Fri, 29 June 2018
Babul Supriyo refuses facilities provided by WB government

Timeline  Refresh

23:45   Babul Supriyo refuses facilities provided by WB government
Union minister Babul Supriyo today announced he has decided to refuse all facilities provided by the Trinamool Congress government, which is customary when a representative from the central government visits a state.

'In protest against many atrocities of the WB government, something that is common knowledge and needs no mention here, I have decided to refuse all facilities provided by the TMC government... That includes the state vehicle, the state guest house, pilot cars etc,' Supriyo said in a statement.

The decision of Supriyo, who is a minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprise, comes a day after he got into an altercation with the district magistrate of Bengal's Purulia while visiting the public rally of BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday.

Supriyo said he had instructed his office to stop sending his 'tour programmes' to the state government as is the general practise when a Union  minister visits any state.

He said the state administration used to send him a car that does not have airbags, a safety feature, despite that fact that he has to travel on highways.

'Till today, the official car from the WB government followed my private car as a backup vehicle but as of today, I refuse to accept that, too. I relive the TMC government and their officers, the agony and pain they have to go through, to provide hospitality to a BJP member in me,' he said.

'I do not use or need the hooters of the police pilot cars either. I can and will work my way through without any help from them even if that is the norm and tradition. This is with immediate effect as of now/today,' he said.  -- PTI
23:19   Second arrest in Mandsaur child rape case
One more person was today arrested in connection with the abduction and rape of an eight-year-old girl in Mandsaur on June 26.

Asif, 24, was held from Madarpura locality of the city, after Irfan alias Bhaiyu, 20, arrested on Wednesday night, named him as his accomplice in the heinous crime, said additional superintendent of police S S Kanesh.

Asif, a construction worker, admitted to raping the girl, Kanesh added.        He was booked under relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Further investigation was on, the ASP said.

The minor was abducted while she was waiting for her father outside her school on Tuesday. After being raped, the accused slit her throat with a knife and left her to die, police said.

Following a complaint by the victims' parents, she was found lying unconscious in bushes in the Laxman Darwaja area. Medical examination confirmed that she was sexually assaulted, they said.

Doctors yesterday said that she was undergoing treatment and was out of danger.

Earlier today, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condemned the incident and said that rapists were a "burden on the earth" and did not deserve to live.  -- PTI
22:06   BSF officer on Amarnath Yatra duty dies after complaining of chest pain
A Border Security Force officer, posted on Amarnath yatra duty along the traditional Pahalgam route, died last night after complaining of chest pain, police said today.

Assistant Sub Inspector Hardayal Singh of BSF's 182nd battalion, posted on yatra duty at Betaab Valley in Pahalgam, complained of chest pain around 11 pm yesterday and was taken to the local sub district hospital, a police official said.

He said 54-year-old Singh was referred to SKIMS hospital at Soura for treatment but declared 'dead on arrival' by the doctors.  -- PTI
21:52   Rise in Indians' money in Swiss banks matter of grave concern: JD-U
The Janata Dal-United, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, today termed the report that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent in 2017 a matter of 'grave concern'.

Its spokesperson K C Tyagi said they had expected that demonetisation, carried out by the Modi government in November 2016, would hit black money hard, 'but the latest figures are a matter of grave concern'.

Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.

The stand of Nitish Kumar-led JD-U is another pointer to the differences between the regional party and the BJP.

JD-U leaders have sought preeminent status for their party in the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar, a status it used to enjoy till its break-up with the BJP in 2013 following which the BJP joined hands with news allies and swept the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.

The BJP believes that political equations have changed in the state and it is the largest NDA party.  -- PTI
20:55   MEA's passport app registers 1 million downloads in 2 days
The External Affairs Ministry's passport seva mobile application, which allows users to apply for a travel document from anywhere in the country, has registered one million downloads in just two days of its launch on June 26.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had launched the application, available in Android and iOS platforms, on Tuesday with facilities for applying, paying and scheduling appointments for acquiring a passport.

'Passport Seva mobile App launched recently by the Ministry of External Affairs recently has already registered 1 million downloads,' Swaraj tweeted today.

It was launched along with a scheme under which a person can apply for a passport from anywhere in India irrespective of the place of residence.

