Mon, 03 September 2018
'People of K'taka have accepted development policies over BJP's jumla'

Timeline  Refresh

23:39   'People of K'taka have accepted development policies over BJP's jumla'
The Congress said on Monday that the people of Karnataka have accepted the development policies of the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular government in the state and have rejected the 'jumlas' (rhetoric) of the BJP, after the party emerged as the single largest outfit in the local body polls.
The JD-S, which is in a coalition government with the Congress in Karnataka, termed the results a defeat of the BJP in the state.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, while thanking the people of the state, said that they have once again reposed their faith in the Congress.
"People of Karnataka have once again reposed their faith in Congress by making it the No.1 party in Urban Local Bodies. People have accepted development policies of Congress+JDS Govt & have  rejected Jumlas of BJP. Many thanks to every @INCKarnataka worker!" he tweeted.
According to the state election commission, the Congress has secured 966 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged 910 seats in the elections held on Saturday. The Janata Dal-Secular has won 373 seats.
Results for 2,628 seats out of 2,709 have been declared so far.
Both the Congress and the JD-S contested the polls separately despite being partners in the state government, but they have already declared that they would tie up post-election in urban bodies. 
Party spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi thanked the voters in urban centres for the party's good show, saying the results have demolished the myth that the Congress does not have a base in these places. 
She said the Congress has also put up a good show in coastal areas and western regions of Karnataka considered a traditional stronghold of the BJP. 
"The results have shown that wherever BJP has failed in its accountability and has resorted to unconstitutional means after the assembly polls, voters have given them a befitting reply," she said. Chaturvedi said all the murmurs about the Congress becoming weak following its alliance with the JD(S) has also been put to rest.
JD-S leader Danish Ali termed the poll result as a defeat of the BJP, noting that the civic elections were held in 104 urban assembly constituencies, out of which the BJP had won 69 in the state elections held in May. -- PTI
23:36   Currency volatility to have 'limited impact' on India's credit profile: Fitch
Fitch Ratings Monday said the currency volatility will have only a "limited impact" on India's sovereign credit profile as the country benefits from strong external finances.
In a report on APAC sovereigns, Fitch said the recent sell-offs in Indian and Indonesian currency markets underline their sensitivity to shifts in global sentiment, and suggest further bouts of pressure are likely as global monetary tightening progresses.
"Currency volatility, however, is likely to have only a limited impact on their (India and Indonesia) sovereign profiles. India's sovereign credit profile, for example, benefits from relatively strong external finances, especially a low level of external and foreign-currency debt," Fitch said in a statement.
Indian rupee, which has been depreciating, had last week breached 71 to a dollar mark.
Fitch said the risk of currency pressures triggering a policy-induced spike in domestic borrowing costs is mitigated by the Reserve Bank of India's relatively narrow focus on its inflation objective.
Fitch had in April, 2018, retained India's sovereign rating at 'BBB-' with 'stable' outlook, saying that the country's medium-term growth potential is strong.
The agency said rising US interest rates and increasing global risk aversion towards emerging-market assets are generating capital outflows and exerting downward pressure on most Asian currencies.
"Trade tensions between the US and China have added to market jitters and pose downside risks to growth. Nevertheless, strong fiscal and external buffers, along with flexible policy frameworks, should allow most of the region's economies to weather these challenges," Fitch added. -- PTI
22:28   Kerala was warned of severe weather: Centre on charges of forecast lapses
The central government said on Monday that the India Meteorological Department had issued necessary severe weather warnings for Kerala rains last month, refuting the charge that there were lapses on its part.
The IMD representatives apprised the state authorities about the strong monsoon conditions with heavy rainfall activity in a meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan on August 9, according to a statement issued by the ministry of earth sciences.
"Also the additional chief secretary (revenue and disaster management) was briefed orally over phone on all occasions. Member Secretary, SDMA (State Disaster Management Authority) was briefed on August 10. District collectors of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram were briefed on August 14. Briefings were sent to media also during this period," the statement said.
The MoES said the IMD had issued all necessary severe weather warnings through its office in Thiruvananthapuram and extended forecast range was issued two weeks in advance. 
On August 30, the chief minister in the state assembly had said there were "lapses" on the part of the IMD's rain forecast during this period. 

The IMD had forecast an estimated 98.5 mm rain in the state between August 9 and 15.
But, the actual rain received was 352.2 mm, Vijayan said, adding he purpose was not to find fault with anyone.
Weather forecasts for five days and outlook for subsequent two days, which also include heavy rainfall warning and wind warning, were sent through e-mail to Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue and Disaster Management), SDMA, Navy, Special Marine enforcement, print and electronic media, the statement added.
Short and medium range forecasts (five days in advance) were also issued by the IMD unit in Thiruvananthapuram, it said.
The ministry said orange alerts, which mean authorities should prepare for action, were issued with effect from August 6 and applicable from August 8 onwards while red alert, which means authorities start taking necessary action, was issued with effect from August 9. -- PTI
22:19   Pak Army Chief Bajwa meets PM Khan ahead of Pompeo's visit
Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa met Imran Khan on Monday and discussed various security-related issues with the Prime Minister ahead of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Islamabad on September 5.
Bajwa held his first formal meeting with Prime Minister Khan on August 27 and discussed efforts to ensure long-lasting peace and stability in the region.
"Matters related to security were discussed," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement about Monday's meeting.
The meeting is significant for its timing due to Pompeo's scheduled visit to the country as the US Secretary of State is expected to demand support from Pakistan to bring Taliban to the negotiating table.
US-Pakistan tensions have flared before Pompeo's trip with Islamabad dismissing as "incorrect" reports the US has cancelled USD 300 million in military aid to the country, saying Washington owed the money to Islamabad for expenses incurred on fighting terrorism.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the remarks a day after the Pentagon disclosed it decided to scrap the funds because Pakistan was not doing enough against terrorist groups inside its borders.
Qureshi confirmed his American counterpart will visit Pakistan and downplayed suggestions the funding row has fuelled mutual tensions.
This will be Washington's first high-level dialogue with Islamabad since Khan was sworn-in as the 22nd premier of Pakistan on August 18. 
Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf won the 25 July general election amidst the perception that the Pakistan Army, a major player in Pakistan's politics, has thrown its weight behind his party.
Bajwa had congratulated Khan on assuming the top ministerial job during their first meeting at the Prime Minister's Office.
The powerful military has ruled coup-prone Pakistan for nearly half of the country's history since independence in 1947. -- PTI

