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Tue, 21 January 2020
Rahul to hold rallies across country

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23:02   Rahul to hold rallies across country
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will hold public rallies and meetings across the country starting with Jaipur on January 28 to highlight the country's 'economic problems' including rising unemployment.

Congress leaders in New Delhi said Gandhi's address in Jaipur will focus on the youths and students who are facing problems because of lack of jobs and rising unemployment due to the prevailing economic situation in the country.

The public rally comes ahead of the Union budget scheduled to be presented on February 1. Gandhi also intends to address a rally in Madhya Pradesh, where he will focus on issues confronting the farmers, tribals and rural workers.

Further, he is likely to address a meeting of small and medium industrialists, traders and professionals at Mumbai, the party leaders said. They said the schedule of these and other rallies are being worked out.

"On January 28, Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi will be on a visit to Jaipur to address a rally. This rally will give a message in the country. The rally will attract attention of the Centre on the burning issues of the country," Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot told reporters in Jaipur.

Pilot, who became the longest-serving Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president on Tuesday after completing six years on the post, also visited the Vidyadhar Nagar Stadium in Jaipur to review the preparation for the rally.

He alleged the Modi government was not taking any concrete step on the issues of public interest and the economy, but was busy 'diverting' public attention by bringing laws which are unnecessary.

"For the first time, protests are happening in different parts of the country against a law passed by the Parliament. State assemblies are passing resolution. And the young people in particular are hurt, suffering, frustrated," he said without mentioning the amended citizenship law.

Responding to a question on implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) by the state government, he said, "The central government has passed a bill based on majority in the Parliament and made it a law. It has become the law of this country.

"But even after a law is made, everyone has the freedom to express their views on it. Some people are in support and some are against."

He further said, "We believe that the law has been passed in Parliament on the basis of majority, but whether it will meet the legal standards will be decided by the Supreme Court."

Pilot said that many state governments have gone to the Supreme Court and any legislative assembly is free to pass a resolution and to vote on it as law can be amended or reconsidered.

He said the Congress party believes that the CAA is against the basic spirit of the Constitution.

On a question about a coordination committee formed by the Congress high command for better synergy between the Congress governments in states and the party, he said, "The AICC has taken a thoughtful step so that the organisation and the government work together and if there is any situation of communication gap that is resolved."

He said that it has almost been a year since the Congress government was formed in the state and the entire machinery is working vigorously to fulfill the promises made in the election manifesto.   -- PTI
22:14   Metro MD who oversaw Aarey felling shifted
JUST IN: Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation has been transferred in a reshuffle of IAS officers in Maharashtra.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appointed Ranjit Singh Deol in her place.

As the MD of MMRC, Bhide oversaw the felling of trees at Aarey Colony in Mumbai for a Metro car shed, which had sparked widespread protests by green activists and common people last year.

More details awaited.  -- with ANI inputs
21:54   Dushyant Chautala's JJP won't fight Delhi polls
The Jannayak Janta Party on Tuesday declared it would not contest the upcoming Delhi polls due to issues with the party's election symbol.

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala told reporters in Chandigarh that the election symbols of 'key', 'pair of slippers' and 'cup and saucer', on which his party candidates had fought polls earlier, were all reserved by some other outfits for the Delhi elections to be held on  February 8.

"We had requested the Election Commission of India to allot us 'key' or 'slippers' as poll symbol for the Delhi elections, but were told that both these were unavailable as they had been reserved by some other outfits," Dushyant said.

He said the ECI told the party on Monday that even the 'cup and saucer' symbol was also not available.

The 'key' symbol was reserved by other political outfits in September last year and the other two symbols in December.

Dushyant said the JJP discussed the issue of election symbol with party patron Ajay Singh Chautala and thereafter decided not to field its candidates for the Delhi polls.

"If our candidates fight the polls on a new symbol, they may have to bear loss as a result," he added.

The JJP had been recognised as a 'state party' in Haryana by the Election Commission and allotted 'key' as its reserved symbol in the state.

Dushyant, whose party is a coalition partner of the BJP in Haryana, said the JJP will extend support to Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi polls.

"We need to strongly oppose the forces which are trying to mislead public on the issues of CAA and NRC." he said.

On Shiromani Akali Dal's decision to not contest Delhi polls after it was asked by the saffron party to reconsider its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Dushyant replied, "It is their own decision."

"If there is any such law which takes away citizenship of any Indian, then we will be against it. But CAA does not threaten citizenship of those who are Indians," he said.

The JJP was formed after a split in the Indian National Lok Dal following a feud in the Chautala clan. It had contested last year's Lok Sabha polls with the Aam Aadmi Party in Haryana, but the two parted ways ahead of the state assembly election.

The JJP won 10 of the 90 seats in Haryana assembly polls held in October 2019 and extended support to the BJP which bagged 40 seats.  -- PTI
21:41   Artillery gun 'Sharang' to be inducted into Army by March end
The first batch of 18 indigenously upgraded 'Sharang' artillery guns will be inducted into the Army by March 31 this year, Programme Coordinator (Sharang) Brigadier Jayant Kar said on Tuesday.

He said the gun, upgraded from 130mm to 155mm with a striking range of 39 kilometres, had successfully gone through integrated firing check on different parameters ranging from 0 degree to 45 degrees on Tuesday at the Long Proof Range of Ordnance Factory Khamaria, 16 kilometers from Jabalpur district headquarters.

"The indigenously-designed Sharang will be inducted in the Army by this fiscal-end. The barrel of the gun has been upgraded from 130 mm to 155 mm and this has increased its hitting range by 12 km kilometres, to 39 kilometres," said Brigadier Kar.

The Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) in Jabalpur had won the global contract to upgrade the Sharang artillery gun, and it was done with the help of the state-owned ordnance factories, and teams from the Army and DRDO, the Brigader informed.  -- PTI
20:56   10-yr-old Indian-origin boy hurt in random stabbing in UK
A 10-year-old Indian-origin boy was stabbed in the neck in a seemingly random street attack while out with his mother and brother in Leicester in the United Kingdom, police said.

