Tue, 25 September 2018
Surgical strike hero, who was killed in encounter, cremated

Timeline  Refresh

23:32   People 'misinformed' about offset aspect of Rafale deal: IAF deputy chief
Amid a political slugfest over the Rafale deal, Air Force deputy chief Raghunath Nambiar on Tuesday said the people were being 'misinformed' on the issue and that the current pact was 'much better' than what was negotiated earlier.

Nambiar, who test flew the Rafale jet in France last week, said the commercial negotiations were headed by the then Deputy Chief of Air Staff and he was responsible for completing the negotiations that continued for 14 months.

He said the Air Force met all directions of the leadership to get 'better price, better maintenance terms, better delivery schedule, better performance logistic package'.

Nambiar said it was 'all in all a much better than what was obtained' earlier.

When asked about the charges by the opposition over offset contract under the deal to buy 36 fighter jets, he said, "I believe people are misinformed. It is nothing like Rs 30,000 crore to one party. Dassault alone has to only do offset to the tune of of Rs 6,500 crore. Nothing more than that."

The Congress has been accusing the government of corruption and favouritism to benefit Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence through offset contract by sidelining the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Asked about the test flight, Nambiar said he had an opportunity to fly the Rafale and look at the capabilities that is on offer for the Air Force.

He said the aircraft is 'shaping up quite well' and the Air Force is satisfied with performance of all the systems on the aircraft.  -- PTI
23:17   Surgical strike hero, who was killed in encounter, cremated
The Army on Tuesday paid floral tributes to Lance Naik Sandeep Singh, who was killed during a counter-infiltration operation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.

His mortal remains were flown to his native place in Gurdaspur district where the last rites were performed.

Singh, 30, sustained bullet injuries during the operation in Tangdhar sector in which five terrorists were killed, an Army spokesperson said.

The injured soldier was provided immediate first-aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital Srinagar, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday.

"In a solemn ceremony at Badamibagh Cantonment, Corps Commander Lt Gen A K Bhatt and all ranks paid homage to the martyr on behalf of the nation. Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh and representatives from various security agencies also joined in paying their last respects to the martyr," he said.

Singh had joined the Army in 2007 and belonged to Kotla Khurd village of Gurdaspur district of Punjab and is survived by his wife and son.

Singh was part of the team that carried out the surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016.

"The mortal remains of the martyr were flown for last rites to his native place. In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved family of the martyr and remains committed to their dignity and well being," the spokesperson said.  -- PTI

IMAGE: Family members pay their last respects to Lance Naik Sandeep Singh during his funeral at Kotla Khurd in Gurdaspur on Tuesday. Photograph: PTI Photo
22:39   TN court acquits 9 Veerappan men in actor Rajkumar kidnap case
Nine associates of slain forest brigand Veerappan were acquitted by a court here in a case related to the abduction of Kannada superstar late Rajkumar 18 years ago, holding that the prosecution has not proved the charges against them.

Gobichettipalayam Additional Sessions Judge K Mani also said the deposition of witnesses did not corroborate the prosecution case fully.

As many as 47 witnesses were examined in the case related to the sensational kidnap of the Kannada thespian.

According to the prosecution, Veerappan and his 14 associates kidnapped Rajkumar from his farm house in Dhodda Gajanure village in Tamil Nadu on July 30, 2000 at gunpoint.

The actor was in captivity for over 100 days in jungles spread across Western Ghats abutting Thalawady near Erode, leading to tension in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and further straining the ties between the two states.

After 108 days, Veerappan released the actor.

On a complaint from Rajkumar's wife, a case was registered against Veerappan and his associates under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to conspiracy, and kidnapping, besides for offences under the Arms Act.

Veerappan, a dreaded criminal involved in several killings and sandalwood and ivory smuggling, was shot dead near Dharampuri in October 2004 along with three of his men, wanted in the actor kidnap case, by the personnel of the Special Task Force set up to nab him.

While one more accused died later, another is absconding till date.

The remaining nine accused were arrested and later enlarged on bail.        When the judgement was pronounced, all the accused, except Puttusamy (who absented himself on health grounds), were present in the court.

A heavy posse of police personnel was deployed around the court premises.  -- PTI
22:18   SC pulls up Manoj Tiwari, offers to make him a 'sealing officer'
The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari saying being an MP does not give him the liberty to take law into own hands and offered to make him a 'sealing officer' over his claim there are 1,000 illegal structures in the capital which deserve to be sealed.

Tiwari was taken to task for allegedly casting aspersions on the apex court committee which is supervising the sealing of illegal structures in Delhi.

Tiwari was present in the court in pursuance to the contempt notice issued to him for allegedly breaking the seal of a premises which was being run in violation of the Delhi Master Plan.

Expressing anguish at his statement, a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur asked the BJP leader to explain his claims made to a news channel relating to the Delhi sealing matter.

"Mr Tiwari, in your CD, you say there are one thousand places which deserve to be sealed. Give us a list of these places. We will make you the sealing officer," said the bench also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta.

It also directed him to file an affidavit within a week explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Tiwari, who is an MP from northeast Delhi constituency, had said that the apex court-appointed monitoring committee was not sealing thousands of illegal structures.

An FIR was lodged against him by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation for allegedly breaking the seal of one premises in Gokalpuri area in north-east Delhi.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the BJP leader, contended no seal was broken by Tiwari, who, being an MP, had never disrupted the sealing process.

Singh also alleged that the 'monitoring committee was seeking publicity using your Lordships' forum and the property in question had nothing to do with sealing order'.

The lawyer said he needed time to file a detailed reply in the matter.

"We are asking you, have you seen the CD? In the CD, he says there are thousand places which deserve to be sealed. He is a Member of Parliament. That does not give him liberty to take law in his hands," the court told Tiwari's counsel.

It then directed Tiwari to appear on October 3 again when it will hear the matter.

While taking serious note of a report filed by the monitoring committee in this regard, the top court had earlier observed it was 'unfortunate' that an elected representative should try to defy the orders of the top court.

The court had taken cognisance of the panel report and said it reflected a 'rather disturbing state of affairs'.

