Mon, 16 July 2018
WhatsApp video identifying techie as child-lifter led to lynching: Cops
23:54 Will have to resign if Manipur's territorial integrity is compromised: CM
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh today said he along with his BJP ministers and MLAs, will have to resign if the state's territorial integrity is compromised in the peace pact to be signed between Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM and the Centre.
Biren Singh, who met Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with a delegation of MLAs to highlight the concerns of Manipur, also said that the Centre should inform the state government and the assembly about the contour of the agreement before finalising it.
The BJP chief minister said they have conveyed to the Home minister about their apprehensions about the Naga peace accord.
"During the assembly election campaign (2017), the prime minister (Narendra Modi), (BJP president) Amit Shah and Rajnath ji assured us that territorial integrity of Manipur will not be touched.
"If our voice is not heard, if the consent of the state assembly or of the people is not taken, then we will have difficulties. Then we will have to leave our posts," he told reporters.
Making it clear that the proposed Naga accord should be limited to Nagaland only, Biren Singh said the boundaries of the other northeastern states should not be compromised and the sentiments of the people of Manipur should not be hurt.
"If the solution involves any part of Manipur, then the central government must take the consent of the state assembly," he said.
The chief minister said his government wants a peaceful solution to the Naga problem, but the protection of the territorial integrity of Manipur is very important. -- PTI
23:08 WhatsApp video identifying techie as child-lifter led to lynching: Cops
A WhatsApp video wrongly identifying Hyderabad techie Mohammad Azam Usmansab as a child-lifter led to his lynching near Bidar on July 13, police said today.
The video, which originated from Bengaluru, had a message,saying that three children were kidnapped by strangers who lured them into accepting chocolates, biscuits and other toys.
It also said that a gang of 400 kidnappers have come to Bengaluru for child trafficking.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said the video,showing some persons allegedly confessing to the kidnapping of children, was the reason behind the lynching of the techie.
A total of 30 persons, including the administrator of a WhatsApp group that spread the rumours and the person who shot the pictures of the attack and circulated it, have been arrested.
The officer said a special awareness drive has been launched in the district asking people not to rely on WhatsApp forwards and take the law into their hands, merely on suspicion of somebody being a child-trafficker.
Usmansab and his three friends had come to visit their friend Mohammed Bashir Afroz at Handikera village in Bidar yesterday.
On their way back to Hyderabad they stopped near a hamlet, probably with an intention to take pictures.
On noticing some children, they offered some chocolates to them, police said.
Locals mistook them for child-lifters and attacked them.
By then their pictures got circulated on a WhatsApp group, resulting in more people gathering at the spot, they said.
They managed to escape but were caught near Murkivillage, as the crowd alerted their acquaintances there, and badly beaten up.
Police reached the spot, managed to bring the situation under control and shifted them to a hospital, but Usmansab died on the way, they said.
The others have been hospitalised. -- PTI
22:24 Parties are of people not of any religion: Akhilesh Yadav
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today said that 'parties are of people and not of any religion', days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress, saying it was a 'party for Mulsim men only'.
Addressing his party workers in Lucknow, Akhilesh also said he would embark on a cycle yatra in the state once the Lok Sabha election schedules are announced.
"The prime minister is saying that the Congress is a party of Muslim men. I want to say that parties are of people and not of any religion. BJP leaders are expert in telling lies. People are still waiting for Rs 15 lakh in their account," he said.
In his address at Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh on Jul 14, PM Modi had came down heavily on the Congress over its stand on the issue of instant triple talaq, asking if it was a party for Muslim men alone.
"The real face of these parties was revealed by their approach on triple talaq. Crores of Muslim women had always demanded that triple talaq should be banned as it is also banned in Islamic countries.
"When I read in the newspaper I found that the Congress president had said that Congress is a party of Muslims, and there has been discussion on this for the past two days. But I want to ask the Congress whether it is a party of Muslims men alone," the PM had told the public meeting.
Stating that the Purvanchal Expressway was his government's brainchild, Akhilesh said that his party men while embark on cycle yatra to remove misconceptions of the people and false propaganda of BJP who is 'claiming credit' for it.
"I will take out a cycle yatra after the (Lok Sabha) election is announced. The BJP has started election campaigning and the PM is also on a campaign trail. The PM should tell when the elections is going to be held as he might be knowing it," he said. -- PTI
21:50 I-T dept recovers Rs 100-cr cash, 90-kg bullion after raids on a contracting firm
The Income Tax Department today recovered Rs 100-crore cash and about 90-kg bullion after raids at multiple premises of a road construction firm in Tamil Nadu, officials said.
The searches were launched on the premises of Ms SPK and Company, a partnership firm engaged in road and highway construction, on contract from the government.
"About Rs 100 crore cash, which is suspected to be unaccounted, and bullion and gold jewellery weighing about 90 kg has been recovered so far. The raids are still on," a senior official said in Chennai.
The Chennai investigation wing of the department is conducting the operation.
The raids were conducted after the department found 'evidence of suspected tax evasion by the firm and its associates', who also have political links, he said.
A total of 22 premises -- 17 in Chennai, four in Aruppukottai (Virudhunagar district) and one in Katpadi (Vellore) -- are being raided, the officials said.
The cash was kept in big travel bags and in parked cars, and dozens of gold biscuits have been recovered till now, they said.
The searches are expected to continue for another day, they said. -- PTI
21:38 We start to understand each other better: Putin after meeting Trump
Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States President Donald Trump address a press conference after their meeting in Helsinki:
Putin says, "As major nuclear powers, we (Russia and the US) bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.
"I think we can call it a success and a very fruitful round of negotiations... The cold war is a thing of the past.
"We had a good conversation with President Trump and I hope we start to understand each other better and I'm grateful to Donald for it. Clearly, there are some challenges left, we were not able to clear all the backlog, but I think we made the first important step."
Trump said, "The crisis in Syria is a complex one. Cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives. I also made clear that US won't allow Iran to take benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS."
On question of of Russian intervention in 2016 US presidential election, Putin said, "Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interest of the United States of America and I do defend the interest of Russian Federation."
