Tue, 16 January 2018
What about funds given for Hindu pilgrimages?: Owaisi on Haj subsidy withdrawal

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23:32   What about funds given for Hindu pilgrimages?: Owaisi on Haj subsidy withdrawal
Attacking the BJP for calling Haj subsidy a form of Muslim appeasement and vote bank politics, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi today claimed the party's government in Uttar Pradesh gave funds for pilgrimages, and
wanted to know if that would be stopped.
Funds are also given for the Kumbh Mela, while the Congress government in Karnataka gives grants to those who undertake 'Chardham Yatra', Owaisi claimed, adding he himself had demanded withdrawal of the Haj subsidy long ago.
"Haj subsidy this year is (Rs) 200 crore & it would have been phased out by 2022 as per Supreme Court order, since 2006 I have been demanding that should be removed & used for Muslim girls education upliftment," Owaisi tweeted.
There will be no subsidy for Haj from this year, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today, calling the step "part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement".
Owaisi, in another tweet, asked if the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh would stop the funds, which he said, are given for pilgrimage to Ayodhya, Kashi and other temple towns.

"#Haj Subsidy BJP /RSS had called It appeasement, vote Bank Pol my Qs to BJP will you bring a Bill in parliament remove Article 290A of Constitution, Will BJP Tell Yogi govt to stop 800 crore for pilgrimage to Ayodhya,Kashi,Mathura 1.5 lakh to each Manasarovar yatri?" he asked.
Article 290A relates to annual payment to certain Devaswom Funds.
"Haj Subsidy 3 Qs to BJP/RSS Why did Haryana government give 1 Crore to Dera Sacha Sauda was it for electoral appeasement? 4qs why did Modi govt gave grant of 100 crore to MP govt for Simhastha Maha Kumbh & MP govt had spend 3,400 crore was this not appeasement," Owaisi said in a series of tweets.
Claiming that the Congress government in Karnataka gave Rs 20,000 to each pilgrim who undertook 'Chardham Yatra', Owaisi asked whether it was not "appeasement of majority".
Would the NDA government "walk the talk" by allocating enough funds for the education of Muslims girls, he asked.
"I challenge the Modi Government to walk the talk by allocating 2,0000 crores for Muslim girls scholarships...will wait and see in next budget 18-19," he said.  -- PTI
22:46   Togadia has Z plus security, encounter not possible: police
The Ahmedabad police today dismissed Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia's claim that he could have been killed in a fake encounter, saying it is nearly impossible to eliminate someone who has 'Z-plus' security.
A top police official also said that all the time he was 'missing' yesterday, Togadia was at his aide's house.
Togadia, who became untraceable for some time yesterday before he was admitted to a hospital, today claimed he went into hiding after learning that a police team from Rajasthan had come to "encounter" him.
Speaking to reporters, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, J K Bhatt said investigation revealed that Togadia was conscious -- contrary to his account that he became uunconscious -- on his way to airport. He reached a spot near the airport in a car owned by his aide Ghanshyam Charandas, who then called a '108' ambulance.
"Z-plus is one of the best security cover, as you get a pilot vehicle, a bulletproof vehicle and inspector-level armed personnel having AK-47 rifles. So it is nearly impossible to get killed in an encounter. It (Togadia's
apprehension) is just a figment of imagination," Bhatt said.
According to police, after leaving the VHP's office in Paldi area around 10.30 yesterday morning, Togadia reached Charandas's house in Thaltej and stayed there till evening.
"Around 8.35 pm, Ghanshyam and Togadia reached Sardarnagar area in Ghanshyam's car. Then Ghanshyam called 108 ambulance service by telling the operator that an unidentified person is ill. When the ambulance arrived, Ghanshyam told the staff to take that person straight to Chandrmani Hospital in Shahibaug," said Bhatt.
Doctors at the hospital were possibly informed in advance about Togadia's visit, as "call records even suggested that the doctor was contacted at around 6.00 pm over mobile phone", the police officer said.
"If Togadia wanted to go somewhere, he should have taken the security personnel along...This whole issue could have been avoided if he had taken the security personnel along," Bhatt said.
Togadia, addressing a press conference at the hospital, claimed that attempts were being made to silence him when he was raising the voice of the Hindu community. -- PTI
22:28   To defend a nation, one needs a strong military: Netanyahu @ Raisina Dialogue
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the third edition of the geo-political conference, 'Raisina Dialogue', in New Delhi today and laid stress on the need to develop economic, military and political power to emerge as a strong nation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also attended the inaugural session.
Delivering his inaugural address, the Israeli premier appreciated the efforts being made by the Narendra Modi government to cut bureaucratic red tape and improve ease of doing business.
Netanyahu, on a six-day visit to India, said a government can both facilitate and block economic growth. Growth is possible when there is a free market which facilitates innovation by business entities, he said.
Referring to economic growth, he said, "The weak don't survive, the strong make alliance with the strong."
He said that to defend a nation, one needs a strong military which in turn requires a lot of money. The money, he said, comes from a strong economy.
Netanyahu stressed that alliance between democracies was important.
The event, jointly organised by the ministry of external affairs and Observer Research Foundation, is a multilateral conference aimed at addressing challenging issues globally.
The theme of the dialogue this year is 'Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms'. -- PTI
21:55   WEF@Davos: Modi to address opening plenary
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum's Davos summit next week, while the keynote address will be given by United States President Donald Trump at the annual jamboree of the global elite to be attended by 70 state heads.
Besides, 38 heads of major international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as also nearly 2,000 CEOs including over 100 from India will be present at the five-day WEF Annual Meeting 2018, beginning on January 22 with a welcome reception to be hosted by India.
Announcing the official programme in Geneva today, the WEF said the summit will see the largest ever engagement of global leaders this year where the key talking points would include international security, environment and the global economy.
The theme of the meeting, spread over 400 sessions, would be 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World', while the meeting would also see the largest ever proportion of women leaders (21 per cent) including all co-chairs being women this time including social entrepreneur Chetna Sinha from India and IMF's Christine Lagarde, the WEF said.
Modi will be accompanied by six union ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal, Suresh Prabhu, Dharmendra Pradhan, M J Akbar and Jitendra Singh.
Besides, two chief ministers (Devendra Fadnavis and Chandrababu Naidu) and over 100 CEOs would take India's total presence to 129 -- the fourth highest after the US (780), the UK (266) and Switzerland (233 people). China will have 118 participants.
Women participants would account for 12 per cent of total Indian presence, compared to 27 per cent from the US, 24 per cent from the UK, 22 per cent from Germany, 20 per cent from Switzerland, 19 per cent for China and 18 per cent for France.
The WEF said its 48th Annual Meeting will focus on finding ways to reaffirm international cooperation on crucial shared interests, such as international security, the environment and the global economy.
The meeting comes at a time when geostrategic competition among states is generally seen to be on the rise.
Alongside international cooperation, an additional priority of the meeting will be to overcome divisions within countries, said the WEF which describes itself as an international public-private organisation focussed on
improving the state of the world.
The WEF said divisions have often been caused by breakdowns in the social contract as a result of failure to protect societies from the transformational impacts of a succession of shocks, from globalisation to the proliferation of social media and the birth of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
"Collectively, these shocks have caused a loss of trust in institutions and damaged the relationship between business and society," it added. -- PTI
21:10   Pay more for lower berths, during festivals: Railway panel
Railway passengers could be shelling out more for choosing lower berths and travels during festive seasons, if the recommendations of a fare review committee are approved by the railway board.
The panel constituted to review the flexi-fare system in premium trains has recommended that the transport behemoth adopt the dynamic pricing model followed by airlines and hotels, sources said.
Like flyers pay more for front-row seats, railway passengers too could be paying extra for seats of their choice, the sources said.
There also could be an increase in fares of trains which have "convenient" timings and are more popular on a particular route, they said.
The committee has also recommended that instead of having flat fares, the railways should increase fares during festive seasons, and reduce them during lean months.
It has also suggested that passengers be offered discounts on trains reaching destinations at inconvenient times, for example between 0000 and 0400 hours and 1300 and 1700 hours, they said.
The committee consists of some Railway Board officials, NITI Aayog adviser Ravinder Goyal, Executive Director (Revenue Management) of Air India Meenakshi Malik, professor S Sriram, and Iti Mani, Director, Revenue, Le Meridien, Delhi.