In its report, the monitoring committee has said that 'despite repeated directions of this court, the members of political parties and other such persons are intentionally and deliberately violating and showing utter disgrace to the directions passed by the court for political gains'.

Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the Delhi sealing matter, had placed the committee's report before the bench and said an FIR has been lodged against Tiwari for allegedly breaking the seal of the premises which was being used as a dairy.

He had that the premises had been 're-sealed' and a video of the incident was also annexed with report of the committee, which had suggested stringent action in the matter.

In the report, the committee has urged the court to 'pass stringent directions including initiation of contempt proceedings against Mr Manoj Tiwari for seal tampering so that sealing operations may continue uninterrupted as per directions of this court'.

The monitoring committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up by the apex court on March 24, 2006. -- PTI
21:43   India a free society, lifting millions out of poverty: Trump
United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday lauded India's efforts to lift millions of its citizens out of poverty as he addressed world leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

"There is India, a free society (of) over a billion people, successfully lifting countless millions out of poverty and into the middle class," Trump said in his second address to the General Debate of the UN General Assembly that opened in New York on Tuesday.

In his about 35-minute address, he said over the years, history has transpired in the halls of the UN General Assembly.

"We think of the many before us who have come here to address the challenges of their nations and of their times and our thoughts turn to the same question that ran through all their speeches, resolutions and through every word and every hope."

"It is the question of what kind of world will we leave for our children and what kind of nations they will inherit," Trump said.

He said the dreams that fill the UNGA hall today are as diverse as the people who have stood at this podium and as varied as the countries represented in the United Nations. "It really is something. It really is great great history."

Trump also cited Saudi Arabia's bold new reforms and Israel 'proudly celebrating' its 70th anniversary as a thriving democracy in the Holy Land.  -- PTI
Government of India accounts.
Markets- top gainers.
21:38   State chants mantra of 'judicial activism' to oppose PILs: SC
The Supreme Court on Tuesday deprecated the 'regrettable' trend of the State opposing public interest litigations (PILs) by 'chanting the mantra' of judicial activism or separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said PIL was one of the more important contributions of India to jurisprudence and the mantra of 'judicial activism' or 'separation of powers' was nothing but a 'fig leaf to cover the failure of the state'.

"In recent times, usually and regrettably, the state has chosen to challenge the idea of public interest litigation or denigrate it by chanting the mantra of 'judicial activism' or 'separation of powers'," the bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said.

The bench made these observations in its order delivered on a matter relating to inhuman conditions in 1,382 prisons across India.

"In most cases, these mantras are nothing but a fig leaf to cover the failure of the state to recognise the existence of the rule of law and the need for providing social justice to the people of the country, as stated in the Preamble to our Constitution," Justice Lokur, who penned the order, said.

"There must be a realisation that public interest litigation has given a voice to millions of marginalised sections of society, women and children. Public interest litigation is one of the more important contributions of India to jurisprudence," it said.

The apex court said that in fact, the Indian experience has encouraged some other countries to introduce PIL in their jurisprudence.

It said over the years, PIL has brought immense social change through interventions made and directions issued by the apex court.

"This is not to suggest that public interest litigation has not been misused or that occasionally this court has not exceeded its jurisdiction, but it must be emphasised that wherever this court might have exceeded its jurisdiction, it has always been in the interest of the people of the country prompted by administrative mis-governance or absence of governance," it said.  -- PTI
Rupee vs dollar this week.
BSE Sensex today.
20:22   Armed forces must remain insulated from sectarian appeal: Manmohan
India's armed forces are a splendid embodiment of the country's 'secular project' and it is vitally important that they remain uncontaminated from any sectarian appeal, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday.

He also said that the judiciary, as an institution, should not lose sight of its primary duty to protect the secular spirit of the Constitution as this task has become much more demanding with political disputes and electoral battles becoming increasingly over-laced with religious overtones and prejudices.

"The judiciary needs to arrive at its own enlightened view of its custodianship of the Constitution -- irrespective of the irresponsible and selfish politicians who have no qualms in injecting communal virus in our body politic," he said while delivering the second A B Bardhan memorial lecture in New Delhi.

Singh also said it was important for the Election Commission to ensure that religion, religious sentiments and prejudices do not get worked into election discourse.

"As the custodian of the integrity of the electoral process, it is incumbent upon the Election Commission to see to it that religion and religious sentiments and prejudices do not get worked into the election discourse," he said.

"The Commission must be thinking of rolling back the easy acceptance of over-manipulation of religious imagery," the senior Congress leader said.  -- PTI
19:34   Lanka ready to welcome defeated Maldives prez Yameen
Sri Lanka said on Tuesday it is ready to welcome outgoing Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, days after his surprise defeat in the election.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has spoken on the phone to Yameen, the premier's office said in a statement.

Yameen lost Saturday's presidential election to the joint opposition coalition headed by Ibrahim Solih.

Wickremesinghe congratulated Yameen for conducting free and fair polls, and assured him that Sri Lanka would welcome him at any time.

The statement also said that former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, who is in exile in Colombo, had met Wickremesinghe on Monday and urged for the continuation of Sri Lankan investment in the Maldives.

Sri Lanka has hosted several dissidents from nearby Maldives through years of political turmoil in the Indian Ocean archipelago, including hundreds of Yameen's opponents since he became president in 2013.

Wickremesinghe was personally invited by Nasheed to attend Solih's inauguration as president in November. Nasheed's Democratic Party has based its offices in Colombo since most opposition leaders in the Maldives were arrested under Yameen's rule.  -- PTI
19:16   NRC: Claims and objections process begins
The process of filing claims and objections to the draft citizens' register in Assam began on Tuesday to decide the fate of 40 lakh people whose names were left out of it.

The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on July 30 and included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total applications of 3.29 crore.

The claims-and-objections process will continue till November 23 and forms will be available across 2,500 'seva kendras', where people can file their appeal in their respective areas, an NRC official said.

People can file corrections to their names that are in the draft and also raise objections against suspected foreigners, the official said.

Political parties and several organisations have set up centres to assist people to file claims.