Photograph: Kind courtesy Govt of Pakistan on Twitter 
21:14   4 cattle smugglers held for theft, slaughter of cows
Four persons were arrested on Monday in Ghaziabad's Awas Vikas colony for allegedly stealing cows and slaughtering them, police said.
On the basis of a tip-off, Tronica city police arrested the smugglers from a forest near the colony and recovered from their possession lethal weapons used for slaughtering, police said.
The arrested accused -- Rizwan, Firoz, Anees, and Mustkeem-- have confessed to stealing cows and calves for slaughtering after administering euthanasia injections to them, Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said.
They were wanted in five cases of theft of bovines and their slaughter, he said.
Three extra-large size knives, five syringes and 14 injections, and a four-metre-long synthetic rope were recovered from the accused, the SSP said, adding that they have been sent to jail under sections of the anti-cow slaughter Act. -- PTI  
21:09   MP BJP MLA's son threatens to kill Scindia; held
Police on Monday arrested a 19-year-old son of Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party MLA in Damoh district for allegedly threatening to kill Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia through a social media post, an official said.
The accused Princedeep is the son of Uma Devi Khatik who represents Hatta assembly seat in the legislative assembly.
"The FIR was lodged by some Congress leaders after they came across the post allegedly posted by Princedeep on Facebook, following which he was arrested," said Hata police station in-charge Dharmendra Singh.
Princedeep used objectionable language against the erstwhile royal who represents Guna Lok Sabha seat and threatened to shoot him if he visited Hatta, he said.
The FIR was lodged by Youth Congress leader Anurag Vardhan Hazari, the officer said.
He said Princedeep was brought to the police station by his MLA mother.
He has been booked under various sections of the IPC, Singh said.
Scindia is scheduled to visit Damoh district on September 5.
Condemning the post, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh said the incident showed the "real face" of the BJP and RSS.
State unit Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi demanded that the government strengthen Scindia's security if needed. -- PTI 

Image: Accused Princedeep Khatik 
20:40   Economy was never in such mess: Kejriwal attacks Modi govt
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday targeted the centre over the rising fuel prices and falling rupee, saying the economy was never in such a "mess".
"Petrol/Diesel prices touching an all time high. Rupee falling to a historic low. BJP's Central govt, in its last months, either does not know what to do or is simply not bothered about the hardships it is heaping on Aam Aadmi. Economy was never in such a mess !" the Aam Aadmi Party supremo tweeted.
Kejriwal's comments come on a day the petrol and diesel prices in Delhi rose to a record Rs 79.15 and Rs 71.15 a litre respectively, while the rupee crashed to yet another historic low of 71.21.
In a statement, the AAP said the party's national convener expressed serious concern over the "deteriorating" condition of the economy. 

"The Aam Aadmi Party is of the clear view that the grossly incompetent Bhartiya Janata Party government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has failed to address the concerns of rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee," the party said.
Urging the government to address the issues at the earliest, it said the BJP would face "certain defeat" in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, if the situation continued to aggravate. -- PTI
20:38   Congress is 'thirsty' for my blood: MP CM
A day after his vehicle was attacked with stones, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Monday that the Congress was "thirsty" for his blood and if he were to die, he would take birth again to serve the people of the state.
Chouhan's vehicle was attacked Sunday night at Churhat in Sidhi district while he was touring the area as part of his "Jan Ashirwad Yatra". While no one was hurt in the incident, a windowpane of the vehicle, modified as a chariot, was damaged.
Nine suspected Congress workers have been arrested in this connection, state Home Minister Bhupendra Singh informed Monday.
"The Congress is thirsty for my blood. It has never happened in Madhya Pradesh's politics. Different schools of thought keep on struggling and parties used to organise their programmes, but such a thing has never happened," Chouhan said at a function at the Central Jail here on the occasion of Janmashtami.
"Stones were hurled at the yatra of a political party. This has never happened in Madhya Pradesh politics. Such attacks are not good for democracy. Not good for Madhya Pradesh as well as the Congress, " he said.
Taking a swipe at the Congress' top leadership, the chief minister said, "I wish to ask senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, party president Rahul Gandhi and state chief Kamal Nath in which direction they want to take the party."
He also asked the Congress leadership if they felt what the party's leaders and workers were doing was right.
"I live for the people. Even if I die, I will come back again by taking rebirth to serve them. But this type of politics (attack on his vehicle) has no place in the state.
"Fight me on the ground, with my thoughts, you say your things and I will say mine. In what direction do you wish to take the state by hurling stones in the dark," Chouhan questioned.
He brushed aside the Congress' contention that people opposed to the recent amendments to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were behind the Churhat stone-pelting incident.
"I am touring the entire state. It has not happened anywhere, only in Churhat," Chouhan said. 
Churhat is the assembly constituency of Ajay Singh, the Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh. -- PTI  

