Tue, 17 July 2018
Raipur: Father says baby died after ambulance door got stuck

Timeline  Refresh

23:38   Raipur: Father says baby died after ambulance door got stuck
A two-and-half-month-old baby today died due to a delay in treatment after the door of the ambulance, in which he was brought to a local hospital, failed to open because of a malfunction, alleged the infant's father.

The infant, who was slated for a cardiac surgery in a private hospital in Raipur, had to be rushed to Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Hospital nearby from Raipur station in the morning after his condition started deteriorating, he said.

"I contacted Sanjeevani Express 108, a free ambulance service, in the morning and rushed my child to Dr Ambedkar Hospital. When we reached the hospital, the door of theambulance could not be opened for about 40 minutes," the infant's father, Ambika Singh, told reporters.

He said the child had to be extricated from the window of the ambulance and rushed to the hospital where doctors declared the infant as dead on arrival.

Singh and his wife had come from Gaya in Bihar by train to get the cardiac surgery performed on the child at the Sathya Sai Hospital in Raipur.

GVK EMRI, which operates the Sanjeevani Ambulance service, however, denied the allegations.

"The allegations are false. After getting a call for an ambulance at 10.15 am, the vehicle was rushed to Raipur station and it reached there at 10.18 am. Technicians whochecked the vital parameters of the child found no response," said Shibu Kumar, government relationship officer of GVK EMRI.

He claimed that technicians brought the patient to the Ambedkar Hospital where the door of the ambulance got stuck for a 'few minutes' due to 'mechanical problems'.

He said that they extricated the child from the window of the ambulance and rushed him to Ambedkar Hospital.  -- PTI

PLEASE NOTE: Image used only for representation.
22:35   Tharoor office vandalised: 5 Yuva Morcha workers held, get bail
Five members of the Bharatiya Janata Party's youth wing were arrested today for defacing the office of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, police said.

The members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha came to the cantonment police today to enquire about the case against them when they were arrested, police sources said.

A case has been registered against them under various Indian Penal Code sections, including 143 (unlawful assembly) and 147(guilty of rioting), they said.

They were later released on bail.

The workers raised slogans, poured black oil in front of Tharoor's office yesterday demanding his apology for his controversial remarks that the BJP, if voted to power again, would rewrite the Constitution and pave the way for creation of a 'Hindu Pakistan'.

They also placed a wreath with the message 'Pakistan Office' at the entrance of Tharoor's office.

Today as Tharoor came to attend a function, BJP workers and members of the mahila morcha waved black flags at him.

Police personnel, who were present in large numbers,were seen pushing them away.

Thiruvananthapuram district BJP chief S Suresh has said Tharoor had 'insulted' India and the Hindu community with his 'Hindu Pakistan' remarks, which he dubbed as 'anti-national'.

He said more protests will follow, including by BJP's women workers.

Thiruvananthapuram police commissioner S Prakash said security for Tharoor has been tightened at his constituency office and at venues where he addresses functions.

Tharoor had written to the commissioner seeking protection for the smooth functioning of his office.  -- PTI
21:59   Centre's move to amend RTI criticised
The proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act to take away the stature of information commissions from equivalent of the Election Commission will end their autonomy, transparency activists and former commissioners have said slamming the step, taken without consulting the Central Information Commission.

The activists have strongly opposed amendments to the Right to Information Act proposed by the Centre, which aims to lower the stature of information commissions from equivalent to the EC and do away with their five years fixed tenure.

Sources in the Central Information Commission have said that it was not consulted by the government in the process.

According to the activists, the efficacy of the RTI Act, allowing any Indian to seek information from any authority on the payment of Rs 10, hinges closely on the independence of the CIC and its equivalents in the states -- state information commissions that adjudicate the matter in case information is not furnished to applicants within the parameters of the law.

The proposed amendments circulated among Members of Parliament seeks to do away with the parity given to information commissions with the EC in terms of salary, allowances and conditions of service.

"The salaries and allowances payable to and other terms and conditions of service of the chief information commissioner and the information commissioners shall be such as may be prescribed by the central government...," according to the proposed amendment.

It also aims to amend the tenure of information commissioners at the Centre and the states from 'for a term of five years...' to '...terms as may be prescribed by the central government'.

In the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the government has said functions carried out by the EC and information commissions are completely different.

The EC is a constitutional body established by clause (1) of Article 324 of the Constitution, while the CIC and state information commissions are statutory bodies established under the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, it said.

"Therefore, the mandate of Election Commission of India and Central and state information commissions are different. Hence, their status and service conditions need to be rationalised accordingly," it said.

Taking strong objection to the proposed bill, a statement signed by activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey, Pradip Pradhan, Rakesh Dubbudu, Pankti Jog, Venkatesh Nayak, Dr Shaikh, said the principle of according a high stature, and protecting the terms of service by equating it to functionaries of constitutional bodies, is routinely adopted for independent statutory oversight bodies, including the Central Vigilance Commission and the Lokpal.

"The status conferred on commissioners under the RTI Act is to empower them to carry out their functions autonomously and require even the highest offices to comply with the provisions of the law," it said.

It said the proposed amendments to the RTI Act will completely destroy the autonomy of information commissions set up under the RTI Act to adjudicate on appeals and complaints of people who have been denied their rights under the RTI Act.

Not only the activists, former information commissioners, too, criticised the move. The first chief information commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah, also termed the move as a 'regressive proposal', which will compromise the independence and autonomy of the CIC and the SICs.

"The stature was given to the CIC and the SICs work independent of the government pressure. The argument that the CIC cannot have the stature of the EC, which is a constitutional body, is flawed as it is the requirement of job done at these commissions," he said.

Another former chief information commissioner A N Tiwari said these changes will make the information commissions 'limp' bodies.

"The argument given by the government to downgrade and arbitrarily decide the position, salaries and term for the information commissioners by amending the law seem facetious," former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said.