With the launch of the 'mPassport Seva App', a person now does not require access to a computer and printer to apply for a passport, the MEA had said.  -- PTI
20:17   BJP unlikely to go for early Lok Sabha election: Kharge
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge today said it was unlikely that the Bharatiya Janata Party would go for early Lok Sabha election looking at the current political situation.

The Congress leader in the Lok Sabha said the BJP's stand on holding early election will be clear once the monsoon session of Parliament begins.

"BJP may be planning to hold elections in November or December. There will be elections in some states in November. The BJP is still calculating that it would benefit it more in states like Maharashtra if the general elections take place after the completion of its full-term.

"Looking at the current political situation, it is unlikely that the BJP will go for early polls," he told reporters in New Delhi.

Kharge said, "The BJP is currently doing its calculations and is weighing its options of gains and losses in states and it will take a call on early polls only after it completes the exercise."

Kharge alleged that the BJP has not fulfilled any of its poll promises made ahead of the 2014 general elections and it has not much to talk about its achievements.

"The promises made by the BJP in last elections have not been fulfilled. It is still thinking (about elections)...Things will be clear once the Parliament session begins," he said.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H D Deve Gowda had indicated yesterday that the BJP was planning early elections and called for the need to form a Third Front at the earliest to take on the saffron party.

He had also said that the monsoon session would be the last session of this Lok Sabha, looking at the signals that the BJP was giving to its cadres in states.  -- PTI
20:14   Madanlal Saini appointed Rajasthan BJP president
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah today appointed Rajya Sabha MP Madanlal Saini as the party's Rajasthan unit president, over two months after Ashok Parnami resigned from the post.

Saini has been appointed with immediate effect, the party said in a statement.

Assembly election in Rajasthan is slated for later this year.

The decision came after several rounds of meetings between Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Shah.

Earlier, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was tipped to be the state president.

Senior state BJP leaders congratulated Saini on his new assignment.         The party leaders and his supporters reached the party's state headquarters in Jaipur even before the formal announcement of the appointment was made.

"He has worked with the party with all sincerity and dedication," said Ashok Parnami, who resigned as the state president in April.

Saini, 75, is a former MLA and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteer.

He has held various posts in Bhartiya Kisan Morcha and Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh.  -- PTI
19:39   Rise of Indian money in Swiss banks not surprising: Yechury
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury today said while Indian money in Swiss banks rose by 50 per cent in 2017, the Centre wrote off the corporate world's unpaid loans worth lakhs of crores and allowed them to flee after looting public money.

The CPI-M general secretary said the prime minister had no intention to honour the promises made by him in 2014.

'Indian money in Swiss banks rises 50% to over Rs 7,000 crore in 2017: a fraction of Indian Black Money in Switzerland. Modi govt writes off lakhs of crores of unpaid loans of crony corporates, businessmen flee India after looting public money under his watch; this data is no surprise,' Yechury tweeted.

From falsifying history to making new promises, 'Jumlaman' has no time or intention to remember the tall promises he made in 2014...from depositing Rs 15 lakh in each bank account to making rupee stronger to doubling farmers' income, he has only insulted & humiliated us Indians #BlackDays, he said.

CPI leader D Raja sought an explanation from the Modi government on how such a rise of Indian money in the Swiss banks happened.

"Modi had promised to get back the black money stashed in Swiss banks. He did not keep his promise. Now, there is a rise of Indian money in the Swiss banks. The Modi government should give an explanation on how it is happening," he told PTI.

According to the official annual data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation, money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 per cent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.

In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, it said.

The surge in Indian money held with Swiss banks comes as a surprise given India's continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed abroad, including in banks of Switzerland that used to be known for their famed secrecy walls for years.

The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45 per cent in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge, to CHF 676 million (about Rs 4,500 crore) -- the lowest ever since the European nation began making the data public in 1987.  --  PTI
19:18   PM enquires about condition of Vajpayee during AIIMS visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today enquired about the condition of ailing former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee during a visit to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

After attending an event at the AIIMS, Modi went to the wing where the 93-year-old Bharatiya  is admitted and spent around 10-15 minutes there, a hospital source said.

Modi had paid two earlier visits to the hospital to enquire about Vajpayee's health.