A 32-year-old man was arrested on Monday on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the attack, which took place on Saturday.

The arrest followed an appeal by Leicestershire Police, which circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, believed to be a serial slasher active in the city in the East Midlands region of England.

"The incident happened at 5.20pm on Saturday (January 18) when the boy was approached by a man who stabbed him before running off from the scene. The boy was treated in hospital and has now been discharged," a Leicestershire Police statement said.

The boy's father, Kalpesh Mistry, was in India at the time of the attack and watched him bleeding after his older 13-year-old son dialled him over a video call.

"I saw my wife holding my son's neck to try and stop the blood coming out," Mistry told Leicestershire Live.

The 39-year-old immediately booked a flight back to the UK to be with his family.

"I was so angry and frustrated because I was so far away and unable to help," he said.

The family had recently returned from a break in India, with Mistry staying back for a few extra days. He said that his son was in 'good spirits' and recovering from the attack at home.

As part of the enquiries, police officers investigating the attack have linked it to two other incidents in the area during the past week, involving a woman in her 30s who suffered a cut to the back of her head and a man in his 70s who was found with wounds to his head and hands. Both victims have since been treated in hospital and discharged.

"While I would like to thank everyone who has shared our appeal and has already made contact with police, I am still appealing to anyone with any information to come forward," said Detective Inspector Tim Lindley of Leicestershire Police, who is leading the investigation.  -- PTI
20:36   Army jawan, SPO killed in encounter in Pulwama
An Army jawan and a special police officer (SPO) were killed on Tuesday in an encounter with militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.

The encounter broke out in the district's Khrew area when the security forces had launched a cordon and search operation, a police official said.

SPO Shahbaz Ahmad was killed on the spot while the jawan was injured during the gunfight and succumbed to the injuries later, he said.  -- PTI
20:01   Bills for creation of 3 capitals moved in AP Council after 8-hr standoff
Ending nearly eight-hour long standoff, the Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress government on Tuesday tabled in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council two bills which will facilitate three capitals for the state.

After opposition Telugu Desam Party, which is in majority in the Upper House, blocked the introduction of the bills citing rules leading to five adjournments since morning, Chairman M ASharrif allowed the government to move the key legislation.

Ending the stalemate, the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 and another bill to repeal the AP Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014 were moved and the House is likely to sit late for the debate and passage.

The bills, which seek to pave the way for establishment of executive capital in Visakhapatnam, legislative in Amaravati and judicial capital in Kurnool, were passed by the state assembly late on Monday night amid protests by farmers of Amaravati region and TDP.  -- PTI
19:10   Token No.45, Kejri manages to file nomination
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party candidate from New Delhi constituency Arvind Kejriwal finally managed to file his nomination after a six-hour-long wait.

Kejrwial left from the office of the Returning Officer a short while ago after filing his nomination.

Earlier, uncertainty loomed over whether the Delhi CM will be able to file his nomination on the last day of the process.

'Waiting to file my nomination. My token no is 45. There are many people here to file nomination papers. Am so glad so many people participating in democracy,' he tweeted.

The AAP accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of deliberately delaying Kejriwal from filing his nomination.

'Around 35 candidates are sitting at RO office without proper nomination papers, even without names of 10 proposers.

'They are insisting unless their papers are complete and file nomination, they won't allow CM Kejriwal to file nomination. The BJP is behind these people,' AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.

Kejriwal replied to Bharadwaj's tweet, saying, 'Doesn't matter. Many of them r filing for the first time. They r bound to make mistakes. We also made mistakes the first time. We shud hand hold them. I am enjoying waiting wid them. They r all part of my family.'   -- with inputs from ANI/PTI
18:22   Anti-CAA resolution in Bengal House next week
West Bengal Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday said the ruling Trinamool Congress will bring a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the assembly on January 27.

"We had submitted the resolution to the Speaker on January 20. It will be placed in the assembly on January 27," Chatterjee said.

The assembly had last September passed a resolution against the National Register of Citizens.  -- PTI
17:31   Court modifies bail order, Aazad can visit Delhi
A Delhi court Tuesday allowed Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad, accused of inciting people during an anti-Citizenship Act protest at Jama Masjid here last month, to visit Delhi for medical reasons and election purposes and told him to inform Delhi Police of his schedule.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau passed the directions while modifying the bail order of Aazad in a case related to violent protests in Daryanganj area on December 20.

The court had restrained Aazad from visiting Delhi for four weeks and directed him to not hold any 'dharna' till the elections in the national capital, while granting him bail in the case.

The court had directed the police to verify from the Election Commission whether Aazad's office in Delhi is an office of a political party and asked it to submit a report by Tuesday.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Aazad seeking modification of the conditions imposed on him in his bail order.  -- PTI
17:08   Fliers from China to be screened for coronavirus
Against the backdrop of the threat posed by coronavirus, the ministry of civil aviation has mandated the health screening of passengers coming from China at Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai airports.    

The MoCA has received an advisory from the ministry of health and family welfare regarding the threat of the coronavirus disease in China's Wuhan, wherein health screening of passengers coming from China will be undertaken at pre-immigration counters installed with thermal cameras at airports.   

"In light of the same, all logistics support and arrangements are required to be made immediately with regard to screening of passengers arriving in India from China at the three identified airports -- Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. A prototype announcement has to be made in the flights coming to India from China and prototype signage has to be displayed boldly at the strategic location of these three identified airports," said the MoCA.   

"Health screening at airports (Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai) -- screening of passengers to be undertaken for those coming from China. Therefore, you are requested to provide space at the pre-immigration area with logistics to install the thermal cameras," it added.   

Further, in order to facilitate early isolation, the airlines should make in-flight announcements requesting passengers, in case they develop Severe Acute Respiratory Infection, with a history of fever and cough and history of travel to Wuhan City in last 14 days to self-declare at the port of arrival or to state health authorities.   

