Wed, 20 October 2021
U'khand floods: Amit Shah's aerial survey tomorrow

Timeline  Refresh

Representational pic
Representational pic
23:46   Pro-Pakistan sloganeering leads to arrest of 3 in Noida
Three men were arrested over alleged pro-Pakistan sloganeering during a religious procession in Noida on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi, police said on Wednesday.

The arrests have been made on the basis of a purported video which surfaced on social media, the police said.

"The procession was carried out in the Sector 20 police station area. A video had gone viral on social media during which the 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan was heard. The video was analysed by the police and also consulted with an expert after which it prima facie looked that 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were raised during the procession," Deputy Commissioner  of Police (Noida) Rajesh S said.

"If one looks at the complete video, 'Hindustan Zindabad' slogan was being raised but in between 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogan was also being raised," the officer said.

An FIR has been lodged at the Sector 20 police station under Indian Penal Code section 153A  (promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), he said.

Three people identified as Mohammad Zafar, Samir Ali and Ali Raza have been arrested in connection with the episode and further legal proceedings are underway, the police said.
23:21   U'khand floods: Amit Shah's aerial survey tomorrow
Union home minister Amit Shah will reach Uttarakhand at midnight on Wednesday to take stock of the situation arising out of incessant rains, said government sources.

"The Union minister will hold review meetings and take stock of the situation in Uttarakhand," sources close to the developments told ANI. Shah will also conduct an aerial survey in the state on Thursday, sources added.

As many as 46 people have died in a span of three days from October 17 to October 19, as per the state's natural disaster incident report.

Of these, one died in Champawat on October 17, six died on October 18 in Pauri, Champawat and Pithoragarh and on October 19, as many as 39 people were reported dead in Nainital, Almora, Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Chamoli and Bageshwar.

Maximum number of deaths were reported in Nainital on October 19.

A total of nine houses have been either damaged partially or completely in the state. Dhami conducted an aerial survey across the state yesterday.
ANI Photo/Twitter
ANI Photo/Twitter
22:28   Rain, landslides cut off Sikkim-WB highway link
Torrential rains pounded the tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim and the tea growing region of North Bengal, causing landslides that cut off National Highway-10, the main road linking Gangtok with the rest of the country.

Normal life came to a near standstill as showers triggered landslides causing damages to roads and bridges, halting or constricting traffic in various places in North Bengal's hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, while low-lying areas in the plains of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts were flooded, officials said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of tourists, who have thronged the hills during the Durga Puja season, are facing difficulties in travelling to their next destination or reaching railway stations or the Bagdogra airport to return home, owing to the incessant rain and landslides.

The Met department has issued a 'red' warning for Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Alipurduar, forecasting extremely heavy rain at one or two places in these districts till Thursday morning.

Road connectivity in several places of Kalimpong district, linking Kalimpong town and hamlets like Pedong and Lava - two popular tourist destinations -- and Algara were snapped owing to landslides.

The incessant downpour on Wednesday saw landslides blocking the crucial National Highway-10, connecting Siliguri with Gangtok, at the 29th Mile area in West Bengal, around 60 km from the Himalayan state's Rangpo border.

Another landslide occurred at Pani House at Gangtok this morning, disrupting vehicular movement, officials said.

Darjeeling District Magistrate S Ponnambalam said the main thoroughfares in the district are open, though some of the interior roads were affected by landslides.

Attempts are on to remove the debris from the road to reopen it to traffic as soon as possible, he said.

Supporting pillars of a steel bridge at Rangpo, the gateway to Sikkim, were also damaged as the Teesta river which has been in spate over the past few days, swept embankments at many points.

Local police have started restricting movement of vehicles on the bridge. A large number of people have been taken to safe places and relief materials have been sent to the affected areas.

Water from the Teesta submerged national highway 10 at Teesta Bazar area, restricting vehicle movement.

A key road bridge over the Balason river at Matigara near Siliguri suffered "settlement" owing to heavy rain, an official said.

He said vehicular traffic on it will resume only after safety tests of the bridge.

Siliguri police commissioner Gaurav Sharma said that traffic, except two-wheelers, were being diverted through another route via Naukaghat bridge owing to the damage.

A political blame game started amid this situation, with the  BJP MLA Anandamoy Barman accusing the Trinamool Congress government of failing to maintain it and non-cooperation in implementing a central government project for four-laning of the road on which the bridge is located.

Chairman of the board of administrators of Siliguri Municipal Corporation Gautam Deb rejected the claim, saying that the health of all road bridges is checked regularly.

Several low-lying areas at Malbazar, Moynaguri and Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district have been flooded owing to rise in water level of Teesta and Jaldhaka rivers.

People from many of these areas have been shifted to flood shelters, a Jalpaiguri district official said.

As the downpour continued, 3,800 cusec of waster was released from Bengal's Gajaoldoba Teesta Barrage, causing inundation in several parts of the low lying town of Jalpaiguri.

Gajaldoba in Jalpaiguri received the highest rainfall in the state in 24 hours till 8.30 am on Wednesday at 340 mm rainfall, the Met department said.

Darjeeling received 233.8 mm, Kalimpong 199 mm rainfall, Siliguri 195.6 mm, Jalpaiguri 151 mm and Cooch Behar 60.9 mm during the same period.

The Met department warned that the inclement weather will continue in the sub-Himalayan districts till Thursday morning.

Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rain, it said.

Weather in the south Bengal districts, which were lashed by heavy rain since Sunday owing to a low pressure system, improved considerably on Wednesday, though the sky remained overcast.

The Met department has forecast thunderstorms with lightning at one or two places in these districts on Wednesday.

Dry weather will prevail in the southern part of the state from Thursday, it said.
22:16   Rupee spurts 47 paise to end at nearly 2-week high against dollar as oil prices ease
The rupee on Wednesday surged by 47 paise to close at a nearly two-week high of 74.88 against the US dollar on easing global crude oil prices and rising appetite for riskier assets.

Heavy losses in the domestic equity markets, however, put some pressure on the rupee, forex dealers said.

