Fri, 23 November 2018
American national survived one attack as arrow hit Bible

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23:44   American national survived one attack as arrow hit Bible
Few hours before he was killed by members of a protected tribe in the Andamans, American national John Allen Chau survived an arrow attack by a short-statured tribesman as it hit the Bible he was carrying, his diary noting has revealed.

The hand-written notes of Chau, who was killed when he tried to enter the prohibited North Sentinel Island, also mention that he wanted to acquaint the tribes people with the message of Jesus Christ.

Director General of Police, Andaman and Nicobar, Dependra Pathak, told PTI on Friday that Chau 'appeared to be a staunch believer' (in Christianity).

The 13-page notes of Chau, handed over to the police by his local contact Alexander who has been arrested in connection with his killing, have details of his trip to the island without permission.

The notes written in incongruent sentences in English throw light on his misadventure.

The DGP said that as part of the probe, a police team on Friday made a trip towards the Sentinel island with Alexander, whom they have taken on remand.

Chau was killed possibly with arrows. But Andaman Police PRO Jatin Narwal had said on Wednesday that it was a subject of probe.

He had maintained that the death was caused by traditional weapons, adding that it cannot be specifically said whether he was killed by arrows or spears.

The DGP said that on November 17 the fishermen, who had taken Chau near the island, saw a dead person being buried at the shore which from the silhouette of the body, clothing and circumstances appeared to be the body of the American national.

The access to North Sentinel Island and its buffer zone is strictly restricted under the Protection of Aboriginal Tribe (Regulation), 1956 and Regulations under Indian Forest Act, 1927.

The US national, who according to the DGP, had paid around Rs 25,000 to local fishermen to take him to the island, wrote that god sheltered him from the coast guards and the Navy.

Chau in his notes dated November 16 narrated that around 4.30 am, standing near the shore of the Sentinel island he saw two persons as the sun rose.

He told them that he too has two legs.

He further recounted that he was inches from an 'unusual guy about 5 ft 5' and as they got bunched together he gave them some gifts.

But, the short-statured man 'shot me with an arrow that directly hit the Bible which I was holding near my chest', he wrote.

The Sentinelese people are among the tribes that survived the tsunami of 2004 without any help from the outside world.

For the 2011 Census, enumerators could locate only 15 Sentinelese people -- 12 men and three women.

However, their numbers could be anything between 40 and 400, according to experts.

The natives of the Sentinel island have past record of attacking visitors to their island.

In 2006, two Indian fishermen, who had moored their boat near North Sentinel to sleep after poaching in the waters around the island, were killed when their boat broke loose and drifted onto the shore.  -- PTI
22:48   Vijayan lashes out at Centre for 'denying' funds to flood-hit Kerala
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday lashed out at the Centre for allegedly showing indifference in granting aid for the rebuilding initiatives of the state, which had suffered the deadliest flood of the century in August.

Addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, he said the state had only received Rs 600 crore as central assistance so far from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government.

"However, we might have to give back Rs 265.75 crore from the Rs 600 crore to the centre if it seeks the Minimum Support Price for the rice and kerosene ration given to us during the floods," the chief minister said.

"The whole world has been compassionate towards us, but the Centre is showing gross indifference in providing assistance to the flood-hit state," Vijayan added.

He said the studies conducted by the World Bank and the United Nation agencies had estimated the total loss incurred by the flood-hit Kerala to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore. But the real loss would be much more, he said.

"The Central aid is inevitable for rebuilding post-flood Kerala. But not getting adequate aid from the union government is an issue before the state now," Vijayan said.

The state had expected better aid when union ministers visited the flood-hit regions, he said.

The chief minister said Kerala had not only been denied the central assistance it deserved, but also lost the foreign aid announced by the United Arab Emirates due to the 'intervention' of the Union government.

"As per the guidelines of the National Disaster Response Fund, Kerala sought Rs 5,616 crore as aid for rehabilitation programmes. Besides this, a special package of Rs 5,000 crore was also sought," the chief minister said.

Even this amount would be inadequate to compensate the losses the state had incurred in the devastating floods, which claimed over 490 lives, leaving a trail of destruction in August, Vijayan said.  -- PTI
Complaints lodged by passengers against various airlines in October, 2018.
22:19   Sabarimala: 2 days can be set apart for women, Kerala govt tells HC
Amid the stand-off over entry of women of menstrual age into the Lord Ayyappa temple, the Kerala government on Friday informed the high court that two days could be set apart for women pilgrims of all ages to offer prayers at the Sabarimala hill shrine.

The suggestion was made when the court was hearing a petition moved by four women devotees seeking protection for women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine besides facilities for smooth pilgrimage in the wake of the recent Supreme Court judgment.

In their PIL, the four women, in their 20s and 30s, suggested devoting two to three days exclusively to women of all ages 'who are desirous to go to Sabarimala after ridding the shrine, its premises and nearby towns from the goons and henchmen' opposing entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

The petition, filed by Reshma Nishanth, Shanila Sajeesh, Dhanya V S and Surya M, came up before a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and JusticeA K Jayasankaran Nambiar.

During the hearing, the state government, in line with the suggestion made by the women, informed the court that two days could be set apart for women of all age groups to offer prayers at the shrine during the pilgrimage season.

The petitioners said they were ardent devotees of Lord Ayyappa and have been observing the customary 'vritham' (the mandatory austerities for visiting Sabarimala) adorning the ritual chain and wearing black dresses after the Supreme Court pronounced its judgement opening the hill temple to all women irrespective of age.

