Tue, 01 December 2020
Farmers' protest: Traffic woes continue in Delhi

Timeline  Refresh

23:20   Akshay Kumar meets UP CM Yogi Adityanath
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar on Tuesday met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to Mumbai and discussed his upcoming film Ram Setu, according to sources. 

The Laxmii actor met the CM for dinner at Mumbai's Trident Hotel. 

Kumar discussed his forthcoming feature Ram Setu, which he announced on Diwali, as per the sources. 

The film, to be directed by Abhishek Sharma, aims to chronicle the story of the Ram Setu bridge. 

 Bollywood producer Rahul Mittra had earlier told PTI that Yogi Adityanath is scheduled to meet a delegation of Bollywood filmmakers on Wednesday to discuss the future of the proposed film city in the state. 

In September, the CM had unveiled an ambitious plan to set up a film city in Noida and rolled out an open offer to the film fraternity to come to the state for filmmaking. 

Filmmakers including Subhash Ghai, Boney Kapoor, Rajkumar Santoshi, Sudhir Mishra, Ramesh Sippy, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Madhur Bhandarkar, Umesh Shukla, T-Series head Bhushan Kumar, Jayantilal Gada of Pen Studios and producer Siddharth Roy Kapur are part of the delegation invited for the meeting. -- PTI 
23:04   Farmers' protest: Traffic woes continue in Delhi
Serpentine queues of vehicles clogged many roads leading to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday as the Delhi Police kept the Singhu, Tikri and Chilla borders closed for traffic and heightened checking at other places in view of the ongoing farmers' protest.
The closure of borders has also resulted in heavy traffic on alternative routes.
With the Singhu bordering remaining closed, the traffic police advised people to take an alternate route.
"Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk and GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid the outer ring road from Signature Bridge to Rohini and vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 and Singhu border," the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.
"Tikri border is closed for any traffic Movement. Badusarai and Jhatikara borders are open only for two wheeler traffic. Available open borders to Haryana are Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera," it said in another tweet.
The Badusarai border was open only for two-wheeler traffic.
Small border points such as Lampur and Auchandi also remained closed and traffic had to be diverted from Mukarba Chowk and GT-Karnal Road. The police also closed the Chilla border on Noida link road due to the farmers' protests near Gautam Budh Dwar. 
Thousands of commuters remained stuck on the Noida Link road in Delhi as traffic moved bumper-to-bumper on the key route connecting the national capital and Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday evening.
At 7.30 pm, the beeline of vehicles stretched from Chilla border to Vikas Marg that leads towards ITO, a distance of around five kilometres, according to eye-witnesses. 
"This is crazy! I have been stuck for more than an hour and have barely managed to reach from the Yamuna Bridge to the Akshardham flyover. The road is choked and I have been driving at snail's pace and now running out of patience, Vinay Singh, a Noida resident, told PTI over phone.
Animesh Kashyap, who lives in Noida, said he got stuck in traffic after crossing the Yamuna river was 
"It's been over an hour and the situation still does not look any good. Apparently it's going to be a long haul because I hear that Chilla border is closed. I may park my car at a friend's place in Mayur Vihar and then look for some other option, like the Metro to go to Noida. But right now, reaching Mayur Vihar also seems impossible, Kashyap said.
Some commuters also lamented "lack" of any traffic police personnel on the road to help people through the situation and adequate prior advisory.
The Delhi Traffic Police and their Noida counterparts had earlier issued traffic advisories as the Noida Link road was closed for vehicular movement in view of protesting farmers descending at the Chilla border.
The Noida Traffic police suggested commuters from Noida going to Delhi to opt for the DND or Kalindi Kunj route. The Delhi Police asked motorists to use NH 24 or DND instead to reach Noida. -- PTI
22:56   Salman gets exemption from appearance in blackbuck case
Actor Salman Khan was on Tuesday given exemption from appearance by a court in Jodhpur during the hearing of an appeal by him against the five-year sentence in the October 1998 blackbuck poaching case.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Brajesh Panwar granted the relief after Khan's counsel cited the "rising" number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and Jodhpur and said that travelling for the hearing could be risky for the actor.
The court has fixed January 16 for the next hearing.
"We prayed to the court that travelling to Jodhpur from Mumbai and appearing in the court when the cases of COVID infection have been rising in both Jodhpur and Mumbai could be risky for him", said Khan's counsel H M Saraswat who moved the application on Tuesday. 
"Accepting our ground, the court allowed our application for exemption from appearance and listed the matter for hearing on January 16,"  he said. 
Before the coronavirus lockdown in March, the court had directed Khan to appear for the hearing.
Since the lockdown, Khan has sought exemption from appearance citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actor was sentenced to five years' imprisonment by the trial court on April 5, 2018 after he was convicted of poaching a blackbuck, an endangered animal.
Khan had challenged the judgment in the District and Sessions Court and sought suspension of sentence. Later, he was granted bail by the court.
The co-accused in the case, actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Sonali Bendre and Neelam, had, however, been acquitted by the trial court which gave them the benefit of doubt. 
The state government has challenged their acquittal in the upper court. -- PTI  
22:18   Uddhav orders probe into Fadnavis govt's scheme
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the Jalyukt Shivar scheme of the previous Devendra Fadnavis dispensation.
A committee set up for the purpose under former additional chief secretary Vijay Kumar has been asked to submit a report in six months, as well as recommendations every month.
The Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee are expected to guide the state on which of the 1,128 works spread in 120 villages in six districts need to be probed, officials said.
A state government order said divisional as well as administrative inquiries should be initiated.
The Jalyukt Shivar scheme, an ambitious water conservation plan, was considered the flagship project of the previous BJP-led government under Fadnavis. -- PTI 
21:29   Come to langar for jalebi, tea: Farmers to Tomar
Farmer union leaders on Tuesday invited agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar to their protest site and offered to serve him 'jalebi' and 'pakoda' along with tea at their langar (community kitchen), after they were offered tea by the minister during a marathon meeting with the government over their ongoing agitation against three new farm laws.
"Tomar Saheb requested us to have tea during the break between the meeting, but we in return extended him an invitation to accompany us to our protest site where we are serving tea along with jalebi and pakodas in langar. This led to laughter all around," Jamhuri Kisan Sabha's Kulwant Singh Sandhu told PTI.
He said farmers' unions leaders wanted to utilise the break time to discuss the government's offer of forming committee.
At the meeting, the government suggested setting up a committee to look into issues raised by farmers protesting against new farm laws, but it was rejected by representatives of 35 agitating organisations during their marathon meeting with three union ministers that ended without any resolution.
The government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3. -- PTI 
20:57   Farmers should flag specific issues: Agri Min
As a meeting with representatives of protesting farmers remained inconclusive, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Tuesday they have been asked to come with specific issues in the new farm laws and the government is ready to discuss and address their concerns.
The government had called a meeting with 35 representatives of agitating farmers at Vigyan Bhawan hereafter large-scale protests by various farmer groups, including from Punjab and Haryana, entered its sixth day on various borders of the national capital.
"We had a detailed discussion. We will again meet on December 3. We suggested to them to form a small committee, but they said they all will be present in the meeting. So, we agreed to that," Tomar told PTI after the meeting.
Asked why the government was holding a separate discussion with Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Rakesh Tikait, the minister said, "They have come to us, so we are discussing with them also. We are ready to discuss with all farmers."
Asked when the deadlock will end, he said, "The time will decide."
On the protesting farmers insisting on the repeal of all three farm laws, Tomar said, "We have asked them to come with specific issues in the laws and we are ready to discuss and address their concerns."
"If they have any specific issue with any clauses, let them point out. Let them put their views, we will look into them," he added.
Enacted in September, the laws have been presented by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector by removing the middlemen and allowing farmers to sell anywhere in the country. However, the protesting farmers have been worried that the new laws will eliminate the safety cushion of a Minimum Support Price and scrap away mandis that ensure earning.
 After the meeting, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee said in a statement that the talks remained inconclusive and the government's proposal was not acceptable to farm unions.
It further said protests will now intensify across the country until their demands are met.
The 35 farm leaders had met a ministerial delegation that included Agriculture Minister Tomar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, to press for their demands around the repeal of three central farm acts and withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020. 
While 32 of the farm leaders were from Punjab unions and one from Haryana, two were from national farmer alliances - AIKSCC and RKMS.
The talks ended inconclusively and will resume the day after on December 3.
The farmer leaders rejected the government proposal to form a five-member committee to look into the objections and study the concerns. They told the government that such committees have led to no results and outcomes in the past. 
The government also asked the farm unions for their detailed critique to be provided in the statutes, and to articulate the objections in detail. -- PTI 

