Thu, 09 January 2020
British MPs approve Brexit deal

Timeline  Refresh

23:44   British MPs approve Brexit deal
Britain's House of Commons on Thursday ratified Prime Minister Boris Johnson's withdrawal agreement by 330 votes to 231, clearing the way for Brexit to happen after years of delay on January 31.

The bill was approved after three days of debate that brought none of the frayed tempers, late-night sessions and knife-edge votes that marked previous rounds of Brexit wrangling over the past year.
23:28   Iran 'accidentally' shot down Ukraine plane: US
US officials believe that a Ukraine airliner that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 people aboard, was most likely brought down accidentally by Iranian air defenses

United States President Donald Trump also said that he had "suspicions" about the crash as US media reported it had been mistakenly shot down by Iran.
"I have my suspicions," Trump said. 
"It was flying in a pretty rough neighbourhood and somebody could have made a mistake." 

Trump's remarks came as Newsweek, CBS and CNN reported that the plane had been accidentally shot down by Iranian air defense systems.
23:01   Our MPs should also be allowed to visit JK: AAP
In the backdrop of a foreign envoys' visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh on Thursday said Indian MPs, who wished to visit the region, should also be allowed to go there.
The envoys of 15 countries, including United States Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, the first by diplomats since August last year, when the erstwhile state's special status was revoked and it was split into two Union territories.
Singh said Indian MPs, who wished to visit Kashmir, should also be allowed to go there. -- PTI  
22:30   SSP Noida who alleged corruption in police force suspended
Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday suspended Noida police chief Vaibhav Krishna, who is in the middle of a row over an objectionable video and a leaked letter alleging corruption in the force.
A senior UP government official confirmed the suspension of Gautam Buddh Nagar's senior superintendent of police, days after state police chief O P Singh said a probe into the matter was on.
The clip showing Krishna having a video chat with an unidentified woman surfaced on January 1. The IPS officer had claimed that it was a morphed video aimed at maligning his image.
A letter sent by him to the state government, alleging corruption in postings and transfers, had also surfaced.
The DGP had also sought an explanation from Krishna on the leaking of the confidential letter. -- PTI
22:12   Didn't meet Raj, no alliance with MNS: Fadnavis
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday denied meeting Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, and said there was no plan to join hands with him as of now.
His party and the MNS did not have any ideological affinity, Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, said.
Speaking at a function in Mumbai, he said, "I did not meet MNS chief Raj Thackeray and there is no plan to join hands with him as of now.
"They follow an ideology which is different from ours. If they consider expanding their outlook towards various issues, we may join them," the former chief minister said.
"The BJP, as a national party, is in favour of working with various (regional) organisations. We will think about them in future," he added.
A section of media had claimed that Fadnavis met Raj Thackeray recently and the two discussed a possible tie-up to take on the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in the state.

Raj Thackeray had campaigned vigorously against the BJP during the Lok Sabha as well as the assembly elections. -- PTI
22:03   Maharashtra DIG facing molestation charge suspended
Absconding Maharashtra DIG Nishikant More, who has been accused of molesting a minor girl, was suspended by the state government on Thursday.
This information was given by home minister Anil Deshmukh.
The action against More, who was serving as Deputy Inspector General (Motor Vehicles), comes two weeks after a case of molestation was registered against him by the Taloja police in adjoining Navi Mumbai.
Deshmukh said the decision has been taken based on the report submitted by the state DGP recommending disciplinary action against the senior IPS officer, who is now absconding.
According to the Navi Mumbai police police, the alleged molestation took place at the birthday party of the 17-year-old girl at her home in Taloja in June 2019.
However, the case against the IPS officer was registered only on December 26.
According to the complaint registered by the girl's family, the police officer and the victim's fathers were friends. -- PTI  
21:47   At 5,433, MP tops in number of rape cases for 3rd year in row
Madhya Pradesh continued to hold on to the dubious distinction of having the highest number of rape cases registered in the country for the third consecutive year in 2018.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau report released on Wednesday, the state accounted for a little over 16 per cent of the country's total 33,356 rape cases registered in 2018.
According to the report, as many as 5,433 rape cases, including 54 involving victims below six years of age, were reported in Madhya Pradesh in 2018. 
In 2016 and 2017 also, the state had topped the chart in terms of the number of rape cases.
But the number of rape cases registered in 2018 is smaller as compared to 2017, when 5,562 cases were reported in the state, the report by the NCRB, a government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data, has revealed.
However, the number of rape cases in the state has gone up in 2018 as compared to 2016, when 4,882 cases were reported, it said. 
Besides, 2,841 cases of rape involving victims below 18 years of age were reported in 2018 in the state. Of these, in 54 cases, the victims were below six years of age, while 142 victims were in the age group of 6 to 12 years. 
The data also said that in 1,143 cases in the state in 2018, the victims were in the age group of 12 to 16, while in 1,502 cases they were between 16 and 18 years of age.

