Thu, 01 October 2020
Why media not questioning UP govt: Raj Thackeray
23:32 Why media not questioning UP govt: Raj Thackeray
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday asked why the Uttar Pradesh government tried to stop someone who wanted to meet the Hathras rape victim's family.
He also wondered why the "media" is not asking any questions to the BJP government in the northern state.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and around 150 party workers were briefly detained in Greater Noida on Thursday while walking towards Hathras to meet the Dalit rape victim's family.
"Why someone going to visit the family is being stopped and manhandled? What is the government scared of?" Thackeray asked, speaking to reporters in Mumbai.
"Why are the people who scream at the top of their voice if anything happens in Maharashtra silent now? Why is the media not asking questions to the Uttar Pradesh government," he further said. -- PTI
22:38 Onus on Pak to create normal ties: India
India on Thursday said it desires to have normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence and the onus is on Islamabad to create such an environment.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India's efforts to step up engagement with the countries of the region are reflection of its 'Neighbourhood First policy'.
"This is certainly a reflection of our Neighbourhood First policy, wherein the government is committed to developing friendly and mutually beneficial relations with our neighbours," he said at a media briefing.
He said India's engagement with these countries is based on a consultative, non-reciprocal and outcome oriented approach.
Srivastava was replying to a question on India's renewed efforts in the last few months to further expand ties with Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Maldives and several other countries of the region.
"We have a large development cooperation footprint in these countries and we are engaged in several projects for greater connectivity, improved infrastructure and broader people-to-people contacts," he said.
On Pakistan, he said the onus is on Islamabad to create an environment for normal ties.
"As regards Pakistan, the government has conveyed that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an atmosphere free from terror, hostility and violence. The onus is on Pakistan for creating such an environment," he said.
The ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after India's war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan in February last year in response to the Pulwama terror attack.
The relations further deteriorated after India on August 5 last year announced withdrawing special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories. -- PTI
22:36 Those who backed Kangana should speak up for Hathras victim: Raut
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said those who attacked his party for demolition at actor Kangana Ranaut's bungalow should now demand justice for the Hathras rape-and-murder victim.
He also criticized the alleged rough treatment meted out by the police to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when he was on his way to meet the victim's family at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.
"Those who took a stand against us over the demolition of illegal construction done by an actress should demand justice for the Hathras victim," Raut told reporters in Mumbai.
His party had come under fire after the Sena-controlled Mumbai civic body pulled down alleged illegal alterations at Ranaut's bungalow her following her public spat with Raut.
Commenting on alleged "man-handling" faced by Rahul Gandhi, Raut said the purpose of this high-handedness was "to ensure that the cries for justice of a poor girl and her family should not reach the world".
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and around 150 party workers were briefly detained in Greater Noida on Thursday for alleged violation of prohibitory orders while walking towards Hathras to meet the Dalit rape victim's family.
Rahul Gandhi also fell down in the scuffle after police tried to stop him and his supporters from proceeding on the Yamuna Expressway near the Jewar toll plaza. -- PTI
22:18 Rape case: Anurag Kashyap quizzed for over 8 hrs
Film-maker Anurag Kashyap was on Thursday questioned by police in a rape case filed against him by actor Payal Ghosh for more than eight hours, an official said.
Kashyap, summoned by the police, reached suburban Versova police station around 10 am alongwith his two associates.
His lawyer too reached the police station after some time.
The film-maker left the police station around 6 pm, the police official said.
Ghosh underwent a medical examination after she filed the complaint, he said.
Versova police registered a First Information Report against Kashyap on September 22 after Ghosh alleged that he had raped her in 2013.
Kashyap has denied all her allegations.
The police invoked IPC sections 376 (I) (rape), 354 (assault on woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement).
On Tuesday, Ghosh and Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale had met Maharashtra governor B S Koshyari to seek action against Kashyap. -- PTI
22:01 Ex-Maha CM Narayan Rane tests Covid positive
Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha member and former chief minister of Maharashtra Narayan Rane on Thursday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Rane (68) disclosed the diagnosis on his official Twitter handle.
"I have tested positive for COVID-19. My health condition is fine but I have decided to isolate myself as per doctors advise.
"I will return soon to public life, he added. -- PTI
21:18 Hathras case: HC summons top UP govt officials
Upset with the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh and her forcible cremation subsequently, a Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Thursday summoned top government officials to the court.
A bench of justices Rajan Roy and Jaspreet Singh issued summons to the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary, director general of police and additional director general of police, asking them to be present before the court on October 12 explain the case.
Taking suo moto cognisance of the September 14 gang-rape and subsequent death of the teenager, the bench also ordered the Hathras district magistrate and senior superintendent of police to appear before it.
The bench asked all officials to come prepared with all the relevant material and documents to apprise the court of their versions of the incident.
The court, which appeared especially upset over the police cremating the teen's body overnight allegedly forcibly in Hathras without her parent's consent, also asked officials to apprise the bench of the latest status of the probe into the alleged gang-rape and murder case.
The bench also asked the late teen's parent to come to the court to apprise it of their version of the incident and ordered the Hathras district administration to arrange for their travel to the court. -- PTI
21:01 CAA protests: Akhil Gogoi gets bail
Activist Akhil Gogoi was granted bail on Thursday by a special court here in one of the two cases being probed by the National Investigation Agency in connection with his alleged role in the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Assam last year.
Gogoi was granted bail after five days of hearing in the case, which was filed at the Chabua police station and later transferred to the NIA.
NIA special judge Pranjal Das granted bail to Gogoi on a surety of Rs 30,000 and routine conditions, including not tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses.
The special court on August 7 had rejected his bail plea in the other case, which was registered at Chandmari police station. He then filed a petition challenging it in the Gauhati high court, which admitted the matter on September 28 and fixed October 13 as the next date of hearing.
Advocate Santanu Borthakur appeared for Gogoi while SC Kayal represented NIA as its standing counsel.
Gogoi, the leader of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, was arrested on December 12 last year from Jorhat, during the height of the anti-CAA protests in the state, as a "preventive measure" in view of the deteriorating law and order situation and his three associates were taken into custody the next day.
They were later handed over to the NIA and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their alleged role in the violent protest and possible links with Maoists.
While in custody, they were also arrested in a number of old cases registered across different police stations in the state but they have got bail in most of these cases. -- PTI
20:30 TMC MLA dies after testing COVID-19 positive
Trinamool Congress MLA Gurupada Mete, who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month, died in a private hospital on Thursday, officials said.
The 51-year-old two-time MLA of Indus constituency in Bankura district was admitted to the hospital in Howrah district last month after he tested positive.