20:16   New timetable will reduce train travel by 6 hrs
The Railways' new "zero-based timetable", once introduced, will cut down travel time in long distance trains between 30 minutes and six hours on an average, Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav said Tuesday.
The timetable, to be introduced by the national transporter once the coronavirus situation stabilises, works on the premise that the existence of every train and stop must be justified based on goals of providing transportation with optimum and efficient utilisation of the available resources. 
"The idea is to increase the occupancy of poorly-patronised trains and to reduce waitlisting in those trains which are in high demand. Once the timetable is operational, the journey time of long distance trains will be reduced between half an hour and six hours on an average. Under this timetable the speeds of trains will also increase," Yadav told a press conference here. 
He also said that no stoppages or halts will be done away with but that they will merely be rationalised. 
He said that "professional studies" are being conducted to see which trains and halts need to be rationalised, which trains are to be merged and things are still being finalised, assuring people that they will not be inconvenienced in any way.
Yadav also said that the Railways was operating just 50 per cent of its total fleet at the moment due to the coronavirus crisis. 
As of now, Railways is operating 908 mail or express trains as compared to 1,800 trains pre-COVID pandemic, he said.
"This is 50 per cent of the total mail or express trains," he said.
The CEO said 20 special clone trains are running as of now on the routes with higher demands.
Yadav further said that in addition, 566 train services were operated as festival special trains from October 20 to November 30.
He also said that 238 services of the Kolkata Metro were started in July, while 843 services of suburban services started in November.
According to Yadav, 2,773 Mumbai suburban services were being operated as of now.
Of the 908 trains currently running, 460 are running at 100 per cent occupancy, 400 are running at an occupancy between 50 per cent to 100 per cent, 32 trains operating at less than 50 per cent and 16 trains running with less than 30 per cent occupancy.  -- PTI
20:11   2 booked under anti-conversion law in UP's Muzaffarnagar
Two people have been booked under the new anti-conversion law in this district, police said on Tuesday.
Akshay tyagi, a resident of Pura village, alleged that Nadeem and Salman were forcing his wife to convert her religion and marry Nadeem, they said.  
An FIR was registered against Nadeem and Salman under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, and IPC sections 504 (intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) on Monday, SSP Abhishek Yadav said.
This is the first case under the anti-conversion law in the district. 
The complainant, working as a contractor in a factory in Saharanpur district, said the accused had also threatened him with dire consequences if he went ahead with the complaint against them.
Tyagi said he came back to his native Pura village along with his wife to escape from the accused, but they continued to harass the couple.
Under the new anti-conversion law, a marriage will be declared "null and void" if the conversion of a woman is solely for that purpose, and those wishing to change their religion after marriage need to apply to the district magistrate.
The ordinance punishes religious conversion though misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means.
The onus to prove that the conversion has not been done forcibly lies on the person accused of the act and the convert. -- PTI
20:07   Shirdi's Saibaba temple appeals devotees to come in 'civilised attire'
The Saibaba temple trust at Shirdi  in Maharashtra has put up boards appealing to devotees to be dressed in a "civilised" manner, or as per the "Indian culture", when they come to the sacred place to offer prayers.
When contacted, Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust's Chief Executive Officer Kanhuraj Bagate told PTI on Tuesday that it is just an appeal, and the trust has not imposed any dress code on devotees.
He said the appeal was made after devotees complained that some people come to the shrine, located at Shirdi in Ahmedanagar district, in "objectionable" attire.
"Since it is a holy and sacred place, we have appealed to the devotees come to the shrine dressed in civilised attire, or as per the Indian culture," he said. 
19:10   Talks fail, govt to meet farmer unions on Dec 3
The meeting between the government and protesting farmer unions in New Delhi on Tuesday remained inconclusive,Bharat Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said.

The government has called another meeting with farmer unions on Thursday, December 3, he said, in a bid to continue its dialogue with the protesters.
18:54   Dr. Reddy's, RDIF begin Russian vaccine trials
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Tuesday announced commencement of adaptive phase 2/3 clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India after receiving necessary
clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.
The Indian drug maker, in a release, said this will be a multicenter and randomized controlled study, which will include safety and immunogenicity study.
The clinical trials are being conducted by JSS Medical Research as the clinical research partner.
Further, Dr. Reddy's has partnered with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology for advisory support and to use BIRAC's clinical trial centres for the vaccine, it said.
Recently, RDIF announced the second interim analysis of clinical trial data, which showed 91.4 per cent efficacy for the vaccine on day 28 after the first dose and vaccine efficacy of over 95 per cent 42 days after the first dose.
Currently, 40,000 volunteers are taking part in Phase III of Sputnik V clinical trials, out of which over 22,000 have been vaccinated with the first dose and more than 19,000  with both the first and second doses of the vaccine.
G V Prasad, Co-chairman and Managing Director, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories said, "This is another significant step as we continue to collaborate with multiple entities along with the government bodies to fast-track the process for launching the vaccine in India. We are working towards making the vaccine available with a combination of import and indigenous production model." 
In September 2020, Dr. Reddy's and RDIF entered into a partnership to conduct clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine and the rights for distribution of the first 100 million doses in India.
On August 11, 2020, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia and became the Worlds first registered vaccine against COVID-19 based on the human adenoviral vector platform. -- PTI
18:49   BJP MP Abhay Bharadwaj during Covid-19 treatment
BJP MP from Gujarat Abhay Bharadwaj died on Tuesday while undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a Chennai hospital, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. 

