Fri, 22 October 2021
HC summons CBI dir in Dhanbad judge murder case

Timeline  Refresh

Dattatreya Hosabale (Right) and Manmohan Vaidya
Dattatreya Hosabale (Right) and Manmohan Vaidya
23:28   Hindutva neither left nor right: RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale
RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale Friday said Hindutva is neither left nor right and its essence is "integral humanism".

Speaking at the launch of RSS leader Ram Madhav's book The Hindutva Paradigm: Integral Humanism and Quest for a Non-Western Worldview, he said cultural cohesion and cultural nationalism are essential for the longevity of a nation.

Any forcible division or unification of nations, he said, does not sustain.

"The world had gone to left, or was forced to go left and now the situation is such that world is moving towards the right, so that it's at the centre. That is what Hindutva is all about -- neither left nor right," he said.

"I am from the RSS. We have never said in our discourse in the Sangh training camps that we are rightist. Many of our ideas are like leftist ideas," Hosabale said.

The RSS leader said there is space for ideas of both sides, the left and the right since these are "human experiences".

"Many of our ideas are like leftist ideas. Geographical or political divide are the East and the West that have blurred, dimmed and melted in the post liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation era," he said.

Talking about the colonial reminiscent, which he said are irrelevant but continue to persist in present day Indian system, Hosabale cited the recent comment of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana about the "Indianisation of our legal system.

"We will not be able to achieve full freedom till we Indianise our systems," the RSS leader said.

Hosabale also cited Mahatma Gandhi's Hind Sawaraj and also mentioned socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia.

The CJI had last month said, "Very often our justice delivery poses multiple barriers for the common people. The working and the style of courts do not sit well with the complexities of India. Our systems practise rules being colonial in origin may not be best suited to the needs of Indian population. The need of the hour is the Indianisation of our legal system."

Ram Madhav said the book does not present an anti-West world view and that the time has come to explore a world view from India's point of reference.

Suggesting that one should be open for newer views and ideas, Madhav said, "We should continue to accept and implement the ideas we got from outside, but there are some ideas that this land can also contribute and we must turn to them."
23:19   HC summons CBI dir in Dhanbad judge murder case
The Jharkhand High Court on Friday rapped the Central Bureau of Investigation for filing a "stereotype" charge sheet in the Dhanbad judge murder case.

The high court also remarked that the agency seems to have worked like "babus" (clerks) while completing the probe and filing the charge-sheet.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad while hearing the petition monitoring the investigation of Dhanbad Additional District Judge Uttam Anand's death referred to CBI's investigation as akin to `babu-dom' as the charge sheet filed could not substantiate the charges made against the accused.

The judges said that the charge sheet has been filed in a routine manner and seems to have been filed merely to complete a formality.

The charge sheet was filed under Section 302 IPC which is used on charges of murder.

However, nothing has been substantiated in the charge sheet to pin the offence on the accused, the bench said.

The CBI had earlier on repeated occasions assured the court that investigation is proceeding in full swing and had even said that the connection of the two accused with several persons is being explored to link it with Anand's murder.

The charge sheet however, was vague and unclear, the judges observed.

Earlier, while hearing the petition the high court had questioned the Forensic State Laboratory and the state government about the vacancies in the laboratory.

Due to absence of lab technicians, samples collected from the scene of crime in Dhanbad were sent out of the state for examination.

The high court which pulled up the state government for acting in a "Kumbhakaran" (mythical Lankan pribce who slept for half the year) manner, directed Jhrakhand state to ensure that all appointments in the forensic laboratory be completed within three months.

The government had earlier assured the high court that it will fill up the vacancies within six months.

The murder of Uttam Anand has also been caught on camera and the CCTV footage has gone viral showing him walking near the Randhir Verma Chowk, a posh area in Dhanbad on July 28 morning. The judge was hit by an auto rickshaw with a passenger sitting in the front along with the driver.
22:42   TMC MP Susmita Dev brutally attacked in Tripura, car damaged
Trinamool Congress Friday said that party MP Susmita Deva was brutally attacked at Amtali area near here and sustained injuries when she along with party workers and I-PAC employees was campaigning in a car for a TMC programme.

Dev, a Rajya Sabha MP, was campaigning for 'Tripurar Jonno Trinamool" (TMC for Tripura) programme which was launched during the day, the party said.

Party sources said the MP was taken to a private hospital for treatment.

West Tripura superintendent of police, Manik Das said that some unidentified miscreants had damaged Dev's car when she was conducting a public relations campaign and a police force was immediately rushed to the spot.

She had personally visited Amtali police station and lodged a complaint and the situation in the area is under control, the police officer said.

"TMC did not give any prior intimation before launching their political programme so police was not present there. Some miscreants have slightly damaged the car, but police did not find any visible injury. An investigation is on", Das told PTI.

Soon after the incident TMC national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee tweeted, "Under @BJPBiplab's #Duaregoondaraj, attack on political opponent is setting new records!

"Physically manhandling a sitting female Rajyasabha MP, @SushmitaDevAITC is BEYOND SHAMEFUL AND POLITICAL TERRORISM by @BJP 4Tripura goons!

The time is near. People of Tripura will answer!" he said.

Civic poll in the north eastern state is likely to be announced soon and the assembly election is due in 2023.

The party in a tweet said "Yet another dastardly attack on Trinamool workers under the #DuareGundaRaj (goonda raj at the doorstep) of @BjpBiplab government. Shame on the @BJP4Tripura government for REPEATEDLY attacking us and creating chaos in the state! Is this what Democracy means to Biplab Deb? Is this what the people of #Tripura deserve?" 
Representational pic
Representational pic
22:07   NIA arrests 8 from banned terror groups in J-K
Eight operatives of various proscribed terror organisations were arrested Friday during multiple searches spread across six districts of Jammu and Kashmir in connection with a terrorism conspiracy case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.

The searches were carried out at 10 locations in Srinagar, Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag and Baramulla districts, which also led to the seizure of electronic devices and incriminating 'Jihadi' (holy war) documents and posters, an agency official said.

With this, a total of 21 accused people have been arrested in connection with the terrorism conspiracy case which was registered on October 10.

The official identified the arrested persons as Adil Ahmad War, Manan Gulzar Dar, Sobhia and Zamin Adil of Srinagar, Hilal Ahmad Dar and Shaqib Bashir of Kupwara, Rouf Bhatt of Anantnag and Haris Nisar Langoo.

"The eight accused persons arrested are terror operatives of various proscribed terrorist organisations and have been instrumental in providing logistical and material support to terrorists," the NIA official said.

He said the case relates to the conspiracy for undertaking violent terrorist acts in J&K and other major cities by cadres of proscribed terrorist organisations Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Al Badr and their affiliates such as the Resistance Front (TRF) and People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF).