Mete was also suffering from complications of heart and kidney diseases, officials of the hospital said. -- PTI
20:15 BJP's alliance politics is falling apart: Sibal
Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party over its oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal breaking ties with it on the farm bills issue, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday said the saffron party's alliance politics was "falling apart" over legislations and the ruling National Democratic Alliance has turned into a "non-democratic alliance".
Sibal, who was among the 23 leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi calling for organisational reforms, also slammed Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman for recently alluding to the letter writers and their alleged undermining of the party, saying, "The Congress still has space for people to express concerns, while the BJP has no such space".
Sibal alleged that the BJP got the farm bills passed while riding "roughshod over the Opposition and (its own) allies".
"Shiromani Akali Dal, probably the oldest alliance partner of the BJP, has broken away sensing the disquiet in the farming community and now Dushyant Chautala is feeling the heat of continuing with the BJP-led government in Haryana," the former Union minister said.
The BJP's "politics of alliance is falling apart" over the farm bills issue and the NDA has become a "non-democratic alliance", Sibal told PTI in an interview.
"Farmers are out on streets not only because of what the Congress is saying but because they feel strongly about the possibility of losing out on getting the MSP (minimum support price)," he said.
Sibal said the BJP always tries to gain a foothold in states where its presence is limited and afterwards "dumps" its allies.
"When they realise that they have gained a foothold, they are brazen enough to tell their alliance partners that 'we don't need you now'. That is why the Shiv Sena broke away and that is why the SAD broke away," Sibal said.
"Sukhbir Singh Badal said there is no consultation (in the NDA). So there is no NDA, there is only the BJP sitting over the NDA and lording over it," he alleged, also pointing to the seat-sharing issues NDA is facing in Bihar.
Asked about Sitharaman's remarks in a recent newspaper interview alluding to the 23 letter writers and implying an alleged undermining of Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad by the Congress, Sibal said, "She understands undermining of roles better than we do because the PM has undermined everyone in the Cabinet". -- PTI
19:28 'Travesty of justice': Ex-law minister on Babri verdict
Former law minister M Veerappa Moily on Thursday said acquittal of all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case by a special CBI court was a "travesty of justice", and claimed that the verdict reflects "insensitiveness" on the part of the judiciary.
The senior Congress leader also said the judgment is not consistent with the observation made by the Supreme Court in 2019 that the demolition of the mosque was an "egregious violation of the rule of law".
All the 32 accused, including BJP veterans L K Advani and MM Joshi, in the Babri masjid demolition case were acquitted on Wednesday by the special CBI court in Lucknow which said there was no conclusive proof against them.
Another senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also criticized the verdict, saying "the trial court's verdict defies logic and common sense, besides denying the conclusions of the Supreme Court!".
"No one killed Jessica was the anguished cry a few years ago. 'No one demolished the mosque' is the anguished cry today," Chidambaram tweeted.
In a statement, Moily said the verdict of the case reflects the "insensitiveness" on the part of the CBI and also the judiciary.
"Babri Masjid was demolished, the evidence of which is very clear as two years of Rath Yatra was conducted with volunteers carrying bricks and other materials for the construction of Ram Mandir in the place of Babri Masjid. To say that there is no evidence for demolition of Babri Masjid is a travesty of justice," Moily said.
"The Rath Yatra and the consequent demolition of Babri Masjid had been done amid the gaze of the entire nation and the entire world had witnessed the act. The judicial consciousness, and insensitivity of CBI failed to read the evidence written on the wall," said Moily, who was also the law minister from May 2009 to May 2011.
There was an "institutional conspiracy" to indulge in the act of sabotage, but the court could not pinpoint the conspirators, he claimed.
There is no doubt that the benefit of the doubt goes to the accused, but when the conspiracy is clear and a criminal act has been carried out, how could the CBI judge exonerate everyone, he asked.
"This demonstrates the fact that the judiciary has no eyes, ears or consciousness. The verdict has proved that truth and justice has no value in the country. The judgment is a bad reflection on the credibility of the judiciary," he alleged.
In a judgment that ran to 2,300 pages with enclosures, the special CBI court said there was no conclusive evidence against the 32 accused of being involved in any conspiracy to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya. -- PTI
18:41 Jaishankar greets China on its 71st anniversary
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday extended greetings to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi as well as the Chinese government and the people of China on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the country.
"Extend my felicitations to State Councilor & FM Wang Yi and the Government and People of PRC on the 71st anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China." Jaishankar tweeted.
China's State Council on Wednesday held a reception in Beijing at The Great Hall of The People to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
It was attended by the Communist Party of China and state leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan, as well as nearly 500 guests from home and abroad, Xinhua reported. -- ANI
18:36 Time to settle Kashi, Mathura issues: BJP leader
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinay Katiyar, a firebrand Hindutva activist and one of the 32 accused acquitted in the Babri mosque demolition case, said on Thursday Kashi and Mathura issues should also be settled in favour of Hindus after a Supreme Court verdict has paved the way for building a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
He, however, made it clear that a final decision on these contentious matters will be taken by saints.
Several Hindutva organisations have long demanded that Hindus should be handed over the religious sites in Kashi and Mathura where mosques stand alongside.
Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries had, however, said after the last year's Ayodhya verdict that the immediate agenda of the organisation do not include issues relating to Mathura, where Lord Krishna is believed to have been born, and Kashi, home to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Katiyar, a former MP of several terms and former UP unit president of the BJP, said that the special CBI court's verdict on Wednesday has taken a huge weight off his shoulder, as people kept saying that he and other BJP leaders were behind the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
He, though, added that had the "structure" not been brought down, then how the temple would be built.
"How the temple would be built if the structure was not brought down. However, it should not have been razed at that time (Dec 6, 1992)... How it was brought down is a different subject but had the structure remained, then the temple would not be built," he said.
Katiyar (65) insisted that his immediate thought, when the demolition took place, was that Ayodhya is "burning", and it should not have happened.
After all, the Supreme Court verdict (in November 2019) made everything clear and paved the way for the Ram temple's construction, he said.
In August this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Ram temple. The central government has constituted a trust to oversee the construction of a grand temple at the site where believers hold that Lord Ram was born.
A special court had on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused, including BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, of involvement in the destruction of Babri Masjid 28 years ago, a verdict slammed by the opposition as running counter to the constitutional spirit.
In a 2,300-page judgment, the CBI court said there was no conclusive evidence against the accused of being part of any conspiracy to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya. -- PTI
18:33 Choreographers Remo, Salman maybe fined by Goa police
The Goa police may penalise celebrity choreographers Remo D'Souza and Salman Y Khan for alleged violation of traffic rules, an official said on Thursday.