Vajpayee was admitted to the AIIMS on June 11 with kidney tract infection, chest congestion, urinary tract infection and urine output on the lower side.

The former prime minister is a diabetic and has one functional kidney.

He had suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia.  -- PTI
18:31   Ghatkopar crash: Maintenance firm says the plane was fine
Kanu Gohain, the Executive Director of Indamer Aviation on Friday lamented the 'unfortunate incident' of Mumbai plane crash, saying that the aircraft had undergone extensive repair work under them.

Five people were killed after the chartered plane crashed near an under construction building on Thursday in Mumbai's Ghatkopar.Indramer Aviation was the company that was undertaking maintenance of the ill-fated chartered plane, and had cleared it for the test flight after it passed all the ground tests.

Speaking to ANI, Gohain said that cause for the accident was yet to be ascertained.

"What caused the plane crash has not been found yet. The investigation is still on. It is very strange as there were no emergencies or untoward events during the 40 minute that it had flown prior to the crash. But the incident is really unfortunate as it claimed five lives," Gohain told ANI.

He also claimed that they had extensively repaired the plane and removed faulty parts.

"After the Uttar Pradesh government sold it to UY Aviation, it was given to us for repair work. We repaired the plane thoroughly, replacing all the faulty parts. Following that reweighing, systems check, all the functions of the craft were thoroughly checked. The checking process is done twice to be fail-safe," he added. -- ANI
17:49   Shivpal attends Ramgopal Yadav's birthday celebration
Signalling a rapprochement, Samajwadi Party national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav and Shivpal Singh Yadav celebrated the former's birthday together in Etawah today.

Both leaders were seen at a local hotel on the occasion of the 72nd birthday of Ramgopal Yadav, embracing each other and exchanging greetings with partymen and workers. Ramgopal Yadav also had his cousin join him in cutting the birthday cake.

Later in his brief address after Ramgopal Yadav left the venue, Shivpal Yadav said "there was never any revolt or rift either in the party or family.' "There is an undeclared emergency like situation in the country...Corruption is at its prime...all the party leaders and workers need to stand with the people and help them in resolving their problems," Shivpal Yadav added.

The party had witnessed serious differences in the Yadav family in 2016 with the then party president Mulayam Singh Yadav taking sides with his younger brother Shivpal Yadav against son Akhilesh Yadav who was backed by Ramgopal Yadav. The infighting eventually resulted in Akhilesh Yadav takeing over the reins of the party. -- PTI

File pic: Shivpal Yadav
17:39   BSF jawans going AWOL were visiting home
The nine jawans, who had gone missing during their journey from West Bengal to Jammu and Kashmir, were visiting their homes in nearby areas on the route, BSF Director General K K Sharma said today.

He said the episode was a case of miscommunication. The jawans were found missing without official permission between Burdwan and Dhanbad railway stations during a headcount on Wednesday.

Part of a battalion of 83 jawans, they were heading to Jammu on Kashmir on a special train. Their commander had filed a complaint in this connection when the train reached Mughalsarai railway station.

"The battalion was moving to Kashmir from West Bengal on transfer. Special trains move comparatively slow and sometimes jawans, who have their homes in nearby areas, go to home and catch the train again on the next station and it was something like that," the BSF director general told reporters in Jaipur.

Sharma said a junior officer had allowed them to go and the senior officer complained to the police due to a lack of coordination. A minor issue was blown out of proportion, he added. -- PTI
17:34   Lunch break saves 40 labourers in Mumbai plane crash
At least 40 labourers had a narrow escape as they went for their lunch break minutes before a chartered plane crashed into an under-construction building in the bustling Ghatkopar area yesterday.

Five people -- four crew members and a pedestrian -- lost their lives when the King Air C90 plane crashed into the crowded suburb at 1.11 pm. The labourers of the under-construction building where the ill-fated plane crashed, had gone away for lunch, which averted more casualties.

Three construction workers received minor injuries in the incident and were admitted to a civic hospital. Labourer Naresh Nishad, who sustained injuries on his face said, "We had a lucky escape as we were not present at the site as it was our lunch time. Otherwise, we would have met the same fate." "I don't know where the plane came from. I saw some burning pieces coming towards me and heard explosions," Nishad, who hails from Chhattisgarh, added.