He said the changes will reduce their impact on senior public servants and it may be a 'trial balloon' to carry out further amendments to weaken it later. Gandhi said 'another sinister plot' may be to render the CIC dysfunctional as by the end of the year it will be left with just three information commissioners.

"The government is not appointing new commissioners probably pending the amendment," he said.  -- PTI
21:20   Rahul constitutes CWC, some senior leaders kept out
Congress president Rahul Gandhi today constituted the Congress Working Committee, the party's highest decision-making body, with a blend of young and old leaders and convened its first meeting on July 22.

The new Congress Working Committee includes 23 members, 19 permanent invitees and nine special invitees, highly-placed sources told PTI.

Senior leaders like Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mohan Prakash and C P Joshi in addition to Janardan Dwivedi have been dropped from the new Congress Working Committee, ANI said.

Independent in-charges appointed for various states will be among the permanent invitees to the working committee as ex-officio members, while the heads of five frontal organisations of the party -- Indian National Trade Union Congress, Sewa Dal, Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and National Students' Union of India -- will be part of the special invitees.

This the first CWC formed by the Congress chief after assuming charge of the party.

The July 22 meeting will be of an 'extended working committee' as Gandhi has also invited all state unit presidents and Congress Legislative Party leaders from states.

The committee was dissolved prior to the election of the Congress president and the earlier panel was transformed into a steering committee till the party's plenary session that concluded in March.

The CWC, which acts as an advisory panel on all key decisions of the party, was not in place since the plenary session in March.  -- PTI, ANI
20:37   Organiser, decorator booked for tent collapse at PM rally
A case was registered against an organiser and a decorator, who erected a makeshift tent at the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Midnapore, for negligence of duty, police said today.

90 people were injured when the tent collapsed during Modi's rally yesterday.

Superintendent of Police (West Midnapore) Alok Rajoria told PTI that the police had registered a case against the organiser and the decorator for 'extreme negligence'.

State Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Sayantan Basu, on the other hand, alleged that the police resorted to baton charge on BJP activists at the venue to control them and it led to the accident.

"Lakhs of people had come to see Narendra Modiji. The police could have controlled the crowd in a proper way but instead, they resorted to baton charge which resulted in many BJP supporters climbing on the makeshift marquee," Basu claimed.

"The poles of the tent fell as the ground was completely wet after the rain. Also, many people climbed atop the tent, which could not withstand their weight and it collapsed," he said.

He said that PWD engineers were present when the tent was being erected and wondered what were they doing. He also questioned the attitude of the police and the state towards the incident.

District police sources said a high-level team led by ADG(IB) Siddhinath Gupta and Rajoria visited the spot during the day and spoke to several people involved in erecting the marquee.

Initial investigations revealed that some of the iron frames used for setting up the makeshift tent were rusty, and most of the iron poles were not inserted in the ground properly, a senior police officer said.

"The iron rods should have been placed in the ground much deeper, as the ground was wet due to rains," he said.

A senior Union Home Ministry official said a team of top security officials would be visiting West Bengal to assess the circumstances leading to the collapse of the tent.

The team comprising top officials of the Special Protection Group (SPG) will examine whether there was any lapse in the security measures, lack of coordination among different agencies and other shortcomings in organising the rally, he said.

The Centre had yesterday sought a report from the West Bengal government on the incident.

Meanwhile, the decorator today said he is innocent and being made a 'scapegoat' in the tussle between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Rajiv Kumar Singh of J N Decorators, who has been organising programs for the West Bengal unit of the BJP for the last one decade, said he had repeatedly asked party leaders to ensure that no one got on top of the marquee.

"I was there at the venue yesterday... I had told party leaders and local security personnel to see that no one gets on top of the marquee. But, no steps were taken which resulted in the collapse of the structure, as it could not withstand the weight of so many people," Singh told PTI.

"It was not my fault. I did my job with utmost sincerity... I am being made a scapegoat so that others can evade their responsibility," he said.  -- PTI
20:01   Balaji temple withdraws move to bar pilgrim entry for 6 days
The famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala today withdrew its decision to bar the entry of devotees into the temple for six days from August 11 due to a special ritual held once in 12 years, and said it would allow a few thousands daily.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devesthanams (TTD) Board reversed its July 14 decision after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu intervened and advised it to strike a balance and ensure that the ritual and devotees werenot affected, its chairman Putta Sudhakara Yadav said.      

Naidu's intervention came amid criticism of the TTD's decision to bar the entry of devotees to the temple which attracts huge number of pilgrims from across the country throughout the year.

A large number of devotees had taken to social media, airing their ire over the proposed six-day ban.

At an emergency meeting on July 14, the TTD board hadresolved to bar devotees from entering the temple from August11 to 16 due to the upcoming event of 'Astabandhana Balalaya Mahasamprokshanam', a ritual performed once in 12 years.

According to temple officials, during the ritual high priests plug minor cracks and holes inside the sanctum sanctorum of the 2,000-year-old temple using a paste made of several herbs, stated to be harder than concrete mix, amid chanting of Vedic hymns.

Naidu had asked the TTD officials to allow as many pilgrims as possible without any disruption to the ritual.

Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference alongwith TTD Executive Officer Anil Kumar Singhal at Tirumala today, Yadav said they have decided to allow a few thousand devotees at prescribed timings daily during the ritual period following instructions from the chief minister.

The mid-August period usually attracts about a lakh pilgrims daily and the temple management cannot facilitate darshan for all during the ritual period, temple officials said.

The TTD board will hold a special meeting on July 24 and take a final decision on how many devotees should be allowed and at what time, they added.  -- PTI
19:24   Weapons with Pakistani markings recovered in Pulwama, 2 held
Two persons were arrested and a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including some items with Pakistani markings, recovered from their possession during two separate raids in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, police said today.

Police launched searches in Dangerpora Arihal village of the district and recovered explosive materials from the house of Bilal Ahmad Ganai, a police spokesman said.