"Further investigation in the case continues," the NIA said.

On October 13, the NIA said nine terror associates were arrested during two days of searches at 18 locations in different districts of Kashmir following the registration of the case.

Four more suspected persons were arrested during searches at 11 locations in the valley on October 20. 
21:54   Indian Ambassador to US felicitates Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardees
India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu has felicitated this year's Pravasi Bharatiya awardees, describing the vibrant Indian-American diaspora as a key pillar of the burgeoning ties between the two large democracies.

Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.

"Honoured Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardees today at India House (here). The vibrant Indian American diaspora, that has made a mark in diverse fields, is a key pillar of strength in India-United States ties!" Ambassador Sandhu said at the felicitation ceremony on Thursday night.

The diaspora is the living bridge' between the people of India and the US, Sandhu said.

This year's Pravasi Bharatiya awardees are Mukesh Aghi (business), Arvind Phukan (environment technology), Nilu Gupta (promoting Indian culture), Federation of Indian Associations, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, (community service), Sudhakar Jonnalagadda (medicine).

"I was honoured to receive the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award from Indian Embassy US and Ambassador Sandhu. Thank you for recognising me, and for all you do to strengthen the bond between the US and India," Mukesh Aghi said in a tweet.

Aghi is the president of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum, and leads the Federation of Indian Associations (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).

The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honour conferred on a non-resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or an organisation or institution established and run by non-resident Indians or PIO, who have made significant contributions in better understanding of India abroad, support India's causes and concerns in a tangible way, community work abroad, welfare of local Indian community, philanthropic and charitable work.

The award is traditionally presented by the President at a function in India. This year's Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held virtually in January, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
21:24   NCB misinterpreting WhatsApp chats: Aryan to HC
Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, in his plea in the Bombay High Court seeking bail, has said the NCB was "misinterpreting" his WhatsApp chats to implicate him in the case of seizure of banned drugs aboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast earlier this month.

Aryan Khan, currently in jail, on Wednesday moved the HC after a special court rejected his application for bail. The HC will hear his bail plea on October 26.

In his appeal in the HC against the special court order, Aryan Khan said the Narcotics Control Bureau's "interpretation and misinterpretation" of the WhatsApp chats collected from his mobile phone was "wrong and unjustified".

The 23-year-old claimed no contraband was recovered from him after the NCB raided the ship and maintained he has no connection with any of the other accused in the case except Arbaaz Merchant and Aachit Kumar.

So far, the anti-drugs agency has arrested as many as 20 people in connection with the case.

The appeal further said the WhatsApp chats that are being relied upon by the NCB are "ex-facie (on the face of it) of a period prior to the incident".

"By no stretch of imagination can those purported messages be linked to any conspiracy for which the secret information was received," it said.

"The interpretation of the WhatsApp messages is that of the investigating officer and such interpretation is unjustified and wrong," the appeal said.

Aryan Khan also questioned the special court's contention, while refusing him bail, that since he is an influential person he may tamper with evidence in the case if released from custody.

"There is no presumption in law that merely because a person is influential, there is likelihood of him tampering with the evidence," the appeal said.

Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 by the NCB along with his friend Arbaaz Merchant (26) and fashion model Munmun Dhamecha (28).

The trio is presently in judicial custody. While Aryan Khan and Merchant are lodged at the Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai, Dhamecha is at the Byculla women's prison.

A special court, designated to hear cases related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), refused to grant them bail noting that "they were part of the conspiracy".

The lower court had said Aryan Khan had a "nexus with drug peddlers and suppliers and had indulged in illicit drug activities on a regular basis".
20:14   5 free online sessions on the Bhagvad Gita
Bringing the wisdom from the ancient Bhagvad Gita, a treatise for all time, to you in 5 live online sessions is Sunandaji, daughter-disciple of internationally renowned philosopher Swami A Parthasarathy. 

The sessions will be held from October 23 to 27, between 6:30 and 7:45 pm. 