The choreographers uploaded separate videos on social media, showing them riding motorcycles on a bridge, despite curbs on movement of two-wheelers in the state, he said.
"They posted the videos this week, showing them riding motorcycles on the Atal Sethu over river Mandovi that connects Panaji to suburban Porvorim," Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Salim Sheikh told PTI.
"The department has taken cognisance of the violation of the Motor Vehicles Act by both the choreographers. We are in search of the motorcycles seen in the videos.
"Challans (official notice of a traffic offence) would be issued to both the choreographers after we get details of the bikes," he said.
Remo D'Souza (46) is a leading dancer, choreographer, actor and film director, who shot to fame by judging TV dance reality show Dance India Dance. He has also worked as a background dancer, making his Bollywood debut in the 1995 Ram Gopal Varma film Rangeela.
Khan (35) is a former winner of the Dance India Dance show and has also participated in TV shows like Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.
18:19 Follow mantra of truth and non-violence to build prosperous India: Prez
President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday asked people to follow the mantra of truth and non-violence and build a clean and prosperous India, according to an official statement.
In his message to the nation on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti, Kovind said his message of truth, non-violence and love paves the way for the welfare of the world by bringing harmony and equality in the society.
His values were as relevant yesterday as are today and will remain so in the future, the president said.
"On this auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, let us resolve to rededicate ourselves to the welfare and progress of the nation, to follow the mantra of truth and non-violence, and to build a clean, capable, strong and prosperous India, and to make Gandhiji's dreams come true," Kovind said.
People now realise that the solution to the biggest problems can be found through the path of goodwill and tolerance as suggested by Mahatma Gandhi, he said.
"Gandhiji's own life is a shining example of treading this very path. He taught us that we should behave well with those who are not even our well-wishers, and have a feeling of love, kindness and forgiveness towards all. There should be harmony in our thoughts, words and deeds," the president said.
Mahatma Gandhi gave a lot of importance to morality and purity of goals and means in his endeavours, Kovind said.
"I am happy that Gandhiji's thoughts and teachings are at the core of our government's efforts being practised for the development of our country such as the Swachh Bharat Mission, empowerment of women, empowering the poor and down-trodden, helping farmers and providing essential facilities in villages," he said.
On October 2 every year, Mahatma Gandhi is remembered not only in India but all over the world, the president said.
"He remains a source of inspiration for all the humanity. His life story empowers and strengthens the weaker sections of the society. His message of truth, non-violence and love paves the way for the welfare of the world by bringing harmony and equality in the society. His values were as relevant yesterday as are today and will remain so in the future," he said.
The president paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of 151st birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation on behalf of the nation, according to the statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan. -- PTI
17:55 Congress is not worthy of an alliance: Kumaraswamy
Janata Dal-Secular leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday made a sharp attack on erstwhile ally Congress, saying it was not a party worthy of an alliance and it does not honour coalition dharma.
A day after the Karnataka Congress ruled out any understanding with the regional party for the November 3 by-elections to two assembly constituencies in the state, the former chief minister hit back, declaring there was no such proposal from JD-S.
"....who had placed the proposal from the JD-S to have an alliance with the Congress? None of us have gone to Congress' doors like they had come to H D Deve Gowda's (JDS supremo) doors after the 2018 assembly polls," Kumaraswamy tweeted.
He was referring to the Congress forging the post-poll tie-up with JD-S under which he became the chief minister heading the coalition government, that had collapsed last year following rebellion by a section of MLAs from both parties.
The Congress was not a party worthy of an alliance, he said adding this was 'proved' by its conduct such as "bringing down" the coalition government led by him, luring of BSP MLAs supporting its government in Rajasthan to defect and its attempts to 'destabilise' the government in Maharashtra.
"There cannot be an alliance with Congress that does not honour the coalition dharma," Kumaraswamy said.
Whenever there was a reference to alliance in the state, let there be no feeling that it involved the Congress and the JD-S. Let Congress leaders don't try to take political mileage by using the names of JD-S and his father Deve Gowda, he said.
Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC President D K Shivakumar on Wednesday had ruled out any possibility of an understanding with the JDS for the November 3 bypolls in the state.
The Election Commission on Tuesday had announced the schedule for by-election to Sira in Tumakuru district and Rajarajeshwari Nagar (R R Nagar) in Bengaluru.
The bypolls had been necessitated in Sira following the death of sitting MLA B Sathyanarayana of JD-S last month, while the R R Nagar seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Congress MLA N Munirathna under the anti-defection law last year. -- PTI
17:34 Congress leader Ahmed Patel tests positive for Covid-19
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Thursday said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and has gone into self-isolation at his residence in New Delhi.
Announcing his infection on Twitter, he urged all those who have come in close contact with him recently to self-isolate themselves.
"I have tested positive for Covid-19. I request all those who came in close contact with me recently, to self-isolate," he said on Twitter.
Many Congress leaders, including Abhishek Singhvi and Tarun Gogoi, have tested positive for Covid-19.
Besides, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Union ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Pralhad Patel have also been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Protests against the Farm Bills in Tripura
17:13 MSP will be raised, says 'farmer's son' Rajnath
Seeking to allay concerns of farmers over a new set of laws amid continuing protests by some parties, senior union minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday assured the farm community that the MSP (minimum support price) will not only stay, it will be continuously increased too in coming years.
He also hit out at the Congress for the burning of a tractor by protesters from their youth wing, saying, "As a weapon is sacred to soldiers, so is a tractor for farmers and by burning them, they are insulting our farmers."
The Congress' youth wing activists on Monday had set a tractor ablaze near India Gate in the national capital, a few hundred metres from the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament, to protest the contentious farm laws.
Talking to a select group of journalists, the Defence Minister said, " Being a farmer's son myself, I want to make it clear that the Modi government will not do anything that is not in the interest of farmers."
"I appeal to all farmers' organisations that if they have any issue please come and talk with us. I have already started talking to farmers organisations to clear misgivings and misconceptions," he said.
"I want to assure farmers that the MSP will stay and rather it will be continuously raised in coming years," he said.
The new laws have come into effect after the passage of three key farm bills in the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament. The government presented these bills as pro-farmers, saying these will ensure that farmers get better prices for their produce and do not get subjected to regulations of 'mandis'.
It has also said that farmers will be now free to sell their produce to anyone and these legislations will increase competition and promote private investment, which will help in the development of farm infrastructure and generate employment. However, opposition parties have slammed the bills as "anti-farmers", claiming that the agriculture sector will be left to the fate of corporate interests. PTI
16:57 Rahul, Amarinder to lead three-day tractor rally
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will lead tractor rallies across the state from October 3 to 5 in protest against the Centre's newly enacted agriculture laws.