The recoveries include detonator, detonating material, connecting wires, electric chargers, batteries, mobile phones and remote control activating devices, he said.

Some of the seized items are marked with symbols of Pakistan, the spokesman said.

Separately, he said, searches were also carried in Naina Batapora village and a Chinese pistol, seven live nine mm rounds, one magazine and one 7.62 mm round was recovered from the possession of Sabzar Ahmad Mir, a resident of Khellan.

Subsequently, cases were registered in both the seizures and the accused persons were taken into custody for further investigation, the spokesman said.  -- PTI

18:51   Help passing bills against triple talaq, nikah halala too: Govt to Rahul
Seeking to the corner Congress on the issue of women empowerment, the government today urged the main opposition party to provide women with a 'new deal' by joining hands to pass the bills on women's reservation, instant triple talaq and nikah halala in Parliament.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today wrote to Congress president Rahul Gandhi suggesting that the party and the Bharatiya Janata Party join hands to get the three bills, as well as the measure on providing constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward classes, passed in Parliament.

He was responding to a letter by Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring the bill on granting 33 per cent reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Prasad wrote to Gandhi as his ministry deals with the issue of reservation in legislatures and personal laws.

The Winter session of Parliament begins tomorrow.

Gandhi had yesterday written to Modi asking him to ensure the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament, starting July 18.

In his letter, Gandhi offered his party's unconditional support to the bill and said the time has come for a change, and for women to take their rightful place in state legislatures and Parliament.  -- PTI
18:35   Congress asks party spokespersons to defend Kumaraswamy
The Congress in Karnataka today asked its spokespersons to defend its alliance partner and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, saying he is 'an emotional person' -- a reference to his recent teary outburst on coalition compulsions.

"We have been told to defend the chief minister as well as the government because he is now our partner in the government. We cannot leave certain matters to the JD-S spokesperson to deal with," a Congress spokesperson told PTI.

Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao held a meeting with party spokespersons here and asked them to defend the coalition government and partner Janata Dal-Secular whenever they participate in television debates or give statements to the media, top Congress sources said.

The meeting comes in the wake of a teary-eyed Kumaraswamy saying he was not happy in the top post and was 'swallowing the pain like Vishakantha (Lord Shiva)', who drank poison.

The spokesperson said the incident of chief minister 'crying' in public was cited as an example in the meeting.

"We were told that whenever a situation like this (chief minister in tears) arises, we must explain to our audience that the chief minister is an emotional person and we all have been sincerely cooperating with him," he said.

The meeting also deliberated on drawing strategies for the Lok Sabha polls, where they may have to counter 'lies spread through social media' besides dealing with arguments of the Bharatiya Janata Party during news debates, party sources said.  -- PTI
18:13   2 PML-N candidates narrowly escape assassination attempt in Pak
A father-son duo, both Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidates for the July 25 elections, have narrowly escaped an assassination attempt after unidentified gunmen opened fire on their car when they were returning from an election rally in Pakistan's Punjab province, according to a media report.

PML-N leader Sheikh Aftab Ahmed and his son Sheikh Salman were returning home from an election rally when their vehicle came under attack by gunmen in Attock's Kamra last night, Geo News reported.      

Ahmed, a former federal minister, is running for a seat in parliament, while his son Shaikh Salman is a PML-N candidate for Punjab assembly.

Attock District Police said that they have discovered three bullet holes on the vehicle. An investigation team has been constituted to probe the attack, the report said.

The attack came hours after senior leader of the Awami National Party, Daud Achakzai, survived an assassination attempt when militants opened fire on him during a meeting with his party workers in the troubled Balochistan province.

On Friday, Islamic State terror group targeted an election rally of Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani in Balochistan's Mastung area, killing him and 148 others.

Last week, a suicide bomber had killed Awami National Party leader and candidate in the general elections, Haroon Bilour, and 19 others after striking at an election meeting in Peshawar.  -- PTI

Image for representation only.
17:59   Ramayana month begins in Kerala
Reciting of epic Ramayana and special prayers marked the beginning of the annual 'Ramayana month' in Kerala today, even as major political parties had dropped plans to observe the month of rituals.

Temples and traditional Hindu houses in the southern state reverberated with the chanting of holy verses of the epic in the morning, ushering 'Karkkidakam,' the last month in the Malayalam calendar.

Elders would chant verses from 'Adhyatma Ramayana,' authored by medieval devotional poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, in the next 30 days in front of lighted 'nilavilakku' (traditional lamps).

Besides temples, various cultural organisations also arranged 'Ramayana parayanam' (recital) across the state. 'Aanayootu,' a mass feast for elephants, prepared as per ayurvedic tradition, was also held in many temples.

Unlike previous years, the 'Ramayana month' has assumed significance this year after 'Sanskrti Sangh', a pro-left outfit and 'Vichar Vibhag', a Congress-led cultural organisation, had announced their plans to observe the period to counter the attempt to 'hijack' the epic by the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Though a section of media reported that Communist Party of India-Marxist was sponsoring the programmes of the 'Sanskrti Sangh', the party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had said the outfit was an independent one and the left party had no plans to observe Ramayana month.

Sanskrit Sangh leaders said they would conduct seminars and debates across the state on Ramayana in the coming days.

The Vichar Vibhag' recently decided to drop its plan to hold month-long programmes to mark the 'Ramayana month,' following protests and criticism from a section of leaders of the Congress party.

As part of its programmes, Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor was scheduled to deliver a lecture on the topic 'Ramayana is ours'.

Extending support to Vichar Vibhag move, Tharoor told reporters in Thiruvanthapuram today that he would have attended the programme and there was nothing wrong in organising such initiatives.

"I would have taken part in the Vichar Vibhag's initiative if it was organised," he said.

The former union minister also said there were no differences in his party to fight the 'communal fascist' agendas of BJP.