Handing over a soccer ball to Trump, Putin said, "President Trump has just mentioned that Russia has just concluded the World football cup. Speaking of the football, Mr President, I will give this ball to you and now the ball is in your court. All the more that the US will host the World cup in 2026." -- ANI
21:29 IMF projects 7.3, 7.5% growth rate for India in 2018, 2019
The International Monetary Fund today projected a growth rate of 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.5 per cent in 2019 for India as against 6.7 per cent in 2017, making it the fastest growing country among major economies.
However, the latest growth rate projection for India is slightly less -- 0.1 per cent in 2018 and 0.3 per cent in 2019 -- than its April projections.
'India's growth rate is expected to rise from 6.7 per cent in 2017 to 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.5 per cent in 2019, as drags from the currency exchange initiative and the introduction of the goods and services tax fade,' said the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update.
'The projection is 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points lower for 2018 and 2019, respectively, than in the April WEO, reflecting negative effects of higher oil prices on domestic demand and faster than-anticipated monetary policy tightening due to higher expected inflation,' it said.
Despite this slight downgrade in its projections, India continues to outperform China, IMF's WEO update figures reflect.
'Growth in China is projected to moderate from 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.4 per cent in 2019, as regulatory tightening of the financial sector takes hold and external demand softens,' the report said.
The IMF said global growth is projected to reach 3.9 per cent in 2018 and 2019, in line with the forecast of the April 2018 WEO, but the expansion is becoming less even, and risks to the outlook are mounting.
The rate of expansion appears to have peaked in some major economies and growth has become less synchronised.
In the US, near-term momentum is strengthening in line with the April WEO forecast, and the US dollar has appreciated by around five per cent in recent weeks, it said.
Growth projections have been revised down for the Eurozone, Japan, and the UK, reflecting negative surprises to activity in early 2018, it said.
'Among emerging market and developing economies, growth prospects are also becoming more uneven, amid rising oil prices, higher yields in the United States, escalating trade tensions, and market pressures on the currencies of some economies with weaker fundamentals. Growth projections have been revised down for Argentina, Brazil, and India, while the outlook for some oil exporters has strengthened,' the IMF said. -- PTI
20:44 Monsoon session: Oppn parties meet to decide on strategy
Opposition parties today met to chalk out a joint strategy to corner the government on various issues during the Monsoon Session of Parliament starting July 18.
During the meeting, the parties held a discussion on fielding a joint opposition candidate for the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, which fell vacant after the retirement of Congress leader PJ Kurien on July 1.
Leaders of the Congress, the Natinoalist Congress Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajswadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Dravida Munnetra Kazjhagam, the Communist Party if India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, the Janata Dal-Secular, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Indian Union Muslime League, and Kerala Congress-Mani attended the meeting.
Among the names doing the rounds for the post include Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, sources said.
The sources also indicated that the post may go to the NCP.
They, however, said that the ruling NDA is keen on fielding its candidate and is seeking the support of some parties like the Biju Janata Dal and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazaham.
The name of Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral is doing the rounds for the post from the ruling coalition. -- PTI
19:41 Ahead of MP polls, supporters of Scindia, Kamal Nath start 'poster war'
Separate posters of Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia projecting them as the next chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh that goes to polls later this year are being circulated in the social media.
Scindia is the state Congress Campaign Committee chief while Nath is the state unit president of the party.
A poster showing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Nath together reads: 'Rahul Bhaiyya ka sandesh, Kamal Nath sambhalo Pradesh. (It's the message of Rahul than Nath takes care of Madhya Pradesh)'.
The poster, with the hashtag KamalnathNextMPCM, is trending on Facebook and various WhatsApp groups.
It bears the name of 'Madhya Pradesh Congress Yuva Mitra Mandal' as 'Nivedak'.
The poster bearing images of Scindia and Rahul beside the Congress party symbol reads: "Desh mein chalegi vikas ki andhi. Pradesh mein Scindia, Kendra mein Gandhi (A storm of development will come which will be rode by Gandhi in Centre and Scindia in MP).'
The poster has the name of 'Srimant Scindia Fans Club'.
Former Union minister Nath is an MP from Chhindwara seat while Scindia is the Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha.
Nath was appointed as the president of state Congress by Gandhi in April this year.
The Congress has not projected any chief ministerial candidate in MP, going to polls later this year, given the factionalism in the state party unit.
While the Congress blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for preparing and circulating the posters, the saffron party said it was a 'poster war' between two factions of the opposition party.
"The BJP is behind these posters. The saffron party wants to paint the Congress in poor light," alleged state Congress chief spokesman Manak Agrawal.
"The BJP very well knows that its days are numbered in MP as the Congress stands united. The IT cell of the BJP is behind this mischievous campaign," he said.
BJP state IT cell in-charge Shivraj Singh Dabi said the party has nothing to do with the 'poster war'.
"We have nothing to do with the poster war. People know that the Congress party is a divided house," he said.
When asked whether the Congress will file a police complaint against the BJP's IT Cell, Agrawal said there was no point in doing so because nothing will come out of it.
"The law-enforcers will not act in the matter given that the BJP is the ruling party in the state. On the contrary, they will harass the complainants by making them do rounds of police stations," he said.
There have been talks of internal factionalism in the state Congress and its workers are said to be divided among four factions -- headed by general secretary Digvijay Singh, Nath, Scindia and Suresh Pachori.
Ahead of polls, the BJP and the Congress have dug in their hills to counter each other's agenda on social media. -- PTI
18:59 Amritsar's Golden Temple to glow brighter with 160 kg more gold
Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, is set to shine brighter with 160-kg gold worth Rs 50 crore being plated on the domes of its four deodis (entrances). This will be in addition to the gold-platedHarmandar Sahib in the middle of the sarovar (holy tank), the domes of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, and darshani deodi (entrance to the sanctum sanctorum).
Diljit Singh Bedi, the spokesperson and additional secretary of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee that manages the historic gurdwaras, including Golden Temple, says the SGPC has decided to enhance the beauty of the shrine by gold-plating the four deodis (entrances), which symbolise that the doors of Golden Temple are open for all.
