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Fri, 17 January 2020
Protesters at Shaheen Bagh asked to clear road

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22:12   Protesters at Shaheen Bagh asked to clear road
The Delhi Police on Friday appealed to agitators to unblock the Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch due to which the residents of Delhi and NCR are suffering, officials said.

The protesters, who are opposing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and a proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC), have been siting on protest at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh for over a month.

The road is a key link between Noida and Delhi and has been closed by the Noida Traffic Police in view of the ongoing protests.

"We appeal to agitators at Road No 13-A, Shaheen Bagh to understand the sufferings, the complete highway blockade is causing to the residents of Delhi and NCR, senior citizens, emergency patients and school going children," a police statement said.

The matter had also come up before the high court.

"We again urge protesters to cooperate and clear the road in larger public interest," it stated.  -- PTI
22:06   2 Jallikattu spectators die in TN
A 26-year-old jallikattu spectator was gored to death by a bull outside the sporting arena at Alanganallur near Madurai on Friday, police said.

In what appeared to be a freak mishap, Sridhar sustained grievous injuries after he was attacked by a bull off the exit and bull collection point.

A native of Sholavandhan village near Madurai, he travelled to Alanganallur to witness the sport.

Another onlooker, Chellapandi of Oothupatti village too died and the reason for his death is being ascertained, they said.

A police official told PTI: "Both of them were spectators and they were not on the ground (as contestants) where the the bull-taming sport was held."

Another official said: "It is suspected that Chellapandi might have had some pre-existing health condition. He fell down and sustained injuries. However, whether he was gored by a bull or not is unclear since there was a huge crowd."

Their bodies were moved to the Government Rajaji Hospital, the official said.

The ongoing jallikattu season began on January 15 at Avaniapuram in Madurai district.  -- PTI
21:00   'Was a minor': Nirbhaya convict's plea in SC
One of the death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case moved the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the Delhi high court's order dismissing his claim of being a juvenile at the time of the offence in December 2012.

Convict Pawan Kumar Gupta has challenged the high court's December 19 order by which it had also deprecated the conduct of his advocate for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court.  -- PTI
20:46   Nadda dares Rahul to speak 10 sentences on CAA
Bharatiya Janata Party working president J P Nadda on Friday accused Rahul Gandhi of misleading the country on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and dared the Congress leader to speak 10 sentences on the law.

Speaking at a programme organised by a Buddhist body in support of the CAA, Nadda said it is 'unfortunate' for the country that some people 'exhibit their wisdom' without understanding the issue so as to mislead the masses.

"The Congress is opposing the CAA. I dare Rahul Gandhi to speak 10 sentences on the law. He should tell us in two sentences what is his problem with the CAA... He is leading such a big party and has to decide himself how he has to do it, but he should not mislead the country," the BJP working president said.

The amendments in the citizenship law are meant to give citizenship to members of minority communities who fled Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious persecution and took refuge in India, he said.

Likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had advocated giving citizenship to these persecuted minorities but the Congress does not have any leader now who could understand the issue, Nadda said.

Since coming to power for a second term, the Modi government has in six months resolved issues which had been pending for 70 years, he asserted, adding that opposition parties were left without any issue and had seized on the CAA to mislead the country.

"For the Congress and the Left, their vote bank comes before the country. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country comes first and votes later," he said.

Critics are claiming that crores of people will arrive and settle in India due to this law, but the fact is that it is for those who arrived here by December 31, 2014, he added.

Opposition parties believe in keeping problems unresolved so that they could do politics over it while the Modi government has addressed issues like Article 370, he said.

Minorities were persecuted in Pakistan and Bangladesh and their population, he claimed, fell to three and seven per cent respectively there from 23 per cent in 1947.

Humanity demanded that the members of these minorities living in India be given justice so that they could join the mainstream and avail of education, health and job facilities, he said.   -- PTI
20:20   Our protest against CAA will continue: Azad
Hours before leaving the national capital on the directions of a court, Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad on Friday said his primary concern was to make people aware about the discriminatory citizenship law and not to fight elections in Delhi.

Azad, who was arrested in connection with the violence during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in Old Delhi's Daryaganj, was released from Tihar Jail on Thursday night.

The Dalit group leader on Friday visited the Bhagwan Valmiki Mandir in Gole Market, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Jama Masjid and addressed members of the Bhim Army before the 24-hour court-imposed deadline to leave the city ended.

"My priority is to make people aware about the discriminatory citizenship law, mobilize people against it... It is time to strengthen this movement, politics can happen later," he said.

Sources in the Bhim Army had in December said the Dalit group could take a political plunge in the Delhi assembly elections.

Aazad also said that he withdrew from a contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Varanasi because he did not 'have enough money' and that it would have affected the Dalit movement.

"Our protest against the CAA will continue. We request the court to allow us to protest. The government is spreading misinformation on the issue, we are checking it," Aazad said.

The Bhim Army leader said the court asked 'me to respect Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), I want to ask him to respect the Constitution'.

Wearing a blue scarf that symbolises B R Ambedkar's iconic blue suit, Azad claimed he was arrested for reading out the Preamble to the Constitution on the stairs of Jama Masjid and said he will 'read it daily'.

He also recited poet Rahat Indori's ghazal 'Agar Khilaf Hai Hone Do', which has become a rallying call in the recent protests against the CAA and National Register of Citizens.

A Delhi court on Wednesday had granted bail to Aazad who has been accused of inciting people during an anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid in New Delhi on December 20, while restraining him from visiting Delhi for four weeks.

