view of the alpana at Lake Road in south Kolkata. Pic courtesy: Facebook
15:16   Cyclone warning in Mumbai fake news, says IMD
Mumbai's disaster management cell says that reports of a cyclone are not true. @DisasterMgmtMum tweets: "As informed by IMD there is no cyclone warning for Mumbai. Citizens r requested not to spread & trust rumour."

IMD posted another tweet thereafter saying, there would be intermittent showers in the city and suburbs with heavy rainfall at one or two places.

Heavy rains coupled with thunder and lightning affected weather in most parts of Mumbai since last evening. Schools and colleges have been shut as precaution and flights towards and from the financial capital are hit. As many as 56 flights were diverted to different airports till this morning as the main runway continued to be out of use due to the SpiceJet aircraft stuck there, an airport official said. The main runway at the Mumbai airport is unlikely to be functional before this evening.

The downpour is likely to continue for the next 24 hours, the weather department predicted. Several parts of the city including South Mumbai, Kandivili, Borivali, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall.

This is the second time in two months that Mumbai is hit with heavy rains.1200 hrs: In last 1 hr light rain recorded in Mumbai City & Western Suburbs. Moderate rain in Eastern Suburb. Trains & Road traffic normal.
14:32   'Dera folllowers scattered ashes of kin in sect HQ'
Around 300-400 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda had over the years scattered ashes of their relatives after their cremation inside the sect headquarters as part of "rituals", a senior Dera functionary has told a Special Investigation Team of Haryana Police.

On media reports suggesting skeletons used to be buried in Dera premises, the Sirsa SIT headed by Dabwali DSP Kuldeep Singh Beniwal said, "No such fact has come to our notice".

A Special Investigation Team of the Haryana Police yesterday evening questioned Dera Sacha Sauda Management Committee senior vice president P R Nain for two-and-a-half hours at Sirsa.

"Being a senior functionary, Nain was quizzed about various issues relating to the Dera. He was also asked about people who had gathered in Panchkula and Sirsa (ahead of Dera chief's conviction).

"Nain was also in-charge of the agriculture wing of the Dera. He placed facts on record stating that some followers used to bring human ashes and scatter these in Dera premises as part of rituals," the DSP told PTI over phone.

"He placed on record that 300-400 followers had put ashes of their kin in the premises over past many years. The Dera maintained addresses and other contact details of such people, which Nain showed us," he said.

He said Nain had been quizzed at length and if the need is felt, he will again be called for questioning. The SIT had earlier this week questioned Dera chairperson Vipassana Insan in connection with several issues including whereabouts of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim's adopted daughter Honeypreet, violence that had broken out in Panchkula and Sirsa following the sect head's rape conviction. "If the need is felt, we will again call her for questioning," Beniwal said.

Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for raping two disciples. He is lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak. Violence erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana on August 25 following the conviction of Ram Rahim. The mayhem left 35 dead in Panchkula and six in Sirsa.
14:07   Why Suu Kyi did not name Rohingyas in state address
When Myanmar State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi broke her silence over the Rohingya refugee issue and delivered a State of the Union address at Naypyitaw on Tuesday morning, she refrained from referring to the Muslim minority as 'Rohingyas', inviting the ire of the global community.

There were petitions floating online calling for 'Daw Suu' to be stripped of her Nobel Peace Prize.In her defence, however, she asserts that she intended to not use 'emotive' terms for an already affected population.

"There has been a lot of controversy with regard to the term used to describe the Muslims in Rakhine as there are those who want to call themselves as Rohingyas or who want to refer to the Muslims there as Rohingyas. There are those who want to call themselves as just Bengalis, which are not ethnic Rakhine," Suu Kyi said, in an exclusive interview with ANI in Myanmar's Naypyitaw.

"I think instead of using this emotive term as it is 'highly charged', it is better just to say Muslims. It's just a description that nobody can deny. We are talking about the Muslim community in the Rakhine state, and I do not see any point using terms that inflame passions further," she added.

When asked to make a distinction on whether the Rohingya issue was a humanitarian or a socio-economical crisis, the de-facto leader said, "It is a humanitarian issue, which has risen out of long-term social-economic problems. The problems of the Rakhine state go back to the 19th century. We have to deal with it and resolve it. And obviously, it is not something we can do overnight and it's not something we can find simple answers to, because building up trust and harmony between the two communities that have been hostile to one another is not easy. But there are places in the Rakhine state, where the communities live in a harmonious way and we want to see why it is not possible in some other places."   -- ANI
13:53   BCCI nominates Dhoni for Padma Bhushan
The Indian cricket board has nominated Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the country's third highest civilian award -- the Padma Bhushan -- for his contribution to the game.