The authorities had included the names of applicants in the draft list on the basis of 15 documents. Recently, NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela had submitted to the Supreme Court that five documents should not be considered for the final list.

They include the NRC of 1951, pre-1971 voters' lists, citizenship certificate, refugee registration certificate and ration cards.

The apex court, which is directly monitoring the NRC update, will pronounce its order on Hajela's plea on October 23. The five documents will not be considered till then and the applicants will have to submit any of the remaining 10 documents mentioned in List-A.

The claims-and-objections process were earlier scheduled to be filed in August, but the Supreme Court had reprimanded the NRC coordinator and the registrar general of India for announcing the dates without the standard-operating procedures being approved. -- PTI
18:48   CBI seeks info on absconding bizman Nitin Sandesara from Nigeria
The Central Bureau of Investigation has asked the Interpol wing of Nigeria to confirm if absconding promoter of Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech, Nitin Sandesara, being probed in a Rs 5,300 crore banking fraud case, has moved in that country, officials said on Tuesday.

The move came after reports that Sandesara along with his family members, also accused in the scam, have fled from the United Arab Emirates to Nigeria with which India does not have any extradition treaty.

The agency has said it has no input on the whereabouts of Sandersara and his family members.

Following the reports, the agency has approached the Nigerian Interpol authorities to find out details of Sandesara and his family members.

Last October, the agency booked Sterling Biotech, its directors Chetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, chartered accountant Hemant Hathi, former director of Andhra Bank Anup Garg and other unidentified persons.

The CBI has alleged that the company had taken loans of over Rs 5,000 crore from a consortium led by Andhra Bank which have turned into non-performing assets.

The first information report has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

The directors of the company 'connived with the in-house chartered accountant and falsified material records of the company', such as production, turnover and investments in capital assets, the FIR alleged.

"This was allegedly done using various India-based entities and those situated abroad," it said.

The company was earlier booked by the CBI in August for allegedly bribing senior Income Tax department officials.

On June 28, 2011, the IT department had conducted searches and seizures at 25 premises of Sterling Biotech Ltd, during which a diary containing hand-written records of financial transactions was found, the FIR in that case had alleged.

"Some of these names were appended with further references such as IT or Commissioner etc," it had alleged.

In the present case, the CBI has booked all the accused for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption among other charges.

The CBI has alleged that false and fabricated documents and manipulated balance sheets were prepared for getting loans sanctioned from the banks which were later diverted for personal purposes.

It said that in an attempt to cheat the banks and falsely represent market capitalisation of the group companies, the shares in India and abroad in the names of non-promoters were held by directors themselves and were concealed from banks.

The CBI FIR alleged that the directors had quoted false documents under their signatures with 'mala fide intention' to induce banks to sanction and release the credit limits.

"In three areas manipulation was substantial -- reporting of turnover of companies, reporting of investments in capital goods (fixed assets) and taxes to be paid on the manipulated turnover," it alleged.  -- PTI
18:04   More facts on Rafale, Mallya will be out soon: Rahul
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said more facts on the Rafale fighter deal and the Vijay Mallya row will be out soon as he used his home turf Amethi on Tuesday to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"This is the beginning," he told reporters on the last day of the two-day trip to his Lok Sabha constituency.

He said there will be more on the Rafale deal, and on the people who were involved with the fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

"The truth will be before you and you can judge," he said.

Earlier, the Congress chief took part in a meeting of the district vigilance and monitoring committee.

He said the deal for 36 French fighter aircraft signed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had harmed the interests of the youth, reminding them that a unit of the public sector HAL existed in Amethi as well.

The Congress has been attacking the Modi government over an offset agreement signed by Rafale manufacturer Dassault with Anil Ambani's Reliance Group.

The party has claimed that the deal would have gone to HAL under the earlier negotiations being carried out by its own government.

Reliance has rejected the charge that the current government was involved in any way in its commercial deal with the French company.  -- PTI
17:42   One student dead, six injured as school ceiling plaster falls on them
A six-year-old student of standard one died and six others were injured in Bettiah town Tuesday when chunks of ceiling plaster of their school fell on them in Bihar's West Champaran district.

The plaster fell on the students when classes were on at the private school in Bettiah town area, superintendent of police Jayant Kant said.

There were around 25-30 students in the class when the ceiling plaster fell, he said.

The injured school children were rushed to MJK Medical college where one of them succumbed to his injuries during the treatment, Kant said.

The dead child has been identified as Vaibhav Kumar Raj, he said.

The school management tried to conceal evidence at the occurrence site for which a first information report would be lodged and action will be taken against it after the inquiry.

Police personnel have been deployed at the school, he added.  -- PTI
Sprinter Hima Das receives Arjuna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.  -- ANI
17:19   Abhilash Tomy stable
Golden Globe Race skipper and Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy is stable. Further medical examination is underway. He has had food and is on medication, reports ANI.

The Kirti Chakra awardee was rescued from his destroyed yacht Thuriya in a remote part of the Indian Ocean at 12.30 pm yesterday. This is how the multi-nation rescue took place. Read Archana Masih's report here.
17:16   To save one lie, BJP speaks a 1000 lies: Cong on BJP's Vadra claim in Rafale
The Congress party on Tuesday rebutted the BJP's allegations that Robert Vadra's company was keen on getting a share in the offset of the Rafale deal.

Randeep Surjewala, the spokesperson of the Congress party, said, "When was this (Rafale jet deal) tender opened? That is why I am saying that to save one lie, they are speaking 100 lies. We issued the tender in August 2007, invited international bids, and the bids were opened on December 12, 2012, and not in 2008. Correct your facts on this."

"On March 13, 2014, the UPA government made Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the Offset partner, this Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier has said," Surjewala added.

The BJP had, on Monday, claimed that the Congress party scrapped the deal after their party president's brother-in-law backed-company was not accepted as a 'middleman'.

