Mon, 04 October 2021
Live bomb found in Meghalaya ruling party office

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23:06   Live bomb found in Meghalaya ruling party office
A live bomb was detected at the entrance of Meghalaya's ruling National Peoples Party office in Shillong on Monday when Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu was on a visit to the city and was defused.

The  2 kg improvised explosive device was successfully defused by Meghalaya police, officials said.

The outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has claimed responsibility of planting the bomb as a mark of protest against the killing of their leader Cheristerfield Thangkhiew in an encounter in August.

Naidu was in Shillong to inaugurate a road project and to attend a conference of the North Eastern Council.

The presence of an unclaimed bag was reported by a passerby in the afternoon at the entrance of the NPP party office at Lachumiere here and a bomb squad was rushed to the spot which defused the explosive kept in it, a senior district police official told PTI.

He said the live bomb was defused and HNLC has claimed responsibility for the planting of the bomb in a post in the social media by its self-styled general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw.

The outfit claimed that the killing of Thangkhiew was a result of 'political conspiracy' by ministers in the state and warned NPP leaders in the Khasi Jaintia Hills region of retaliation.

It also sought the immediate resignation of the ministers from the party.

The militant outfit had recently planted several IEDs and one of them went off behind a busy market in the heart of Shillong in August in which two persons were injured and a building was damaged.   -- PTI

IMAGE: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu being received by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on his arrival in Shillong, on Monday. Photograph: Anuwar Hazarika/ANI Photo
22:34   Working to restore services: Facebook, WhatsApp
Facebook and WhatsApp issue stataments over outage:

'We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience,' said Facebook in a statement.

WhatsApp said: 'Were aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. Were working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible.'
22:31   'Not a terrorist', Sharjeel Imam tells court
Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam, arrested for allegedly making inflammatory speeches during the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens, on Monday told a Delhi court that he is not a terrorist and his prosecution is a whip of a monarch rather than a government established by law.

Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat was hearing a case filed against Imam for the alleged speeches given by him at two universities in 2019, where he allegedly threatened to cut off Assam and the rest of the Northeast from India.

The alleged inflammatory speeches for which he was arrested were allegedly made at Jamia Millia Islamia on December 13, 2019, and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 16, 2019.

He is in judicial custody since January 2020. He was arrested under the provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

A charge of sedition was also slapped against him. Seeking bail as well as discharge in the case, advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir, representing Imam, told the court that being critical of the government cannot be the cause of sedition.

The essence of the entire prosecution is that you talk against us and sedition is on your way, Mir said, adding that Imam cannot be allowed to be persecuted just because he was critical of CAA or NRC.

This prosecution of Sharjeel Imam is more of a whip of a monarch rather than a government established by law. This is not how the government or executive has to respond. At the end of the day, a dispensation will change. Nothing is permanent, the advocate further said.

Referring to the recent 'Bharat Bandh' called by the protesting farmers, Imam's counsel asked, Will we call for sedition in all those cases? Asking for rail roko, blocking of roads, etc, is that a constitutional means of protest or not? He asked will the sedition charges be attracted if farmers say that they want fair prices for the crops or people demand women's rights.

Mir said it is the duty of every citizen to be critical of the government.

Since when does the government need the affection of people, he asked.

It is only the monarchs, kings who need the affection of people. We are not here to bow down before the government, the lawyer submitted

'Unless and until we do not have critical elements in the society, the society will die,' he submitted.

The lawyer said that there were many prosecutions against Imam just because he had criticised the government's policies.

He is not a terrorist or associated with some terrorist outfit. He has no criminal antecedents, he does not have any political agenda, he told the court.

Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad said that the fundamental right to protest cannot go beyond an extent that causes problems to the public at large.

He told the court that violent riots took place pursuant to Imam's speech.

He tried to create an anarchy by saying that there is no hope left for the Muslim community and that there is no other way left, Prasad said, opposing his bail and discharge in the case.

Imam is accused of offenses relating to sedition, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, imputations prejudicial to national integration, and public mischief under the Indian Penal Code, and indulging in unlawful activities under the UAPA.

Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet against Imam in the case, in which it alleged that he allegedly gave speeches inciting hatred, contempt, and disaffection towards the central government and instigated the people which led to the violence in December 2019.   -- PTI
21:44   WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram suffer outage
WhatsApp suffered outage, users are not able to send and receive new messages for nearly 10 minutes.

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp hit by the outage, reports ANI quoting foreign news agencies. 
21:30   Easy to criticise govt: SC on oxygen crisis
It is very easy to criticise the government or courts unless you are in the hot seat but even some of the most advanced nations of the world faced difficulties in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court on Monday told a petitioner seeking probe into shortage of Oxygen supply during the second wave.

At this time when the country is facing a difficult situation, people must be wary of doing anything which may have a demoralising effect on the authorities who are dealing with the crisis, the apex court said.