"Indian rupee gained the most among emerging market currencies, boosted by lower crude oil prices and dollar demand while market is expecting foreign fund inflows from scheduled QIPs and IPOs in coming weeks.

"A rally in Chinese yuan, which placed near four months high against dollar, also supported regional currencies," Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities, said.

Oil prices eased by 0.83 per cent to USD 84.37 per barrel after reports that the Chinese government was planning steps to rein in high coal prices and improve supplies.
High oil prices had stoked fears of inflationary pressures and high forex outflows from India which weighed on the rupee last week.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened strong at 75.10 over its previous close of 75.35 against the greenback. Later, the local unit surged to settle at 74.88, the highest level since October 7.
21:45   India, national security comes first: Amarinder
Speaking with Shekhar Gupta, the Editor-in-Chief of The Print on his Off The Cuff show, the former soldier and two-time chief minister of Punjab expressed 'personal' hurt over the way the Gandhis treated him and asked for his resignation.

"Done everything in power for my country and my people while in the Army and public life. I do not want to go out as failure; I was pushed out in an ignoble way," he said.

"I am not going to quit. I will fight this battle out. I will quit only after winning the battle," Capt Amarinder Singh said.

"Otherwise (if I lose) doesn't matter. You know the motto of the Gorkha Regiment? Their motto is it is better to die than be a coward. And I go by that. I am not from the Gorkha Regiment; I was from the Sikh Regiment. Nevertheless, that is a very good motto to have."

Capt Singh spoke on a range of issues. Here's the glimpse of he said during the 45-minute interview with Shekhar Gupta:

On national Security and Punjab on the verge of slipping into a very bad place

I am concerned about this from the last three years, particularly about Punjab's weaponisation. This had been happening in the past. They keep funding and sending weapons to ISI and Khalistani sleeper cells but now the quantum of weapons being sent into Punjab are certainly disturbing.

I took this up with the Government of India and gave a copy to Mrs Gandhi, the Congress president.

Earlier these weapons were smuggled using underground tunnels but now it's being done increasingly, intensively using drones. Technology has helped reduce distance and increase payload.

They have been sending AK47s, RDX, heroin, and somebody is planning something by sending tiffin boxes, whereby each tiffin box contains 6 kilograms of RDX and we have found six such tiffin boxes. There are triple switches inside these tiffin boxes making these bombs virtually foolproof. What, we don't know yet and that is my biggest worry.

On collaborating with the BJP by keeping his party in the dark

When it comes to national security, when comes to securing Punjab and people of Punjab then we are beyond any party in this. I have been making these statements for many years now.

India comes first, national security comes first.
20:39   NIA raids 11 locations in J-K, arrests 4 persons
The NIA on Wednesday conducted searches at multiple locations in four districts of Jammu and Kashmir and arrested four alleged terror associates in connection with a terrorism conspiracy case, an official said. 

The searches were carried out at 11 locations in Srinagar, Pulwama, Kulgam and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Suhail Ahmad Thokar of Kulgam; Kamran Ashraf Reshi, Rayid Bashir and Hanan Gulzar Dar from Srinagar, have been arrested by the premier investigation agency, the NIA official said. 

The case relates to conspiracy for undertaking violent terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir along with other major cities by cadres of the proscribed terrorist organisations Laskhar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Al Badr and similar other outfits and their affiliates including The Resistance Front (TRF), People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF) among others, the NIA official said. 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered the case on October 10 and has so far arrested nine accused. 

The searches have led to the recovery and seizure of electronic devices and incriminating jihadi documents/ Posters among others, the official said. 

The four accused are terror associates/OGWs (Over Ground Workers) of various proscribed terrorist organisations and have been providing logistical and material support to terrorists, the NIA official said, adding that further investigation in the case continues.
19:44   SC says Maha ATS not barred from investigation till NIA took over probe
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld an order of the Bombay high court which held that ATS Nanded was not barred from continuing with its investigation till the NIA Mumbai took up the probe in connection with a case of arrest of a suspected ISIS operative in Maharashtra.

The top court was hearing appeals filed by Naser Bin Abu Bakr Yafai who was arrested by Maharashtra ATS from Parbhani district in 2016 and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A bench headed by D Y Chandrachud said the continuance of the investigation by the ATS Nanded in terms of Section 6(7) of the NIA Act, till the investigation had been taken up by the NIA Mumbai, was legitimate.

The apex court said between the issuance of a direction and the actual taking up of the investigation by the NIA, there should be no hiatus in the investigation to the detriment of the interests of national security.

It said an investigation commences upon the receipt of information by the police which discloses the commission of a cognisable offence.

"However, the mere receipt and recording of such information (through an FIR) by itself does not mean that the investigation has also commenced.

"Rather, the investigation commences when the police take the first step (of proceeding to the spot or collecting evidence or speaking to a witness or arresting the accused person) on the basis of such information," the bench also comprising Justices Vikram Nath and B V Nagarathna said while clarifying that in this case, ATS Nanded had a duty to continue with the investigation till the NIA Mumbai took over the investigation from it.

The top court said that in the present case, the investigation was initiated by the ATS Nanded following the registration of the FIR on July 14, 2016, on receipt of source information that Yafai was in contact over the internet with members of IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and this led to the arrest of four accused persons.

Thereafter, considering the gravity of the offence involved, the Central government directed the NIA Mumbai to take up further investigation of the case on September 8, 2016, exercising its powers under Section 6(4) of the NIA Act, the apex court said.

"The NIA Mumbai re-numbered the case on September 14, 2016. However, the NIA Mumbai intimated the ATS Nanded to transfer the case records to them on November 23, 2016, and it was only on December 8, 2016, that the records were handed over to the NIA Mumbai by the ATS Nanded.

"ATS Nanded filed the charge sheet before the CJM, Nanded on October 7, 2016 (which was prior to even the letter of the NIA Mumbai dated 23 November 2016 for the handing over of the case records). Likewise, the CJM, Nanded took cognizance of the offence and committed the case to trial before the ASJ, Nanded on 18 October 2016," the bench said.

The top court said that mere renumbering of the case filed by the NIA Mumbai did not take away the power of the ATS Nanded to continue the investigation.