The sessions are free, but you need to register from here.
20:02   Big new Covid wave unlikely in India but...: Experts
India is unlikely to see a Covid wave like the devastating second one unless there is a new immune escaping variant but the lower number of cases does not necessarily mean the pandemic is now endemic, several experts said on Friday.
Giving hope and also injecting a note of caution as the festive season peaks with Diwali just days ahead, they said a dipping Covid graph is only part of the picture and pointed to factors such as the mortality rate, the need for a larger vaccination cover and examples of countries such as UK where numbers are again rising. 
A day after India reached the milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, virologist Shahid Jameel said vaccination rates have improved significantly but more needs to be done. 
"I am not sure we are in the endemic state yet As we celebrate this (100 crore) landmark, there is still some distance to go. We are going towards endemicity, but are not there yet," Jameel, a visiting professor at Ashoka University in Haryana, told PTI in an email interview. 
He also noted that daily confirmed COVID cases in India have been decreasing slowly over the past three months from about 40,000 per day to about 15,000 per day now. 
According to Union Health Ministry data on Friday, there were 15,786 new COVID-19 cases, marking 28 straight days of a daily rise of less than 30,000. The death toll climbed to 4,53,042 with 231 deaths.
Jameel, one of India's best known virologists, also pointed out that the mortality rate in the country remains steady at about 1.2 per cent.
"This tells me that the vaccine coverage in India still needs to increase," he added.
A disease is described as endemic when it continues to be present within a given geographical area but its impact is manageable.
"There have been some confused claims about this recently Low cases for some time do not necessarily mean endemicity. It is possible that endemicity is close in some parts of the country, but the data needed to confirm this is not easily available," added Murad Banaji, senior lecturer in mathematics at UK's Middlesex University who has been closely tracking India's Covid graph and has done several model studies. 
"For example, we do not know how many current infections are occurring amongst people who have been vaccinated or infected before," Banaji told PTI. 
He added that nobody knows what an endemic future would look like or what levels of Covid to expect. What is likely is that measures to control transmission will still be needed for some years to come. 
Epidemiologist Ramanan Laxminaryan concurred, saying there can be periodic flare-ups even with an endemic disease as is being observed in the UK.
"I believe we should wait for another two months before determining whether COVID-19 poses a significant future threat to the country," Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, told PTI in an email interview.
In the UK,  Jameel noted, the caseload has increased from about 30,000 cases per day in mid-September to almost 50,000 cases per day. However, the mortality rate has fallen from 2 per cent in mid-July to about 0.2 per cent now.
19:51   India signs pact with US for MK 54 torpedo, expendables
The defence ministry has signed a contract with the United States government to procure MK 54 torpedo and expendables such as chaff and flares for the Indian Navy's anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I at a cost of Rs 423 crore, its spokesperson said on Friday.
The Indian Navy has a total of 11 P-8I aircraft, which are manufactured by US aerospace company Boeing, in its fleet.
In addition to anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the P-8I aircraft is known for its advance maritime reconnaissance capabilities. 
"The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the US government under #ForeignMilitarySale (FMS) for procurement of MK 54 Torpedo and Expendable (Chaff and Flares) for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 423 crore," defence ministry's spokesperson said on Twitter. 
"These weapons are the outfit of P-8I aircraft," the spokesperson added. -- PTI 
19:37   DRDO successfully tests Abhyas high-speed expendable aerial target
India on Friday successfully flight-tested the endogenously developed high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), ABHYAS, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Odisha's Chandipur, off the coast of Bay of Bengal, Defence Research and Development Organisation sources said.
The vehicle can be used as an aerial target for evaluating various missile systems. 
The performance of the target aircraft was monitored through telemetry and various sensors, including radars and electro optical tracking system (EOTS), the sources said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO for the successful trial.
ABHYAS is designed and developed by DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment, Bengaluru. The air vehicle is launched using twin under-slung boosters which provide the initial acceleration to the vehicle.
It is powered by a gas turbine engine to sustain a long-endurance flight at subsonic speed, the sources said.
The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check-out of air vehicle is done using laptop-based Ground Control Station (GCS), the DRDO sources said. -- PTI
Capt with he friend Aroosa Alam
Capt with he friend Aroosa Alam
19:19   Will probe Amarinder's friend's ties with ISI: Punjab Min
Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has said a probe would be carried out to ascertain whether Aroosa Alam, a Pakistani journalist who has been visiting former chief minister Amarinder Singh for several years, has links with the Inter-Services Intelligence.
Singh hit back at the Congress leader, saying Randhawa is now resorting to personal attacks.
The deputy chief minister said it "would be probed" whether Alam has any links with Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence, adding that he has asked the director general of police to look into it.
Singh said Alam had been coming to India for 16 years with due clearances from the Centre.
"You were a minister in my cabinet@Sukhjinder_INC. Never heard you complain about Aroosa Alam.
"And she'd been coming for 16 years with due GoI clearances. Or are you alleging that both NDA and @INC India led UPA govts in this period connived with Pak ISI?," the former chief minister's media adviser quoted him as saying on Twitter on Friday.
Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio in Punjab, claimed that Singh has been friends with Alam for years, she stayed in India for many years and her visa was extended by the Centre from time to time.
He told reporters in Jalandhar on Thursday that it was only after the recent developments in the Punjab Congress, which saw Singh's exit as the chief minister, that Alam went back to Pakistan.
Randhawa said when Singh was the chief minister, he kept saying that being a border state, Punjab always faced a threat with several seizures of drones and ammunition coming in from across the border.
"Aroosa was in India for four-and-a-half years and her visa was also extended from time to time. Why did Delhi not cancel her visa? Why did she leave India when we went against Amarinder Singh?" he asked, referring to developments in the Punjab Congress last month.
"I think all this needs to be probed and Captain Amarinder too will have to give answers to these questions," the Congress leader added.
Hitting back at Randhawa, Singh said, "So now you're resorting to personal attacks @Sukhjinder_INC. One month after taking over this is all you have to show to the people. What happened to your tall promises on Bargari & drugs cases? Punjab is still waiting for your promised action."
He said instead of focussing on maintaining law and order, the deputy chief minister has put the DGP on a "baseless investigation".
"What I'm worried about @Sukhjinder_INC is that instead of focusing on maintaining law and order at a time when terror threat is high and festivals are around the corner, you've put @DGP Punjab Police on a baseless investigation at the cost of Punjab's safety," he said.
Randhawa has stepped up the attack on Singh after the latter's unceremonious exit as chief minister.
He called Singh an "opportunist" after the former chief minister announced that he would launch his own political party. -- PTI
19:04   Paytm gets Sebi nod for mega Rs 16,600-cr IPO
Digital financial services firm Paytm has received market regulator Sebi's approval for its Rs 16,600 crore initial public offer, a source involved in the process said on Friday.  
The company expects to hit the bourses by the end of this month and is planning to skip the pre-IPO share sale rounds to fast-track listing.  
"Sebi has given approval for Paytm IPO," the source said on condition of anonymity.  
The company's plan of shelving the pre-IPO raise is not related to any valuation differences, the source added. 
Paytm is looking at a valuation of Rs 1.47-1.78 lakh crore.   
United States-based valuation expert Aswath Damodaran, who is a professor specialising in finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University, has valued the unlisted shares of the firm at Rs 2,950 apiece. -- PTI 
18:24   Lakhimpur: MoS's son sent to police custody again
Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra, arrested for his alleged role in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, was on Friday remanded in police custody for two days.
It was for the second time that he was remanded in police custody by Lakhimpur Kheri's Chief Judicial Magistrate Chinta Ram.
Besides, Mishra, CJM Ram also sent three other accused in the case -- Ankit Das, Shekhar Bharti and Latif -- to police custody, acceding the prosecution's request for their police remand.
The two-day police remand for the four, starting from 5 PM on Friday, will end at the same time on Sunday.
After his arrest on October 9, the son of Union MoS (Home) was first remanded to police custody on October 11 with the remand period starting on October 12 and ending on October 15. 
After the expiry of his first remand period, he was sent back to the Lakhimpur Jail under judicial custody. -- PTI
18:07   India vs England 5th Test to be held in July 2022
The fifth and final Test between India and England, which was suspended due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the visitors' camp last month, was on Friday rescheduled to July next year.
 The England ad Wales Cricket Board announced that the game has been moved to Edgbaston from Manchester and will be part of India's white-ball tour.  The match will be held from July 1.
"With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," said the ECB in a statement.
"Ticket holders do not have to take any action as all tickets will remain valid for the equivalent rearranged matchday at their host venue.
"Host venues will communicate the new fixture details to ticket purchasers and the options available to them, including the timeframe for requesting a refund if they are not able to attend the new match day," the ECB added.
Last month, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, in an interview to PTI, had made it clear that the rescheduled match would be an extension of the series and not a standalone game.
"We want the series to be completed as this will be our first series win (in England) since 2007," Ganguly had said. 
India were leading 2-1 when the match was called off after the visiting players refused to step on to the field following positive COVID-19 cases among its support staff, including head coach Ravi Shastri. -- PTI
17:50   Army defuses another IED during Poonch combing op
Security forces on Friday detected and defused two suspected box-type improvised explosive devices in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. 
They said the two small boxes were detected in Bhata Durian Forest during a joint search operation by the army and police.
The boxes were suspected to be IEDs and were destroyed in-situ, they said.
This is a third instance of IEDs being detected by troops in J&K since Thursday.
An army patrol Thursday had detected and defused an IED fitted in the branch of a tree in the forest area of Sawalkot in Ratangir ridge and later defused it. 
Before that security forces had defused an IED in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. -- PTI 
17:19   Markets recoil for fourth day; post weekly losses
Market benchmarks nursed losses for the fourth consecutive session on Friday, weighed by IT, FMCG and metal stocks, as risk appetite remained subdued amid muted corporate earnings and foreign fund outflows.