The committee, which submitted its report to the railway board yesterday, has proposed these changes in the flexi-fare system which led to up to 50 per cent increase in fares of premium trains, drawing opposition from certain sections. 
Under the flexi formula, base fares increase by 10 per cent (up to 50 per cent) after every 10 per cent of berths booked.
The committee, the sources said, has also recommended premium charges for overnight trains and trains with pantry cars. -- PTI 

Image used along with used for representational purposes only 
21:05   Only Togadia can tell who is behind plot to kill him: Senior RSS leader
Senior RSS leader M G Vaidya said today only VHP leader Pravin Togadia can reveal who was behind the alleged conspiracy to kill him.
"Togadia has said he will provide evidence (to show who was behind the conspiracy). We should wait till then," Vaidya said.
"Togadia hasn't made any allegations against Gujarat police," Vaidya said in Nagpur, responding to remarks by the VHP leader.
Togadia, the international working president of the VHP, became untraceable for some time yesterday before he was admitted to a hospital in Ahmedabad in an unconscious state.
Togadia told reporters today he left his house after getting some messages that a team of Rajasthan police was coming to arrest and "encounter" (kill in a fake encounter) him.
"Togadia has said he will come out with evidence. He should give the evidence about his claims," Vaidya said.

"Only Togadia can reveal who was behind the conspiracy to kill him," Vaidya said, wondering how someone with Z-plus security can be eliminated in an encounter. -- PTI  
20:32   Pak examining proposal for DGMO-level talks with India: report
Pakistan is examining a proposal for a Director Generals of Military Operations-level meeting with India after a gap of four years to reduce tensions along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary through fresh confidence-building measures, a media report said today.
The report comes a day after Pakistan said four of its soldiers died and five others injured in cross-border firing by Indian troops across the LoC. The Indian Army, however, said seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in its retaliatory firing.
A Pakistan defence ministry official in a meeting yesterday told the Senate defence committee that a "fresh proposal of DGMOs' meeting is being considered," the Dawn reported.
The official also briefed the senators about the latest trends in Indian ceasefire violations, it said.
In November, a telephonic conversation between the two DGMOs took place following a request by the Pakistani side.
According to the report, one of the confidence-building measures being considered for the planned meeting of DGMOs is "calibre reduction" of the arms being used at the LoC.
Pakistan-India DGMOs have a frequent hotline contact, but they last met face-to-face four years ago at Wagah, a village which serves as a transit terminal between Lahore and Amritsar.
The December 24, 2013 Wagah meeting had taken place after a break of 14 years. That meeting too was held to discuss ways to ensure peace along the LoC and the Working Boundary.