The Congress spokesperson also said, "Congress party negotiated Rs 526 crore per Rafale jet on December 12, 2012. Why did you (the BJP) cancel that contract and buy the same jet at Rs 1,670 crore? The UPA had earlier chosen HAL as the Offset partner. However, Prime Minister Modi scrapped the UPA plan and introduced a private Offset partner. Doesn't this prove that you are not the country's Prime Minister and are Ambani's Prime Minister?" -- ANI
17:10   SC to decide tomorrow if Aadhaar is compulsory
The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar at 10:30 am tomorrow. In other words, the court will decide if the Aadhaar card is mandatory.

It may be recalled that earlier in March this year, in an interim order, the apex court had said that the mandatory linking of bank accounts and mobile phones will stand extended 'indefinitely' till judgement on the petitions pending before it is pronounced.

The Ministry of Finance amended the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 through a notification dated June 1, 2017.

While the Supreme Court is yet to decide on several petitions to make Aadhaar mandatory for government services and the overarching matter of citizens' right to privacy, it has now extended the Aadhaar linking deadline indefinitely for  for bank accounts, mobile SIM cards, and other financial services.
16:17   Disgruntled caste leaders may dent BJP's appeal In Rajasthan
Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh's son and Sheo MLA Manvendra Singh is the latest among the disgruntled leaders who might dent the BJP's hold among key communities ahead of the Assembly elections, party workers say.

Manvendra Singh, who announced Saturday he is quitting the party, is said to have a significant influence in the Rajput community in western Rajasthan. The others leaders who could make a difference in the BJP's caste equations in the state include Brahmin MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari, firebrand Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal and Gujjar agitation's poster boy Kirori Singh Bainsla.

Like Manvendra Singh, they all have expressed resentment against the BJP, with which they once identified. Manvendra Singh claimed that the 'swabhiman' of the Rajput community was hurt when the BJP did not give his father and veteran leader Jaswant Singh the ticket to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Singh is now likely to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Barmer and may field his wife from his Sheo Assembly seat. Observers say the scion of the erstwhile Jasol royal family may eat into the BJP vote, riding on "sympathy' for his father in the Rajput community, often considered to be a BJP vote bank. -- PTI
16:05   Sensex closes in the green on bargain hunting
Sensex bounces back 347.04 points to close at 36,652.06; Nifty gains 100.05 points to end at 11,067.45 on bouts of bargain hunting and value buying in recently hammered stocks in healthcare, consumer durables, IT, teck, auto, banks, metal and FMCG sectors, amid higher Asian cues.

Rising crude and global trade tensions weighed on market sentiment ahead of the US Federal Reserve's meeting.

Telecom, utilities, realty, oil and gas and power witnessed selling.Investors were cautious as the latest round of US-China tariffs revived fears the trade dispute would knock down global growth, while crude oil surged near four-year highs after Saudi Arabia and Russia ruled out immediate production increases.

US stocks closed mostly lower on US-China trade war concerns. Investors were also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting. -- PTI
15:47   Cong indulging in mud-slinging because it dare not debate: PM
The Congress is indulging in mud-slinging against the government because it finds it easier than debating on issues like development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, in an apparent reference to allegations on the Rafale fighter deal.

Addressing a rally in Bhopal, he mocked Congress, saying the 125-year-old party has been reduced to such a condition that it is "begging" with small parties for alliances.

He said even if the Congress gets allies, the coalition will not be successful. Modi said his government believes in social justice for all and that its 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' (cooperation of all, development of all) campaign is not just a slogan.

He expressed confidence that the BJP would emerge victorious in the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh as well as in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

"They (Congress) are indulging in mud-slinging because they find it easier... They have indulged in mud-slinging earlier too. But I want to tell them, the more you throw mud at us, the more the lotus (BJP's symbol) will bloom," Modi said.

He was apparently referring to the charges of corruption being levelled by the Congress in the Rafale fighter deal. Modi said the opposition party, instead of indulging in mud-slinging, should engage in a debate on issues like development which "they do not dare to".

Addressing the rally where BJP chief Amit Shah and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were also present, the prime minister said the opposition parties had formed the "Maha-gathbandhan" (grand alliance) out of fear of losing the polls.

"Congress has become a burden on the country today. It is the responsibility of BJP workers in democracy to save the country from it," he said.
15:28   Rafale obfuscation tactic begins to unravel
Instead of taking Opposition leaders into confidence or appointing a joint parliamentary committee, the government has chosen silence and bluster. Read Manini Chatterjee's column here
15:19   Army pays tributes to jawan killed in counter-infiltration op in J-K
The Army Tuesday paid floral tributes to Lance Naik Sandeep Singh, who was killed during a counter-infiltration operation along the Line of Control  in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh (30) sustained bullet injuries during the operation in Tangdhar sector in which five militants were killed, an Army spokesperson said. The injured soldier was provided immediate first-aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday.
-- PTI

Image: Army pays its last respects to Lance Naik Sandeep Singh at Srinagar. The mortal remains will be flown to his native place in Gurdaspur, Punjab, and he will be laid to rest with full military honours.  Pic: ANI
15:12   I looked up "PMS + suicide" and found out about PMDD: Shehla Rashid
Activist and JNU student, whose tweets are generally on politics and such like, posts an unusually personal and brave thread on Twitter on September 22, highlighting the hormonal imbalance challenges that so many women face, but are rarely vocal about. Hearteningly, almost all the feedback she has received since she tweeted are supportive and empathetic.

She writes: "Okay, so, I've decided to share a deeply personal story on Twitter, even though I know that Twitter isn't kind at all. But I'm sharing this personal story in public interest, hoping it might reach someone who needs to hear this.

"A few days ago, I started having strong suicidal thoughts. I had been feeling that way for two weeks. But that night, I actually looked up ways to end my life & enacted many of them in my head. Next day, I got my period. I looked up "PMS + suicide" and found out about PMDD.

"PMDD is not often acknowledged as an issue, because, well, it concerns women. But if you care about your sister, partner, or friend do raise awareness about PMDD. It's scary how real it can get. You start picking ways and spots to end your life. You start planning it!

"And then, of course, you have algorithms to help you die. Since I was actually contemplating suicide, I didn't care that I was logged in. And this morning @Quora sends me an email asking if I'm still contemplating suicide, and that they're here to help!