 Participants were also in wait-and-watch mode ahead of Q2 results by market heavyweight Reliance Industries, traders said. 

 Reversing early gains, the 30-share BSE Sensex fell 101.88 points or 0.17 per cent to close at 60,821.62. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty shed 63.20 points or 0.35 per cent to finish at 18,114.90. 

 ITC was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tumbling 3.39 per cent, followed by Maruti, Infosys, NTPC, HCL Tech, Tata Steel and M&M. 

 On the other hand, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv and Titan were among the winners, rising up to 2.11 per cent. On a weekly basis, the Sensex lost 484.33 points or 0.79 per cent, while the Nifty fell 223.65 points or 1.21 per cent.
Sudhaa Chandran. File pic
Sudhaa Chandran. File pic
17:06   CISF apologises for asking dancer to remove 'leg'
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has issued an apology to actor-dancer Sudhaa Chandran after she complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an Instagram post that she faces an ordeal when she is asked to remove her prosthetic foot every time at the airport by the CISF.

Chandran in a video message had said, "This is an appeal to the Central government and the state government. I am Sudhaa Chandran, an actor and a professional dancer. I have danced with a prosthesis and created history and made my country proud. But every time I go on my professional trips, I am stopped at the airport, and when I request CISF officials at security, please do an ETD (Explosive Trace Detector), the officials want me to remove artificial limb and show it to them. Is it humanly possible, Modi ji?" 

The CISF issued an apology on Twitter, "We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to Ms. Sudhaa Chandran. As per protocol, prosthetics are to be removed for security checks only under exceptional circumstances. We will examine why the lady personnel concerned requested Ms Sudhaa Chandran to remove the prosthetics. We assure Ms. Sudhaa Chandran that all our personnel will be sensitised again on the protocols so that no inconvenience is caused to travelling passengers."

In the post, she also wrote that she hopes that her message reaches state and Central government authorities and she expects prompt action. 

"Totally hurt ....each time going thru this grill is very very hurting....hope my message reaches the state and central govt authorities....and expecting a prompt action .....," she wrote on Instagram.

Chandran, who uses prosthetic limbs, had lost her legs in a road accident when she was on her way back to Tiruchy from Chennai.
CDS General Bipin Rawat
CDS General Bipin Rawat
16:54   Rawat: In 14 days in 1971 Bangladesh was born
The art of making a statement without acknowledging the person who led the war -- Indira Gandhi and Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw.

CDS General Bipin Rawat in Bengaluru talking about the 1971 Indo-Pak war: "The 1971 Indo-Pak war was indeed a landmark event that altered geography of South Asian subcontinent...In the span of just 14 days the war was successfully concluded and a sovereign nation Bangladesh was born with its liberation from Pakistan rule."
16:26   Mehbooba sues former J-K guv for Rs 10 crore
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Friday sent a legal notice to former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik seeking Rs 10 crore compensation for his alleged "defamatory" remarks against her. 

 The notice comes days after Malik, who is now the governor of Meghalaya, allegedly said Mehbooba Mufti was a beneficiary of the now-abandoned Roshni scheme which aimed to grant proprietary rights to occupants of state land for charges. 

 "Although no amount of money can compensate my client for the loss of reputation and good name which has been caused by your aforesaid conduct, yet my client has decided to sue you for compensation," Mehbooba's counsel Anil Sethi wrote in the legal notice. 

 The notice asked Malik to pay Rs 10 crore within 30 days as compensation or face legal proceedings. It said the compensation money will not be used by Mehbooba for any personal gains but for public good. -- PTI
16:24   Queen back at Windsor Castle home after brief hospital stay
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is back at her Windsor Castle residence after spending one night at hospital this week, Buckingham Palace has said. 

 The 95-year-old monarch spent Wednesday night at a private hospital in central London and returned on Thursday afternoon "in good spirits", the palace said. 

The latest update came after the Queen cancelled a planned visit to Northern Ireland earlier this week on medical advice to rest for a few days.

 "Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday night.

 According to the BBC, the Queen travelled by car to the King Edward VII's Hospital in Marylebone, about 32 km from Windsor, where she was seen by specialists. 

Her admittance is understood not to be related to coronavirus. 

 The overnight stay was said to be for practical reasons and the Queen was back at her desk undertaking light duties by Thursday afternoon. It is the first time the Queen has stayed in hospital since 2013, when she suffered symptoms of gastroenteritis.
16:21   Month-long Winter session of Parliament likely from Nov 29
The month-long Winter session of Parliament is likely to commence from the fourth week of November following all Covid-19 protocols, Parliamentary sources said on Friday. 

The session, which is likely to have around 20 sittings, would conclude ahead of Christmas, they said. 

 In the wake of the pandemic, the Winter session of Parliament was not held last year and all the subsequent sessions -- Budget and Monsoon -- were curtailed due to Covid. 

 Though, an official decision has not been taken yet, the sources said the session could commence from November 29 and would end around December 23. 

 Though, both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will sit simultaneously, the members will follow social distancing norms. In the first few sessions, both the Houses used to meet at separate time to ensure that not many people were present inside the Parliament complex.
16:18   Aditya Thackeray arrives at Mumbai bldg fire
Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray arrives at One Avigna Park apartments, at Currey Road where a fire broke out this afternoon. One person has died in the incident. 

A 30-year-old security guard fell to death from the balcony of a flat located on the 19th floor of the 61-storey residential building in central Mumbai.

The blaze erupted on the 19th floor of the One Avigna Park building on Currey Road shortly before noon, a fire brigade official said. 

 "After the fire broke out, Arun Tiwari, a security guard of the building, rushed to the 19th floor. Soon he realised that he was trapped and in order to save himself from the blaze, he kept hanging from the balcony of the flat where the fire had erupted. He precariously clung to the railing of the balcony for several minutes before losing his grip and falling to death," the official said. 

After Tiwari fell to the ground, he was rushed to the civic-run KEM hospital, where he was declared dead, he added. 

 The fire brigade declared it as a level-4 (major) fire. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, who visited the building, said two persons were still trapped inside the building although most of the residents have been rescued. 