The remarks were made by the court while hearing a PIL seeking setting up of a Commission of Inquiry, headed by a retired judge of the apex court or the high court, or a CBI probe into the alleged non-supply and non-availability of medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic from March to May this year.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna while dismissing the PIL filed by one Naresh Kumar said, Allegations with regard to criminal wrongdoing cannot be assumed nor can be levelled lightly without adequate material. In the circumstances for the reasons indicated, we are not inclined to entertain the PIL. Petition is accordingly dismissed.

Advocate Medhanshu Tripathi, appearing for Kumar, said that lakhs of people have died during the second wave due to non-availability of Oxygen.

Even in most developed nations in the world, they were not able to contain the pandemic. You see, it is very easy to criticise the government or for that matter courts unless you are in the hot seat, the bench said.

Now that the second wave is over, should the court do a legal post-mortem of what went wrong or instead we do something positive, so that such mistakes do not happen again or we are well prepared for the future exigencies, it added.

The bench said that earlier this year, this court while exercising its suo motu jurisdiction had constituted a National Task Force consisting of eminent doctors drawn from various institutions of the country.

The remit of the National Task Force (NTF) is formulated and one of the issues engaging it is with regard to ensuring the availability of supply of Oxygen to meet the requirement of patients during the course of pandemic.

'In view of the fact that a body of experts has been constituted to specifically look into matters pertaining to the availability and distribution of Oxygen, it is neither appropriate nor proper to conduct a parallel proceedings by constituting a Commission of Inquiry as sought,' the bench said.

It added that as regards to adopting recourse to jurisdiction under Article 32 for an investigation by an investigating agency or the CBI, ought to be preceded by invocation of the remedy available under CrPC.

Without doing so, the petitioner has sought to invoke the jurisdiction under Article 32 directly, it said, adding that like in COVID vaccination this court has done something positive, the petitioner shall endeavour to do something positive and give his suggestions to the National Task Force or the government.

The bench told Tripathi, At this time, the country is dealing with a difficult situation, people must be wary of doing anything which may have a demoralising effect on people dealing with the crisis.

Justice Chandrachud said that he does not think what a retired judge headed commission of inquiry can do which the National Task Force cannot do.

They are all eminent doctors and well aware of the situation, the bench said.

Tripathi said that it is not any other plea but a pure PIL as the petitioner was himself a victim to the non-availability of Oxygen during the second wave and similar was the fate of numerous patients.

We have seen your petition, we know what happened. We should leave it to the government to augment the health infrastructure. We have inherited a 100 years old health infrastructure, which was not sufficient. Now that the National Health Policy is in place, which would take care of many issues, the bench said.

Tripathi said that an expert panel has warned the government about the second wave and the shortcomings in advance, but it has failed to act and did not increase the doctors strength or other infrastructure.

The bench said that it's also very easy to blame the people, who are in power or the doctors of government hospitals, who are often assaulted when a patient dies.

Often it is the case that when a patient dies in hospital, then it is due to some kind of negligence on part of hospital staff or the doctors and they are assaulted. But actually it is not the case, as sometimes a patient may die despite best efforts put by the doctors, the bench said.

Kumar in his plea has alleged that due to non-availability of medical oxygen during the second wave of the pandemic several COVID patients have lost their lives in various parts of the country.

Kumar, a Delhi resident in his plea filed through advocate Rajeev Kumar Dubey said, 'This court through its various judgements has logically extended the interpretation of the right to life to include the right to health. Therefore, it is the fundamental duty of the State to care for the health of the public at large.'

In May, the apex court, in a suo motu matter on COVID preparedness had constituted a 12-member NTF of top medical experts to formulate a methodology for allocation of oxygen to states and union territories for saving lives of COVID-19 patients and to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic.   -- PTI
20:35   Lakhimpur: Sidhu released from police station
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu was released from Sarangpur Police Station on Monday hours after he was detained by the police while protesting outside Punjab Raj Bhavan for demanding the arrest of Union Minister of State's son Ashish Mishra over Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

'Is demanding the arrest of those who killed farmers a crime?' said Sidhu who was earlier detained for leading a protest in Chandigarh against the death of 8 persons, including 4 farmers in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder Randhawa & Congress leader Kuljit Nagra along with other party leaders have been detained by UP police in Saharanpur, while they were on their way to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet families of farmers who lost their lives in violence.

Sidhu, staged a massive protest before Raj Bhawan today while strongly condemning the killing of innocent farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri 'at the hands of BJP goons and ministers'.

"People who ran vehicles on peaceful protesting farmers (in Lakhimpur) should be arrested. A case of sedition should be registered against Haryana CM ML Khattar for his statement," said Sidhu during a protest in Chandigarh.

Sidhu slammed the BJP for the atrocities committed by the Uttar Pradesh police against the Congress national leader Priyanka Gandhi who reached to support the farmers.

The Congress has demanded immediate release of party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who has been allegedly detained by Uttar Pradesh Police in the Hargaon area on her way to Lakhimpur Kheri.

Chandigarh police with its heavy task force arrested Sidhu along with his associates.