Bharadwaj (66) was a prominent lawyer and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in June this year. He tested coronavirus positive in August, after attending party meetings and a roadshow in Rajkot. 

He was first admitted to the government-run Covid hospital in Rajkot and put on artificial lung support. A team of senior doctors later flew to Rajkot and on their suggestion, Bharadwaj was put on extraporeal membrane oxygenation therapy to improve his oxygen saturation levels, a doctor said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the demise of the MP from his home state. 

"Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Shri Abhay Bharadwaj Ji was a distinguished lawyer and remained at the forefront of serving society. It is sad we have lost a bright and insightful mind, passionate about national development. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted.

Former Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia also expressed anguish over the death of Bharadwaj. 

"Condolences to grieving family of recently elected RS MP from Gujarat Shri Abhay Bharadwaj ji @BharadwajAbhay It is indeed unfortunate for people of Gujarat to have lost another voice and representation in the Rajya Sabha. May the departed soul find peace in Almighty's Heaven," he tweeted.

-- PTI
18:14   Protesters don't look like farmers: VK Singh
A member of the flat Earth club emerges...Union Minister VK Singh says: "Many of the people in pictures do not appear to be farmers. What is in the interest of farmers has been done. It's not the farmers who have a problem with this (farm laws), but others. Besides opposition, people who get commission are behind it (protest)."

The leaders of the farmers groups that met with the government at Vigyan Bhavan today has turned down the government's suggestion for the formation of a committee to sort out the differences over farm laws. 
18:10   Pak refugees vote for 1st time in J-K polls
Pakistani refugees cast their vote in the second phase of DDC elections in Bassi Khurd. "My parents died without any voting rights. It's the first time in 70 years that we're able to cast vote after the abrogation of Article 370," says a local. Out of the 280 constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, 43 are going to polls in the second phase. Election is also being held in 83 sarpanch constituencies for which a total of 223 candidates are contesting in the phase two.
17:56   Farmers reject Centre's proposal on Farm Laws
The leaders of the farmers groups that met with the government at Vigyan Bhavan today has turned down the government's suggestion for the formation of a committee to sort out the differences over farm laws. 

Three ministers started talks with farmers' representatives as protests over the new farm laws intensified. More farmers from Punjab and khaps from Haryana are making their way to the national capital, demanding that the laws be repealed. Though the government is firm that the laws will not be withdrawn, sources said it will try to dispel concerns about the minimum support price and mandis. The farmers said the protests will continue if their demands are not accepted.

Agriculture minister Narendra Tomar, his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal and junior industry minister Som Prakash are meeting the 35-member team of farmers.
17:38   Where has PM-CARES Fund money gone, asks Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the Centre of using central agencies to bulldoze the countrys federal structure and sought to know where is the money of Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund.

Banerjee said that her government would not work as per whims and fancies of the BJP-led regime at the Centre. Where has all the money of the PM Cares Fund gone? Does anyone know about the future of these funds? Where are the lakhs of crores of money gone? Why was no audit done? The Centre is lecturing us. What have they given us to combat the COVID pandemic," she told a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

Charging the Centre with targeting West Bengal as elections are approaching, the Trinamool Congress supremo claimed that law and order situation is better in the state than many other states of the country. "The Centre is using agencies to bulldoze and threaten us. We are not afraid of them. They (BJP) are not a political party but garbage of lies," she said.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are due in April-May next year. About the on-going farmer's protest in north India, she claimed that no other political party supported the BJP on the issue of farm laws but the saffron party is adamant on bulldozing it. PTI
17:22   Sensex, Nifty gallop to closing highs on vaccine boost
Equity benchmarks surged to lifetime closing highs on Tuesday as better-than-expected GDP data and progress on the COVID-19 vaccine front gave fresh impetus to investor bullishness. A strengthening rupee and persistent foreign capital inflows further boosted market sentiment, traders said. The 30-share BSE Sensex zoomed 505.72 points or 1.15 per cent to end at its fresh closing record of 44,655.44. 

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 140.10 points or 1.08 per cent to close at its all-time high of 13,109.05. Sun Pharma was the top performer in the Sensex pack, spurting 5.51 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Tech Mahindra, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, ICICI Bank and Bajaj Auto. On the other hand, Kotak Bank, Nestle India, Titan, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and NTPC were among the main laggards, shedding up to 1.40 per cent. World equities perched near all-time highs as strong factory output figures from China bolstered expectations of a swift economic recovery. -- PTI
17:20   Adverse effect of vaccine won't affect rollout: Govt
Health ministry updates: Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry on being asked about the recent adverse event in the Serum Institute of India's vaccine trial: "Adverse event will not affect the timeline in any manner whatsoever. Whenever clinical trial starts, subjects are expected to sign prior informed consent form. This is global practice, it happens across all countries. Form tells subject about possible adverse events that may happen in case one decides to participate in trial.

"Clinical trials are multi-centric & multi-site. Each site has an Institutional Ethics Committee, which is independent of manufacturer or govt. In case of any adverse event, this Committee takes note and gives its report to Drug Controller General of India.

"Monitoring Board also monitors clinical trial from day to day basis and keep an eye on adverse events and report it. Drug Controller General analyses all reports and finds out whether there's a one-to-one co-relation between adverse event and vaccination.

"Adverse events do occur with drugs or vaccines or any other health intervention. It is the role of the regulator after collating all data to ascertain or refute whether there is a causal link between the event and intervention,"  ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava, said.
17:10   Never promised to vaccinate every Indian: Govt
Health ministry briefing on Covid vaccination: Health Secretary on being asked how much time it will take to vaccinate the entire country, says,  "I just want to make this clear that the govt has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country. It's important that we discuss such scientific issues, based on factual information only."

Reports have mentioned without quoting names that the Modi government has set aside Rs 50,000 crore to give Covid vaccine to entire country
16:50   No bail for Chanda Kochhar's husband
A court on Tuesday rejected a bail plea of businessman Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and an accused in a money laundering case. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in September under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case. Special PMLA judge P P Rajvaidya rejected the `regular' bail application of Deepak Kochhar, filed on merits of the case as against technical grounds.