It was 192 years ago that Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler, donated Rs 16.39 lakh for sone di sewa. Mohammad Khan was the first craftsman to overlay the sanctum with gold foil. Besides Ranjit Singhs successors, his queens and other prominent Sikhs also donated money for sewa. A total amount of Rs 64.11 lakh was spent at that time, as per the book, Twarikh Sri Amritsar.
18:50 Finland's largest newspaper runs scathing billboard campaign for Trump-Putin summit
Finland is using its opportunity to have its say about the Trump presidency.
The country's largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat has been running a campaign about press freedom following Mr Trump's repeated attacks on Fake News and the US press - particularly CNN and the New York Times.
Billboards have been running with the phrase "Mr President, welcome to the land of the free press".
In the last Reporters Without Borders World Press freedom report Finland ranked at number 4, the US ranked at 45.
18:27 200 armed force personnel becoming disabled due to injuries every year, says top Army doctor
Nearly 200 armed forces personnel become disabled every year, a senior doctor for the forces has said, citing road accidents and snow avalanche, especially in hilly terrains, and battle injuries as the prime reasons.
Lt Gen Bipin Puri, Director General of the Armed Forces Medical Service, said the disability armed forces personnel suffer are not only related to spinal cord and limbs - one of the most commonly noticed.
Many a time there are cases of crippling of intestine and lungs due to injury to abdomen and chest, Lt Gen Puri said.
He said in the armed forces medical service, the primary motto is to save life by resorting to damage-control surgery.
"Every year 200 armed forces personnel suffer from serious disability. It is a huge number. Battle injuries are of course the reason, but more of our injuries are because of accidents in hilly terrains, snow avalanche," Puri told PTI, citing the data available with him for the past 10 years.
The Indian Army is engaged in anti-militancy and anti-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast India. The Army alone has more than 10 lakh personnel.
18:05 Suspect in Indian student's killing shot dead by police in Kansas
HYDERABAD: The suspect in the killing of an Indian student Sharath Koppu in Kansas recently has been killed by the Kansas City police in an encounter.
The suspect also fired at the police as a result of which three undercover officers who had kept a surveillance on him and confronted him were injured.
Sharath Koppu had been shot dead by the suspect at Js Fish and Chicken Market, 54th street and Prospect Avenue on July 6. The suspect, was finally shot dead to another location.
Sharath Koppu from Hyderabad was an MS student at the University of Missouri and had been working part-time at Js where the culprit fired at him five rounds, in what was believed to be a robbery attempt.
17:55 Illegal Indian immigrants being treated like criminals, turbans of Sikhs taken away in US jail
Over 50 illegal Indian immigrants, mostly Sikhs, seeking asylum in the US are being treated like criminals with their turbans taken away in a federal prison in Oregon after getting caught up in the Trump administration's controversial "zero-tolerance" policy, according to volunteers from legal advocacy groups.
US President Donald Trump's tough immigration policy has separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents and guardians and placed into holding facilities between April 19 and May 31 of this year.
The controversial decision however has been reversed by Trump through an executive order following widespread protests against the move.
"It's heartbreaking when you go in there and you see the young kids like the ages are close to starting from 18 onwards, 22 to 24 in those jumpsuits...and you wonder how they ended up being treated as criminals. They've not committed a crime, they have crossed the border and they have asked for a refugee or asylum and that is a law of this land," said Navneet Kaur, a community college professor, .
Over the past several weeks, Navneet has interacted with most of the 52 Indian inmates in the federal prison at Sheridan in Oregon. She has volunteered to work as a Punjabi translator for the non-profit legal firm Innovation Law lab, which is providing legal assistance to the illegal immigrants in jail.
The Indians form the largest group of detainees in the total 123 illegal immigrants being held at a facility in Sheridan.
"Right now, they are (in) a miserable (condition)," she said.
Of the 52 Indians, a majority of them are Punjabi speaking and are Sikhs.
When they were arrested, Navneet said, the Indian asylum seekers were chained.
"When they were in handcuffs and chains for 24 hours they ate with their handcuffs on. Even the hardcore criminals are not treated like that. Then they were kept for 22 hours a day in a cell with the people who did not speak the language," she said. "It's inhuman," she said.
The situation is worse for the Sikh inmates as their turbans have been taken away in the jail.
"Their turbans have been taken away. In a country where everyone has right to practice their own religion these men there don't have turbans to cover (their head). Not even a piece of cloth to cover their heads," Navneet said.
17:36 TMC accuses PM of spreading misinformation, BJP of peddling religious terrorism
Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Trinamool Congress today accused him of spreading "misinformation" against its government in West Bengal and alleged that the BJP was running a syndicate that "peddles religious terrorism".
Soon after Modi launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Mamata Banerjee government at a Midnapore rally charging it with "throttling democracy" and running a "syndicate raj" in the state without whose approval nothing moves, the TMC came out with an equally scathing counter-offensive, warning the BJP leaders "not to play with fire".
A statement, jointly issued by TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee and its leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O' Brien, alleged that it was the BJP which was running a "syndicate" of "lynching".
"Syndicate. Who knows better than the BJP leaders about syndicate? Your party is a syndicate that peddles religious extremism. Your party is a syndicate for fanatics. Your party is a lynching syndicate. "Your party is a torture syndicate. Your party is a syndicate for agencies. Your party is a syndicate which created notebandi (demonetisation). Your party is a syndicate of corruption. So, BJP leaders should not play with fire, " the statement said.
The TMC claimed the BJP leaders do not have a development agenda.
"Try as you may to harass us with your agencies, we will not bow down to any BJP syndicate. Bengal is for all. It is the cultural capital of the world. The BJP leaders speech proved that they have no development agenda at all," the statement said.
The TMC claimed that the public meeting addressed by Modi was attended mostly by people from neighbouring states like Jharkhand and Odisha, and that vehicles from Patna were also spotted.
17:04 CBI books Farooq for irregularities in J-K cricket association
The CBI has chargesheeted National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and 3 others for alleged irregularities in J-K Cricket Association, PTI reports quoting officials.
They have been charged under the Jammu and Kashmir State Ranbir Penal Code (the Indian Penal Code is not applicable in J&K) sections related to criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, the officials said.