On Sidhu's call Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee today staged protests at block and district level across Punjab.

While protesting, Sidhu demanded strict action against the alleged 'killers of farmers' and the removal of the Union Minister of State of Ministry of Home Affairs Ajay Mishra behind the attack.

He also demanded that a case of sedition should be registered against Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar for making incendiary and provocative speeches against farmers.

Sidhu today held a protest outside the Governor's House.

He was accompanied by more than a dozen INC MLAs, Punjab Youth Congress President and other Congress workers.

Sidhu staged the protest in front of the main gate and raised slogans against the Central government.

The Chandigarh police reached the spot with its large task force and then called in water cannons.

After nearly an hour, the Punjab Congress president was arrested along with his associates, the statement of Punjab Congress stated.

Sidhu said that farmers were being forced to sacrifice their lives due to the adamant attitude of the central government.

'If the government is serious about the welfare of farmers, it should immediately repeal the three agriculture laws and give legal recognition to the desired minimum support price (MSP) on crops,' he said.

Sidhu, who has been supporting the farmers' movement, said that the BJP is spoiling the atmosphere of the country by oppressing the food-givers of the country.

As many as eight people were killed on Sunday in Lakhimpur Kheri following violence that broke out after a car hit protesting farmers.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of several farmer unions, issued a statement on Sunday regarding the incident claiming the death of four farmers and alleged that one of the four farmers was shot dead by Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni's son--Ashish Mishra, while the others have been allegedly run over by the vehicles of his convoy.

However, both the Union Minister and his son have refuted SKM's allegations.   -- ANI
19:51   Rupee shaves off 19 paise to end at 6-week low of 74.31 against USD
The Indian rupee tumbled 19 paise to end at its weakest level in over six weeks of 74.31 against the US dollar on Monday as a stronger greenback against key rivals and rising crude oil prices weighed on investor sentiment.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 74.16 and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.13 and a low of 74.41 against the US dollar.

The local unit finally settled at 74.31 a dollar, down 19 paise over its previous close. This was the rupee's lowest closing since August 20 this year.

"The rupee traded weak as dollar index rallied on the back of US Fed tapering bond-buying hints in weeks ahead," said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities.

"OPEC meeting outcome will impact crude prices and US$/INR pair being a crude net importer hence traders will keep a close eye on OPEC meet outcome," Trivedi said, adding that going ahead the rupee can be seen between 74.20-74.60.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.10 per cent lower at 93.93.

"The Indian rupee depreciated against the dollar on Monday, as the offshore Chinese yuan weakened amid prospects of a broader spill over from the troubles at cash-strapped China Evergrande Group," said Sriram Iyer, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.

Evergrande missed its offshore dollar coupon payments and has triggered some weakness in the offshore Chinese yuan.

Broadly, the risk sentiment was weaker in the region and weighed on sentiments, Iyer noted.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 0.15 per cent to US$ 79.40 per barrel.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 533.74 points or 0.91 per cent higher at 59,299.32, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 159.20 points or 0.91 per cent to 17,691.25.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Friday, as they purchased shares worth Rs 131.39 crore, as per exchange data.
19:20   FIR against lyricist Javed Akhtar over RSS remark
Mumbai police registered an FIR against lyricist Javed Akhtar on Monday over his alleged remark against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an official said.

The First Information Report (FIR) were registered at the Mulund police station on a complaint filed by city-based lawyer Santosh Dubey.

"The FIR has been registered under Indian Penal Code Section 500 (punishment for defamation)," the official from Mulund police station said.

The lawyer last month sent a legal notice to Akhtar for allegedly making "false and defamatory" remarks against the RSS in an interview to a news channel, and sought an apology from him over it.

Akhtar (76) in a recent interview drew parallels between the Taliban and Hindu extremists.

Dubey in his notice had claimed that by making such statements, Akhtar committed an offence under IPC Sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation).

"I had earlier sent a legal notice to Akhtar and asked him to apologise over his remark, but he fail to do so. Now, an FIR has been registered against him on my complaint," the lawyer told PTI
19:11   Govt announces probe into Pandora Papers case
The government on Monday announced that a multi-agency group headed by the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes will investigate the Pandora Papers case.

The multi-agency group will have representatives from the CBDT, Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India and the Financial Intelligence Unit, the official spokesperson of CBDT, said.

The 'Pandora Papers', leak of troves of financial records in offshore tax havens, has been obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

More than 300 Indian names are part of the list.

Anil Ambani, Vinod Adani, Jackie Shroff, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Niira Radia, Sachin Tendulkar and Satish Sharma, among others, figure in the list of Indians in the 'Pandora Papers' revealed so far.
Photograph: PRO, Hyderabad, Ministry of Defence
Photograph: PRO, Hyderabad, Ministry of Defence
18:56   Air Marshal J Chalapati takes over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command
Air Marshal J Chalapati has taken over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Southern Air Command (SAC) here.