ATS Nanded could continue the investigation till the records of the case were received by the NIA Mumbai and hence, the investigation conducted by the ATS Nanded before this was within the mandate of sub-Section (7) of Section 6 of the NIA Act.
"The said provision is clarificatory in nature so as to remove any doubt about the duty of the officer-in-charge of the police station to continue the investigation till the 'Agency', i.e., the NIA Mumbai in the instant case took up the investigation on receipt of the case papers.

"Therefore, the continuation of the investigation, and the filing of the charge-sheet upon its conclusion, by the ATS Nanded was in terms of the statutory mandate under Section 6(7) of the NIA Act," the bench said.

The apex court also said the CJM, Nanded had the jurisdiction for remand and committal to the trial of the accused as there were no Special Courts in Maharashtra designated under the NIA Act.

It said that as per Section 10 of the NIA Act there is no embargo on the State Investigating Agency to investigate a scheduled offence, which would include offences under the UAPA.

"Consequently, till the investigation was taken up by the NIA Mumbai, the ATS Nanded was acting within the jurisdiction in investigating the offence and filing the charge-sheet in the present case," the bench said.

Yafai had contended that the offences under the UAPA are scheduled offences under the NIA Act, and hence, the CJM, Nanded had no jurisdiction to pass an order on remand, to take cognizance and pass an order of committal of the proceedings to the ASJ, Nanded since it was not a 'Court' established under the NIA Act.

According to the police, the accused had allegedly planned a bomb blast in Nanded city in the month of Ramzan and was to receive some weapons from Syria.

Yafai had come in contact with the terror outfit through the Internet and had allegedly renewed his passport to visit Syria.

The high court had observed that the power of investigation by the police officer of the State government would cease only after the NIA takes over the investigation of a scheduled offence.

The high court also held that the ASJ, Nanded had jurisdiction under the CrPC to try the offences under the UAPA, even though they were scheduled offences under the NIA Act until the investigation was entrusted to and taken over by the NIA, after which the Special Court constituted under Section 11 of the NIA Act would exclusively try such scheduled offences.

The high court had held that the ASJ, Nanded had jurisdiction under the CrPC to try the offences under the UAPA, even though they were scheduled offences under the NIA Act until the investigation was entrusted to and taken over by the NIA, after which the Special Court constituted under Section 11 of the NIA Act would exclusively try such scheduled offences.
19:20   Nine women cadres among 43 Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh's Sukma
A total of 43 Maoists, including nine women cadres, surrendered before the police in Chhattisgarh's worst Maoist-hit Sukma district on Wednesday, an officer said.

The 43 cadres belonging to ten villages of the Sukma district turned themselves in before senior police and Central Reserve Police Force officials in Sukma town citing disappointment with 'inhuman' and 'hollow' Maoist ideology, Sukma superintendent of police Sunil Sharma told PTI.

Podiami Lakshman, a militia commander carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head, was among those who surrendered before the police. 

The remaining ultras were active as members of the militia and Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangthan, Krantikari Mahila Adivasi Sangthan, Chetna Natya Mandli -- all the frontal wings of the Maoists, in different areas of the south Bastar, he said. 

The SP said the surrendered ultras were also 'impressed' by the district police's rehabilitation drive for the Maoists called puna narkom (a term coined in local Gondi dialect which means new dawn).     

The surrendered Maoists will be provided with facilities as per the surrender and rehabilitation policy of the Chhattisgarh government. -- PTI
19:04   UP lifts night curfew as Covid situation improves
In view of the improved COVID-19 situation in Uttar Pradesh, the state government on Wednesday lifted night restrictions between 11 pm to 6 am, a senior official said here. 

"On directions of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, corona curfew between 11 pm to 6 am) is being lifted in the state," additional chief secretary, home, Awanish Kumar Awasthi said in Lucknow.    

The order in this regard has been issued to all the officers concerned. 

The state reported 11 fresh cases on Wednesday and there are 112 active cases, a senior health official said, adding that 16,87,048 patients have recovered from the virus till now.            

After the lifting of COVID-19 lockdown, the state was continuing with night restrictions which it called 'corona curfew.' -- PTI
18:43   Former Goa Dy CM Dayanand Narvekar joins AAP
Former deputy chief minister of Goa, Dayanand Narvekar, on Wednesday joined the Aam Aadmi Party ahead of the next year's assembly polls, saying the AAP has created a 'positive impression' in the minds of the people.           

Talking to reporters, the 71-year-old politician said the AAP is a well-structured party that is praised for its governance model in New Delhi and the intent to provide good governance in Goa.         

"The AAP remained with the local population in Goa during the pandemic, providing them all the necessary help. I am impressed with the work of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister of Delhi. I am sure AAP can do the work of such a scale in Goa, once voted to power," he said.         

Narvekar had represented Aldona constituency in the Goa Assembly five times in the past on a Congress ticket. He had served as deputy CM from November 1999 to October 2000.  -- PTI
18:26   Govt targets full adult vaccination by yearend, says Union minister
More than 99 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in India and the government has set a target of vaccinating the country's entire adult population by the end of the year, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Wednesday.                  
While virtually addressing the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's healthcare excellence awards ceremony, Pawar informed that under the 'Make in India' initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi India is one of the leading countries in the global medical devices market in the world.                  

Detailing the success amid challenges posed by COVID-19, the Union minister said, "More than 99 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country and the government has set a target of vaccinating the country's entire adult population by end of the year."                  
The minister thanked the dignitaries present at the event and expressed her appreciation for the FICCI for contributing immensely to the COVID-19 response in close coordination with the empowered groups, central and state governments. -- PTI
17:30   Actor Jacqueline Fernandez appears before ED
Actor Jacqueline Fernandez appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday for questioning in connection with an over Rs 200 crore money laundering case being probed against alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekar, officials said. 

 The actor deposed before the federal agency around 3:30 pm after skipping its summons at least thrice earlier. 

 Fernandez, 36, has once appeared before the federal agency in August and recorded her statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in this case.