In 2016, in 2,479 rape cases the victims below 18 years of age in Madhya Pradesh. They included 39 girls below six years of age. -- PTI
21:31   Census exercise will seek info on toilets, TV
Enumerators of the census will seek the mobile number of the head of the family, information related to toilets, TV, Internet, vehicles owned, source of drinking water besides asking other questions during the house listing phase of the exercise beginning April 1.
In a notification, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner said the census officers have been directed to ask as many as 31 questions to collect information from every household during the houselisting and housing census exercise scheduled from April 1 to September 30.
The notification, however, made it clear that the mobile number will be sought only for census-related communications and not for any other purpose.
The other information that will be sought from every household is: whether the family owns a telephone, mobile phone, smartphone, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, moped, car or jeep or van, radio or transistor, television, laptop or computer or has access to the internet.
Information will be sought on building number (municipal or local authority or census number), census house number, predominant material of the floor, wall and roof of the census house, use of census house, condition of the census house, household number, total number of persons normally residing in the household, name of the head of the household and the person's sex.
The numerators will ask whether the head of the household belongs to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe or Other category, ownership status of the census house, number of dwelling rooms exclusively in possession of the household, number of married couple(s) living in the household, main source of drinking water, availability of drinking water source and main cereal consumed in the household.
Questions related to main source of lighting, whether the family has access to a toilet, the type of toilet, waste water outlet, availability of bathing facility, availability of kitchen and LPG/PNG connection and main fuel used for cooking will also be asked by the enumerators, the notification said.
The 2021 census will be conducted through a mobile phone application, moving away from the traditional pen and paper.
The census will have its reference date as March 1, 2021, but for snow-bound Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand it will be October 1, 2020. -- PTI
21:26   Actors in habit of creating controversies before film release: Sarma
Taking a dig at Deepika Padukone over her participation in Jawaharlal Nehru University vigil, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said actors were in the habit of visiting disturbed areas to create controversies and get free publicity before the release of their films.
Sarma, who is also the North-East Democratic Alliance convener and an influential leader in the region, joined a section of BJP leaders to claim that Padukone had visited the Delhi varsity to publicise her latest outing , based on the life of acid-attack victim Laxmi Agarwal.
"I think she had gone to JNU to grab limelight without investment.... Film stars are in the habit of going to disturbed areas and creating controversies before the release of their films. These are the kind of publicity campaigns
(they resort to) when their movie is about to be released," Sarma said.
The 34-year-old actor had on Tuesday visited the JNU to express solidarity with the students who were attacked by a masked mob.
She, however, did not address the crowd.
Her visit polarized opinion on social media, where trends ranged from #ISupportDeepika to #BoycottChhapaak. -- PTI
21:02   India doesn't need NPR, CAA: Retired bureaucrats
Citing grave reservations about the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, as many as 106 retired bureaucrats on Thursday wrote an open letter to people saying both the National Population Register and the National Register of Indian Citizens were "unnecessary and wasteful exercises", which will cause hardships to the public.
The former bureaucrats, including former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, the then cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar and former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah urged fellow citizens to insist the Union government to repeal relevant sections of Citizenship Act, 1955, pertaining to the issue of national identity cards.
"We have our grave reservations about the Constitutional validity of the CAA provisions, which we also consider to be morally indefensible. We would like to emphasise that a statute that consciously excludes the Muslim religion from its purview is bound to give rise to apprehensions in what is a very large segment of India's population," said the letter, titled "India does not need the CAA-NPR-NRIC".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement at a public meeting in Delhi on December 22 that the CAA and the National Register of Indian Citizens are not linked contradicts the averments of his home minister (Amit Shah) on repeated occasions in various fora, it said. 
"At a time when the economic situation in the country warrants the closest attention of the government, India can ill afford a situation where the citizenry and the government enter into confrontation on the roads," said the letter.
"Nor is it desirable to have a situation where the majority of State Governments are not inclined to implement the NPR/NRIC, leading to an impasse in centre-state relations, so crucial in a federal set up like India," it added.
Above all, it said, "We see a situation developing where India is in danger of losing international goodwill and alienating its immediate neighbours, with adverse consequences for the security set-up in the sub-continent".
The retired bureaucrats said there was no need for the NPR and the National Register of Indian Citizens.
"Our group of former civil servants, with many years of service in the public sphere, is firmly of the view that both the NPR and the NRIC are unnecessary and wasteful exercises, which will cause hardship to the public at large and will also entail public expenditure that is better spent on schemes benefiting the poor and disadvantaged sections of society," the letter said. 
They also constitute an invasion of the citizens' right to privacy, since a lot of information, including Aadhaar, mobile numbers and voter IDs will be listed in a document, with scope for misuse, it said.
"We are apprehensive that the vast powers to include or exclude a person from the Local Register of Indian Citizens that is going to be vested in the bureaucracy at a fairly junior level has the scope to be employed in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner, subject to local pressures and to meet specific political objectives, not to mention the unbridled scope for large-scale corruption," said the letter. -- PTI
20:31   Next time invite FM: Cong mocks PM's budget meet
The Congress on Thursday took a swipe at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her absence at a pre-budget meeting with economists and experts at the Niti Aayog in New Delhi which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Here's a suggestion, next budget meeting, consider inviting the Finance Minister," the Congress said on its official Twitter handle, using the hashtag "FindingNirmala".
"How many men does it take to do a woman's job," the opposition party said in another tweet, using the same hashtag.
Incidently, while Nirmala Sitharaman was absent, commerce minister Piyush Goyal, transport minister Nitin Gadkari and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar were present at the PM's pre-budget meeting.
The Congress tagged a tweet of the BJP that said the finance ministry has invited suggestions for the Union Budget 2020-21.
"Citizens from all walks of life are welcome to be a part of this exercise," the tweet on the BJP twitter handle said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was not present as the Prime Minister met economists, private equity and venture capitalists, business leaders and agri experts at Niti Aayog and called for focussed efforts from all stakeholders to achieve the target of nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion by 2024.
BJP sources said Sitharaman was holding pre-budget meetings with party workers at the BJP headquarters at that time. 

Later, Sitharaman's office clarified that the FM had already met the industrialists, experts, and economists during the pre-budget consultations. 

"Sir, the minister has already met industrialists, experts, and economists during the pre-budget consultations," Sitharaman's office tweeted while replying to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's tweet which said," Where is the Finance Minister? Or has the Duo forgotten they have one?" 

Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses for a group photograph with economists and experts, at NITI Aayog, in New Delhi on January 9, 2020. Photograph: PIB/PTI Photo.
20:08   Tax Dept allows joint property owners to file returns using simple forms
Rolling back its week old order, the income tax department on Thursday allowed joint owners of single house property to file income tax return using simple Form-1 (Sahaj) or Form-4 (Sugam).
On January 3, it had debarred individual taxpayers owning house property in joint ownership and those who paid Rs 1 lakh in electricity bills in a year or incurred Rs 2 lakh expense on foreign travel from filing their annual income return using the simple return forms.
"After the notification, concerns have been raised that the changes are likely to cause hardship in the case of individual taxpayers," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement.
The department said the issue was examined and "it has been decided to allow a person, who jointly owns a single house property, to file his/her return of income in ITR-1 or ITR-4 Form, as may be applicable, if he/she meets the other conditions".
"It has also been decided to allow a person, who is required to file return due to fulfilment of one or more conditions specified in the seventh proviso to section 139 (1) of the Act, to file his/her return in ITR-1 Form," it added. -- PTI 
20:06   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to visit India next week
Amazon founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos will be visiting India next week and is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and officials, besides industry leaders, according to sources.
The top executive will also attend SMBhav -- an event focussing on small and medium businesses in India -- that is slated for January 15-16 in the capital city.
When contacted, Amazon declined to comment.
Amazon, which has seen significant growth in its business in India, has also witnessed protest from a section of traders in the country who claim that e-commerce giants including Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart offer deep discounts and engage in unfair business practices.
Last year, the government had tightened rules for e-commerce marketplaces with foreign investment. These rules barred such platforms from offering products of sellers in which they hold a stake and banned exclusive marketing arrangements among other clauses. Following this, Amazon restructured its joint ventures to ensure compliance.
Bezos is likely to discuss regulatory issues in his meeting with the  government officials.
He is also slated to engage with SMBs during the SMBhav event. 

The event -- which will focus on discussions around how technology adoption can enable SMBs in India -- is slated to see participation from industry experts, policy makers, solution providers and Amazon leadership. -- PTI 
20:04   Murli Manohar Joshi seeks JNU VC's ouster
Former HRD minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Thursday called for the removal of Jawaharlal Nehru University vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, saying it is "shocking" that he is adamant on not implementing a government proposal to resolve fee-hike crisis in the university.
"Reports are that the HRD ministry had twice advised the JNU VC to implement certain reasonable and working formula for resolving the issue of enhanced fees in JNU. He was also advised to reach out to teachers and students.
"It is shocking that the VC is adamant on not implementing the government proposal. This attitude is deplorable and in my opinion such a VC should not be allowed to continue on this post," Joshi tweeted.
Joshi's comments add to the growing clamour for Kumar's removal.
Hundreds of demonstrators, including students and members of civil society organisations, hit the streets on Thursday protesting the recent violence at JNU and demanding resignation of the varsity vice-chancellor. 
The HRD ministry, however, ruled out his removal saying sacking him is not the solution but addressing the core issues on campus. -- PTI
19:37   Delhi court grants bail to 15 people arrested in connection with Daryaganj violence
A Delhi court Thursday granted bail to 15 people arrested for allegedly perpetrating violence during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest in the Daryaganj in New Delhi last month.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau granted the relief to the 15 protesters who were arrested after violence broke out in Daryaganj on December 20 during a demonstration against the recent changes in the citizenship law.
The demonstration turned violent when a group of protesters resorted to stone-pelting after the police tried to evict them from the area. -- PTI
19:26   Centre withdraws VIP security cover of OPS, Stalin
The Union government has removed the central security cover of Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M K Stalin, officials said on Thursday.
They said while Paneerselvam had a smaller 'Y+' cover of central paramilitary commandos, Stalin had a larger 'Z+' protection.
The security cover of these two politicians has been taken off from the central security list after a threat assessment review was made by central security agencies and approved by the Union home ministry, they said.
Central Reserve Police Force commandos were protecting these two leaders of Tamil Nadu.
However, they said, the central security cover will be formally taken off after the state police takes over their security task, they added. -- PTI
19:15   SC verdict tomorrow on pleas against curbs in JK
The Supreme Court is scheduled to deliver on Friday its verdict on a batch of pleas including that of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad challenging the restrictions imposed in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir following abrogation of provisions of Article 370.
A bench of Justice N V Ramana, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice B R Gavai had reserved the judgement on November 27 last year.
On November 21, the Centre had justified restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 and said that due to the preventive steps taken, neither a single life was lost nor a single bullet fired.
Besides Azad, the apex court had heard the petitions filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, and few intervenors questioning restrictions in the valley.
The Centre had referred to terror violence in the Kashmir Valley and said that for the past so many years terrorists were being pushed through from across the border, local militants and separatist organisation had held the civilians captive in the region and it would have been "foolish" if the government would not have taken preventive steps to secure the lives of citizens.
Provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of J&K, were abrogated by the Centre on August 5 last year. -- PTI  
18:51   No compromise over removal of VC: JNUSU prez
Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh on Thursday said the students and faculty will not relent till vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar is sacked. 
She made the comments after meeting HRD officials. 
Ghosh said they appealed to HRD ministry to remove the VC, which in turn said a dialogue will be held on Friday. 
"We will not compromise with HRD ministry over the removal of the VC. It is still thinking whether the VC should be removed," he said. 
18:27   JNU students stopped enroute Rashtrapati Bhavan
Jawaharlal Nehru University students tried to march towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday protesting the violence on university campus, but were stopped by police.
The police appealed to students to maintain peace and end their protest.
17:44   Kejriwal defends Delhi police over JNU violence
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday defended Delhi Police's actions during the recent incident of violence in the Jawaharlal Nehru University while slamming the role of the Centre.