An impressive Guard of Honour was presented to the Air Marshal on taking over the Command on Sunday, a Defence release said on Monday.

Chalapati is a recipient of the Vishisht Seva medal.

Joining the National Defence Academy in 1980 after his schooling from the Hyderabad Public School, Chalapati was commissioned in the IAF in December 1983.

A Qualified Flying Instructor and an Experimental Test Pilot on various types of fighters, transports and helicopters and indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, he has experience in design, development and testing of aircraft with DRDO and Su-30 with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, where he has served as a Chief Test Pilot, the release said.

Prior to his tenure at Southern Air Command, he was Commandant of the Air Force Academy.

He has completed his National Defence Course from Bangladesh and Masters Degree in Military Studies from King's College, London.
Aryan Khan
Aryan Khan
18:19   Aryan Khan, 2 others in NCB custody till Oct 7
The Esplanade Court in Mumbai on Monday sent Aryan Khan, Arbaz Seth Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha in the custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau till October 7. 

They were arrested in connection with a drugs seizure on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on Saturday night. 

An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on Saturday night.
17:24   SC to examine if protests permitted when matter is sub-judice
The Supreme Court Monday said it would examine if organisations or individuals who have moved Constitutional court challenging the validity of a legislation are permitted to hold protest on the same issue when the matter is sub-judice. 

 While hearing a plea filed by a farmers' body which is protesting against the three new farm laws and is seeking directions to authorities to allow it to stage satyagrah' at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the apex court asked what are they protesting for when it has already stayed these legislations. 

 A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar also asked the organisation, which has already challenged the validity of the three laws before the Rajasthan High Court, why they want to hold protest when they are not in force at all. 

"You want to go for protest. Protest on what? There is no Act in place at the moment. It is stayed by this court. The government has assured that they will not give effect to it, then protest for what," the court observed. 

 The bench asked Attorney General K K Venugopal that once a party has approached the court challenging the validity of the Act, then where is the question of going for protest. 

"They can't ride two horses at the same time," said Venugopal and also referred to the unfortunate incident at Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday in which eight people were killed in the violence that erupted during a farmers' protest. The bench said when such incidents happen, nobody takes the responsibility.
17:21   Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar seeks bail in murder case
Wrestler Sushil Kumar moves a regular bail plea in the Rohini Court in the connection with the murder of 23-year-old Sagar Rana at Delhi's Chhatrasal Stadium. He was arrested by the Delhi Police on 23rd May this year.
Representational image
Representational image
17:11   Covid vax delivery via drones starts in northeast
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday launched an initiative to facilitate Covid-19 vaccine delivery to tough and hard-to-reach terrains of the Northeast through drones. 

The ICMR's Drone Response and Outreach in North East (i-Drone), a delivery model to make sure that life-saving COVID vaccines reach everyone, is in line with the government's commitment to Antyodaya' in health - making healthcare accessible to the last citizen of the country, officials said. 

 This is for the first time that a "Make in India' drone has been used in South Asia to transport COVID-19 vaccine over an aerial distance of 15 km in 12-15 mins from the Bishnupur district hospital to Loktak lake, Karang island in Manipur for administration at the PHC. 

 "The actual road distance between these locations is 26 km. Today, 10 beneficiaries will receive the first dose and eight will receive the second dose at the PHC," Mandaviya said. 

India is home to geographical diversities and drones can be used to deliver essentials to the last mile, he said. "We can use drones in delivering important life-saving medicines, collecting blood samples. This technology can also be used in critical situations. This technology may prove a game-changer in addressing the challenges in health care delivery, particularly health supplies in difficult areas," Mandaviya said. -- PTI
Shakti Sinha
Shakti Sinha
17:04   Vajpayee's private secretary passes away
Shakti Sinha, former bureaucrat and academician who was private secretary to late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, passed away on Monday. The cause of his death was not immediately known. 

 Political leaders and other dignitaries expressed shock and grief over Sinha's sudden demise and recalled his contribution as a strategic thinker and leader in public policy. 

 "How fragile the life is! Met Shakti Sinha ji only yesterday and had a long and enriching interaction. Now he's no more. Deeply distressing!," Ajay Singh, Press Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind, tweeted. BJP leader Ram Madhav said Sinha was a member of the Governing Board of India Foundation and was scheduled to address a conference at Leh this afternoon.
16:41   Mapped: the big gains in the Sensex today
The NTPC stock gained by 4.08 percentage points. 
16:25   Aryan Khan needed in custody till Oct 11: NCB
Anti-drugs agency Narcotics Control Bureau has sought longer custody of Aryan Khan, the 23-year-old son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who was arrested in the cruise ship drugs case last evening.  

The agency told the court today that they need him in custody till October 11 for questioning him. 

"Unless we investigate the consumer how do we know who is the supplier, who is financing it?" the agency told the court, contending that an international cartel is apparently involved in the case.  

The Bombay High Court has said all offences under NDPS are non-bailable, he contended.