 Talking to reporters, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said the fire has been doused and the cooling operation is on.
16:13   TMC MP's convoy attacked in Tripura
TMC MP Sushmita Dev's convoy attacked in Tripura; she blames the ruling BJP in the state. 

"During our outreach program, some goons attacked our cars and beat our workers. It's clear that BJP is 'Bharatiya Gunda Party'. CM Biplab Deb is giving them protection, the attackers didn't even bother to cover their faces. The CM is an useless fellow," Dev said. 

Siddhartha Kar, Officer-in-charge Amtali police station said, "At around 1:30 pm we got information that two cars were attacked by unknown miscreants. Four officers moved there immediately & rescued them (TMC workers). They lodged a complaint, we will register it and will probe."  
15:45   Mamata to visit poll-bound Goa on Oct 28
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will embark on a two-day visit to poll-bound Goa next week, a TMC leader said on Friday.

 Elections to the 40-member Goa assembly will be held early next year.

 "After returning from her north Bengal visit, the TMC chief will leave for Goa on October 28 on a two-day visit. She will hold meetings with party leaders in the coastal state. Her itinerary, however, is yet to be finalised," he said. 

 The Trinamool Congress, after its stunning victory in the West Bengal assembly elections earlier this year, is trying to increase its footprint nationally and has made inroads in BJP-ruled Goa and Tripura. Former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro and several other Congress leaders had joined the TMC last month. 

 Although TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had ruled out the possibility of allying with any other party for the upcoming assembly polls in Goa, the party supremo is likely to meet leaders of smaller parties in the state. 

 "Mamata Di might meet some leaders of smaller parties not necessarily for any alliance but may be to invite them to join our party," another TMC leader said. The West Bengal unit of the BJP and the Congress mocked Banerjee's visit as "political tourism to the coastal state". 

 "The weather in Goa now is apt for tourists. She is going there for a vacation," BJP state spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said. 

 Senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan said her visit wouldn't yield any results and is aimed at helping "her ally BJP" in Goa.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi
15:29   Punjab govt has not compensated cotton farmers: AAP
While on Punjab, AAP leader Raghav Chadha alleged on Friday that Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was indulging in just photo opportunity.

Chadha said that Channi's government has failed to fulfil the promise of compensating the farmers whose cotton crop was destroyed due to pink bollworm infestation. 

Cotton crop on more than one lakh hectare land has been destroyed due to the pest attack, Chadha, who is the Aam Aadmi Party's Punjab co-incharge, told a news conference.

Chadha said that Channi had nearly a month ago met the affected farmers in Bathinda region and promised them that the state government would compensate them for the huge damage caused to the cotton crop due to the pest attack. 

 The chief minister did not honour his promise to compensate even those farmers with whom he got pictures clicked, which were later used by the government for publicity purposes across the state to give an impression that the present dispensation was farmer-friendly, the AAP leader alleged.

 During the conference, Chadha repeatedly referred to Channi as a dramebaaz chief minister who only likes the camera glare and the limelight without delivering on ground.
15:23   Cong removes Harish Rawat as Punjab gen secy
The Congress on Friday appointed Harish Chaudhary as the AICC in-charge for party affairs in Punjab relieving Harish Rawat. 

 Chaudhary, who was the AICC secretary for Punjab, has also been made the in-charge for Chandigarh. 

 The decision comes after Rawat had urged the party high-command to relieve him as general secretary in-charge for Punjab affairs in view of the upcoming assembly elections in Uttarakhand. 

 "Congress president has appointed Harish Chaudhary as AICC in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh with immediate effect.Harish Rawat is being relieved from his current responsibility as AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh," an official party statement said. 

 Rawat shall, however, continue to be a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision making body of the party. "The party appreciates his contribution as general secretary," the statement further said.
15:04   Never consumed or supplied drugs: Ananya to NCB
Bollywood actor Ananya Panday along with her father Chunky Panday on Friday arrived at the Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) Mumbai office after the probe agency summoned her for questioning in connection with the Mumbai cruise drug case.

Panday was summoned by the NCB on Thursday also.

During the questioning on Thursday, the actor denied the allegations of supplying and consuming drugs.

As per the NCB sources, Ananya denied the allegation of supplying drugs to Aryan Khan, who is an accused in the case, and said that she has never consumed the drugs.

"The chats recovered from Aryan Khan's mobile phone reveal that in the year 2018-19, she helped supply drugs to Aryan thrice by providing him the numbers of drug dealers," NCB sources told ANI.

"Ananya denied the supply related talks in the chat conversation and told the NCB officials that she has never consumed or supplied the drugs," they added.

Ananya Panday has been summoned by NCB today in connection with the Mumbai cruise raid case as well on suspicion of drug consumption. The summon has been issued based on the chats recovered from Aryan Khan's mobile.
14:57   Priyanka to flag off 'Pratigya Yatra' in UP on Sat
Congress general secretary and Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will flag off three 'Pratigya Yatras' from Barabanki on Saturday to take to the people various resolutions adopted by the party ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.
On the occasion, she will elaborate on the seven resolutions made to the people of UP apart from the election manifesto, former MP and party in-charge of Chhattisgarh P L Punia told the media in Lucknow on Friday.
The three yatras going in different routes -- from Barabanki to Bundelkhand, Saharanpur to Mathura and Varanasi to Rae Bareli -- will be taken out from October 23 to November 1, he said.
The yatra on the Varanasi to Rae Bareli route covering the Awadh region will be led by former MP Pramod Tiwari, while the Barabanki-Bundelkhand route will be led by Punia and former Union minister of state Pradeep Jain Aditya.
The yatra on the Saharanpur-Mathura route covering the western parts of the state will be presided by former Union minister Salman Khurshid and senior party leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam.
Chairman of the party's media department and former state minister Nasimuddin Siddiqui and Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra, former MP and chairman of the strategy and planning committee Rajesh Mishra gave details about the yatra and its route.
Siddiqui said the Congress, in its first resolution, has promised 40 per cent of ticket distribution to women in the 2022 elections and has pledged to give smartphones to girl students who clear intermediate exams along with electric scooters to girls who are college graduates.
The details about the remaining six pledges will be announced at the time of launching the 'Pratigya Yatra' in Barabanki, he added.
The decision to go ahead with these yatras was taken at a meeting headed by Vadra last month. -- PTI 
14:40   JNU student Sharjeel Imam's bail plea rejected
A Delhi court on Friday denied bail to Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam in connection with allegedly giving an inflammatory speech and inciting violence in 2019, saying that the speech was on communal lines and its content "tend to have a debilitating effect on the peace and harmony."
According to police, Imam allegedly delivered a provocative speech on December 13, 2019, which resulted in riots two days later when a mob consisting of over 3,000 people attacked police personnel and torched several vehicles in the Jamia Nagar area. 
Denying bail to him, Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agrawal said that cursory and plain reading of the speech showed that it was clearly on communal lines. 
"The tone and tenor of the incendiary speech tend to have a debilitating effect upon public tranquility, peace, and harmony of the society," he added. 
The judge, however, noted that the evidence in support of the allegations that the rioters got instigated by Imam's speech and thereafter indulged in the acts of rioting, mischief, attacking the police party, was scanty and sketchy.
Besides this case, Imam is also accused of being the "mastermind" of the February 2020 northeast Delhi riots, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. -- PTI 
14:06   Man falls to death from Mumbai bldg on fire
One person has died in the fire that rages at a residential building in Mumbai. 