Meanwhile, a resolution adopted by the Senate committee through consensus condemned Indian Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat's statement about "calling nuclear bluff of Pakistan" as "stupidity and provocative".
They termed it a "war-like" proclamation, the report said. -- PTI 
19:50   Black money: Govt to deregister 1.20L more cos
The government today said it has decided to strike off the names of 1.20 lakh more companies from the official records for various non-compliances as part of its continuing fight against the black money menace.
Nearly 2.26 lakh companies have already been deregistered and around 3.09 lakh directors associated with these entities have been disqualified.
The latest decision to strike off more 1.20 lakh companies from official records came after a review meeting of the actions taken with respect to deregistered firms last week.
Minister of State for Corporate Affairs P P Chaudhary, who chaired the review meeting, has directed officials to expedite action against the companies that are to be struck off the records. 
For various non-compliances, around 1,20,000 more companies have been identified for striking-off, the corporate affairs ministry said in a release.
Till the end of December 2017, over 2.26 lakh companies were deregistered for various non-compliances and being inactive for long.
These moves are part of larger efforts to curb illicit fund flows.
According to the release, 1,157 cases had been filed with the National Company Law Tribunal for restoration of deregistered companies.
"Out of these cases, NCLT had given orders for considering restoration of 180 companies, of which 128 companies have already been restored by the concerned Registrars of Companies after completion of the
requisite compliance formalities," it said.
With respect to 992 court cases pertaining to disqualification of directors that are pending with various high courts, the ministry said around 190 cases have been disposed of.
Besides, the minister has asked for handling cases under the Condonation of Delay Scheme on a priority basis in order to ensure that eligible companies can avail the benefit.
The scheme, which would be operational till March 31, 2018, provides an opportunity for defaulting companies to submit their filings. -- PTI
19:46   3 persons killed in Jallikattu and Manjavirattu in Tamil Nadu
Three persons were killed during the traditional bull taming sports of Jallikattu and Manjavirattu held today as part of Pongal festivities in different places in Tamil Nadu.
Two spectators died watching the Manjavirattu (a bull- taming sport slightly different from Jallikattu) at Siravayal in neighbouring Sivaganga district, police said.
In Aavarangaadu in Tiruchirappalli district, a person named Solai Pandian was gored to death by a raging bull during Jallikattu.
With this, the toll in the bull taming sport this season has risen to four. A 19-year old spectator was gored to death by a bull at Palamedu in this district yesterday.
At the world famous Jallikattu in Alanganallur near here, at least 25 people were injured today.      

Chief Minister K Palaniswami inaugurated the event, which saw the participation of nearly 1,100 bulls and 1,500 sportsmen, who vied for honours.
Later, speaking to reporters, he said the bulls were not ill-treated.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who was also present, said a permanent venue would be set up for organising Jallikattu in Alanganallur.
A large number of spectators, including foreign tourists, thronged Alanganallur village and cheered the competitors.
The winners received prizes, ranging from gold coins to furniture.
19:28   Raise awareness on sanitary napkins: HC to Maha govt
The Bombay high court today asked the Maharashtra government what steps it has taken to bring down prices of sanitary napkins and spread awareness about their use.
A division bench of Justices N H Patil and N W Sambre said it was an important issue affecting half the population.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Shetty Women Welfare Foundation, which raised the issue of non-availability of sanitary napkins for "over 80 per cent of women" because of lack of awareness or high prices.
The petition also challenged the 12 per cent goods and services tax on sanitary napkins.
"This is an important issue... it affects half the population. What has the Maharashtra government done to increase and spread awareness about the use of sanitary napkins," Justice Patil asked.
The the state government should also consider lowering the costs of sanitary napkins, he said.
"The state government also needs to consider cutting down the cost of these napkins...make them available at concessional rates," he said.
The court said the government should promote Indian manufacturers which would bring down prices.
"First step is (creating) effective awareness and the second step is making the napkins available and at a subsidised rate," Justice Patil said.
The bench suggested that the government issue guidelines to Gram Panchayats which could ask their women members to spread awareness on the issue in rural areas.
The high court directed the state's principal secretary and secretaries of the departments concerned to hold discussions on the issue.
On the subject of GST, the judges said it would be better if the additional solicitor general (who represents the Centre) assisted the court during further hearings.
The bench posted the petition for hearing after two weeks. -- PTI 
19:21   Govt fast tracks purchase of assault rifles, carbines for Rs 3,547 cr
The Defence Acquisition Council today cleared the procurement of assault rifles and carbines worth Rs 3,547 crore on "fast track basis" to meet the immediate requirement of troops deployed on the borders, defence ministry sources said.