Aryan Khan has been accused of purchase, possession and use of banned substances, the agency has said. He was also seen in a viral video on social media allegedly shot after the raids.
NTPC was the top gainer
NTPC was the top gainer
16:06   Sensex rallies 534 points; Nifty ends near 17,700
Snapping its four-session losing streak, equity benchmark Sensex rallied 534 points on Monday, led by gains in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, Infosys and ICICI Bank. 

 The 30-share BSE index ended 533.74 points or 0.91 per cent higher at 59,299.32.

 Similarly, the NSE Nifty surged 159.20 points or 0.91 per cent to 17,691.25. 

 NTPC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 4 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finserv, SBI, Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra, Dr Reddy's and Tata Steel. On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, HUL, Nestle India, Kotak Bank and Titan were among the laggards.
15:43   Blood thinners reduce Covid-related mortality, hospitalisation: study
COVID-19 patients who use blood thinners may have a nearly 50 per cent reduced risk of death and a 43 per cent lower risk of hospitalisation, according to a study published in Lancet's EClinical Medicine journal. 

The research was conducted on 6,195 patients over the age of 18 who were diagnosed with COVID-19 from March 4 to August 27, 2020 in 12 hospitals and 60 clinics in the US. 

The researchers from the University of Minnesota, US, and Basel University in Switzerland analysed the relationship between 90-day anticoagulation therapy among out-patients before COVID-19 diagnosis and the risk for hospitalisation and mortality. 

The researchers also evaluated the association between anticoagulation therapy, which is used to prevent blood clots, and mortality risk among admitted patients. 

 The study found that patients on blood thinners before contracting COVID-19 were 43 per cent less likely to be admitted to hospital, despite being older and having more chronic medical conditions than their peers.

Blood thinners, regardless of being used before being infected with COVID-19 or started when admitted to the hospital for treatment of the viral disease, reduce deaths by almost half, they added.
Aryan Khan
Aryan Khan
15:38   Mumbai cruise raid: 8 accused presented before city court
All the eight accused, arrested after a Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raid on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, including Aryan Khan, were taken to the city court on Monday.
15:28   Nobel Medicine prize for 'receptors for touch'
The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian "for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch."

Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and underpins our interaction with the world around us. In our daily lives we take these sensations for granted, but how are nerve impulses initiated so that temperature and pressure can be perceived? This question has been solved by this year's Nobel Prize laureates.

David Julius utilized capsaicin, a pungent compound from chili peppers that induces a burning sensation, to identify a sensor in the nerve endings of the skin that responds to heat. 

Ardem Patapoutian used pressure-sensitive cells to discover a novel class of sensors that respond to mechanical stimuli in the skin and internal organs. 

These breakthrough discoveries launched intense research activities leading to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli. The laureates identified critical missing links in our understanding of the complex interplay between our senses and the environment.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Sitapur
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Sitapur
15:01   Priyanka on hunger strike following detention
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sat on a hunger strike on Monday after being detained in Uttar Pradesh's Sitapur while she was en route to Lakhimpur Kheri, her party said. 

Gandhi and other Congress leaders accompanying her, including Deepender Hooda, had reached the Lakhimpur border in the morning but were not allowed to meet the families of the farmers who died in the violence during a protest a day earlier, the party alleged. 

"Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi has been arrested. She is on hunger strike. Congressmen are protesting. Government will have to bow to our demands. Voice for justice will be raised with more strength," the UP Congress said in a tweet. 

 In a video released by the party, Gandhi was seen sweeping the floor of a room where she was apparently kept. Stopping them in such a way is "undemocratic", Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu told PTI. 

 Eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest, claiming the lives of both farmers and BJP workers ahead of a visit to Lakhimpur by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. 

 On their way to the violence-hit district, Congress leaders had to take alternative routes to reach the bordering Hargaon area in Sitapur as heavy security was deployed on the main roads. 

 "We are waiting outside Lakhimpur Kheri. We have been prevented by the police from entering. We have come here to meet the victims of the violence," Congress national secretary Dheeraj Gurjar told PTI over the phone at 4.30 am. 

 Gandhi's convoy was earlier briefly stopped by Uttar Pradesh Police officials in Lucknow, where the Congress general secretary had arrived on Sunday night, within a few hours of violence being reported during an anti-farm laws protest in Lakhimpur.
14:52   Mapped: Covid numbers across states
Cases fall in the top 5 Covid hotspot states. 
14:43   Dangerous populism
"Since propaganda is by definition vulgar, it's difficult to think of what is not vulgar about a regime that steals credit by changing the names of existing schemes, emblazons certificates and other communications with its leader's mugshot and slogans, and is now thought to bask in a global role, thanks to Joe Biden and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue although Australia's Scott Morrison won the Sheriff's role. "

Read Sunanda K Datta-Ray's column here. 
14:33   Farmers call off stir at Lakhimpur Kheri
Farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri, who have been protesting over yesterday's deaths, have reached an understanding with the government and called off the protest.   