Last month, the court had rejected his `default' bail plea, filed on the ground that the ED had failed to file a charge sheet in the case within the stipulated period. The ED registered the money laundering case following an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the Kochhar couple, Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and others.
16:46   Mamata kicks of massive 'govt at your door' campaign
With an eye on the 2021 assembly elections, the Trinamool Congress administration in West Bengal on Tuesday launched its massive outreach campaign 'Duare Sarkar' (government at doorsteps) to ensure that people avail the benefits of 11 state-run welfare schemes and also to hear out their grievances related to the programmes.

Elections to the 294-member state assembly are due in April-May next year. People were seen queuing up in at least 20,000 camps set up in all the panchayats and municipal wards in the state to avail the benefits of the schemes.

The outreach programme will continue till January 30. With slogan 'jar jekhane darkar, asche apnar duare sarkar' (government will be at your doorsteps whenever you need it), the programme will be conducted for two months in four phases. 

The first phase of the programme will be held from December 1-11, the second from December 15-24, the third from January 2-12 and the last from January 18-30. The camps will be functional from 10 am to 4 pm every day.

"GoWB's initiative #DuareSarkar brings govt services at people's doorstep! Happy to see that the camps have started in full-swing. I urge people to get their grievances redressed & avail other services at these camps," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

"This is a revolutionary step taken by our government to ensure that no one is left out. All those who are eligible for the schemes will get the benefits. For example, Swastha Sathi (health scheme) will cover the entire population of the state," Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim said while inaugurating a ward office here.
16:35   TMC to attend the all-party meeting convened by Centre on Dec 4
Trinamool Congress will attend the all-party meeting convened by the Centre on December 4 to discuss the COVID-19 situation but the Mamata Banerjee-headed party has expressed its grievance that a similar meeting was not convened when lockdown was first announced in March this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take part in the meeting and interact with floor leaders of various parties in both houses of Parliament, official sources said on Tuesday. 

The Centre is also expected to brief the parliamentarians about various steps it has taken to deal with the pandemic and may also touch upon the advances being made in the development and distribution of vaccine to check the virus, the sources said. -- PTI
16:17   Shaheen Bagh dadi joining farmers protests held
Police detain Shaheen Bagh activist Bilkis Dadi who reached Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana border) to join the farmers' protest. "We are daughters of farmers, we'll go to support farmers' protest today. We will raise our voice, the government should listen to us," she said.

Right now, Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal hold a  meeting with farmers' leaders at Vigyan Bhawan. 
16:06   Won't allow biz to be taken away, Uddhav on Yogi visit
Ahead of his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath's visit to the financial capital, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday warned he will not let anybody "forcibly" take businesses away from the state. He made it clear that Maharashtra is not "jealous" about someone's progress and if it happens on the back of fair competition.

Adityanath is arriving late this evening in Mumbai and slated to meet industrialists and film personalities during the visit. As per reports, Sachin Sawant, a spokesperson for the Congress party, a part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, has alleged a conspiracy to shift Bollywood, the Hindi film industry, out of Mumbai. 

"We are not jealous if someone progresses, we do not have any problem with someone's progress if one competes. But if you are going to forcibly take anything away, then of course, I won't let it happen and you (industrialists) will not be willing to go," Thackeray said at an event organised by IMC, a small businesses-focused lobby grouping.

Drawing from the tag line 'Magnetic Maharashtra' used by his state while pitching to investors, Thackeray said Maharashtra has strengths including its culture and institutions. "Some people are coming today, they will also meet you all and ask you to come (for investments). But they do not know the magnetic strength (of Maharashtra),it is so powerful that forget people going from here to there, it should not so happen that somebody from there comes here," Thackeray said. 

Thackeray said the economy, which had suffered reverses because of the pandemic, is slowly coming back as the unlock process gets underway. Unlike the demonetisation, which had led to "disappearance" of money, Thackeray said the stress caused by the pandemic is not permanent and the money will come back into circulation once economic activity resumes. He said of the Rs 60,000 crore of investment tie-ups with companies announced earlier, work on 70 per cent of them is underway through land allotment or other permissions.

Helping a common man's purchasing power by creating jobs is necessary for overall development, Thackeray said. -- PTI
15:56   Govt holds meeting with farmers
Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal hold meeting with farmers' leaders at Vigyan Bhawan. The central government has called a meeting with all 32 agitating farmers unions at Vigyan Bhawan. Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting for over three hours over the farmers protest against the Centre's new agriculture reform laws. Peaceful sit-ins by farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, continue at the Singhu and Tikri borders with no untoward incident reported after Friday's violence, while the numbers of protestors swelled at the Ghazipur border on Monday.
15:15   Farmers' leaders leave for meeting with govt
Leaders of the various farmers' groups reach Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi where Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called them for talks. 

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, BJP chief J P Nadda and others held marathon discussions on the matter. The central government has called a meeting with all 32 agitating farmers unions at Vigyan Bhawan here at 3 pm. Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting for over three hours over the farmers protest against the Centre's new agriculture reform laws.

Peaceful sit-ins by farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, continue at the Singhu and Tikri borders with no untoward incident reported after Friday's violence, while the numbers of protestors swelled at the Ghazipur border on Monday.
15:05   Car sales up
Kia Motors India on Tuesday reported a 50.1 per cent increase in wholesales to 21,022 units in November. The company had sold 14,005 units of Seltos in November 2019. The automaker dominated the compact SUV market in the country with sales of 11,417 units of Sonet last month, Kia Motors India said in a statement.

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Tuesday reported a 1.7 per cent increase in sales to 1,53,223 units in November. The company had sold 1,50,630 units in November last year, Maruti Suzuki India said in a statement. Domestic sales increased marginally to 1,44,219 units last month as against 1,43,686 units in November 2019, it added.
14:57   'Trudeau's farmers' protest comments ill-informed'
India's external affairs ministry calls comments by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau on the farmers' protests in Delhi "unwarranted".

"We've seen some ill-informed comments by Canadian leaders relating to farmers in India. These are unwarranted especially when pertaining to internal affairs of a democratic country. It's also best that diplomatic conversations aren't misrepresented for political purposes," the MEA said. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that his country will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest, as he reached out to the Indian community and expressed concern over the ongoing farmers protest in India against the new farm laws, the first world leader to voice his views on the issue. 

Addressing the Indian community in Canada during an online event on Monday to mark the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Trudeau said he would be remiss if he didn't recognise the "news coming out of india about the protest by farmers."
14:52   Chanda Kochhar loses case against being fired by ICICI
The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected Chanda Kochhar's appeal against the Bombay High Court order which had dismissed her plea against her termination as the managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, saying the issue falls within the realm of a private bank and employee. 

"Sorry, we are not inclined to interfere with the high court order," a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said, adding, "This falls within the realm of private bank and employee."   The top court was hearing Kochhar's appeal against the March 5 order of the high court which had dismissed her plea against termination as managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank, while noting that the dispute arises from a contract of personal service. The high court had accepted the bank's contention that Kochhar's plea was not maintainable as the dispute was contractual and concerns a private body. 

