Sat, 02 February 2019
Kharge tried to manipulate CBI chief's selection: Jitendra Singh

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20:23   Kharge tried to manipulate CBI chief's selection: Jitendra Singh
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is a member of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel, tried to 'manipulate' the criteria for selection of Central Bureau of Investigation chief with the ulterior motive of accommodating some of his preferred officers, Union Minister Jitendra Singh claimed on Saturday.

He also hit out at Kharge for 'giving his own version' of the panel's deliberations to the media.

"Kharge tried to manipulate the objective criteria, based on independent and impartial assessment, to select CBI Director...He wanted to include some officers of his preference in the short-list of candidates," Singh, the Union Minister of State for Personnel, told PTI.

Former Madhya Pradesh Police chief Rishi Kumar Shukla was on Saturday appointed the chief of the CBI for a fixed tenure of two years, according to a Personnel Ministry order.

Shukla, a 1983-batch IPS officer, has been appointed in place of Alok Kumar Verma, who was removed from the post of CBI director on January 10.

Singh said that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi fully endorsed the objective criteria applied for selecting the head of the CBI.

The high-powered selection panel comprises Prime Minister Modi, CJI Gogoi and Congress MP Kharge, who is the leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha.  -- PTI
19:46   J&K Police bust JeM terror module, 3 held
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday busted a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror module with the arrest of three people, an official said.

The breakthrough came while the police were investigating the grenade attack on a Central Reserve Police Force camp at Sopore on January 25, a police spokesperson said.

The three were picked up for questioning in connection with the attack, he added.

"During questioning, the suspects confessed to their involvement in the attack. They were then formally placed under arrest," the spokesperson said.

Ghulam Qadir Rather alias Kasir, Aijaz Ahmad Khan and Owais Khalid Dar were arrested from their hometown of Sopore in Baramulla district.

"They also revealed that the JeM terrorists active in Sopore provided two grenades to these individuals for throwing on the security forces to cause damage to life and property and instill fear among the general public," he added.

The official said one live grenade was recovered at the instance of the arrested persons.

On January 25, a grenade was hurled a CRPF camp at Sopore but the explosive missed the intended target and exploded outside the camp.      

No one was hurt in the incident.  -- PTI

Image only for representation.
18:59   Modi to visit Jammu, Srinagar, Leh on Sunday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Jammu, Srinagar and Leh on Sunday to inaugurate several development projects.

He will also visit the famous Dal lake in Srinagar during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister will lay of the foundation stones of two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Vijaypur and Awantipora, a statement from his office said.

The Union Cabinet had recently approved setting up of the premier hospitals in the border state.

Setting up of new AIIMS would transform health care facilities, health education and training in the region, it said.

Modi will also lay the foundation stone of northern regional centre campus of Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Jammu.

University of Ladakh will also be launched by the prime minister. It will be the first-ever university in the Ladakh region of the state.

It will be a cluster university comprising degree colleges of Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, Drass and Khaltsi. The university will have administrative offices in Leh and Kargil.

The prime minister will also digitally launch various projects under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA).

He will unveil plaques via video-conference to lay foundation stones of 54 new model degree colleges, 11 professional colleges and one women's university in the country.

He will also inaugurate 16 model degree colleges, and 66 entrepreneurship, innovation and career hubs in the country.

Besides, he will lay the foundation stones of three model degree colleges in Kishtwar, Kupwara and Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi will declare 100-per cent electrification of households in Jammu and Kashmir under the central government's Saubhagya Scheme.

Modi will lay the foundation stone of 624-MW Kiru hydroelectric project in Kishtwar. It is a run-of-the-river project across the Chenab.

He will also inaugurate the 9-MW Dah hydroelectric project. Located in Dah near village Datang, this project is a run-of-the-river scheme. Modi will dedicate to the nation the 220-KV Srinagar-Alusteng-Drass-Kargil-Leh transmission system.

The foundation stone of this prestigious project was laid by Modi in August 2014.

The 400-KV D/C Jalandhar-Samba-Rajouri-Shopian-Amargarh (Sopore) transmission line will also be dedicated to the nation by Modi.

The project has augmented the grid connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of 1,640-metre span double-lane bridge over the Chenab river in Sajwal.

The project will provide an alternative route for the population of Sajwal and Indri Pattian. With the completion of this bridge, the distance between Sajwal and Indri Pattian will be reduced to 5 km from 47 km earlier, the statement said.