 It is understood that the agency wants to confront her with the main accused in the case Chandrashekhar and his actor wife Leena Maria Paul and also record her statement again.
17:20   BJP readies for 100-cr-vax mark tomorrow
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President Jagat Prakash Nadda will visit Ghaziabad on Thursday to express his gratitude as India is all set to achieve the 100 crore vaccination mark.

According to BJP sources, Nadda will reach Kailash Mansarovar Bhawan at 10.30 am on October 21, where he will review the functioning of the vaccination centre. 

He will also hold a meeting at the Institute of Technology and Science (ITS) College in Mohan Nagar to express his gratitude on the occasion.
17:16   Markets skid for 2nd day as profit-booking takes hold
The Sensex slumped 456 points while the Nifty closed below the 18,300-level on Wednesday as market participants pared exposure to overbought counters for the second straight session. 

 Midcap and smallcap stocks too saw heavy selling amid concerns over frothy valuations, traders said. 

 The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 456.09 points or 0.74 per cent lower at 61,259.96. Similarly, the NSE Nifty dropped 152.15 points or 0.83 per cent to 18,266.60. 

 Titan was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 2.97 per cent, followed by HUL, NTPC, L&T, PowerGrid, Bajaj Finserv and M&M.

 In contrast, Bharti Airtel led the gainers' chart with a jump of 4.03 per cent. SBI, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, ITC and HCL Tech were the other winners.
China govt run Cosco Group snapped up the 67% of Pireaus port controlled by the Greek govt
China govt run Cosco Group snapped up the 67% of Pireaus port controlled by the Greek govt
17:08   Indian diplomat's mike goes silent at UN conference while criticising China's BRI
India has voiced its strong opposition to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its flagship project - the CPEC - at the just concluded second UN Sustainable Transport Conference.

Curiously, the Indian diplomat's mike went silent while she was highlighting New Delhi's objection to the controversial projects. 

 The sudden "mike failure" at the UN meet hosted by China in Beijing from October 14 to 16 created a flutter and took several minutes to restore. 

The video of the next speaker began to play but it was halted by UN under-secretary-general Liu Zhenmin, the former vice foreign minister of China, who urged the Indian diplomat, Priyanka Sohoni, Second Secretary of the Indian Embassy, to continue her speech. 

After the mike system was restored at the conference hall, Liu said, "dear participants, we are sorry. We are confronting some technical problems and played the video of the next speaker. I am sorry for that and asked Sohoni to resume her speech. You are lucky.., You are back and welcome back," he told Sohoni.

Following this, the Indian diplomat continued her speech without interruption. 

 "We share the international community's desire for enhancing physical connectivity and believe it should bring greater economic benefits to all in an equitable and balanced manner," Sohoni said. "Expansion and strengthening of physical connectivity is an integral part of India's economic and diplomatic initiatives, she said. 

 "There have been some references to the Belt and Road Initiative or BRI at this conference. Here, I wish to say that as far as China's BRI is concerned, we are uniquely affected by it. It's inclusion of the so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a flagship project impinges on India's sovereignty, Sohoni said.
17:00   Aryan Khan moves Bombay HC for bail
Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, approached the Bombay High Court on Wednesday, seeking bail in connection with the case of seizure of banned drugs aboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast.

Earlier in the day, Aryan Khan's bail plea was rejected by a special NDPS court here. 

 His advocates then immediately filed an appeal in the HC, challenging the lower court's order. 

 The appeal is likely to be mentioned by Aryan Khan's lawyers on Thursday before a single bench of Justice N W Sambre. 

 The bail pleas of Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and fashion model Munmun Dhamecha were rejected by the special court on Wednesday afternoon.

They were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3 and are presently in judicial custody. PTI
16:33   RTPCR test mandatory for international passengers to India
A negative RT-PCR test report mandatory for all international passengers coming to India: says Ministry of Health.
16:30   Mapped: Covid stats across India
India reported an 18 per cent decrease in the new COVID-19 cases along with a 13 per cent decline in the number of deaths during the week of October 11 to 17.
16:27   India expects 9.3% pay hikes in 2022: Report
Higher salaries in India are making a comeback with a 9.3 per cent hike being expected in 2022, from 8 per cent in 2021.

Companies are planning to give employees larger raises as they face mounting challenges of attracting and retaining employees.

 Salaries are projected to see a median salary increase of 9.3 per cent next year compared to the actual median salary increase of 8 per cent in 2021, according to the 'Salary Budget Planning Report' by global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson. 

 India's projected salary increase is the highest in Asia-Pacific for the next year as optimism returns over improved business outlook in the next 12 months, the report added. 

 The Salary Budget Planning Report is a bi-annual survey conducted online between May and June 2021, with 1,405 companies across sections of industries from 13 markets in Asia-Pacific, including 435 companies in India. 

 The report further showed that a majority (52.2 per cent) of companies in India have projected a positive business revenue outlook for the next 12 months, up from 37 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, which point towards a much-anticipated economic recovery.
16:23   No water, electricity, money, say U'khand tourists
Tourists who were stranded in Nainital when incessant rains, landshlie and an overflowing Naini Lake put paid to their holiday say they faced a lot of problems but the hill station almost back on its feet. 

Ankit, a tourist from Delhi, said, "I came here on 17th October. There was power cut, our phone died and we ran out of money. We used the hotel's phone to call home for money.

"We received no help and faced a lot of problems for three days. Our hotel is located 1.5 km from here, at a little higher reach. 

"We have not bathed for two days now because there was no electricity or water. Now that the weather is clear, we have forgotten everything."

A furious Gaula river has damaged the tracks at Kathgodam railway station in Nainital, which experienced a record 445 mm rainfall on Tuesday. The district accounts for 29 of the deaths so far.

The damaged tracks in Kathgodam may take four or five days to be repaired, DGP Ashok Kumar told PTI.

In Nainital, tourists woke up to a bright morning without a trace of rain on Wednesday and were out on the streets for shopping and sightseeing. Taxis had begun running through the town.

"It was suffocating to be locked up inside our hotel rooms due to the incessant rains on Tuesday," a young tourist from Uttar Pradesh said.
 He added that the scenic beauty of the place had made up for what they had suffered over the last two days.
15:33   Man accused of theft dies in UP police custody
This is why Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is on her way to Agra.