During the arguments before the apex court, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Kochhar, said the high court had dismissed her plea on the grounds of maintainability. "I (Kochhar) was the MD of ICICI bank but bank recalled my earlier resignation and converted it into termination," he said, adding, "This was wrong as it was against the norms."

Rohatgi said that Kochhar's resignation was changed into termination and there was no prior approval. "The RBI was under obligation. You cannot convert resignation into termination. There is no question of termination as there was no previous approval as per the clause," he said.

The bench observed, "As far as we understand, it is the RBI who can raise issue with the bank. You were in service with a private bank. RBI has to deal with the bank saying that no approval was taken."
14:42   Docs to strike work on Dec 11 over 'mixopathy'
Terming their protest as "freedom struggle for modern medicine" from the forces of 'mixopathy', the Indian Medical Association on Tuesday said it will go on public demonstration activities and withdrawal of non-essential and non-COVID services on December 11, 2020.

In a statement, the medical body said that the emergency services including casualty, labour rooms, emergency surgeries will function along with ICUs, CCUs, but no elective surgical case will be posted.

"Launching the freedom struggle of modern medicine from the forces of mixopathy, IMA has directed public demonstration activities and withdrawal of non-essential and non-COVID services on December 11, 2020, from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm. Emergency services including casualty, Labour rooms, emergency surgeries will function along with ICU's, CCU's but no elective surgical case will be posted," the statement said.

Talking about the protest, Dr Rajan Sharma, national president of IMA said, "The notification of the amendment to the CCIM Act on Postgraduate Ayurveda surgery and the entitlement to study and practice independently have to be seen as another step in advancing and legitimising mixopathy."

"In fact, the purity and identity of Ayurveda stands equally challenged. That the council prescribed modern medicine textbooks and Ayurveda institutions practiced surgery with the assistance of modern medical doctors cannot be reason enough to legitimise encroachment into the jurisdiction and competencies of modern medicine," he added.

Adhering to COVID protocols, public demonstrations will be held in small groups of 20 participants between 12 noon to 2 pm on December 8, and all the participants will wear white aprons and sport a stethoscope, along with showcasing placards with slogans against mixopathy.

The medical body added that the objective of these demonstrations is the withdrawal of CCIM order on the surgical disciplines of Modern Medicine and withdrawal of the four committees of NITI AAYOG mixing all systems of medicine.

Dr RV Asokan, Honorary Secretary General of IMA appealed to the government on the medical body's behalf to consider the sensitivity of the medical fraternity and take appropriate steps in the matter.

"IMA will be constrained to intensify the agitation until the steps towards implementing mixopathy are abandoned. IMA has appealed to all the sister professional speciality organisations, the organisations of medical college teachers, Government Doctors, Resident Doctors Associations apart from medical students and Hospitals Associations to support its cause to retain the separate identity and existence of modern medicine," said Asokan. -- PTI
14:13   Recognise lies of oppn, BJP minister tells farmers
Asserting that the Opposition was able to mislead some farmers, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar on Tuesday said that those protesting against the new farm laws should recognise the lies fed to them.

"I have contacts with people from almost every state because of my work. I have come to know that the farmer brothers from every corner of the country are satisfied with the new agricultural laws. But the Opposition that wants to hurt the country has succeeded in confusing and misleading some of our brothers," Gurjar said in a tweet roughly translated from Hindi.

He requested them to recognise the lies of the Opposition. "Look at the steps taken by the (Narendra) Modi government so far for the empowerment of farmers; these are the most effective and quickly taken steps by any government in history. I am sharing some more information with you."

The minister listed what he terms as lies and truth regarding the agricultural laws.

"The lie is that farmers' land will be given to capitalists. The truth is it is clearly directed in one of the Acts that sale, lease and mortgage of farmers' land is prohibited. There will be contracts on crop not on land. The lie is profit for big corporates and loss to farmers. The truth is in many states, the farmers are producing sugarcane, cotton, tea and coffee for corporates. The small farmers will gain from this. They will get a guaranteed profit, along with technology and machinery," he said. -- ANI
13:43   Urmila Matondkar joins Shiv Sena
Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar joins Shiv Sena, in the presence of party president Uddhav Thackeray. 

Matondkar had last year resigned from the Congress party, a key ally of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.

Matondkar had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Mumbai North constituency and resigned from the party in September last year citing inaction on the part of "key functionaries of Mumbai Congress".
13:36   Independent MLA withdraws support to Khattar govt over farm laws
Independent MLA Sombir Sangwan withdraws his support from the Khattar led-Harayana govt.  "In light of the atrocities committed on the farmers, I hereby withdraw my support to the current govt," he says, while in Charkhi Dadri.
The fishing boat Kuber was hijacked by the Pakistani terrorists
The fishing boat Kuber was hijacked by the Pakistani terrorists
13:34   26/11 attack: Kin of 3 fishermen get compensation after 12 yrs
Twelve years after five fishermen were presumed to have been killed by Pakistani terrorists before they carried out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the Gujarat government has given Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to families of three fishermen, an official said on Tuesday. 

The families of two other fishermen, including their captain Amarsinh Solanki, who were onboard 'Kuber' fishing trawler which was occupied in the sea by the terrorists, had been given compensation by different authorities in the past.

The kin of the other three fishermen, Natu Rathod, Mukesh Rathod and Balwant Tandel, belonging Vansi village in Jalalpore taluka of Gujarat's Navsari district, were waiting for the monetary benefit. The compensation of Rs 5 lakh each was last week given to the family members of the three fishermen in the form of fixed deposits.

On Friday, documents pertaining to the fixed deposits were handed over to family members of these deceased fishermen, Navsari district disaster management branch's mamlatdar (revenue officer) Roshni Patel said. 

"As per government norms, the families of these three fishermen were given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each in the form of fixed deposits, having a lock-in period of three years," Patel said. 

In February 2017, a civil court in Navsari declared these three fishermen dead. Their family members had earlier approached the court for compensation, which was not possible till the state government declared them as dead. Out of the five fishermen who were on the trawler, four were from Gujarat, while their captain Amarsinh Solanki, was a native of the Union Territory of Diu.

Solanki's body was found in the boat on the shores of Mumbai, while bodies of the other four were never found. Solanki's family members have already been provided compensation by the Maharashtra government, as the boat was found near Mumbai. His son was given a job in the police department by the Union Territory administration. -- PTI
13:25   Farmers will attend 3 pm meet with Centre
Farmers have said they will attend the talks initiated by the government today. "The government has invited us without preconditions and we're going for the talks. About 35 representatives will go, and we will demand the laws be repealed. We will also demand law on MSP. If the government doesn't agree, the protests will continue," Jagjit Singh Dallewal of the Bharatiya Kisan Union said after the meeting.  