"In a world where algorithms will help you end your life if you want to end your life, it's really important to share information about PMDD - premenstrual dysphoric disorder - a severe form of PMS that can even make you suicidal. Knowing it can prevent it.

"If there are women in your friend circle or family whom you care about, don't dismiss PMDD as mood swing. Don't tell her that she's imagining it. It's hormonal. Be supportive. Don't say that "men also get stressed". Women are already supportive and considerate about men's issues.
- end of thread -
you are free to write hateful comments and abuse now. bye!"

@ankitnarayan  responds:  Hey @Shehla_Rashid I know we do hv many ideological differences but this is totally uncalled for... Plz do visit a counselor to get rid of these thoughts and b a strong lady like u were...
Stay strong..

Shehla replies: I'm still a strong lady, Ankit! Thanks. PMS and PMDD are due to hormonal changes. These are not thoughts that you can get rid of. It's about how your body reacts to hormonal changes.

And there's a reply from former J-K CM Omar Abdullah who writes:
Very brave of you to write this thread Shehla especially when this sort of honesty is exploited by some as a sign of weakness. Youve shown great strength & if it helps even one person then hats off to you @Shehla_Rashid.

@glowypanda is empathetic, writing in: Thanks for sharing- I have it too, it can be a nightmare. Prozac did help with mine, but I don't take it anymore. I've been trying red clover, dong quai & st. John's wort tea; I'm not sure if it helps, but I think there is at least some placebo effect.
14:58   TN court acquits 9 Veerappan men in actor Rajkumar kidnap case
Eighteen years after late Kannada superstar Rajkumar was kidnapped by  forest brigand Veerappan, his nine associates involved in the abduction were acquitted by a court near Erode in Tamil Nadu, today.

Third Additional Sessions Judge, Gobichettipalayam, Mani acquitted the nine accused, holding that the charges against them have not been proved adequately by the prosecution.

The judge said the deposition of witnesses also did not corroborate the prosecution case fully. Hence, he said he was acquitting all the nine accused.

As many as 47 witnesses were examined in the sensational case. Veerappan and his 14 associates kidnapped Kannada star Rajkumar from his farm house in Dhodda Gajanure village in Tamil Nadu on July 30, 2,000 at gunpoint, according to the prosecution.

The actor was in captivity for over 100 days in the jungles spread across Western Ghats abutting Thalawady, leading to tension in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and further straining the ties between the two states. After 108 days, Veerappan released the actor.

On a complaint from Rajkumar's wife, a case was registered against Veerappan and his associates under various section of the Indian Penal Code, including conspiracy, and kidnapping, besides for offences under the Arms Act. Veerappan was killed in an alleged encounter near Dharampuri in 2004, along with three of his men. The remaining nine accused were arrested and later enlarged on bail. When the judgement was pronounced, all the accused, except Puttusamy (who absented himself on health grounds), were present in the court. --  PTI
14:36   Scrabble dictionary adds 300 new slang words including 'Emoji' and 'Ew'
The Merriam-Webster's Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is playing catch up by adding some of the new-age internet-influenced words to please the millennials.

A total of 300 new words have been added to the dictionary including words which the seniors won't consider as words but thanks to the social media, they are very much a part of a modern individual's daily vocabulary.

Some of the new entrants include 'bestie', 'bizjet', 'frowny', 'ew', 'twerk', 'zomboid', 'beatdown', 'botnet', 'bitcoin', 'emoji', and more.

Earlier this month, 850 words were added to the official play. These included more techy words such as 'haptic', 'TL;DR', biohacking', and so on. -- ANI
14:23   UNGA debut for New Zealand's first baby
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has created history by bringing her three-month-old daughter in the United Nations assembly hall.

Ardern, who also became one of the few world leaders to give birth while in office, brought her daughter Neve to the hall and was seen cuddling and kissing her, with her partner Clarke Gayford sitting beside her.

The trio was present at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, CNN reported.Interestingly, Gayford also posted an image on social media, flashing Ardern's dummy identity card with a picture of Neve, describing her as "New Zealand first baby."

"I wish I could have captured the startled look on a Japanese delegation inside UN yesterday who walked into a meeting room in the middle of a nappy change. Great yarn for her 21st," Gayford, who is also a television fishing show host, wrote on his Twitter handle.

Describing the move to bring her baby into the premises of the world's top body as unique and beautiful, Ardern told New Zealand Herald, "Neve is actually nearby me most of the time in New Zealand, she's just not always caught. But here, when she's awake, we try and keep her with me. So that was the occasion."

The 38-year-old remarked that she and her partner were bearing the expenses of Neve's trip to the United States.

In August last year, Ardern became the youngest female leader to be appointed as New Zealand's Prime Minister, succeeding her predecessor Bill English. She is also the youngest leader of the Labour Party. -- ANI

Also see: When politicians bring their kids to work.
13:45   How Abhilash Tomy was rescued
An incredible multi-nation search operation rescued Indian Navy Officer Abhilash Tomy three days after a storm broke his boat, and seriously injured his back in a remote part of the Indian Ocean. Archana Masih discovers how the sailor lost at sea was brought home. Do read
13:43   Retaining Parrikar as CM is inhuman politics of BJP: Sena
Attacking its ally for retaining an "ailing" Manohar Parrikar as Goa chief minister, the Shiv Sena Tuesday criticised the "cruel and inhuman politics" of the BJP and alleged the party was scared about losing the state. There is "anarchy" prevailing in the coastal state in Parrikar's absence, the Sena claimed, adding the party was grappling with the problem of who could replace Parrikar as it does not have anyone "suitable" for the top post.

The 62-year-old Goa chief minister is currently admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi because of a pancreatic ailment.