The government has promised to pay a compensation of Rs45 lakh to the families of those who died. The injured will receive a compensation of  10 lakh. 

The farmers have also agreed to cremate the bodies of the four people who were allegedly mowed down by a car carrying the son of Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra. 

Four of the farmers hit had died and several others were injured.
Aryan Khan is in NCB custody till today
Aryan Khan is in NCB custody till today
13:53   NCB searches Mumbai cruise ship, 8 detained
A team of officers from Narcotics Control Bureau conducts a search at the cruise ship in Mumbai where drugs were seized. Eight more more people have been taken into custody.

Three persons-- Shah Rukh Khans son Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha-- who were arrested after they were questioned in the wake of Saturday nights raid on the cruise ship off Mumbai coast, were remanded in NCB custody till today.

NCB had sought custody of the arrested trio till October 5. Lawyer Satish Maneshinde had pleaded for Aryans bail arguing that it was a bailable offence and no contraband had been found in his possession. But the court remanded the trio in custody till Monday.

The NCB said that there was material in the form of WhatsApp chats against the three, allegedly showing nexus with peddlers and suppliers on regular basis. The three are booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act related to charges of possession, consumption and sale of illegal substances.
13:24   BKU chief asks BJP workers not to visit rural UP
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) national president Naresh Tikait has asked BJP workers not to visit the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, saying farmers are angry over the violence that broke out in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.

 Addressing a kisan panchayat at the BKU headquarters in Sisoli on Sunday night, he alleged that the BJP was trying to defame the farmers' agitation by provoking violence. 

 He asked the BJP workers not to visit the rural areas to avoid any untoward incident. 

 The remarks come after eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest, claiming the lives of both farmers and BJP workers ahead of a visit to Lakhimpur by UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

 Four of the dead were people in the cars, apparently a part of a convoy of BJP workers who had come to welcome the UP minister. They were allegedly thrashed to death. 

The four others were farmers, officials said. 

 Farmer leaders had claimed that the minister's son Ashsish Mishra was in one of the cars which they alleged knocked down some protesters who were opposing the deputy CM's visit. However, Ajay Mishra said he and his son were not present at the spot as alleged by some farmer leaders and he has photo and video evidence to prove it. -- PTI
12:59   No state should deny Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to kin of those who died of Covid: SC
The Supreme Court Monday said no state should deny the ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000, as recommended by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), to the kin of persons who died of COVID-19 on the sole ground that death certificate does not mention it as the cause of death. 

 The bench said that the compensation would be disbursed from state disaster relief funds within 30 days of submitting application and cause of death being certified as of COVID-19.

 It also ordered the states and the Centre to give wide publicity to the scheme in print media and electronic media. Approving the NDMA guidelines, a bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna said that in cases of death certificates already issued and a family member being aggrieved it would be open for them to approach appropriate authority. 

 On production of essential documents like RTPCR test, the concerned authorities can modify death certificates, the apex court said, adding that if still aggrieved, the members can approach the Grievance Redressal Committee.

 "No states shall deny ex gratia on ground that in death certificate cause of death is not mentioned that 'died due to COVID'," the bench said. 

 The top court also ordered that the Grievance Redressal Committee can examine medical records of deceased patients and take a call within 30 days and order the compensation. 

 The NDMA had earlier recommended that Rs 50,000 be given to the kin of those who died of COVID-19. -- PTI
12:30   70% of Indians given 1st dose of Covid vax: Govt
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said that 70 per cent of India's adult population has been administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

"Strong Nation, Rapid Vaccination: India has administered the first dose of #COVID19 vaccine on 70% of the population. Under PM @NarendraModiji, India is achieving new landmarks in the fight against the pandemic. Keep it up India, let us fight Corona," the minister said in a tweet. 

With the administration of 23,46,176 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered has exceeded 90.79 crore as per provisional reports till 7 am. This has been achieved through 88,05,668 sessions held across the country, the ministry said. 

 According to officials, 25 per cent of the population has been administered both the doses. More than 5.67 crore (5,67,37,905) balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the states and UTs to be administered. 

 According to government data, the average daily doses administered in a month has increased from 19.69 lakh in May to 39.89 lakh in June, then further to 43.41 lakh in July and to 59.19 lakh in August. The average daily vaccination in September has been 79.08 lakh per day. PTI

As a comparative New Zealand with a population 5 million has vaccinated 64 per cent of its population with one dose. 

Delhi has a population double that of New Zealand.  
12:17   Pandora Papers: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw reacts
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw on Monday said the 'Pandora Papers' have wrongly implicated her husband's offshore trust, and termed the organisation as "bonafide" and "legitimate". 

 "Media stories reporting on Pandora Papers wrongly implicate my husband's offshore trust, which is a bonafide, legitimate trust and is managed by Independent Trustees. No Indian resident holds the key to the trust as alleged in these stories," Mazumdar-Shaw, the executive chairperson of biotechnology major Biocon, said in a tweet. 