The court had also said that before going to Saharanpur, if Azad wants to go anywhere, including Jama Masjid in Delhi in 24 hours, police will escort him.   -- PTI

IMAGE: Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad speaks at a press conference in New Delhi, Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo
19:54   Go to Pak if can't accept CAA: Teacher to girls
A teacher of a government girls school at Kodungallur in Kerala has been suspended after he allegedly asked students to go to Pakistan if they were not willing to accept the Citizenship Amendment Act.

According to officials, the action was taken against the Hindi teacher Kaleshan on Thursday, after the Education department deputy director in  Thrissur inquired into the incident.

This followed a complaint filed by the father of a student through social media.  -- PTI
19:17   Nadda set to be BJP president on Jan 20
The nominations for the election to the post of the Bharatiya Janata Party national president will be filed on January 20, and polling, if required, will take place the next day, the party announced on Friday.

The elevation of BJP working president J P Nadda to the top party post is all but certain as he is likely to be elected unopposed, party sources have said.

He will succeed Amit Shah.

Senior BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, who is in charge of the organisational election process, announced the schedule after the party's internal poll exercise was completed in 21 of the BJP's 36 state and Union territory units.

The BJP's constitution stipulates that its national president can be elected after at least half of the total state units have completed their organisational election exercise.  -- PTI
19:00   Lawyer says Nirbhaya convicts can't be hanged as robbery case pending
The four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case cannot be executed until their appeal in a robbery case pending before the Delhi high court is disposed of, advocate A P Singh, who is representing the rapists, said on Friday.

"The Tihar Jail authorities have concealed the fact that appeals of the convicts in a robbery case are still pending in the Delhi high court. Their execution is not possible until the robbery case is disposed of," Singh told ANI.

In August 2015, a Delhi court had held the four death row convicts guilty of robbery carpenter named Ram Adhar.

The court convicted the four convicts -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta -- for robbery, kidnapping, wrongfully confining a person, voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery, dishonestly receiving stolen property under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The convicts were tried for beating up and robbing Ram and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

They had then filed an appeal in the high court which is still pending.

They are slated to be executed on February 1 at 6 am for raping a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in the national capital on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012. -- ANI
18:41   Foreign tourist arrivals up despite travel advisories: Tourism Minister
Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) to India increased despite travel advisories issued by several countries and attempts by some groups to create 'a bad perception' of the situation in the country, said Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel on Friday.

Just after the government announced the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu-Kashmir on August 5, many countries across the world including Singapore, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Australia issued travel advisories asking their citizens to be cautious or avoid tourist trips to the region.

On August 3, during the peak tourist season and the then-ongoing Amarnath Yatra, the Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered all tourists and pilgrims to leave the Valley due to security reasons.

This advisory was withdrawn on October 10.

However, according to the data released by the Tourism Ministry, from June to December 2019, there was a 4.2 percent increase in FTAs to India and a 12 percent increase in Forex as compared to the same period in 2018.

Overall, in 2019, till December, there has been a 43 percent increase in tourists availing e-visa, Forex has grown by almost 19 percent and the increase in FTAs is around 8 per cent as compared to the same period in 2018.

"I think the data makes clear to those trying to create a bad perception of the country in a planned manner that they have failed in comparison to the attempts made by the prime minister to showcase this country. The data shows India is stable, peaceful and definitely worth seeing," said Patel when asked about the effects of the protests against CAA, NRC, NPR on the tourism industry.

According to the tourism ministry data, FTAs grew by 4.3 percent in September 2019, a month after the abrogation of Article 370, as compared to the same period in 2018.

Similarly, Forex grew by 11 percent during the same period.

In December, when protests against CAA and NRC began, FTAs grew by 3 percent and Forex by 16 percent, the data said.   -- PTI
18:12   Punjab to move SC against CAA, says Amarinder
Shortly after the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution by voice vote against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said his government like Kerala will approach the Supreme Court on the issue.

He said the Centre will have to make the necessary amendments to the CAA if it has to be implemented in Punjab and other states opposing the legislation.

"Like Kerala, our government will also approach the Supreme Court on the issue," Singh told reporters in an informal chat outside the state assembly.

In response to a question, the chief minister made it clear that the Census 2021 will be conducted on the old parameters in Punjab.

The new factors added by the Centre for the purpose of the National Population Register (NPR) will not be included, he added.

The Punjab Assembly passed the resolution by voice vote against the CAA, the second state after Kerala to do so.

The resolution moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra was passed after over three hours of discussion. While the ruling Congress and the main opposition Aam Aadmi Party supported the resolution, the Bharatiya Janata Party opposed it.

The Shiromani Akali Dal sought inclusion of Muslims in the list of communities that could be granted citizenship under the amended law.

The CAA provides for granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who had migrated to India before December 31, 2014, from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

It excludes members of the Muslim community.   -- PTI
17:50   Visva Bharati to probe BJP MP's confinement
The Visva Bharati University on Friday set up a three-member committee to look into the incident of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Swapan Dasgupta confined in a room for several hours when he visited the campus on January 8 to deliver a lecture on the new citizenship law.

Dasgupta, Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and others were confined for six hours in a university building as hundreds of Left-leaning students staged a sit-in outside accusing the politician of promoting hatred among communities.

"We have formed a three-member committee to look into the matter where BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta had said that he was locked in a room with a mob outside, at the university, where he was addressing a meeting on Citizenship Amendment Act on January 8," a senior official said.

Dasgupta had taken to Twitter to inform about the incident.

'How does it feel to have a mob attack a peaceful meeting on CAA and intimidation students? This is what is happening to a meeting I am addressing at Vishwa Bharati now. Locked into the room now with mob outside,' he had tweeted.

The panel will also look into alleged clash between two groups of students of the university on January 15.

According to police officials, armed with rods and sticks, a group of men attacked the students of a boys' hostel inside the Visva Bharati campus on Wednesday night leaving several of them injured.