"Parrikar is not in Goa. He is undergoing treatment for cancer at a hospital in Delhi. The state administration is in doldrums in the chief minister's absence," the Sena claimed in an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

"Running the government by retaining Parrikar as the chief minister is not just an injustice to Goa but to him as well. Forcibly thrusting the post on him is cruel and inhuman politics," it said.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party claimed that the BJP wants to buy time in the name of Parrikar till the Lok Sabha elections that are due next year. "Stress is not good for his current fragile (health) condition, but who will explain this to the BJP high command? They are more scared about losing the state than Parrikar's health. Their motive is that Goa should remain on the winning map of the BJP," it said. -- PTI
12:53   Instagram co-founders to step down from Facebook
The two co-founders of Facebook Inc.'s popular Instagram app are stepping down, a move marking continued tumult at the social-networking giant. The co-founders -- Kevin Systrom, Instagram's chief executive, and Mike Krieger, chief technology officer -- clashed with Facebook executives over the extent of Instagram's autonomy in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter.

Earlier this year, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg shifted a senior Facebook executive, Adam Mosseri, over to Instagram in anticipation that the founders might leave, one of the people said. Read the report here.
12:49   At closed-door meeting in Amethi, Rahul keeps up 'chowkidar chor' chant
Adding to the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the "fun has just begun" and in the coming months his party will expose how every initiative under the Narendra Modi government is theft.

Continuing his tirade against the government over the fighter-jet deal, Gandhi stated that Prime Minister Modi has aided corruption by favouring Anil Ambani in the deal.

"Ye jo bhrashtachaar ke khilaf ladne aaya tha, isi ne Anil Ambani ko 30,000 crore rupaye pakda diye. Abhi toh shuruwat hui hai, abhi dekhna, maza aayega, aane wale 2-3 mahine mein aisa maza dikhayenge hum aapko. Narendra Modi ke jo kaam hain -- Rafale, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, notebandhi, Gabar Singh Tax, in sab mein chori hai: Ek -ek kar hum dikha denge ki yeh jo Narendra Modi chowkidaar nahi hain, Narendra Modiji chor hain," Rahul Gandhi said.

(The man (Prime Minister Modi), who came to remove corruption, has himself given Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani. The fun has just begun, things are set to turn more interesting. In the next 2-3 months you will have fun after we will show you Narendra Modi's work - Rafale, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi, Demonetisation, Gabbar Singh Tax. All of it is theft. One by one, we will show that Narendra Modi ji is not a gatekeeper, but a burglar.)

The Congress President made these comments while addressing social media workers of the Congress in Amethi last night. The interaction was held at the Forest Department guest house in Amethi and was closed to the media.

However, a video of Rahul Gandhi's jibe at Narendra Modi was recorded by some attendees and was shared with local reporters. In a cryptic tweet dated August 30, Rahul Gandhi warned of "some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks" with regard to the fighter-jet deal.

Days later, former French president Franois Hollande, in an interview to a French media house, claimed that the French government had no other option but to choose Reliance Defence as an Offset partner for Dassault Aviation.

However, Hollande later backtracked in another interview and said only Dassault Aviation can comment on why Reliance Defence was chosen as the Offset partner.The BJP on Monday claimed that the Congress scrapped the Rafale deal with France as United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's company was not made a part of the deal.  -- ANI
12:29   Sensex finally in the green after bleeding five days
The BSE Sensex was trading higher by 107 points in late morning deals Tuesday on bouts of bargain hunting and value buying in recently hammered stocks in healthcare, consumer durables, IT, teck, auto, banks, metal and FMCG sectors, amid higher Asian cues. Rising crude and global trade tensions weighed on market sentiment ahead of the US Federal Reserve's meeting. Telecom, utilities, realty, oil and gas and power witnessed selling.

The 30-share index was trading at 36,412 at 12:30 pm. The broader Nifty50 index trading nearly reclaimed the 11,000-level, up 25 points.

Major gainers were Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Asian Paints and IndusInd Bank, rising up to 3.16 per cent. Losers include PowerGrid, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel and Kotak Bank, falling up to 1.86 per cent.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 523.94 crore on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 1,527.67 crore Monday, provisional data showed.
12:24   Storm clouds over Pakistan
Five weeks into a five-year term, but this past week could prove to be the most consequential of them all. Three big things and all spelling some kind of danger for the PTI. It's not been a good week for Imran Khan. Read the report here.
12:19   India tops talent migration into Singapore
In a report published earlier in September by LinkedIn Talent Solutions, titled "Emerging Jobs: Singapore", the talent that moved from India feature prominently in 4 of the top 5 fastest growing jobs in the country.Singapore is a densely populated city-island of about 600 square kilometres or roughly two-and-half times smaller than the National Capital Territory of Delhi, with a population of about 5.6 million.

Out of that, 3.5 million are citizens and about half a million are permanent residents. Singapore is grappling with declining birth-rates amongst citizens and their inability to replace themselves.

As a result, it requires foreign workers in areas where it is lacking to continue to sustain its economic development as well as maintain its attractiveness to investors, its vibrancy and position as a global financial and innovation hub.

Ong Ye Kung, Singapore's Education Minister said in a Bloomberg interview published last week that Singapore, with an ageing population and a shortage of high-tech workers, finds it necessary to bring in foreign talent in areas like software programming and artificial intelligence, while the country re-balances its education system to meet future demands. -- PTI

Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his maiden visit to Singapore in 2015 where he had a vegetarian dinner with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and his wife at an Indian restaurant in Little India.
12:11   Telangana Prisons dept to offer counselling to rapists
The Telangana Prisons department, known for its many social initiatives, has hit upon the idea of segregating rapists lodged in jails across the state and providing special counselling to reform them.

Noting that very heinous cases of rape were reported of late, Director General (Prisons and Correctional Services) V K Singh said it shows the perversion of the person particularly child rapists.

"Our society and education system have somehow failed to inculcate the basic human values in these people," he opined. The Telangana Prisons department has decided to give special focus to rape accused and convicts as they are perverts and need to be segregated and given special treatment, he told PTI.
11:12   SC leaves decision on criminal netas to Parliament
The Supreme Court hearing a batch of petitions, seeking disqualification of lawmakers even before their conviction in criminal cases, leaves the decision to Parliament to form a law.

The court said it is not in their purview to do so and asks legislature to consider framing a law to ensure decriminalisation of politics. The court said informed choice is a cornerstone of democracy and terms criminalisation of politics of the largest democracy as unsettling.