The man, likely a resident of the 19th floor which was on fire, was seen in a video holding on to a ledge of the balcony in a desperate attempt to save his life.

However, he lost his grip and fell to his death. The man, in his thirties, was brought dead to hospital. 

A fire broke out in a 61-storey residential building in central Mumbai's Currey Road, a fire brigade official said. 

The fire erupted on the 19th floor of the high-end One Avighna Park building shortly before noon, the official said. 

The cause of the fire is not yet known, he said. At least 12 fire engines and water tankers have reached the spot, the official said.
A gunman killed 25 at a Kabul gurudwara in 2020
A gunman killed 25 at a Kabul gurudwara in 2020
13:50   Afghan sikhs asked to leave or convert to Islam: Report
As the security scenario in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, Sikhs -- a community that was already in a dire situation before the collapse of the government -- practically have to make a choice between options of "converting to Sunni Islam or run away" from Afghanistan, said a report.

The community, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, has been ruined and devastated by years of emigration and death, driven by both systemic discrimination and an uptick in fanatical religious violence in Afghanistan, International Forum For Rights and Security (IFFRAS) said.

The larger numbers of Sikhs live in Kabul while some in the provinces of Ghazni and Nangarhar.

On October 5, 15 to 20 terrorists entered Gurdwara (Sikh temple) and tied up the guards. 

The attack happened in the Kart-e-Parwan District of Kabul. Sikhs in Afghanistan often experience such attacks and violence in the country.

There were many anti-Sikh violent attacks in Afghanistan.

Last year in June an Afghan Sikh leader was kidnapped, reportedly by 'terrorists'. No further details about the case were disclosed by the sources.

Another Sikh man was kidnapped and killed in Kabul in March 2019.

 Later, Afghanistan's police had arrested two suspects. While in Kandahar, another, some unknown gunmen had shot another Sikh man.

Sikhs have been living in Afghanistan for centuries but for decades even the Afghan government has failed to provide Sikhs adequate housing or reinstate their homes, which has been illegally occupied by their powerful neighbours or warlords during the 1990s. 

After the recent massacre of the Sikhs by the Taliban in a Gurdwara in Kabul on March 26, 2020, most Afghan Sikhs were leaving for India, said IFFRAS.
13:36   Art 370 final nail in coffin of terrorism: Yogi
UP CM Yogi Adityanath stopping just shy of the truth in a speech in Lucknow today. "The root of terrorism was planted by the Congress in 1952. Article 370 in Kashmir was abrogated. It was the 'final nail in the coffin of terrorism," the CM said. 

Just yesterday, the Jammu & Kashmir police said they have "neutralised" 17 terrorists in 10 encounters in the Valley amid the latest phase of violence in which 11 civilians -- seven of them in Srinagar -- have been killed in targeted attacks since October 2. Some of these terrorists were allegedly either involved or were collaborators in the civilian killings '" five of people from outside the Union territory --this month.

The CM would do well to read this: Why Terrorism Has Revived In Kashmir 
Pic: Sahil Salvi
Pic: Sahil Salvi
13:03   Fire in 60-storey Mumbai residential building
A fire broke out in a 60-storey residential building in central Mumbai on Friday, a fire brigade official said.  

The fire erupted in the Avighna Park building on Currey Road, the official said. 

Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot, he added.

There are no reports of any casualty so far, he said, adding search and rescue operations are underway
12:43   62 cr people still unvaccinated, warns Siddaramaiah
As India hit the 100 crore COVID-19 vaccinations mark yesterday, former chief minister of Karnataka and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah slammed the BJP and asked why its leaders were celebrating it as an achievement when only about 21 per cent people have been fully vaccinated.

Taking to Twitter, Siddaramaiah said, "1 billion doses sounds a fancy number but the devil is in the details. Only 29 Crore people out of 139 crore are fully vaccinated, which means only about 21 per cent are fully vaccinated. What are BJP leaders celebrating for? For vaccinating just 21 per cent of the population?" 

He added, "Only 29 crore people have got two-doses and 42 Crore have got one dose, leaving 62 crore without any single dose of vaccine. With just 29 crore (21 per cent) people fully vaccinated, India's position is still in danger. Are BJP leaders celebrating India's vulnerability?"

Underlining that India needs about 106 crore doses to fully vaccinate the targeted population by December 31, 2021, the Congress leader said that at least 1.51 COVID doses have to be administered every day.

"Is India prepared to handle this load and ensure all Indians are fully vaccinated by this year-end? What say PM Narendra Modi?" he asked.

Siddaramaiah further said in his tweet, "In US - 56 per cent population are fully vaccinated, in China, it is 70 per cent, in Canada it is 71 per cent. But India's fully vaccinated coverage is just 21 per cent. Mr Narendra Modi, let us raise the bar before celebrating!!"

"Let us put a hold on the celebrations and concentrate on vaccinating everyone," he added.
12:10   Cinema halls to reopen at 50% capacity in Maha
Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar announces that cinema halls can reopen at 50% capacity from today. 

"The theatre owners are demanding to reopen with 100% seating capacity but we have told them to wait till Diwali. After Diwali if situation is under control, then we'll increase the capacity," Pawar said.  

The Maharashtra government had also said eateries and restaurants in the state can stay open till midnight while shops and other establishments are allowed to operate till 11pm in view of the festive season.

At present, restaurants are allowed to operate between 7am and 10pm with 50% of their seating capacity.
11:39   Assam: 3 boys arrested for killing 6-year-old girl for not watching porn
Three boys have been arrested in Assam's Nagaon district for allegedly beating their six-year-old friend to death after she refused to watch pornographic videos on a mobile phone with them, police said on Friday.

 The father of one of the accused has also been apprehended for allegedly concealing evidence. 

 Nagaon Superintendent of Police Anand Mishra said that the incident had happened on Monday evening and the body of the girl was found in the toilet of a stone crusher mill near her home in Nijori in Kaliabor sub-division. 

 The three boys had alerted the girl's family that she was apparently lying unconscious inside the toilet. 