According to a press release, all Punjab ministers and Congress MLAs will participate in the protest rallies, along with Harish Rawat, All India Congress Committee General Secretary in-charge of Punjab, and PPCC president Sunil Jakhar.
"The tractor rallies, expected to be supported by farmer organisations across the state, will cover more than 50 km, spread over three days in various districts. The tractor rallies, to start around 11 am on each of the three days, will be conducted amid strict COVID-19 protocols," the release quoted a Punjab Congress spokesperson.
On the first day on October 3 (Saturday), the protest rally will cover a total distance of 22 km, starting with a public meeting at Badni Kalan in Nihal Singh Wala (district Moga), before crossing Lopon. The rally will then reach Jagraon (district Ludhiana), covering Chakar, Lakha and Manoke, culminating in a public meeting at Jattpura in Raikot.
On Day Two, October 4 (Sunday), a total of 20 km would be covered, starting from Barnala Chowk in Sangrur district, from where Rahul and his team will travel by car to Bhawanigarh for a public meeting, before embarking on tractors to Samana (district Patiala). He will be received at Fatehgarh Chhana and Bahman, before ending the day with a public meeting at Grain Market, Samana.
On October 5 (Monday), the protest will begin from Dudhan Sadhan (district Patiala) with a public meeting, and cover 10 km to Pehowa border from where Rahul will enter Haryana. -- ANI
Image: Farmers hold a tractor rally during a protest against farm bills in Jalandhar on Wednesday. Pic: ANI
16:47 Cardiac arrest common in critically ill patients with Covid: Study
Scientists have found that cardiac arrest is common among critically ill patients with Covid-19, and is associated with poor survival, particularly among those aged 80 or older, an advance that may help guide end-of-life care discussions in people severely affected by the coronavirus infection.
The researchers, including those from the University of Michigan in the US, estimated the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes associated with in-hospital cardiac arrest in critically ill adults with Covid-19.
Their findings, published in the journal The BMJ, are based on data for 5,019 critically ill patients -- aged 18 years or over -- with COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care units at 68 hospitals across the US.
According to the study, 701 (14 per cent) of the patients had in-hospital cardiac arrest within 14 days of admission to the intensive care unit, of whom only 400 (57 per cent) received cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR -- an emergency life-saving procedure that is done when someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped. -- PTI
16:41 SC directs refund of air tickets during lockdown
The Supreme Court Thursday directed refund of air tickets, domestic and international, for travel during the Covid-19 lockdown period from March 25 to May 24 within three weeks from the date of the cancellation of flights. Accepting the Centre's proposal, the top court directed that if the tickets have been booked through an agent for travel within the lockdown period, in all such cases full refund shall be given by the airlines immediately and the amount shall be passed on immediately by the agent to the passengers.
It said: If on account of financial distress, any airline/airlines are not able to refund then they shall provide credit shell, equal to the amount of fare collected, in the name of passenger when the booking is done either directly by the passenger or through travel agent so as to consume the same on or before March 31, 2021. It is open to passengers either to utilise such credit shell up to March 31, 2021 on any route of choice or transfer the credit shell to any person including the travel agent concerned, and the airlines shall honour such a transfer, the top court said.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah said the suggestions and formulations arrived at the meeting held by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA), Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which are acceptable to the majority of stakeholders have to be implemented in letter and spirit.
16:12 UP police is a law unto itself: Chidambaram
Congress leader P Chidambaram reacts to the arrest of Rahul Gandhi. "UP police is a law into itself. None of the laws of the country seem to apply to it.
"What is wrong if the leaders of a political party protest against a gruesome crime and wish to visit the victim's family? The two leaders were not violent, they did not carry arms, they were lodging a peaceful protest.
"Why should the police stop them from protesting peacefully? Why should the UP police arrest the two leaders and take them away? I hope the Court where the leaders will be produced will release them forthwith."
16:06 Hathras woman was not raped: UP ADG of Police
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar on the Hathras case: "The FSL report has make it clear that the woman was not raped. Postmortem report says victim died due to her neck injury. FSL report hasn't found sperm in samples, making it clear that some people twisted the matter to stir caste-based tension. Such people will be identified and legal action will be taken."
15:55 UP police push Rahul, falls during confrontation
Earlier pictures of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being roughed up by Uttar Pradesh police at Yamuna Expressway, while he was on his way to Hathras. The third picture in the collage shows him fallen on the road. Rahul Gandhi has been arrested by the UP Police under section 188 of the IPC.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday were walking towards Hathras to meet the family of the Dalit gang-rape victim after their convoy was stopped in Greater Noida by the UP Police. The convoy was stopped near Pari Chowk, prompting party workers and senior leaders to proceed on foot to Hathras, which is 150 km away from here.
A large number of Congress workers from Uttar Pradesh accompanied the two leaders on their march towards Hathras. They also raised slogans against the UP government. Talking to reporters while walking on the Yamuna Expressway towards Hathras, Priyanka Gandhi said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should take responsibility for the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in the district and strict action should be taken against the perpetrators of the crime.
15:46 Hathras-like incidents won't be tolerated in Maha: Uddhav
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that Hathras-like incidents will not be tolerated in the state and those indulging in crime against women would be dealt with severely. His statement comes amid a nationwide outrage over the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman from Uttar Pradesh's Hathras on Tuesday, days after she was raped by four men on September 14.
Thackeray was speaking while virtually inaugurating the newly-formed Mira-Bhayandar Vasai-Virar police commissionerate. "When incidents like the one happened in UP occur, we usually discuss it for a while and then forget. But in Maharashtra, such incidents will not be allowed to happen," he said. "Hathras-like incidents will never be tolerated in Maharashtra. For that matter, any kind of crime against women, including harassment and eve-teasing, would be dealt with severely," the chief minister said. "There should be fear of police and they should crush criminal activities in the region, he added. "Policing should be such that even if the police personnel are present everywhere, they are not visible, but people feel safe," Thackeray said.
15:26 'I wish the police had raised these lathis to protect the Hathras girl'
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted this picture of an injured Congress worker accompanying her among 100 others to Hathras. She said while she was walking the police kept stopping them and lathi charged them. She said many Congress workers were injured, but it would not stop them from walking to Hathras. "The sticks of an arrogant government cannot stop us. I wish the police had raised these lathis to protect the dalit girl from Hathras," Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted.