A senior BCCI official confirmed that the Board has only sent one name for the Padma awards this year and it was a unanimous decision to nominate India's most successful captain.

"Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been nominated by the BCCI for the Padma Bhushan award. There was no doubt among the members that Dhoni has impeccable credentials. Two World titles (2011 50-over World Cup and 2007 World T20), nearly 10,000 runs, 90 Test matches. There is no one better than him, who could have been nominated," a senior BCCI official said.
Quick takes from the Madras High Court order:

1) Speaker and assembly secretary to explain to HC regarding the 18 MLAs disqualification.

2) EC should not announce election to 18 constituencies till further orders

3) No floor test till further orders. Speaker sought 10 days to respond.

4) Case posted for 4 October.
Just in: BCCI nominates MS Dhoni for Padma Bhushan award. 
Madras High Court extends stay order on floor test in Tamil Nadu Assembly until further orders.
13:10   Dam breaks before Nitish inaugurates
In a major embarrassment for the Bihar government, the inauguration of the Rs 389.31 crore Ganga pump canal scheme by the chief minister today was cancelled after a canal wall collapsed and the gushing waters inundated parts of a township.

The wall broke up after being forcefully hit by the Ganga river waters when the pump was switched on for a trial run yesterday at Bateshwarsthan in Bhagalpur district.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate the canal scheme, which was aimed at providing irrigation facilities in the state and neighbouring Jharkhand.

The water gushed into Kahalgaon and inundated areas in NTPC township as well some civil areas including the residence of the Kahalgaon civil judge and the sub-judge.

Former ally, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav tweeted, "828 Crores? The claimant of honesty, morality & transparency is on chair for past 12 years."

"The proposed programme of the chief minister at Bhagalpur today has been cancelled due to technical reasons," an official statement said in Patna yesterday. Advertisements were inserted in newspapers yesterday about the inauguration of the project by the CM in the presence of Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and local Congress MLA Sadanand Singh.

RJD workers burnt an effigy of Kumar and Lallan in Bhagalpur, alleging corruption in construction of the project. Principal Secretary of Water Resources department Arun Kumar Singh along with the Bhagalpur DM and SP were supervising efforts to drain out water from the NTPC township and some civil areas of Kahalgaon, around 3 km from the project site.

The Rs 389.31 crore project has a total irrigation capacity of 27603 hectares out of which 22816 is in Bihar and 4887 hectares in Jharkhand. The Planning Commission had originally approved the project in 1977 at an estimated cost of Rs 13.88 crore. The first administrative approval to the project was provided in 2008 involving a cost of Rs 389.31 crore, the brochure said.

-- PTI

Image: Water gushed into Kahalgaon and inundated areas in NTPC township as well some civil areas
As ever, Amul says it best. A tribute to Marshal Arjan Singh who passed away on Monday.

12:47   Third suspect arrested in London Tube train bombing
The British police have arrested a third man in connection with the terror attack on a packed London Tube train that wounded 30 people last week. Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Command investigating the Friday attack arrested the 25-year-old from Newport, South Wales yesterday.

The Metropolitan Police said that an address in Newport is being searched in this connection. On Saturday, an 18-year-old man was detained at Dover port and a 21-year-old was arrested in Hounslow in west London.

Both suspects were being held under the UK's Terrorism Act and being questioned at a south London police station. The suspects have not been named officially but the 21- year-old has been identified locally as Syrian refugee Yahyah Faroukh.

Thirty people were injured during the attack in which an improvised explosive device was detonated on a Tube train at Parsons Green underground station during morning rush hour on September 15. -- PTI
12:10   Decision on anticipatory bail for Ryan school founders on Monday
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued a notice to the Haryana government on the anticipatory bail plea filed by the three trustees of Ryan International School in connection with the murder of a student in its Gurgaon school.

However, the single bench of Justice Inderjit Singh did not grant a stay on arrests in the matter. The court has posted the matter for next Monday.

"The single bench has issued notice of motion to the Haryana government seeking its response on the anticipatory bail plea," said the counsel for the Ryan trustees.