Kejriwal during a press conference said, "Whatever the series of incidents are happening there is no fault of the Delhi Police. What can the Delhi Police do? If they get orders from the top not to stop the violence or to maintain law and order, what can they do? If they don't follow orders they will be suspended."

Delhi Police had faced criticism for not taking action in the JNU incident of violence on January 5.

On January 5, more than 30 students of the university, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, were injured and taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre after a masked mob entered the varsity and attacked them and professors with sticks and rods.

The JNU administration and politicians, cutting across party lines, condemned the attack on students and urged the police to take strict action against the perpetrators. -- ANI
17:42   Cong promises 'pucca' houses to shanty dwellers
The Delhi Congress on Thursday said it will provide "pucca" houses to the residents of slum areas across the national capital if the party is voted to power in the upcoming Assembly elections. Talking to reporters, Delhi Congress president Subhash Chopra said the party will implement the "Kalkaji Model" under which "swanky flats" with modern facilities were constructed in the area for the dwellers of 'jhuggi-jhopri' (JJ) cluster under in-situ rehabilitation policy. Chopra said it was the Congress government which first introduced the in-situ policy. He alleged that although flats were constructed in Kalkaji, the AAP government failed to allot them. 

The Congress will provide "pucca" houses to the residents of JJ Clusters across the city after coming to power, Chopra said. Delhi assembly elections will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11. -- PTI 
17:13   Maharashtra leads in suicides: Report
At least 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the total number of suicides in the country which was 1,34,516, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). 

The 2018 figure is less in comparison to 2016 when 11,379 farmers committed suicide, according to the agency which is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data.

Many states and union territories have reported nil data on suicides by farmers, cultivators and farm labourers. "West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides of farmers/cultivators as well as agricultural labourers," the NCRB report said. 

The data of 2017 was not made public by the NCRB in its report released on Wednesday. According to the report, a vast majority of farmers who committed suicide were men. 

"A total of 10,349 persons involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,763 farmers/cultivators and 4,586 agricultural labourers) have committed suicides during 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of total suicides in the country," the report said.

"Out of 5,763 farmer/cultivator suicides, a total of 5,457 were male and 306 were female during 2018. Out of 4,586 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2018, 4,071 were male and 515 were female," it said. Overall, a total of 1,34,516 suicides were reported in the country in 2018, showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in comparison to 2017 when 1,29,887 people ended their lives, the report said.

Majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775) and Karnataka (11,561), accounting for 13.4, 10.3, 9.9, 8.8 and 8.6 per cent respectively, it said. " -- PTI
17:00   Criticism of envoys' visit to J-K unfounded: MEA
The external affairs ministry on Thursday said the objective of the visit by foreign envoys to Jammu and Kashmir was for them to see first hand efforts to normalise the situation there and termed the criticism that it was a guided tour unfounded.
Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said a similar visit to Kashmir can be organised in future including by European Union envoys.
The team of 15 envoys which included the US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster arrived in Srinagar on Thursday on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the first visit by diplomats since August last year when the state's special status was revoked and it was downsized to a union territory.
Kumar said that the visit was facilitated by the government and the envoys met security officials, political leaders, civil society groups and media.
The objective of the visit is to see first hand efforts to normalise the situation in Kashmir, he said.
The visit to J&K was organised considering prevailing situation, he said.
Asked about political leaders who met the group, Kumar said the visit by the envoys to Kashmir is not yet over.
The EU envoys wanted to visit Kashmir in a group and the government did not extend invite to all, he said.
The criticism that this is a guided tour is unfounded, he said. -- PTI 
16:55   Deepika's 'Chhapaak' declared tax-free in MP and Chhattisgarh
The Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments on Thursday declared Deepika Padukone-starrer film Chhapaak as tax free in the state.
"Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has declared Bollywood movie Chhapaak tax free in the state," a statement by the public relations department said.
The film, based on the story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, is scheduled to be released on Friday.
Baghel in a tweet appealed to people to watch the movie along with their families.
"The state government has decided to make Hindi film Chhapaak tax free in Chhattisgarh. The film spreads awareness among people against heinous crime like acid attack on women in society. You all should go to watch the movie along with your families and become aware, as well as spread the awareness," the Congress leader tweeted.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath also declared the film tax free in his state, saying it gives a "positive message to the society about acid attack survivors."
Padukone visited the JNU campus in Delhi on Tuesday to express solidarity with students who were attacked by a mob, but did not address the gathering.
After her JNU visit, many appreciated her "silent solidarity", but some others criticised her for "supporting Leftists", saying it was a promotional stunt ahead of her film's release.
"#BoycottChhapaak" was also trending on Twitter, as was "#ISupportDeepika". -- PTI  
16:17   Envoys J-K visit tries to normalise clampdown: PDP
The People's Democratic Party on Thursday said the visit of envoys of various countries to Jammu and Kashmir was an attempt by the government to "normalise its clampdown" in the Valley, daring the Centre to allow the dignitaries to meet the detained political leaders.

"Today that @PMOIndia lets a 2nd batch of envoys to "see" the situation in #Kashmir, it only seems like an attempt to normalize the Govts own clampdown. The dare is on @PMOIndia will they ever let these Foreign Envoys meet political detainees who are jailed since 160 days now?" the PDP said on its official Twitter handle. 