The petitioners said they very much wanted to go and pray at the shrine. But due to the protests by some people with the support of leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and temple head priest, they could not enter the shrine, they alleged.

They sought a directive to the government to ensure facilities and arrangements for smooth pilgrimage for all women and to provide adequate and sufficient protection tothem for entering the temple fearlessly and freely in compliance with the apex court judgment.

Meanwhile, another division bench Friday ordered the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the shrine, not to divert funds to the state government without prior permission of the court.

A bench of justices P R Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar issued the order in the light of complaints that expenses for food and accommodation for the police deployed at the temple were met by the TDB.

The state government claimed that the expenses were met by the government. However, the TDB expressed its willingness to provide food and accommodation to the police at Sannidhanam, the temple complex.

Hundreds of police personnel have been deployed in Sabarimala following protests by Ayyappa devotees opposing the September 28 apex court order.

The temple was opened on November 16 for the over-two-month-long pilgrimage season amid tension.  -- PTI
22:12   Central team in TN to assess damage caused by cyclone 'Gaja'
A five-member central team arrived in Chennai on Friday for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused by cyclone Gaja that lashed the Tamil Nadu coast on November 16.

The team is led by a senior official in the Union Home Ministry Daniel E Richard. The team would meet Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday, an official said.

It is expected to complete its assessment in three days starting with a visit to Tiruchirapalli tomorrow, the official added. During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday, Palaniswami sought about Rs 15,000 crore as central assistance towards relief and rehabilitation activities in cyclone-hit districts of the state.

He also asked Modi to depute a central team to assess the damage.

The Tamil Nadu government has put the toll due to the cyclone at 63. -- PTI
21:42   Ceasefire violations: India, Pak armies hold flag meeting on LoC
The Indian and Pakistan armies on Friday held a brigade commander level meeting at a border crossing in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector to adhere to ceasefire, a defence official said.

The flag meeting comes in the wake of several ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army in the past over one month, during which five Indian security personnel were killed and seven others injured.

The Indian delegation was led by Brigadier V S Sekhon and Brigadier Qaiser led the Pakistani side.

They met at the Poonch-Rawlakote Crossing Point on the Line of Control (LoC),  Public Relation Officer (PRO), Defence, Jammu, Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, said.

The delegation had discussions on augmenting confidence building measures, maintaining peace along the LoC and preventing infiltration from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, he said.

The meeting came on a day when security forces shot dead six Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants during an encounter in a forested area in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district.

"The brigade commander level flag meeting was held between the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army at 1100 hours at the Poonch-Rawlakote Crossing Point," Anand said.

The meeting was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, and ended with both sides assuring to adhere to norms of the 2003 Ceasefire agreement and the Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) level talks of May 29, he said.

The armies also decided to work towards improving the situation along the LoC, the PRO said.  -- PTI
21:00   MP saints led by Computer Baba to back Congress in polls
A group of religious figures led by godman Computer Baba on Friday declared support to the Congress for November 28 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

It marks a radical change in the political stand of Swami Namdev Tyagi, popularly known as Computer Baba, who had been anointed as a minister of state by the Bharatiya Janata Party government.

Computer Baba had organised `Narmade Sansad', a gathering of like-minded religious leaders from various states including Uttar Pradesh, in Jabalpur on Friday to decide which party they should support in the polls.

"The saints will support the Congress," he said at the gathering.

"When we can give 15 years to them (the BJP), then we can surely give five years to Congress," he said.

"If Congress upholds dharma, we will go with them in future or else we will withdraw the support," he said.

In April, the BJP government in the state accorded him the status of Minister of State along with five others by appointing him on a committee for conservation of the river Narmada.

Before that, he had announced a 'yatra' (procession) to expose illegal sand mining in the Narmada.

He resigned in October, accusing Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of being a hypocrite and not fulfilling the promises made to him.

The BJP government did little to stop illegal mining in the river, he alleged.  -- PTI
19:35   235 farmers ended lives in Sep this year in Maha: Govt
The Maharashtra government has said that 235 farmers committed suicide in the state for various reasons in September this year.

Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Chandrakant Patil stated this in the Legislative Assembly in a written reply on Thursday.

In six districts of Vidarbha region, 15,629 farmers ended their lives for various reasons between January 2001 and October 2018 . Of them, 7,008 farmers were eligible for financial compensation and their families have been given a financial assistance of Rs one lakh each.

As many as 215 cases are pending for investigation, the minister said.

In Nashik district, between January and September 2018, there were 73 cases of farmers suicide, of which 17 were eligible for financial compensation.

They have been provided assistance of Rs 1 lakh each, he said.

In Kolhapur, between 2004 and 2018, a total 113 farmers ended their lives.

In Marathwada, 674 farmers killed themselves between January and September 2018. Of them, 445 were entitled to compensation.

Patil also said that there was no proposal under consideration to ease the criteria for providing compensation to farmers who commit suicide.

The minister added that directives were given to authorities concerned to provide benefit of food security scheme as well as health security scheme to all the needy farmers and free education to children of those who have ended their lives.  -- PTI
19:21   Ram temple Bill in next session of Parliament: BJP MP
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ravindra Kushwaha on Friday claimed a Bill allowing the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya will be introduced in the coming session of Parliament and the Centre will bring an ordinance in case it falls in the Rajya Sabha.

The MP's claim comes amid calls by Hindutva organisations for legislation to enable the construction of the temple at the disputed site even while the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.

"The Bill for Ram temple construction will definitely be tabled in the coming winter session of Parliament, beginning December 11," the BJP MP from Salempur told reporters in Ballia.