Under the proposal, cleared at the meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, 72,000 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines will be procured, the sources said. 

The procurement is expected to address the shortage of weapons for the armed forces, they added. -- PTI
Moshe's former Indian nanny Sandra Samuels who saved the child during the 26//1 Mumbai terror attack, revisited the Nariman House. Photograph: Courtesy Chabad House
Moshe Holtzberg at Nariman House. Photograph: Courtesy Chabad House
17:55   9 years after parents' death, Moshe visits Nariman House
Moshe Holtzberg today visited Nariman House, where his parents lost their lives in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Moshe, who arrived in Mumbai today for the first time since the tragedy struck the family over nine years ago, said he was happy to visit the city.

Shalom... bahut khushi (Im very happy), said a shy Moshe, who arrived at the Mumbai airport shortly after 8 am.

The boy, who is now 11 years old, was accompanied by his grandfather Shimon Rosenberg.
I feel very happy to come to India, to Nariman House where I am going to pray. I will say hi to the people of India. I feel very good in this country, Rosenberg said.

Moshe was two years old when his parents -- Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka -- were killed during the siege at the Nariman House by 10 Pakistani terrorists in November 2008. 
16:56   Now China builds world's biggest 'air purifier'
'An experimental tower over 100 metres (328 feet) high in northern China -- dubbed the world's biggest air purifier by its operators -- has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality, according to the scientist leading the project, as authorities seek ways to tackle the nation's chronic smog problem,' reports Stephen Chen in South China Morning Post.   

'The seven-metre (23-feet) tall tower produced about eight cubic metres (282.5 cubic feet) of clean air per second. It was entirely powered by electricity, most of which is generated by coal-fired power plants in China,' he adds, here.
16:53   No Haj subsidy from this year, announces Naqvi
There will be no subsidy for Haj from this year, minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today.
Naqvi told reporters that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India.
Naqvi also said that the Saudi Arabian government has in principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the two countries will sit together to finalise the modalities.
"This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement," Naqvi told reporters and cited a host of measures for the welfare of minorities.
Earlier this year, Naqvi had said that the Centre would abolish the subsidy for Haj pilgrims in accordance with a Supreme Court order.
"A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had, during the Congress regime in 2012, directed that the Haj subsidy be done away with. Hence, in the new policy, as per the recommendations of a committee, we have decided to do away with the Haj subsidy gradually," he had said. -- PTI
16:13   Nirupam seeks probe in Togadia's charge of plot to kill him
Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam today demanded a probe into VHP leader Pravin Togadia's allegation that there was a plot to kill him.

Nirupam said though his party has ideological differences with Togadia, it sympathises with him on humanitarian grounds.

Togadia, who briefly went missing yesterday, today charged that "some people" were trying to stifle his voice and that he was not allowed to speak on issues like Ram Temple, farmers and cow slaughter.

A tearful Togadia, 62, said that he went into hiding as he feared police will kill him in an encounter.

Reacting to his charge, Nirupam told reporters that, "We have ideological differences with Togadia. But on humanitarian grounds, we sympathise with him when he says there is a plot to kill him."

-- PTI
15:55   Red carpet welcome awaits Netanyahu in Ahmedabad
Gujarat is set to roll out the red carpet for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he arrives in Ahmedabad tomorrow along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

The two leaders will hold a roadshow, which will begin from the city airport and end at the Sabarmati Ashram, a journey of eight kilometres.

Around 50 stages will be erected on the roadside along the stretch and people from different states of the country will welcome Netanyahu.

The city, especially the stretch from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram, has been decked up to welcome Netanyahu
along with his wife Sara.

According to the tentative schedule, Modi and Netanyahu would first visit the Sabarmati Ashram on their arrival tomorrow. Both the dignitaries will be accorded a grand welcome," Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had earlier said.

From the Ashram, Modi and Netanyahu would go to 'iCreate', an autonomous centre of excellence near Bavla town close to the city.

The two leaders would then proceed for a Sabarkantha-based centre of excellence for agriculture established by Isreal. They will inaugurate a research facility for cultivation of dates in Kutch by remote control from Sabarkantha, the chief minister had earlier said.

-- PTI
JUST IN: Union government withdraws subsidy to Haj pilgrims.
JUST IN: In Kamala Mills fire case, Yug Tuli, co-owner of Mojo Bistro sent to police custody till January 20 by Bhoiwada Court.
15:14   Haryana joins Gujarat, Rajasthan in banning Padmaavat
After Rajasthan, now Haryana government has declared that it will not allow the screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Padmaavat. 

The film was due to release December 1, 2017, but producers Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions postponed it after protests from Karni Sena. 

The Central Board of Film Classification approved the film with a UA certificate, after making five cuts and changing the title from Padmavati to Padmaavat. However, the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh will not allow the films release.