"My party is united in fighting the communal fascist agendas of BJP. The difference is only regarding the strategies," he said.

'Karkitakam,' is the lean season ahead of 'Chingam' that ushers in Malayalis' most colourful festival of 'Onam.'  -- PTI
17:31   Guwahati police bars Togadia from attending public events
The Guwahati police today barred former VHP leader Pravin Togadia from attending any public function in the state capital for the next two months, fearing that his "inflammatory speeches" could disrupt peace.   

The prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC by Guwahati police commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath came following Togadia's plans to visit the city and attend a series of programmes from today to July 19, organised by his newly-formed group -- Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad.   

Stating that the Hindutva leader has been making "sensitive and inflammatory speeches", Nath said, "... Such inflammatory speeches will hurt the sentiment of the religious minority community, and create a deep sense of insecurity among them, which is very likely to disturb law and order."   

If Togadia is allowed to address these events at ITA Machkhowa auditorium or a scheduled press conference on July 19 at Guwahati Press Club, public peace and order here and other areas of the police commissionerate are likely to be disturbed "in a serious manner", Nath said.   

Any possible provocative statement made by the leader may also affect the prevailing situation during the proposed final draft publication of the National Register of Citizens, he said.   

The police commissioner directed Togadia, who is president of AHP, to abstain from attending events organised by it and making any speech through any media without proper permission.   

"The order shall remain in force in the territorial area of Guwahati police commissionerate for two months with effect from July 17, 2018," Nath said.   

Besides, the police has cancelled all events planned by the AHP across Guwahati.   

Nath, however, said Togadia can appear before him for filing a written objection for cancellation or modification, if he is aggrieved by the order. 
17:09   17 accused of sexual assault on minor girl thrashed by lawyers in court
Dramatic visuals have emerged of lawyers thrashing 17 people, arrested for alleged sexual assault on a minor girl over a period of time, at a Mahila Court in Chennai.

The 17 people, most of them security guards and maintenance workers of an apartment complex in Chennai, were arrested today, police said.

The arrests were made following a complaint by the victim's father that his 11-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by several men in the apartment complex.

The victim identified all the accused, police said.

The arrested include security guards, plumbers, electricians and others engaged in menial jobs, they said.

All the 17 were produced before a court which remanded them to judicial custody till July 31.

The footage purports to show several lawyers thrashing the accused at the court complex.

The shocking repeated sexual assault came to light after the victim, a Class 7 student, narrated her ordeal to her elder sister.

The sister informed their parents who lodged a police complaint on July 15.

"The girl has said that she was molested by 11 people and has identified 17 persons (including accomplices of the alleged perpetrators of the crime)," a senior police official told PTI.

The official said the girl was first sexually assaulted by a lift operator and later several others joined in the assault.

At least four of them have confessed to the assault, while two others said they had molested the girl, the official said.

Police said further investigations were on and CCTV footage would be analysed.

"We are taking it as a special case and working on it," the officer said.  --  PTI, ANI
16:54   BJP appoints Anurag Thakur its chief whip in Lok Sabha
The Bharatiya Janata Party today appointed Anurag Thakur, its MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, as the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, party sources said.

Thakur replaces Rakesh Singh, who was recently made Madhya Pradesh BJP president and is busy with election strategy in the poll-bound state.

Thakur, a key voice of the party in the Lower House, was president of the BJP's youth wing.  -- PTI
The 'milk blockade' will continue until demands of the dairy farmers are not met, pledged Hatkanangle constituency MP Raju Shetti.

The milk blockade called by the Swami Shetkari Sanghatana has asked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra to give milk farmers a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre.

Yesterday, scores of farmers of the organisation also spilled milk on the roads near Pune's Hadapsar to mark the protest.

An agitated Shetti told ANI that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has betrayed these farmers by making false promises at the time of general elections.

When asked if it's a political move, the leader clarified that he is making efforts in order to ease the life of farmers of the region.

He also stated that he will not join any political outfit or take any decision until the demands of struggling farmers are fulfilled by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led state government.   -- ANI
16:10   Swami Agnivesh alleges attack by BJP workers in Jharkhand
Social activist Swami Agnivesh today alleged that he was attacked by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and ABVP members at Pakur in Jharkhand for his "anti-Hindu" stance.         

He was in Pakur to take part in an event in Littipara of the district.
"As soon as I came out of the venue, BJYM and ABVP activists attacked me without any provocation. They alleged that I was speaking against Hindus," he told PTI.
"I thought Jharkhand was a peaceful state, but my views have changed after this incident," he told. 
A video of the alleged attack with a large crowd thrashing the social activist and his supporters did the rounds of social media and TV channels.
Asked about the incident, Superintendent of Police, Shailendra Prasad Burnwal said he did not have any prior information about Agnivesh's programme in the district.
Pakur Sub-Divisional Police Officer Ashok Kumar Singh said the guilty would not be spared. -- PTI  
15:45   SC reserves verdict on Section 377
The Supreme Court today reserved verdict on pleas challenging constitutional validity of section 377 of IPC which criminalises consensual gay sex.

The SC asked all the counsel who argued for and against it to submit written submissions by this Friday.

A Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, decided to reserve its verdict last Thursday as well, and agreed to hear the interveners for 90 minutes today.

Earlier in the day, the SC asserted that the courts cannot wait for a "majoritarian government" to decide on enacting, amending or striking down a law if it violates fundamental rights.

"We would not wait for the majoritarian government to enact, amend or not to enact any law to deal with violations of fundamental rights," a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed while hearing a batch of petitions seeking decriminalisation of consensual gay sex.
15:35   Islamabad HC rejects Sharifs' request for release on bail
In a blow for jailed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, the Islamabad high court has rejected their bail pleas. 

The Sharifs had filed an appeal in the court against the verdict in one of the corruption cases and sought their release on bail.

