Mon, 27 September 2021
New version of Akash missile flight-tested

Timeline  Refresh

23:57   New version of Akash missile flight-tested
A new version of the Akash missile was successfully flight-tested on Monday from the integrated test range at Chandipur in Odisha, officials said.

The missile -- 'Akash Prime' -- intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking an enemy aircraft in its maiden flight test, they said.

The flight testing took place at around 4.30 pm, the officials said.

'In comparison to the existing Akash system, Akash Prime is equipped with anindigenous active RF seeker for improved accuracy. Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under a low-temperature environment at higher altitudes,' said an official.

The modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system was for the flight test.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Army, Indian Air Force and other stakeholders on the successful trial of the Akash prime missile.  

He said the successful flight test proves the competence of the DRDO in designing and developing world-class missile systems.

DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated the team involved in the successful flight trial of the missile.

He said Akash Prime system will further boost the confidence of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force as the Akash system is already inducted and now getting improved with more lethal missiles.   -- PTI
22:52   Jitin gets technical ed portfolio in UP govt
Jitin Prasada, who was inducted into Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's council of ministers on Sunday, has been given the charge of the technical education department.

Prasada, a former Union minister, had switched over to the BJP from the Congress.

The allocation of the department to Prasada was announced on Twitter by Adityanath on Monday.

Prasada along with six other ministers took oath of office and secrecy at the Uttar Pradesh Raj Bhavan on Sunday.

Earlier, the portfolio was held by Kamal Rani Varun.

On August 2 last year Varun succumbed to COVID-19.   -- PTI
22:17   Mike Tyson to star in Karan Johar's 'Liger'
Boxing legend Mike Tyson is set to make his Bollywood debut in the upcoming sports drama feature Liger, starring Vijay Deverakonda.

Liger is directed by Puri Jagannath who is also backing the film via his banner Puri Connects along with Karan Johar's Dharma Productions.

Dharma Productions made Tyson's casting announcement on its official Twitter page.

'Introducing the master of the ring to the Indian screens! Kicked to announce that the dynamite @MikeTyson has joined the cast of #Liger!' the tweet read.

While details of Tyson's role are yet to be revealed, as per the teaser video it appears he will face off with Deverakonda's character in the boxing ring.

Considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time, Tyson most famously played a fictionalised version of himself in the 2009 Hollywood hit film The Hangover and its 2011 sequel The Hangover Part II.

He has also starred in Ip Man 3, the 2015 film in the popular Hong Kong martial arts film series.

Also featuring Ananya Panday, Liger will be released theatrically in five languages -- Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.

The makers are yet to announce the release date.   -- PTI
21:58   IB addl director Manoj Yadava made special director
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has cleared the appointment of Manoj Yadava, Indian Police Service (Haryana, 1988 batch) additional director, Intelligence Bureau, as special director in IB on 'in-situ' basis by temporarily upgrading the post of additional director held by the officer, for a tenure of two years from August 17, 2021.
21:54   50 trains affected due to Bharat Bandh: Railways
Around 50 trains were affected by the Bharat Bandh called by farm unions on Monday to protest the Centre's three agri laws, officials said.

The affected train services became normal in the afternoon after people moved off rail tracks following the end of the 10-hour bandh, they said.

The shutdown disrupted lives across parts of India, particularly in the north.

Protesters blocked highways and arterial roads, and squatted on tracks in several places from the morning as the shutdown called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions, got underway.

The blockade was lifted at 4 pm.

'More than 20 locations in Delhi, Ambala, and Ferozepur divisions had been blocked. About 50 trains were affected due to this. All train movement is normal now since 4:30 pm,' a spokesperson for the Northern Railway said.

Officials said the Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab, New Delhi-Moga Express, Old Delhi-Pathankot Express, Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Katra, and Amritsar Shatabdi are some of the trains that have been affected.

The bandh started at 6 am and continued till 4 pm.