The family members rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was declared brought dead, he said. 

 Mishra said injury marks were found on the body, and during the investigation, police arrested two 11-year-old boys and another eight-year-old one on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the death. 

 The SP, who had visited the spot, said, "Apparently, the three boys had asked the girl, whom they knew from before, to watch porn videos on phone with them. 

When she refused, they physically assaulted her, causing her death." The father of one of the accused has also been arrested for allegedly trying to conceal evidence and not cooperating with the police, he said.
11:25   Petrol, diesel prices hiked for third straight day
Petrol and diesel prices on Friday touched an all-time high across the country after rates were hiked for the third consecutive day by 35 paise per litre each. 

The price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 106.89 a litre and Rs 112.78 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. In Mumbai, diesel now comes for Rs 103.63 a litre, while in Delhi, it costs Rs 95.62 per litre. 

This is the third consecutive day of the price hike. 

There was no change in rates on October 18 and 19, prior to which prices were hiked by 35 paise per litre each on four straight days. 

 While petrol has already hit the Rs 100-a-litre mark or more in all major cities of the country, diesel has touched that level in over a dozen states and is treading towards that mark in places from Srinagar to Chennai. 

 Diesel costs Rs 99.49 a litre in Srinagar, while it is priced at Rs 99.92 in Chennai. Prices differ from state to state, depending on the incidence of local taxes.
11:16   Gujarat Cong leaders to meet Rahul today
Leaders of Gujarat Congress reached Delhi on Friday to meet party leader Rahul Gandhi to discuss the new face for the state's Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC).

Over six months ago, Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda and Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Paresh Dhanani resigned from their post. 

The Gujarat PCC was dissolved in October 2019.

"The vacancies in the party's state unit need to be filled as the Assembly polls are due next year in the state," the sources said.

"The party is facing defeats in the local body polls and other opposition parties are emerging as a challenge for Congress in Opposition. In the current scenario, the meeting will be attended by senior leaders of the state and AICC in-charge Raghu Sharma," stated sources.
Representational image
Representational image
10:55   Anti-terror ops continue in forests in Poonch
Indian Army's counter-terrorism operation in the Nar Khas forest area of Poonch continued on Friday morning.

As the operation progresses in the Poonch district, the Indian Army special forces have been deployed to search and target small groups of terrorists hiding in the thick forests there. 

Yesterday evening, army sources told ANI, "As per the ground assessment, there may be two to four terrorists operating in small groups. Forces are moving carefully inside the dense forest areas to hunt them down."

The terrorist groups are surrounded now in a particular area and the Special Forces operatives along with other troops can establish contact anytime now, they further said.

A lot of surveillance equipment has been deployed to support operations on the ground.

Sources had said areas are being sanitised and all necessary measures are being taken. -- ANI
10:37   Celebrate festivals with utmost caution: Modi
And wise words of caution from the PM: "I request all to celebrate the upcoming festivals with utmost caution. I appeal to all those who have not taken the first dose of COVID19 vaccine yet should given utmost priority to getting vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated should encourage others."

He said the first line of defence against pandemic was public participation, as part of which people lit diyas, banged thalis. "Some people had questioned saying "Will it help us get rid of the disease"...?" he asked.
10:25   There is only optimism now: PM
Modi's speech continues:

"Experts in India and abroad are very positive about India's economy. Today, not only record investment is coming to Indian companies but new employment opportunities are also being created for the youth.

"Wherever we see there is only optimism now....earlier there were only chants about made in this country, that country, but today everyone is talking about 'Made in India'."
10:15   Sabka saath, sabka vikas in 100-cr vax: PM
PM Modi addresses the nation expectedly on the 100-crore vaccination target that was achieved yesterday.

"On 21st October, India accomplished the target of 1 billion COVID19 vaccinations. This achievement belongs to every individual in the country. I congratulate every citizen for this feat.

"100 crore vaccinations is not a just a number but the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the country.100 crore vaccination mark is not just a number... 

"It's a new chapter in history, a testament that India can achieve a tough aim successfully. It shows that country works hard for the fulfilment of its goals.

"There were apprehensions over our vaccination program. It was also being said about India that how will discipline work here.

"India's vaccine campaign is a living example of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas'.

"We ensured that VIP culture does not overshadow our vaccination program and everyone is treated equally.

"We should be proud of the fact that India's entire vaccination program has been 'science-driven and science-based. It's based on scientific methods, entirely."
Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
09:56   Actor Alec Baldwin kills cinematographer on set
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was left injured on Thursday after American actor Alec Baldwin accidentally misfired a prop gun on the sets of his upcoming western film 'Rust'.

As per Variety, the incident took place on the set of 'Rust', an independent feature that was filming at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular production location south of Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

The 42-year-old cinematographer was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died. 

Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff's office.

The Sheriff's office said in a statement that Hutchins and Souza "were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.

"However, no one has been arrested in the incident, and no charges have been filed yet, the office said. Detectives interviewed witnesses, and the incident remains under an "open and active" investigation, according to the Sheriff's office.
09:51   Farmers suffer severe losses due to unseasonal rains
No end to woes of farmers. Flooding of the Kosi and Ramganga rivers in the wake of heavy rains has damaged standing paddy crops. 

"Our hard work of six months has gone in vain. We are sifting the remains now. The loss is about Rs 50,000," a farmer says in Moradabad.
09:45   Equity indices open in the green
Equity benchmark indices opened in the green on Friday with Sensex up by 368.51 points and Nifty up by 104.90 points.

At 9:30 am, the 30-scrip BSE Sensex was up by 368.51 points or 0.60 per cent at 61292.01. 

Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 18283, at 9:30 am, up by 104.90 points or 0.58 per cent. 
Representational image
Representational image
09:42   Latur man gets final Covid vax certificate without getting second jab
As India celebrates the 100-cr vaccination landmark, false certification is also pretty rampant. 

A man in Latur district of Maharashtra has claimed to have received the final COVID-19 vaccination certificate without actually getting the second dose. 

 Vijaykumar Kakade (29), a resident of Jawalga village in Ausa tehsil of the district said he has received the certificate which says that he has been fully vaccinated although he was not administered the second shot. 

 Health officials said that it could have happened due to some human error. Kakade said he was allotted time slot for his second vaccination on Wednesday. 

 He said that without getting vaccinated, he received a text message on his mobile phone, which read - "You have been successfully vaccinated with the second dose of Covishield at 4.17 pm. You may download your vaccine certificate." 

 "When I opened the given link, I saw the certificate of myself being fully vaccinated. The place of vaccination mentioned was Nath Sabhagrah, Ausa. However, the management of the Sabhagrah claimed that no vaccination camp was conducted there on Wednesday," he said. 