"But if it fails to get passed by the Rajya Sabha, an ordinance will be brought for the purpose," Kushwaha claimed.

He said when the Bill is discussed in Parliament, people will get to know which party is for the temple's construction and which is against it.

The BJP MP said he was sure the Bill will be passed by the Lok Sabha but it was not clear if the other House will also okay it as the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have the numbers there.

Kushwaha said people felt that the court was serious when it decided to hold day-to-day hearing on were disappointed subsequently.

The Supreme Court has said it will decide the course of the hearings in the title suit only in January.

Kushwaha's remarks come ahead of the 'Dharma Sabha' to be held Sunday by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Ayodhya to press for the construction of a Ram temple there.  -- PTI
18:43   Goa citizens seeking Parrikar's resignation vow to widen stir
A movement of citizens seeking resignation of the ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has decided to protest against Governor Mridula Sinha over her 'inaction' and widen the agitation, its leader said on Friday.

Several hundred people had marched to Parrikar's residence near Panaji on November 21, demanding that he resign.

Opposition Congress, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party had backed the protest.

"For the last nine months Parrikar has been ailing ...administration has come to a standstill. The governor, who has a constitutional responsibility to intervene in such a situation, is silently watching the whole show. Ministers are doing whatever they want," said activist Aires Rodrigues, the leader of the movement.

"From tomorrow, it will not be just Parrikar but our target will be the inaction by governor Mridula a situation like this she can not continue as mere spectator but should act and take some action so that governance returns to Goa," he added.

There will be a meeting, presided over by cardiologist Dr Francis Colaco, at Azad Maidan here Saturday evening to press for Parrikar's resignation and decide the future course of action, he said.

RTI activist Rajan Ghate is on hunger strike demanding chief minister's resignation for the last eight days. Rodrigues said a 48-hour ultimatum given to Parrikar on November 21 has expired.

"Now we have decided to take the agitation across all 12 talukas of Goa," he said.

"We can assure the people of Goa that before December 19, Goa will be liberated from Parrikar," he said.

The state was liberated from Portuguese rule on the same day in 1961.

"The agitation will be peaceful. We will make sure there is least inconvenience to the public," he said.

Some ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs have also assured that they will take part in the agitation, he claimed.

Parrikar, suffering from a pancreatic ailment, underwent treatment in the United States for nearly three months earlier this year.

He has been recuperating at his residence after being discharged from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on October 14.  -- PTI
17:28   Karachi Police woman officer prevented terrorists from reaching Chinese consulate staff
A fearless woman officer of Karachi Police, who was once abandoned by relatives in her village for joining a private school, on Friday saved the lives of many Chinese diplomatic staff when heavily-armed terrorists stormed the mission in the Pakistani city.

Senior Superintendent Police Suhai Aziz Talpur led the security operation that foiled the brazen attack by members of the Baloch Liberation Army, or BLA, in Karachi.

She ensured the terrorists,  armed with nine hand-grenades, assault rifles, magazines and explosives, did not reach the diplomatic staff inside the consulate building.

Police said the terrorists were carrying food supplies and medicines, suggesting they had planned to take hostages.

But as as soon as they reached the gates of the consulate, the police team took positions and retaliated. Two police officials were killed in the gunfight in which all the attackers were also neutralised.

Suhai hails from a lower middle-class family of Bhai Khan Talpur village in Tando Muhammad Khan district of Sindh province. She joined the police force after clearing elite Central Superior Services exam in 2013, The Express Tribune reported.

"When my parents decided to enrol me at a school, most of our relatives started taunting my family. So much so, that my family had to leave our village and move to a nearby town," she told the daily.

Her father Aziz Talpur, a political activist and writer, always dreamt big for his daughter.

"My relatives cut off ties with me because I wanted Suhai to study as they were only in favour of religious education," Aziz told the daily.

"But I vowed to provide my daughter quality education."

Suhai started her primary education at a private school in Tando Muhammad Khan and joined Bahria Foundation for her intermediate studies.

Her educational path then led her to pursue B.Com from the Zubaida Girls College, Hyderabad in Sindh province.

"My family wanted me to become a chartered accountant but I found the job to be very dull as it had no social value," she said.

"That is when I appeared for CSS and cleared it in the first attempt."

She credited her success to hard work and her upbringing.

"My parents are nationalists. As a child, they used to emphasise that I memorise Sindhi poetry. This developed my interest in literature and history, leading me to secure top marks in both the subjects in the CSS (Central Superior Services) exams."  -- PTI
17:03   It took only 17 minutes to demolish Babri Masjid: Raut in Ayodhya
In what could stir up a possible controversy, Shiv Sena member of Parliament Sanjay Raut on Friday implied that it would not take long to bring an ordinance for construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya when it took only 17 minutes for the Ram bhakts (devotees) to demolish Babri Masjid.

Raut told ANI, "It took only around 17 minutes for us -- the Ram bhakts -- to destroy the Babri Masjid. So, how long will it take to bring an ordinance? From Rashtrapati Bhawan to Uttar Pradesh's Vidhan Sabha, it is the Bharatiya Janata Party that is in power.

"In Rajya Sabha also there are many members who will support Ram Mandir from across party lines. Whoever opposes its construction will not be able to survive in peace in the country."

A big push for Temple construction came on Tuesday when a litigant Mohammad Iqbal Ansari in the Babri Masjid case, said that he does not have any objection to an ordinance for Ram Temple construction.

On October 29, the Supreme Court had adjourned the title suit till January 2019 to fix the date of hearing in the matter.

The top court adjourned the matter which challenged the Allahabad high court ruling of 2010.