The SUV in which Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi were travelling to Hathras
15:16 UP police arrest Rahul Gandhi walking to Hathras
Just in: UP Police have arrested Rahul Gandhi. Rahul and Priyanka were on their way to Hathras in UP to meet the family of the girl who was gang-raped and murdered. Speaking to reporters, Rahul said that he was manhandled by the police. "Just now police pushed me, lathicharged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modiji walk in this country? Can't a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking," Rahul said.
Rahul Gandhi has been arrested under Section 188 of the IPC. Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, provides penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act. These are according to Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Even as Congress workers blocked roads and chanted slogans, the Gandhis' SUV crossed the border, but their convoy was stopped at Greater Noida, at a point that is about 142 km to Hathras. The Gandhis then got off the vehicle and started walking with scores of Congress workers.
Screen grab of the video showing Rahul speaking to reporters
15:01 Lathi-charged by cops, says Rahul en route Hathras
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is on his way to Hathras in UP to meet the family of the girl who was gang-raped and murdered tells reporters that he was manhandled by the police. "Just now police pushed me, lathicharged me and threw me to the ground. I want to ask, can only Modiji walk in this country? Can't a normal person walk? Our vehicle was stopped, so we started walking," Rahul said.
Accompanying Rahul to Hathras is Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Talking to reporters while walking on the Yamuna Expressway towards Hathras, she said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would have to take the responsibility for the alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in the district and strict action should be taken against the perpetrators of the crime. The victim died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday.
"Since our cars have been stopped, we will walk down to Hathras as we want to meet the victim's family. We want to express our condolences to the family," Priyanka Gandhi said.
"He (Adityanath) would have to do something for women's safety. We will continue to fight till the time he does something. The women in the entire state will fight as they realise that they are not safe and secure. Everyday such incidents are happening. Eleven rape cases are registered in Uttar Pradesh every day.
"Such cases are rising and the government is not doing anything. Unless we shake the government or wake them up, they will not do anything for women's safety," she added.
14:47 Ready to sell INS Viraat for Rs 100 cr: Firm
The new owner of decommissioned warship INS Viraat has sought Rs 100 crore from a Mumbai-based firm which is making last ditch efforts to save the warship from being dismantled and to convert it into a museum. INS Viraat, the aircraft carrier which was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987 and decommissioned in 2017, was purchased by Shree Ram Group for a sum of Rs 38.54 crore at an auction in July this year.
The warship, which is the symbol of India's rich maritime heritage, reached the ship-breaking yard at Alang on Gujarat coast last week. Since the ship was bought as scrap in an auction, aspiring buyers would also need to procure a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Defence to buy the ship now, Shree Ram Group Chairman Mukesh Patel told PTI on Thursday.
"I bought this warship just out of my love for my country. Now, a Mumbai-based company wants to convert this ship it into a museum. Since they are also doing it out of patriotism, I agreed to sell the ship to them," he said.
"But, they need to first procure NOC from the defence ministry, without which I can't re-sell the ship," he said. Patel also said he first demanded Rs 125 crore and then agreed to sell it for Rs 100 crore considering that the company's cause is noble. Patel also said it is a limited period offer and he would wait only till next week.
"I am told the interested firm is trying hard to get the NOC. But, I can't wait forever. I will wait for another week. After that, I will start the dismantling process," he added. -- PTI
14:36 We were fighting for Unnao daughter last year: Priyanka
"Around the same time last year, we were fighting for the Unnao daughter and the situation in UP has not changed in a year. The Uttar Pradesh government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath must take responsibility for women safety in the state and ensure atrocities against them are stopped," Priyanka Gandhi told reporters as she started walking on the Yamuna expressway to meet the family of the girl gang-raped and murdered in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
Vehicles of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were stopped at Greater Noida near Pari Chowk, prompting party workers and senior leaders to proceed on foot.
14:28 25%+ people in Delhi have Covid antibodies: Govt
Over 25 per cent of the people have developed antibodies to Covid-19 in Delhi according to a serosurvey report, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday.
"According to the serosurvey report submitted yesterday, 25.1 per cent of the patients who have now recovered have developed antibodies to COVID-19 in Delhi. In the last survey, it was 28.7 per cent. Next serosurvey will start within 15 days," Jain said.
The health minister gave a district-wise breakup of the number of patients testing positive for the antibodies that included 31.8 per cent from Northwest, 31.1 per cent from East Delhi, 30.1 per cent from South Delhi and 27.9 per cent patients have developed antibodies in West Delhi.
"The first survey that was conducted in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research wherein Delhi was divided into 11 districts. This time we divided Delhi into 280 parts and that is why there is a difference in the results," the Delhi Health Minister said.
Delhi on Wednesday reported 3,390 new COVID-19 cases and 59,807 tests were conducted. As many as 41 deaths due to the virus were reported in the national capital, Jain added. -- ANI
Image: ITBP team and medical staff greet recovered patients while being discharged from Sardar Patel COVID care centre and hospital at Radha Soami Beas Chattarpur, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pic: ANI
13:55 Prashant Bhushan moves SC seeking review of Re 1 fine
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its August 31 judgement imposing a fine of Re 1 on him in connection with criminal contempt of court case over his tweets. Notably, Bhushan has already paid the fine of Re 1 but has decided to challenge his conviction in the matter.
While paying the fine, Bhushan had made it clear that paying the fine in the registry did not mean that he accepted the Supreme Court's judgement. Bhushan had, on September 14, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its judgement convicting him and imposing a fine of Re 1 on him for criminal contempt of court in the suo motu contempt case over his tweets.
Earlier, he had filed another plea in the top court seeking directions for an appeal against conviction in criminal contempt cases to be heard by a larger and a different bench.
Bhushan was convicted and a fine of Re 1 was imposed on him by the Supreme Court in connection with a suo motu criminal contempt of court case over two of his tweets.
13:50 Stopped from going to Hathras, Gandhis to walk it
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have been stopped at the Yamuna Expressway. The Congress leaders are on their way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to meet the kin of the gang-rape victim. Reports say that the Gandhis will now be walking to Hathras.
Both the leaders left 10, Janpath, Delhi, the residence of the Congress president, and entered UP via the DND flyover, where a large number of Congress workers had gathered. Traffic was disrupted in the area. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala is accompanying the two senior leaders.
In Hathras, the district magistrate has imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and ordered sealing of the district borders to maintain peace. The Gandhis, who have been critical of the BJP-led UP government for failing to protect the victim
13:49 SC approves DGCA's recommendations on refund of airfare through credit shells
In a major relief to passengers, whose flights got cancelled due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court on Thursday accepted the recommendations of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to refund ticket fares and also approved a credit shell scheme which will be valid till March 31.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, clarified that if tickets were purchased through agents, then the refund will also be done to the agents.