Another labourer said, "There was light rain at that time which made us seek shelter for our lunch. We went to another under-construction building in the same compound. But generally, we used to have our food at the very place where the tragedy struck."

Another daily wage worker, Lavkush, who came to Mumbai from Allahabad, received a minor abrasion in his right leg. "Everything was quite normal and then suddenly the entire compound was filled with smoke and flames. I'm lucky that I was not present at the construction site...I'm alive today," he said.

The police officials also agreed that due to the lunch break several lives were saved. "People were lucky that the plane crashed at the under-construction site and not into any other nearby high-rise. The labourers working at the site were fortunate as they were away for lunch.

Otherwise, the tragedy would have been bigger," a police official present at the spot yesterday said. The plane once belonged to the Uttar Pradesh government and was sold to UY Aviation, a private company. The aircraft had taken off from the Juhu airstrip on a test flight. It lost control when it was four nautical miles from Juhu, Air Traffic Control (ATC) sources had said. -- PTI
17:24   What Jaitley says about '50% surge in deposits by Indians in Swiss banks'
In a Facebook post Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley writes:

'A news item has appeared today indicating an increase of money by 'Indians' in the Swiss banking system. This has led to misinformed reaction in certain circles raising a query whether the government's anti-black money steps have yielded results.

'Switzerland in financial disclosures was always a reluctant state. Of late it was subjected to a lot of international pressures which favoured disclosures and Switzerland ran the risk of being a 'non-compliant' State by the FATF.

'It has, therefore, entered into several bilateral treaties for making disclosures to requesting States. It has amended its domestic laws involving all disclosures and entered into a treaty even with India and real time flow of information with regard to Indians will be made.

'The flow of information is starting in January, 2019. Any illegal depositor knows that it is a matter of months before his name becomes public and he will be subjected to the harsh penal provisions of the black money law in India.

'Assuming this information to be correct, what does past experience show? When disclosures have been made with regard to 'Indians', including in the Panama Papers, certainly some of them have held illegal accounts. 'Indian' money outside the country is of various categories.

'Past investigation by CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) have shown that this includes many held by persons of Indian origin who now hold foreign passport, monies belonging to Non-Resident Indians, as also monies belonging to resident Indians who have made legitimate investments abroad, including transfer of money under the liberalised remittance schemes.

'It is only monies kept by resident Indian outside these categories which become actionable. The first two categories are within the jurisdiction of those countries where these persons are residents and the third category can easily be checked up in India.

'If the deposit does not fall in any of these categories, it is per se illegal for which investigations are undertaken, arrests are made and criminal prosecutions are launched.

'Switzerland has taken significant efforts to get out of the image of being a tax haven and a non-compliant State. It is on the verge of making disclosures in real time and, therefore, is no longer an ideal destination for tax evaders.

'Those who participate in a public discourse must understand these basic facts before expressing an opinion which may be ill-informed. To assume that all the deposits are per se tax evaded money or that Switzerland in the matter of illegal deposits is what it was decades ago, is to start on a shaky presumption.'
16:28   School teacher suspended because she was abusive: U'khand govt
Bhupinder Kaur Aulakh, School Education Secretary on the teacher suspended by Uttarakhand CM after she argued with over her transfer.

Aulakh said, "She has been suspended because she violated decorum as a teacher. It'll be investigated. We'll listen to her and only then will decision be taken.

"She can be transferred only within the district. Her demand that she be transferred to Dehradun falls under inter-district transfers which, as of now, isn't allowed by the Act.

"More than 58 people are posted in remote areas for longer duration than her. Her number is only 59th. The transfer is done only turn-wise."

To bring you up to speed, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat directed the police to arrest a school teacher, after she protested during a Janata Darbar session in Dehradun. The Chief Minister on Thursday also ordered her suspension, after she allegedly used abusive language while seeking her transfer from a remote location.

The school teacher, Uttara Bahuguna, claimed she has been posted in such locations for the last 25 years. The video of the incident, which has been doing the rounds, shows when Rawat dismissed her request, Bahuguna began arguing with him.

To which, Rawat lost his cool and shouted, "Suspend karo ise abhi (Suspend her immediately). Take her into police custody."