A  man accused of stealing Rs 25 lakh from the Jagdishpura police station died in police custody in Agra after his health deteriorated during interrogation.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Agra) Muniraj G said the accused, Arun, suddenly fell sick on Tuesday night while a raid was being carried out at his house to recover the stolen money. He was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him dead, he said. 

 Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who raised questions about his death in a tweet, left by road from the state capital to Agra to meet the Arun's family but was stopped from proceeding by the Lucknow Police at the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, citing the Agra DM's request to not allow any political person to reach there.

 "Do I need somebody's permission whenever I move out of Lucknow? Is there a problem why I am not being allowed to go to Agra, is there a law and order issue," she asked policemen who stopped her cavalcade.

 "Someone has died, how can it be a law and order issue? Ask the DM by calling him. Its too much that I cannot go out anywhere and should remain confined in a guest house in Lucknow," she told policemen when they showed her the message from the Agra district magistrate.

 Congress workers reached the spot in large numbers and raised anti-government slogans. Arun was accused of stealing the money on Saturday night from the 'maalkhaana' (a storage house where items confiscated by police are kept)" of the police station where he worked as a cleaner. Following the theft, six police personnel, including the station house officer, had been suspended by the additional director general (ADG) of Agra zone.
15:28   UP police stop Priyanka Gandhi's convoy en route to Agra
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her convoy are stopped by the police on their way to Agra.

"The moment I try to visit any place other than the party office, they (administration) try to stop me... It is also causing inconvenience to the public," the Congress general secretary said. 
Aryan Khan
Aryan Khan
15:07   NDPS court rejects Aryan Khan's bail plea
Mumbai's Special NDPS court on Wednesday rejected the bail applications of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha in the drugs on cruise ship case.

Aryan Khan and eight others were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3.

Aryan Khan's lawyers have argued that no drugs were found on him when NCB officers in disguise raided a rave party on a cruise ship.

Khan will now likely have to approach the High Court. 

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh representing the NCB had opposed the bail application filed by Aryan Khan and three others on the ground that they were are accused of illicit drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

For this reason, he argued, that Khan could not be treated separately from the 17 others accused in the case and hence ought not be released when the investigation was only at a preliminary stage.

Singh submitted that NCB was trying to uncover a possible international drug trafficking chain in which all the accused including Khan and his friend Arbaaz Merchant were possibly involved and hence their custody was paramount to avoid any kind of influence on the other witnesses.

A family stranded in Kedarnath
A family stranded in Kedarnath
14:30   Family members of those stranded in Kedarnath anxiously await return
 Family members of people stranded in Kedarnath following incessant rains in parts of Uttarakhand are anxiously awaiting their safe return.

Over the past few days, the state has been battered with torrential rains that led to flash floods and landslides and the national weather forecasting agency had issued a red alert. 

Kishor Doshi hailing from Gujarat's Rajkot said that his brother Rajubhai Doshi and other family members who had gone for the Char Dham Yatra were stranded in Kedarnath.

"My younger brother had gone for Char Dham Yatra. They left on October 12. When they reached Kedarnath, it rained heavily and the situation got worse. Some of them are stuck there. When the weather gets better, they will be able to leave," said Kishor Doshi.

Kedarnath Dham Yatra has resumed again. However, due to the closure of Badrinath Highway near Joshimath, the Badrinath Yatra could not be restarted but soon the Badrinath Yatra will also be resumed, police said.
14:22   Punjab Dy CM on Amarinder's decision to share seats with BJP
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa,  Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, on Capt Amarinder Singh: 

"Captain Amarinder Singh has destroyed himself by announcing a seat arrangement with BJP, whom he has always abused. BJP should hold an enquiry on Amarinder Singh over his whereabouts after the resignation in 1984 and his relation with Pakistan. 

"There must be some pressure on him. Many cases have been filed against him and his children. We have no fear of Amarinder's decision."
14:18   Amarinder has killed his own secularism: Cong
Harish Rawat, AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab, reacts to former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh's decision to form a new party and share seats with the BJP:

"If he wants to eat crow and go with BJP, he can. Who can stop him if he can't stay with his old commitment to secularism? 

"He was considered a symbol of 'Sarvdharm Sambhav' and connected to Congress' traditions for long.

If he wants to go, he should.

"Who can forgive the BJP that has kept farmers at the borders for 10 months?

"Can Punjab forgive them for the manner in which the farmers' agitation has been dealt with? 

"His statement is really shocking. It seems he has killed the 'secular Amarinder' within him.

"Congress will not suffer any loss, this will actually divide the votes of our rivals. Congress will not be affected. 

"Our votes will depend on performance of Channi govt, the way Channi has started, it has created a good impression before Punjab & the entire nation."

Migrant workers have been leaving J-K after killings
Migrant workers have been leaving J-K after killings
13:49   Terrorist who killed UP carpenter neutralised
Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed and three security personnel injured in an encounter in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, officials said. 

One of the slain ultras has been identified as Adil Wani, who was involved in the killing of a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur, three days back, IGP, Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar, said. 

 Officials said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Dragad area of Shopian district following information about presence of militants there. 

 The search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened fire on the security forces who retaliated. 

 The officials said two ultras of The Resistance Front (TRF) , a shadow outfit of Lashkar-e-Toiba, have been killed. Three security force personnel sustained injuries in the operation, the officials said. 

 In a tweet, the IGP said, "One of the killed #terrorists has been #identified as Adil Ah Wani, active since 7/2020... So far, 15 terrorists have been #neutralised in 2 weeks". 

 "Killed #terrorist Adil Wani was #involved in #killing of a poor carpenter namely Sakir Ah Wani S/O Gulam Kadir Wani R/O Saharanpur UP. Adil Wani was District Commander Shopian of proscribed #terror outfit LeT(TRF)," Kumar tweeted.
13:42   IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to return to Harvard
IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will leave her job in January next year and return to the prestigious Harvard University's Economics Department, according to the global financial institution. 

 The 49-year-old prominent Indian-American economist had joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Chief Economist in January 2019. She was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University when she joined the Washington-based global lender.

 IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Tuesday announced that the search for Gopinath's successor would begin shortly.
A inundated vegetable field in Moradabad
A inundated vegetable field in Moradabad
13:33   Delhi CM offers aid of Rs 50,000 for crop damage
In a relief to farmers hit by unseasonal rains in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced the compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare for damaged crops.

Addressing the press conference, Chief Minister said, "Farmers' crops have been damaged by unseasonal rains. Farmers are sad, don't be sad. As always, the government is with you. I have issued orders that farmers who have lost their crops will be given compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare."

Kejriwal further said that all Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDM) and District Magistrates (DM) are conducting surveys which will be completed within two weeks, following which, the farmers will get the compensation in their bank accounts within two months.

"A few days back, some farmers had come to meet me. Their crops were damaged due to unseasonal rain. I want to say that there is no need to be sad. In the last six-seven years, when the crops were ruined, we supported you. I want to say that this son of yours is with you. I can understand the pain of the farmers," he stated.

The chief minister further alleged that the compensation given at the rate of 50,000 per hectare is the highest in the country.

The unseasonal rains in the month of October have caused a lot of damage to the crops as the farmers suffered heavy losses in rural areas of Delhi.

The India Metrological Department (IMD) had attributed the unseasonal rains to the western disturbance. 
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
13:27   Copying us: TMC on Cong's women candidates
The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday mocked the Congress over its decision to field 40 per cent women candidates in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, and hoped that the move to emulate the ruling party in West Bengal is not mere tokenism. 

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had on Tuesday announced that the party will give 40 per cent tickets to women, who constitute roughly half of the electorate, for the UP Assembly polls. 

"Under the visionary leadership of @MamataOfficial, AITC has shown the way to ensure increased participation of women in politics in this country. We're the first party to give 40 per cent seats to women in LS elections!" the TMC said in a tweet. 

 "Amid such dire times, @INCIndia is understandably trying to emulate, and one can only hope that this is genuine and not tokenism. If they are to be taken seriously, they must give 40 per cent seats to women in states other than UP as well," it added in a series of tweets.

 The dig from the Mamata Banerjee led-party comes at a time when both the Congress and the TMC are striving to lead the opposition front against the BJP.
12:54   The Kohlis at breakfast
India captain Virat Kohli tweeted this loved up picture with his wife Anushka Sharma and daughter Vamika eating breakfast in Dubai. Kohli captioned the post with a heart emoji. 

The India skipper is in the UAE for the ongoing T20 World Cup. Anushka too had recently posted a few pictures from her time in quarantine in the UAE.
File pic
File pic
12:50   Communist veteran Achuthanandan turns 98
Veteran Communist leader and former Chief Minister of Kerala, V S Achuthanandan turned 98 on Wednesday. 

Popularly known as 'Comrade VS', Achuthanandan, who has not been keeping well due to age-related ailments for quite some time, celebrated the day along with members of his family at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram. 

 Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and senior Congress leaders Ramesh Chennithala and Jairam Ramesh were among those who extended birthday wishes to Achuthanandan, who is the founder-leader of CPI(M) after the split in the undivided CPI in 1964.

 "My heartiest greetings and best wishes to former Chief Minister Shri VS Achuthanandan on his 98th birthday. I join the people of Kerala in wishing him good health and happiness", the Governor said in a tweet.

 In a Facebook post, Vijayan greeted "Dear Comrade VS" on his birthday, describing him as a "towering figure" in the history of struggles of the proletarian class.
12:46   You are dragging your feet: SC to UP on Lakhimpur
Supreme Court starts hearing a PIL concerning the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which 8 persons, including 4 farmers, were killed during a farmers' protest on October 3. 

"We think you are dragging your feet. You please dispel this," the SC tells the UP government on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for UP government tells the SC that a status report in a sealed cover has been filed in the case. 

CJI says the judges were waiting till 1 am last night for UP government's status report on the Lakhimpur incident but 'received nothing'. 

Salve tells court that the status report has just been filed in a sealed cover. "We said nothing about sealed covers," says the bench.

Judges refuse to adjourn matter for Friday after a request from Salve.

Statements of four out of 44 witnesses have been recorded by judicial magistrate in Lakhimpur Kheri case, UP Govt tells SC.
File pic
File pic
12:13   Shopian encounter ends, two terrorists killed
So, the encounter in Shopian has ended with no casualties in the armed forces. 

Two unidentified militants were killed in the encounter with security forces in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. 

 Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Dragad area of Shopian district following information about presence of militants there, a police official said. 

 He said the search operation turned into an encounter after militants opened fire on the security forces who retaliated. The official said two ultras have been killed. The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants was being ascertained, he added. PTI
12:02   Khichuri is whatever you want it to be...
A fistful of moong dal and another of rice, the short-grained fragrant gobindobhog, cooked together and served with desi ghee. In Bengal, this dish is known as khichuri and it is the favoured offering to deities at any puja. Durga Puja is no exception.

The Telegraph raves about and gorges on the festive, the humble, the divine, khichuri. Do read
11:44   Aryan Khan's bail order at 2:45 pm today
Aryan Khan's bail order to be pronounced by the Mumbai Sessions Court at 2.45 pm today. 

The 23-year-old son of actor Shah Rukh Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the Mumbai cruise drugs case on October 3. He is currently lodged in Arthur Road Central Jail. 

Besides Khan, the bail application of other accused Nupur Satija and Munmun Dhamecha will also be heard on Wednesday.

The matter will be presented before Additional Session Judge V V Patil of special Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court in Mumbai.

The case will be heard in courtroom number 44, Mumbai city civil and sessions court.
11:39   Cong demands apology from BJP for calling Rahul 'drug addict'
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala has hit back at Karnataka BJP chief President Nalin Kumar Kateel for levelling drug use allegations against party leader Rahul Gandhi.

Addressing media in Sindhagi, the Congress leader also demanded an apology from Kateel for the alleged statement. 

"Instead of making such derogatory comments, they must tell if they are in a hangover of drugs which were found at the Adani port in Gujarat, worth 2 lakh crore. Kateel must have taken that drug, that's the reason in a hangover of it, he is speaking like that." Surjewala said.