Envoys from 15 countries, including US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster, arrived in Srinagar on Thursday on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the first visit by diplomats since August last year when the state's special status was revoked and it was downsized to a union territory. The envoys, who are here as part of the government's diplomatic outreach to rebut Pakistan's propaganda on the Kashmir issue, met some political leaders, including former PDP leader Syed Altaf Bukhari, soon after their arrival. 

The PDP, commenting on a meeting of breakaway leaders of the party led by Bukhari with Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu earlier this week, said the government "jails those who aided its democracy and strings up puppets who are ready to bargain at the cheapest price". "The government should understand that those who really love Kashmiri soil are not for sale!" it said. PTI

Image: A convoy of envoys from 15 countries arrived in Srinagar. Pic: Umar Ganie
15:26   JNU protest march in Delhi stopped
The Delhi Police has stopped near Shashtri Bhawan the march by students and members of civil society organisations towards the HRD Ministry. Hundreds of demonstrators hit the streets on Thursday protesting the recent violence at JNU and demanding resignation of the varsity vice-chancellor. CPI(M) leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat and LJD leader Sharad Yadav also joined the march. The protesters, carrying placards and banners, started their march from Mandi House towards the HRD Ministry, rending the air with slogans of 'Halla Bol' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'. PTI
15:12   Maha Govt open to reinvestigating Loya case
Maharashtra government is open to reinvestigating the death of special CBI judge B H Loya in 2014, state home minister Anil Deshmukh said here on Thursday. Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case of Gujarat, died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.

"Our government is open to reinvestigating the Loya death case," Deshmukh told reporters. "Some people are meeting me today to demand that the case be reopened. It will be reinvestigated if necessary," Deshmukh said. -- PTI
14:59   BJP supporters on bike rally in Delhi
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari flagged off a mega bike rally from the party office on Thursday against the violence in JNU and "misuse" of youth by opposition political parties to push their agenda. The bike rally was scheduled to pass through Mandi House, Kashmiri Gate and Britannia Chowk. But it was diverted to bypass Mandi House owing to a march by students and teachers in the area, said Delhi BJP media relations head Neelkant Bakshi. BJP MPs Harsh Vardhan, Gautam Gambhir, Parvesh Verma and Meenakshi Lekhi will take part in different legs of the rally. Announcing the rally on Tuesday, Tiwari had said the rally would be against the "misuse" of youth by opposition parties for their political benefits. PTI
14:35   'Society is the criminal'
"A criminal case was registered against him (the attacker) and his apprentice who turned out to be a woman.

He was released within a month. In fact, he had an arranged married and has kids too.I felt angry.

How could that girl's parents marry off their daughter to a criminal like him?

I realised much later how our upbringing is to be blamed for all this. Society is the criminal."

14:24   Chhapaak review
Meghna Gulzar documents Chhapaak's grim reality barefacedly without losing sight of its character's quiet determination to fight the reasons that make such heinous crimes possible in the first place. Read the review here 
14:16   Court orders Chhapaak's filmmaker to recognize acid-victim lawyer's name in movie
A Delhi court on Thursday ordered that the filmmaker of Deepika Padukone-starrer movie 'Chhapaak' should recognize the name of the lawyer in the film who claims to have fought the criminal case for the acid victim on whose life the movie is based.

Lawyer Aparna Bhatt moved the petition before Delhi's Patiala House Court earlier today seeking a stay on the release of the movie, asserting that she was not given due credit in the film.

During the course of the hearing, senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for the petitioner told the court that his client fought Laxmi's case for years and helped during the script-making of the film but was still not given credit. "She does not want any money. All she only wants is credit as promised by the film director," Parikh told the court. -- PTI

He said that Bhatt came to know that her name is not included in the movie on January 7 following which she was promised that the production will take care of her concerns after the movie is released. She was also told that her contribution has been acknowledged in several interviews, the advocate told the court.

"The film-maker acknowledged her but I do not understand why they are hesitating in giving my client any credit," he rued.

The movie, which is slated to be released on January 10, is based on Laxmi's life. In 2005, at the age of 15, she was allegedly attacked by a spurned lover. -- ANI
14:11   Pawar flags off 21-day long anti-CAA yatra
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday flagged off 'Gandhi Shanti Yatra' from the Gateway of India in Mumbai to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The yatra will culminate at the Raj Ghat in New Delhi on January 30, the death anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi. Besides Pawar, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi's Prakash Ambedkar, and other leaders were present at the Gateway of India.

The yatra will reach Rajghat via Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, covering a journey of 3,000 km.

Sinha told media reporters that various organisations including farmers will participate in the yatra.

Pawar said that the yatra is to push for the scrapping of the new Citizenship law.With Mahatma Gandhi's portrait kept in the middle, the protestors raised slogans against the amended law.

Condemning the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University, the leaders demanded a fair investigation into the attack on JNU students and teachers. The CAA grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi refugees who came to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. -- ANI

Image: NCP chief Sharad Pawar with Yashwant Sinha, Prithviraj Chavan and other leaders at Gateway of India today. Pic: Sahil Salvi
13:33   588 roads in Himachal closed after fresh snowfall
Vehicular movement, electricity and water supply were disrupted after fresh snowfall in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday. After fresh snowfall in the state, a total of 588 roads were closed, 2,436 electricity supply lines disrupted and 33 water supply schemes hampered. 

In eight districts of the state snow ranging between one to four feet had accumulated at different locations.In the wake of heavy snowfall, transport services were affected in Manali on Wednesday.District Disaster Management Authority, Kullu, in a statement said: "Due to heavy snowfall here today the transport services have been stopped. The vehicles are not allowed to go beyond the green tax barrier in Manali."