In the North-Western Railway zone, rail traffic on the Rewari-Bhiwani, Bhiwani-Rohtak, Bhiwani-Hisar and Hanumangarh-Sadulpur-Sriganganagar-Fatuhi sections were affected due to the shutdown.

According to Lt. Shashi Kiran, Chief Public Relations Officer, North-Western Railway, the Bathinda-Lalgarh special train service as well as the Sriganganagar-Ambala special train service were cancelled due to the bandh. Partially cancelled train services include the Jaipur-Daulatpur Chowk Special train service which left Jaipur on Monday but will operate only till Dhulkot.

The Daulatpur Chowk-Jaipur Special will leave Ambala on Monday. It will run partially between Daulatpur Chowk-Ambala stations.

Other partially operated services included the Tilakbridge-Sri Ganganagar Special train service which will operate from Rewari in place of Tilak Bridge, the Rewari-Jodhpur Special train which operated from Sadulpur instead of Rewari and the Delhi Sarai Rohilla- Bikaner Special train service which left Delhi Sarai on Monday but will operate up to Sri Ganganagar.   -- PTI

IMAGE: Members of Bhartiya Kisan Union Ugrahan stop the Delhi-Shri Ganganagar Intercity Express during farmers Bharat Bandh, at Daun Kalan village near Patiala, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo
21:33   Campaigning comes to an end in Bhabanipur
Campaigning for Thursday's high-voltage bypoll to the Bhabanipur assembly seat in south Kolkata where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting as the Trinamool Congress candidate, and elections to two other constituencies in Murshidabad district ended on Monday.

Scuffles between supporters of the TMC and the Bharatiya Janata Party and allegations of threats to saffron party leaders marked the last day of the campaign in Bhabanipur, while canvassing for the Samserganj and Jangipur constituencies passed off peacefully.

Bypoll to Bhabanipur was necessitated following the resignation of Trinamool Congress MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay so that the party supremo can contest from the seat which Banerjee won in 2011 and 2016 elections.

In the assembly election held earlier this year, Banerjee, a resident of the Bhabanipur constituency, contested from Nandigram, where the anti-farmland acquisition movement against the Left Front government had transformed her into a major political force in the state, to dare her former protege turned adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in his home turf.

Though she powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost to Adhikari by a narrow margin, and challenged the result in the Calcutta high court. The case is pending.

Banerjee now must win the bypoll to ensure an unbroken stint as the chief minister.

According to the constitutional provision, a person has to get elected to the legislature within six months of taking oath of office as a chief minister or a minister. She took oath as the CM on May 5.

Besides Banerjee, the BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal and the Communist Party of India-Marxist's Srijib Biswas are contesting from Bhabanipur.

The Congress has decided not to field a candidate there.

Elections to Samserganj and Jangipur were countermanded earlier due to deaths of candidates.

While Rezaul Haque, the Congress candidate from Samserganj, died on April 15, the Revolutionary Socialist Party candidate from Jangipur Pradip Nandi, passed away a day later.

In Samserganj, the candidates for the September 30 election are Amirul Islam (TMC), Zaidur Rahman (Congress), Milan Ghosh (BJP). The candidates for Jangipur are Jakir Hossain (TMC), Sujit Das (BJP) and Alam Mian (RSP).

Votes of the three constituencies will be counted on October 3.

Altogether 52 companies of central forces were deployed for the polls in the three assembly seats, an official at the CEO in Kolkata said.

Of them, 19 companies have been deployed in Bhabanipur.

The central forces were personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the official said.   -- PTI

IMAGE: A man looks at the hoarding of BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal for upcoming bypolls, at Bhabanipur. Photograph: ANI Photo
20:31   Bombay HC building to open for tourists
Iconic Bombay high court and Mumbai University buildings will now be open for tourists as part of Heritage Walks during weekends as the Maharashtra Tourism Department on Monday inked an agreement with respective authorities.