On Monday, the producers bought full-page advertisements in Indian newspapers stating that the film is based on the epic Padmavat by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi, and is a work of fiction; the film does not have and never had a dream sequence between Khilji and Padmavati; and that the film is an ode to the valor and courage of the Rajputs.
15:01   Uncle Sams Pakistan conundrum
'The big US error after 9/11 was to treat Pakistan as if it were an ally. With an ally, it is possible to assume a large degree of policy overlap. With Pakistan, no such assumption can be made,' writes Richard N Haas, president of the US Council of Foreign Relations, here.
14:52   ED summons Lalu's son-in-law Rahul in railway hotels PMLA case
The Enforcement Directorate has now summoned another son-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, Rahul Yadav, in connection with its money laundering probe in railway hotels allotment corruption case, official sources today said.
The fresh trouble for the Lalu Prasad family comes as the agency has allegedly detected some "suspected movement of funds" from Rahul Yadav to his mother-in-law and wife of Lalu Prasad -- Rabri Devi.

Rahul Yadav is the husband of Prasad's fourth daughter Ragini.

He has been summoned to depose before the investigating officer of the case tomorrow, they said.

The ED is already probing the role of Prasad's other son-in-law Shailesh Kumar, husband of his eldest daughter Misa Bharti, in a separate money laundering case linked to purchase of alleged tainted assets involving a firm -- Ms Mishail Packers and Printers Pvt Ltd.

-- PTI
14:16   Modi will inaugurate BJP swanky new hq in March
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Bharatiya Janata Party's swanky national headquarters in New Delhi in March.   

Finishing touches are being given to the structure coming up on Delhi's Deendayal Upadhyay Marg that will house the latest technology and features.   

The BJP is expected to gradually shift into the new hq from its current 11 Ashoka Road office by September this year.   

The UPA government had, in 2008, allotted land to national political parties for their headquarters, and so far only the BJP has built a new building.   

When complete, the 7-storeyed structure will have 45 offices, plus 25 rooms for party karyakartas visiting the national capital. 

The first two floors will house a conference hall, media auditorium, and a library showcasing the BJP's history.   

The BJP president's room will be on the top floor. Each general secretary has been provided rooms with attached bath.   

The terrace will have solar panels, which should lead to a considerable saving in electricity bills.   

The building's foundation stone was laid on August 10, 2016, by Prime Minister Modi, and the building's design and execution is being done by renowned Mumbai-based company.   

Party chief Amit Shah visits the construction site at least once a month, ensuring that the work is on schedule.   

The BJP has also instructed its 625 district party leaders to have their own building in the next two years so the party does not have to spend huge amounts on rent, as well as to have a permanent address.   

The Congress party is yet to begin work on its new headquarters, and continues to operate out of 24 Akbar Road.   

The AIADMK was allotted a plot on Deendayal Upadhyay Marg as well, but work is yet to begin on it.   

None of the national parties recognised by the Election Commission has started work on their office building. That way, it seems, the BJP has stolen a march over them in this respect as well.
13:59   CJI Dipak Misra meets 4 dissenting SC judges, offers olive branch
Four days after four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court aired their differences with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra publicly, the latter met the dissenting judges on Tuesday.

According to sources, the meeting lasted for 15 minutes and the CJI offered to listen to their grievances. All issues concerning the institution were discussed. The talks will continue on Wednesday, sources added.​

This is the first time since the row broke out that the CJI has reached out to the dissenting judges.

Earlier in the day, Attorney General KK Venugopal had said that the situation is not resolved yet. Yes, I think it has not been settled. Let's hope things will be fully settled within 2-3 days, he said.
13:47   Netanyahu to gift desalinisation jeep to Modi
isiting Israeli Prime Minister will present his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi a special gift - the Gal-Mobile water desalinisation and purification jeep the two leaders rode on Israel's Olga beach last year.

The jeep has reached India, sources here confirmed.

"It has reached Delhi and is on its way to Bhuj," sources said.

"There will be a live demonstration of desalination of sea water that the two Prime administers will witness through video conferencing from the iCreate centre on Janaury 17,"they said.

Netanyahu and Modi waded into the Mediterranean Sea and rode the "buggy" jeep on the coast during the latter's visit to Israel in July last year.

The jeep is said to cost around 390,000 shekels (approximately Rs 73 lakh).

Gal-Mobile is an independent, integrated water purification vehicle, designed to produce high-quality drinking water. It can be useful in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, military use in difficult terrain and rural areas to provide drinkable water.

It can purify up to 20,000 litres per day of sea water and 80,000 litres per day of brackish/muddy or contaminated river water and bring it to WHO standards.

-- PTI
JUST IN: CJI meets all four dissenting judges; holds talk for 15 minutes.
13:32   Proposal for meeting of Pak-India DGMOs under study
Pakistan is considering a proposal for a meeting with Indias military operations chief for lowering of tensions along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary through fresh confidence-building measures.

A Pakistani defence ministry official told the Senate defence committee on Monday that a fresh proposal of DGMOs (Director Generals of Military Operations) meeting is being considered.

Pakistan-India DGMOs have a frequent hotline contact, but they last met four years ago at Wagah. The Wagah meeting took place after a break of 14 years. That meeting was also held for discussing ways to ensure peace along the LoC and WB.

One of the confidence-building measures being considered for the planned meeting of DGMOs is calibre reduction of the arms being used at LoC.
13:18   Rs 126 crore: The amount Haryana lost in Dera violence
Haryana suffered losses worth Rs 126 crore during the violence that had erupted after Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted of rape by the special CBI court on August 25, 2017, at Panchkula. The loss includes damage to public and private property, revenue loss to various departments and expenses incurred on security.