Modi had earlier visited Jammu, Srinagar and Leh on May 19, 2018 to lay the foundation stones of various infrastructure projects in the state. -- PTI
18:53   Modi, Rajnath should worry about winning own seats: Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh should worry about winning their own Lok Sabha seats before dreaming of victory in West Bengal.

She said the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were 'outsiders' and not from West Bengal and have zero idea about the culture and customs of the state.

The TMC supremo's attack on Modi and Singh came shortly after the two launched a blistering attack on her while addressing separate rallies in West Bengal during the day.

"They (BJP) have no leaders in West Bengal. They are bringing in outsiders who have no idea about the culture and customs of the state.

"They are outsiders who will come before the elections and will go back. They have no connection with the people of West Bengal. They must mind the business of their own states before thinking about Bengal," Banerjee said.

"Ask Narendra Modi to look after New Delhi. Will Modi be able to win from Varanasi? (Modi must) think about his own seat? Ask Yogi Adityanath to look after his own state (Uttar Pradesh)," she said.

"They (BJP leaders from outside) must not think about West Bengal. They must mind their own states. West Bengal is capable of looking after itself. It does not need anybody from outside," she said.  -- PTI
17:31   Madhya Pradesh top cop appointed as new CBI chief
JUST IN: Indian Police Services officer Rishi Kumar Shukla has been appointed as the new director of Central Bureau of Investigation.

Shukla, a 1983-batch IPS officer, is serving as the Director General of Police of Madhya Pradesh.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shukla as the new CBI director for a period of two years from the date of assumption of charge of the office.

More details awaited.  -- Agencies
17:25   Shift Nawaz Sharif to hospital: Pak's Punjab govt to jail admin
Pakistan's Punjab provincial government on Saturday ordered that Nawaz Sharif be shifted to a hospital from jail, days after a special medical board concluded that the former prime minister has developed cardiac complications.

Sharif, 69, has been serving a seven-year jail term in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case.

The order came after a special medical board constituted to monitor his health recommended that he should be shifted to a hospital. The board examined the deposed prime minister in jail this week.

In a directive to the jail administration, the Punjab government said: "In view of Nawaz Sharif's multiple co-morbidities and complex cardiac history with multiple cardiac procedures with complications abroad, it is advised that he be admitted for further investigations/management in a hospital where multidisciplinary care is available."

It further said Sharif should be shifted to the Services Hospital, Lahore to 'carry out detailed medical examination and management for minimum required period'.

Foolproof security arrangement should also be made during his shifting and stay in the hospital, it directed.

Punjab Information Minister Fayazul Hasan Chohan said Sharif will be shifted to the hospital on Saturday.

He said the government has decided to shift Sharif to the hospital in the light of the report of the six-member medical board.

"The government was providing best health facilities to Sharif in jail but since the medical board suggested his hospitalisation, the government has no objection to it," the minister said.

On Wednesday, the 'larger special medical board' headed by Dr Hamid Sharif Khan examined Sharif in the jail.

The three-time prime minister, who is serving a seven-year imprisonment in Al-Azizia Mills corruption case, was earlier rushed to Lahore's Punjab Institute of Cardiology after he complained of heart-related complications.

He was later discharged from the hospital and taken back to jail following the medical tests.

Sharif's personal cardiologist Dr Adnan Khan said: "Since day one, I have been mentioning that Sharif is having frequent episodes of angina, which was confirmed by Thallium scan. The government functionaries kept denying."

Sharif's family has also demanded that he should be shifted to a hospital as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo was not getting proper medical facilities in the jail.

Sharif has been behind the bars since December 24, 2018, after an accountability court convicted him in one of the three corruption cases filed under the direction of the Supreme Court.

The Al-Azizia Steel Mill case was about setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia allegedly with corruption money.

Three corruption cases -- Avenfield properties case, Flagship investment case and Al-Azizia steel mills case -- were launched against the Sharif family by the National Accountability Bureau in 2017 following a judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the Panama Papers case in 2017.  -- PTI
17:13   ED custody of Gautam Khaitan extended by 6 days
A Delhi court on Saturday extended by six days the Enforcement Directorate custody of lawyer Gautam Khaitan, an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, in connection with a fresh case of alleged possession of black money and money laundering.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar extended the ED custody of Khaitan, who was already being prosecuted in a case related to AgustaWestland and was out on bail.

The court also directed the agency to take medical care of Khaitan after he complained that he was not able to sleep properly.