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 Islamabad Accountability Court had sentenced Sharif to a total of 10 years in prison and imposed a fine of 8 million (Rs 72 crore) in the corruption case. 

His daughter Maryam was sentenced to seven years in prison along with a 2 million (Rs 18.18 crore) fine.

In addition, Sharif's son-in-law Captain Safdar (retired) was given a one-year sentence without any fine. 
15:27   Flight attendant suicide case: Husband sent to 14-day judicial custody
A Delhi court today sent the husband of a female flight attendant, who allegedly committed suicide in south Delhi's Panchsheel Park on Friday, to two weeks' judicial custody.
Metropolitan Magistrate Anuj Kumar sent Mayank Singhvi to 14 days' judicial remand after Delhi police moved an application saying the accused was not required for custodial interrogation and he be sent to JC.
Singhvi was arrested yesterday evening.
Mayank's wife, Anissia Batra, 39, worked with a German airline. 

She allegedly jumped from the terrace of her house on Friday. 

Mayank rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was declared brought dead.
Advocate Ishkaran Singh Bhandari, appearing for Anissia,  urged the court that a look out notice be issued against Singhvi's parents as they subjected the victim to a lot of atrocities and have not been arrested as yet.
The police told the court that they were doing the needful in that regard.
Anissia's family has alleged that her husband used to physically abuse her.
The couple had been married for over two years and lived in Panchsheel Enclave.
Before jumping off the terrace, she had sent a message to her husband that she would kill herself, police said. 

When he reached there, a labourer from the adjacent house told him that she had jumped.
She was taken to Max Hospital and the police were informed. She succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
Her husband, a software engineer in Gurgaon, told the police that they had regular fights as there were "compatibility issues".
They had an argument on Friday as well, following which she jumped from the terrace, police said. -- PTI
15:15   Finmin likely to infuse about Rs 10K cr soon in PSU banks
The finance ministry is likely to infuse about Rs 10,000 crore within a few days in some state-owned lenders including Punjab National Bank, Corporation Bank and Central Bank of India, to help them meet regulatory capital requirement, sources said.
Some of these banks have come under pressure because of interest payment to their bond holders of Additional Tier 1 (AT-1) bonds, sources said.
As a result, they were facing the risk of breaching the regulatory capital requirement, sources said, adding that the ministry has decided to provide capital to 4-5 banks which are facing "acute shortage".
Banks raise capital through AT1 bonds, which are perpetual in nature and therefore provide higher interest rates to investors. A high level of bad loans and widening losses have made it difficult for banks to service these bonds from their own earnings.
The sources said that capital infusion may take place this week itself or latest by next week in some of banks including Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India and Corporation Bank.
The infusion would be part of remaining Rs 65,000 crore out of Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital infusion over two financial years.
The new round of infusion will be between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 crore, sources said.
The government announced Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital infusion programme October last year. As per the plan, the public sector banks were to get Rs 1.35 lakh crore through re-capitalisation bonds, and the balance Rs 58,000 crore through raising of capital from the market.
Out of the Rs 1.35 lakh crore, the government has already infused about Rs 71,000 crore through recap bonds in the banks and balance would be done during this fiscal.
Besides, PSBs are also planning to tap the markets to raise more than Rs 50,000 crore this fiscal to shore up their capital base for business growth and meeting regulatory global risk norms.
Capital is very much required for these banks as they are saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of about Rs 10 lakh crore.
Out of 21 public sector banks, 13 have already taken the approval of their boards or shareholders for raising capital through the equity market,
The combined value of the shares sales of these banks is upwards of Rs 50,000 crore.
Leading the pack is the Central Bank of India, which has already got shareholders' approval for raising Rs 8,000 crore equity capital through various means, including a follow-on public offer, rights issue or a qualified institutional placement), to shore up its capital base. -- PTI
15:11   PM seeks cooperation of all parties for smooth functioning of monsoon session
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today sought the cooperation of all parties for the smooth functioning of the monsoon session of Parliament starting tomorrow.
Addressing the leaders of various parties in the Parliament House, Modi asked them to raise their issues in the Houses as people expected them to do so.
The government claimed that the opposition parties had assured it of smooth functioning of Parliament.
"The prime minister today sought the cooperation of all political parties for the smooth functioning of Parliament and a productive session. People expect Parliament to function and we all should ensure that," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the meeting.
The opposition parties also raised the issue of not granting of reservation to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in higher education.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said, "We will not allow the House to function till an assurance is given by the government on the floor of the House on reservation to SCs and STs in higher eduction."
Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh also raised the issue of alleged discrimination by the Centre against the Delhi government and hoped that the prime minister would address the issue. -- PTI  
15:06   Court's duty to strike down law if it violates fundamental right: SC on Section 377
The courts cannot wait for a "majoritarian government" to decide on enacting, amending or striking down a law if it violates fundamental rights, the Supreme Court asserted on Tuesday.
"We would not wait for the majoritarian government to enact, amend or not to enact any law to deal with violations of fundamental rights," a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed while hearing a batch of petitions seeking decriminalisation of consensual gay sex.
The courts are not in obligation to wait and would act if any violation of fundamental right was brought before it, the bench, which also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, said.
The observations by the bench, which is dealing with a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, came when advocate Shyam George, appearing for some Apostolic Alliance of Churches and Utkal Christian Association, submitted that it was the legislature's job to decide whether to amend or allow section 377 in the statute book.
"The moment we are convinced about violation of the fundamental right, the object of these fundamental rights give power to the court to strike down the law," the bench said.
The lawyer also referred to the term "sexual orientation" and said it cannot be read interchangeably with the term "sex" used in article 14 and 15 which deal with the right to equality of the citizen.
He said the term sexual orientation was different from the term sex as there have been several kinds of sexual orientation, besides the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer).
Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
The advancing of arguments would resume later in the afternoon.
The top court had on July 12 said the social stigma and discrimination attached to the LGBTQ community would go if criminality of consensual gay sex is done away with, while maintaining that it would scrutinise the legal validity of section 377 of the IPC in all its aspects. -- PTI
14:08   Trump looked like a 'little wet noodle' during Putin press conference: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Veteran action star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has attacked President Donald Trump saying he acted like a "fan boy" of Russian President Vladimir Putin in their "embarrassing" press conference.
The "Terminator" star, 70, slammed Trump in an Instagram video after the president held a press conference with Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
"President Trump, I just saw your press conference with President Putin and it was embarrassing. I mean, you stood there like a little wet noodle, like a little fanboy," Schwarzenegger said in the video.
The actor added that Trump looked like he was going to ask Putin for an "autograph" or a "selfie". 