 Millions of leaked documents dubbed as the 'Pandora Papers' by a worldwide journalistic partnership on October 3, claimed to have uncovered financial secrets of current and former world leaders, politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories, including India. 

 The 'Pandora Papers' have named 300 Indian individuals, including Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. 

 The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which involved the BBC and 'The Guardian' newspaper in the UK and 'The Indian Express' in India among 150 media outlets in its investigation, claims it obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files to find secret financial dealings of many super rich. 

 The 'Pandora Papers' are a follow-up to a similar project released in 2016, called the 'Panama Papers' compiled by the same journalistic group. PTI
11:59   Cong likens Priyanka's arrest with Indira Gandhi's
Wishful thinking by Congress leader Sunil Jakhar?

"If arrest of Mrs Indira Gandhi on October 3, 1977 proved to be the undoing of Janta Party's govt, the arrest of Priyanka Gandhi on October 3, 2021 marks the beginning of the end of BJP govt. @INCIndia #FarmerProtest," Jakhar tweeted. 

Realistically speaking, the Congress party has to first clean up the mess in Punjab and other states and then think of taking on the BJP. 

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was detained by the Uttar Pradesh police this morning as she headed to meet the families of the farmers killed in the violence. 

"I am not important than the people you have killed. The government you are defending. You give me a legal warrant, a legal basis or else I will not move from here and you won't touch me," a visibly agitated Congress leader, surrounded by policemen, is heard saying in a video when her convoy is stopped at Sitapur. 
11:54   Kareena's birthday wishes for Soha
Kareena Kapoor Khan has a happy birthday wish for her sister-in-law. 

The Pataudi bahu posted this image alongside writing, "From the time I went for my first holiday with her in Maldives, where I watched her wash her chicken in a glass of water (to remove the spice) and then just casually eat it... I knew she was one cool woman! And... it has been a pleasure knowing you ever since @sakpataudi 

"Happy birthday, sister-in-law (heart emoji) lots of love always (heart emoji).

P.S. I think we all look great in this picture and that's why it's on the gram now ''' #OldIsGold."

Kareena's sister-in-law, is of course, the gorgeous Soha Ali Khan. This image is from her wedding with Kunal Khemu. They have one daughter, Inaaya Naumi. 
Security personnel at Lakhimpur Kheri
Security personnel at Lakhimpur Kheri
11:34   Local journalist killed in Lakhimpur violence
Local journalist Raman Kashyap died in the violence that took place in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday, Newslaundry reported quoting IANS. The death toll is now 9.

Kashyap had been missing since Sunday's violence. His body was found in the mortuary on Monday. As per Times of India, he was injured in the violence and succumbed during treatment.

Locals had said that the journalists family members had ascertained his identity when his body was taken for post mortem. However, official confirmation of the same had not been made so far.

Nine people, including Kashyap, were killed yesterday when violence erupted in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday. Four of them were farmers. The other four were allegedly BJP workers. 
11:24   Market Capitalisation
The top 10 stocks mapped
A student gets ready for school
A student gets ready for school
11:13   Schools reopen for classes 8-12 in Mumbai today
Mumbai schools re-opened for classes 8-12 on Monday in adherence with the COVID-19 Standard Procedure Protocols.

Bai Kabibi School and Junior College located in the Bora Bazaar area of Mumbai is all prepared to welcome students after school has closed for more than one and half years. 

Speaking to ANI, Ajit Dubay, a teacher in Bai Kabibi School said the school administration is very happy to meet students. The school has been decorated and prepared with all the safety measures.

"We are very happy, finally schools are re-opened, we will welcome the students with flowers and sweets," the teacher said.
11:08   Lakhimpur Kheri: Akhilesh Yadav detained in Lucknow
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav was detained on Monday as he sat on a dharna outside his Vikramaditya Marg residence in Lucknow after he was not allowed to go to Lakhimpur. 

 The SP chief had announced plans to visit Lakhimpur Kheri, where eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest ahead of a visit by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

 On Monday morning, security was beefed up outside his home and police trucks placed to block the road and restrict any movement, following which he sat on the dharna with party leaders Ram Gopal Yadav, MLC Anand Bhadauria and others. 

 Hundreds of party workers also gathered outside the house, and a heavy police force was deployed in the area. 

 "Vehicles are being run over those who raise their voices. We want the arrest of the minister and his son in the Lakhimpur incident," Akhilesh Yadav told reporters here. 

 A police jeep parked in front of the Gautam Palli police station near the place where Akhilesh Yadav sat on a dharna was set on fire allegedly by party workers. SP leaders, however, claimed that the police torched their own vehicle. PTI
File pic
File pic
11:01   Priyanka on political tourism: UP minister
UP Minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Priyanka Gandhi's arrest: "We've seen Priyanka Gandhi Vadra doing political tourism earlier.

"It an attempt to hamper the probe and manipulate public opinion. This shouldn't happen. They should at least wait for 24 hours or visit after there's a result to the probe.