The court had earlier sent him to the ED custody after the agency alleged that he was operating and holding a number of foreign accounts illegally and thereby possessing black money and stashing assets.

The fresh criminal case under the PMLA was filed by the ED against Khaitan on the basis of a case filed by the Income Tax Department against him under Section 51 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.  -- PTI
16:47   Pune court orders Anand Teltumbdes release
JUST IN: Pune Sessions Court orders to release of Dalit activist Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.

As per Supreme Court order, Teltumbde has interim protection till February 11. He can approach the competent authority for bail/pre-arrest bail in the meanwhile.
16:29   Bihar cabinet gives nod to 10% quota for economically weak
The Bihar cabinet has approved a draft bill on providing 10 per cent quota in government jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections among the general category, a state government official said on Saturday.

The official, who did not wish to be named, said that the draft bill was approved in a cabinet meeting late on Friday night which was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The bill would be tabled before the bicameral state legislature during the budget session beginning February 11, he added.

The Narendra Modi government has introduced the quota for the economically backward among the general category vide a constitutional amendment.

The quotas have so far been implemented in Gujarat and Jharkhand both states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

A few political parties, such as Rashtriya Janata Dal, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, have, however, been opposed to the quota.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal-United is an ally of the BJP and has supported the quota, had said last month that his government was seeking legal opinion on whether to extend reservation benefits to the economically weaker sections through an executive order or through the legislative route.  -- PTI
16:16   Gujarat Cong MLA Asha Patel quits
A Congress MLA in Gujarat, Asha Patel resigned as a member of the assembly and from the party membership on Saturday on account of 'infighting'.

Patel, who represents Unjha constituency in Mehsana district, submitted her resignation to Gujarat assembly speaker Rajendra Trivedi in Gandhinagar this morning.

The speaker has accepted the resignation. Patel's exit is seen as a blow to the Congress as she had snatched Unjha seat from the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2017 assembly polls.

Unjha is one of the seven assembly constituencies that are part of Mahesana Lok Sabha seat, currently held by the BJP.

Of the seven segments, the BJP holds four while the Congress three, including Unjha. Patel has written a letter to party president Rahul Gandhi announcing her resignation.

"I have resigned from the party due to prevalent infighting and because the leadership has been ignoring me," she told reporters.

Patel also claimed that her representations regarding the state of affairs in the Gujarat unit have not been heeded since the last one year.

Responding to a query whether she would join the ruling BJP, Patel said she would consult the people of her constituency before taking any decision.

When contacted, state unit Congress president Amit Chavda said it seems Patel had taken this decision for her 'personal gain'.

"Till yesterday, she had not made any representation to the party," Chavda added.

Earlier, Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavaliya had switched sides and joined the BJP. In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had won 99 seats in the 182-member House while the Congress 77 seats.  -- PTI
15:31   Several injured due to stampede like situation at Modi's rally
Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut short his speech at a rally in North 24 Parganas in Thakurnagar on Saturday after a stampede-like situation broke out at the venue leading to injuries to several persons.

Several women and children were injured, a senior police officer said.

While Modi was addressing the well-attended rally of the Matua community, hundreds of supporters who were standing outside the venue tried to barge into the inner ring of the rally ground, leading to commotion.

Modi tried to pacify the crowd by asking them to stay put in their places and stop from making efforts to come on the front side of the inner ring.

However, his pleas went unheard as supporters started throwing chairs inside the no-man zone in front of the stage to make space for others to stand in the inner ring, which was earmarked for women supporters.

Following the commotion, Modi abruptly cut short his speech, saying he has another rally to attend and decided to leave the location.

Several women and children fainted during the stampede-like situation and were also rushed to the hospital for primary treatment, the officer said.

The incident brought back memories of Modi's July 16 rally last year at West Midnapore district when a make-shift stage collapsed leading to injuries to several persons.  -- PTI
15:07   Delhi court grants interim bail till Feb 16 to Robert Vadra
A Delhi Court on Saturday granted interim bail till February 16 to Robert Vadra in a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Special judge Arvind Kumar also directed Vadra to appear before the ED on February 6 and cooperate in the investigation.

The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property -- located at 12, Bryanston Square -- worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.  -- PTI
14:29   Cong to file FIRs over 'malicious campaign' against Priyanka
The Congress women's wing will file first information reports in all state capitals on Monday against the 'malicious campaign' targeting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra following her entry into active politics, the party unit's president Sushmita Dev said on Saturday.