He said that Trump "sold out" his community, the justice system, and "worst of all, our country" during the press conference.
Schwarzenegger was not the only one to criticise the president's performance in Helsinki.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Lindsay Graham, Senator John McCain, and more conservative politicians, as well as several Fox News contributors, all reprimanded the president for taking Putin at his word regarding the election interference. -- PTI  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs all party meeting ahead of monsoon session of Parliament.
13:54   11-year-old girl raped for months in Chennai, 17 arrested
An 11-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by several men over a period of time at various places inside her apartment complex in Chennai.

The police have arrested 17 people, including the building's security guard.

The matter came to light after the victim, a class seven student had narrated the sequence of incidents to her elder sister, who later brought this to the notice of their parents, following which a complaint was lodged on Sunday, a senior police officer told PTI.

The girl was allegedly sedated and given spiked soft drinks. 

The police say she was also blackmailed. 

Those arrested include the liftman and water supplier.

According to media reports, the girl's father was away at work through most of the day while her mother, a homemaker, did not think anything was amiss when the girl came home late from school. 

She assumed that her daughter was playing with friends in the complex.

The girl's parents took her to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital for treatment. After examining and speaking to the girl, doctors at the hospital found that several men had raped her.
13:44   If govt can spend crores on bullet train, why it has no money for milk farmers: Sena
Coming out in support of the ongoing protest by dairy farmers in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena today sought to know why the government cannot hike the milk procurement prices when it can spend crores on big-ticket
projects like the bullet train.
Farmers' organisations in the state have launched a protest to demand a hike of Rs 5 per litre in milk procurement prices. As part of the protest, which began early Monday, milk tankers are being blocked in several districts of Maharashtra by protesters.
"This agitation cannot be ignored just because it was launched by (farmer leader) Raju Shetti. Farmers neither belong to any particular religion or caste, nor any political party. Over 3,000 farmers have ended their lives in the last four years and majority of them had voted for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi," the Sena said.
"Last year's strike by farmers to press for their demands was a disgrace for the government. Now, instead of suppressing the ongoing agitation of dairy farmers, the state should think about how it can provide relief to them," the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party alleged that on the one hand, the government will try to break the agitation, while on the other it would chant the slogans of 'Jai Kisan'.
While the government has fixed Rs 27 per litre as the procurement price of milk, currently it is being procured only at Rs 16-18, the party said.
"The Goa and Karnataka governments give Rs 5 per litre subsidy to milk farmers. So what is wrong if the farmers in Maharashtra also seek a similar relief? The government is spending thousands of crores on bullet train, Samruddhi Corridor and Metro rail projects.
"It is even taking a loan for the bullet train, but not willing to increase the procurement price by Rs 5. PM Modi announced a hike in MSP for agricultural goods, but Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should clarify whether the farmers in Maharashtra will also get that benefit or not," it added.
The farmers, who once voted Modi to power, have now became disillusioned and distressed, it said adding, "In the recent Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha bypoll, the BJP was defeated by the farmers and the party's win in Palghar bypoll is meaningless." -- PTI
13:17   Mayawati fires party leader who called Sonia Gandhi a 'foreigner'
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati sacked newly appointed vice president Jai Prakash Singh today, a day after he said Congress president Rahul Gandhi could never succeed in Indian politics because his mother was a foreigner. 
Mayawati said she took very seriously his "personal views" against the leadership of rival political parties and was removing him as BSP national vice president with immediate effect. 
Singh had said at a meeting of BSP workers in Lucknow yesterday that had Rahul Gandhi been like his father, the late Rajiv Gandhi, there was some hope. 

However, he has followed in the footsteps of his mother Sonia Gandhi, who is a foreigner and will therefore never succeed in Indian politics, the BSP leader had added.
Mayawati said it was his personal opinion and against the party's culture.
"I came to know that yesterday he has made a statement against top national leadership of rival parties, thereby deviating from the policies of the BSP," she said in a  statement.
Distancing herself from the comment, Mayawati added that he has said a number of "unrestrained things which is completely against the culture of the BSP".
"Taking this very seriously and in the interest of the party and BSP movement, our party, which had appointed Jai Prakash Singh recently as national vice president, has with immediate effect removed him from the post," Mayawati said.
Singh has also been removed as national coordinator, the release added. --  PTI 
13:07   Trump-Putin summit costs over Rs 2 crore
United States President Donald Trump's recent summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Finland was a costly affair.

The US State Department made a lot of new purchase orders specifically for a one-day summit.

According to federal documents, the hotel bill was a staggering $128,681.39 (around Rs 88.12 lakh) and tech support was $100,972.50 (around Rs 69.15 lakh), which also included an additional $12,000 (Rs 8.21 lakh) alone for laptop/printer rentals, reported TMZ.

Interestingly, Trump, who is well-known for criticising media time and again, spent a hefty amount of $52,703.38 (around Rs 36.23 lakh) on feeding them.

The US government spent $15,913.35 (around Rs 10.94 lakh) on Secret Service's ballistic glass installation and removal.

Also, a $56,000 (around Rs 38. 50 lakh) was shelled by the government for paying the airport hangar rental fee.