"Two groups of students clashed inside the campus. It was not linked to politics. The security officer and others went there to sort out the matter," the central university's Public Relations Officer Anirban Sarkar had said.  -- PTI
17:09   BJP releases first list of 57 candidates for Delhi polls
The BJP on Friday released its first list of 57 candidates for the February 8 polls to the 70-member Delhi Assembly, fielding sitting MLA Vijender Gupta and former mayors Ravinder Gupta and Yogender Chandolia. The list, which was released by Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, also included former AAP MLA Kapil Mishra and has 11 SC and four woman candidates. 


The party, however, did not name its candidate against the AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday with Tiwari saying the candidate from New Delhi seat will be announced soon.


Gupta will again fight from his Rohini seat, while Mishra will contest from Model Town. Tiwari was joined by senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar at the press conference where he announced the party candidates whose names were finalised at its central election committee meeting on Thursday night. The ruling AAP has announced all its 70 candidates. PTI


Image:  Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari
16:54   Nirbhaya convicts to hang on Feb 1, 6 am
2012 Delhi gang-rape case: A Delhi court issues a fresh death warrant for the four convicts in the case. They will be hanged on February 1, 6 am.


The Tihar jail authorities Friday sought from a Delhi court issuance of fresh death warrants against the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. 


Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora directed the jail authorities to inform the court by 4:30 pm on whether Mukesh, one of the four convicts, has been informed that his mercy petition was dismissed by the President. 


Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed told the court that Mukesh's mercy plea was rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday. The court was hearing a plea by one of the four death row convicts in the case, Mukesh Kumar Singh, seeking postponement of the date of his execution on January 22.
16:50   Mumbaikars shiver as minimum temperature drops to 14 degrees
Residents of Mumbai and its suburbs have started feeling the winter chill as the minimum temperature in the city dropped to 14 degrees Celsius, the season's lowest, on Friday.


The Colaba observatory of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded the minimum temperature of 14.5 degrees Celcius on Friday, while the Santacruz weather station recorded the minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celcius, an official said.


The IMD said that 11.4 degrees Celsius was the lowest minimum temperature recorded in suburbs after 2013. Due to the significant drop in the temperature, the morning officer-goers and school children could be seen wearing woollen clothes to keep themselves warm. -- PTI


Representational image. 
16:34   Serial blasts convict who jumped parole arrested
UP DGP OP Singh confirms that Jalees Ansari, the serial blasts convict who was out on parole and then went missing, has been arrested in when he was coming out from a mosque in Kanpur. "He has been brought to Lucknow. It's big achievement of UP Police," the police said. A missing person complaint was filed by his family in Mumbai. 


Dr Jalees Ansari, also known as Dr Bomb, has been convicted of plotting and executing over 50 bomb blasts across the country since early 90s. 
Ansari, who is serving a life term in Ajmer jail, was visiting his family in Mumbai on parole and was due to report back at the prison on Friday morning. 


Ansari is believed to have helped set off a series of 43 explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate explosions on trains on December 6, 1993, the first anniversary of the Babri Masjids demolition. He was convicted for carrying out blast in trains.
16:20  
Dr Bomb (Jalees Ansari) arrested from Kanpur by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force.
16:19   Not joining politics: Nirbhaya's mother
Asha Devi, mother of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim, also called Nirbhaya, on reports that the Congress could field her against Delhi CM Kejriwal on the New Delhi seat: "I have no interest in politics. I have not spoken to anyone in Congress. I only want justice for my daughter and execution of the convicts."

Her statement comes after Congress leader Kirti Azad tweeted, "Ai Ma tujhe salaam. Asha Deviji aapka swagat hai. Salute you, mother. Asha Deviji I welcome you," which led people to believe that he was inviting her to join the party. 


Tihar jail authorities Friday sought from a Delhi court issuance of fresh death warrants against the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora directed the jail authorities to inform the court by 4:30 pm on whether Mukesh, one of the four convicts, has been informed that his mercy petition was dismissed by the President.


Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed told the court that Mukesh's mercy plea was rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday. The court was hearing a plea by one of the four death row convicts in the case, Mukesh Kumar Singh, seeking postponement of the date of his execution on January 22. 


The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
16:07   Nirbhaya case hearing adjourned till 4:30 pm
Update on the Nirbhaya case: The hearing in the case has been adjourned till 4.30 pm to allow Tihar Jail authorities to confirm if convict Mukesh has been informed about the rejection of his mercy plea to President Ram Nath Kovind. 

Convict Pawan Gupta's lawyer informs the court he has moved the SC to challenge the Delhi HC verdict rejecting his plea to consider him as a juvenile.
16:01   Rahul has no knowledge about CAA: Nadda
BJP plays it's favourite 'Pappu' card. 

The party's working president J P Nadda on Friday took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, saying he has no knowledge and understanding of the amended Citizenship Act and dared him to speak 10 sentences on the law. Accusing Gandhi of misleading the country, Nadda said at an event that the amended law is for minorities who faced religious persecution in neighbouring countries for years and had taken shelter in India. He said that those opposing the amended citizenship law were essentially "weakening" the country. 

Nadda also alleged that the opposition parties were left with no issues against the Modi government which, he said, solved problems that had been pending for over 70 years in six months.
-- PTI
15:50   Nirbhaya: Tihar jail seeks fresh death warrants
Tihar jail authorities on Friday sought before a Delhi court issuance of fresh death warrants against the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. 


Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora was hearing a plea by one of the four death row convicts in the case, Mukesh Kumar Singh, seeking postponement of the date of his execution on January 22. 