Surjewala added that by making derogatory comments against Rahul Gandhi BJP leaders show their 'culture' and 'mentality'.

"It is an uncultured statement made by the BJP leader in Karnataka which cannot be acceptable. Nalini Kumar Kateel being president of the party in Karnataka must apologize for his statement," he said.

Condemning Kateel's statement, former Chief Minister and Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah said, "He (Kateel) is an immature and uncultured politician who must take treatment in NIMHANS (centre for mental health)."

Yesterday, Kateel while launching a smeared attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, said, "Rahul Gandhi says he will become president. Tell me what is Rahul Gandhi? Rahul Gandhi is a drug addict and drug peddler. I do not tell this, it has appeared in news reports. They are unable to run the Congress party. Those who cannot run a party, how can they run this country?" 
11:20   A picture of ruin
A woman farmer in Meerut sits in her paddy crop field that has been entirely damaged due to incessant rainfall. Pic: ANI
11:17   SC refuses bail to Asaram Bapu's son
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the order of the Gujarat High Court granting 14-day furlough to rape convict Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna allowed the appeal of the Gujarat government challenging the June 24 order of the high court granting furlough to Sai. 

The top court said that furlough is not an absolute right and it depends on various factors. It said the jail superintendent has given a negative opinion for grant of furlough to Sai as a mobile phone was found from his cell. 

 On August 12, the top court had stayed the Gujarat High Court order giving two-week furlough to Sai. 

 The top court had issued a notice to Sai on the Gujarat government's plea challenging the high court's single-judge order of June 24 and stayed it till further orders. 

 It had said that the proviso to Rule 3(2) of the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules 1959, provides that a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment may be released on furlough every year after he completes seven years actual imprisonment. 

 The single-judge bench of the high court ordered the release of Sai on furlough for two weeks on June 24, 2021, but the division bench had stayed it till August 13 and thereafter the state has moved the top court challenging the June 24 order.
Representational image
Representational image
11:13   Encounter underway in Kashmir's Shopian
An encounter has started between terrorists and security forces at the Dragad area of Shopian on Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

The police and security forces are carrying out the operation. Further details are awaited. 
11:02   Lanka PM's son at Kushinagar today
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla receives Sri Lanka's Sports Minister and son of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at an event in UP's Kushinagar where PM Modi has inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport. 

"It (Kushinagar International Airport) is a great gesture of PM Modi and especially inviting Srilankan airlines to be the first international carrier to land at Kushinagar International Airport," said Sri Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa.
U'khand CM does an aerial survey on Tuesday
U'khand CM does an aerial survey on Tuesday
10:48   Uttarakhand CM Dhami visits rain-hit areas of Kumaon
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday toured rain-hit areas of Kumaon which bore the brunt of the last three days of incessant rainfall that has led to the loss over 40 lives in the state. 

Dhami has already visited affected areas in Rudraprayag, Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts.

 On Wednesday, he will be visiting his constituency Khatima, Champawat and Almora. Almora and Champawat districts have accounted for the highest casualties in Kumaon division after Nainital. Dhami has instructed officials to prepare an estimate of the damage caused by the heavy rainfall.

 The chief minister said that so far, 46 people have died in rain-related incidents, while 11 are still missing. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also coming to Dehradun on Wednesday evening to take stock of the situation, officials said. PTI 
The helicopter airlifts stranded people from Sunder Khal village
The helicopter airlifts stranded people from Sunder Khal village
10:34   46 dead in rain-battered Uttarakhand
The death toll in rain-battered Uttarakhand has mounted to 46 following several incidents of flash floods and landslides in the past few days.

As per the state's natural disaster incident report, as many as 12 people have been injured in these incidents. One died in Champawat's Banbasa on October 17 following heavy rains. Six deaths were reported on October 18. From these, three were in Pauri, two in Champawat and one in Pithoragarh.On October 19, Uttarakhand registered 39 more deaths. 

Of these, the highest number of deaths (28) were reported in Nainital, six in Almora, two each in Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar, and one in Bageshwar.Meanwhile, of 12 injuries reported in the state, four were from Chamoli, two each from Champawat, Almora, Nainital and Pauri.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday conducted an aerial survey of areas affected due to heavy rainfall in the state. He also announced a compensation of Rs 1,09,000 for those who lost their houses and Rs 4 lakh to the families of the deceased.
10:19   PM launches UP's Kushinagar airport
A new international airport in UP's Kushinagar has been launched by PM Narendra Modi. A flight from Sri Lanka was the first to land.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia felicitated Modi in Kushinagar. UP Governor Anandiben Patel, CM Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries were present. 

"Today the nation believes that however strong be the people who deceive the nation and loot the people, no mercy is shown to them - wherever they may be. Government doesn't spare them," the PM said in a speech that criticised the pre-2014 Congress governments.
10:14   Sensex drops over 200 points in early trade
Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 200 points in opening trade on Wednesday, tracking losses in index majors TCS, Bajaj Finance and Axis Bank as market participants booked profits at higher levels. 

 The 30-share index was trading 209.46 points or 0.34 per cent lower at 61,506.59 in initial deals.

 Similarly, the Nifty dropped 85.45 points or 0.46 per cent to 18,333.30. Bajaj Finance was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel and Axis Bank. On the other hand, Nestle India, HUL, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints and HCL Tech were among the gainers.
10:01   Road to Nainital partially cleared
The  Nainital-Kaladhungi road, which was blocked yesterday due to heavy rainfall has been reopened. Traffic movement has been started now. 

A stretch of road was cleared with the help of machines in Jeolikote of Nainital district, near which an incident of landslide took place.
09:57   Amit Shah to visit rain-affected Uttarakhand
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Uttarakhand on Wednesday evening to take stock of the situation arising out of incessant rains in the state, said government sources.

"The Union minister will hold review meetings and take stock of the situation in Uttarakhand," sources close to the developments told ANI.

Shah will also conduct an aerial survey in the state tomorrow, sources added.

Torrential rains in the state have led to flash floods and landslides leading to the death of several people.

As many as 46 people have died in a span of three days from October 17 to October 19, as per the state's natural disaster incident report.