The MoCA further stated that airlines should be emphasised to hand over the General Declaration and passenger manifest to APHO staff before disembarkation.   

"All passengers and crew who are otherwise healthy should be allowed to continue their onward journey. If the ill passenger or crew member is confirmed as a probable case of Wuhan coronavirus, public health authorities should be notified about the contacts using the Passenger Locator Form. Airlines staff should be directed to bring the passengers to the health counters before the immigration check," it said.   

"The cabin crew should follow the operational procedures recommended by International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to managing the suspected communicable disease onboard an aircraft," said the statement.   

Meanwhile, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi has started screening passengers coming from China. Additional Health officers have been deployed at the airport for the same.   

"In line with the directives given by the ministry of health and family welfare, the Airport Health Organisation has made arrangements for a counter at Delhi airport, which is manned by their staff to check the inbound passengers from the affected areas. Appropriate information signage has also been deployed," a Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) spokesperson told ANI.   

However, the health ministry is fully aware of the coronavirus outbreak and has issued a travel advisory for those who are visiting China.   

"An infection with coronavirus has been reported from China. As on January 11, 41 confirmed cases have been reported so far, of which one has died. China travel-related cases have been reported (one each) in Thailand and Japan. The clinical signs and symptoms are mainly fever with a few patients having difficulty in breathing." read the ministry's advisory.   

The IGI airport in Delhi has five airlines to and from China, while the Mumbai airport has two, and Kolkata airport has two airlines operating to and from China. 

Image used for representational purpose.
16:45   Disclosure of info in NPR voluntary: MoS Home
Amidst strong opposition by some non-Bharatiya Janata Party ruled states, the Centre on Tuesday made it clear that the disclosure of information in the National Population Register (NPR) exercise is not mandatory but voluntary.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy also said the NPR was first initiated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2010 and it was a constitutional obligation.

"Disclosure of information in NPR is voluntary only," he told reporters in New Delhi.

Reddy said since NPR is a constitutional obligation, the state governments should not oppose it.

The ministers also said the central government will keep sensitising the state governments about various aspects of the NPR.

The NPR exercise will be carried out along with the house listing phase of the Census 2021 from April 1 to September 30, 2020.  -- PTI
16:24   Police officer killed, Army jawan injured in encounter in J-K
A special police officer was killed and a soldier injured on Tuesday in an encounter with militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said. 
The encounter broke out in the district's Khrew area when the security forces had launched a cordon and search operation, a police official said.
Special Police Officer Shahbaz Ahmad was killed while an Army jawan injured in the exchange of fire, the official said. 
He said the operation was on till last reports came in. -- PTI
16:02   Deadline ends, Kejriwal yet to file nomination
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is anxiously waiting for his turn on the last day for the filing of nominations for the Delhi election as a large number of independent candidates beat him to the election office.

"Waiting to file my nomination. My token no is 45. There are many people here to file nomination papers. Am so glad so many people participating in democracy," he tweeted.

The Aam Aadmi Party accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of deliberately delaying the filing of nomination by Kejriwal.

"Around 35 candidates are sitting at RO office without proper nomination papers, even without names of 10 proposers. They are insisting unless their papers are complete and file nomination, they won't allow CM Kejriwal to file nomination. The BJP is behind these people," AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said.


Officials, NDTV quoted, saying that Kejriwal need not worry as anyone who makes it inside the office before 3 pm will be allowed to file their nomination.

The AAP chief missed the 3 pm deadline to file his papers on Monday after the roadshow that he undertook on his way to the returning offcer toom a curcuitous route and reached late.
15:50   Daughters of renowned poet booked for protesting against CAA, NRC in UP
The daughters of renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana are among the 160 women booked by the police for allegedly defying prohibitory orders and taking part in the protests against CAA and NRC in Lucknow, officials said on Tuesday.
 
The protests at the historical Clock Tower in the old Lucknow area against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens started on Friday and have continued with hundreds of women braving the chilly conditions to take part in it.
The district administration, which imposed prohibitory orders, has booked 160 women, including two daughters of Rana, for defying the orders on Monday night.
"Prohibitory orders are in force. Yet women have been staging protests. This amounts to defying the orders and three cases have been lodged at the Thakurganj police station in this connection," Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone), Vikas Chand Tripathi said.
Fauzia and Sumaiya, daughters of Rana, have been named in one of the FIRs, he said.
Besides the Clock Tower, where protests have been going on for the past five days on the lines of Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, another protest by women was staged in Ujariaon area of Gomti Nagar on Monday evening against the CAA and the NRC.
Over a dozen women staged sit-in near a 'dargah', holding placards showing anti-CAA, NRC slogans. When asked to vacate the area, they resorted to sloganeering against the citizenship law, police said.
A police team which rushed to the spot urged the women to go home citing prohibitory orders but they did not relent, police said. -- PTI 
15:49   Indian mission releases names of 8 tourists who died in Nepal
The Indian high commission in Nepal has issued the following statement about 8 tourists from Kerala found dead in a resort in Nepal.   

'This mission received information today morning regarding 8 Indian national tourists from Kerala being found unconscious in their hotel room in Daman, Makwanpur district, Nepal.  

'The mission immediately contacted other members of the group in Daman and family/friends in India. All 8 were airlifted and brought to hospital in Kathmandu. A doctor from this mission was also immediately sent to the concerned hospital to check on welfare of patients and to coordinate/provide necessary assistance.   

'However, we have now been informed that all 8 patients did not survive. Our doctor, along with a member of the group, is in the hospital. Other group members and family from India/Dubai are on their way to Kathmandu. The contact details of mission officials have been shared with family/friends.   