According to the revised gist of claims and losses incurred during the violence the state has suffered a loss of Rs 1,26,68,71,700 in all the districts. Ambala suffered the maximum loss of Rs 46.84 crore among violence-hit districts.

Fatehabad came in second with Rs 14.87 crore losses because of revenue loss and money spent on resources used to control the situation.

Another district, Sirsa, which houses the dera headquarters, suffered Rs 13.57 crore loss. The epicentre of violence, Panchkula, which witnessed maximum violence and led to the killing of 36 people in police firing, suffered losses worth Rs 10.57 crore.

The details have been submitted by the Haryana advocate general to the Punjab and Haryana high court, which is hearing a matter related to the violence. 
12:54   Soon, a Prince Harry and Meghan Markle TV movie
"Harry & Meghan: The Royal Love Story," a film that chronicles the relationship between Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, is in works at cable network Lifetime.

The film will start with their first date, which was set up by a mutual friend, and continue through their engagement, reported Deadline.

Production on the film is in early stages, and casting for the two main roles has yet to be decided.

The TV movie will be directed by Menhaj Huda who has earlier worked on E! series "The Royals".

There is no premiere date set yet but Lifetime aired predecessor "William & Kate: The Movie", about the romance between Prince Harry's older brother, Prince William, and Kate Middleton, 11 days before their Royal wedding.

-- PTI
12:47   VHP's Pravin Togadia says he is being targeted, plan afoot to kill him
A day after he reappeared from his brief disappearance, Vishwa Hindu Parishads international working president Pravin Togadia said he may be killed. 

Togadia was found unconscious in a hospital in Shahibagh locality in Ahmedabad late on Monday after being reported missing in the day earlier.

I am being targeted for a decade old case, there is an attempt to suppress my voice. Rajasthan Police team came to arrest me. Someone told me the plan was to kill, Togadia said at a press conference in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. 

Togadia said Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and home minister Gulab Chand Kataria assured him on the day that there was no police action underway against him. 

On Monday, Togadia was brought by people to a private Chandra Mani hospital in an unconscious state, which the doctors claimed was caused by low level of sugar. 

Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Crime Branch said it constituted a special team to look for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader who went missing amid allegations that the Rajasthan Police took him away. 
12:07   Netanyahu, with wife Sara, visit Taj Mahal with UP CM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara are at the Taj Mahal in Agra along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 

The couple will spend a few hours at the Taj and return to Delhi later in the day to take part in the Raisina Dialogue, in which Netanyahu is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech at 4:30 pm. 

The monument will remain shut for a few hours for the Israeli delegation's visit. The Prime Minister is being accompanied by his security personnel. 
11:56   Man blows hole in his throat by holding a sneeze
If you are about to sneeze -- even if you are in a quiet place -- doctors would advise you to let it rip. 

A 34-year-old unnamed man in Britain learned that lesson the hard way and had to spend two weeks in the hospital due to his resulting injury. 

That's according to a case report with the cringe-inducing title "Snap, crackle and pop: when sneezing leads to crackling in the neck." The report was published Monday in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports.

Read more HERE
JUST IN: Everyone should know everything about the Loya Case. Nothing should remain confidential: SC says while listing the matter for hearing after a week
11:50   Khap panchayat ban on inter-caste marriage illegal: SC
The Supreme Court has termed as "absolutely illegal" any attack by khap panchayats or associations against an adult man and woman opting for inter-caste marriage.   

If an adult man and woman marry, no khap, panchayat or society can question them, the apex court has ruled.
11:43   Sri Lankan navy arrests 16 TN fishermen
The Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday apprehended 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen and seized four boats near Palk Strait.   

The 16 fishermen have been taken to Kankesanthurai naval camp in Sri Lanka.   

The fishermen are natives of Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram and Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district.   

Earlier, on January 4, the Sri Lankan Navy apprehended 12 Indian fishermen, along with two boats, near the Delft Island.   

The personnel, belonging to the northern naval command, apprehended the fishermen, who were natives of Rameswaram district of Tamil Nadu.   

On December 31, at least 13 Indian fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy near Gulf of Mannar in Rameswaram.   

Earlier that month, 27 Indian fishermen were apprehended with five boats near Delft Island.
11:35   FIR against Congress leader for portraying PM Modi as Ravana
 An FIR has been lodged against Congress leader Rama Shankar Shukla for a poster which appeared in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi district, portraying Congress President Rahul Gandhi as Lord Rama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Ravana.

The FIR has been lodge against Shukla by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Surya Prakash Tiwari.

The poster was witnessed at the Gauriganj railway station on December 14, a day before Rahul's visit to the city.

In the poster Rahul was seen carrying a bow and an arrow, pointing towards Prime Minister Modi.

The inscription on the poster states Rahul an incarnation of Lord Ram who will bring 'Ram Rajya' in 2019 by winning the General election and defeating 'Ravan' Prime Minister Modi.

"Rahul ke roop mein bhagwan Ram ka Avtaar 2019 mein aayega Rahulraj (Ramrajya)" read the wording on the poster.

The poster is said to be displayed by a local named Abhay Shukla, who claims to have no connection with the Congress party.