The Maharashtra Tourism Department signed a heritage tour memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bombay high court and Mumbai University to allow tourists to visit these iconic buildings on non-working days -- Saturdays and Sundays, MTDC said on the occasion of the World Tourism Day.

While Mumbai University will be open for tourists on Sundays and public holidays, and the tour will be conducted by TOGA (Tourist Guide Association) guides, it added.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched a revamped multilingual website on Maharashtra tourism. It is available in 9 languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, French, Japanese and Spanish.

Speaking on the occasion, state Tourism, Environment and Protocol Minister Aaditya Thackeray said the emphasis on policy reforms and infrastructure development will put Maharashtra at the forefront of the world tourism map in the next few years.

We have focussed on policy reform during the past year.

It is believed that in the next few years, Maharashtra will be at the forefront of the world tourism map due to the efforts taken by the tourism department, Thackeray said at a function to mark World Tourism Day 2021.

To boost the sector, the Maharashtra government has brought down the number of applications and licences needed for setting up a tourism-related business to just 10 from the earlier 70-80, he added.

Similarly, the no-objection certificates (NOCs) required were brought down to 9 self-certifications from the earlier 15 NOCs and 3-month timelines for issuance of different licences, among others, were introduced that will benefit the sector.

The government has also granted industry status to the tourism and hospitality sector, which was pending since 1999, the minister said.    

Basic tourism infrastructure is now on the fast track. Today, several major international five and seven-star hotels were interested in setting shop in various parts of Maharashtra. We will be holding several meetings to listen to stakeholders on improving Maharashtra tourism in the coming days, Thackeray said.

The minister added that the opening of the Chippi airport in October will give a major boost to tourism in the Konkan region.   -- PTI
20:03   On her 2nd five-day UP tour in Sep, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to focus on Congs poll-preparedness
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrived here on Monday on a five-day visit during which she will discuss with workers and leaders the party's preparedness for next year's Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, sources said.

Her visit to the state came just a day after chief minister Yogi Adityanath expanded his council of ministers by inducting Jitin Prasada and six others to balance the caste and regional aspirations ahead of the Assembly elections.

Prasada, who had crossed over to the BJP from the Congress in June, was administered oath as a cabinet minister, while six others were sworn in as ministers of state.

"Priyanka ji has arrived on a five-day visit to the state. She will meet party workers and leaders, and deliberate upon election preparedness of the party for the 2022 UP Assembly polls," state Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said.

This is her second visit to the state this month.

On September 13, she wrapped up her five-day tour of Uttar Pradesh during which she exhorted party workers to work round the clock for the next year's elections. She had told party workers in Rae Bareli that the Congress was planning to declare candidates well in time for the upcoming elections.

The Congress has fought the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in alliance with the Samajwadi Party. The grand old party had managed to win just seven of the 114 seats it had contested with a vote share of 6.25 per cent.

This time, the Congress party has already announced that it will fight the 2022 polls without aligning with any big political party. 
19:32   Narendra Giri's death: 3 sent to CBI custody
Swami Anand Giri and two others, arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide by Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad president Narendra Giri last week, were on Monday remanded to the Central Bureau of Investigation custody for seven days by an Allahabad court.

The three, including Bade Hanuman Temple priest Adya Prasad Tiwari and his son Sandeep, were remanded to the CBI custody by Chief Judicial Magistrate Harendra Nath.

District prosecution counsel Gulab Chandra Agrahari said CJM Nath sent the trio to the CBI custody after hearing the agency's remand application with the three accused joining the court proceeding from the Naini jail, where they have been lodged since their arrests, through video conference.

The CBI remand for the three will start at 9 am on September 28 and last till 5 pm on October 4, he added.

Narendra Giri was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in Shri Baghambari Gaddi under the Geoge Town police station area.

In his suicide note, the deceased had named the three, accusing them of mentally harassing him, following which the police had lodged an FIR under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code on charges of abetting the suicide.

The Uttar Pradesh police had arrested Anand Giri and Adya Tiwari the very next day on September 21 after the Akhara Parishad chief was found dead in his room.