The court in its 2010 verdict had suggested a division of the disputed land in Ayodhya into three parts -- one for each of the parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid which was built by Mughal emperor Babur in Ayodhya in 1528, was razed to the ground allegedly by Hindu activists who claimed that the mosque was constructed after demolishing a Ram Temple that originally stood there. -- ANI
16:59   Modi has a 'disease' that causes 'communal madness': KCR
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party are afflicted with a 'disease' that has caused 'communal madness' and prompted them to block enhanced job quotas for Muslims in Telangana, Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao said on Friday, as poll-time rhetoric got shriller and nastier.

Rao, the caretaker chief minister, slammed the Centre for keeping on hold a decision on raising reservations for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes from 4 to 12 per cent and 6 to 10 per cent in state government jobs and educational institutions despite the state assembly passing a resolution.

"Narendra Modi and the BJP have a disease...In everything they see, they see Hindu-Muslim (divide). They don't see anything else and so they did not do it (raise the quotas)...they have kept it pending," he told an election rally at Narsampet.

Addressing another election meeting in Mahabubabad, the TRS president repeated his charge and accused the Centre of 'religious madness'.

"Narendra Modi government has a disease. That is minorities (versus) Hindus....they are in that state of 'mataparamaina pichi' (communal madness). It is because of this they blocked reservations for STs and Muslims," he said.

Rao said he will ensure that the demand for raising the quotas was accepted if people elected TRS candidates from all the 17 Lok Sabha seats of Telangana next year.

"Not only the Assembly elections...with kindness, help us win all 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana. Only if we win can we make Delhi bend its neck. We will get our ST reservation, we will get our Muslim reservation," he said.

The TRS leader claimed both the BJP and the Congress wanted to exercise complete control over the states.

"It doesn't matter which of the two parties forms the government at the Centre. Their attitude is the same. Both Congress and the BJP want to concentrate all powers over states into their hands. This is their culture," he said.

Rao once again batted for a non-Congress, non-BJP 'federal front' government at the Centre to end that culture.

The TRS chief, who has been assailing the Congress-led opposition coalition that includes Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party, asked people at his Narasampet rally whether Telangana needed Naidu.

He has been accusing Naidu of stalling the development of Telangana when it was part of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

He hit out at the Congress for merging the Telangana region with Andhra against the wishes of the people of Telangana.

He also accused the Congress government of suppressing the agitation for a separate Telangana in 1969.

Rao said Congress leaders were silent when 'injustice' was being done to Telangana region in undivided Andhra Pradesh and were trying to bring Naidu back to Telangana now.  -- PTI
16:31   A book launch that should not be missed
Tuesday, November 27, promises to witness a sharp and engrossing discussion at New Delhi's Press Club of India, during the launch of Loose Pages, Court cases that could have shaken India, the new book co-authored by Sourya Majumder and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. 

Among the listed speakers are Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan, Hartosh Singh Bal, Karuna Nandy, Dinesh Dviwedi and Kamal K Jaswal.   

If you are a denizen of the national capital, the PCI is where you should be heading at 4.30 pm on Tuesday.
16:26   A healthy interaction
Three months into the implementation of Ayushman Bharat, CEO Indu Bhushan took to Twitter for the third time to take questions on the Centre's ambitious health insurance scheme.   

While a large majority of the questions was related to the scheme -- a common question was how could people avail of the scheme if their state did not sign up for it -- one question would have surely embarrassed the prime movers of the programme.   

One user wanted to know when would the Ayushman Mitras (recruited to assist patients) in Haryana be paid their salaries. While that question remained unanswered during the session, the CEO did mention an alternative helpline number when someone complained that the regular helpline number (14555) was not working.

-- Business Standard
16:14   Raj Babbar compares rupee's falling value with age of Modi's mother, BJP demands apology from Cong
Congress leader Raj Babbar's remark comparing the rupee's falling value against the US dollar with the age of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mother kicked up a controversy on Friday, with the BJP demanding an apology from the opposition party's president Rahul Gandhi.
Babbar made the controversial remark while addressing a rally in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh's Indore city on Thursday. Madhya Pradesh goes to polls on November 28 and results will be declared on December 11.

"(Before becoming the prime minister) Modi used to say that compared to the (US) dollar, the value of the rupee has fallen to a level where it is almost the same as the age of the then Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh)," Babbar, the Uttar Pradesh Congress chief, said.

"Mr Prime Minister, at that time, you had not taken his (Manmohan Singh) name out of respect. Although our tradition does not allow this, we wish to say that now the value of the rupee has fallen to the age of your respected mother," he  added.

Modi's mother, Hiraba, is a nonagenarian.

The rupee has seen a continued fall against the US dollar this year, hovering a little over the 70-mark on Friday.

The BJP condemned Babbar's remark.

The party's national spokesperson Sambit Patra said it was not proper to use unparliamentary words or drag any person's mother into politics.

"But the Congress' attitude against the Prime Minister's mother has been improper from the beginning and such language was used even against the Prime Minister," Patra claimed.

"Rahul Gandhi should apologise and he should clarify whether he endorses such controversial statements," he said. 

-- PTI
15:48   Sidhu credits his hug to Pak army chief for Kartarpur corridor development
Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday took credit for the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan saying that it was his hug to Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during Islamabad visit that has pushed the Centre to take initiative in developing the proposed corridor.

Speaking to media, Sidhu said, "My hug turned out good for 15-16 crores of people as the central government is now making move to develop the corridor from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib. At least this deal was not similar to Rafale deal".

On Thursday, the ministry of external affairs issued a Note Verbale to the Pakistan government urging it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.