Mukesh's mercy petition was dismissed by the President on Friday. The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. -- PTI 
15:37   Mumbai varsity faculty member punished for remarks on Rahul
Yogesh Soman, the Director of Mumbai University's Academy of Theatre Arts, was sent on compulsory leave after students, backed by NSUI and AISF, staged several protests against him. Read the report here. 
15:20   Captain Tania Shergill makes history
Two-and-a-half years after she joined the Indian Army, Captain Tania Shergill will be the first woman adjutant at a Republic Day parade. As adjutant, Captain Shergill will be responsible for the overall conduct of the Republic Day parade and ensure that all the marching contingents are in position and ready before the commencement of the march past on Rajpath. "Everything that is being executed, you have to be completely in it." Captain Shergill tells Archana Masih/Rediff.com.  Read the interview here
15:16   30 years of Pandit exodus
For a moment, step into our shoes.

In 1990, thousands of people were shouting these slogans on the streets of Kashmir, from its mosques all over, while baying for the blood of the minority Hindus.

These slogans were reverberating when a Pandit woman's appendix burst because the doctors in her district hospital in South Kashmir refused to operate upon her. Finally, after a lot of pleading, a Muslim doctor (whose kids were taught by one of lady's relatives) operated upon her secretly. The Azadi slogans were still on as she was put on a mattress in a truck shortly afterwards, to Jammu, where she received proper treatment.

Rahul Pandita on living as a refugee in one's own country. Do read
15:04   Comment on Amazon misconstrued: Goyal
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said his statement regarding Amazon was misconstrued and asserted that the government welcomes all investments but it should adhere to rules and regulations.


Goyal said that these investments should not create unfair competition for small traders.


"We welcome all types of investments. But if the foundation of any investment violates law then there will be a legal process. Some people think I said something negative against Amazon. If you look at the context of my statement, I said investment should come within the law and regulations. This process is followed across the world," the minister told reporters when asked to comment on his statement.


"There are some laws regarding eCommerce in India. We welcome investments that come under those laws. But this investment should not create unfair competition to small traders and retail businessmen in India," he said.


Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi, Goyal had on Thursday said that Amazon is not doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars in the country.


"They (Amazon) may have put in a billion dollars but if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then jolly well will have to finance that billion dollar. So, it is not as if they are doing a favour to India when they invest a billion dollars," Goyal had said.


On Wednesday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced plans to invest one billion dollars (about Rs 7,092 crore) in India and enabling 10 billion dollars in cumulative exports in the next five years by digitally enabling micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and traders.


India's anti-trust body Competition Commission of India is probing the business model of Amazon and Flipkart following allegations of predatory pricing, deep discounting, exclusivity and preferential seller treatment. --ANI


Image: Amazon.com Inc chief Jeff Bezos announced USD 1 billion investment in India.
14:43   Guv slams Kerala govt for moving SC on CAA without informing him
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Friday lashed out at the Left-ruled state government over it approaching the Supreme Court against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and said he may seek a report for not informing him about the move. 


The state government had on January 13 moved the Supreme Court challenging the Act and has sought to declare it as ultra vires of the Constitution. 


"Wherever I see there is any violation, wherever, they are departing from the rule, from the provisions of the Constitution, there is no way I shall not ask for a report," Khan told reporters in Delhi. PTI


Image: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
14:38   Bhim Army chief has 24 hours to leave Delhi: Police
Delhi Police on 'Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad's visit to Jama Masjid': He has a time of 24 hours after his release from Tihar Jail yesterday, to leave Delhi. He is not holding any protest at Jama Masjid.
14:38   Azad back at Jama Masjid before deadline ends
Hours after being released from Tihar Jail, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekar Azad visited the historic Jama Masjid on Friday. Flanked by his supporters and locals, Azad read out the Preamble to the Constitution. Calling for a repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act, which he termed as a "black act", he said nothing is more important than keeping the country together.


Azad, 33, broke bail conditions, which said he cannot hold protests in Delhi, he has to leave the city and has to keep the police posted whenever he returns to the national capital for medical treatment. PTI 
14:08   What's the beef about? Kerala govt fried on recipe
After a storm erupted over a "beef fry" tweet by Kerala Tourism on Makarasankranti day, the CPI(M)-led LDF government on Friday clarified its aim was not to hurt anyone's religious beliefs. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran criticised those who were trying to give a communal colour to the Tourism department tweet on the Kerala delicacy -- "Beef Ularthiyathu" and said in the southern state no one links food with religion. 


"Tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, Beef Ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala," the tweet read along with a recipe link.


Some Twitter users had showed their displeasure as the tweet had appeared on January 15 on Makarsankranti day, a Hindu festival celebrated as Pongal, Bihu and Lohri in other parts of the country. 


Surendran said those trying to communalise the matter were the ones who were creating a controversy by saying that pictures of pork dishes should also be uploaded by the department. Various dishes made of pork are already on the website, he pointed out. -- PTI
13:34   Never delayed work on Nirbhaya case: Kejriwal
Delhi CM and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal reacts to Asha Devi's remarks that the AAP government in Delhi and the BJP played politics over the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case: "All the work that was under Delhi govt was completed by us within hours. We never delayed any work related to this case. The Delhi government has hardly has an any role in it. We want convicts to be hanged at the earliest."


Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi on Friday accused the BJP and AAP of playing politics and alleged that the hanging of convicts of 2012 gang-rape case which was scheduled to take place on January 22, is being deliberately postponed.


"It has been 7 years and we didn't get justice. The government can't see our pain. Both parties are playing politics on the girl's death. I think the hanging is deliberately been postponed," Asha Devi told ANI when asked about the war of words between BJP and AAP in the case.


"Till now, I never talked about politics, but now I want to say that those people who held protests on streets in 2012, today the same people are only playing with my daughter's death for political gains," she said.