The Congress has alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have made several 'derogatory' statements targeting Priyanka Gandhi following her being named All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh (East).

Dev, in a video message posted on Twitter, said one of the reasons why few women join politics was that they are not treated well.

"I am saddened that Mrs Priyanka Gandhi has also been targeted with such behaviour. Since she has become general secretary, many BJP leaders have made such comments that have saddened me," the All India Mahila Congress president said.

"I will lodge an FIR in Delhi against this malicious campaign. I want my state presidents to lodge FIRs in the capitals of their respective states so that we can reach those who are running this dirty campaign," Dev said.

The Congress leader said she expects police officials in the state capitals to register FIRs and act against those behind this campaign.

'A derogatory thread on #PriyankaGandhi's physical appearance is being unleashed on social media. To counter this, Mahila Congress has decided to file an FIR through all states on Feb 4, 2019,' Mahila Congress said in a tweet.

The Mahila Congress statement comes days after senior BJP leader and Bihar Minister Vinod Narain Jha had said Priyanka Gandhi has no other quality except being 'very beautiful' and the party should remember that beauty does not garner votes.

Taking a swipe at the Congress over Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics, senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya had said it was fielding 'chocolaty' faces in Lok Sabha polls as it has a dearth of strong leaders.

Later, Vijayvargiya had clarified his statement about 'chocolaty' faces, saying that it was meant for Bollywood actors but not for any political leader.

Another BJP MLA Surendra Singh had compared Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Ravana and his sister Priyanka Gandhi to Surpanakha.  -- PTI
13:48   BJP, TMC activists clash ahead of PM's visit
Clashes broke out between Bharatiya Janata Party and Trinamool Congress activists in Durgapur town in West Burdwan district over the alleged removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's posters near the venue of his proposed rally on Saturday.

Activists of the BJP were injured in the incident that took place on Friday night, the party's state general secretary Sayantan Basu told PTI.

Basu also alleged that TMC workers threatened the BJP activists and tore apart posters and placards bearing pictures of the PM, who is scheduled to kickoff the saffron party's campaign in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

"They took out our posters and pasted photos of TMC leaders. Our workers were also roughed up," he said.

The local TMC leadership denied the allegations, and instead, claimed it was the BJP that sprayed black paint on posters of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Both the parties claimed that few of their activists were injured in the incident.

Police said it has received complaints and are looking into the matter.  -- PTI
13:14   In Bengal rally, PM praises budget, Citizenship Amendment Bill
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally in Thakurnagar, West Bengal:

- Seeing this crowd, I have realised why Didi is resorting to violence.

- This is just the beginning, the main budget after Lok Sabha election will have much more for the youth, farmers, and other sections of the society.

- There will be no syndicate tax, no obstacles. The farmers will directly receive the Rs 6,000 meant for them under the new budget. The farmers can use this money to meet the expenditures needed for agriculture.

- Most farmers didn't receive the benefits of loan waivers. Those who did, fell into the debt trap even after that. The Congress bought votes by promising farmer loan waivers. But the situation is entirely different in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

- Shouldn't those who have had to come back from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh be allowed to live respectfully in India? For them, we have introduced the Citizens Amendment Bill. But, the Trinamool Congress is opposing it for no reason.
12:42   Shahabuddin's close aide shot dead in Siwan
A close aide of mafia don-turned-politician Mohammed Shahabuddin was shot dead late on Friday night, triggering tension in the town, a police official said on Saturday.

Superintendent of Police, Siwan, Naveen Chandra Jha said Mohd Yusuf, 40, was gunned down at a spot about half a kilometer from the Town police station area.

"He received bullet injuries in his chest and died while being taken to a hospital by local policemen who rushed to the spot upon hearing the gunshots," Jha said.

"A few empty cartridges have been recovered from the site of the incident. Investigations are on to identify the culprits. Adequate police deployment has been made to avert any untoward incidents," the SP added.

Yusuf, who was often seen alongside Shahabuddin's wife Hina Shahab and son Osama at public gatherings, is said to have hailed from the same village as the former Rashtriya Janata Dal MP and used to live in a house close to the residence of the jailed politician.

Shahabuddin is currently lodged in Tihar jail, serving life imprisonment in a double murder case.  -- PTI
11:49   What MPs did while Goyal presented the Budget
Aditi Phadnis/Business Standard reports:

At 11:05 am, Congress MP Rajiv Satav sidled into the House. He whispered something to colleague Sushmita Deb and handed her a handful of laser-printed placards.