Photograph: PTI Photo
20:11   Deepika Padukone to return in next 'xXx' film: director DJ Caruso
Deepika Padukone's Serena Unger will be back for another adventure in Vin Diesel-starrer xXx franchise, director DJ Caruso confirmed on Monday.
The fourth film in the franchise will also star Chinese singer Roy Wang, he said on Twitter, welcoming him to the franchise. 
An Indian fan wrote back asking whether Deepika will be a part of the film, Caruso replied with a "yes" and added that they were working on the script. 
xXx: Return of Xander Cage marked Padukone's Hollywood debut.
In May, Caruso had expressed a desire to shoot a Bollywood style dance number, featuring Padukone, for the end credits of his upcoming film. 
"I want to end xXx 4' with a Bollywood dance song. Led of course by @deepikapadukone. Lungi Dance? Something new?" Caruso had tweeted. PTI 
19:19   Hazare to sit on hunger strike from Oct 2, seeking pension for farmers
Social activist Anna Hazare will sit on a hunger strike Ralegan Siddhi from October 2 over issues like appointment of Lokpal and welfare measures for the agrarian sector, including Rs 5,000 monthly pension for farmers.

According to a statement in Ralegan Siddhi on Monday, Hazare also sought implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations to alleviate the plight of farmers, who have been facing serious economic crisis for the last few years.

The government has not acted on these demands despite repeated requests, it said. Hazare has also sought that each farmer in the country get Rs 5,000 pension per month, an aide of the social activist said.

The 80-year-old anti-graft activist will launch the protest at his native village, on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Hazare sat on a hunger strike in Delhi in March this year raising the demands, but had called it off after assurance from the government that necessary steps would be taken in this regard.

He had then warned the government about launching the agitation again within six months if his demands go unattended.

"The demand of appointments of Lokpal and Lokayukta for ensuring speedy justice to people combating corruption and assuring transparency in governance and another demand for implementing the (Swaminathan) Commission report have not been fulfilled despite repeated requests to the government," the statement said.

"As a result, Hazare is firm on launching his protest in Ralegan Siddhi," it said.

After the activist's protest at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan in March, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had acted as an emissary of the Centre and had said that the National Democratic Alliance government had taken 'positive decisions' in response to the demands.

The Swaminathan Commission was formed in 2004 to identify and suggest solutions to problems farmers in the country face.

It submitted five reports between December 2004 and October 2006, suggesting various steps to improve the agrarian situation.

Hazare, who has been the face of the Lokpal movement, had first gone on a 12-day hunger strike in 2011 over the Lokpal issue.  -- PTI
18:34   15,000 FB likes, 5,000 Twitter followers must to get MP Cong ticket
Ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee has made it mandatory for the party members, especially the aspiring candidates, to be active on social media.

In a letter, dated September 2, the MPCC has asked its party members to ensure that they must have 15,000 likes on the Facebook page, 5000 followers on Twitter, and it is mandatory to be a part of several Whatsapp groups of booth-level workers in connection with the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

The party members were also asked to re-tweet and like all posts of Madhya Pradesh Congress and share the posts from the official Indian National Congress on their own pages as much as possible.

The leaders were asked to submit details of their social media handles to the party by September 15, if they want their names to be considered for nomination for tickets for the state assembly elections.

According to reports, the Bharatiya Janata Party's IT cell in the state has said that about 65,000 'cyber warriors' have been tasked with running the party's online campaign effectively.  -- ANI
18:01   Amid controversy, IAF pilots train on Rafale jets
Three Rafale fighter jets are engaged in an exercise with the Indian Air Force in Gwalior and Agra, amid a raging controversy over the Rs 58,000-crore deal to procure 36 of them by the government.

Officials said around 100 French aviators, one Atlas A-400M military transport aircraft, one C-135 refuelling plane and an Airbus A310 cargo aircraft have also come to India along with the Rafale jets on a four-day visit.

They said a batch of IAF pilots have got an opportunity to train on the Rafale jets. The aircraft landed in India on Saturday after visiting Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.

India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.

The delivery of the jets is scheduled to begin from September 2019. The Congress has raised several questions about the deal including alleged inflated rate of the aircraft but the government has rejected the charges.

In a statement, the French embassy in New Delhi said that joint flights and exchanges between the French and Indian Air Forces will be conducted as part of the four-day tour by the French contingent.

'This mission in India is yet another illustration of the depth of the Indo-French strategic partnership, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, and the great trust that prevails in the relations between our respective armed forces,' it said.

It said operational aim of the 'Mision PEGASE' is to reinforce France's presence in the region of strategic interest and deepen its relations with its main partner countries.

The French contingent is in New Delhi days after it participated in 'Operation Pitch Black', a multilateral air exercises which took place in Australia recently.

The Indian Air Force was also part of the mega exercise.

"This mission succeeds a major exercise in Australia, where our aircraft have carried out joint drills with those of the Indian Air Force," the French Embassy said.

A senior IAF official said the visit of the Rafale jets as well as other aircraft will further boost cooperation between the two forces. -- PTI

Image used only for representation.
17:15   11 arrested for 'leaking' papers of tubewell operator test in UP
The Uttar Pradesh police has arrested 11 persons for their alleged roles in the leakage of questions papers for tubewell operators recruitment tests, which was to be held by the Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission on Sunday.

All the arrests were made on Sunday by the Special Task Force of the state police in Merrut, a day after the UPSSSC postponed the test following the surfacing of the leaked Hindi question paper for the test on Saturday, a senior police officer said Monday.

The arrested accused included mastermind of the racket and five job aspirants, who all were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by the court of Meerut chief judicial magistrate.

The district police probing the case would soon move the appropriate court for seek the police custody of the accused for their custodial interrogation and investigation aimed at adducing further evidence in the case against them, the officer said.