Of these, one died in Champawat on October 17, six died on October 18 in Pauri, Champawat and Pithoragarh and on October 19, 39 people were reported dead in Nainital, Almora, Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Chamoli and Bageshwar.

Maximum number of deaths were reported in Nainital on October 19.

A total of nine houses have been either damaged partially or completely in the state.

Dhami conducted an aerial survey across the state yesterday.  -- ANI

IMAGE: Houses get partially submerged in floodwater due to incessant rainfall, in Rudrapur on Tuesday. Photograph: ANI Photo
09:36   India reports 14,623 new Covid cases, 197 deaths
India reports 14,623 new COVID-19 cases, 19,446 recoveries and 197 deaths in the last 24 hours as per Union health ministry.

Of these, Kerala reported 7,643 new cases and 77 deaths.

Current recovery rate is 98.15 per cent -- highest since March 2020.

Active cases account for 0.52 per cent of total cases -- lowest since March 2020.

Active caseload stands at 1,78,098 -- lowest in 229 days, says the Union health ministry.

Total cases: 3,41,08,996
Active cases: 1,78,098
Total recoveries: 3,34,78,247
Death toll: 4,52,651

Total Vaccination: 99,12,82,283 (41,36,142 in last 24 hrs)   -- ANI
08:51   Kerala: High alert on banks of Periyar river
Places falling on the banks of the Periyar river have been put on high alert by the Ernakulam district administration as the water released from the Idukki dam has reached flood-prone areas of Aluva in Kochi on Wednesday morning.

As a precautionary measure in view of the torrential rains in Kerala, three shutters of the Idukki dam were opened at 11 am on Tuesday, releasing around one lakh litres of water per second from the Idukki dam.

Meanwhile, Kerala Electricity Minister K Krishnankutty on Tuesday said that the water level of the Periyar river is below the danger level at present.

Speaking to ANI, Krishnankutty said, "Since the Idukki and Idamalayar dams were opened, I came here to see the present condition of the Periyar river. We have nothing to worry about now."

According to official estimates, heavy rains in Kerala have claimed the lives of 27 people.

Of these, 14 deaths were reported in the Kottayam district, 10 in the Idukki district, and one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode districts.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued an orange alert for Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and other districts for today in rain-battered Kerala.

Other districts that have been issued with an orange alert include Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts.

A yellow alert has been sounded in Kasargod, Alapuzha and Kollam district for October 20.   -- ANI
08:27   Aryan Khan's bail plea to be heard today
The special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court will hear the bail plea of Aryan Khan, who is currently lodged in Arthur Road jail following his alleged involvement in illegal drugs, on Wednesday.

Besides Khan, the bail application of other accused Nupur Satija and Munmun Dhamecha will also be heard on Wednesday.

The matter will be presented before Additional Session Judge V V Patil of special NDPS court.

The case will be heard in courtroom number 44, Mumbai city civil and sessions court.

Aryan Khan is currently lodged in Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2.

A total of 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals, have been arrested so far in the case related to the seizure of drugs following a raid at a party on the Cordelia cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2.   -- ANI
00:12   Niira Radia asked to join probe in Rs 300 cr loan fraud
The Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing has served a notice to Niira Radia and other promoters and directors of Nayati Healthcare and Research NCR Pvt Ltd to join investigation in connection with alleged embezzlement of over Rs 300 crore of bank loan, officials said on Tuesday.
The notice was served on Monday, they said.
Radia and the others have been asked to appear before police next week, a senior police officer said.
Three persons identified as Yateesh Wahaal, Satish Kumar Narula and Rahul Singh Yadav were arrested on Thursday for misappropriation of crores of rupees, according to police.
They said a complaint was filed by orthopaedic surgeon Rajeev Kumar Sharma against Naarayani Investment Pvt Ltd, the holding company of Nayati Healthcare and Research NCR Pvt Ltd and its promotors and directors Radia, her sister Karuna Menon, Narula, Wahaal and others.
"We categorically deny any wrongdoing on our part. The complainant Dr Rajeev Kumar Sharma; after having been an integral part of the company is seeking to foist false cases in an attempt to extort money. We repose complete faith in the process of investigation and the judicial system. We believe that truth will triumph," Radia, the chairperson of Nayati Healthcare, said in a statement.
A senior police officer said in a release that it has been stated that Sharma is the vice-chairman and executive director of Naarayani Investment Pvt Ltd The company was incorporated with a view to build and run a hospital in Gurgaon and the complainant was having 49 per cent shares whereas remaining 51 per cent shares were held by other two directors of the company Chandan Mishra and Charchit Mishra.
The complainant was also promised a remuneration of Rs 30 lakh per month as his professional fees for his services. It is further stated that during the construction of Gurgaon Hospital, OSL Healthcare Pvt Ltd faced certain financial problem and majority shareholders/directors sold their shares (51 per cent) to Naarayani Investment Pvt Ltd at the consideration of Rs 99 crore, police said.
Once the alleged persons or company entered into the shoes of majority shareholder, they took all the major decisions. It is alleged that the company took a loan of Rs 312 crore from YES Bank for development of Gurgaon Hospital, but the money was not used for the said purpose and misappropriated by the alleged persons, the officer said.
It is further alleged that they had not paid the complainant his professional fees worth Rs 15.28 crore and brought down his shareholding deceitfully from 49 per cent to 6.3 per cent, police said.
During investigation, it was found that Naarayani Investment Pvt Ltd having 93 per cent of shareholding and Radia is the main promotor of the company. After receiving a loan amount of Rs 312 crore from YES Bank by the alleged company, a sum of Rs 208 crore was transferred to a bank account in the name of Ahluwalia Construction.
On verification of the account, it was found that the account was opened by one Rahul Singh Yadav only with a view to divert or siphon off the loan amount as it was a dummy account, police said.
They also said the transfer of Rs 208 crore was authorised by Wahaal and Narula, being director and authorised signatory of the loan account of the alleged company.
Police conducted raids at various places in Delhi and NCR and apprehended all three accused persons. After interrogation, all were arrested, Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) R K Singh said. -- PTI