Earlier, one of the 32 farmer unions invited for talks backed out and demanded all 500 organisations that are part of protests be invited. 

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday had invited leaders of farmer unions for talks on Tuesday, instead of December 3, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and cold. 

Thousands of farmers stayed put at various Delhi border points for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday protesting against the new farm laws, which they fear will dismantle the minimum support price system and corporatise farming. The meeting has been called at 3 pm on December 1 at Vigyan Bhawan in the national capital, Tomar said, adding that those leaders who were present in the meeting held on November 13 have been invited this time.
13:16   Australian soldier drinking beer out of dead Taliban fighter's prosthetic leg
Senior Australian special forces soldiers drank beer out of the prosthetic leg of a dead Taliban soldier at an unauthorised bar in Afghanistan -- with a photograph of the act being revealed for the first time by Guardian Australia.

A number of photographs obtained by the Guardian show one senior soldier -- who is still serving -- sculling from the leg in an unofficial bar known as the Fat Lady's Arms, which was set up inside Australia's special forces base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province, in 2009.Another appears to show two soldiers performing a dance with the leg. 
Read the report here
13:11   Covid patients treated as untouchables when homes marked: SC
The Supreme Court Thursday said that once posters are pasted outside the homes of COVID-19 patients, these people are treated as "untouchables", reflecting a different "ground reality". 

The Centre informed the apex court that although it has not prescribed this rule, the practice has nothing to do with "stigmatising" COVID-19 patients as it is aimed at protecting other people.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said that the ground reality is "something different" and as once such posters are pasted at their homes, they are treated as untouchables.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that some states on their own are pursuing this practice to prevent the spread of the virus. Mehta said the Centre has filed its reply to the plea in pursuance of the top court's direction asking it to consider issuing nationwide guidelines to do away with practice of pasting posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients.

"Let the counter filed by Union come on record we will take it up on Thursday," the bench said. 

The apex court on November 5 had asked the Centre to consider issuing the guidelines to do away with practice of pasting posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients.

It had directed so without issuing any formal notice to the Centre on one Kush Kalra's plea seeking framing of the guidelines. The bench had observed that when the Delhi government has agreed in the high court not to paste posters, why cannot the Centre come up with guidelines dealing with the matter for the entire country.

On November 3, the AAP government had told the Delhi High Court that it has instructed all its officials not to paste posters outside homes of COVID-19 positive persons or those in home isolation; and the ones pasted have been ordered to be removed.

The government had told the high court that its officials have also not been allowed to share details of COVID-19 positive persons with their neighbours, resident welfare associations or Whatsapp groups.

Kalra, in his plea before the high court, had contended that freely circulating to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and on Whatsapp groups, the names of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 was "leading to stigmatisation and drawing of unnecessary attention". 

The petition had stated that COVID-19 positive persons "ought to be given privacy to cope with and recover from the illness in peace and away from prying eyes". "Rather, they are being made the centre of public attention..," it had said.
12:58   Racing champ Lewis Hamilton tests Covid+ve
World Champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix. Hamilton returned the positive result during mandatory testing ahead of the upcoming round and is now isolating in Bahrain. 

Hamilton is the third driver to test positive for the virus, following Racing Point pair Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, and is now set to be out of action for the last two events of the season in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. It will be the first time that Hamilton has missed a Formula 1 event since making his grand prix debut in 2007 and ends his record-breaking streak of 265 consecutive race starts.

Hamilton has dominated the 2020 campaign, taking 11 victories from 15 starts, and sealed a record-equalling seventh world title with three rounds to spare.
12:36   Volunteer's reaction not due to vaccine: SII
Statement from Serum Institute of India on the alleged reactions to the vaccine on a volunteer: "Covishield safe and immunogenic. Incident with the Chennai volunteer no way induced by the vaccine. All regulatory and ethical processes and guidelines were followed," Principal Investigator, DSMB & Ethics Committee stated it was non-related issue to vaccine trial.

The legal notice was sent to safeguard the reputation of the company which is being unfairly maligned, the Serum Institute said.

A 40-year-old man who took part in the 'Covidshield' vaccine trial in Chennai has alleged serious side effects, including a virtual neurological breakdown and impairment of cognitive functions and has sought Rs 5 crore compensation in a legal notice to Serum Institute and others, besides seeking a halt to the trial.

Alleging that the candidate vaccine was not safe, he has also sought cancelling approval for its testing, 'manufacture and distribution', failing which legal action would be taken.
12:28   SC expresses displeasure over shirtless man being visible on screen during hearing
The Supreme Court Tuesday expressed displeasure when a shirtless man was seen on the video-conferencing link during the hearing of a matter. Even after seven-eight months of video conferencing hearings, these things are happening, said a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta.  "This is not done," the bench observed, after the shirtless man was visible on the screen during the hearing. 

This is not the first time such untoward incident has happened in the apex court during hearings being conducted through video-conferencing. The top court, which has restricted its functioning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is presently hearing matters through video-conferencing.

On October 26, a similar incident had happened before a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud when an advocate was seen on the screen while he was shirtless. "I do not like to be hard to anyone but you are on screen. You have to be careful," Justice Chandrachud had observed.

In June, a lawyer had appeared in a virtual hearing in the apex court while lying on bed and donning a T-shirt, drawing displeasure of the judge who observed that "minimum court etiquette" should be followed given the public nature of hearings. The apex court had observed that lawyers appearing in matters via video-conferencing should be "presentable" and avoid showing images which are not appropriate.
12:21   BJP MP slams 'confused' Rahul on farm laws
When offence is the best form of defence for the BJP: Attacking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari has termed him as the most "confused leader" and said he has no knowledge about the farm laws passed by the Centre. He also accused the Congress and other opposition parties of provoking farmers against the new agri-marketing laws.

"Rahul Gandhi is the most confused leader in the world. He does not know about farm laws passed recently. Thefarm laws that Parliament has passed recently have been accepted by all the states of the country except the Congress government of Punjab," Tiwari, who was in Sultanpur for a wedding ceremony on Monday evening, told reporters. 

Gandhi has been attacking the government over the new agri-marketing laws and urged it to hold talks with farmers protesting on the borders of the national capital. When asked about farmers' concern about the agriculture laws, Tiwari said the BJP and the central government are ready to listen to everyone. Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Home Minister Amit Shah want to hold talks with farmers, he said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to double the income of farmers and strengthen them financially. The government is giving the minimum support price of paddy to farmers by removing the middlemen," he added.