16:49 Putin and Trump meet for historic one-on-one meet in Helsinki
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are posing for the cameras at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.
Putin says it is a pleasure to meet Trump.
Trump congratulates Putin on the World Cup and on Russia's performance in the tournament. "I watched quite a bit of it ... it was beautifully done," Trump says.
He says we have a lot of good things to talk about, from trade to China and "our mutual friend Presidential Xi."
"We have great opportunities together, we have not been getting along for years," Trump adds. "Getting along is a good thing, Trump says. The world wants to see us getting along, he adds. We have 90 per cent of the world's nuclear weapons and that is not a good thing," Trump says.
Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
16:25 Trump blames America's stupidity for strained ties with Russia
Ahead of his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, United States President Donald Trump on Monday blamed Washington DC's, foolishness and stupidity for the poor state of relations with Moscow.
He also criticised special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation stemming from the alleged election meddling by Russia in the 2016 US presidential election, calling it a "rigged witch hunt."
Taking to his Twitter handle, Trump wrote: "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"
Taking an aim at his predecessor Barack Obama, the US President tweeted: "President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian meddling, he said it couldn't happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok!"
16:18 Congress communal, its appeasement politics damaged India: BJP
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party today again attacked Rahul Gandhi over his reported remark that the Congress is "a Muslim party" and said his comment showed that the opposition party is "communal" and "divisive".
Addressing a press conference at the BJP office in New Delhi, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar asked Gandhi to come out and clarify his remark. He also said that the "divisive" politics of the Congress party damaged the country.
The BJP has asked Gandhi to break his "silence" on the matter after he reportedly told an Urdu daily that the Congress is a Muslim party.
Union minister Ravi Shanker Prasad said yesterday that Gandhi became a "janeudhari" and flaunted his Brahmin lineage when he went to Gujarat and Karnataka for election campaigns. After the polls, he is patronising Muslims, he said.
Javadekar said: "Gandhi' remarks show that Congress is a communal party. Its appeasement politics has damaged the country. History of partition is testimony to this."
He said the Congress has a "divisive idealogy", pointing to the "only genocide" India witnessed in 1984, when thousands of Sikhs were killed during the party's rule.
The Congress stands exposed in front of people, Javadekar asserted. He questioned "Why Rahul Gandhi is silent about it, why does not he come out in open."
Javadekar claimed that the minority cell president of the Congress, Nadeem Javed, has justified Gandhi's remark and asserted he was right in saying that Congress is a Muslim party.
The BJP leader also questioned why Gandhi has not spoken about the practice of triple talaq, and said whether the opposition party has place only for Muslim men and not women.
The monsoon session of Parliament is set to begin on Wednesday and the triple talaq bill tops the government's agenda. But Gandhi today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to ensure the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in this session.
Yesterday, Union Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad asked Gandhi to break his silence on his Muslim party remark.
Prasad also said that when Rahul Gandhi goes to Gujarat for elections, he becomes a janeudhari (one who wears the sacred thread) and flaunts his Brahmin lineage. He does the same in Karnataka. Now when the elections are over, he starts patronising the Muslims. -- PTI
16:16 MNS workers vandalise govt office over pothole-related deaths
Members of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena today attacked a government office in adjoining Navi Mumbai, to vent their ire over potholes dotting the 39-km stretch between Sion and Panvel.
Accidents on pothole-riddled roads have claimed five lives in adjoining Thane region since last month. The victims lost balance and fell as their two-wheeler hit potholes.
The MNS workers stormed in the office of the public works department at Turbhe claiming that the Sion-Panvel road is dotted with potholes and has endangered lives of commuters.
The protesters shouted slogans, smashed office equipment, threw chairs, pulled down cupboards and smashed window panes, computer terminals, CPU and printers in the office, police said.
They shouted slogans against public works minister Chandrakant Patil and demanded registering of offences against those responsible for the "shoddy" condition of roads.
The demanded that officials concerned be booked for murder in cases of pothole related deaths.
An official of the APMC police station said offences have been registered against the protesters.
"If people are dying due to poor condition of roads, MNS will continue to undertake such actions. If the roads are not repaired, the next target will be Mantralaya, the state secretariat in south Mumbai," Navi Mumbai MNS unit chief Gajanan Kale said.
Reacting to the incident, Raj Thackeray said, "If the government can't see potholes, it will at least see this protest."
Meanwhile, a video of the PWD office attack has gone viral on social media.
On Saturday, Maharashtra PWD minister Chandrakant Patil appeared to make light of deaths due to potholes, when he said, "When you talk about a death in such an accident, you forget that five lakh other people have travelled on the same road. You can not put the entire blame on the (condition of) roads alone." -- PTI
16:05 2 held for raping, burning woman alive in UP
Two of the five people accused of burning a woman alive after raping her in Rajpura area of UP's Sambhal district have been arrested, the police said today.
The woman was allegedly burnt alive inside a temple premises after she was raped by the five people in her house on Saturday.
Superintendent of Police R M Bharadwaj said, "The prime accused in the case, Aram Singh and Bhona alias Kunwar Pal, have been arrested. Both of them are being interrogated."
"Four police teams have been formed and they are conducting raids at various places to nab the other three accused," he said.
Additional Director General of Bareilly zone Prem Prakash told reporters, "As far as the complaint made on 100 (by the victim) is concerned, the call details of the number are being collected and we are waiting for it. Apart from this, investigations so far revealed that as of now, no call was made from this number."
The Circle Officer of Gunnaur, Aqil Ahmad, said the accused were relatives of the 30-year-old victim.
According to a complaint lodged by the victim's husband, the incident took place on Saturday around 2.30 am when the woman was in her house with her daughter. Five people barged into the house and raped her, police officials said.
The accused then dragged her to a hut inside the premises of a temple and burnt her alive, Ahmad had said quoting the complaint.
The hut, where the woman was burnt alive, was used to perform 'yagna and havan', SHO, Rajpura, Arun Kumar had told PTI.
Bhardwaj, had yesterday said that post-mortem of the victim could not confirm whether she was raped.
"Whether she was raped or gangraped could not be ascertained in the post-mortem. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Moradabad, has been asked to ascertain it and the required samples will be sent to them," he had said.