The third accused and Tiwari's son Sandeep was arrested on September 22 and all three of them were remanded to judicial custody after their arrests.

The CBI took the probe into the case on the Uttar Pradesh government's recommendation.   -- PTI
19:22   Rising crude prices weaken the rupee, slips 15 paise against the dollar
The rupee dropped by 15 paise to close at 73.83 against the US dollar on Monday as a stronger greenback against key rivals and rising crude oil prices weighed on investor sentiment.

Besides, multiple bouts of volatility on domestic equities front and mixed cues from global financial markets put the rupee under pressure, analysts observed.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened on a weak note at 73.70 and slid to the day's lowest level at 73.84 a dollar towards the fag-end of the session. For a brief period, it ventured into positive territory and touched a high of 73.60 in the first half of the session.

The domestic unit finally settled the day at 73.83 a dollar, showing a drop of 15 paise over its previous close. On Friday, the currency had closed 4 paise down at 73.68 against the US dollar.

"Rupee traded strongly near 73.70 in the first half on the back of strength in capital markets, later gave up gains and fell as some profit booking was witnessed in capital markets. Higher crude prices also pushed a fall in the rupee. Going ahead range for rupee can be seen between 73.50-74.10," Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities said.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.11 per cent to 93.42.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended marginally higher by 29.41 points or 0.05 per cent higher at 60,077.88. Similarly, the NSE Nifty closed the day 1.90 points or 0.01 per cent higher at 17,855.10.

Meanwhile, global crude oil benchmark Brent futures advanced 1.29 per cent to USD 78.23 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Friday as they purchased shares worth Rs 442.49 crore, as per exchange data.
18:56   MVA minister Nawab Malik's son-in-law gets bail in drugs case after 8 months
A special court in Mumbai on Monday granted bail to Sameer Khan, son-in-law of NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, and two others in a drugs case.

Khan was arrested on January 13 this year by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for alleged possession of drugs.

Khan has been granted bail on a surety of Rs 50,000, his advocate Taraq Sayyed said.

A special NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court also granted bail to celebrity manager Rahila Furniturewala and UK national Karan Sejnani on sureties of Rs 50,000 each.

The NCB, which claimed the accused had conspired to procure, sell, purchase and transport 194.6 kilograms of ganja, had charged Khan and five others for dealing with commercial quantities of the drug, a crime that carries a maximum punishment of 20 years.

Khan, in his bail plea filed in July after the NCB submitted its charge sheet, relied on reports of the forensic lab, which said 11 of the 18 samples sent to it could not be detected as cannabis.

The bail plea said, based on the forensic report, the only charge sustained in the complaint is for dealing with a small quantity of ganja, for which the maximum punishment is one year.

The NCB had claimed a majority of the drugs were seized from Sejnani, who it said was involved in business transactions with Khan.

In the bail plea, Khan, however, said, as per evidence collected by NCB, Sejnani had sought financial help from him for a legitimate business concerning tobacco, and there was nothing to show he had dealt with any transaction towards a conspiracy under the NDPS Act.
18:26   Unprecedented response to bandh in 23 states: SKM
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a united forum of farmer unions protesting the three farm laws, on Monday said its call for a Bharat Bandh received "unprecedented and historic" response from more than 23 states and not a single untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

"Reports have been pouring in about the overwhelmingly positive and resounding response to the Bharat Bandh call -- to mark 10 months of peaceful protests with rightful demands from the 'annadaatas' of the country. Spontaneous participation from various sections of the society was witnessed at most places," it said in a statement.

The SKM said the bandh was observed peacefully in "more than 23 states" and not a single untoward incident was reported.

It also appreciated state governments and political parties that extended support to the bandh.

"Reports have come in from hundreds of locations from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal about the bandh, and numerous events to accompany the same," the statement said.