The group's CEO, Ryan Pinto, and his parents, founding chairman Augustine Pinto and managing director Grace Pinto, had approached the High Court last week, seeking anticipatory bail.

Yesterday, Justice A B Chaudhari had recused himself from hearing their plea. On September 14, the Bombay High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail pleas of the three Mumbai-based trustees.

The Pintos had approached the Bombay High Court after the school was accused of negligence in the death of seven-year- old Pradhyumn who was murdered in a toilet of Ryan International in Gurgaon on September 8. Bus conductor Ashok Kumar was arrested in connection with the crime.
11:58   Unemployment led Modi to power: Rahul
Leaders like Narendra Modi and Donald Trump are being elected all over the world as people are in pain due to unemployment, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said today, but stressed that even the prime minister was not doing enough to solve the key problem facing India.

Gandhi, 47, who is in the US on a two-week-long tour, during his interaction with students at the prestigious Princeton University admitted that Modi-led BJP came to power in India as the people were angry with his Congress party over the issue of unemployment.

Employment is an all-encompassing means to empower, enfranchise and involve Indians in the nation building process, he said. "I think, the central reason why Mr Modi arose and to an extent why Mr Trump came, is the question of jobs in India and in the United States. There's a large part of our populations that simply do not have jobs and cannot see a future. And, so they are feeling pain. And they have supported these type of leaders," Gandhi told students.

He said the another problem is that nobody was recognising that unemployment was a problem. "I do not know Trump. I don't go there. But, certainly our prime minister is not doing enough (in creating jobs)," said the Congress leader.

Gandhi has repeatedly raised the issue of joblessness during his meetings with experts, business leaders and Congressmen in the US.

"Currently, we are not producing enough jobs. 30,000 new youngsters are joining the job market every single day and yet the government is only creating 500 jobs a day. And this doesn't include the massive pool of already unemployed youngsters," Gandhi had said in his earlier address at the University of California in Berkeley.

At Princeton, Gandhi said India needed to transform itself to compete with China and for that the people in the country required jobs. "Those same people who got angry with us because we couldn't deliver on those 30,000 jobs (a day) are going to get angry with Mr Modi. The central question is resolving that problem. My main issue with Mr Modi is that he diverts that issue and points the finger somewhere else instead of saying listen we have a problem," he said. "There is anger building up in India right now. We can sense it. So to me the challenge is how to solve that job growth problem in a democratic environment. That's the challenge," he said.

"So we have to first accept it as a problem. Then we have to unite and try to solve it. Right now, nobody is even accepting it as a problem," he argued. Focusing a major part of his question and answer session at Princeton on jobs, Gandhi asserted that new technologies and modernisation are unlikely to kill jobs.

"The nature of what we call it a blue collar job is going to change. But the question is who is going to have those jobs and which countries are going to have access to those jobs," he said. 
11:43   2 Pakistani intruders shot dead by BSF
The Border Security Force shot dead two Pakistani intruders along the Indo-Pak border today when they refused to surrender while crossing over to Indian territory.

DIG BSF J S Oberio said the BSF shot dead two Pakistani intruders when they ignored warnings and kept marching towards BSF troops aggressively.

The incident took place along the Indo-Pak border in Ajnala sector of Amritsar at BOP Shahpur where BSF troops spotted two Pakistani nationals who crossed over to India and refused to surrender. The border guarding force said it has recovered the bodies of the two.

An AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol and over two dozen bullet rounds were recovered from them. A Border Security Force spokesperson said that a Pakistani SIM card, four kgs of heroin and Pakistani currency worth Rs 20,000 were recovered from the two.

"When challenged by BSF troops, infiltrators fired on ambush line with automatic weapons. Taking cover, the fire was appropriately retaliated and infiltrators were neutralised near the border fence," the spokesperson said.

-- PTI
11:41   Erm
Maneka Gandhi @Manekagandhibjp I was delighted to know that Shri @girirajsinghbjp ji has also been working for welfare of cows through monetisation of gobar.
11:09   Mumbai: Main runway unlikely to be functional before evening
Mumbai airport update: A SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 183 people overshot a wet runway while landing at the airport in rain-hit Mumbai and got stuck in the mud, officials said yesterday, adding that all passengers were safely evacuated.

As many as 56 flights were diverted to different airports till this morning as the main runway continued to be out of use due to the SpiceJet aircraft stuck there, an airport official said.

The main runway at the Mumbai airport is unlikely to be functional before this evening as the SpiceJet aircraft remained stuck on it.