In his complaint, the victim's husband alleged that after she was gangraped, his wife called her cousin to inform about the incident but by the time the police could be contacted, the accused returned and dragged her to the hut and burnt her alive. -- PTI
15:24 Make July 25 memorable day in Pak: Nawaz Sharif to voters
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently lodged in Rawalpindi's Adiala jail, has made an emotional appeal to the citizens of the country to exercise their franchise in large numbers and respecting the vote, ahead of the general elections on July 25.
In an audio message, reportedly recorded in London, which surfaced on social media today, Sharif urged voters to make July 25 a memorable day.
Sharif said, "Give respect to your vote. Pick up the national flag and go out (to vote). Make July 25 a memorable day. Spread my message across the homes, streets and villages (of the country). Those who dishonour the power of vote, defeat those conspiring such plans so that they will hang their heads in shame."
He urged the people to pray for the speedy recovery of his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing treatment for cancer and expressed sorrow that he had to leave her in such a critical condition.
Sharif said despite being put behind bars and attempts to muzzle his voice, the relations and strong bondage between him and the people of Pakistan would never be broken.
"I have been kept in jail to keep me away from you all. Even my daughter and nation's daughter Maryam is also in jail. These people don't know that despite my arrest and putting me in jail, it will never destroy the strong bond between me and you. Neither the dictators of yesterday were able to break this bond, nor those who will pull the strings on the relationship between you and me will be crushed in the future," he added.
Taking on the previous governments in Pakistan, the three-time former prime minister said that the entire nation was converted into a "big prison", while he urged the people of the country to break the shackles and free ourselves.
Sharif lamented that in the last 70 years, the entire country was in a total mess and was not in sync of what Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had dreamt of.
The National Accountability Bureau officials took ousted prime minister Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, into custody in the Avenfield case, shortly after their arrival at Lahore airport from London via Abu Dhabi on Friday.
14:40 Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos successfully test fired
Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was today successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha.
The missile was launched at about 10.15 am from the launch complex three of the ITR and successfully flew in its pre-set trajectory meeting its mission objectives, Defence Research and Development sources said.
Today's test launch comes close on the heels of two trials of BrahMos missile conducted on May 21 and 22 this year in which the major sub-systems manufactured indigenously under the 'Make in India' campaign were tested, they said.
Through this spate of trials the critical indigenous components including fuel management system and other non-metallic airframe components have qualified to form part of the missile, the sources said.
The missile was successfully test fired on May 21 from the ITR as part of service life extension programme.
"The life extension test firing of BrahMos was conducted from a Static Inclined Launcher, proving the efficacy and longevity of the system which was witnessed by scientists," the sources had earlier said.
BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO and the NPOM of Russia.
The highly versatile BrahMos has been operationalised in the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
BRAHMOS has established itself as a major force multiplier in modern-day complex battlefields with its impeccable land-attack, anti-ship capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities. -- PTI
14:27 Tent collapses during PM's Midnapore rally, 20 injured
A makeshift tent collapsed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in West Bengal's Midnapore district today, injuring at least 20 people, a police official said.
The tent, officials said, was erected next to the main entrance of the rally venue to shelter people from the rain.
Many enthusiastic BJP supporters were seen crowding inside the tent during the rally. The prime minister could be heard asking them to be careful, officials said.
According to officials, the prime minister saw the tent collapsing while he was in the middle of his speech.
He immediately instructed SPG personnel standing next to him to look after the people and attend to the injured.
The local BJP unit as well as Modi's personal staff, including his doctor and SPG personnel, swung into action to help the injured, officials said.
Most of the injured have been admitted to hospital, an official said, adding that the number could rise.
After addressing the rally, the PM went to the hospital to visit the injured.
13:31 Aasiya Andrabi sent to one-month judicial custody
Kashmiri separatist Aasiya Andrabi was today sent to one-month judicial custody by a Delhi court in connection with a case of allegedly waging war against the country with support from Pakistan.
Andrabi, who is chief of the banned outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat, was produced before the court along with her two women associates, after the expiry of their 10-day NIA custody.
District Judge Poonam A Bamba sent the trio to judicial custody after the NIA said they were not required for further custodial interrogation.
The NIA had claimed that a probe revealed that they were running a concerted campaign to elicit support from the neighbouring country and accused them of being involved in conspiracy and acts to "severely destabilize the sovereignty and integrity of India".
The three accused will be kept in Tihar Central Jail.
Besides Andrabi, her associates Sofi Fehmeeda and Nahida Nasreen were also sent to judicial custody.
The case was registered against the three women in April this year.
Andrabi was in a prison in Srinagar after the Jammu and Kashmir high court cancelled her bail last month.
The NIA, on directions of the Union Home Ministry, registered a case against them as well as the organisation, which is banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, in April this year.
According to the FIR, the "central government has received information that Aasiya Andrabi and her associates namely Sofi Fehmeeda and Nahida Nasreen are actively running a terrorist organization named as 'Dukhtaran-E-Millat' which is proscribed under the First Schedule to the UAPA".
The agency also said in the FIR that Andrabi and her associates had allegedly spoken, written and also published "visible representations that bring into hatred and contempt apart from exciting disaffection towards the Government of India". -- PTI
13:27 Ahead of monsoon session, LS Speaker to meet all party leaders
Ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will hold discussions with leaders of various political parties at a dinner meeting tomorrow.
The monsoon session of Parliament will start on July 18.
According to the Lok Sabha secretariat, the speaker will seek the support of the parties in ensuring smooth functioning of the session and passage of various pending bills.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to attend the dinner though he will not participate in the meeting.
The meeting will take place in the Parliament Library Building and will be preceded by another meeting of the government with opposition parties.
Opposition parties will meet today to formulate a joint strategy to corner the government on various issues during the session. Topmost on the agenda will be to finalise a joint candidate for the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman's post which fell vacant after the end of the term of P J Kurien from the Congress on July 1.
Leaders from the Congress and various other parties will meet this evening in the office of the Leader of the the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House. -- PTI
13:20 Ensure passage of women's reservation bill in Parl: Rahul to PM
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking his government to take up the long-pending women's reservation bill in the upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament.