The five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra includes Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra is hearing the petition. The bench  had on August 28 reserved the verdict on the plea filed by Public Interest Foundation in 2011.

The SC says that citizens have the right to be informed about the antecedents of their candidates and directs that each candidate shall declare his/her criminal antecedents to the Election Commission in bold letters before contesting an election. The apex court said political parties shall be obligated to put all information about their candidates on their websites.
The SC also directs wider publicity, through print and electronic media, antecedents of candidates affiliated to political parties.

The court said corruption has becomes a national economic terror, but candidates cannot be disqualified before the framing of charges. The court said that voters must be aware of the candidates' criminal antecedents before they cast their vote.

The court had earlier dubbed criminalisation of politics as a "rot", and said it may consider directing the Election Commission to ask political parties to get their members disclose criminal cases against them so that electors know how many "alleged crooks" are there in such parties.
10:47   'Hindutva forces have a grudge against Nehru since 1952 poll'
In the first elections, Hindutva forces got only 6% of the votes and won only 10 seats. It was a great defeat for them. They have held that grouse against Nehru since then. Professor Aditya Mukherjee at the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, tells's Syed Firdaus Ashraf, explaining why the Sangh Parivar has historically been opposed to Nehru and his ideals. Read the interview here.
10:42   SC constitutes 3-member committee for jail reforms
The Supreme Court constitutes a three-member committee to look into the aspect of jail reforms across the country and suggest measures to deal with them. The SC says the committee will be chaired by the former apex court judge Justice (Retd) Amitava Roy.
10:38   Sushma's day@UN: Five bilateral meetings and a G4 meet
At the UN General Debate which begins Tuesday, India's External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has bilateral meetings planned with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Eshaiqer Al-Jafari, Moldova's Foreign Minister Tudor Ulianovschi, Cyprus Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, Fijian Foreign Minister J V Bainimarama and Estonia's Foreign Minister Sven Kikser.

She will also participate in the G4 meeting with her counterparts from Brazil, Germany and Japan.

Yesterday, Sushma Swaraj held bilateral meetings with her key foreign counterparts on the sidelines of the high-level session of the General Assembly and discussed several issues including trade, investment and capacity building.  

Swaraj met Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, Liechtenstein Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick, Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Foreign Minister of Ecuador Jose Valencia, Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne and Foreign Minister of Mongolia Damdin Tsogtbaatar.  --  PTI

File pic.
10:01   Sensex falls over 100 points on foreign fund outflow, rising oil prices
Benchmark indices turned volatile after opening higher Tuesday on foreign fund outflows, surging global crude oil prices, weak rupee and negative global cues.

The 30-share index fell 124.63 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 36,180.39, after touching a high of 36,454.03 at the outset. The gauge has lost 1,785.62 points in the previous five sessions.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell by 33.40 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 10,934. Sectoral indices led by realty, FMCG, banking, power, consumer durables and auto stocks were in the negative terrain, with losses up to 0.87 per cent.

The big losers were Bharti Airtel, M&M, PowerGrid, Kotak Bank, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, ITC, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki, SBI and TCS, losing up to 3.43 per cent. In contrast, Yes Bank, ONGC, Asian Paint, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Coal India and RIL gained up to 1.90 per cent and capped the fall. -- PTI
09:59   Jaitley to meet PSU banks' chiefs today, review financial performance
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to hold a meeting with public sector banks today. Officials from the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Bank Board Bureau, Ministry of MSME, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to also take part in the meeting. Discussions on the review of recovery, bank performance and reforms, financial inclusion, digitalisation, housing loans, MSME lending and new initiatives are expected.

The meeting is also expected to discuss a host of issues, including progress made with regard to reduction in non-performing assets, PTI reported.

The meeting will take place against the backdrop of the "alternative mechanism" (AM) to merge three public sector banks -- Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank -- with a view to creating a global-size lender which will be stronger and sustainable.

Besides, the finance minister would discuss credit growth and the bad loan situation, sources said, adding that various recovery measures by banks and legislative steps taken by the government to expedite recovery were also part of the agenda.

Banks had stepped up efforts as far as recovery of bad loans was concerned, the sources added. Lenders have made cash recovery of Rs 36,551 crore in the first quarter of 2018-19. This is 49 per cent higher than the same quarter of the previous year. During 2017-18, banks had recovered Rs 74,562 crore.

According to sources, the meeting will review the annual financial performance of public sector banks, credit offtake in the economy, priority sector lending ,and progress made under various social sector schemes, including Atal Pension Yojana (APY) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

The cumulative loss of public sector banks crossed Rs 87,357 crore in 2017-18, with scam-tainted Punjab National Bank topping the chart with a hit of nearly Rs 12,283 crore, followed by IDBI Bank. Of the 21 state-owned banks, only two, Indian Bank and Vijaya Bank, reported profits in 2017-18.
09:46   Mandela's inclusive values needed more than ever: Swaraj@UN
The values of forgiveness, compassion and inclusivity embraced by late South African President Nelson Mandela are even more relevant today in the world which is "beset with conflicts, terror and hateful ideologies, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the United Nations.

Recalling India's strong bond with "Madiba", as Mandela was fondly addressed by people across the world, Swaraj said Indians consider him to be one of their own.

"We are proud to call him a Bharat Ratna, jewel of India," she said. "Nelson Mandela's life is an inspiration for all. He showed fearlessness and courage in the face of discrimination and adversity," Swaraj said at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit held Monday, a day before the start of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly.

Swaraj underscored that the values of forgiveness, compassion and inclusiveness of society, espoused by Mandela, are needed now more than ever in the current turbulent times around the world.

The focus of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit is on Global Peace in honour of Mandela's birth centenary. Swaraj said the world today is "beset with conflicts, terror and hateful ideologies that are transcending borders and impacting our lives."

She emphasised that no one should be allowed to support terror or its perpetration. "Our collective survival as a global familty requires that the wisdom of pioneering leaders such as Mandela should remain as our moral compass," she said.