"Prime Minister Modi promised us to bring black money back that is stashed abroad, but nothing happened. All the promises made by him were lies. We believe that in 2019, Rahul Gandhi will become the Prime Minister of the county and fulfill all the promises," Shukla said.

The district Congress party denied putting up the poster or any link with Shukla.

Rahul is the MP from Amethi, which is the pocket borough constituency of the Congress party.

-- ANI
11:28   Congress says "hugplomacy" tweet about PM Modi not offensive
The Congress asked the BJP to appreciate humour in politics and said there was nothing vicious or malafide in the video put out by it on Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugging world leaders.

"I think it is time that we started appreciating the virtues of humour in politics. I think it is time that we stop tilting at windmills. Whatever the view depicts is nothing but a sense of humour and a coining of words," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said when asked about BJP taking strong objection to the tweet.

"Puncturing of pomposity with humour is very important," he said.

On Sunday, the Congress put out a tweet along with a video mocking PM Modi for hugging world leaders while carrying the hashtag "Hugplomacy" on its official twitter handle.

"With Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visiting India, we look forward to more hugs from PM Modi! #Hugplomacy," the Congress had said in the tweet.

Union Human Resource Development minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar had reacted strongly to Sunday's tweet, saying it showed the Congress's lack of political sensibility.
11:01   Stallone confirms: Expendables 4 will be back!
Action star Sylvester Stallone has confirmed that his Expendables character Barney Ross is returning for a fourth film in the franchise.   

The 71-year-old actor made the announcement on Twitter.   

"Barney will be back! Plus the crew and a couple new members (sic)" Stallone tweeted.   

The news comes after the Hollywood star dropped a massive hint that he would be returning to the movie series after posting a picture of Barney and Lee Christmas, played by Jason Statham.
10:53   Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to go on sortie in Sukhoi 30MKI
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will undertake a sortie in Indian Air Forces frontline Su-30MKI combat aircraft over Jodhpur on Wednesday, while reviewing the operational preparedness of the force.

The defence minister will undertake the sortie to gauge and review the operational preparedness and combat capabilities of the armed forces, an Air Force spokesperson said.

The defence minister was earlier scheduled to fly the Su-30MKI last month, but she could not go there due to her involvement in the BJP duty to elect the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh after the conclusion of assembly polls.

Sitharaman would be sitting in the rear-seat behind the main pilot in the twin-seat Russian-origin plane. The squadron getting the honour to fly the Defence minister is 31 Squadron Lions, which is based out of Jodhpur.
Recently, the defence minister had spent time on the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier where she was shown the combat capabilities of the MiG-29K naval fighters along with other carrier operations of the maritime force.

Soon after taking over as defence minister, Sitharaman had visited the Air Force base in Jamnagar where she was briefed about the capabilities of the MiG 21 fighter plane and also the overall operations undertaken by the service.
10:29   Punjab cabinet minister Rana Gurjit tenders resignation
Punjab Cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who has been under fire from the opposition for his alleged involvement in sand mining auctions, has submitted his resignation as power and irrigation minister to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

"I have given my resignation from the ministry to the Captain Sahib. I gave my resignation personally to the chief minister a week back," he said today.

Rana Gurjit Singh, who is an MLA from Kapurthala, has been handling the power and irrigation portfolios.

When asked why he gave his resignation, he said that the opposition was trying to corner the chief minister by making false allegations against him and was demanding his resignation.

"I have now tendered my resignation," Rana Gurjit Singh said.

-- PTI
10:08   Israeli PM to visit Taj, meet UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting Agra on Tuesday morning along with his wife Sara to see the Taj Mahal. 

He is expected to leave for Agra around 11 am and return to Delhi later in the day to take part in the Raisina Dialogue, in which he is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech at 4:30 pm.
09:54   Supreme Court judges' dispute remains, says Attorney General
Attorney General K K Venugopal says the judicial crisis seems to be not
resolved, likely to be finally settled in 2-3 days.

The statement comes after the AG yesterday said that the issue had been "settled" and resolved "internally". 

Attorney General K K Venugopal also said that "everything
had been settled," describing the crisis as a "storm in a tea

Venugopal added that all the four senior judges held their courts and conducted routine judicial work.

On Friday, four senior judges of the Supreme Court had mounted a virtual revolt against the country's chief justice, raising questions on "selective" case allocation and certain judicial orders, sending shockwaves across the judiciary and polity.
09:32   Rift "settled" but 4 top judges not in key bench set up by chief justice
The four Supreme Court judges who publicly took on the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, have been kept out of a constitution bench that will decide on many important cases, despite reports that the unprecedented rift between the top judges had been "settled" over tea on Monday morning.

Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph, who held an extraordinary press conference to voice their criticism of how major cases were assigned, are not in the five-judge constitution bench announced yesterday.

The four judges are the senior most in the country after the Chief Justice.

The constitution bench has, besides the Chief Justice, Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.

According to a roster put up yesterday, from January 17, these judges will decide on cases like the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, whether to remove a ban on homosexuality, the restriction on women entering the Sabarimala temple and whether lawmakers should be disqualified even before conviction, the moment charges are framed against them.