On Thursday, BJP alleged that the AAP government is responsible for the delay in the hanging of Nirbhaya convicts. Later, Deputy Chief Minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia hit back at BJP and said 'Give us Delhi Police and law-and-order responsibility for two days and we will hang Nirbhaya convicts'.


Commenting on Sisodia's remark, Asha said: "It would be good if Sisodia had said 'give me Delhi Police, I will protect girls'."


The mother also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the hanging of convicts take place on January 22.
13:19   Mamata not to attend governor's meeting citing 'preoccupations'
Citing "preoccupations" West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not attend an all- party meeting called by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday, to discuss issues pertaining to two bills, a Raj Bhavan official said in Kolkata. 


The Chief Minister's Office informed the Governor's Secretariat that on account of preoccupations on Friday, it will not be possible for Banerjee to attend the meeting, the Raj Bhavan said in a statement on Thursday. Dhankhar has been engaged in a face-off with Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress, over a host of issues since assuming charge as the governor of the state.


The meeting was called by the governor to discuss two bills passed by the Assembly, which are awaiting his assent. 
13:10   President rejects Nirbhaya convict's mercy plea
President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday rejected the mercy plea of Mukesh Singh, one of the four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, sources said. 


The rejection came soon after the Union Home Ministry forwarded the petition to the president on Friday morning.   "It's a very good thing. Our hopes have gone up after the disheartening news that the execution might be delayed," the young woman's father told PTI as news came in of the rejection. 


Mukesh had filed his mercy petition two days ago.       


The four convicts -- Mukesh (32), Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) -- were to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail, a Delhi court had announced on January 7 while issuing their death warrants. 


However, the Delhi government informed the high court during a hearing that the execution of the convicts will not take place on the day as a mercy plea had been filed by Mukesh.


"The Home Ministry has forwarded the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh to the President. The ministry has reiterated the recommendation of the lieutenant governor of Delhi for its rejection," a Home Ministry official said on Friday morning.         


Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's office sent Mukesh Singh's mercy petition to the Home Ministry on Thursday, a day after the Delhi government recommended its rejection.  -- PTI
12:56   Mamata not to attend governor's meeting citing preoccupations
Citing "preoccupations" West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not attend an all- party meeting called by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday, to discuss issues pertaining to two bills, a Raj Bhavan official said here. 


The Chief Minister's Office informed the Governor's Secretariat that on account of preoccupations on Friday, it will not be possible for Banerjee to attend the meeting, the Raj Bhavan said in a statement on Thursday. Dhankhar has been engaged in a face-off with Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress, over a host of issues since assuming charge as the governor of the state.


The meeting was called by the governor to discuss two bills passed by the Assembly, which are awaiting his assent. The statement said that "on account of there being no inputs from the state government and the state Legislative Assembly in spite of repeated efforts" with regard to the pendency of 'The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 and 'West Bengal State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2019', the meeting had been convened by the governor. -- PTI
12:53   China's economy slumps to lowest in 29 years
China's economy grew by 6.1 per cent last year, the lowest annual growth rate in 29 years, National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, as weak domestic demand and the bruising 18-month-long trade war with the US took their toll on the world's second-largest economic giant. 


The new data comes a day after China and the US signed a long-awaited phase one deal, marking a ceasefire in the 18-month-long trade war which saw the world's two largest economies slap 25 per cent tariffs on about half a trillion-dollar worth of each other's exports.


The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.1 per cent last year, its worst performance since 1990, but it remained above the psychologically important mark of six per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The GDP growth remained well within the 6 to 6.5 target set by the government, it said. -- PTI
12:37   BJP, AAP plays politics over Nirbhaya's death: Mom
Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi on Friday accused BJP and AAP of playing politics and alleged that the hanging of convicts of 2012 gang-rape case which was scheduled to take place on January 22, is being deliberately postponed.


"It has been 7 years and we didn't get justice. The government can't see our pain. Both parties are playing politics on the girl's death. I think the hanging is deliberately been postponed," Asha Devi told ANI when asked about the war of words between BJP and AAP in the case.


"Till now, I never talked about politics, but now I want to say that those people who held protests on streets in 2012, today the same people are only playing with my daughter's death for political gains," she said.


On Thursday, BJP alleged that the AAP government is responsible for the delay in the hanging of Nirbhaya convicts. Later, Deputy Chief Minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia hit back at BJP and said 'Give us Delhi Police and law-and-order responsibility for two days and we will hang Nirbhaya convicts'.


Commenting on Sisodia's remark, Asha said: "It would be good if Sisodia had said 'give me Delhi Police, I will protect girls'."The mother also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the hanging of convicts take place on January 22.


Standing Counsel for Tihar Jail authorities Advocate Rahul Mehra has said that the execution of convicts in the 2012 gang-rape case will not take place on January 22.


"It can only take place 14 days after the mercy plea is rejected as we are bound by the rule which says that a notice of 14 days must be provided to the convicts after the rejection of mercy plea," he added. -- ANI
12:32   News updates
-- INX Media case: Supreme Court allows Congress MP Karti Chidambaram to withdraw Rs 20 crore which he had deposited with the Court's registry as a condition for being allowed to travel abroad. 


-- HC seeks CBI's response on expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar's appeal challenging his conviction and life term in 2017 Unnao rape case. The HC allows Sengar to deposit in 60 days fine amount of Rs 25 lakh out of which Rs 10 lakh will be released to the victim without any condition. 

12:30   Owaisi hits out at Bipin Rawat on 'de-radicalisation' comments
Hitting out at the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat who said de-radicalisation camps are operating in the country, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has questioned who would deradicalise attackers of Muslims and Dalits.