Detailing the findings of the preliminary probe into the matter, the officer said with the arrest of the accused, a racket of selling question papers to the aspirants and ensuring their selections for the menial government job for a hefty sum of Rs 6 to 7 lakh has been unearthed by the STF.

The STF in a statement said three hand-written answer sheets, 5 admit cards, 13 mobile phones and Rs 1,48,000 were also recovered from the arrested persons.

The STF identified the arrested mastermind of the racket as Sachin, a teacher from Amroha district in UP, who told the sleuths during interrogation that he had been involved in leaking question papers of various examinations for the last two years.

Sachin disclosed to the police that he has already received Rs 3 lakh from each of the aspirants for the post of tubewell operators, who would have given him another sum of Rs 3 to 4 lakh after their selection, the STF officer said.

After the leakage of question papers from a Meerut Cantonment centre, Sachin had called all the aspirants, said the STF officer, adding a case of cheating and forgery has been registered against all the accused in Meerut.

According to the reports, the UPSSSC exam paper was leaked a day before the exam was to be conducted on Sunday.

The test was cancelled after the authorities got to know of the paper leak. The announcement was made on Saturday night.

The exam was to be held for recruiting a total of 3,210 tubewell operator across the state. The test for the tubewell operators was postponed after the Hindi question paper was leaked on Saturday.

Announcing the decision to postponed the exam, the Lucknow district magistrate said the fresh dates for the UPSSSC tubewell operator exam would be announced soon.

Over the years, Uttar Pradesh has gained notoriety for frequent leaks of question papers for various competitive examinations for the government jobs.

The latest instance has come close on the heels of the leakages of question papers for recruitment of assistant teachers in July and for those of police constables in June this year.  -- PTI
16:35   Congress urges Kerala govt to drop plan to seek aid abroad
The Congress in Kerala comes out against the CPI-M led LDF government's decision to mobilise resources to rebuild the flood-ravaged state, from non-resident Keralites, by deputing ministers to collect funds. Attacking the government over its decision, Congress leader K V Thomas said Monday, "the state government should not humiliate the people of Kerala by going abroad seeking aid with a begging bowl."

Urging Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to drop the plan, Thomas said, "Do not send ministers and officials with begging bowls to foreign countries. This will dent the self respect and prestige of Keralites." "Do not humiliate Indians and Keralites who live abroad with dignity, he added. -- PTI
Rupee crashes to yet another record low of 71.10 against US dollar.
16:21   Mallya gets more time to respond
Mumbai: A Special Court allows Vijay Mallya to file his reply on the Enforcement Directorate's application, which seeks to declare him a fugitive economic offender under a new law. The court gives three weeks to Mallya to file his reply on the ED's application. Mallya has to file a reply by September 24. After that the court will decide the course of hearing.
15:52   Cong demands Prez rule in Goa in absence of CM, two ministers
The opposition Congress demanded Monday that President's rule be imposed in Goa in the wake of the absence of chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently in the US for a medical treatment. Congress' Goa spokesman Ramakant Khalap said the state is facing a "constitutional crisis", and that he has sought an appointment with Governor Mridula Sinha to press for his party's demand for President's rule.

Parrikar has been "constantly absent" from the state because of health reasons, without handing over his charge to anyone, he said. Also, Goa's power minister Pandurang Madkaikar and urban development minister Francis D'Souza have been down with ailments, he noted while talking to reporters. -- PTI
15:45   25 injured in acid attack at Congress victory rally in K'taka
At least 25 people were injured as acid was thrown on them during the victory procession of victorious Congress candidate Inayatullah Khan in Tumakuru today. This incident comes after reports that Congress and Janata Dal-Secular may enter into an alliance in the Tumakuru and Mysuru municipal corporations.

The police have launched an investigation into the case. A search operation is underway to nab the attackers.

The BJP won 13 seats to the Tumakuru Municipal Corporation followed by the JD(S) at seven seats. The Congress won just three wards while Independent candidates won two wards each.

Out of the total of 2,664 wards, the Congress has won 982 seats, BJP 927, JD(S) 375, BSP 13 and others have won 363 seats.

In all, 8,340 candidates, including 2,306 from the Congress, 2,203 from the BJP and 1,397 from the JD(S) are in the fray for the ULBs, while 814 contested from the city corporations, including 135 from Congress, 130 from BJP and 129 from JD(S).
15:21   Judgement in 2007 Hyderabad twin bomb blasts case tomorrow
A local court is likely to pronounce Tuesday its verdict in a case related to twin bomb blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park in Hyderabad in 2007 that claimed 44 lives and left 68 injured. On August 27, Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T Srinivas Rao postponed the judgment in the case to September 4.

The Counter Intelligence wing of the Telangana Police had investigated the case and arrested five accused, all alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives.

The agency had filed four charge sheets against the five accused and also named two other absconding accused, Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal. Those arrested -- Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed, Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash, Mohammed Sadiq Israr Ahmed Shaik and Tarik Anjum -- were produced before the court on August 27 through video conferencing from Cherlapalli Central Prison, where they are currently lodged.

The trial against five accused in the case was shifted to a court hall located on the premises of Cherlapalli Central Prison from a court located in Nampally Court complex in June this year.

The accused were charged under section 302 (murder) and other relevant provisions of the IPC and sections of Explosive Substances Act in connection with the twin blasts on August 25, 2007, and also with regard to the recovery of an unexploded bomb found under a footover bridge at the Dilsuknagar area  - PTI

Image: An person injured in the bomb blast at Lumbini Park, Hyderabadm in 2007, is taken to hospital
Karnataka: Eight people injured in an acid attack on the victory procession of winning Congress candidate Inayatullah Khan in Tumkur. Details awaited. 
14:42   10 shot at apartment complex in California
Ten people have been shot at an apartment complex in San Bernardino, California, police say.