The US government in total spent a whopping $302,124.62 (around Rs 2.07 crore) for the summit.  
12:58   Religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me: Rahul hits back at BJP
As the Bharatiya Janata Party has been kicking up a storm over his reported statement at a meeting of Muslim intellectuals that 'the Congress was a party of Muslims', the Congress president tweeted on Tuesday: 'I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress.'

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mocked the Congress for being a party which stood only with Muslim men.

'I read in the newspaper that the Congress president had said that the Congress is a party of Muslims, and there has been discussion on this for the past two days,' he said in an apparent reference to Rahul Gandhi's recent meeting with Muslim intellectuals.

'I am not surprised as when Manmohan Singh was the PM, he had said that Muslims have the first right over natural resources,' Modi said.

'But I want to ask the Congress whether it is a party of Muslim men alone,' he added.
12:19   TN tax raids throw up Rs 163 cr in cash, 100 kg of gold
In one of the biggest recoveries till date, the income-tax department has seized Rs 163 crores in cash and about 100 kg of bullion, following raids at multiple premises of a road construction firm in Tamil Nadu, officials said today.   

The searches were launched yesterday at the premises of Ms SPK and Company, a partnership firm engaged in roads and highways construction on contract from the government.   

"About Rs 163 crores cash, which is suspected to be unaccounted, and bullion and gold jewellery weighing about 100 kg have been seized so far. The raids are still going on," a senior official of the IT department said.   

Officials said the seizure was probably the biggest so far in raid operations anywhere in the country.   

The department had seized over Rs 110 crores in cash following raids at the premises of a mining baron in Chennai post demonetisation in 2016.   

The Chennai investigation wing of the IT department is conducting the operation.   

The raids were carried out after the department found "evidence of suspected tax evasion by the firm and its associates" that were believed to have political links, the senior IT official said.   

A total of 22 premises -- 17 in Chennai, four in Aruppukottai (Virudhunagar district) and one in Katpadi (Vellore) -- were being searched, the officials said.   

The seized cash was kept in big travel bags and parked cars, they said, adding that dozens of gold biscuits were also seized.   

A number of documents and computer hardware were also seized by the department, the officials said.
12:03   Lokpal selection committee to meet on July 19 to constitute search committee: Centre to SC
The Centre today told the Supreme Court that the Lokpal selection committee has convened a meeting on July 19 for the purpose of constituting a search panel.
The government told a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the search committee would have to recommend a panel of names for appointing a Lokpal.
The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on July 24 and said since the selection committee was scheduled to meet on July 19, it would not pass any direction.
The committee comprises the prime minister, the chief justice of India, Lok Sabha speaker, the leader of the largest opposition party and an eminent jurist.
The court was hearing a contempt petition, filed by senior advocate Shanti Bhushan on behalf of NGO Common Cause, raising the issue of non-appointment of Lokpal despite the apex court's judgement of April 27 last year.  --  PTI
11:55   Salman, Akshay among Forbes' highest paid celebs in world
Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are among the world's 100 highest-paid entertainers, according to a Forbes list topped by American boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Akshay is ranked 76th on the Forbes list of the World's Highest Paid Celebrities 2018 while Salman is on the 82nd spot.
Forbes said the world's 100 top-earning entertainers pulled in a combined USD 6.3 billion pretax over the past 12 months, up 22 per cent from last year and 11 superstars crossed the USD 100 million threshold, more than double the number from the last two years combined.
Akshay, 50, had earnings of 40.5 million dollars.

Forbes said "one of Bollywood's leading men has transitioned to socially-conscious roles," citing his films such as Toilet: Ek Prem Katha that focussed on government campaigns to improve sanitation, and Padman, about a man hoping to provide inexpensive sanitary pads to rural communities. He also mints millions from profits and endorsing about 20 brands.
Salman, 52, had earnings of USD 37.7 million. 

Forbes said he remains one of India's top earners and the "Bollywood mainstay" continues to produce and star in hits such as Tiger Zinda Hai," cashing in on backend profits.
The list has been topped by Mayweather with earnings of 285 million dollars. Among the other highest-paid entertainers are actor George Clooney (second), reality TV star and businessperson Kylie Jenner (third), soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo (10), pop star Katy Perry (19), tennis icon Roger Federer (23), singer Beyonce (35), author J K Rowling (42) and golfer Tiger Woods (66). -- PTI  

Image: Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth at the first look launch of 2.0. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar
11:10   SC asks Parliament to enact anti-lynching law
The Supreme Court today said no one can take the law into their hands and that it is the duty of the state governments to ensure law and order is maintained.

The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas seeking directions to formulate guidelines to curb vigilantism.

"Horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become new norm and has to be curbed with an iron hand," the SC said.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud also asked Parliament to enact a law to deal with mob lynchings and to punish such offenders.

The bench fixed the matter for further hearing on August 28. 

The court's order came on a batch of petitions including by social activist Tehseen S Poonawalla and Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, seeking to curb violence by cow vigilante groups.

Tushar Gandhi had also filed a contempt plea against some states, accusing them of not enforcing the earlier orders of the court.
10:29   Denied ambulance, woman forced to give birth in moving bus in MP

In yet another case of alleged medical negligence, a pregnant woman was forced to give birth to baby after she was denied ambulance in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur area.

The medical practitioners of the community hospital in Chhatarpur allegedly turned away a pregnant woman and referred her to a district hospital.

The hospital didn't even provide transportation to the woman in pain. 

She later gave birth in an unsanitary condition inside a moving bus.

Narrating his wife's ordeal, the husband said, "I had taken her to a community hospital, from where she was referred to a district hospital. No vehicle was provided by the community hospital, so I took a bus to the district hospital. She delivered the baby on the way." -- ANI
10:22   Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and funnier!
British comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen returns, devastatingly funny as always, with a 10-minute clip that takes the Mickey out of the US's pro-gun activists and right-wing Congressmen.   