The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday approved to build and develop the proposed corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the International Border. This would allow pilgrims from India to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.

In August this year, Sidhu visited Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the visit, he hugged the Army Chief of Pakistan drawing flak from various quarters.

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had rebuked him saying, "This minister (Sidhu) from Punjab government betrayed the lakhs of soldiers deployed on the borders by hugging Pakistani General Bajwa. He kept his friendship above the country. Our people were outraged by his actions, when he returned, he was shown black flags, and everyone was angry that he went there and hugged someone who kills our people."

-- ANI
15:20   6 Africans attacked over 'child kidnapping' rumour in Delhi
Six Africans were attacked in Delhi last night amid rumours that they were involved in child kidnapping and cannibalism.

The police say four Tanzanian and two Nigerian nationals were rescued from Kakrola in Dwarka. 

The police had received multiple calls against them. One accused them of kidnapping a child.

The police reportedly found around 200 people gathered outside the building where some of the Africans live.
15:05   Scindia and the secret of the lemon-and-chilli garland
You may have seen political leaders sporting garlands made of flowers during the election season but Congress leader and member of Parliament, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been campaigning in Madhya Pradesh for the upcoming polls, is often seen wearing garlands made of lemons and green chillies.   

When some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders ridiculed him about this, the Congress leader lashed out at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Twitter. Whether they were made of "lemon and chilli" or "potato and onion", he wrote, these garlands represented "the voters' blessings". But why should that irritate the CM, he asked.   

In August, too, Scindia was seen sporting a garland made of lemons and chillies while campaigning in Mandsaur. Some people believe lemons and chillies ward off the evil eye.

-- Business Standard
14:53   Rajasthan BJP expels 11 rebel leaders
The Rajasthan BJP has expelled 11 rebel leaders, including four ministers, for their decision to contest elections against party candidates, a party spokesperson said Friday. 
Ministers Surendra Goyal (Jaitaran), Hem Singh Bhadana (Thanagaji),  Rajkumar Rinwa (Ratangarh) and Dhan singh Rawat (Banswara) are contesting as Independent candidates. 

Besides, sitting MLAs Anita Katara (Sagwara) and Kishnaram Nai (Sridungargarh), former MLAs Radheshyam Ganganagar, Laxminarayan and 3 other leaders were also expelled late on Thursday night after they did not withdraw nomination papers on the last day yesterday, the spokesperson said.

Polling in the state will take place on December 7. 

-- PTI
14:32   India condemns terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi
India on Friday strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Pakistan in which three terrorists and two policemen were killed.

"India strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi. We condole the loss of lives in this dastardly attack. There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously," read a statement from the ministry of external affairs.

Two policemen were killed and a security guard got injured after three gunmen tried to enter the consulate around 9:30 am, Geo TV quoted Deputy Inspector General South Karachi Javed Alam Odho as saying.

The three suspected suicide bombers were gunned down by the security forces before they could enter the Chinese Consulate.

-- ANI
14:12   Delhi CEO Vijay Kumar Dev appointed as chief secy
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Kumar Dev has been appointed as the chief secretary of the national capital, an official order said.
The ministry of home affairs had on Thursday issued the order appointing the 1987-batch IAS officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre.

Dev will succeed Anshu Prakash following his transfer to the department of telecommunications in the Central government.

Prakash, who was allegedly assaulted at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence in February, has been appointed as additional secretary in the telecom department.

The outgoing chief secretary had claimed that some Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers, in the presence of Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, had thrashed him leading to a standoff between the Delhi chief minister and the bureaucrats.

Dev will hold the post of chief secretary superseding 1986-batch IAS officer Manoj Parida who is currently serving as additional chief secretary (home) and principal secretary in the Public Works Department.

"With the approval of the competent authority, it has been decided to appoint Vijay Kumar Dev, IAS (AGMUT:1987) as Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi with effect from the date of joining till further orders," the ministry said in its order.

Dev has also served as Chandigarh UT adviser and is currently posted as CEO of Delhi, his second stint as the top official in the poll body.

-- PTI
14:00   Journalist Shujaat Bukhari's killer among 6 shot dead in J-K encounter
Six terrorists were killed on Friday in a gun battle with security forces in south Kashmirs Bijbehera area after the Indian Army and state police launched an operation, officials said. 

According to ANI, journalist Shujaat Bukharis killer Azad Malik was among the 6 terrorists shot dead.

The Rising Kashmir editor was shot dead by terrorists outside the newspaper's office in the heart of Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar on June 14.

We have recovered war-like stores from encounter site, army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said.

The operation is still in progress, according to officials.

Officials said they had information that six or seven terrorists were hiding at Seikpora village and when search and cordon operation began in early hours it turned into an operation.

On Tuesday, four terrorists were killed in neighbouring Shopian district in a similar operation.
13:30   Lion Air crash: Pilot fought to keep plane in air, says report
One of Indonesias aviation chiefs has revealed that the pilot of the Lion Air plane that crashed last month, killing 189 people, fought to keep the plane in the air to the end, even after it stalled and was nose-diving to the ground.

Nurcahyo Utomo, the aviation head of the national transportation safety committee, said data retrieved from the flight recorder showed that the pilot continued to fight until the end of the flight, according to a report in the Australian newspaper.

Nurcahyo also confirmed the aircraft had experienced the same obstacles on the previous days flight from Denpasar to Jakarta but on that occasion the pilot had managed to keep control of the plane.