According to media reports, Bahuguna was released shortly thereafter.
15:54   Rahul Gandhi's brutal takedown on PM's black money promise
As the general elections draw close, (rumours put the date as close as December this year), Congress President Rahul Gandhi is getting into battle gear.

While Team Rahul has not yet been able to offer something concrete as an alternative to Narendra Modi's promise or an illusion at best, of achche din, his ratings are certainly up.

He has also used every opportunity the government has proferred to criticise it. For instance, the report that there was a 50 per cent rise in deposits in Swiss Banks from India in 2017.

Gandhi tweeted:
"2014, HE said: I will bring back all the "BLACK" money in Swiss Banks & put 15 Lakhs in each Indian bank A/C.

2016, HE said: Demonetisation will cure India of "BLACK" money.

2018, HE says: 50% jump in Swiss Bank deposits by Indians, is "WHITE" money. No "BLACK" in Swiss Banks!"

Referring to the rise in Swiss bank deposits by Indians, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said, "The data that you alluded to will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or this is illegal transaction?"
15:41   PM visits Vajpayee at AIIMS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited his ailing predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Friday.

Prime Minister Modi made the visit after laying the foundation stone of National Centre for Aging at AIIMS Delhi.

He inaugurated a ward with around 200 beds centre which will provide multi-speciality healthcare to the older people.

Prime Minister Modi also inaugurated the 555-bed Super Speciality Block in Safdarjung Hospital.

Vajpayee was admitted with a kidney tract infection, chest congestion and low urine output on July 11. He is now undergoing treatment for urinary tract infection at the hospital. His health condition is now reported to be stable. -- ANI
14:30   Govt's 1st response to 50% rise in deposits in Swiss accounts
With deposits by Indians in Swiss banks surging 50 per cent in 2017, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today said the assumption that it was all black money may not be true. Goyal, however, said  strong action would be taken against anyone found guilty of wrongdoing.

Goyal said, "The data that you alluded to will come to us, so how are you assuming that this is black money or this is illegal transaction?" Around 40 per cent of this money is because of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), Goyal said, citing media reports. The scheme was introduced by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Under the LRS, an individual could remit up to USD 2,50,000 per year. "We will have all information. If someone is found guilty, the government will take strong action against them," Goyal said

India will start getting details of bank accounts from Switzerland under a bilateral treaty, he said. Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose to Swiss Francs 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend amid India's clampdown on suspected black money stashed there.

In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3 per cent to CHF 1.46 trillion or about Rs 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to data released by the Swiss National Bank, the central banking authority.

India has a treaty with Switzerland under which the Swiss government would provide all data from January 1, 2018 till December 31, 2018. India would get data as the accounting year ends, Goyal said.  -- PTI
14:15   Azad, Soz charged with 'seditious' statement against Army
A criminal complaint has been filed against senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad for making seditious statements against the Indian Army.  Besides Azad, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz has also been named in the compliant.

The complaint has been filed in Delhi's Patiala House Court by one Shashi Bhushan.

In his complaint, Bhushan has accused the two Congress leaders of "making seditious statement in order to incite disaffection in the mind of the people against Indian Army and Government of India".

Azad had sparked a controversy when he said Army operations in the state killed more civilians than terrorists. Soz had created a furore by toeing the line taken by former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Kashmir. Speaking to news agency ANI, Soz said that given a choice, Kashmiris would prefer to be independent.
13:32   Rupee fall: No need for 'knee-jerk' reactions, says Goyal
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today said there is no need for "knee jerk reactions" on the rupee front, amid the currency touching lifetime lows. The rupee had yesterday breached the 69-mark against the US dollar for the first time due to multiple headwinds like weak global cues and inflation concerns. It finally ended at an all-time low of 68.79, slumping 18 paise.

"Knee jerk reactions are not called for," Goyal told reporters in New Delhi. Responding to queries on the steep fall in rupee, the minister also said appropriate steps would be taken after consultations with all stakeholders after taking into account global factors. He also said the country has significant foreign exchange reserves. -- PTI
13:16   Ops in Kashmir very people friendly: Army chief
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said that the security forces will continue their operations under rules of engagement in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rawat's statement comes when the Valley has been witnessing a huge spurt in terror activity.

"The Army continues to operate under strict rules of engagement that have been formulated and we will always continue to operate under those rules of engagement. We conduct operations in a very people friendly manner," Army Chief Rawat told ANI.