"I write to you to request your support to ensure the passage of the women's reservation bill in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament," he said in the letter.
According to sources, Rahul has told the PM that his party would support the bill in the House.
The letter comes amid recent controversy over Modi's allegation that Rahul has claimed the Congress is a party of Muslim men.
In a rally in Uttar Pradesh, PM Modi on July 14 had said, "I have read in a newspaper that Congress president has said that Congress is a party of Muslims. I am not surprised as when Manmohan Singh was PM, he had said that Muslims have the first right over natural resources."
"But I want to ask the Congress whether it is a party of Muslim men alone," he added.
13:01 Convicted Sharif family file appeal against Avenfield verdict
Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law today filed an appeal in the Islamabad high court against the verdict in one of the corruption cases and seeking their release on bail, according to media reports.
Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on Friday on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty on July 6 over his family's ownership of four luxury flats in London.
The appeal highlighted the legal flaws in the Avenfield verdict and pleaded to nullify the Islamabad Accountability Court's verdict. Moreover, it (the appeal) further sought the release of three convicts on bail, The Express Tribune reported.
A appeal was also filed against conducting the proceedings of the remaining two corruption cases within the Adiala jail premises, it added.
A separate appeal was filed to request the transfer of the case to another accountability court as the defence counsel argued that Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court had already made public his opinion on multiple aspects of the case. The same appeal had been filed earlier and were instructed by the court to pursue the matter in the relevant high court.
The Islamabad Accountability Court had sentenced Sharif to a total of 11 years in prison and imposed a fine of 8 million pounds (USD 10 million) in the corruption case. His daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years in prison along with a 2 million pound (USD 2.6 million) fine.
In addition, Sharif's son-in-law Captain (retired) Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.
Maryam's legal counsel Amjad Pervaiz stated that the accountability court's verdict in the Avenfield case was not in compliance with the law. -- PTI
12:43 June wholesale inflation surges to 5.77% against 4.43% in May
Inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to 5.77 per cent in June on increasing prices of vegetables and fuel items.
The Wholesale Price Index based inflation stood at 4.43 per cent in May and 0.90 per cent in June last year.
According to the government data released today, inflation in food articles stood at 1.80 per cent in June 2018, as against 1.60 per cent in the preceding month.
Inflation in vegetables jumped to 8.12 per cent in June, from 2.51 per cent in the previous month.
Inflation in 'fuel and power' basket too rose sharply to 16.18 per cent in June from 11.22 per cent in May as prices of domestic fuel increased during the month in line with rising global crude oil rates.
Potato inflation was at a peak of 99.02 per cent, against 81.93 per cent in May. Price rise in onion was 18.25 per cent during June, as against 13.20 per cent in the preceding month.
Deflation continued in pulses at 20.23 per cent in June.
The WPI inflation for April was revised upwards to 3.62 per cent from the provisional estimate of 3.18 per cent.
Data released last week showed retail inflation scaled a 5-month high of 5 per cent in June on costlier fuel. RBI mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy.
Rising inflation affirms RBI's forecast. The apex bank has revised upwards its retail inflation projection for October-March to 4.7 per cent from 4.4 per cent earlier.
In its second monetary policy review for the fiscal, the Reserve Bank last month hiked interest rate by 0.25 per cent -- the first hike in more than four years -- due to growing concerns about inflation stoked by rising global crude oil prices as well as domestic price increases.
The price of Indian basket of crude surged from USD 66 a barrel in April to around USD 74 currently.
The next meeting of the RBI's interest rate fixing panel is from July 30 to August 1. -- PTI
12:24 Pak poll: Terrorist Hafiz Saeed campaigns while Nawaz sits behind bars
As former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif sits behind bars, Mumbai terror attack mastermind and terror outift Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief Hafiz Saeed openly campaigns for the country's forthcoming general elections.
Saeed inaugurated several offices in Lahore and canvassed for the candidates of Milli Muslim League contesting the elections, which are scheduled for July 25.
On his arrival at Iqbal Town in a huge caravan comprising motorcycles, jeeps and trucks, he received a rousing welcome from the people who showered rose petals on him.
Surprisingly, while Sharif and his daughter, Mariam, have been sent to jail on corruption charges, a designated terrorist, Saeed, is not only free but actively seeks votes for the elections while targeting India and the United States.
Saeed's son, son-in-law and 13 women are among 265 Jamaat-ud-Dawa candidates contesting on Allaha-u-Akbar Tehreek platform on national and provincial assemblies seats across Pakistan.
Saeed, who also carries a bounty of USD 10 million on his head for his role in terror activities is not contesting the election.
While addressing his supporters, Saeed praised the audience for their support to the MML.
He said, "The MML will make Pakistan country of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam Mohd Ali Jinnah. This black chapter will be coming to an end now and world will see new enlightened chapter." -- ANI
12:12 SC seeks Centre's reply on Shia Waqf Board's plea against 'unIslamic' flags
The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to respond to the Shia Waqf Board chairman's plea seeking a ban on hoisting green flags with a crescent and a star at buildings and religious places across the country.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the counsel for Shia Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi to serve a copy of the petition to Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to enable him file a reply on behalf of the Centre.
Rizvi, in his plea, has claimed that green flags with a crescent and a star are "un-Islamic" and resemble the flag of a Pakistani political party.
He also claimed in his plea that during his visit to Mumbai and other places in the country, he saw flags on several buildings and religious structures, allegedly causing tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities.
The plea alleged that the flags resembled the flags of the Pakistan Muslim League, which belongs to an "enemy country".
It claimed that the crescent star flags in green owe their origin to the erstwhile political party, Muslim League, founded by Nawaz Waqar Ul-Malik and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1906. In the present day, it was being used by Indian Muslims who were treating it as an Islamic flag, it added.
Such flags are being hoisted in Muslim-dominated areas with "utmost impunity", the plea said, claiming that the crescent and star in a green backdrop have never been part of any Islamic practice and do not have any role or significance in Islam. -- PTI
11:56 Sacred Games row: Actors cannot be held liable for the dialogues, says HC
The Delhi high court today said that actors cannot be held liable for the dialogues while hearing a plea seeking to remove certain scenes from the Netflix series 'Sacred Games'
The court said that all eight episodes of the series have already been aired and nothing new will be aired.