Answers are still being sought about why, the new Boeing 737 Max airplane, operated by one of Indonesias biggest airlines, plummeted into Indonesian waters moments after takeoff=
13:12   Congress has no regard for NE region, its traditions: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he felt a deep sense of anguish at the Congress "abusing" Northeast culture and calling its dress "outlandish".
Coming down heavily on the rival party at an election rally at Lunglei, he also said that the country has understood the "divide and rule" policy of the Congress and that is the reason the party was just confined to two to three states.
Lunglei in Mizoram is the last bastion of the Congress in the Northeast. Election to the 40-member assembly is scheduled for November 28.

"The Congress party, which once governed maximum number of states, is now restricted to just two or three states. Now, the people of Mizoram have a golden opportunity to rid themselves of this Congress culture," Modi said.

The priority for Congress is not the people of Mizoram, it is fighting to gain power, the PM charged.

"I feel deep sense of anguish when I see a Congress leader abused traditional dress of northeast states, calling them outlandish. Your hopes, ambitions do not matter to the Congress. Their priority is power and not the people of Mizoram," he stated.

In the last four years, the BJP government at the Centre, has worked for greater recognition of Indian culture and traditions, far and wide, Modi asserted.

The prime minister said "Through its 'Act, East, Act Fast' policy, the BJP has, in the last 4.5 years, developed every region of the Northeast".

The double engine of the BJP governments in both the Centre and the State will take Mizoram to new heights, he added.

-- PTI
13:00   'Grey Fort' and 'Haze Khas': Shashi Tharoor shares new names of Delhi streets
As pollution level in Delhi reached the alarming level, someone decided to 'rename' streets of the National Capital, resonating the deplorable air quality. A creative of 'new' five names of Delhi street signs are going viral and netizens including Congress leader Shashi Tharoor can't stop sharing it.

The creator gave a smokey twist to the popular street names making Hauz Khas to Haze Khas, Lutyen's Delhi to Pollutyen's Delhi, Red Fort to Grey Fort, Chandni Chowk to Chandni Choke and Dhaula Kuan to Dhua Kuan. Although the green road-signs creative first appeared on Facebook earlier this month, it got everyone talking online recently after it was shared by the Kerala MP.

As the photo went viral, Delhiites are sad and alarmed that their city has turned into a 'gas chamber'. 

Most Twitter users agreed with Tharoor and one wrote, "Funny. Had it not been so tragic."
12:39   Poll-bound MP sees huge jump in demand for liquor
As expected, there is a huge increase in the demand for liquor in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.   

In November 2018, sales of liquor increased by almost 0.6 million litres compared to November 2017 and it is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming days.   

According to the excise department, while liquor production stood at 7.4 million litres last November, production has crossed 8 million litres this November.   

In the information provided to the Election Commission, the excise department has said Indore tops the list when it comes to liquor sales.   

-- Business Standard
12:12   Andhra Pradesh's new assembly to be taller than Statue of Unity
The proposed Andhra Pradesh assembly building in Amaravati is tipped to be taller than the Statue of Unity by 68 metres. 

The assembly building will have three floors and a 250-metre-high tower making it taller than the 182-metre Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has reportedly almost finalised the design by Foster & Partners in the United Kingdom.

Minister for Municipal Administration P Narayana said the proposed structure will be shaped like an upside-down lily. The government will call for tenders for the construction of the building by end of November. Narayana said the building will be cyclone and earthquake-proof.

Image: The design of the proposed Assembly building in Amaravati. Photograph courtesy: Foster+Partners
11:53   India protests against 'harassment' of high commission officials in Pak
Less than 24 hours after India and Pakistan reached an agreement over the opening of Kartarpur corridor, India has strongly protested against the harassment and denial of access to Indian High Commission officials, and attempts at hostile propaganda during the visit of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan.

Despite having been granted prior travel permission by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, the consular officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad were harassed and denied access on November 21 and 22 at Gurudwara Nankana Sahib and Sacha Sauda, the MEA said in a statement on Friday.
11:24   Rahul disapproves ex-minister CP Joshi's remark on Brahmins, tells him to apologise
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday strongly disapproved party leader CP Joshis reported statement that appeared to suggest that only Brahmins could speak about Hindus. 

CP Joshis statement, Gandhi said, was against the ideals of the Congress party and asked him to express regret.

Joshi has accused the BJP of twisting his statement and condemned its fabricated use. Gandhi, however, appeared unconvinced.

I am sure Joshi ji will realise his mistake, keeping partys principles in mind, Gandhi said.
11:08   2 policemen killed in firing near Chinese Consulate in Karachi
A blast and gunshots were heard early on Friday near the Chinese consulate in Pakistan's southern coastal city of Karachi, television channels said.

It was not immediately clear how close the gunshots were to the consulate, or if it was the target of an attack.

Geo TV broadcast images of a plume of smoke billowing into the air, apparently from the blast earlier. Several other media reported gunfire by the consulate.

Image: Paramilitary forces and police are seen during an attack on the Chinese embassy, where blasts and shots are heard, in Karachi. Photograph: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters
10:13   2 bikers killed during stunt on Delhi's Signature Bridge
Two bikers were killed while performing stunts on the newly opened Signature Bridge in Delhi, the police said on Friday.

The bridge, eight years in making, was opened on November 4.

Over the past few weeks, the bridge described as an engineering marvel has emerged as a site for daring selfies and traffic violations.

The 2,214-foot asymmetrical bridge is built across the river Yamuna. It has a 505-foot-high viewing gallery.

Soon after the bridge opened to traffic, there were dozens of cases of improper parking and 24 one-way violations.

The bridge has seen thrill-seekers climbing the suspension cables to take selfies.