"Motivated reports keep coming out that Army and security forces in Kashmir are brutally carrying out their operations which aren't true," he added.

Further speaking on security factor, Army Chief Rawat stated that their aim is to go after terrorists, who are creating violence.

"Our basic purpose is to get after terrorists who are creating violence and disturbance in the Kashmir Valley. Our aim is not to cause inconvenience to the civilian population which is not indulging in arsenal violence," Army Chief Rawat noted.

Earlier in the day, a terrorist was killed in an encounter with the security forces near Trehgam area in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district. The area has been cordoned off and search operation in underway. -- ANI
12:36   BJP minister calls Opposition 'monkeys'
Union Minister Ananthkumar Hegde indulged in some ugly name calling at a gathering in Karwar, Karnataka yesterday, when he likened the Opposition parties to crows, monkeys, foxes. Addressing the Opposition unity to take on the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Hegde, said, "On one side crows, monkeys, foxes and others have come together, On the other side we have a tiger. In 2019, choose to elect the tiger.

He then quickly moved to the ridiculous.

Hegde then popped a question to the audience who was sitting on plastic chairs. "We are sitting on plastic chairs isn't it? This is due to Congress rule, had we ruled for 70 years, you would have been sitting on silver chairs."

Last month, Hegde launched an attack on the former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and called him Ravana who is taking the Congress party down.

He also called Siddaramaiah a ghost and was quoted as saying: The house where the ghosts enters will not survive.

He said the projects launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have not been implemented in Karnataka as Ravana rajya prevailed in the southern state.

Hegde is MoS Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
11:57   Uttarakhand CM orders teacher's suspension, arrest for protests
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat has come under fire for directing the police to arrest a school teacher, after she protested during a Janata Darbar session in Dehradun.

The Chief Minister on Thursday also ordered her suspension, after she allegedly used abusive language and showed indecency, while seeking her transfer from a remote location.

The school teacher, Uttara Bahuguna, claimed she has been posted in such locations for the last 25 years.The video of the incident, which has been doing the rounds, shows when Rawat dismissed her request, Bahuguna began arguing with him. To which, Rawat lost his cool and shouted, "Suspend karo ise abhi (Suspend her immediately). Take her into police custody."

According to media reports, Bahuguna was released on Thursday evening.

In an interview with ANI, Harish Rawat, the former chief minister of Uttarakhand, asked, "Our system has become so insensitive that a widowed teacher remained posted in a remote area for 25 years, and no one listened to her?" He advised Rawat to direct the police to release her, and revoke her suspension.

One Congress activist asked in a tweet: "Now people are going to be arrested for questioning incompentent CMs?"

The Indian Express reported that the teacher was released from custody within hours after her arrest.
Sharmistha Mukherjee @Sharmistha_GK 8m8 minutes agoMoreSharmistha Mukherjee Retweeted National HeraldBJP doesn't have anything to show for present. That's why they try to keep on clinging to past. Soon they will start blaming Congress for the decline of Harappan civilisation
11:41   Two Army men injured in grenade attack in Shopian
Two Army men were injured today when militants hurled a grenade towards an Army patrol party in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. A grenade was lobbed towards an Army patrol party in Ahgam area of Shopian in south Kashmir, a police official said.  Their condition is stated to be stable, the official said. -- PTI

Representational image
11:04   Jammu: ATM transactions detected from missing Army officer's card
Personnel from the Indian Army have detected an ATM transaction made from missing Army officer Rakesh Patel's card.Patel has been missing since June 17 and remains untraceable.

However, two ATM transactions have been reported since then, despite him being missing.

According ot Rakesh's family, the officer, who is posted with the intelligence department, had visited Kanker in April, after which he returned to Jammu for his duty. However, the family received a call on June 17 saying Patel had gone somewhere without informing anybody.

Soon after, an Army personnel informed Rakesh's brother Raju that an ATM withdrawal of Rs. 25,000 was made from the officer's account.
11:00   N Korea named 'worst human trafficking country'
The US State Department on Thursday categorised North Korea as as one of the "worst human trafficking nations" for the 16th straight year, citing the use of forced labour.