'Following are details of the 8 deceased:   
1. Praveen Krishnan Nair
2. Saranya Sasi
3. Sreebhadra Praveen
4. Aarcha Praveen
5. Abhinav Saranya Nair
6. Ranjith Kumar Adatholath Punathil
7. Indu Lakshmi Peethambaran Ragalatha 
8. Vyshnav Ranjith
15:47   Modi, Shah are a drag on Indian democracy: Sibal
Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said the nationwide protests against the amended citizenship law reflected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah were a "drag on Indian democracy".
   
Sibal's comments come after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had on Monday lowered India's economic growth estimate for the current fiscal to 4.8 per cent and listed the country's much-lower-than-expected GDP numbers as the single-biggest drag on its global growth forecast for two years.
 
"IMF lowers India's GDP for 2019 to 4.8%. Calls it a drag on the world economy," Sibal tweeted.
 
"Protests of people, young and old, across India (who can't be recognised by the clothes they wear) Reflect that the duo Modiji and Amit Shah are a drag on Indian Democracy," the Congress leader added.
 
Ahead of the start of the World Economic Forum annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, India-born IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath had said growth in the country slowed sharply owing to stress in the non-bank financial sector and weak rural income growth.
 
India's growth is estimated at 4.8 per cent in 2019, projected to improve to 5.8 per cent in 2020 and 6.5 percent in 2021 (1.2 and 0.9 percentage point lower than in the October WEO), supported by monetary and fiscal stimulus as well as subdued oil prices, the IMF said. -- PTI 
15:24   JD-U leader questions BJP tie-up for Delhi poll
Janata Dal-United leader Pavan Varma on Tuesday sought ideological clarity from party president Nitish Kumar over aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi elections, referring to the Bihar chief minister's "private apprehensions" on how the saffron party is leading the country. 
 
In remarks that may embarrass Kumar, Varma claimed in a letter to him that despite his alliance with the BJP in 2017, his "private apprehensions" regarding the party and how it was leading India into a "dangerous space" did not change.
"I remember your confessing to me in private how the current leadership in the BJP party has humiliated you. You maintained, on more than one occasion, that the BJP is leading India into a 'dangerous space," the former Rajya Sabha member and JD-U general secretary wrote.
He said, "It was your personal view, as conveyed to me, that the BJP is destroying institutions, and that there is a need for democratic and socialist forces within the country to regroup, a task for which you actually assigned a senior party official."
The JD-U or its president have not reacted to Varma's claims and swipe at Kumar, who has been a frequent critic of the Modi government's policies and had asked his party to stand against its citizenship measures.
The JD-U's decision to broaden its alliance outside and join hands with the BJP for the Delhi polls has left him "deeply perplexed", Varma said, adding that he looked to Kumar for ideological clarity. 
"On more than one occasion, you have expressed your grave apprehensions about the BJP-RSS combine, he said in his letter to the Bihar chief minister.
"If these are your real views, I fail to understand how the JD-U is now extending its alliance with the BJP beyond Bihar, when even long standing allies of the BJP, like the Akali Dal, have refused to do so. This is especially so at a time when the BJP, through the CAA-NPR-NRC combine, has embarked on a massive socially divisive agenda..." he said. 
Varma said there is an urgent need for the JD-U to harmonise what the party's Constitution says, what the leader of the party feels in private, and what actions the party takes in public. 
"Politics, as you have emphasised to us, must be about principle and the courage of conviction," he said in the letter. -- PTI
15:00   Dhawan ruled out of New Zealand T20s due to shoulder injury
India opener Shikhar Dhawan was Tuesday ruled out of the five-match T20 series in New Zealand due to a shoulder injury he suffered while fielding in the third ODI against Australia in Bengaluru.
   
"Yes, he has been ruled out of the T20 series. A replacement will be announced soon" a BCCI official told PTI.
 
Dhawan's injury troubles have carried into the new year and he did not come out to open during the successful run chase against Australia on Sunday.
The southpaw was taken for an x-ray after he hurt his left shoulder during fielding at the Chinnaswamy Stadim on Sunday.
 
K L Rahul came out to bat in his place alongside Rohit Sharma. Dhawan was seen wearing a sling on his left hand.
 
The 34-year-old Dhawan did not take the field for the entire duration of the Australian innings in the second ODI after a Pat Cummins bouncer hit him on the rib cage while batting.
 
Dhawan missed the entire limited overs series against West Indies last month.
 
He also had to pull out of the 2019 World Cup due to a fractured thumb, an injury he suffered against Australia. In the same game, he had scored a match-winning hundred.
Dhawan had scored 96 and 74 in the first two games of the current series against Australia. 

India won the series 2-1. -- PTI
14:54   A lot has happened, but nothing has been done actually: Greta Thunberg
Young climate campaigner Greta Thunberg on Tuesday said a lot has happened since her campaign caught eyes of the world but "nothing has been done" actually to save the planet.
 
"In one aspect, lots has happened since last year. The mass mobilisation of young people around the world has put climate at the top of the agenda," the 17-year old campaigner from Sweden said in Davos at the WEF Annual Meeting.
 
"People are more generally aware now. The climate and the environment is a hot topic. But - and it's a big but: From another perspective, pretty much nothing has been done," she said.
 
It is just the "very beginning" and a lot needs to be done given the ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions, she said.
 
Thunberg also said she can't complain about not being heard as she is a person who is being heard all the time, drawing applause from the audience.
 
Thunberg and a panel of other young activists were speaking at a panel about how their efforts to improve the world can achieve the desired results.
The participants included Salvador Gmez-Coln, who raised funds and awareness after Hurricane Mara devastated his native Puerto Rico in 2017.
 
Natasha Mwansa, from Zambia who campaigns for girls' and women's rights, and Autumn Peltier, Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation of indigenous people in Canada, were also present.
 