"There is no issue in presenting your opinion. But if they want to complete their journey till 2022 election over dead bodies, then it won't happen."
11:00   Stunned by your courage: Rahul tells Priyanka
Targeting the Uttar Pradesh government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was allegedly arrested on her way to the Lakhimpur Kheri, won't relent and will continue fighting for justice.

"Priyanka, I know you won't relent - they are stunned by your courage. In this non-violent fight for justice, we will make the country's Annadata win," he tweeted.

Several Opposition leaders from various parties including Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav are also scheduled to visit Lakhimpur Kheri today.
A vehicle set ablaze at Lakhimpur
A vehicle set ablaze at Lakhimpur
10:23   Farmers submit complaint against Teni, son
Farmers have submitted a complaint against Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni and his son Ashish Mishra Teni at Tikunia over Lakhimpur Kheri violence on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Lakhimpur Kheri District Magistrate Arvind Chaurasiya said, "I have received a memorandum (from farmers), demanding dismissal of MoS Home Ajay Mishra Teni, registration of FIR based on their complaint, ex gratia payment to kin of the victim and government jobs to the family member of the deceased and judicial probe into the incident."

 As many as eight people died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident on Sunday, said police.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur Kheri Arun Kumar Singh confirmed eight deaths including four farmers and four occupants of the vehicle(s) that allegedly ran over the farmers.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) issued a statement alleging the death of four farmers in the incident. -- ANI
10:10   Lakhimpur violence: Tikait demands murder charge
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday demanded the registration of a murder case against Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni's son after the death of four farmers allegedly in an accident with a convoy of cars. 

He also demanded compensation for the victims, removal of the minister and government jobs to the kin of victims.

"A case should be registered under Sections 302 (murder) and 120 (criminal conspiracy), Mishra should be removed from the post, compensation of Rs 1 crore to all the victims and also government jobs to the relatives of the family," Tikait demanded. 

He alleged that the minister's son is involved in killing people and action should be taken against him.

Tikait also said that the further course of action will be decided after consulting villagers.

As many as eight people died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident on Sunday, said police.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur Kheri Arun Kumar Singh confirmed eight deaths including four farmers and four occupants of the vehicle(s) that allegedly ran over the farmers.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) issued a statement alleging the death of four farmers in the incident.

Meanwhile, refuting SKM's allegations, MoS Teni said that his son was not present at the spot, adding that some miscreants merged with protesting farmers and pelted the stones on the car which lead to the 'unfortunate incident'.  -- ANI
09:55   In Grief
We mourn the passing of Ambassador B S Prakash, an early contributor to

Ambassador T P Sreenivasan, another long-time contributor, informs us that Ambassador Prakash passed away in Kozhikode early this morning. Ambassador Prakash was 69.

Ambassador Prakash, who served the Indian Foreign Service for 37 years, retired as India's ambassador to Brazil in 2012.

His columns were marked with rare insight and sparkled with humour.

You can read his columns here. 

We will miss him, this day and always.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel
09:18   Cong leaders not allowed to land in Lucknow
Hours after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was stopped from visiting Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister SS Randhawa were not allowed to land in Lucknow.

An order in Hindi from the UP government to the Lucknow airport said because of the law and order situation over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, the flights of the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister should not be allowed to land at Lucknow's Amausi airport.

Eight people were killed on Sunday as violence erupted during a farmers' protest, claiming the lives of both farmers and Bharatiya Janata Party workers ahead of a visit to Lakhimpur by Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, officials said.

The farmer leaders alleged that Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra's son was travelling in one of the sports utility vehicles involved in the incident.
08:33   Priyanka reaches violence-hit Lakhimpur Kheri border
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other party leaders reached Lakhimpur border early Monday, but alleged they were not allowed to meet the victims of the violence that erupted during a farmers' protest and claimed eight lives a day earlier.
Priyanka Gandhi, who is accompanied by party leader Deepender Singh Hooda among others, had to take alternative routes to reach the bordering Hargaon area in Saitapur as heavy security was deployed on the main roads amid tension in the violence-hit region of Lakhimpur.
"We are waiting outside Lakhimpur Kheri. We have been prevented by the police from entering. We have come here to meet the victims of the violence," Congress national secretary Dheeraj Gurjar told PTI over the phone at 4.30 am.
Priyanka Gandhi's convoy was earlier briefly stopped by the Uttar Pradesh Police officials in Lucknow, where the Congress general secretary had arrived on Sunday night, within a few hours of violence being reported during an anti-farm laws protest here.
Meanwhile, mobile internet services were suspended in parts of the violence-hit district, where restrictions under CrPC section 144 -- which prohibits assembly of four or more people -- has also been imposed, according to officials.
The UP police took to Twitter early Monday to describe the incident as unfortunate and said eight casualties have been reported so far as per the district administration.
"ADG LO, ACS Agriculture, IG Range & Commissioner are on the spot & situation is under control. Adequate deployment has been done to prevent any untoward incident," it added. -- PTI