CNN reports that three of the victims are in an "extremely critical" condition, quoting San Bernardino Police spokesman Captain Richard Lawhead.

Lawhead said the shooting took place in a common area of the complex and all the victims are believed to be adults.

There is no suspect in custody at this time.Lawhead said officers got a call reporting shots fired at 1277 East Lynwood Drive on Sunday at 10:45 PT. Officers arrived to find "at least 10 victims down," Lawhead said.
14:29   'Let us not stop the police from doing its job'
And the counterpoint to Aakar's column by former Union home secretary Madhav Godbole, who says to ascribe motives to the actions of the state government a/t such an early stage of police investigation will be counter-productive. Read the column here. 
14:26   The Indian State is always up to mischief against citizens
"The individuals whom this government and its media call 'Urban Naxals' should not have been arrested. In any civilised democracy (which India is not) this would not have happened," argues Aakar Patel, winner of the 2018 Prem Bhatia Award for Political Reporting. Read his column on here.
14:17   2+2 dialogue: The six points India, US will discuss
Ahead of the maiden two-plus-two dialogue between India and the United States, top homeland security officials of the two countries have worked on a draft plan related to six areas, including anti-terror cooperation in intelligence sharing, terror financing and cyber security.

During the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue, held recently, senior officers deliberated on a draft work plan relating to the activities of the six sub-groups, an official privy to the development said Monday.

The six sub-groups formed under the Indo-US homeland security dialogue cover the areas of (i) Illicit finance, Illegal smuggling of cash, financial fraud and counterfeiting, (ii) cyber information, (iii) megacity policing and sharing of information among federal state and local partners, (iv) global supply chain, transportation, port, border and maritime security, (v) capacity building and (vi) technology upgradation. Cooperation in matters related to counter terror initiatives and intelligence sharing were given stress during the recent meeting, the official said.

Both the sides agreed to work out the modalities to address these issues and agreed to maintain sustained interactions to enhance security cooperation between the two countries, another official said.

The Indian delegation was led by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Rajni Sekhri Sibal while the US side was led by Deputy Under Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, James McCament.

The Indo-US homeland security dialogue was launched in 2010 as the mechanism to a sequel to the signing of the India-US counter-terrorism initiative. The maiden two-plus-two dialogue between India and the United States is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on Thursday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be meeting their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, to discuss enhancing America's engagement with India on critical diplomatic and security priorities. -- PTI

Image: Foreign Minster Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
13:59   10 killed in rains in UP
Ten people were killed and nine injured in rain-related incidents, including in lightning strike, in Uttar Pradesh, a senior official said Monday.

Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar told reporters here ten people were killed and nine injured in rain-related incidents, including in lightning strike, since Sunday night.

"While four deaths were reported from Jhansi , two were from Etawah and one death each was reported from Firozbad, Raebareli, Auraiya and Shamli," he said. In this period, 116 houses/huts were damaged and four cattle also died, he said. -- PTI
13:40   Congress leads with 846 wins in K'taka civic polls
As counting of votes for the recently held urban local body polls is underway, results declared so far reveal that the Congress is leading.

Out of the total 2664 seats, the results for 2267 have been announced and Congress has managed to win 846 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party  bagged 788, and the Janata Dal (Secular) won 307 seats, with the remaining going to independent candidates.

The polling was held in 2,529 wards, spread over 29 city municipalities, 53 town municipalities and 23 town panchayats, and in 135 wards of three city corporations of the state.

The civic election was earlier scheduled to be held in 105 urban local bodies. However, polling in three areas was postponed due to the onset of heavy rains and subsequent flash floods in Kodagu district. - ANI

Image: Votes being counted for the civic polls in Karnataka
One person has been injured during Dahi Handi celebrations in Thane and has been admitted to a nearby hospital. 
13:23   The British in India, review: Snobbery, harems and boredom
"In the summer, those who could flocked to the hills, notably to Simla (now Shimla), for six months the seat of government, which traipsed 1,200 miles from Calcutta, first by bullock cart, then by train and finally pony cart. In Kipling's day, this small, English-looking town 7,000ft up in the mountains became famous not only for its climate but for its extra-marital affairs. As one vicereine observed, it was "a place where every Jack has someone else's Jill'."  Read the full review here.
13:13   Big crackdown against Maoists' 'overground' supporters planned
A first-time concerted crackdown has been launched against 'overground' Maoist supporters in various states and about 500 such people have been apprehended by the security forces in Chhattisgarh alone over the last one year, the chief of country's lead anti-Naxal operations force, the CRPF, has said.

CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar told PTI in an interview that this fresh action is being undertaken by them in coordination with state police forces with an aim to deny 'space' to the Left Wing Extremists and to counter them beyond the field operations.

The Central Reserve Police Force has deployed close to a lakh armed personnel and a heavy assortment of weapons and gadgets to tackle the Left Wing Extremism in various states of the country.

"We are now going to the villages and we are trying to see that action is taken against their (Maoists) overground supporters and workers, 'jan militia' and other people who give them the intelligence and local support. 

-- PTI
12:57   Bombay HC raps cops for holding press conference on activists' arrests
The Bombay high court has rapped the Maharashtra Police for holding a press conference on the arrest of the human rights activists when the matter was sub judice. 

On August 31, the Maharashtra police held a press conference in which they said there was 'conclusive proof' to link the arrested activists to Maoists, adding a letter exchanged by an arrested activist spoke of planning a 'Rajiv Gandhi-like incident to end Modi-raj'.

Pune police had on August 28 raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested five of them -- Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Gautam Navalakha in Delhi.

The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the Elgaar Parishad, which allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district the next day.

The Supreme Court has ordered that the five should be kept under house arrest till September 6.