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has directed all the Deputy Commissioners and officers concerned to ensure that all essential services are restored in the areas affected due to snowfall at the earliest. -- ANI

Image: Lady winter covers Shimla in a white embrace. Pic: ANI
13:30   91 women raped every day in 2018: Report
An average of 80 murders, 289 kidnappings and 91 rapes were reported every single day across the country in 2018, according to the latest data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Altogether, 50,74,634 cognizable crimes comprising 31,32,954 Indian Penal Code crimes and 19,41,680 Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes were registered in 2018, up from 50,07,044 in 2017, the data stated.

A cognizable offence or case is defined as the one which an officer incharge of a police station may investigate without the order of a magistrate and effect arrest without warrant.

A total of 29,017 cases of murder were registered during 2018, showing an increase of 1.3 per cent over 2017 (28,653 cases). 'Disputes' (9,623 cases) were the motive in highest number of murder cases during the year followed by 'personal vendetta or enmity' (3,875 cases) and 'gain' (2,995 cases), the data stated. Kidnapping and abduction cases showed a jump of 10.3 per cent in 2018 when 1,05,734 FIRs were registered. In 2017, 95,893 such cases were registered, while the number stood at 88,008 in 2016, the NCRB said.

A total of 1,05,536 (24,665 male and 80,871 female) persons were reported kidnapped or abducted, out of which 63,356 (15,250 male and 48,106 female) were children and 42,180 (9,415 male and 32,765 female) were adult during 2018, the data showed. During 2018, a total of 92,137 kidnapped or abducted persons (22,755 male and 69,382 female) were recovered out of which 91,709 were recovered alive and 428 persons were dead, according to the NCRB. The number of cases registered under the 'crime against women' category in 2018 was 3,78,277, up from 3,59,849 in 2017 and 3,38,954 in 2016. The number of rape cases, as defined in IPC section 376, were 33,356 in 2018.
13:17   Two white tiger cubs born in Odisha zoo
Sneha, the white tigress at the Nandankanan Zoological Park has delivered two cubs in the early hours on Thursday. With this Nandankanan is now home to 27 tigers, which includes 13 regular-striped tigers, 8 white tigers, 4 melanistic and two newborn cubs.

According to the Forest officials, cubs were born at 3.38 am at 5.44 am. Mother and cubs are being monitored through CCTV and she is seen fostering the cubs.

Officials told that Sneha mated with a normal coloured tiger Saif nearly 105 days back. Saif was brought from Hyderabad zoo under the animal exchange Programme for bloodline change. 
13:15   Will boycott oppn meeting by Sonia: Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she will boycott the opposition meeting convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on January 13 to protest the violence unleashed in the state allegedly by Left Front and Congress workers during the trade union strike. 

The 24-hour nationwide strike by central trade unions in West Bengal on Wednesday was marked by incidents of violence and arson, blocking of railway tracks and roads by protestors trying to enforce the shutdown. 

Banerjee said "double standards" of the Left Front and Congress will not be tolerated. "I have decided to boycott the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi on January 13 in New Delhi as I don't support the violence that the Left and Congress unleashed in West Bengal yesterday (Wednesday)," the chief minister said at the state Assembly.

Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of opposition parties, including the Left, to discuss the situation arising out of violence on various university campuses and protests in the country over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. -- PTI
13:08   Army briefs foreign envoys visiting Kashmir
A 15-member delegation of envoys from different countries arrived here on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday to see first hand the efforts being made by the government in the region.

The Delhi-based envoys were briefed by the Indian Army on the security situation, sources said.

This is the first visit by diplomats to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to the region.

Sources had earlier said that the delegation, which includes diplomats from the United States, Maldives, Norway, Argentina, Niger, Togo, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Korea, Peru, Morocco, among others, will meet civil society leaders and will be briefed on the security situation by the Army and intelligence services during the two-day visit.

Last year a delegation comprising members of the European Parliament had visited the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370. -- ANI
12:53   PM meets economists, experts at Niti Aayog
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting economists and experts at the Niti Aayog to discuss the state of economy and steps to be taken to revive growth which is estimated to drop to 5 per cent during the current fiscal. 

Among others, the meeting is being attended by Home Minister Amit Shah and other cabinet ministers, besides Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and other senior officials of the think-tank. Bibek Debroy, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, too is present at the high-level meeting which began Thursday morning. 

The meeting assumes significance as the government is in the process of formulating Budget proposals for 2020-21 the focus of which is likely to be on accelerating economic growth which is estimated to slip to an 11-year low of 5 per cent during 2019-20. 

The Prime Minister on Monday interacted with top business tycoons to discuss the issues facing the economy and measures needed to boost growth and create jobs. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting her second Union Budget on February 1. PTI
12:44   Gangster Ejaz Lakdawala arrested in Mumbai
Fugitive gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, wanted in connection with several cases of extortion, attempt to kill and rioting, has been arrested by Mumbai Police, an official said on Thursday. Lakdawala was apprehended by Mumbai Crime Branch's anti-extortion cell team at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Wednesday, the official said. He once worked for underworld don Dawood Ibrahim before forming his own gang, he said. 

In May 2004, he was arrested by the Canadian Police in Ottawa. A few years back he was believed to be somewhere in North America, although he frequently changed his locations to South East Asia as well. A Red Corner notice had earlier been issued against him. PTI

Representational image
12:39   Find a solution without hurting each other: Sunny Leone on JNU violence
Condemning the violence that erupted in Jawaharlal Nehru University  actor Sunny Leone on Thursday said that the country should find solutions to problems without any violence.

"I think the biggest issue I would like to address is violence. I don't believe in violence. I believe that there might be an answer without violence," Leone told ANI on being asked to react to what happened at the varsity.

"It's not just the victim whose getting hurt but it's also a family who is getting hurt, it's also the idea of young people out there not feeling safe in this world anymore. I beg everybody to please stop the violence and let's figure out a solution without hurting each other," added the 38-year-old actor.