In 2018, Greta began protesting outside the Swedish parliament during school hours with a sign painted with the words, Skolstrejk for Klimatet (School Strike for Climate). Greta has continued to strike every Friday, inspiring hundreds of thousands of children worldwide to follow her example. -- PTI 
14:44   32-yr-old widow gangraped in Mumbai; 4 arrested
A 32-year-old woman was allegedly raped by four persons near a railway track in suburban Kurla, a police official said on Tuesday.
All the accused have been arrested, he said.
The incident took place near the Harbour Line rail track in Sable Nagar locality late Monday night when the victim, a resident of Worli area, was looking to go to Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Kurla area to board a train
to Katni in Madhya Pradesh, the official said.
Before the incident, she arrived at Kurla in a train from Byculla. On reaching the Kurla bridge, she asked a passerby for directions to LTT and followed him on the Harbour Line route, the official said.
While walking, the victim mid-way went to relieve herself in the bushes and the passerby, who was walking ahead of her to show her the way, disappeared, he said.
At that time, two men, who were consuming drugs in the bushes, allegedly attacked the victim and raped her, he said.
Two other men, who were passing by on a two-wheeler, stopped at the spot and also allegedly raped the woman and had unnatural sex with her, the official said.
The accused also robbed the victim of Rs 3,000 and snatched her 'mangalsutra' worth around Rs 25,000 before letting her go, he said.
After the brutalised victim walked some distance, she met a woman who helped her alert Nehru Nagar police.
One of the accused who was following the victim after the incident was identified by the woman (who helped the victim) as resident of the locality where she lived, he said.

Based on the inputs, the police swung into action and arrested all the four accused within hours of the crime, Nehru Nagar police station's senior inspector Vilas Shinde said.
The accused have been identified as Shrikant Bhogle, Sonu Tiwari, Nilesh Baraskar and Siddharth Wagh.
Three of the accused were nabbed from Kurla, while Wagh was caught from suburban Vikhroli, he said.
The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 354 (assault) and other relevant provisions, the official said.
The victim, who is a widow and has two children, was taken for a medical examination, he added. -- PTI 
14:41   Denied ticket for Delhi polls, AAP MLA Surender Singh quits party
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Surender Singh, who was denied a ticket for the February 8 Delhi assembly election, on Tuesday said he has resigned from the party. 
 
Sharing his resignation letter on Twitter, he said, "Today, I'm sad and I'm giving my resignation letter from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)."
14:37   Protest but CAA will not be withdrawn: Shah
Attacking the opposition for "misleading" people on the Citizenship Amendment Act, Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the law will not be scrapped despite the protests over it.
   
Addressing a rally in Lucknow in support of the CAA, Shah also declared that construction of a Ram temple "touching the skies" in Ayodhya will begin within three months.
 
He said there is no provision in the amended law for taking anyone's citizenship away. 

"A canard is being spread against the CAA by the Congress, the SP, the BSP, and the Trinamool Congress. The CAA is a law to grant citizenship," he said.
 
"I want to say that irrespective of the protests this will not be withdrawn," he added.
 
Shah challenged Congress opposition leaders to hold a discussion with him on the CAA at a public forum.
He named Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party's Mayawati and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee while throwing the challenge.
"The Congress has become blind due to vote bank politics," he said. 

He also balmed the Congress for Partition.
14:19   JNU union moves Delhi HC against fee hike provision
The JNU Students Union on Tuesday moved the Delhi high court challenging the Inter Hostel Administration's (IHA) decision amending the Hostel Manual which has provisions for a fee hike. 

The plea, filed by JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and its other office bearers Saket Moon, Satish Chandra Yadav and Md Danish, challenged the minutes of the IHA issued on October 28, 2019, the jurisdiction of the high level committee constituted on November 24, 2019 and their recommendations. 

The petition submitted that decisions taken by the IHA are mala fide, arbitrary and illegal and adversely affect the students. 

"The decisions to bring about amendments in the Hostel Manual are contrary to provisions of the JNU Act, 1966, Statutes, Ordinances and the Hostel Manual. The amendments include reducing JNUSU representation in IHA, increased rates as applicable to hostel residents and also brought amendments to clauses of the Hostel Manual adversely affecting reserved category students in the University," the plea submitted.

Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo.
14:15   8 tourists from Kerala die of gas leak in Nepal
Eight Indian tourists, including four children, died on Tuesday after they fell unconscious due to a possible gas leak in their room at a resort in Nepal, according to a media report. 

The Indian nationals were airlifted to HAMS hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival, Superintendent of Police Sushil Singh Rathaur said.

The deceased -- two couples and four children -- were part of a group of 15 people travelling from Kerala to Pokhara, a popular mountainous tourist destination, the Himalayan Times reported. 

They were on their way back home and stayed at Everest Panorama Resort in Daman in Makawanpur district on Monday night. 

According to the manager at the resort, the guests, who arrived at the resort, stayed in a room and turned on a gas heater to keep themselves warm. 

Although they had booked a total of four rooms, eight of them stayed in a room and the others in another room, the manager said, adding that all the windows and the door of the room were bolted from inside. 

Police suspect that they might have passed out due to lack of ventilation, the report said.

Image used for representational purpose. Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/Redif.com.
13:23   Encounter breaks out in J-K's Pulwama
An encounter broke out between terrorists and the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Tuesday, police said.
   
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Khrew following information about the presence of militants in the area, an officer said.
 
The operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire. The security forces retaliated, triggering a gunbattle that was going on till the last reports came in. -- PTI
13:22   Modi should do 'Naukri Par Charcha': Yechury
Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday slammed the government over dipping employment rates, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi should conduct a "Naukri Par Charcha".
 
Quoting a news report, Yechury charged that the "unemployment rate is the worst-ever in independent India".
"Modi should do a Naukri Par Charcha, and listen to the 'mann ki baat' of millions of jobless he has created with his policies like demonetisation and badly planned GST," he said in a tweet.
The prime minister had on Monday interacted with students during "Pariksha Pe Charcha" programme.
Yechury added that "Unemployment rate is the worst-ever in independent India. 45% for those between 15-19 years of age. It is 37% for those between 20-24 years. Urban unemployment. This is 44% in urban India". -- PTI  
12:44   BJP MP takes dig at Saif's 'concept of India' remark
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi has hit out at actor Saif Ali Khan for his recent remarks on Indian history, citing the name of his three-year-old son Taimur.