Image: Human rights activist Gautam Navlakha at his residence after he was arrested by the Pune police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. 
12:38   Pakistan claims $300 mn not US aid, but payment for expenses on war against terror
The $300 million that the Pentagon has decided to scrap is not military aid to Pakistan, but what it owns to Islamabad for its support in the war against terrorism and should reimburse it, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has asserted, sparking fresh bilateral tensions ahead of a key visit.
The Pentagon on Saturday announced that it will cancel $300 million aid to Pakistan over its failure to take actions against terror groups. Qureshi said the matter will be taken up during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the country on September 5.

"The $300 million is neither aid nor assistance - it is the money Pakistan spent from its resources against militants and in the war against terrorism. This is the money they (US) are supposed to reimburse, but now either they are not willing or unable to pay back,," Qureshi said during a hurriedly called press conference on Sunday after the US announced the decision.
"It was all our money that we spent and they (US) were merely reimbursing it," he said.
Earlier he told the BBC Urdu that the US in principle should pay back the money to Pakistan because it was spent for a common objective to defeat militancy and create peace and stability.
"We will sit and discuss this with him (Pompeo). We will try to improve bilateral ties between the two countries. We will listen to him and present our point of view to him as well," he said. 
The US action comes just days before Pompeo is due to visit Pakistan to meet the country's new Prime Minister Imran Khan. The US and others have long complained that Pakistan provides safe haven to militant networks, allowing them to carry out cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon's move, which needs to be approved by the US Congress, is part of a broader suspension of aid announced in January.

-- PTI
12:15   Sidhu says optimistic about Indo-Pak ties after Islamabad visit
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu said his belief that India-Pakistan ties were set to improve has strengthened after his return from Islamabad, as his "friend" Imran Khan has sent a message that he wants peace.
Unlike before, when an Indian prime minister's visit to Pakistan was responded with terrorist strikes, Sidhu said his trip resulted in a message of peace.

After his return from Pakistan last month, Sidhu said, there was controversy in India, but the new Pakistan prime minister said "they want peace".

Sidhu visited Pakistan to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Khan, a cricketer turned politician, on August 18.

Sidhu said, "I will tell you why my hope about the improvement in relations of both the countries got strengthen."

"Kargil War happened after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from Pakistan. Pathankot attack happened after PM Narendra Modi returned from Pakistan, but when Sidhu returned from Pakistan and some 'nok-jhonk' (bickering) took place, the message from my friend came that 'we want peace... You take one step and we will take two'," Sidhu said, referring to Khan.

The Punjab tourism minister said dialogue is the only way to improve ties with Pakistan.

"Hope is the biggest top (cannon), which conquers the impossible. My hope has strengthened after my personal friend became the prime minister of Pakistan after a struggle of years... I can say with full confidence that relations between both the nations would be enhanced," he said.

-- PTI
11:49   Petrol, diesel prices at all-time high
Petrol and diesel prices in the country touched their highest levels Monday mainly due to dramatic fall in rupee and a sharp rise in crude oil rates.
Petrol price in Delhi rose to a record Rs 79.15 a litre and diesel climbed to a fresh high of Rs 71.15, according to price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
This follows a 31 paise/litre hike in prices on Monday. Rates have breached the previous high of Rs 78.43 a litre hit on May 28. On that day, the rate in Mumbai was Rs 86.24 per litre.
A litre of petrol in Mumbai costs Rs 86.56 on Monday.
Prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals due to lower sales tax or VAT.

Diesel rates on Monday were hiked by 39 paise a litre, the steepest increase since the daily revision in prices was introduced in mid-june 2017.

Diesel now costs Rs 75.54 per litre in Mumbai.

Since August 16, petrol prices have risen by over Rs 2 per litre. Diesel prices on the other hand have risen by Rs 2.42 a litre during this period.
Diesel rates had hit Rs 69.31 a litre on May 28, but this record was breached on August 27 and on Monday they hit a fresh high.
Fuel prices vary from state to state due to local levies.
Officials said the spike in rates is on account of exchange rate falling to a record Rs 71 to a dollar, depreciating by Rs 2.5 in a month.

-- PTI
11:34   New India's blessed dictionary
Close on the heels of a public prosecutor suggesting that a fascist establishment runs India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lamented what he described as the tendency to brand as "autocrats" those who enforce discipline.

"... Hamare desh ki sthiti aisi hai ki discipline ko undemocratic keh dena aaj kal saral ho gaya hai. Koi thoda sa discipline aagrah kare, mar gaya woh... 'autocrat hai'... pata nahin, saari dictionary khol dete hain (The state of the nation is such that nowadays it has become easy to bill discipline as undemocratic. Whoever aspires to a little discipline is doomed. They are called autocrats and what not. The entire dictionary is riffled through to find words)," Modi said on Sunday.

The occasion was the launch of a book on Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu's one year in office and the context was Naidu's reputation as a disciplinarian. Read more
11:19   Godman held for molestation
Delhi: Police have arrested a self-styled godman Nabbe Das under POCSO Act yesterday after receiving a complaint from a woman on August 30 that her niece was molested and threatened to death by Nabbe Das on August 17. Investigation underway.
11:13   US continues to press Pak to 'indiscriminately' target terror groups: Pentagon
The US has consistently engaged with Pakistan's top military officials, pressing them to indiscriminately target all terrorist groups that threaten regional stability and security, the Pentagon has said.

The remark comes after the Pentagon on Saturday said it will reprogramme USD 300 million of its Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for Pakistan due to its failure to tackle militant groups.

The Pentagon's move, which needs to be approved by the US Congress, is part of a broader suspension of aid announced in January. "Unfortunately, recent reporting has distorted the details of the Coalition Support Fund by stating several things out of context.