Earlier on Sunday evening, more than 18 students of the university including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh were injured and were taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre after a masked mob entered the varsity and attacked them and professors with sticks and rods.

The JNU administration and leaders, cutting across political lines, have condemned the attack on students and urged the police to take action against the perpetrators. -- ANI
12:10   Justin Bieber diagnosed with Lyme disease
Singer Justin Bieber has revealed he was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease and a "serious case" of chronic mono, something he said, will be explored further in his upcoming docuseries. The singer, who was on a hiatus for five years, confirmed the news on Wednesday on Instagram, where he shared a photo of an article about his health.

Justin, 25, called out trolls for jumping the gun about how he "looks" these days. "While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like sh**, on meth etc. they failed to realise I've been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health," he wrote in the picture's caption.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, which leads to redness on the skin in addition to fever, headache and tiredness. "These things will be explained further in a docu series I'm putting on YouTube shortly... you can learn all that I've been battling and OVERCOMING!!" the singer added. The Grammy winner said though it has been a "rough couple years" but he was getting the right treatment that will help treat "this so far incurable disease". "... And I will be back and better than ever NO CAP," he added.
12:07   Nirbhaya rapist files curative petition with SC
One of the convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case, Vinay Kumar Sharma, filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court on Thursday, days after a Delhi court fixed the date for hanging the four convicts. 

A Delhi Court had issued a death warrant against four convicts on January 7 and they are scheduled to be executed on January 22 at 7 am in the Tihar Jail premises.Besides Vinay, other convicts Pawan, Akshay, and Mukesh Singh are facing the gallows. 

The court after issuing a black warrant in their name gave them two weeks' time to file both the curative and mercy petition.

A curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances. It is decided by the judges in-chamber.

The mercy petition, on the other hand, is filed before the President who has the power to commute it to life imprisonment. -- ANI

Image: Nirbhaya gang rape case convicts, from left, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta . Photograph: PTI Photo
11:56   Govt has put economy in cold storage: Priyanka
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday attacked the Modi government over the recent economic growth estimates, saying the Centre should have given maximum attention to improving economy but the matter has been put in "cold storage" by it. 

Her attack comes after official data showed that India's GDP growth is seen dipping to an 11-year low of 5 per cent in the current fiscal, mainly due to poor showing by manufacturing and construction sectors.

"The BJP government should have paid maximum attention to the economy, but now the matter of improving the economy has been put in cold storage. Estimates of GDP growth show that the situation is not good," Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet.

The biggest impact of this is being borne by trade, the poor, daily wage labourers and employment, the Congress general secretary said. No assuring action is being taken by the government, she said. 

As per the first advance estimates of the national income released by the National Statistical Office, the manufacturing sector output growth will decelerate to 2 per cent in 2019-20, down from 6.9 per cent in the previous financial year. 

The construction sector growth is estimated at 3.2 per cent as against 8.7 per cent in 2018-19, according to government data. -- PTI
11:22   India's growth to recover to 5.8% in FY 20-21: WB
The World Bank has projected India's growth at five per cent in the current financial year 2019-20 which is set to recover to 5.8 per cent in the following fiscal year. In its latest semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank said that weakness in credit from non-bank financial companies is expected to linger.

"In India, where weakness in credit from non-bank financial companies is expected to linger, growth is projected to slow to 5 per cent in the financial year 2019-20, which ends March 31 and recover to 5.8 per cent the following fiscal year."

Globally, the bank projected that economic growth is projected to recover to 2.5 per cent in 2020 from 2.4 per cent in 2019.However, the bank has noted that downside risk persists that might have an impact on the world's growth.

"Nevertheless, downside risks predominate including the possibility of a re-escalation of global trade tensions, sharp downturns in major economies, and financial disruptions in emerging market and developing economies," the report said. -- PTI
11:07   Saamana stands by girl with Free Kashmir poster
Shiv Sena has extended support to Mehak Prabhu, who landed in the eye of a storm for holding up a "Free Kashmir" poster at a protest against JNU violence in Mumbai on Monday. Prabhu said she was upset about the plight of Kashmiris and was protesting in a peaceful manner but the Opposition said it was an act of treason.

In its mouthpiece Saamana, the party said, "Mumbaikar Marathi girl lamented the plight of people of Kashmir in a peaceful manner. However, the Opposition is terming it as an act of treason. There can be no worse example by the Opposition parties."

The editorial further slammed the Opposition for targeting the state government on the matter.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had on Monday launched a scathing attack on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after the 'Free Kashmir' poster was seen during a protest at the Gateway of India.

Fadnavis said that the 'Free Kashmir Anti India campaign' was held two-kilometer away from the Chief Minister's Office. Taking to Twitter, former the Chief Minister tweeted: "Protest is for what exactly? Why slogans of "Free Kashmir"? How can we tolerate such separatist elements in Mumbai? 'Free Kashmir' slogans by Azadi gang at 2km from CMO? Uddhav Ji are you going to tolerate this Free Kashmir Anti India campaign right under your nose??? @OfficeofUT"

10:40   15 envoys from Delhi to visit J-K on Jan 9-10
A group of around 15 foreign envoys based in New Delhi will be taken to Jammu and Kashmir on January 9-10 to see first-hand the efforts being made by the Government in the region, sources said.

The decision was taken after some envoys based in the national capital requested to visit the region."We have been receiving requests from some envoys based in Delhi to undertake a visit Jammu and Kashmir. Our consistent position has been that we may consider the request only after analyzing the security situation and checking the ground situation with J&K administration," sources said.