The HC will now hear the matter on Thursday.
The plea was filed in the high court seeking removal of certain scenes from the series, claiming that some of its content was derogatory to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Also, a police complaint has been filed by a Congress activist in Kolkata against the producers of the web series and actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui over the issue.
Siddiqui, online platform Netflix and Sacred Games producers are 'jointly responsible' for abusing Rajiv Gandhi on the show, Congress activist Rajeev Sinha has alleged in his complaint, filed in the Girish Park Police Station in north Kolkata.
11:49 Blocking milk supply in Mumbai: Kisan leader served notice
The Mumbai police on Monday served a notice on Ajit Navle, secretary of the All India Kisan Sabha, to neither organise nor participate in any protest supporting the demands of Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathna.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sangtana is a Kolhapur-based farmers' organisation that has demanded a price hike for milk farmers and has threatened to block milk supply in Mumbai.
Navle has been served a notice under Section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in the wake of protests against milk supply to Mumbai and other cities
In case of any protests, Navle will be held responsible and detained by the police.
Earlier, in March, a protest by the All India Kisan Sabha had around 30,000 farmers walking with blistered feet for about 180 km from Nashik to Mumbai to demand a loan waiver.
11:44 CBI arrests journalist Upendra Rai in corruption case
Just In: Journalist Upendra Rai arrested by CBI in fresh case of alleged corruption, PTI reports quoting officials.
11:18 BJP should name Vijay Mallya as its brand ambassador: Shiv Sena
Taking a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jual Oram for calling fugitive Vijay Mallya as 'smart', Shiv Sena on Monday said that the BJP should name the liquor baron as the brand ambassador for its 'Make in India' and 'Startup India' campaigns.
The party in its mouthpiece, Saamna, said that while on one side Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims to fight against corruption in his speeches, on the other hand, his party leaders consider those who are absconding in money laundering cases as their idols.
"PM Modi has asked his party leaders to keep a control on their tongue during public gathering," Shiv Sena wrote, while adding that still some of the leaders are speaking up their mind publicly.
Further criticising Oram on his speech, Shiv Sena stated: "Oram has somehow brought BJP's real face out in public. Those who talk about Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor's views on Muslims should also speak up on the new 'brand ambassador' of the BJP, Vijay Mallya.
"PM Modi says he won't support corruption, however, his own party leaders have started considering those who are absconding in money laundering cases as their idols. If this will remain the strategy of the BJP, then Vijay Mallya should be named as the brand ambassador of Make in India and Startup India," the editorial said.
Shiv Sena later cited examples of DSK Group fraud case and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and said that it won't come as a surprise if somebody starts praising them in future.
Addressing the National Tribal Entrepreneurs Conclave in Hyderabad on Friday, Oram had described fugitive Vijay Mallya as smart. He advised tribals to follow the footsteps of Mallya to avail bank loans in order to become successful entrepreneurs.
"You people criticise Vijay Mallya. But what is Vijay Mallya? He is smart. He employed some intelligent people. He did something here and there with bankers, politicians, government. He bought them. Who prevented you (from being smart)? Who asked Adivasis not to influence the system? Who prevented you from influencing bankers," Oram said. -- ANI
11:05 Suspect involved in killing of Indian student in US shot dead
A suspect in the killing of 25-year-old Indian student Sharath Koppu in Kansas City has been killed in an exchange of fire with the police, leaving three undercover officers injured, US authorities said today.
Koppu was fatally shot on July 6 in the back during a suspected attempted robbery at a restaurant where he worked in the US state of Missouri.
The police officials yesterday found the suspect involved in the shooting, but when two undercover officers conducting surveillance approached the man, he shot them with a rifle and fled, leaving both officers injured, Kansas City Star reported.
That encounter touched off a series of gunfights between the suspect, whose name has not been released, and police. In all, three officers were injured and the potential suspect was killed, the report said.
The three officers' wounds were not life-threatening, police said.
The attack on the two undercover officers started at a motel in east Kansas City, the shootings continued an hour later then ended after a short standoff and the suspect's death, it added.
The homicide detectives had released the surveillance video of a possible suspect within a day. A few tips came in. Soon, police had identified the man they called a person of interest.
Detectives were looking for the man all week, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith was quoted as saying by the report.
"This is the first time we laid eyes on him," Smith said.
Two undercover detectives followed a car the man was riding ."That's when the engagement took place," Smith said.
The man shot the two undercover officers with a rifle and escaped along with a second person in a vehicle, according to police. The vehicle and the other person were soon found by police.
The Indian Association of Kansas City praised the police for pursuing Koppu's shooting diligently and that "there is some closure" with the person of interest's death. -- PTI
10:43 Terrorist killed, 2 army men injured in encounter in Kupwara
A terrorist has been killed in an ongoing encounter with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district along the Line of Control on Monday.
Two Indian Army personnel were also injured in the incident, which took place in Kupwara's Safawali Gal.
An AK-47 rifle was recovered from the possession of the terrorist.
Further details are awaited.
10:30 Bar govt facilities for those converting to another faith: BJP MP
Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament MP from Bastar, Dinesh Kashyap, has said people, especially Adivasis, who convert their religion, should be barred from availing of government facilities.
"Conversion is a big problem. Those Adivasis, who have converted their religion, shouldn't be allowed to avail the benefits from different government facilities," Kashyap said at a rally Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh.
Later on, while speaking to ANI, Kashyap justified his statement and said, "This is my own thinking. Those who convert their religion should be barred from government facilities. I think this should be followed. The number of such cases will decrease once this rule will be brought into action."
This comes after the Jharkhand police reportedly arrested 16 preachers for allegedly trying to convert local residents to Christianity earlier last week.
All 16 were booked under the Freedom of Religion Act, which came into force last year.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com.
09:53 Iranian deputy foreign minister in Delhi for talks
Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi arrived in New Delhi late on Sunday night to hold consultations with the ministry of external affairs.
Araghchi's visit comes days after Iran assured India that it will maintain flexibility in its oil supply. His visit also comes after a senior Iranian diplomat Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi warned India with retaliatory measures if India reduced its oil purchase from Iran.