-- ANI
10:05   Cows with or without horns? Swiss to vote on Sunday
Switzerland votes this Sunday on an issue of national importance that has divided the Alpine country -- whether to subsidise farmers who let their cows' and goats' horns grow naturally.

The referendum on preserving the "dignity of livestock" was initiated by farmer Armin Capaul, 66, a self-described rebel. He says that "listening" to his cows inspired his nine-year campaign for cash to fund the extra grazing space horned animals need and which he hopes will reduce dehorning.

Three-quarters of Swiss cows, who are a national symbol and tourist attraction, are dehorned or genetically hornless.

Capaul, who says horns help cows communicate and regulate their body temperature, wants a 190 Swiss franc (Rs 13,400) annual subsidy per horned animal for farmers.
09:57   Sonia Gandhi to address her first public meeting in Telangana today
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will on Friday address a public meeting at Medchal on the outskirts of Hyderabad this will be Sonias first public meeting in Telangana after the formation of a separate state in June 2014. 

While Rahul will campaign across the state, Sonia will only campaign in Medchal constituency for the December 7 elections.

We are looking forward to Sonia Gandhis visit after a long time. Congress cadre is upbeat and our campaign will get a big boost, TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy said. 

Sonia Gandhi has given us the separate state of Telangana. It is because of her efforts that we got the separate state. Sonia and Rahul will arrive at Begumpet airport at 4 pm and proceed to Medchal for the public meeting at 6 pm. All party workers from across the state will attend the public meeting, Reddy added.
09:28   India among 5 countries where religious freedom at risk, says report
Religious freedom is under threat in one of every five nations around the globe, in part because of an increase in "aggressive ultranationalism", a Catholic NGO said in a report.
Aid to the Church in Need found incidents of religious persecution in 21 countries in the two years to June 2018, including Niger, Myanmar, India and China.

Acts of discrimination were reported in 17 other countries such as Algeria, Turkey and Russia, it said.

It was the 14th edition of the aid group's report covering all religions in 196 countries, carried out every two years with the assistance of independent journalists.

"We've observed a trivialisation of attacks on religious freedom," said Marc Fromager, head of the NGO's French chapter, at a press conference in Paris.

Of the 38 countries where freedom is threatened, he said the situation has worsened in 18 of them, "in particular in two of the most populous countries in the world, China and India." "This hostility toward minorities has worsened to the point that we can qualify this as aggressive ultranationalism," he said.

In China, for example, Fromager said churches have been destroyed and Uighur Muslims have been forbidden from observing the holy month of Ramadan, while Tibetan Buddhists continue to face persecution.

The report noted an easing of tensions in Syria and Iraq following the weakening of the Islamic State group, which has allowed some Christians to return to their homes.
09:07   Police struggle to recover body of American killed on isolated Andaman island
Authorities are struggling to figure out how to recover the body of an American who was killed after wading ashore on an island cut off from the modern world.

John Allen Chau was killed last week by North Sentinel islanders who apparently shot him with arrows and then buried his body on the beach, police say.

But even officials don't travel to North Sentinel, where people live as their ancestors did thousands of years ago, and where outsiders are seen with suspicion and attacked.

"It's a difficult proposition," said Dependera Pathak, director-general of police on Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where North Sentinel is located. "We have to see what is possible, taking utmost care of the sensitivity of the group and the legal requirements."

Police are consulting anthropologists, tribal welfare experts and scholars to figure out a way to recover the body, he said.

While visits to the island are heavily restricted, Chau paid fishermen last week to take him near North Sentinel, using a kayak to paddle to shore and bringing gifts including a football and fish.

It was "a foolish adventure," said PC Joshi, an anthropology professor at Delhi University who has studied the islands. "He invited that aggression."

Joshi noted that the visit not only risked Chau's life, but also the lives of islanders who have little resistance to many diseases.
08:57   After Statue of Unity, 80-feet Buddha statue planned in Gujarat
After the 182-metre-tall 'Statue of Unity' of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Gujarat may get a gigantic Buddha statue.

Sanghakaya Foundation, a non-profit Buddhist organisation, said that it has demanded land from the government for installing an 80-feet high statue of Lord Buddha in Gandhinagar district.

It has roped in Ram Sutar, the sculptor behind the Statue of Unity, for the project, it said.

"We are expecting to get land soon," president of the foundation Bhante Prashil Ratna told reporters.

The Statue of Unity, inaugurated in Narmada district of the state on October 31, is the tallest statue in the world.

Bhante Prashil Ratna also said that the foundation is planning to set up a Buddhist University in Gujarat.

"Contrary to the belief that ancient Buddhist sites exist only in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and further to the north, Gujarat too has been blessed with such sites," he said.

"Like Nalanda and Takshashila, records of Chinese traveller Xuanzang mention that there was a big Buddhist university called Vallabhi at Bhavnagar in Gujarat," he said.

"As (ancient) Nalanda university has been revived, we wish to revive Vallabhi university here," he said.

"The state government has given us land in Gandhinagar where we are planning to start a university on Buddhism," he said.

The foundation also plans to build a grand monument at Dev Ni Mori, a Buddhist archaeological site in Sabarkantha district of north Gujarat, he said.

-- PTI
08:35   6 terrorists killed in encounter in J-K's Anantnag
An encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces in Sekipora area of Bijbhera in south Kashmir's Anantnag district in the wee hours of Friday.

According to reports, six terrorists are killed in the encounter. 

Indian Army's 3 Rashtriya Rifles and police are jointly conducting the ongoing operation.

The Valley has been witnessing a spurt in terror activities for the past few months.