"Wherever vouchers are issued through agents, they have to be utilised only through agents...," the bench said.
The apex court also asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation to issue compliance notification in the matter.
If a passenger booked a ticket during the lockdown period (from March 25 to May 24) for travel during lockdown period and the airline has received payment for booking of air ticket for travel during the same period, for both domestic and international air travel and refund is sought by the passenger against that booking being cancelled, the airline shall refund the full amount collected without any cancellation charges. The refund shall be made within a period of three weeks from the date of cancellation, the order said. -- ANI
13:11 Kashyap's accuser to undergo medical test at hospital
A team from Versova police station on Thursday took actor Payal Ghosh, who has filed a sexual assault case against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, to a government hospital in Mumbai's Andheri for a medical test in the matter.
The Mumbai Police had on Wednesday issued a summon to Anurag Kashyap to appear before them on October 1 in connection to the sexual assault allegations. According to reports, the director is expected to appear before the Versova police for questioning today.
On September 20, 'Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi' actor Ghosh accused Kashyap of sexual harassment.
Speaking to ANI, she said, "Five years ago I met Anurag Kashyap regarding work. He called me to his house. When I went there, he took me to a separate room and tried to sexually assault me. He forced himself on me.
"I request the authorities to kindly take action and let the country see the demon behind this creative guy. I am aware that it can harm me and my security is at risk. I am seeking action against him," said Ghosh.
Post the allegations, Kashyap responded on Twitter in which he denied the allegations, claiming that they were 'baseless'. "I neither behave like this nor do I ever tolerate this at any price," he had said. -- ANI
13:06 September accounted for 41.53 per cent of total Covid cases in country
September accounted for 41.53 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases in the country, with 26,21,418 infections of the over 63 lakh cases being reported in the month alone. The past month also saw 33,390 deaths due to the disease, which is around 33.84 per cent of the total 98,678 deaths recorded so far. September witnessed 24,33,319 people recuperating from coronavirus infection contributing to around 46.15 per cent of the total 52,73,201 recoveries registered so far in the country.
India is at number one position in terms of the number of recovered coronavirus cases followed by Brazil and the US, according to the John Hopkins University, which has been compiling Covid-19 data from all over the world. India is the second worst hit nation in terms of Covid-19 cases after the US, while it is in the third spot in terms of fatalities globally after the US and Brazil, according to the JHU data.
India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23 and 40 lakh on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16 and crossed 60 lakh on September 28. It took 110 days for the Covid-19 cases in the country to reach one-lakh mark, while it had taken 59 days more to go past the 10-lakh post. The cases jumped from 10 lakh to 20 lakh in 21 days, then it took 16 more days to race past 30 lakh, 13 days more to cross the 40-lakh mark, 11 days to go past 50 lakh and 12 days to cross 60 lakh. -- PTI
12:50 Gandhis leave for Hathras to meet victim's kin
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra leave for Hathras in Uttar Pradesh where a 19-year-old woman was gang-raped. Hathras District Magistrate P Lakshkar said that the SIT was scheduled to meet the victim's family members again on Thursday. "The borders of Hathras have been sealed and Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the district. More than five people are not allowed to gather in Hathras, even media is not be allowed," he said, adding he had no information about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's visit.
In a series of tweets, Vadra has hit out at the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh over the Hathras incident.
"I want to ask some questions to the chief minister of UP - Who ordered to cremate the body of the victim, forcefully denying the family its right to do so? Where were you sleeping for the last 14 days? Why did not you act... What kind of chief minister are you," she tweeted in Hindi on Wednesday.
"I was on the phone with the Hathras victim's father when he was informed that his daughter had passed away. I heard him cry out in despair. He had just been telling me that all he wanted was justice for his child. Last night he was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites," Gandhi said in her first two tweets on the issue on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old was admitted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi in a critical condition a day before she died.
Devyani Uttam Khobragade has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Cambodia, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday. Khobragade is a 1999-batch Indian Foreign Service officer and is presently a Joint Secretary in the ministry. She is expected to take up the assignment shortly, according to the MEA.
12:31 Adityanath's Caste Code On Full Display In Hathras
"She was denied the most basic dignity even in death. Her broken body was cremated in the darkness of night by the UP police. Correction. The UP police, the uniformed guardians of rapists. Her grieving family was barricaded in its home in their village, denied the right to give their daughter the funeral she deserved. She was killed not just by her killers and their uniformed guardians, but by the fact that she lived in the centre of the unique Made in India social crossing, where the exploitations and oppressions of caste, class and patriarchy intersect. Valmiki. Dalit. Poor. Woman. 19 years old. Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh."
Brinda Karat on the Hathras rape. Read the column here
12:21 BJP slogan not 'save daughter' but 'power': Rahul
A day after another incident of alleged gang-rape was reported from Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) slogan is not to 'save daughter', but is to "hide facts, save power".
"In UP's jungle raj, the persecution of daughters and the government's show of power continues. They were never honored while living and their right to have a dignified funeral was also taken away. The BJP's slogan is not 'save daughter', but hide facts, save power," said Rahul Gandhi in a tweet, targeting the UP police who performed the last rites of the Hathras Dalit teen in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hathras SP on Thursday disclosed that a medical report by Aligarh Muslim University Medical College, where she was undergoing treatment befor being shifted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi, said that the 19-year-old woman was not raped.
In Balrampur, a 22-year-old woman, who was allegedly gang-raped, died on the way to hospital on Wednesday. Dev Ranjan, Balrampur Superintendent of Police, said her family had lodged complaint of rape against two men. "Both have been arrested". -- ANI
UP CM spoke to the Hathras victim's family yesterday
11:36 Hospital report doesn't confirm rape: Hathras SP
Update: Aligarh hospital's medical report of the Hathras Dalit woman, who succumbed to an assault by four upper-caste men, did not confirm rape, said Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikrant Vir on Thursday.
"The medical report from the Aligarh Muslim University Medical College mentions that there were injuries but it does not confirm forced sexual intercourse. They're waiting for a report of the forensics. As of now, doctors say that they're not confirming rape," he told ANI.
Before the 19-year-old succumbed to her injuries at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Tuesday, she was undergoing treatment at Aligarh Muslim University Medical College.
The SP added that the Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, visited the village and met the victim's family on Wednesday.
"The three-member team inspected the crime spot. Investigation is on," the Hathras SP said.
Hathras District Magistrate P Lakshkar said that the SIT was scheduled to meet the victim's family members again on Thursday.