Speaking at a public meeting at Adilabad on Thursday night, the Hyderabad MP said de-radicalisation is needed for those who lynch and kill innocent Dalits and Muslims. 


"I want to inform the chief of Defence Staff, General Saab, if you want to deradicalise, then listen, you first read the Juvenile Act. IPC is not applicable to children. What kind of de-radicalistion you are talking about," he said. 


"General Saab says that they will bring new law to deradicalise children. Meerut SP says in Muslim localities that they (Muslims) eat here and sing songs in favour of Pakistan. He says go to Pakistan. Who will de-radicalise such SPs. Dalits and Muslims are being lynched. Who will de- radicalise those attackers?," the AIMIM chief said. 

Rawat on Thursday in an address at the Raisina Dialogue, said de-radicalisation camps are operating in the country as it was necessary to isolate people who are completely radicalised. The MIM supremo alleged that names of five lakh Bengali Hindus and an equal number of Muslims are missing in Assam and the Hindus will be given citizenship under CAA, leaving out the Muslims. He said the names of some family members of former President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed were also missing in Assam and questioned who would de-radicalise those responsible for the blunder.
12:19   Punjab Assembly moves resolution against CAA
Resolution against Citizenship (Amendment) Act moved in the Punjab Assembly. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on Thursday said the government will bring in a resolution, on the lines of Kerala, against the Act. The state Congress government had on Tuesday said it will proceed according to the "will of the House" on the issue of CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).


Singh had recently said his government would not allow the implementation of the "brazenly divisive CAA". After a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, his colleagues in the ministry had expressed concern over the implications of the "blatantly unconstitutional and divisive CAA, NRC and NPR."

File pic. 
12:11   'Silence' terrorist Davinder Singh via NIA: Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the best way to "silence" Jammu and Kashmir DSP Davinder Singh was to hand the investigations against him to NIA chief Y C Modi, under whose care the case will be "as good as dead". 


Training his guns on the National Investigation Agency chief, Gandhi said he had earlier investigated the Gujarat riots and the Harem Pandya assassination cases.


"The best way to silence Terrorist DSP Davinder, is to hand the case to the NIA," Gandhi said on Twitter, adding that the agency is headed by "another Modi" who investigated the Gujarat riots and the Haren Pandya's assassination. In his care, "the case is as good as dead", Gandhi alleged. 


Using the hashtag "WhoWantsTerroristDavinderSilenced", the Congress leader asked "And why". Singh was arrested on Saturday from Kulgam in south Kashmir along with Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists Naveed Baba and Altaf and a lawyer operating as an overground worker for terror outfits.
-- PTI 
11:58   Like in Myanmar, Rohingyas carried out massacre in India: Pragya Thakur
BJP Lok Sabha MP Pragya Thakur has alleged that Rohingyas have carried out a massacre in India and claimed that the community was thrown out of their country because of the same reason, apparently referring to Myanmar.


Thakur gave the statement when she was addressing a gathering in support of the amended Citizenship Act in Sehore.


"Rohingyas were thrown out from their country because they carried out massacre there. They took shelter in our country and started doing same thing here. They damaged our culture and tried to disintegrate the country. They insulted our law and the Constitution. CAB has now become the Citizenship Act," the BJP leader said.


Taking a dig at those protesting against the Citizenship law, Thakur said: "CAA will not take anyone's citizenship. They are alluring people with money to bring rallies against CAA."Commenting on Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's remark on controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, the BJP MP said: "Those who were leveling allegations used to go out with Zakir Naik's."


Earlier, the Congress leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah should reject allegations by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik that he was approached by the Indian government for the support over the abrogation of Article 370.


"Prime Minister and Home Minister should refute these allegations. If they don't, then it will be believed that the allegations are correct," the Congress leader said in a series of tweets. -- ANI


Image: A Rohingya Muslim refugee feeds her malnourished son at a clinic at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
11:54   Mahatma much higher than Bharat Ratna: Court
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to issue an order or directive to the Union of India for conferring Bharat Ratna on Mahatma Gandhi. The top court, while declining to pass any order in the PIL, said that Mahatma Gandhi is much higher than Bharat Ratna.
11:43   RTI application seeks proof of PM Modi's citizenship
A Right to Information (RTI) application has been moved before the Kerala information department seeking to know whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an Indian citizen.


Josh Kalluveettil, a native of Chalakkudy town in Thrissur district, moved the application in this regard on January 13.The application has sought documents that prove PM Modi's citizenship.


It has been filed before the public information officer of the Chalakkudy municipality. -- ANI
11:42   PM, Goyal, refuse to meet Amazon's Bezos
The richest man on the planet, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, left India last night after being snubbed by the government during his three-day visit to the country.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal did not give an appointment to Bezos during his visit, government sources told ANI.


A senior official said the meetings did not take place this time as the world's largest e-commerce player is surrounded with controversies.


India's anti-trust body Competition Commission of India is probing the business model of Amazon and Flipkart following allegations of predatory pricing, deep discounting, exclusivity and preferential seller treatment.


Amazon is facing a similar investigation in the United States and Europe.


On Wednesday, Bezos announced plans to invest one billion dollars (about Rs 7,092 crore) in India and enabling 10 billion dollars in cumulative exports in the next five years by digitally enabling micro, small, and medium enterprises and traders.


But more than five lakh traders came together under the umbrella of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to protest against Bezo's visit.


CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said Amazon follows unethical and monopolistic business practices, and the trade body will organise protests in 300 cities to oppose them.  -- ANI
11:31   Not ready for peace with India without resolving Kashmir issue: Pak FM
Pakistan is not prepared to pay any price for peace with India and certainly not without resolving the Kashmir issue in a just manner, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said. Addressing the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think-tank in Washington on Thursday, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan's demand that US President Donald Trump should mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue. 


Ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories on August 5, evoking strong reactions from Islamabad. Pakistan has been trying to rally international support against India on the issue. 


"Our government wants peace in the neighbourhood. We want, we need peace in order to focus on achieving our domestic agenda for economic reform and development. But we are not prepared to pay any price for peace with India, certainly not our dignity and certainly not without resolving the Kashmir dispute in a just manner," Qureshi said. 


He alleged that instead of fighting poverty and hunger together, the "RSS-inspired BJP government has embarked upon the project of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra". 


"The adherence of Hindutva and an Akhand Bharat have established this ascendancy with disastrous consequences for all in India and the world to see," he alleged. 


Qureshi said on August 5 India tried to change the "disputed status" of Jammu and Kashmir and "alter" its demographic structure, breaking all relevant international laws and "violating" several UN Security Council resolutions in the process. India has been seeking to break the will of the Kashmiri people by imprisoning them in their homes and imposing a communications blockade that continues to this day, he said. -- PTI
11:05   Judicial custody of 54 extended in anti-CAA protest violence case
A court in Muzaffarnagar extended till January 28 the judicial custody of 54 people who were arrested for allegedly being involved in violence during anti-CAA protests. Chief Judicial Magistrate Ravikant Yadav on Thursday extended the judicial custody through video conferencing. Police has arrested 85 people in the district in connection with the arson and violence that broke out here during protests against the amended citizenship law on December 20 last year. -- PTI
10:58   Sonia holds meeting on candidates for Delhi polls
A Congress Central Election Committee meeting is underway at the party's interim president Sonia Gandhi's residence to discuss candidates for the upcoming Delhi elections.


The Model Code of Conduct came into force on January 6 immediately after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced dates for the Delhi Assembly polls.The election will be held on February 8. The counting of votes will take place on February 11. -- ANI
10:55   BSF to the rescue of pregnant woman
BSF personnel evacuate a woman in labour pain from Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir to the nearest hospital amid heavy snowfall.
10:53   Anti-CAA Kerala will attend Centre's NPR meet
A senior Kerala government official on Friday said that the State will attend the meeting called by Ministry of Home Affairs, of State Chief Secretaries and Director of Census to discuss census, National Population Register (NPR) and seek suggestions and training and appointment process on the same.

A meeting of Chief Secretaries of States and Census directors will be held today at Ambedkar Bhawan in Delhi. It will be chaired by MoS Home Nityanand Rai and Union Home Secretary AK Bhalla. The meeting will discuss the next census and NPR. 

The Union Home Ministry has convened a meeting today to discuss the modalities for the 2020 Census and the National Population Register, officials said.Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai will chair the meeting, which will be attended by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and chief secretaries and census directors of all states.

All states except West Bengal will be attending the meeting. 
10:47   MHA forwards mercy petition of Nirbhaya convict to Prez
The Union Home Ministry on Friday forwarded to President Ram Nath Kovind the mercy petition of one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case, recommending its rejection, officials said. Mukesh Singh, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, had filed the mercy petition a few days ago. 


"The Home Ministry has forwarded the mercy petition of Mukesh Singh to the President. The ministry has reiterated the recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for its rejection," the official said.


The Delhi LG had sent the mercy petition of Mukesh to the Home Ministry on Thursday, a day after the Delhi government recommended its rejection. The four convicts -- Mukesh Singh (32), Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) were to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail. 


A Delhi court had issued their death warrants on January 7. However, the Delhi government had informed the high court during a hearing that execution of the convicts will not take place on January 22 as a mercy plea has been filed by Mukesh. -- PTI
10:34   Jet Airways to sell Netherlands biz to KLM
Bankrupt Jet Airways plans to sell its Netherlands business to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, according to a regulatory filing. The domestic full-service carrier, which shuttered operations last April, is undergoing insolvency resolution process.


The insolvency resolution professional managing the affairs of Jet Airways said various options are being explored for the "company's resolution and maximising the value for its stakeholders", as per the filing on Friday. 


Providing an update, the company said there is a separate liquidation proceeding ongoing in the Netherlands and that the resolution professional has agreed a co-operation protocol with the Dutch trustee appointed by the local court. 


"In this context, the company and Dutch trustee have entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV, on January 13, 2020, for the proposed resolution of business activities of the company in the Netherlands as approved by the committee of creditors," it added. Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV is KLM, the flagship carrier of the Netherlands.
10:23   Punjab to move anti-CAA resolution like Kerala
The ruling Congress government in Punjab is all set to bring a resolution in the state assembly on Friday demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, official sources said. 

A minister will move a resolution on the second day of the two-day special session of the Assembly urging the Centre to repeal the Act, the sources said. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on Thursday not ruled out the possibility of bringing a resolution against the amended citizenship law. 

"Wait till tomorrow," Singh had said when asked by reporters if the government will bring in a resolution, on the lines of Kerala, against the Act.


The state Congress government had on Tuesday said it will proceed according to the "will of the House" on the issue of CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). Singh had recently said his government would not allow the implementation of the "brazenly divisive CAA". 


After a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, his colleagues in the ministry had expressed concern over the implications of the "blatantly unconstitutional and divisive CAA, NRC and NPR."


"The ministers were of the view that the matter was bound to be raised during the two-day session of the assembly on January 16-17 and it was unanimously decided that the government should accept the will of the House," an official statement had said. 


Singh had said neither he nor the Congress were against granting citizenship to minorities persecuted on the basis of religion but they were completely opposed to the "discrimination in the CAA against certain religious communities, including Muslims". 