On Tuesday, One Indian Army jawan was killed and four terrorists were gunned down in an encounter at Nadigam village of Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district. 

-- ANI
08:33   Go to court, I have the numbers: Sajjad Lone to PDP, NC
Peoples Conference leader Sajjad Lone dared the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party to go to court against the dissolution of the House and get it reversed because that will be a blessing in disguise for us. 

He, according to the Indian Express, said that his BJP-supported combination was in favour of a floor test because hes confident he has the requisite numbers.

While arch rivals PDP and NC had come together with the Congress to stake claim to form a new coalition government in J-K, Lone too had pitched his case. He was in London when the three parties joined hands a move thwarted by Governor Satya Pal Malik in a late-night order dissolving the assembly.

Former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed the new combination of PDP, NC and Congress has 56 legislators which is 12 more than the requisite 44 mark. 

Let them approach the Supreme Court and get this (dissolution of the assembly) reversed, Lone said. It will be a blessing in disguise for us. I am confident they will not have the requisite numbers. I dont think they will approach the court because their sole aim is to save their families (Muftis and Abdullahs) from rebellion against their leadership. He said that all the BJP legislators were ready to support his claim.

There was a momentum building up in J-K for change and whatever I was going to do was within the ambit of legality and the Constitution. If the Constitution permits a grouping of a particular size (break away from a party), why wouldnt it be availed of, he said. We had the numbers but, unfortunately, we didnt get the chance.
07:56   Go to court, I have the numbers: Sajjad Lone to PDP, NC
Peoples Conference leader Sajjad Lone dared the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party to go to court against the dissolution of the House and get it reversed because that will be a blessing in disguise for us. 

He, according to the Indian Express, said that his BJP-supported combination was in favour of a floor test because hes confident he has the requisite numbers.

While arch rivals PDP and NC had come together with the Congress to stake claim to form a new coalition government in J-K, Lone too had pitched his case. He was in London when the three parties joined hands a move thwarted by Governor Satya Pal Malik in a late-night order dissolving the assembly.

Former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed the new combination of PDP, NC and Congress has 56 legislators which is 12 more than the requisite 44 mark. 

Let them approach the Supreme Court and get this (dissolution of the assembly) reversed, Lone said. It will be a blessing in disguise for us. I am confident they will not have the requisite numbers. I dont think they will approach the court because their sole aim is to save their families (Muftis and Abdullahs) from rebellion against their leadership. He said that all the BJP legislators were ready to support his claim.

There was a momentum building up in J-K for change and whatever I was going to do was within the ambit of legality and the Constitution. If the Constitution permits a grouping of a particular size (break away from a party), why wouldnt it be availed of, he said. We had the numbers but, unfortunately, we didnt get the chance.
00:13   Parrikar wanted to quit, BJP top brass didn't allow: Goa minister
Goa Forward Party chief and Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai suggested on Thursday that the ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar wanted to resign, but the Bharatiya Janata Party high command vetoed it.

"He wanted to give up the CM's post altogether. He had even shown inclination to give away his portfolios (to other ministers) when he was admitted to a hospital during Ganesh Chaturthi festival," Sardesai said in Panaji.

"But then several things happened. BJP high command stepped (to resign or not) is not in his (Parrikar's) hands entirely," Sardesai told reporters.

Parrikar, 62, has been recuperating at his residence here since he was discharged from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on October 14.

He is suffering from a pancreatic ailment.

Asked about independent MLA and Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte's remark that the administration has become sluggish in Parrikar's absence, Sardesai said, "I have always been saying that CM's ill-health has had some sort of impact, and it is showing."

To a question on another alliance partner Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) filing a petition against two former Congress MLAs who joined the BJP, the minister said it was surprising.

MGP has moved the Goa Bench of Bombay high court, seeking to disqualify Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte, former Congress MLAs who recently joined the BJP.

"It is a matter between two constituents of the alliance -- BJP and MGP. So we are not concerned with it," Sardesai said.

"As far as MGP is concerned, its decision to go to the court is surprising.... I can believe it is a preemptive move, they (MGP) have not lost anything, Congress has lost two MLAs," Sardesai said in a cryptic remark.

Speculation was rife earlier that MGP MLAs might join the BJP which does not have a majority on its own in Goa assembly.

BJP spokespersons were not available for comment on Sardesai's remarks.  -- PTI
00:03   Congress never opposed Ram temple: Raj Babbar
Congress leader Raj Babbar said on Thursday his party was never opposed to the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and he now felt that even the Muslim community wanted it.

The decision on the vexed issue, however, will be taken by the Supreme Court, he told reporters ahead of the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls.

The Uttar Pradesh Congress chief said the Bharatiya Janata Party rakes up the temple issue during every election.

"BJP has never had any great passion for Lord Ram. Whenever there is election, the BJP starts seeking votes in Ram's name," Babbar said.

"People have begun to realise that BJP is deceiving voters on the issue of Ram temple. It promises to build the temple but will not tell the date," he said.

To a question, he said, "Congress has never opposed construction of Ram temple and will never do so in future as well."

"Everybody wants construction of Lord Ram's temple. I feel that now Muslims also want that temple should be constructed. But since the case is still pending in the Supreme Court, it (the court) will decide the issue."

Asked about UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath targeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi during the poll campaign, Babbar said, "What can be said about a person who left the temple to join politics? Adityanath should be asked whether he is maintaining the dignity of his saffron robes."

To another question about actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, Babbar said, "BJP has insulted Sinha. The fake politicians within the BJP are not able to tolerate him."  -- PTI