"The borders of Hathras have been sealed and Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the district. More than five people are not allowed to gather in Hathras, even media is not be allowed," he said, adding he had no information about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's visit.
On Wednesday, Vadra had tweeted that she was planning to meet the 19-year-old woman's family.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday announced that the kin will be given Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia, a house, and a government job for one of the family members.
The government has said the matter will be heard in a fast-track court.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath also spoke to the family of the victim through videoconferencing.
11:16 Send Yogi back to Goraknath Math: Mayawati
BSP chief Mayawati's statement on the Hathras gang-rape and the increasing number of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh.
"After the Hathras incident, I hoped the UP govt will take action against people committing crimes against women. But a similar crime has been committed against a Dalit student in Balrampur. Under the BJP's UP govt, criminals, mafias and rapists are having a free run.
"Not a single day passes in UP without any crime against women. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should resign if he can't ensure safety to women. He is unable to maintain law and order in the state. I urge the Centre to send him to his place - Gorakhnath Math," Mayawati said.
A 22-year-old woman, who was allegedly gang-raped in Balrampur died on Wednesday. Dev Ranjan, Superintendent of Police (SP), Balrampur, said that the victim's family alleged that two men raped her.
"We have received a complaint in which the family of a 22-year-old woman said that she used to work at the firm. On Wednesday, she did not return from the firm. Later, when she did return home on a rickshaw, she had a glucose drip inserted in her hand," Ranjan told ANI.
"She died on the way when the family was taking her to the hospital. They claimed that two men raped her. Both of them have been arrested," he said.
11:00 Anurag Kashyap arrives at police station in rape case
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap arrived at the Versova police station in Mumbai on Thursday after he was summoned by police in connection a rape case filed against him by actress Payal Ghosh, an official said. Kashyap along with his two associates reached the police station around 10 am, he said.
The filmmaker was seen carrying some documents in his hand while arriving at the police station. His lawyer also reached the police station after some time, the official said.
The police on Wednesday issued summons to Kashyap in connection with the rape case against him. The Versova police registered an FIR against Kashyap on September 22 after the actress along with her lawyer Nitin Satpute approached the police, the official said. In her police complaint, the actress alleged that Kashyap raped her in 2013.
On Tuesday, Ghosh and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale met Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari to seek action against Kashyap. On Monday, Ghosh in a joint media press conference with Athawale, president of the Republican Party of India (RPI-A), demanded that Kashyap be arrested.
Athawale on Monday met Mumbai's joint commissioner of police (law and order) Vishwas Nangare Patil along with Ghosh, seeking action against the filmmaker. The Union minister had also said his party will stage a protest if the police do not arrest Kashyap in a week.
The Versova police last week registered the FIR against Kashyap under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (I) (rape), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty,), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement). -- PTI
Family members of the Hathras rape and murder victim
10:45 Docs not confirming rape: Hathras SP
Update on the Hathras rape: Hathras SP: "Medical report from Aligarh hospital mentions injuries but doesn't confirm forced sexual intercourse. They're waiting for report of forensics. As of now, doctors say that they're not confirming rape, can give firm opinion only when they get FSL report.
"The SIT came to the district yesterday. They had visited the village and met the victim's family. They had even inspected the crime spot. The team is still in the village, meeting the family and carrying out further investigation," Hathras SP Vikrant Vir, says.
Hathras DM P Lakshkar says the borders of Hathras are sealed. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed in the district, more than five people are not allowed to gather. We've no information about Priyanka Gandhi's visit. A Special Investigations Team will meet the victim's family members today, media will not be allowed."
10:32 Rahul, Priyanka to meet Hathras girl's kin today
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Hathras in Uttar Pradesh today to meet the family of the 20-year-old woman who died after being gang-raped and tortured and whose dead-of-night cremation by the UP police has provoked nationwide outrage.
The woman was raped in a village in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she breathed her last on Tuesday.
As news of her death spread, protests broke out in Delhi as well as in Hathras with all sections of society, including politicians, sports and cine stars and activists, expressing their anguish and demanding justice for her.
The family left Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Tuesday night amid heavy police deployment. The body was taken by the Uttar Pradesh police, which reached Hathras earlier than the family members, claimed a kin of the victim.
10:15 What the name of the woman raped and battered in Hathras says about the crime
In the Hathras case, the woman's name draws attention to the fact that the crimes of caste were compounded by the exercise of state power. In Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh, to be Thakur is to be politically powerful -- it is, after all, the caste group the chief minister belongs to. And political power has long warped every institution, including the state police.
It explains why the police refused to acknowledge she had been raped in the weeks that she was still alive. It explains why they rushed to cremate her in the dead of the night -- a law and order problem to be dealt with as protests broke out and her family demanded accountability from the government.
Read the column here
09:59 Minor girl raped in UP, neighbour arrested
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour at a village in Kakore area on Wednesday night, the police said. Senior Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Singh said that based on the father's complaint, a case has been registered in this regard. "The accused, who allegedly raped a minor, has been arrested," said Santosh Kumar Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police of Baghpat.
Just another day in India.
09:52 India's Covid tally crosses 63L amid Unlock 0.5
As Unlock 0.5 begins in Maharashtra, which leads in the Covid tally in India, the viral tally keeps rising. India's Covid-19 tally crosses the 63-lakh mark with a spike of 86,821 new cases and 1,181 deaths reported in last 24 hours. Total case tally stands at 63,12,585 including 9,40,705 active cases, 52,73,202 cured/discharged/migrated & 98,678 deaths: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
09:40 India made the headlines for all the wrong reasons
The Mumbai Mirror page 1 story today, tells it like it is.
09:32 Parth Pawar to approach SC over Maratha reservation issue
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's son Parth Pawar on Thursday said he will approach the Supreme Court over the Maratha reservation issue after a youth allegedly died by suicide over the cause.Parth, who is also the grandson of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar, also urged other Maratha leaders and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra to "wake up and fight for this cause".
"Devastated to hear of the tragic death of Vivek who committed suicide for the cause of Maratha reservations. Before a chain reaction of such unfortunate incident starts, Maratha leaders have to wake up and fight for this cause. Requesting Maha government to step in to solve the crisis," Parth's tweet read.
"The flame that Vivek has ignited in our minds can set the whole system ablaze. The future of an entire generation is at stake. I have no choice but to approach the Supreme Court and file an intervenor application in the Maratha reservation matter pending before it," he added in a subsequent tweet.Parth said that he was ready to "carry the burning torch of Maratha agitation in my heart and knock the doors of justice for Vivek and millions of other helpless 'Viveks'."