 When contacted, medical superintendent of Ausa, Dr Angad Jadhav, said this could have caused due to some human error as the operator might have typed the mobile number by mistake. PTI
09:30   Biden pledges to defend Taiwan if China attacks
United States President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) said that the United States would come to Taiwan's defence if it came under attack by China.

Addressing a CNN town hall meeting, the President said: "Yes, we have a commitment to do that."

He made these remarks when asked if the United States would defend Taiwan if China attack the country.

Biden had been asked by an audience member about China's recent testing of hypersonic missile and questioned him about whether or not the United States would stand up to China.

"Don't worry about whether they are going to be more powerful," Biden said after reaffirming that the rest of the world 'knows' that the United States has the most powerful military in the world, reported Fox News.

The President also dismissed the idea that he wants to start another cold war with China.

"I don't want a cold war with China," Biden said.

"I just want China to understand that we are not going to step back and we are not going to change any of our views," Fox News added.

The support of the US to Taiwan has been irritant to Beijing as China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.

The Chinese leaders have expressed their desire to 'reunify' the country.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping had said that 'solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people', said Newsweek.   -- ANI
09:04   We can never live in peace, unless talks are held with Pak: Farooq
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on Thursday batted strongly for talks with Pakistan and said 'unless you do not talk to Pakistan, we can never live in peace in J-K'.

He said that if there would have been friendship between India and Pakistan, people would have come here (in Jammu and Kashmir) to eat and drink tea from Sialkot (Pakistan).

"We would have gone there (Sialkot). In the past, this was happening. People used to come in trains before Independence", Abdullah said.

"I confidently say, even today, unless you (India) don't talk to Pakistan and shake hands of friendship with each other, we can never live in peace, never, take it from me in writing," he said, while addressing a party meeting in Jammu.

He said that wars have taken place between Indian and Pakistan.

"Only the poor got killed in these four wars. In future war, this will happen again. Both have nuclear bombs. It will be more disastrous," Abdullah added.

He said that if there is friendship with Pakistan, the money spent on planes and weapons will be given to farmers and the poor to remove their poverty.

"See, we have reached 101 rank in the global hunger index. We have gone down to Somalia," Abdullah added.   -- PTI
08:46   India among countries developing hypersonic missiles: US report
India is among the select few countries which are developing hypersonic weapons, an independent Congressional report has said, amidst a media report which claimed that China recently tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile which circled the globe before missing its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught United States intelligence by surprise.

The independent Congressional Research Service (CRS), in a latest report this week, said that although the US, Russia and China possess the most advanced hypersonic weapons programmes, a number of other countries, including Australia, India, France, Germany and Japan, are also developing hypersonic weapons technology.

While Australia has collaborated with the US, India has collaborated with Russia on this, the CRS said in its report.

India has collaborated with Russia on the development of BrahMos II, a Mach 7 hypersonic cruise missile, the CRS report said.

Although BrahMos II was initially intended to be fielded in 2017, news reports indicate that the programme faces significant delays and is now scheduled to achieve initial operational capability between 2025 and 2028.

Reportedly, India is also developing an indigenous, dual-capable hypersonic cruise missile as part of its Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle programme and successfully tested a Mach 6 scramjet in June 2019 and September 2020, the CRS said.

India operates approximately 12 hypersonic wind tunnels and is capable of testing speeds of up to Mach 13, said the Congressional report which is prepared by independent subject area experts for members of the US Congress.

The Financial Times this week reported that China has tested hypersonic missiles.

However, China denied it, saying it tested a hypersonic vehicle and not a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as reported by the leading British newspaper which also said that the missile missed its target by about two-dozen miles.

The report said that China tested the nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise.

According to the CRS, since 2007, the US has collaborated with Australia on the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) programme to develop hypersonic technologies.

The most recent HIFiRE test, successfully conducted in July 2017, explored the flight dynamics of a Mach 8 hypersonic glide vehicle, while previous tests explored scramjet engine technologies, it said.

HIFiRE's successor, the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) programme, is to further develop hypersonic air-breathing technologies.

SCIFiRE demonstration tests are expected by the mid-2020s.

In addition to the Woomera Test Range facilities, one of the largest weapons test facilities in the world, Australia reportedly operates seven hypersonic wind tunnels and is capable of testing speeds of up to Mach 30, the report said.

Like India, France has also collaborated and contracted with Russia on the development of hypersonic technology. And Japan is developing the Hypersonic Cruise Missile (HCM) and the Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP), it said.

The CRS said that in recent years, the US has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket before gliding to a target, and hypersonic cruise missiles, which are powered by high-speed, air-breathing engines during flight.

The Department of Defence (DOD) is currently developing hypersonic weapons under the Navy's Conventional Prompt Strike programme, which is intended to provide the US military with the ability to strike hardened or time-sensitive targets with conventional warheads, as well as through several Air Force, Army and DARPA programmes, the CRS said.    

According to the CRS, unlike programmes in China and Russia, US hypersonic weapons are to be conventionally armed.

As a result, US hypersonic weapons will likely require greater accuracy and will be more technically challenging to develop than nuclear-armed Chinese and Russian systems, it added.   -- PTI
08:11   Modi to address the nation at 10 am today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 10 am on Friday, his office said.

His address comes a day after the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses crossed the landmark figure of 100 crore in India.

The prime minister had hailed it as history being scripted and, in an opinion piece on Friday, he described India's COVID-19 vaccination drive as a journey from 'anxiety to assurance' that has made the country emerge stronger, and credited its success to people's trust in the vaccines despite 'various efforts to create mistrust and panic'.   -- PTI
PTI Photo
PTI Photo
00:27   Procuring advanced surveillance top priority: CDS
Procuring advanced surveillance systems that can help India keep an eye on its land borders and oceans is the topmost priority of the armed forces right now, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said on Thursday.

He also said that after surveillance capabilities, India needs to focus on boosting its cyber capabilities.

"Our first and foremost priority is surveillance. We need anything that can help us in maintaining surveillance on our land borders and on our oceans. This is our fist priority," he said at a defence conclave here when asked what are Indian armed forces' requirements that should be the focus of private industry.

"We want to jump the cyber from lower priority to higher priority because we find that our adversary is developing cyber capabilities at a very fast pace," he also said.

If you are not able to match the adversary, then no matter how good or sophisticated your systems are, if they are going to be affected through cyber attacks, they will be of no use to us, he asserted.

Gen Rawat said a very rapid transformation is taking place in the international domain.

"And accordingly, our own region is also undergoing rapid changes and we can see the way the dynamics of international relations in our own vicinity is taking shape," he added.

"It is both a major advantage to us in the manner in which there is collaboration taking place amongst like-minded nations, and it will also pose a big challenge in the future," he said.