The Centre has invited agitating farmer unions for talks on Tuesday. The stir by farmers appeared to intensify despite a strong defence of the legislation by the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has accused the opposition of playing tricks on farmers again through misinformation. -- PTI
12:06   Will have a role to play in 2021 TN polls: Azhagiri
MK Azhagiri, former Union minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's son who was exiled from the party, today announced that he will have a role to play in the 2021 Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

Asked by media-persons in Madurai, Azhagiri said he will discuss the future course of action with his supporters and take a suitable decision.

"You will know about a new political party as we go along," he said.

He also dismissed as "rumours' reports of his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Incidentally, the DMK is firmly in the grip of his younger brother, MK Stalin, who Karunanidhi had chosen as his political heir.
11:58   Sneeze will travel 25 ft, with a mask up to 3 ft
Tired of sitting home and waiting for the pandemic to end, you spent your weekend eating out at a buffet in a restaurant? Be cautious and remember, the pandemic has not ended and we need to persist with the mask and distancing measures till we get vaccinated. 

Highlighting the importance of distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19, a new study at IIT Bhubaneswar has found that small droplets released during a sneeze can travel up to 25 feet without protective measures like a face mask and tiny particles can also escape through such gears. The study said protective measures like face mask and face shield effectively reduce the leakage and reach of the sneeze within 1ft3ft. However, they do not completely stop the leakage of smaller droplets, it said.

Hence social distancing is equally important. The study recommends using the elbow or hand to prevent droplets leakage even after wearing a mask during coughing and sneezing, IIT Bhubaneswar said in a statement.

Noting that controlling the virus from spreading has been a major challenge, it said the study was conducted on the efficacy of various non-standard and standard face masks under the act of sneezing. 

The study, conducted by Dr Venugopal Arumuru, Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Science (SMS), and his team, confirmed that without protectives measures like a face mask, the smaller droplets expelled during a sneeze can travel up to 25ft in a stagnant environment. It confirms and also recommends a social distancing of 6ft from all orientations to prevent transmission of COVID- 19. 

"In the COVID-19 scenario, the present study will improve the understanding of smaller droplets/particles dynamics in turbulent flows, which causes transmission of the virus. These visualisation results will bring awareness to wear a mask and maintain social distancing for the general public," it said.
11:52   China refuses to apologise for posting doctored image of Australian soldier
China has refused to apologise for a controversial doctored image depicting an Australian soldier cutting the throat of an Afghan child and said Canberra should be ashamed rather demanding an apology.

The Chinese foreign ministry reaction comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed the Chinese government for the 'outrageous and disgusting slur' and sought an apology.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying on Monday said that rather demand an apology for the post, Australia should be "ashamed", Al Jazeera reported.

"The Australian side has been reacting so strongly to my colleague's tweet. Why is that? Do they think that their merciless killing of Afghan civilians is justified but the condemnation of such ruthless brutality is not? Afghan lives matter!" she said.

"Shouldn't the Australian government feel ashamed that some of its soldiers on official duty in Afghanistan committed such cruelties?" she added.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said her govt had conveyed its concern about the post to Beijing."New Zealand has registered directly with Chinese authorities our concern over the use of that image," Arden told reporters on Tuesday.

"It was an unfactual post, and of course that would concern us. So that is something we have raised directly in the manner that New Zealand does when we have such concerns."
11:40   Farmers' protest: Shah, Tomar, Nadda meet Rajnath
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar arrive at the residence of BJP President JP Nadda, to hold a meeting over the farmers' protest. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also arrived.

This is the second meeting between the top BJP leaders in less than 48 hours amid massive protests against contentious farm laws in and around Delhi.

The Centre has called farmers for talks today, three days ahead of the scheduled date of December 3, as hundreds of farmers trickled in from Punjab at two borders of Delhi.

Making the announcement, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar cited cold and coronavirus. There was no precondition to the talks which are expected to be held at 3 pm today.

The protesters have threatened to block five entry points to Delhi. Earlier on Monday, Union minister Amit Shah met Tomar -- the second meet within 24 hours -- after protesting farmers rejected the proposal of early talks that hinged on them shifting their protest venue. 
11:18   Mega traffic jam as farmers' protest enters day 6
Serpentine queues of vehicles clogged the roads in parts of the national capital on Tuesday as the Delhi Police kept the Singhu and Tikri borders with Haryana closed for traffic and heightened checking at other places in view of the ongoing farmers' protest. The closure of borders has also resulted in heavy traffic on other alternate routes between Delhi and Haryana. 

"Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternate route. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from Signature Bridge to Rohini & vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 & Singhu border," the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted. 

"Tikri border is closed for any Traffic Movement. Badusarai and Jhatikara borders are open only for two wheeler traffic. Available open Borders to Haryana are Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera," it said in another tweet.

More protesters converged near the borders of the national capital as the stir by farmers against the agri laws appeared to intensify, prompting the Delhi Police to enhance security and place concrete barriers at all entry points from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. 

The farmers, who on Sunday had announced that they would block five points of entry into Delhi in coming days while rejecting the Centre's offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, said they have come for a decisive battle and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to their "mann ki baat". 

Peaceful protests were underway at both the Singhu and Tikri borders, where farmers had gathered from Punjab and Haryana, for the sixth day. The numbers of farmers at the Ghazipur border swelled, with more joining them from Uttar Pradesh. PTI
11:01   Shed arrogance, give justice to farmers: Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday asked the government to wake up and shed "arrogance" to provide protesting farmers their rights. Farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are holding protests at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre's new agri-marketing laws. 

Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said everyone was indebted to the farmers for their hard work and this debt would be repaid only by giving them justice. "The food grower is sitting in protest on the roads and fields and speeches are being given on TV. We all are indebted to the hard work of farmers. This debt will be over only by giving them justice and their rights, and not by mistreating them or by beating them with batons or using tear gas against them," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

"Wake up and come down from the chair of arrogance and think of giving the farmers their rights," he also said. The Centre has invited agitating farmer unions for talks on Tuesday. The stir by farmers appeared to intensify despite a strong defence of the legislation by the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has accused the opposition of playing tricks on farmers again through misinformation. -- PTI
10:13   Shehla Rashid's father alleges threat from her
Abdul Rashid Shora, the father of ex-JNU students union leader Shehla Rashid Shora, has alleged that he is facing a threat of life from his daughter.

In a letter to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP, Abdul Rashid Shora said, "I am under a constant threat of life from my daughter Shehla Rashid Shora who is supported by the elder daughter namely Asma Rashid and my wife namely Zubaida Shora as well as her security guard namely Sakib Ahmad. This threat perception started in 2017 when Shehla jumped all of a sudden into Kashmir politics."

"Just two months before the arrest of Zahoor Vatali in terror funding case under UAPA, I was called by Vatali and former MLA Rasheed Engineer at Vatali's residence in Srinagar in June 2017. They offered me Rs 3 crores for Shehla to join these notorious people," he claimed.

Abdul Rashid further said that he asked his daughter not to take this money because it is coming from illegal channels and shall be used for unlawful activities.