Sources said that accordingly, a group of around 15 envoys -- from the United States, Maldives, Norway, Argentina, Niger, Togo, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Korea, Peru, Morocco, among others -- who are based in Delhi, are being taken to the Union Territory.

They will meet civil society leaders and will be briefed on the security situation by the Army and intelligence services. -- ANI

Image: Last year a delegation comprising members of the European Parliament had visited the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 
10:30   Man poses as UP minister, stays at Goa guest house
Goa Police have arrested a man for allegedly posing as a minister from Uttar Pradesh by submitting fake documents and staying at a state guest house here for over 10 days. Four of his accomplices, who were staying with him at the state guest house here, have also been arrested, a senior Goa Crime Branch official said on Thursday.

The accused, Sunil Singh, was nabbed after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant alerted the police about him. Singh stayed at the state guest house here for almost 12 days before being caught on Tuesday. He had even sought an appointment with the chief minister, the official said.

"As he had shown his designation as Minister of Cooperation from the Uttar Pradesh government, he was also provided a personal security officer from the Goa Police," the official said. After his behaviour was found to be suspicious, Sawant brought it to the notice of the Goa Police.

"I asked the Crime Branch to arrest the person. He had produced forged letters and e-mails to claim that he was a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government," Sawant told reporters.

The accused also met Goa Cooperation Minister Govind Gawade in the ministerial block here last week and discussed various issues related to the department. When asked about it, Gawade said, "I was told that he was a state guest and a minister in the UP Cabinet. I didn't meet him for much time. He was with me for 10 minutes." Gawade said he also found Singh's behaviour a little suspicious. "So when I went back home, I searched for information on him on the internet but could not find anyone with that name. But I couldn't follow up the matter, as I was busy in other things," the minister said. The Crime Branch official said Singh and his aides allegedly forged official documents of the UP government. 

"We will be seeking help from our UP counterparts in the investigation," he said. The accused also attended a school function in Canacona taluka of South Goa district where he was invited as the chief guest during his stay in the state. BJP leader and Goa's former cooperation minister Prakash Velip was among those present at the function. PTI

Image: The accused, Sunil Singh, was nabbed after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant alerted the police about him.
10:00   Rupee strengthens 22 paise as US, Iran seek to defuse crisis
The Indian rupee advanced 22 paise to 71.48 per US dollar in opening trade on Thursday as global markets stabilised after the US and Iran toned down their war rhetoric. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened strong at 71.44 against the greenback. The domestic unit had settled at 71.70 per dollar on Wednesday. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Washington did not necessarily have to respond to Iranian attacks at American military bases in Iraq. -- PTI
09:59   Union Budget on February 1
The budget session of Parliament will begin on 31 January and continue till 3 April with Nirmala Sitharaman presenting her second union budget as the finance minister on 1 February.

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has recommended holding the Budget Session in two phases with a recess, news agency PTI reported citing sources. The first phase of the session will be from January 31 to February 11 and the second from March 2 to April 3, the report said. The President convenes both Houses of Parliament on the recommendation made by the Union Cabinet.

Image: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget last year. Seen here holding the bahi-khata or ledger which replaced the briefcase.  
09:43   Sensex rebounds after US talks peace with Iran
Equity benchmark BSE Sensex rallied over 500 points in opening session on Thursday as global markets rebounded after the US offered to embrace peace with the Iranian leadership in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East. 

After hitting a peak of 41,318.18, the 30-share BSE index was trading 449.56 points or 1.10 per cent higher at 41,267.30. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 134.05 points or 1.11 per cent to 12,159.40. SBI was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising up to 2.19 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, L&T, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries and HDFC twins. 

On the other hand, TCS was the sole stock trading in the red. In the previous session, Sensex ended 51.73 points, or 0.13 per cent, down at 40,817.74, while Nifty shed 27.60 points, or 0.23 per cent, to finish at 12,025.35. 

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 515.85 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 748.40 crore on Wednesday, data available with stock exchanges showed. 

According to traders, domestic investors turned positive as global equities rebounded after US President Donald Trump offered to embrace peace with Iran. Claiming that no Americans were harmed in the attack by Iran on US bases in Iraq, Trump called on Iran to "work together" to eliminate the Islamic State. In a direct message to the Iranian leaders and the people, Trump said the United States was "ready to embrace peace with all who seek it". -- PTI
09:23   1 dead in Delhi factory fire
A person died in a fire at a printing press in the busy Patparganj Industrial Area early Thursday, a Delhi Fire Service official said.

A call to report the fire was received at 2.38 am after which more than 30 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, he said, adding the fire was brought under control by 8 am.

The cooling process is now underway.

A search is also being done to see anyone is still trapped in the building, the official said.

He said the fire had engulfed the ground, first and second floors of the building, except the basement.  -- PTI
08:32   Sushant Singh, Umar booked for Gateway protest
Actor Sushant Singh, student leader Umar Khalid, human rights lawyer Mihir Desai and a few others are among the protesters named in the first information report for unlawful assembly for the demonstration at the Gatway of India against the Jawaharlal Nehru Universtiy violence, an official said on Wednesday.

The Colaba Police have registered an offence against more than 350 persons for the 34-hour-long protest at the Gateway of India.

Apart from Singh, Khalid and Desai, those booked for unlawful assembly and violation of Mumbai Police Commissioner's prohibitory orders included Tata Institute of Social Sciences professor Meena Gopal, student leaders Shefali Saini, Bilal Khan, Suvarna Sable and Feroz Mithiborwala, he said.

Some of the persons named in the FIR at the Colaba Police Station also fingure in another FIR registered at the Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Marg Police for protesting at Hutatma Chowk, he said.  -- PTI