He totally dupes them pretending to be a fearsome ex-Mossad-type Israeli, who is selling a programme named Kindeguardians to America that arms toddlers with guns for their self protection.   

And he gets extraordinary results.   

In the bargain he proves how deranged and dangerous the American pro-gun bunch is.   

Hilarious and shocking, have a look at Who is America?    

Why can't we let Baron loose on Delhi Durbar? 
10:18   Actor Rita Bhaduri passes away
Veteran actress Rita Bhaduri passed away on Monday night.

The actor, who was last seen as Imarti Devi in Star Bharat's TV show Nimki Mukhiya, was 62.

Actor Shishir Sharma took to his Facebook account to share the news of her demise. 

"We deeply regret to inform you that Reeta Bhaduri has departed for her journey beyond. The funeral rites will be held on 17th July, Tuesday at 12 noon at the Cremation Ground, Parsi Wada Road, Parshiwada, Chakala, Andheri East. Extremely sad.. lost a wonderful human being .. a mother to many of us.. will miss u Ma," he wrote. 

Rita Bhaduri has worked in 70 movies like Raja, Julie, Beta, Dil Vil Pyar Vyar and over 20 television shows, which includes Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Amanat and Kumkum.
10:08   Should I have asked army to take along Rahul for surgical strikes: Parrikar
Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar ridiculed the Congress for questioning the veracity of the surgical strike conducted by the army in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 2016.

Taking a jibe at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, the Goa chief minister said, "When we did the surgical strike, the opposition parties said that they never happened. I would have taken the opposition party on the surgical strike. I would have told the army to take Rahul Gandhi and do the surgical strike".
"If you want to do a surgical strike, then the most important thing is secrecy. Only four people were knowing about the strike including the prime minister, me, the army chief and the director general of military operations besides Army's Zone Commander and the Commander in Srinagar," he said.
The army had reported on September 29, 2016, eleven days after the Uri attack that claimed 18 jawans, that it had conducted surgical strikes against suspected militant launch pads in the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
09:30   All Mother Teresa care homes to be inspected after baby selling scandal
Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has instructed the state governments to inspect all child care homes run by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity across the country.

The decision was taken after the Jharkhand child trafficking case came to light, wherein three children were rescued after being trafficked by three nuns of the Missionaries of Charity.

Gandhi has asked the state governments to ensure registration of all child care institutions and linking them to the Central Adoption Resource Authority within next month.

According to an official release, the mandatory registration of CCIs and linking to Central Adoption Resource Authority has been provided in Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which came into force more than two years ago but some orphanages had challenged the validity of this clause.

However, the Supreme Court has since dismissed the petitions and has upheld the validity; vide their order of December 2017. Since then, approximately 2300 child care institutions have been linked to CARA and about 4000 are still pending for linkage. -- ANI
09:16   Russian woman arrested in the US, accused of being a spy
29-year-old Russian woman Mariia Butina has been arrested on the charges of conspiring to act as an agent of the Russian government, the US Department of Justice said on Monday.

Butina, a Russian gun rights advocate living in Washington, was developing ties with US citizens and infiltrating political groups including the National Rifle Association.

The announcement of her arrest comes hours after US President Donald Trump met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland and barely days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign.

"Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank. This Russian official was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018," Sputnik reported, citing the statement issued by the DOJ on Monday, as saying.

However, the report does not identify the Kremlin official.

It is pertinent to mention that charges do not stem out of the Mueller's investigation.

The report also quoted FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson, as saying in a sworn statement that one of the goals which the Russian national was endeavouring to achieve was to "exploit personal connections with US person having influence in American politics in an effort to advance the interests of the Russian Federation."

Butina's lawyer Robert Driscoll has denied allegations and maintained her innocence.

The next hearing is scheduled to take place on July 18. -- ANI
08:41   Putin dismisses Mueller probe as 'political games'
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign is politically motivated, calling it part of the United States' "internal political games".

"It's quite clear to me that (the investigation) is (being) used in the internal political struggle -- and it's nothing to be proud of for American democracy, to use such dirty methods in the political rivalry," he told Fox News in an interview.

Putin again denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election

"I mentioned this in 2016 and I want to say it now again, Russia, as a state, has never interfered with the internal affairs of the United States, let alone an election," Putin said.

Earlier, United States President Donald Trump also mentioned that Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign was 'a disaster for our country', while also saying that it had negatively impacted US-Russia relations.
00:26   Sharif kept in 'abysmal conditions' in Rawalpindi jail
Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been kept in 'abysmal conditions' and deprived of a newspaper and bed and uses a 'dirty' washroom in the high-security Adiala prison in Rawalpindi, according to a letter written by his brother Shahbaz Sharif.

The letter was written by Shahbaz to caretaker chief minister of Punjab Hasan Askari Rizvi.

It came after Shahbaz, Sharif's younger brother and former chief minister of the province, visited Sharif with his family on Saturday.

'I want to draw your attention to the abysmal conditions under which Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, is languishing in the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi,' he wrote.

Sharif, 68, and his daughter Maryam, 44, were arrested in Lahore on July 13 on their arrival from London after an accountability court found them guilty over his family's ownership of four luxury flats in London.

They were later taken to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Shahbaz, who is also president of Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz, went on to highlight the conditions faced by the former prime minister in jail.

'It was noted during my visit that Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was not even given a newspaper to read, his mattress was on the floor and the washroom at his disposal was in a dirty despicable condition, with no air conditioner in his room,' the letter said.

Shahbaz complained that no attendant was provided and medical facility also was not up to the mark to take care of Sharif who is a heart and diabetic patient.

He said Sharif needed medicine on time and frequent visits of a doctor and requested that his personal doctor, who knows his medical condition, be allowed to visit him twice a day to administer medicine and examine a clean diet.

'It is very unfortunate that Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, three time Prime Minister of Pakistan, is being treated in such a shabby manner. This situation is unacceptable given the minimum facilities he is entitled to as former Prime Minister,' he wrote.  -- PTI