The suspension of security assistance to Pakistan was announced in January 2018," Pentagon spokesman Lt Col Kon Faulkner said on Sunday. "The CSF is included in the suspension and it remains in place.

This is not a new decision or a new announcement, but an acknowledgement of a July request to reprogramme funds before they expire," he said.

Faulkner said since January, the US has consistently engaged with Pakistani military officials at the highest levels, based on both a shared commitment to defeat all terrorist groups that threaten regional stability and security, as well as on a shared vision of a peaceful future for Afghanistan. -- PTI
11:03   Kerala floods leave behind killer diseases: 10 die of leptospirosis
After the floods, the new killer in Kerala is leptospirosis. In just one month, between August 1 and September 2, ten people have died in Kerala. There have been 302 confirmed and 719 suspected cases of the bacterial disease reported in the state since August 1, most of them in Kozhikode district.

The Kerala government has now sounded an alert against leptospirosis, which is a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals. The most common way to contract leptospirosis is coming in contact with water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals like rats.

The state health department has asked people who came in contact with flood water to take preventive medicine. Some among those who died were involved in cleaning in flood-hit areas.

The state has also reported over 1600 cases of chicken pox with one death in August, against zero cases in all of 2017. Also, while viral Hepatitis A infected 1,044 and killed four this August, there were only 988 cases in all of 2017.

Kerala's health ministry has also said that as rain has stopped, chances of dengue outbreak were high. All local bodies have been asked to go for cleaning campaign to eliminate sources of the vector that spreads the disease, she said.
10:36   Kevin Spacey has the ability to reform: Robin Wright
Kevin Spacey's former co-star Robin Wright says the actor should be given the chance to ''reform'', following his sexual assault scandal. The 58-year-old actor is facing several accusations that he sexually assaulted men including actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed the star made unwanted advances on him when he was just 14-years-old.

Spacey addressed the allegations and came out as gay. The allegations caused the star to be removed from Netflix drama "House of Cards", which also stars Wright.

"I don't know how to comment on that, I really don't. I believe every human being has the ability to reform. Has the ability to reform. In that sense, second chances, or whatever you are going to call it -- absolutely, I believe in that. It's called growth," Wright told Net-A-Porter.

The 52-year-old actor, who will be leading the final and last season of "House of Cards", said she does feel sorry for Spacey. "I feel sorry for anybody whose life is in the public arena. It's a nightmare, can you imagine? We do a job, we share (a performance) with viewers. Why does our private life have to be public? I hate that part of this industry. I'm talking about media. The exposure. It's an awful feeling," she said. -- PTI
10:29   Catholic priest's thanksgiving speech at mosque in flood-hit Kerala
In a sermon of a different kind, a Catholic priest addressed Muslim brothers in a mosque to express his gratitude for their selfless service in feeding the flood victims who had taken shelter at his church.

By offering the Christian priest the same platform where a 'Maulavi' (muslim cleric) addresses the believers, the mosque authorities have showcased a rare model of togetherness in the post-flood state.

Fr Sanu Puthussery, belonging to the Syro-Malabar Church, had visited the Juma Masjid at Vechoor in Kottayam district during Jum'ah (Friday prayers) on August 31 and delivered a thanksgiving speech at the Masjid prayer hall.

As the deadliest floods had lashed the state two weeks ago, over 580 persons had sought refuge at St Antony's Church at Achinakom where Fr Puthussery is serving as the priest.

Though the Church authorities had opened their hall for the hapless people, they found some shortage of food and water to feed them the next day.

"I straightaway went to the Masjid, appraised the Maulavi about our difficulty and requested his help. After the day's prayers, Muslim brothers came to the church with a large quantity of food and water as per his direction," Fr Puthussery told PTI.

"I cannot express my gratitude to them in words. That much help and support they had extended during the time of difficulties," he said.

They had continued to bring essential articles to the relief camp at the church. Besides food and water, essential medicines were also brought by the youths attached to the Masjid, he said. "I went to the Masjid to meet the Maulavi and other authorities and thank them personally. But they invited me to their prayer hall and offered me their platform to speak. It was a rare gesture of togetherness," the priest said.

It was a different experience for over 250 believers, who were at the Masjid to attend Friday prayers. In his around 10-minute speech, the Catholic priest had said though the floods snatched away many valuables from people, it also washed away the walls of differences among them.
-- PTI
10:18   Sensex, Nifty rally on robust GDP data, rupee recovery
The BSE Sensex rallied nearly 300 points in early session Monday on fresh buying in IT, teck and capital goods counters following robust GDP growth rate for the April-June quarter of fiscal and recovery in rupee.

The 30-share index rebounded by 289.28 points, or 0.74 per cent, to quote at 38,934.35.

The benchmark bourse, however, pared some gains within the first hour of the session, and was trading 153.03 points, or 0.40 per cent, higher at 38,798.10 at 1000 hours. The gauge had lost 251.56 points in the past three sessions.

The NSE Nifty also went past 10,700 rising 71.30 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 11,751.80. Official data released after market hours Friday showed India's economy grew at two-year high of 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2018-19 on strong performance of manufacturing and agriculture sectors, increasing its lead over China to remain the world's fastest growing major economy. The rupee's recovery from its record low against the dollar and fresh buying by domestic institutional investors also fuelled the uptrend in the market, brokers said. -- PTI
09:59   Reuters journalists sentenced to 7 years in jail
A court in Myanmar has sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison for violating a state secrets act while investigating violence against Rohingyas, reports the BBC.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested last year while carrying official documents which had just been given to them by police.

The case has been widely seen as a test of press freedom in Myanmar. They have maintained their innocence, saying they were set up by police.

"Today is a sad day for Myanmar, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and press freedom anywhere," said Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler.