According to the annual '2018 Trafficking in Persons Report', North Korea has been included in the Tier 3 category, which is the lowest ranking, along with China, Russia and Iran, Yonhap News Agency reported.

"The government (of North Korea) does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so," the report said.

"It used proceeds from state-sponsored forced labour to fund government functions as well as other illicit activity. It did not screen for or protect potential trafficking victims when they were forcibly repatriated from China or other countries," it added.

The report further said that the "North Korean government continued to use forced labour in prison camps and labour training centres", adding that it "encouraged forced labours of students and exported forced labour to foreign organisations."

Commenting on the report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "We see the tragic examples of forced labour in North Korea as well. An untold number of North Korean citizens are subjected to forced labour overseas by their own government, in many cases with the tacit approval of host governments."

The US State Department's report comes as Pyongyang and Washington D.C. are negotiating North Korea's dismantling of its nuclear weapon programme, following US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's historic meeting in Singapore on June 12.

-- ANI
10:43   Govt must not refuse the offer Mallya is making
The reason Vijay Mallya ran away to London is not to escape paying his debt. If that were so, staying back and calling the debts owed by some of his buddies would have far more easily done it. And who do you think tipped him off in Central Hall to hoof it to London in first class with seven suitcases? What Mallya was obviously seeking to escape was the ignominy of arrest and being locked up in a dirty and squalid cell. It is punishment before conviction, something that is the norm in India. Mallya is making an offer that the government must not refuse.

Read the column here.
10:37   Grenade attack on Army patrol in Shopian
Militants today hurled a grenade towards an Army patrol party in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. There are no reports of any loss of life. A grenade was lobbed towards the Army patrol party in Ahgam area of Shopian in south Kashmir, a police official said. The area has been cordoned off, the official said. Further details are awaited. -- PTI
10:33   Militant killed in Kupwara encounter
An unidentified militant was today killed in an encounter with security forces in the forests of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. An army official said security forces launched a search operation in the forest area of Trehgam in Kupwara following information about presence of militants there. He said one militant was killed in the exchange of firing between the two sides.  The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant was not known yet. -- PTI
10:23   Shailja murder case: Major Handa to be produced before Delhi Court
The Delhi Police will produce Major Nikhil Handa before the Patiala House Court at the end of his four-day remand today.

On June 25, a Delhi Court had sent Handa to four-day police custody for allegedly killing the wife of his fellow officer, Shailja Dwivedi.

Handa was arrested Sunday after Shailja was found dead in Delhi's Brar Square area.

He had made fake profiles on social media websites to befriend Shailja and murdered her after she refused to marry him.

As per sources, the deceased's body was found with her throat slit. The body had also been allegedly run over by a car several times. The police also seized the vehicle in which the victim was reportedly last seen travelling in. -- ANI
10:15   Rupee recovers from lifetime low
The rupee recovered from its all-time low by rising 18 paise to 68.61 against the US dollar in early trade today on fresh selling of the American currency by banks and exporters.

The Indian currency had yesterday breached the 69-mark but covered lost ground to finally close at an all-time low of 68.79 with a fall of 18 paise against the US dollar due to multiple headwinds like weak global cues and concerns related to inflation and fiscal slippage.

Selling of dollars by banks and exporters today made the greenback weak against some currencies overseas, which supported the rupee, forex dealers said.

Higher opening of the domestic equity market also propped up the rupee, they added. Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex rebounded by 142.86 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 35,180.50 in early trade today. -- PTI
09:25   Knife used to slit throat of army major's wife recovered: Police
The Delhi Police on Thursday recovered the knife, allegedly used by Major Nikhil Handa to slit the throat of a fellow army officer's wife, from a spot near the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar highway.
Traces of burnt clothes were also recovered from the spot, the police said.
The investigators also found a lot of pornographic material on Major Handa's cell phones. 