One set said: 'How's the jobs!' Another simply said: '15 lakh?' These placards were raised every time Finance Minister Piyush Goel mentioned the word 'jobs' in his interim Budget speech.

As disturbances go, Goyal's speech was relatively interruption-free, except for bursts of maniacal and hysterical laughter for apparently no reason, as Trinamool Congress MPs Kalyan Banerji and Idris Ali advised him periodically to 'drink water' (paani peejiye).

Actually, it was the Treasury benches that held up the finance minister as MPs chanted 'Modi-Modi' for nearly 90 seconds when Goyal announced a tax rebate for people earning less than Rs 5,00,000 annually.

Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Singh Badal sat impassively as the government unveiled its plans to support farmer incomes.

Maneka Gandhi shook her head and pursed her lips as Goyal announced a small increase in the Integrated Child Development Services outlay.

Nirmala Sitharaman beamed as Goyal announced the defence outlay, which is just 1.2 per cent more than last year.

At the mention of building a new airport in Sikkim's Pakyong, Minister of State Babul Supriyo reached out to Minister of Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and patted him on the back.

Do MPs use some kind of smoke signals before deciding what to wear on the Budget day? Urban Development Minister Hardeep Puri and Minister for Drinking Water S S Ahluwalia wore turbans in matching blue.

The sixth row in the Lok Sabha was occupied by ladies, all of whom wore ivory. Last year, it was yellow.

The neon green of Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar's kurta matched the green in the PM's waistcoat, which in turn was perfectly colour-coordinated with the green waistcoat Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh was wearing.

This much is true: Piyush Goyal's stock, already up, soared as Narendra Modi walked up to him and shook him by the hand.

After that there was a surge of MPs wanting to do the same. Some looked happy, some plainly envious.
11:02   FIR lodged against Azam Khan for remarks against RSS
An FIR was lodged against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for allegedly defaming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The complaint was filed by social worker Ullema Zamir Naqvi.

Khan was also accused of insulting religious leader Qlbe Jawad and his secretary Imran Naqvi.

Along with Khan, the complainant alleged that Wasim Rizvi, Chairman of Shia Central Waqf Board, was involved in the matter

Khan had allegedly misused the government letterhead and stamp for 'maligning' the RSS when he was a minister in the previous government.

-- ANI
10:42   Government extends ban on SIMI by five years
The Students Islamic Movement of India, which is allegedly involved in a series of terror acts in the country, has been banned by the government for five more years as it continues to indulge in subversive activities.

According to a home ministry notification, if the unlawful activities of SIMI are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will continue its subversive activities, re-organise its activists, who are still absconding, and disrupt the secular fabric of the country by propagating anti-national sentiments and escalating secessionism.

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the central government hereby declares the SIMI as an unlawful association and directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years, the notification said.

The imposition of the ban on SIMI by the government will have to be confirmed by a tribunal.

The home ministry listed 58 cases where members belonging to the SIMI were allegedly involved.

The ministry said the organisation has been polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, undertaking activities which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country.

The central government is also of the opinion that having regard to the activities of the SIMI, it is necessary to declare the SIMI to be an unlawful association with immediate effect, it said. The order comes into effect from Thursday.

Among the terror acts in which SIMI members were allegedly involved are blasts in Gaya in 2017, M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore in 2014, and jail break in Bhopal in 2014.

Image: A file photo of a security personnel pasting posters at a railway station of eight SIMI members who had escaped from Central Jail killing a security guard in Bhopal in 2016.
The central government hereby declares the Students Islamic Movement of India  as an "unlawful association.'
10:07   PM Modi to launch poll campaign in Bengal today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick start BJP's campaign in West Bengal on Saturday for the coming Lok Sabha election with rallies in the border district of North 24 Parganas and the industrial town of Durgapur, party sources said.

The venues of both the rallies have political significance. Thakurnagar, which is one of the venues, is the hub of the sizeable Matua community, who originally hail from erstwhile East Pakistan and began migrating to West Bengal at the beginning of the 1950s mostly due to religious persecution. The rally venue is near the house of Matua matriarch Binapani Debi.

Matuas with an estimated population of 30 lakh in West Bengal have influence in at least five Lok Sabha seats in North and South 24 Parganas districts.