The Mumbai airport operator has been given NOTAM (notice to airmen) for the main runway till 2 pm, which means the flight operations cannot be carried out on it till that time, a senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said today.

The clearing of the main runway may take a longer time than expected and the operations there are unlikely to resume before evening, the official said. Following the downpour, several airlines issued travel advisories to passengers.

The Mumbai airport, the country's second busiest airport, handles 930 flights per day with an average of 48 movements per hour.
10:57   IMD removes 'heavy rain' warning for Mumbai
We have removed warning (for heavy rainfall), intermittent rainfall likely over city and suburbs for the next 48 hours. Now rainfall will decrease, but light to moderate rainfall to continue in Mumbai region. Situation will improve from now onwards: Ajay Kumar, Scientist IMD.

Heavy rains pounded the city and suburbs for the second day today, disrupting flight operations at the Mumbai airport and delaying suburban train services in the financial capital. According to an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's disaster management cell, no untoward incident was reported after the incessant downpour.
10:30   Mumbai rains: Worst over, says MeT
As the Meteorological Department (MeT) has alerted that high tide is expected on Wednesday afternoon at 12.03 pm of 4.5mm and also warned of heavy rainfall in next 24 hours, it has said that the worst is over.

Since Tuesday, Mumbai is witnessing heavy rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning which has led to water-logging in many low-lying areas like the airport, Malad subway, King Circle and the Hindmata area in Dadar.

Mumbai's lifeline local trains services were delayed between 15 - 20 minutes due to heavy downpour, with some cancellation in services in Central and Western railway.

Yesterday evening, flight operations at Mumbai airport were suspended for nearly half an hour due to poor visibility and water-logging on the runway.

Some flights from Goa, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore were also diverted.

Reportedly, yesterday Mumbai recorded its second highest rain in September in a span of 12 hours.

On August 29, Mumbai recorded 297.6 mm rain in nine hours (8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.), higher than any 24-hour rain in August in a decade which had brought the city to a halt, as commuters waded through chest-deep waters.

IMAGE: Vehicles make their way through a flooded road after heavy rains in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, yesterday. Photograph: PTI Photo
10:02   Mumbai: Flights arriving but delayed, 50 diverted
Airport update: Many flights from Delhi-Mumbai have been cancelled/delayed due to bad weather supplemented by the SpiceJet flight incident at Mumbai airport. At least 13 Mumbai-Delhi flights have been delayed,15 cancelled and 50 diverted. The airport spokesperson said that heavy rainfall and bad tail winds at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has resulted in flights taking off and  landing from the secondary runway as the main runway is closed. This means there are delays in arrival and departure flights because of the fluctuating weather.
09:40   Mumbai rains: Situation improving, but alert continues
Mumbai city recorded 210 mm rainfall, suburb recorded 303 mm rainfall and Dahanu near Mumbai recorded 304 mm rainfall in the past 24 hours, K S Hosalikar, deputy director general of India Meteorological Department said.

"This has been recorded in the past 24 hours, till 8:30 am," he said, adding, "Warnings continue today but situation is improving. We are keeping a close watch." -- ANI

IMAGE: A water-logged road in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photograph: ANI
09:32   No dabbawala service in rain-hit Mumbai today
The dabbawalas of Mumbai today cancelled their delivery of over two lakh tiffins to office-goers in the city in view of the disruption of suburban rail services after heavy rains.

The tiffin delivery men use suburban trains to ensure the lunch boxes reach their destination on time.

"The over 5,000 dabbawalas, who deliver around two lakh dabbas (tiffins) a day won't be able to do so today due to disruption of train services after heavy rains," Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association said.

"We will resume our services tomorrow," he said.

The three railway lines -- Western, Central and Harbour -- that link 70 stations, ensure that lunch boxes travel from the farthest northern suburbs to business areas on the southern tip of the city within a maximum of two hours, Talekar said.  -- PTI
09:09   Mumbai rains: 56 flights diverted; main runway at airport still shut
Flight operations at the Mumbai airport remain affected for the second day today following heavy rains that continue to lash the metropolis.

The skidding of a SpiceJet aircraft on the main runway (09/27) last night compounded the problem further as it forced the private airport operator to shift operations to the secondary runway, which can carry out limited operations.

The SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 183 people overshot a wet runway while landing at the airport in rain-hit Mumbai and got stuck in the mud, officials said yesterday, adding that all passengers were safely evacuated.