Responding to a question in an interview on the political context of his latest movie Tanhaji, Saif had said, "I don't think this is history. I don't think there was a concept of India till the British gave it one."

Meenakshi Lekhi joined those enraged by the statement on Twitter, calling out the actor for his child's name.

"Even Turks find Taimur a brute! But some people choose to name their children Taimur," she tweeted.

This is not the first time the name of Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi, born in December 2016 to Saif Ali Khan and wife Kareena Kapoor, has earned the ire of right-wing public figures and trolls.
12:36   Modi, Oli jointly inaugurate check post at Jogbani-Biratnagar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the second integrated check post at Jogbani-Biratnagar along the border.
Built with Indian assistance, the integrated check post is spread over 260 acres and is capable of handling 500 trucks on a daily basis.The Rs 140 crore project will improve trade and people-to-people contact.
The project was launched jointly by the two leaders via a video link.
The first ICP was built in Raxaul-Birgunj in 2018. 
At the event, both the prime ministers also witnessed the  progress in Indian-assisted post-2015 earthquake housing reconstruction projects in Nepal.
Out of India's commitment to build 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, 45,000 have already been completed.
Addressing the event via video, Oli invited Modi to visit Nepal. 
Prime Minister Modi said he looks forward to a visit to the neighbouring country this year. -- PTI 
12:32   JNU students' basic demand on fee hike met: HRD
The basic demand of Jawaharlal Nehru University students on the issue of hostel fee hike has been met and calls for the removal of the university's vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar are now not reasonable, says Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
The situation in the university is turning normal, the minister told PTI in an interview. 
"Over 80 per cent students have already registered for the winter semester. The students who want to study should not be disturbed. If our universities have to excel in global competition, we need to rise above these issues," he said.
"The basic demand of students about the hostel fees hike has been met. The calls for JNU VC's removal now are not reasonable, removing anybody is not the solution," he added.
 
Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Act is not aimed at taking away anybody's citizenship, the minister appealed to students "to explain this to those misleading public on the issue and indulging in petty politics". 
12:08   Brazilian Prez Bolsonaro to begin 4-day India visit from Friday
Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, the chief guest of India's Republic Day celebrations this year, will begin his four-day visit to the country from Friday. 
 
On his first visit to India after assuming power, Bolsonaro will be accompanied by seven ministers, top officials and a large business delegation.
"President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro will be paying a state visit to India from January 24-27 January at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be the chief guest at India's 71st Republic Day Parade on January 26," the external affairs ministry said. -- PTI
11:30   Won't apologise for remark on Periyar: Rajini
Days after a Dravidian outfit demanded an apology from him for his comments on a rally taken out by social reformer Periyar decades ago, superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday asserted that he will neither express regret nor tender an apology and maintained that his remark was factual.
     
Showing clippings from magazines and newspapers, the top actor said the idols of Lord Ram and Sita were taken out without dress and the deities also featured a garland of sandals in a rally led by late Periyar E V Ramasamy in 1971.
     
"A controversy has emerged that I said something that did not happen. But I did not say anything that did not occur. I only said what I heard and things that appeared in magazines. Sorry, I will not express regret or apologise," he told reporters outside his Poes Garden residence.
     
Further, he said, "I did not say anything out of imagination or something that was not there. Lakshmanan (then Jan Sangh and now BJP leader) who took part in a dharna (in 1971) has corroborated it," he said.
     
On the 1971 rally, in which Hindu deities were allegedly taken out naked, the actor said such things that happened in the past should not be raked up again and again.
     
"It was not a thing that can be (easily) forgotten but a thing that must be forgotten," he quipped.
     
On January 14, taking part in an event held in Chennai by Tamil magazine 'Thuglak' Rajinikanth alleged: "In 1971, at Salem, Periyar took out a rally in which the undressed images of Lord Sriramachandramoorthy and Sita --with a garland of sandal, featured ...."
     
A Dravidian outift, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, however, accused the actor of "uttering a blatant lie" and demanded his unconditional apology and also filed police complaints seeking action against him.
     
The DVK alleged that the actor uttered a "blatant lie that the images of Lord Ram and Sita were taken nude in a rally, held as part of a superstition eradication conference held in 1971 at Salem." -- PTI
11:10   Prepare for attack: Chidambaram warns IMF
With the International Monetary Fund lowering India's economic growth estimate for the current fiscal to 4.8 per cent, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday claimed an attack on the world body and its chief economist Gita Gopinath by government ministers was imminent.
 
He also alleged that the growth figure of 4.8 per cent given by the IMF is after some "window dressing" and he won't be surprised if it goes even lower.
"Reality check from IMF. Growth in 2019-20 will be BELOW 5 per cent at 4.8 per cent," Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.
"Even the 4.8 per cent is after some window dressing. I will not be surprised if it goes even lower," the former finance minister said.
IMF Chief Economist Gopinath was one of the first to denounce demonetisation, he noted.
"I suppose we must prepare ourselves for an attack by government ministers on the IMF and Dr Gita Gopinath," Chidambaram said.
The IMF lowered India's economic growth estimate for the current fiscal to 4.8 per cent and listed the country's much lower-than-expected GDP numbers as the single biggest drag on its global growth forecast for two years.
In October, the IMF had pegged India economic growth at 6.1 per cent for 2019.
Listing decline in rural demand growth and an overall credit sluggishness for lowering of India forecasts, Gopinath, however, had said the growth momentum should improve next year due to factors like positive impact of corporate tax rate reduction. -- PTI 
10:56   Oppn's aim is to defeat me, mine is to beat corruption: Kejriwal
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said while the aim of opposition parties is to defeat him in the upcoming polls, his aim is to beat corruption and take Delhi forward.
 