The verdict comes a year after the crisis in Rakhine state came to a head when a Rohingya militant group attacked several police posts.

The military responded with a brutal crackdown against the Rohingya minority. The UN has said leading army figures in Myanmar should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide.

Media access to Rakhine is strictly controlled by the government so it is difficult to get reliable news from the region.

Image: This 2017 image shows Hamida, a Rohingya from the Rakhine region of Myanmar, with her 5-week-old infant, who died when the boat carrying them to Bangladesh capsized. Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were reporting on the Rohingya crisis in the Rakhine region of Myanmar. 
Myanmar judge jails Reuters reporters for 7 years for breach of state secrets act, reports AFP
09:42   Rupee recovers from record low, up 23 paise against US dollar
The rupee recovered from all-time low of 71 and strengthened by 23 paise to 70.77 against the US dollar in early trade at the interbank foreign exchange market Monday amid robust growth data for the April-June quarter of current fiscal.

Official data released after market hours on Friday showed India's economy grew at a two-year high of 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2018-19 on strong performance of manufacturing and agriculture sectors, increasing its lead over China to remain the world's fastest growing major economy.

Forex dealers said besides fresh selling of the American currency by exporters as well as banks, a higher opening in the domestic equity market supported the rupee. -- PTI
09:24   Being together a distant dream: J-K cop's wife pens emotional post
In the wake of terrorists targeting the kin of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel, the wife of a policeman from the valley has penned down a moving post about the sacrifices made by the men in uniform in the line of duty. 
Arifa Tausif, a working woman, has written how most wives of policemen raise their children on their own like a single parent and have no one to support them with their husbands being away on duty. 
"For the wives of policemen, the adolescent fancy of 'being together' through thick and thin turns out to be a distant dream. We halt for lunch. We keep waiting to dine together."
"We keep planning to attend family functions or funeralsGod forbid!together. We keep scheduling an outing. But that hardly ever happens. It's not about solo parenting only. We're the biggest liars!" Tausif wrote in an article that appeared on a local news website.
She mentions how the wives keep lying to their children assuring them that their father would be home on the coming weekend or the festival. 
"We keep lying to our children that 'dad is coming this Saturday'. We lie that dad is attending the parent-teacher meet this time. We lie that we're going on a picnic this weekend. We keep lying that dad is going to join us this Eid, or that marriage. We keep lying to their old ailing parents that he is expected this or that day. We lie to our own selves," she wrote. 
Sleeping alone is not the most stressful, but waking up in the middle of the night, uncomfortable, restless and suffocated is, Tausif said, adding that there is no one around to comfort. 

"We wait and wait, and only wait. Let it be today, tomorrow or a day after, but the plan hardly ever subsides. Even if it does, a police officer only marks his physical appearance at home. Mentally (and telephonically) he is attending to his duties without fail," she wrote. 
Tausif maintained that while all this makes their lives more stressful, the current scenario had turned the wives of policemen hypertensive as they were always in a state of insecurity. 
"The risks and dangers are increasing day by day. Every single casualty of a policeman elsewhere makes our life additionally insecure and worrisome. Plus, the varying political ideology of the society makes it hard to explain to the people that doing a job in the police department never means disloyalty to one's people. It's not always a matter of choice," she added.

-- PTI
08:49   'Yogi' thali at Rs 10 in Allahabad
A subsidised meal facility for just Rs 10 was launched by Allahabad mayor Abhilasha Gupta on Sunday evening. The affordable meal has been named as 'Yogi thali'.

The initiative has been started by a private individual with the help of his associates.

After launching the 'Yogi thali', Gupta said, "It is an initiative by a private individual. This facility has started from today on the name of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It is a thali for Rs 10 and I am sure disabled, poor, needy, saints etc. would be greatly benefitted from this initiative. This is a good thought where even those who cannot afford a full meal normally can get it here."

The man behind the initiative, Dilip alias Kaake said, "We have a thought that no one should sleep on an empty stomach. We have named it in the name of Chief Minister Yogi because he is working for the people of the state and people are really appreciating his efforts."

The meal facility has become operational at an outlet near Allahabad's Attarsuiya locality.

-- ANI
08:33   As health sinks, Hardik Patel releases will
Amid deteriorating health on the ninth day of his indefinite fast demanding a loan waiver for farmers and quota for the Patidars in jobs and education, Hardik Patel released his will. 

Its the ninth day and I have become weak while vital organs are getting affected. I want to state that I may die also of this hunger strike that is against the BJP government, Patel said. 

In his will released by his aides Manoj Panara, Patel stated that he has Rs 50,000 in his bank balance and one car. He said Rs 30,000 should be given to his parents while Rs 20,000 will go as donation to a gaushala. Moreover, he said the royalty amount likely to be generated after a book on him is released should go to his parents and sister.

He also said that his eyes should be donated in case of his demise during the hunger strike.  
08:11   Worm found in biryani at Hyderabad's IKEA; store to pay Rs 11,500 fine
In an embarrassment for the recently opened IKEA store in Hyderabad, a man allegedly found a worm in the vegetable biryani served to him, prompting the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to issue a notice to the firm. 

The civic body also imposed a fine of Rs 11,500 on the IKEA store, opened last month marking the Swedish home furnishing majors entry into the country, for allegedly flouting norms related to dry and wet waste segregation and use of plastic covers, the official said.

Apologising over the unfortunate experience, IKEA said it is investigating the matter and will take corrective action.

The GMHC issued the notice after a customer alleged on social media that he found a caterpillar in the vegetable biriyani he ate at the stores restaurant on August 31.

An IKEA spokesperson said in a statement, We regret the incident and apologise to our customer for the unfortunate experience. We would like to assure him and everyone else that we are investigating the matter currently to assess what happened and take immediate corrective action.