The Kerala Assembly had recently passed a resolution demanding the scrapping of the controversial law, becoming the first state in the country to do so. -- PTI
10:02   Several US troops were injured in Jan 8 attack on airbases in Iraq
Several US servicemen suffered injuries during an Iranian missile attack on Al-Asad airbase in Iraq housing American forces despite the Pentagon claiming that no casualties had taken place in January 8 attack.

A US military official told CNN that 11 service members had been injured in the attack. 
"While no US service members were killed in the January 8 Iranian attacks on Al Asad Airbase, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed," the US-led military coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria said in a statement on Thursday.

Iran had launched more than a dozen missiles on US targets in Iraq -- first at the Ain Al-Asad airbase in Anbar province and another one at Erbil, which falls in the Kurdistan region.

The strikes came hours after the funeral of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, whose killing in a US air raid intensified tensions in the region.

-- ANI
09:41   AAP's Atishi to file nominations for Delhi polls today
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are likely to release their list of candidates today for the February 8 Assembly polls. The election committees of both the parties met on Thursday to finalise the names.

Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi will file her nomination from Kalkaji constituency. She will hold a roadshow from Giri Nagar Gurudwara in Moolchand. Atishi will be accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
09:08   WB to skip MHA meet on Census, NPR today
The ministry of home affairs on Friday will hold an important meeting on Census and National Population Register in the national capital. All states Chief secretaries will be participating in the conference except West Bengal. 

The meeting will be chaired by Minister of State Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai. The meeting will be held at Ambedkar Bhawan in Delhi.

The Census for 2021 will be held in two phases, in the first phase which begins from April 1 to September 30, 2020, the data will be compiled for house listing with household-specific information like who is the head of the house, how many people live in the house, what are the facilities in the house, while in the second phase, which will begin from February 2021, the questions will be individual specific. 

On January 15 (Wednesday), government sources had said that all states have issued re-notification of the NPR, while Kerala and West Bengal have communicated to the Centre to put it on hold. 

Sources had further shared that among the new additions in 2021 are that the question related to the gender of head of the household had `male or female` options in 2011, but this time `transgender` option has been added.
08:32   'Should go very quickly': Trump on Senate impeachment trial
United States President Donald Trump predicted that his impeachment trial in the US Senate will be over quickly and again dismissed abuse of power charges against him as "a hoax."

"I think it should go very quickly," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office as the upper chamber's members were sworn in to serve as the jury in Trump's historic trial over the Ukraine scandal.

"It's totally partisan," Trump said. "It's a hoax. It's a hoax and everybody knows it's a complete hoax."

Asked about new Ukraine-related accusations leveled by a former associate of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Trump said they had nothing to with him.
08:17   Nirbhaya convicts shifted to Tihar jail no 3
All the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were shifted to Tihar prison complex's jail number three where their hanging is set to take place, a jail official said.
  
The four death row convicts -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh, Mukesh Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta -- were scheduled to be hanged on January 22. However, the Delhi government told the High Court on Wednesday their execution has to be postponed in view of the pendency of a mercy petition by one of them.

"We have shifted all the four convicts to jail number three of Tihar, where the execution is set to take place," a senior jail official said.    

Till now, Vinay Sharma was lodged in jail number four, while Akshay, Mukesh and Pawan were lodged in jail number two of Tihar.

-- PTI
07:52   ISRO's satellite launched aboard Ariane rocket
India's "high power" communication satellite GSAT-30, aimed at providing high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services, was successfully launched onboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in the early hours of Friday, Indian Space Research Organisation said.
Blasting off from the Ariane Launch Complex in Kourou, a French territory located in northeastern coast of South America at 2:35 am IST, European space consortium Arianespace's Ariane 5 vehicle injected GSAT-30 into the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 38 minutes.
 
"#GSAT30 successfully separated from the upper stage of #Ariane5 #VA251" ISRO said in a tweet.
Confirming the successful launch, Arianespace CEO Stphane Isral tweeted, "A strong start to 2020 as #Ariane5 successfully deploys its two satellite passengers EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 into geostationary transfer orbit! I appreciate the trust from the two customers on this mission: @Eutelsat_SA and @ISRO #VA251 #MissiontoSuccess."

ISRO's U R Rao Satellite Centre Director P Kunhikrishnan, who was present in Kourou, congratulated the ISRO community and Arianespace team on the successful launch.

Calling it an "excellent start" to 2020 for ISRO with the launch, he said, "The mission team at the master control facility have already acquired the satellite and they will immediately complete the post launch operations...."

The 3,357-kg satellite, which was deployed from the lower passenger position of Ariane-5 launch vehicle (VA 251) into to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), is configured on ISRO's enhanced I-3K Bus structure to provide communication services from Geostationary orbit in C and Ku bands.
-- PTI
00:06   Row over 'new Constitution' with Bhagwat image
Two first information reports were registered against unidentified people for circulating a 16-page PDF file, 'Naya Bharatiya Samvidhan', on social media with a picture of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, police said.

The RSS has dissociated itself from the document, terming it an attempt to malign its image.

"We had given applications for the registration of FIRs at the Gomti Nagar and Hazratganj police stations against the message having a picture of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwatji," RSS Awadh prant sah prachar pramukh Diwakar told PTI.

"The content given in it intends to create hatred and malign the image of the RSS and its head," the complaint said, adding that the facts given in the document were against the Constitution of the country.

In his complaint to the Gomti Nagar police, local RSS functionary Tula Ram Nimesh, said, "The 16-page document was being circulated on various social media platforms."

"The document has nothing to do with the RSS," he said.

Hazratganj Assistant Commissioner of police Abhay Mishra said an FIR was registered on the complaint against anonymous persons.

"We are probing and trying to ascertain the source of this document," he said.

A similar FIR was lodged at the Gomti Nagar police station, in which it is alleged that anti-national forces are involved in this matter.  -- PTI

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