As many as 56 flights have been diverted to different airports till this morning as the main runway continues to be out of use due to the SpiceJet aircraft stuck there, an airport official said.

Following the downpour, several airlines issued travel advisories to the passengers.

'#TravelAdvisory #6EUpdate Weather has improved, however, flights to/from Mumbai are still getting affected due last night weather,' budget carrier IndiGo said in a tweet.

Partial operation is being carried out from the secondary runway (14/32 ) but due to the tailwinds, flight departures and arrivals are quite slow.

"Current visibility is 1,600 metres with winds of 12 knots. Runway 14 is being used for arrivals while Runway 32 is being used for departures. The disabled aircraft recovery kit from Air India is at site and preparation of pavement underneath the aircraft is in progress," a Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson said.

Mumbai airport, the country's second busiest airport, handles 930 flights per day with an average of 48 movements per hour.  -- PTI
08:52   Mumbai rains: Ops underway to take out aircraft stuck in mud
Due to heavy rains in Mumbai, a SpiceJet flight overshot runway 27 while landing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and skidded off into the unpaved surface due to wet runway.

However, all the passengers are safe and ops are underway to take out the aircraft that got stuck in mud.

Meanwhile at the airport, runway 14 and runway 32 operational at present.

Photograph: ANI
08:14   Mumbai braces for another day of downpour; rail, air traffic hit
People of Mumbai and adjoining region braced for another spell of heavy rains today, a day after incessant downpour disrupted normal life in the megapolis, affecting rail, road and air traffic.

Commuters stuck at various stations since last night due to disruption of suburban train services were seen making their way home this morning as the situation improved overnight.

A forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall at few places with extremely heavy rainfall in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai is expected in the next 24 hours, according to India Meteorological Department, Mumbai.

Heavy rains hit flight operations at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport wherhe both runways had to be shut for sometime.

The main runway is still closed while the second runway is operating. A total of 56 flights have been diverted to Goa, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad.

Five Western Railways trains have so far been cancelled. A total of six trains are cancelled and two diverted on Central Railways.

Several areas are massively waterlogged and a high tide is expected at around 12:03 pm today.

Mumbai Dabbawala Association spokesperson Subhash Talekar said they 'won't be working today'.

"No dabba delivery by Mumbai Dabbawalas due to rains today," he said.

An IMD official said the Santacruz observatory recorded 225.3 mm rain from 8.30 am to 11.30 pm last night.

This quantity falls under the weather category of 'extremely heavy rain' (204.5 mm and above), he said.

The observatory recorded over 100 mm in just three hours (5.30-8.30pm), the official added.

Mumbai recorded its second highest September rain in a span of 12 hours yesterday, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials said.

The rainfall recorded at BMC's automatic weather stations between 8 am and 10 pm included Nariman Point (88mm), Worli (110mm), Chembur (112mm), Mulund (94mm), Andheri (208mm), Bandra (128mm) and Borivli (204mm). There is a high tide warning at 12.03 pm of 4.54 metres for today, they added.

Schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been instructed to remain closed today in backdrop of heavy rains.

"Schools are instructed to remain close tomorrow for safety due to mixed predictions. This holiday will be compensated in Diwali," Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde said. -- PTI, ANI

IMAGE: A bus stuck in a waterlogged subway in western Mumbai. Photograph: ANI
00:29   Dynasty a trait of Congress not country: Amit Shah
Taking on Rahul Gandhi for his Berkley remark on dynasticism in India, BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday said it is a trait peculiar to the Congress and not the country.

Shah described the BJP as the only party in the country in which internal democracy prevails.

"Dynasticism is a trait of the Congress. Don't impose it on the country Rahul ji", Shah said, addressing a conference of intellectuals in Dehradun. 

He said his own rise to the BJP's top post, despite a non-political family background, is a testimony to the fact that the party gives importance to an individual's abilities and not his lineage. 

 "I began by putting up party posters and banners and now I head the world's largest political party. It could have been possible only in a party like BJP which believes in internal democracy," Shah said. 

He said no one in the country has any doubt on who would succeed Sonia Gandhi as Congress president but asked if anyone knew who the next BJP president would be.

"Rahul will succeed Sonia, Mulayam has already been succeeded by Akhilesh, Lalu's sons will succeed him. These are things no one has any doubt about. Apart from BJP all other political parties have become family centric which place family interest above all else," Shah said.