The same combination of judges had last year taken up the turf war between the Centre and Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party government.
09:09   Kosher feast awaits Moshe, who's visiting Mumbai 9 years after 26/11 attacks
Chabad House is preparing to welcome Moshe, popular in public memory as baby Moshe, with special kosher food, snacks and juices when he arrives in the city on Tuesday. 

Moshe is the sole surviving member of his family killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

When terrorists struck Chabad House in November 2008, it was Sandra, Moshes nanny, who rescued him even as his father Rabbi Gavriel and mother Rivka were killed along with other guests. 

Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky, co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch, Mumbai, who addressed media persons at the gate of Nariman House said the media should respect Moshes movements. 

We are very excited by the visit of baby Moshe. We are preparing special Kosher food, snacks and juices for him. We hope he will remember his moments with us, said Israel. 

Moshe will be unveiling a living memorial along with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 18. It will come up on the top two floors and will have the names of all the victims of the terror attack. 

Image: Moshe leaving Israel for his visit to Mumbai. Photograph: Oren Rosenfeld
08:42   This Bollywood song was a big hit at PM Modi's lunch for Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he and his wife Sara were elated that they will get to to see Bollywood up close when they travel to Mumbai.

Netanyahu will be travelling to Mumbai on January 18 and will attend an exclusive "Shalom Bollywood" event.

"My wife and I are very happy, we going to Bollywood. We would like to see it first hand," the Israeli prime minister, popularly known as 'Bibi', said.

Vijay Gokhale, secretary (economic relations) in the External Affairs Ministry also narrated an anecdote that gave a sense of Bollywood's popularity in the Jewish country.

While Modi was hosting a lunch for the Israeli delegation, a live band played the song 'IIchak Dana Beechak Dana', the number of Israelis who knew the number was amazing, he said.

In fact, they all instantly reacted, saying they knew the song very well, he said, adding that films will be a good way of building people to people relationship.

The song featuring Nargis and Raj Kapoor is from Shree 420, released in 1955, and was sung by the legendary Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh.

The two countries also inked a pact on film-co-production.

-- PTI
08:23   Aziz Ansari is Guilty. Of not being a mind reader
Im apparently the victim of sexual assault. And if youre a sexually active woman in the 21st century, chances are that you are, too.

That is what I learned from the expos of Aziz Ansari published this weekend by the feminist website Babe arguably the worst thing that has happened to the #MeToo movement since it began in October. It transforms what ought to be a movement for womens empowerment into an emblem for female helplessness.

Read full piece HERE
07:59   Kamala Mills fire: Mojo's Bistro co-owner Yug Tuli surrenders
Co-owner of Mumbai's Mojo Bistro, where 14 people died on December 29 during the fire at Kamala Mills compound, Yug Tuli has been placed under arrest after he voluntarily surrendered, early on Tuesday morning.

Tuli had been absconding ever since the incident. Police had, on Thursday, claimed that Tuli was spotted at Hyderabad airport but could not fly out. By the time, the police reached the spot, the accused had disappeared.

Tuli's partner in Mojos Yug Pathak, son of retired Director General of Police and former Commissioner of Police (Pune) KK Pathak, were arrested in the first week of January. 

On December 29, a fire had swept through 1 Above and adjacent Mojo's Bistro resto-pub in Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai, resulting in the death of 14 people.

On Thursday, owner of the '1 Above' pub Abhijeet Mankar was arrested after he was also on the run along with co-owners of the pub, Kripesh Sanghvi and Jigar Sanghvi.
00:21   Citizen's forum demands independent probe into judge Loya's death
A public meeting held in New Delhi under the banner of the All India People's Forum on Monday demanded an "independent" probe into the alleged suspicious death of special CBI judge BH Loya.
Speaking at the meeting, senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising said the courts should have taken "suo motu" (on its own motion) cognizance of the death of the judge, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh "fake encounter" case, in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused.
The CBI court had subsequently acquitted Shah in the case.
Jaising also criticised the alleged interference of the executive in the affairs of the judiciary, while lauding the four senior Supreme Court judges for voicing their grievances as regards the functioning of the top court at a press
conference here on Friday.
"We need to pay attention to the government's interference in the judiciary. Those condemning the Supreme Court judges have vested interests," the senior lawyer said.
Journalist Niranjan Takle, who had written an article on the "suspicious" death of judge Loya, raised several questions, referring to his interviews with the latter's family members.
"Loya's father had told me that the judge was under pressure as he was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and that he had talked to him about taking a transfer or resigning," he claimed.
Loya had died of a cardiac arrest on December 1, 2014 in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
Loya's friend and former president of the Latur Bar Association Uday Gaware described the late judge as an "honest" man, while demanding an independent probe into his death.
"It was a calculated murder. He (Loya) chose honesty over death," he said.
The meeting was also addressed by retired Bombay high court judge BG Kolse-Patil and Caravan magazine's editor Hartosh Singh Bal.
"The Loya case should not be seen in isolation and it needs to be inquired into in a transparent manner," Justice (retd) Kolse-Patil said.
The Supreme Court has termed the alleged mysterious death of Loya a "serious matter" and sought a response from the Maharashtra government on the pleas seeking an independent probe into it.
On Sunday, the deceased judge's son told PTI the family was convinced that his father had died of natural causes and that it no longer harboured the suspicions it earlier had. -- PTI