Mandela was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award in 1990. He is among only two non-Indians to be conferred with the honour. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1987.
09:37   Fuel prices continue to surge in India
Fuel prices in many parts of the country have hit new heights on Tuesday morning, providing no respite to consumers.

In New Delhi, the petrol price has surged yet again and is retailed at Rs 82.86 per litre, while diesel is being sold at Rs 74.12 per litre.Meanwhile, a litre of petrol has touched Rs 90.22 in Mumbai, while diesel is being capped at Rs 78.69 per litre.

On Monday, the petrol price in Mumbai surpassed the Rs 90-run mark as it was being retailed at Rs 90.22 per litre, while diesel was being sold at Rs 78.69 per litre.A litre of petrol and diesel was sold at Rs.82.72 and Rs.74.02, respectively in the national capital yesterday. -- ANI
09:35   Rupee falls 33 paise to 72.96 against US dollar
Continuing its slide, the rupee weakened by 33 paise to 72.96 against the US dollar Tuesday, hurt by increased demand for the American currency from importers as global crude oil prices hit four-year high.

The international benchmark Brent crude breached the USD 81 a barrel mark by surging over 3 per cent to trade at USD 81.28 a barrel.

Traders said besides sustained demand of the US currency from importers and dollar's strength against some currencies overseas ahead of US Federal Reserve's meet, a lower opening in the domestic equity markets too weighed on the domestic unit.

On Monday, the local currency had ended sharply lower by 43 paise to 72.63 against the US dollar after crude prices soared ahead of impending US sanctions on Iran.  -- PTI
09:24   Meet Trishna Shakya, Nepal's living goddess
Nepal's living goddess, Trishna Shakya, made her first public appearance after being anointed in September last year. She made a public appearance on Monday on the occasion of Indrajatra - the traditional festival observed to worship Devraj Indra, the God of rains and good harvest.

Shakya was brought out of her residence, "Kumari Ghar", located in Basantapur Durbar Square area, a World UNESCO Heritage Site.

A large crowd had gathered from the early hours of Monday when she was brought out of the palace in a chariot and taken around the ancient city. Along with the living Goddess Kumari, Lord Ganesh and Bhairab were also taken around the city.Various cultural shows, including the dance of Lakhe and other deities, were also staged in the premises of the ancient palace of Nepal.

The eight-day long festival of Indrajatra is observed with great fervor in Kathmandu valley along with Dhulikhel and Dolakha.The annual festival of Indrajatra begins from Bhadra Shukla Chaturdashi of the Nepali month of Bhadra.

The Indrajatra festival is considered to be a celebration after defeating enemies. It is believed that worship of Lord Indra gives strength.Nepal has the tradition of worshipping a girl from the Newar Community - natives of the Kathmandu Valley- as a Kumari after she undergoes various religious tests.The successor to a Kumari is chosen when she is about to attain puberty. -- ANI
09:10   Congress scrapped Rafale deal as Vadra's firm wasn't made middleman: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that the Congress party scrapped the Rafale deal with France as United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's company was not accepted as a 'middleman'.

Union Minister and BJP leader Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that in order to take revenge for the same, the Congress is working hard to jeopardise the deal finalised by the National Democratic Alliance government.

"The Congress intended to make arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and Robert Vadra's company as a middleman in the Rafale deal. But when this did not happen, they scrapped the deal and now they are trying to take revenge for the same by jeopardising the deal finalised by the NDA," the BJP leader said.

Shekhawat further alleged that the Congress is politicising the Rafale deal and is taking help of foreign forces to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi from power.
08:34   SC verdict likely today on pleas seeking disqualification of lawmakers on framing of charges
The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict today on a batch of pleas raising a question whether lawmakers facing criminal trial can be disqualified from contesting elections at the stage of framing of charges against them.
Presently, lawmakers are barred under the Representation of Peoples Act from contesting elections only after their conviction in a criminal case.

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had reserved its verdict on August 28 and is slated to pronounce the verdict today.

The bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, had earlier indicated that voters have a right to know the antecedents of candidates and the Election Commission could be asked to direct political parties to ensure that persons, facing criminal charges, do not contest on their tickets using their poll symbols.

The Centre has contended that the judiciary should not venture into the legislative arena by creating a pre-condition which would adversely affect the right of the candidates to participate in polls as there was already the RP Act which deals with the issue of disqualification.

The apex court had observed earlier that persons facing criminal charges would be free to contest, but they cannot do so on a party ticket under its election symbol.

-- PTI
07:56   I love India, give my regards to my friend PM Modi: Trump tells Swaraj
"I love India, give my regards to my friend PM (Narendra) Modi," US President Donald Trump told External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as they exchanged pleasantries during a high-level event on counter-narcotics on the sidelines of the UNGA on Monday.

As Trump left the podium at the conclusion of the event hosted by him at the United Nations, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warmly hugged Swaraj and introduced her to the president. 

When Swaraj told the US president that she has brought greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump responded: "I love India, give my regards to my friend PM Modi, Indian diplomatic sources said.

Swaraj attended the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem chaired by Trump as the high-level week of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly began. 

-- PTI
00:05   TN BJP chief 'nominates' PM Modi for Nobel Peace Prize
BJP's Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundararjan Monday said she has 'nominated' Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Nobel Peace Prize for launching the "world's largest" health scheme.
Her husband, Professor Dr P Soundarajan, Head of Department and Senior Consultant in Nephrology at a private university, has also nominated Modi for Nobel, a press release from the state BJP chief's office said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2019 for launching the world's largest health care schemePradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana- Ayushman Bharat by Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan..." the release said.      

The "path-breaking initiative" of the "visionary" Prime Minister, launched Sunday, will transform the lives of millions of people, especially the underprivileged and vulnerable, it said.
"The last date for Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize 2019 is January 31, 2019. The nomination processes start in September each year. University Professors and Members of Parliament among others can also nominate our Prime Minister," the release added.
Modi rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ayushman Bharat, and had termed it a "game-changer initiative to serve the poor".
It was the 'biggest' government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world, he had said, adding "the number of beneficiaries is almost equal to the population of Canada, Mexico and the US taken together." -- PTI