Rahaghi had said that if India plans to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the US and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand, then it may lose all privileges Iran has offered to India.
However, a day later, the Iran embassy issued a clarification saying, "Iran has always been a reliable energy partner for India and others, seeking a balanced oil market and rational prices of oil which ensures the interests of both countries as consumer and supplier. Iran understands the difficulties of India in dealing with the unstable energy market and it has done and will do its best to ensure security of oil supply to India through offering various flexibility measures which facilitates our bilateral trade in particular Indian export to Iran."
"India is a sovereign nation and taking into account many criteria including its friendly relations with supplier countries, market factors, geopolitical and geo-economical considerations and potentials and reliability of the oil suppliers chooses its energy partners," it further added.
09:40 Will 'Hindu-Muslim' talk make India No 1: Kejriwal asks PM
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the BJP government at the Centre had achieved nothing if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was talking about the "Hindu-Muslim" issue after four years in office.
Kejriwal's remarks came a day after the prime minister, during a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh, asked if the Congress was a party for Muslim men alone.
"If Modi is talking about Hindu-Muslims even after four years, it means his government has achieved nothing," Kejriwal said at the Aam Aadmi Party's state-level convention in Indore.
Modi had attacked opposition parties, particularly the Congress, over what he claimed was their opposition to the triple talaq bill.
The Delhi chief minister asked the prime minister if talking about Hindus and Muslims would help India become the number one country in the world.
Modi was harping on the Hindu-Muslim issue when the US was talking about nanotechnology, and Japan, France and England were pursuing "big technologies", Kejriwal said.
The Delhi chief minister said that education alone would make India "number one" and alleged that no government at the Centre had worked earnestly for the education sector in the last 70 years.
"Indians are the wisest people in the world. But due to dirty politics, a large number of people are being intentionally kept illiterate," he claimed. -- PTI
09:30 Express delivery: Woman gives birth to twins on train!
A 30-year-old woman delivered twins on a Mumbai-Visakhapatnam train at Kalyan junction near Mumbai on Sunday.
It was a girl and a boy.
Shaikh Tabassum, a resident of Ghatkopar in Mumbai, was travelling with her family by LTT (Mumbai)-Visakhapatnam Express when she went into labour, a Central Railway official said.
Upon getting information about the medical emergency, the train was halted at Kalyan, 51 km from Mumbai terminus, and a railway medical team attended the woman.
She gave birth inside the train. Afterwards the mother and the newborns were admitted to a local hospital.
All three were doing fine, the official said. -- PTI
09:09 Prez, PM congratulate France on World Cup win
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated France on winning the FIFA World Cup.
France clinched its second World Cup title beating Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow today.
"Congratulations to the determined players from France for winning the FIFA World Cup! Special wishes to the gallant Croatia team #PresidentKovind," the official Twitter handle of the president posted.
The prime minister also took to Twitter to congratulate France, calling it "an excellent match!"
"Congratulations to France for winning the @FIFAWorldCup. They played wonderfully through the tournament and during the #WorldCupFinal @EmmanuelMacron," Modi said.
He also congratulated Croatia for playing a "spirited game".
"I also congratulate Croatia for their spirited game. Their performance in the World Cup has been historic," he tweeted.
08:58 Trump arrives in Helsinki for first summit with Putin
United States President Donald Trump has arrived in Helsinki for the first summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after he lashed out at the media for being critical of his Russian policy.
Air Force One touched down at Helsinki Airport carrying Trump ahead of the historic meeting with Putin scheduled for today.
He was greeted by the US Ambassador to Finland Robert Pence, media reports said.
Earlier, he had tweeted before leaving for the capital of Finland.
"Heading to Helsinki, Finland -- looking forward to meeting with President Putin tomorrow," Trump said in a tweet as he boarded Air Force One for Helsinki.
"Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia... over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!" he said.
"Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Democrats know how to do is resist and obstruct! This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country but at some point, it will heal!" Trump said in a series of tweets.
Trump's meeting with Putin comes days after a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials on charges of hacking the servers of the Democratic National Committee and that of its 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump arrived with his wife First Lady Melania Trump and a host of other dignitaries, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton and his chief of staff Fred Fleitz, Policy Advisor Stephen Miller, Social Media Director Dan Scavino and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
On Monday host President Sauli Niinisto is scheduled to meet Trump in the morning before Trump and Putin sit down to a bilateral meeting first without aides and then with their teams of support staff, according to media reports.
Trump also congratulated France for winning the Football World Cup for the second time and congratulated Putin for a "truly great" tournament.
"Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. Additionally, congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament - one of the best ever!," he said. -- PTI
08:47 Why is Rahul 'silent' on his 'Muslim party' remark: BJP
A combative Bharatiya Janata Party questioned Rahul Gandhi's "silence" over his reported remarks that the Congress is "a Muslim party", saying it has no place for Muslim women.
The BJP also hit back at the Congress for alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a "sick" mentality after he accused the opposition party of standing only for Muslim men.
Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "The shameful allegations made by the Congress leader against the prime minister only showed their desperation."
He said that Gandhi has not yet given his party's support to the government's initiatives on instant triple talaq, despite the Supreme Court banning the practice.
Taking on the Gandhi scion over his reported remarks in an Urdu daily that the Congress is a Muslims party, Prasad said he is now "patronising" the minority community.
"When Rahul Gandhi goes to Gujarat for elections, he becomes a janeudhari (one who wears the sacred thread) and flaunts his Brahmin lineage. He does the same in Karnataka. Now when the elections are over, he starts patronising the Muslims," he said.
"The issue is why Rahul Gandhi is maintaining conspicuous silence. Why he is not speaking, Prasad asked.
He said that Gandhi in the presence of then prime minister Manmohan Singh at a lunch hosted for Hillary Clinton had alleged that "saffron terrorism and extremism" is more dangerous than the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
This is a matter of record, he said.
"It is strange that whenever Rahul Gandhi is cornered, his party invokes his family legacy which is absolutely meaningless," he said, adding that the Congress president has to explain his own conduct. -- PTI