However, the accused had deleted his chat record and the messages exchanged with the victim, Shailja Dwivedi, the police said, adding that the phones will be sent for a forensic examination.
Dwivedi's phone, which was broken by the accused, will also be sent for a forensic examination, though an officer said chances of data recovery were slim since its motherboard was badly damaged.
A senior officer, privy to the probe, said a CCTV grab showed that while going towards Meerut, the accused had taken a detour on the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar highway. 
The accused was questioned about it and he led the police to the spot, where he had dumped the knife he had bought from Sadar Bazar, the officer added.
The police also recovered the clothes of the accused that he had burnt and will be sending those for a forensic examination, he said.
The police custody of the accused ends today and the investigators are not likely to seek an extension in the court.
The victim's body was found with its throat slit near the Brar Square in the Delhi Cantonment area on Saturday.
Initially, the police were informed that a woman had died in an accident, but later, when they inspected the body, it was found that the throat was slit.
The accused had allegedly run his car over the victim's face and body in order to make the incident appear as an accident.
The accused was arrested from Meerut on Sunday. -- PTI  
08:52   IMF suggests India three steps to sustain high growth rate
To sustain the high growth rate India has achieved, the country should carry out banking sector reforms; continue with fiscal consolidation, simplify and streamline GST; and renew impetus on reforms, the International Monetary Fund said/
India's growth accelerated to 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of financial year 2017-18. That was up from 7 per cent in the previous quarter.
"We expect the recovery to continue in FY 2018-19. Growth is projected at 7.4 per cent in FY 2018-19 and actually 7.8 percent in FY 19-20, respectively," IMF Communications Director Gerry Rice told reporters at his fortnightly news conference.
In order to sustain the high growth rate, Rice suggested three steps for India to follow.
"One, to revive a bank credit and enhance the efficiency of credit provision; by accelerating the cleanup of bank and corporate balance sheets and enhancing the government of public sector banks," he said.
"Point two, to continue fiscal consolidation and to lower elevated public debt levels supported by simplifying and streamlining the goods and services tax (GST) structure," he added.
He then suggested India to renew impetus to reforms of key markets over the medium-term.
"And thirdly, over the medium-term, renew impetus to reforms of key markets, for example, labour and land, as well as improving the overall business climate would be crucial to improving competitiveness and again, maintaining that very high level of growth in India," Rice said in response to a question.
The IMF board is tentatively scheduled to meet on July 18 for its annual India meeting. -- PTI
08:33   5 killed in US newspaper office shooting
Five people were killed and several others 'gravely injured' after a shootout at a newspaper office in the United States city of Annapolis.

Officials said the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper was carried out by a white adult male resident of Maryland State who was being questioned in custody.

According to Anne Arundel County police, the people inside the newspaper office were evacuated from the building and an investigation on the same has been launched.

Anne Arundel County acting police chief William Krampf confirmed the five deaths at a conference later.

Furthermore, Anne Arundel County police Lt. Ryan Frashure said investigators are interviewing the suspect on the motive of the attack.

He added that the area surrounding the Capital Gazette building was now absolutely secure.

Capital Gazette editor Jimmy DeButts tweeted that he was "devastated & heartbroken. Numb." 

"I'm in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays - just a passion for telling stories from our community," DeButts wrote.

US President Donald Trump, who is in Wisconsin attending a groundbreaking ceremony of the new Foxconn factory, expressed his condolences over the death of five people and thanked the "first responders" for responding to the incident quickly.

"Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene," Trump tweeted.

Image: Emergency response vehicles drive near a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
00:03   US seeks 'permanent' ban on Iran's nuclear ambitions
United States Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo on Thursday took an aim at Iran while seeking an arrangement to permanently prevent the Middle East country from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"For years Iran pursued a secret effort to develop nuclear weapons. Iran Deal did not deter Iran's nuclear ambitions. US seeks an arrangement that permanently prevents Iran from being able to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, or the ballistic missiles to deliver them," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted.

"As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty we must renew our efforts to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear proliferation, including confronting immediate challenges from DPRK and Iran," Pompeo added in another tweet.

Earlier, Pompeo commented on demonstrations in Iran, saying protesters are fed up with the country's leadership.

"The people of Iran are tired of the corruption, injustice, and incompetence from their leaders," Pompeo said in a statement. "We condemn the government's same futile tactics of suppression, imprisonment of protestors, and the denial of Iranians' frustrations."

The US is planning to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran following President Donald Trump's decision last month to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

It is pertinent to mention that on May 8, Trump announced Washington's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the Iran nuclear deal which limited the country's uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief.

The United States has also asked countries to cut all oil imports from Iran by the start of November or else face powerful US sanctions.