The BJP state unit is hopeful that PM Modi will speak on the Citizenship (Ammendment) Bill at Thakurnagar in the circumstances, party sources said adding that the BJP-aligned faction of All India Matua Mahasangha is organising the rally.
Martin Guptill set to miss the 5th ODI against India on Sunday after injuring himself in training. Colin Munro recalled to the squad
09:25   Ignoring Congress objection, govt may soon announce CBI director
The Centre is likely to announce the name of next CBI chief soon, ignoring the objections raised by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee, on the names of probable contenders proposed by the government, officials said.

During the second meeting of the committee on Friday, the government is understood to have put forth a few names of officers who could be considered for appointment as the CBI director, they said. However, these names were objected to by Kharge, who is part of the three-member committee, the officials said.

Senior IPS officers of 1984 batch, Javeed Ahmed, Rajni Kant Misra and S S Deswal, are said to be among the top contenders for the coveted post.

Ahmed, an officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is at present the chief of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences here.

Ahmed's cadre and batchmate Misra is head of the Border Security Force. Deswal, who is from Haryana cadre, is the director general of Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

"The meeting was inconclusive. No decision could be taken during the meeting," a senior government official said, without citing further details on the selection committee's meeting held.

The development assumes significance as earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said it was "averse" to the arrangement of an interim CBI director and the Centre should "immediately" appoint a regular chief of the probe agency.
08:30   Bhima Koregaon: Police arrest activist Anand Teltumbde
Anand Teltumbde, an accused in Bhima Koregaon case, has been arrested by Pune Police from Mumbai early morning on Saturday.

The Pune Sessions Court on Friday rejected an anticipatory bail application of the activist and professor.

"In my view, there is sufficient material collected by the investigating officer to show the involvement of the present accused in the alleged commission of the offence. Moreover, investigation in respect of present applicant/accused is at (a) very crucial stage," said an order pronounced by special judge KD Vadane

Presently, he has been kept at Vile Parle police station in Mumbai.

Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed Teltumbde's plea seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaonviolence.On January 1 last year, violence had erupted during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of Bhima-Koregaon battle, leaving one dead and several injured. 

-- ANI
08:01   Indian embassy opens hotline for students detained by US authorities
The Indian embassy in the US has opened a 24/7 hotline to assist 129 Indian students arrested by the American authorities in the "pay-and-stay" university visa scam, officials have said.

As many as 129 Indians are among the 130 foreign students arrested for enroling at a fake university allegedly to remain in the US.

The university in Detroit's Farmington Hills was part of an undercover operation by the Department of Homeland Security designed to expose immigration fraud, according to federal prosecutors who announced charges in the case.

The two numbers 202-322-1190 and 202-340-2590 would be manned by senior embassy officials round the clock, officials said on Friday.

The arrested students, their friends and family members can contact the embassy at

The Indian embassy has appointed a nodal officer to handle and coordinate all issues related to helping Indian students affected by the busting of the "pay-and-stay" racket run by a group of Indians that has put some 600 students under trouble.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, till Thursday, had arrested 130 students from the fake Farmington University in Greater Detroit area.

The ICE officials said 129 of them are Indian nationals. The fake university was opened by Homeland Security Investigations to trap those involved in illegal student visa racket. It has now been closed.

The arrest of such a large number of students has created panic among the Indian students.

Federal investigators say, the students who took admission in the university knew that the university programme was illegal.

Officials said all of them face deportation, besides being put under detention. A number of students have been put under some kind of house arrest with tracking device on their ankle, that prohibits them from moving out of a designated area in their neighbourhood.

-- PTI
00:29   Tremors cause panic in Palghar, 2-yr-old dies
A two-year-old girl died after suffering a fall as tremors caused panic in parts of Palghar district of Maharashtra on Friday, district authorities said.

Tremors ranging from 3 to 4.1 on the Richter scale were experienced on Friday at least six times, an official said.

Tremors were recorded at 6.58 am, 10.03am, 10.29 am, 2.06 pm, 3.53 pm and 4.57 pm in Dahanu and Talasari tehsils.

Vaibhavi Ramesh Bhuyal, 2, died after falling and suffering a head injury at Dhundhalwadi in Dahanu tehsil as panicked locals were rushing out of their homes, a police official said.

There were also reports of wall collapse, officials said.

The region has been experiencing low-intensity tremors routinely since November, and a Central team had visited the district recently.

District Collector Prashant Narnavre appealed those living in kutchha houses to sleep outside at night.

Tents will be set up for people in the affected villages, he said.  -- PTI