"On one hand - BJP, JD(U), LJP, JJP, Congress, RJD. On the other hand - school, hospital, water, electricity, free bus travel for women. My aim - to defeat corruption and take Delhi forward, their aim- to defeat me," he said in a tweet. 
While the Bharatiya Janata Party is fighting in alliance with the Janata Dal-United and the Lok Janshakti Party, the Congress is contesting in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal. 
Delhi goes to polls on February 8. -- PTI  
10:46   Fresh snowfall in HP, roads to Kufri, Narkanda closed
Several mountainous roads in Himachal Pradesh were closed for vehicles following overnight snowfall, officials said on Tuesday. 
 
Roads towards Kufri, Fagu, Kharapathar, Narkanda and Khirki are blocked with snow, police said.
Light vehicles are plying on the Mashobra road but drivers have been warned of slippery areas on the route, superintendent of police, Shimla, Omapati Jamwal, said.
In case of emergency, people should call helpline numbers '112' and '1077', he said. 
Roads in Chopal, Rohru, Kotkhai and Sunni in upper Shimla are also blocked, an official said. -- PTI 
10:33   Sanjiv Chadha appointed MD, CEO Bank of Baroda
Sanjiv Chadha has been appointed as managing director and chief executive officer at Bank of Baroda, a personnel ministry order issued on Monday said.
 
Chadha, who is at present deputy managing director in State Bank of India, has been appointed to the new post for a period of three years, it said.
Lingam Venkata Prabhakar, executive director in Punjab National Bank, will be MD and CEO in Canara Bank, the order said.
His tenure, from the date of assumption of charge on or after February 1, will be till December 31, 2022.
Atanu Kumar Das has been appointed as the MD and CEO in Bank of India for a three-year term. 

He is at present working as the executive director in the same bank. -- PTI
10:10   Tendulkar, Walsh to coach teams in bushfire charity match
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies bowling great Courtney Walsh will coach the star-studded Ricky Ponting XI and Shane Warne XI teams in a charity cricket match organised to raise funds for Australia's bushfire victims.
   
According to Cricket Australia, the match named 'Bushfire Cricket Bash' will be held on February 8.
 
The bushfire relief cricket match is one of three headline acts on cricket's day of giving, The Big Appeal. The other two events are Commonwealth Bank Women's Tri-Series T20I clash between India and Australia and the final of the KFC Big Bash.
Tendulkar and Walsh will coach legends like Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shane Watson, Alex Blackwell and Michael Clarke among others. 
 
Steve Waugh and Mel Jones will also be involved in the match in non-playing roles.
 
"We are absolutely honoured to be welcoming Sachin (Tendulkar) and Courtney (Walsh) back to Australia where they both enjoyed a lot of success as players, and we can't wait to have them involved," said Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts. 
 
"We're looking forward to our people at CA and the entire Australian cricket family coming together for the Big Appeal."
 
The profits and funds raised from the match will go to the Australian Red Cross. 
The raging bushfires have already killed 29 people in Australia and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in recent months. 
 A host of sportspersons, including Warne, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and tennis stars Serena Williams and Nick Kyrgios among others have raised funds for the bushfire victims. -- PTI 
10:07   'Cowards': Cong's Aiyar slams govt's J-K outreach
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who is known for making controversial remarks, on Monday launched an attack on 36 Union Cabinet ministers visiting Jammu and Kashmir, by calling them "cowards".

Addressing a public gathering againt Citizenship Amendment Act in Malappuram, he said, "They are sending 36 Union ministers to Jammu and Kashmir. But, look at these cowards, 31 are going to Jammu and only five to Kashmir."

He further questioned, "And who are they going to talk in Kashmir? To the former chief ministers? They can't. They are all in jail. Farooq Abdullah is in jail. Omar Abdullah is in jail. Mehbooba (Mufti) is in jail. Whom are they going to talk to?"

About 36 Union ministers are scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir in a massive outreach by the central government.

Referring to the majority of the ruling BJP in the Lower House, Aiyar said, "Immediately...these arrogant people, it just went to their heads. They said this is the golden opportunity. We are never going to get 303 seats again. Let us push through all the anti-Muslim legislation that we have in mind."

Meanwhile, commenting on the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the bifurcation of the erstwhile state, Aiyar said, "They are trying to create a political class. Political class grows from among the people. You cannot have a BJP that doesn't have a single vote in the valley coming up."

"Yes, there are traitors like the ones we are seeing now, but then in every society, there are traitors. These are not representatives of the people, if they were, they would have been elected many many years ago...How many elections we have had in J-K? Some of these people are those who were elected and have now decided to betray the cause for which they stood," he said.

Commenting on the Shaheen Bagh protests, the Congress leader said, "And why are they so frightened of going to Shaheen Bagh? For 34 days, they have been sitting there protesting against this attempt to divide India once again on religious grounds." -- ANI
09:45   After missing deadline, Kejriwal to file poll nomination today

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will file his nomination for the Delhi assembly election today after missing the deadline on Monday due to his roadshow.

"I was supposed to file my nomination today but the office closes at 3 pm. I was asked go in between and file the nomination but I said how can I leave people at the road show and go? I will go to file nomination tomorrow with my family," Kejriwal said.

He is contesting the elections from New Delhi seat.
09:14   Fire at Surat market; 60 fire engines rushed to spot
A major fire broke out in a seven-storey market complex in Gujarat's Surat city on Tuesday morning, a fire official said.
There was no report of any casualty so far, he said.

The blaze erupted in Raghuveer Complex, a large textile market in Saroli area, and gutted several shops, he said.
The fire brigade declared a 'brigade call' and deployed 60 fire tenders from across the city to douse the flames, the official said.
The cause of the fire was not yet known. -- PTI 
09:12   Zomato acquires Uber Eats in India
Zomato on Tuesday said it has acquired the Indian business of Uber Eats in an all-stock deal that will give Uber 9.99 per cent stake in the Indian food delivery and restaurant discovery platform.
 
Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, and users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform, effective Tuesday, a statement said.
In a regulatory filing to BSE, Info Edge (India) - a shareholder in Zomato - said its shareholding in Zomato will stand reduced to about 22.71 per cent on fully converted and diluted basis upon closing of the transaction.
The deal comes days after Zomato had raised $150 million in funding from existing investor Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate, at a$3 billion valuation. 
"We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category," Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal said.
Uber Eats, which entered India in 2017, has about 26,000 restuarants listed on its platform from 41 cities.
Zomato's restaurant discovery and food delivery platform has information for over 1.5 million restaurants across 24 countries and serves more than 70 million users every month.
Discussions between Zomato and Uber have been on for months. Facing stiff competition from Zomato and Swiggy, Uber Eats had been making losses.
Uber had projected an operating loss of Rs 2,197 crore in its food delivery business for the five months through December 2019, according to a valuation report prepared by KPMG affiliate BSR and was part of regulatory filings.
According to sources, Uber Eats India business contributed three per cent of the global gross bookings but accounted for over 25 per cent of adjusted EBIDTA losses for the first three quarters of 2019.
With the sale of the food business in India, Uber can now focus on the rides business and driving it towards profitability, one of the persons said.
"India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader. We have been very impressed by Zomato's ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success," Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said in the statement. -- PTI 
09:06   Will never accept imposition of Hindi: Pondy CM
Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy on Monday said that the territorial administration would spare no efforts to protect Tamil language and it would never accept imposition of Hindi.
 
Unveiling the statue of the Tamil saint and poet Thiruvalluvar (the author of Tamil treatise Tirukkural) on the premises of the Puducherry Thamizh Sangam, he said this was made clear at the All India Education Ministers conference convened by the Centre recently to discuss the New Education Policy.
Puducherry Education minister R Kamalakannan, who attended the meeting, made it clear that the Puducherry administration was committed to two-language formula.
"We would spare no steps to protect Tamil while adopting English as the link language," he said.
Narayanasamy said the education minister had made it clear that the Puducherry government would never budge from its stand to protect Tamil. 
He said the Puducherry government would never accept imposition of Hindi.
Education minister R Kamalakannan intervened to tell the chief minister that "none from Tamil Nadu had participated in the meeting convened by the HRD ministry to discuss the New Education Policy recently".
Office bearers of the  Thamizh Sangam, Health minister Malladi Krishna Rao, Revenue minister M O H F Shah Jahan and delegates of various Tamil outfits were among those present. -- PTI  
08:43   Delhi poll: BJP pits Sunil Yadav against Kejriwal
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday released the second list of candidates for the Delhi Assembly polls, fielding state Yuva Morcha president Sunil Yadav from the New Delhi constituency against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
 
The list was announced after midnight following the announcement of Siromani Akali Dal to not contest the Delhi polls in alliance with the BJP due to its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act.
According to the list of 10 candidates that came hours before the filing of nomination closes on Tuesday, Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinderpal Singh Bagga has been fielded from Hari Nagar and party's Purvanchal Morcha president Manish Singh would contest from the Delhi Cantonment constituency.
The BJP announced its candidates on all four seats that traditionally went to its ally SAD in the previous Assembly elections in Delhi. 
Dharamvir Singh has been fielded from Kalkaji, former East Delhi deputy mayor Sanjay Goyal from Shahdara and Ramesh Khanma from Rajouri Garden.
The list also includes the names of BJP candidates Sumanlata Shokeen, who would content from Nangloi Jat, Ravindra Chaudhary from Kasturba Nagar, Kusum Khatri from Mehrauli and Anil Goyal from Krishna Nagar.
The BJP has left three seats for its alliance partners Janata Dal-United and Lok Janshakti Party.
The JD-U will contest from Burari and Sangam Vihar constituencies while LJP will fight from the Seemapuri seat.
The polls for 70-membered assembly will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11. -- PTI 
01:14   Imran Khan to meet Trump in Davos
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and United States President Donald Trump will meet this week on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the Foreign Office announced on Monday.

Khan would attend the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, from January 21 to 23 at the invitation of Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF.

"On the sidelines, the Prime Minister will hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders. These include Prime Minister's meeting with US President Trump," the FO said.

This would be the third leadership-level interaction between Pakistan and the US since Prime Minister Khan's maiden visit to Washington in July 2019.

The two leaders had also met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.

Their meeting comes amid tensions in the Gulf region between Iran and the US, and Pakistan's efforts to drum up support on the Kashmir issue.

Ahead of the announcement of his meeting with Trump, Khan on Saturday warned that he feared 'an Indian false flag operation'.

He said there was an urgent need for UN Security Council to insist India allow the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) return to Kashmir.

'I want to make clear to India and the international community that if India continues its military attacks killing civilians across LoC, Pakistan will find it increasingly difficult to remain an inactive observer along the LoC,' Khan tweeted on Saturday.

India maintains that the UNMOGIP, established in January 1949, has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

Several other meetings are also scheduled with a wide range of corporate, business, technology and finance executives, and representatives of international financial institutions, the Foreign Office said, disclosing details of Khan's programme in Davos.

Khan would deliver a keynote address at the WEF Special Session, and interact with CEOs and corporate leaders at the 'Pakistan Strategy Dialogue'.

Prime Minister Khan will also speak to international media and editors during a session with the Forum's International Media Council.

Throughout his engagements at Davos, Prime Minister Khan will share Pakistan's vision and achievements in the areas of economy, peace and stability, trade, business and investment opportunities, the FO said.

He will also highlight the current situation in Kashmir and Pakistan's perspective on key regional and international issues, it said.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Forum.

In keeping with the significance of this milestone, political leaders, business executives, heads of international organisations and civil society representatives will deliberate on contemporary economic, geopolitical, social and environmental issues at Davos summit.  -- PTI