"I found that they had become part of this deal later," he added.

Abdul Rashid Shora further said that his daughter later told him that the money has been received by her and threatened him not to disclose anything about this transaction to anybody as it can put his life in danger.

He alleged that anti-national activities were going on at his house and his daughter tried to throw him out of his house.

He further requested the DGP to provide him with security.

Meanwhile, Shehla Rashid called her father's allegation a stunt and called him a "wife-beater and an abusive, depraved man".

-- ANI
10:03   Joe Biden gets access to President's Daily Brief
Joe Biden got his first look as president-elect at the President's Daily Brief, a top secret summary of US intelligence and world events - a document former first lady Michelle Obama has called "The Death, Destruction, and Horrible Things Book."

09:40   India's Covid tally rises by 31,118 cases
With 31,118 new COVID-19 infections, India's total cases has risen to 94,62,810.

With 482 new deaths, toll mounts to 1,37,621. Total active cases at 4,35,603.

Total discharged cases at 88,89,585 with 41,985 new discharges in last 24 hours.
09:19   Tahawwur Rana wanted medal for 26/11 attack: US
The US government has told a federal court that Tahawwur Rana, who has been declared a fugitive by India, not only wanted a "top class" medal for his role in the Mumbai terror attacks, but also demanded the nine LeT attackers who were killed in the carnage be given Pakistan's highest military honour.

The 59-year-old Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Rana, a childhood friend of David Coleman Headley, was re-arrested on June 10 in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed.

US District Court Judge in Los Angeles Jacqueline Chelonian said in her order on November 13 that the extradition hearing in this case is scheduled for February 12, 2021, at 10:00 am.

US attorney Nicola T Hanna in his submission before the court in Los Angeles in support of Rana's extradition to India said that Rana, Headley, LeT members, and the other co-conspirators'' plans came to fruition between November 26 and 29, 2008, when ten members of LeT carried out a series of twelve coordinated shooting and bombing attacks.

Indian law enforcement apprehended one of the terrorists, who ultimately stood trial, Hanna said.

Headley discussed the Mumbai attacks with Rana in the months following the attacks, he said.

Headley was arrested on October 3, 2009, in Chicago. Six months later, Headley pleaded guilty to 12 charges relating to his activities on behalf of LeT and agreed to cooperate with the United States. The Illinois Court ultimately sentenced Headley to a 35-year term of imprisonment.

-- PTI
08:41   Voting underway in 2nd phase of DDC polls in JK
Polling got underway Tuesday morning in the second phase of District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir amid chilly conditions and tight security arrangements, officials said here. 
"Polling began at 7.00 am. Initial reports suggest that only a few people have so far turned out at polling stations due to early morning winter chill," an official said. 

He said the pace of voting is expected to pick up as the day progresses and temperature rises.  

As many as 321 candidates are in the fray in the second phase of the DDC polls and voting is taking place at 2,142 polling booths. As many as 7.90 lakh voters are eligible to vote in this phase of elections.

Out of the 280 constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, 43 are going to polls in the union territory in the second phase -- 25 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu division.

Election is also being held in 83 sarpanch constituencies for which a total of 223 candidates are contesting in the phase two.

Also, by-polls are being held in 331 panch constituencies. Over 700 candidates are in the fray for these seats.
-- PTI
08:13   Govt to hold talks with protesting farmers today
The Union government has invited farmers representatives for the next round of discussions on Tuesday, as farmers protesting a set of laws enacted recently to liberalise the farm sector intensified their agitation.

The next round of talks was originally scheduled for December 3. The decision to advance the talks came after home minister Amit Shah and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar met twice in a span of 24 hours on Monday to discuss course of action.

Thousands of farmers, who are marching from various states toward the national capital to protest against new farm legislation they say will hurt their interests, appeared to harden their stand. They threatened to block all entry points to New Delhi, demanding a repeal of three farm laws.

On November 13, during our last meeting, we decided to conduct next round of talks on December 3. However, farmers have continued their protests and with the Covid situation and the cold wave, we decided that we needed to talk before December 3, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters after sending the invitation late on Monday evening.

The discussions will be held at the capitals Vigyan Bhawan at 3 pm. The agriculture ministry has prepared a fresh set of presentations and videos on the farm reforms, an official said. The government is expected to have a few economists from the Niti Aayog to join the discussions.
01:55   FIR over clash between farmers, security forces
The Delhi Police has registered a first information report against unidentified people in connection with a clash between farmers and security personnel at the Singhu border last week, officials said on Monday.

The FIR has been registered at Alipur police station, they added.

On Friday, in view of the protests organised by different farmer unions against the recently passed three agricultural laws, security personnel were deployed at Singhu border to maintain law and order, police said.

Around 12.15 pm, the protesters turned violent and tried to enter Delhi in large numbers.

Necessary minimum force was used to prevent them from entering the national capital, as a large public gathering is prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior police officer said.

"Four police personnel got injured while controlling violent protesters. Two government vehicles and one private bus also got damaged during the incident.

"A case for damaging public property and under the Pandemic Act and Unlawful Assembly etc has been registered. Damaged vehicles have been seized and investigation is being carried out," the officer said.

On Friday, hundreds of farmers had reached the Singhu border here to protest against the Centre's new farm laws.

The day had witnessed police using teargas shells, water cannons and erecting multi-layer barriers to block the protesters and the farmers pelting stones and breaking barricades in their determination to push through as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march.   -- PTI
00:32   Govt invites farmers for talks today
Amid ongoing protests by farmers against the new farm laws, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday invited leaders of the farmer unions for talks on December 1.

The meeting will be held at 3 pm at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, the minister said.

"On November 13 we decided to conduct next round of talks on December 3 but Farmers continued their protest and with the Covid situation and with winters we decided that we needed to talk before December 3 and resolve the situation. That is why on December 1 at 3 pm in Vigyan Bhawan all Kisan Unions are invited who were present in the first round of meeting," Tomar told ANI here.

Tomar said that farmers were under some misunderstanding regarding the newly enacted farm laws and the government is committed to have talks with the kisan unions who were present in first round of meeting with the government.

"Under Modiji's leadership, in the last six years, for farmer income increase many historic work was done. When the new farm amendment laws came, farmers had some myths in their mind. We conducted two sessions of meeting with Kisan Unions, the first on October 14 at at the Secretary level and on November 13, I was there with Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash and spoke to Kisan Unions," Tomar added.

The farmers had rejected the Centre's 'conditional' offer to hold talks, saying that they will not accept any conditional dialogue and threatened to block entry points to the national capital.

Farmers from different states have gathered at north Delhi's Burari ground while others are camping at the borders to the national capital.

The agriculture minister also requested the farmers to leave the agitation and come for the talks. -- Sahil Pandey/ANI