The Maharashtra government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking vacation of its stay on the reservation to the people of the Maratha community in education and jobs in the State. -- ANI
Lance Naik Karnail Singh was killed in Pak firing
09:28 Army jawan killed, another injured in Pak firing along LoC in J&K's Poonch
An Army jawan was killed and another injured when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling in forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, officials said on Thursday.
The Pakistan Army initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing from small arms and intense shelling of mortars along the LoC in the Mankote and Krishna Ghati sectors on Wednesday night, a defence spokesperson said.
The Indian Army retaliated in a befitting manner, he added. Lance Naik Karnail Singh was killed in the firing from across the border, the spokesperson said.
"The general officer commanding of the White Knight Corps and all ranks salute braveheart Lance Naik Karnail Singh, who made the supreme sacrifice in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district on the night of September 30, and offer condolences to his family," he said.
According to reports, another jawan was injured in the firing in the Krishna Ghati sector and has been hospitalised. Pakistan has been targeting the hamlets in Poonch for the last five days, resulting in injuries to several animals due to shelling on Tuesday. The Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire 47 times in September. -- PTI
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal
09:17 SAD begins Kisan March after prayers at Amritsar
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He will lead a Kisan March from here today. The march, which also begins from Sri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo and Sri Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib, will conclude at Mohali.
The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday quit the National Democratic Alliance over the farm bills issue, the third major party to walk out of the BJP-led coalition in the last couple of years.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal announced the decision to snap ties with the NDA on Saturday night, amid stepped up agitation by farmers in Punjab over the three legislations which were recently passed by Parliament amid Opposition protests.
Badal''s wife and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal had on September 17 quit the Union Cabinet after he strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming these legislations will "destroy" the agriculture sector in Punjab.
08:31 Another Dailit woman gang-raped in UP, dies
Amid the widespread outrage over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a Dalit teen from Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, an yet another scheduled caste woman died in Balrampur district of the state while being rushed to a hospital after her rape by two youth.
Balrampur Superintendent of Police Dev Ranjan Verma said the incident happened in the Gaisari area of the district, where a 22-year-old Dalit woman, working in a private firm, failed to return home in time on Tuesday evening, prompting her parents to start looking for her.
The woman's parents said she did not respond to calls on her mobile phone, triggering panic among family members, the police said.
The woman, however, returned home shortly later in an autorickshaw with an intravascular cannula, medically known as Vigo and used for administering injection, glucose or other fluids in the body, inserted in her hand, the police said, quoting her parents.
The girl looked dazed and in a serious condition, prompting her parents to rush her to a nearby hospital, but she died on the way, said the SP.
When the matter was reported to the police from the hospital, the parents alleged that their daughter was gang-raped, SP Verma said.
Acting on the parent's complaint, police identified the accused as Shahid and Sahil and arrested them, the SP said.
Reacting to the incident, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav said, 'After Hathras, now a daughter was harassed and gang-raped in Balrampur. The victim died in serious condition. Condolences!" "The BJP government should commit no laxity in this case as was done in Hathras and arrest the accused immediately,' he added with a hashtag#Balrampur... #NoMoreBJP" on his Tweeter handle. -- PTI
00:28 Babri verdict: TMC comes out with a guarded response
The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday was guarded in its response on the acquittal of all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case by a special CBI court in Lucknow and said that "those who are not happy with
the judgement can move higher courts".
While TMC refused to give any reaction to the verdict by either supporting it or opposing it, major parties of the state - the BJP, CPI(M) and Congress criticised it for its stand.
The CBI court has acquitted all the 32 accused in the case, including BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, in the absence of conclusive proof to suggest a criminal conspiracy.
"It is a court judgement, so we cannot just say we oppose or support it. The verdict has come after 28 years, few people are unhappy with it. We have come to know from the media that some outfits have expressed their displeasure," senior TMC leader and party spokesman Sougata Roy said.
"Those who are not happy with the judgement (of the CBI court) have the option to move higher courts," he said.
TMC had maintained silence after the historic verdict by the Supreme Court in November 2019 which had backed the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
TMC's guarded response to the acquittal of all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case drew sharp reactions from the BJP and the Congress.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, known to be a TMC baiter, dared Mamata Banerjee's party to take a stand on the issue.
"Whenever there is an issue concerning national security, the TMC leadership either goes silent or takes a stand which is completely against the interests of the nation and society. This time too the same thing has happened," he said.
"I ask them (TMC) to come out clean on whether they support it (the judgement) or are opposed to it. I am sure they won't be able to answer my question," Ghosh said.
Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan advised TMC to "stop beating around the bush" and "make clear its stand" like the other mainstream political parties.
CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim too hit out at the TMC.
"The judgement reinforces the current trend that those who are in power can get away with anything," he said. -- PTI
00:06 Nobody wants 'sleepy Joe' as a leader: Trump
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that there is zero enthusiasm in the Democratic party for its presidential nominee Joe Biden and nobody wants "sleepy Joe" as a leader, a day after the two fiercely clashed over a wide range of issues in the first presidential debate.
Trump, a Republican, and Biden are pitted against each other for the November 3 presidential elections.
During the first of the three presidential debates in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday night moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, 74-year-old Trump and his 77-year-old rival Biden debated on issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, economy and climate.
They also traded barbs about each other's families, making it one of the most chaotic White House debates in years.
"Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!" Trump said in a series of tweets.
Both the sides have, however, claimed victory after the debate.
"Nobody wants Sleepy Joe as a leader, including the Radical Left (which he lost last night!). He disrespected (Senator) Bernie (Sanders), effectively calling him a loser!" Trump said in another tweet.
Sanders lost the Democratic presidential primary to Biden.
"Biden wants to Pack the Supreme Court, thereby ruining it. Also, he wants no fracking, killing our Energy business, and JOBS. Second Amendment is DEAD if Biden gets in! Is that what you want from a leader? He will destroy our Country!" he said and urged fellow Americans to go out and vote.
Trump also slammed Biden for not using the word law and order during the debate.
Trump had said that he and his party believes in law and order but Biden does not.
"The top 10 cities and just about the top 40 cities are run by Democrats and in many cases radical left, and they've got you wrapped around their finger, Joe, to a point where you don't want to say anything about law and order. And I'll tell you what, the people of this country want and demand law and order. And you're afraid to even say it," he said.
Biden used the term law and order after Trump demanded this from him multiple times.
"Law and order with justice where people get treated fairly," Biden said.
"It is crazy what's going on and he doesn't want to say law and order because he can't because he'll lose his radical left supporters and once he does that, it's over with," Trump said about his Democratic opponent.
The president also asserted that Biden has no support from the law enforcement agencies to which Biden responded, "That's not true". -- PTI