In Punjab alone, people gathered at more than 500 locations to express their support to the bandh. Numerous non-farmer associations also stood in solidarity with farmers, it said.

"Life came to a near standstill in several states like Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand and Bihar. Reports indicate that in several parts of southern Assam, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, this was the situation. Scores of protests marked the day in states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand," the SKM said in the statement.
18:13   4 men rape 2 UP girls in cybercafe, extort Rs 10k
Two girls were allegedly held hostage and gang raped in a cyber cafe in Kannauj district when they had gone to get some documents photocopied, police said on Monday.

Four men took hostage of the two girl students at the cafe on September 13 and one of the accused also recorded the act, police said. The accused also extorted Rs 10,000 from the girls, threatening to circulate the video.

Superintendent of Police Prashant Verma said a case was registered at Sadar Kotwali on Sunday against six people, including a woman, based on the complaint of one of the girls.

The 17-year-old student in her complaint said she had gone to the cyber cafe along with her friend at noon on September 13 when four people, who were already present there, raped them.

One of the accused also made a video of the act and handed it over to his brother-in-law who extorted Rs 10,000 by threatening to make it viral, police said.

The girl said she and her friend stole money from their houses to give it to the accused, police said. It was the missing money which alerted their family members after which the incident came to light, they said.

The girls have been sent to the district hospital for medical examination.

Police are raiding all possible places, the SP said, adding in the initial investigation, the police have found signs of prostitution from the cafe.

The victim had said that after the incident, the wife of one of the accused made her phone calls pressurising her into prostitution and some neighbours have also spoken about presence of young girls there, he added.

The SP said efforts are on to nab the accused.
Muska Najibullah
Muska Najibullah
17:06   Former Afghan prez Najibullah's daughter writes...
My father was brutally killed by the Taliban. The US ignored his pleas for help. I am the daughter of a former Afghan president. I am sharing my story for the first time because I see history repeating itself. 

Read Muska Najibullah's account here. 
16:59   Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was on Monday elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Assam. 

 Sonowal, the lone candidate in the fray for the seat, was declared elected to the Upper House of Parliament by the Returning Officer on the last day of withdrawal of nomination. 

 With this, the ruling BJP's strength in the Upper House from Assam increased to three, while its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has one member in the Rajya Sabha. 

 Assam has total seven seats in the Rajya Sabha, with two of the remaining seats held by the Congress and one by an Independent MP.
16:56   TMC workers attacked me, says BJP's Dilip Ghosh
BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh on the clashes in Bhabanipur:

"While I was campaigning in Bhabanipur today, TMC workers hurled abuses at me. I was meeting some people at a vaccination centre when some people suddenly surrounded me and started jostling. One of our workers was badly beaten.

"I was also attacked. My security tried to stop it & they brought out their guns to scare the attackers. Arjun Singh (BJP MP) was also surrounded and he was forced to leave the area amid 'go back' slogans. Local police didn't help.

"The Election Commission is aware of everything. We've complained to them several times in Delhi and Kolkata. Despite this, no security arrangement was made. There is no point to hold polls if we can't reach out to voters. People are living in constant fear."
16:44   Mapped: The top gainers in the markets today
Maruti Suzuki gainer 6.53 per cent, the highest in the markets today.
16:44   Mapped: The top gainers in the markets today
Maruti Suzuki gainer 6.53 per cent, the highest in the markets today.
Mizoram CM's sister Lalvuani
Mizoram CM's sister Lalvuani
16:41   Mizoram CM's sister dies of Covid
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga's elder sister Lalvuani died of COVID-19 at a hospital on Monday. Lalvuani, 88, died while undergoing treatment at the Zoram Medical College (ZMC) near Aizawl. 

 "It is with deep sorrow that I announce the demise of my beloved elder sister Lalvuani (88-years) this morning at 11:30 am," the chief minister tweeted. 

 Lalvuani, the third eldest of seven siblings, was bed-ridden for months due to asthma and age-related complications, family sources said. 

 She was diagnosed with COVID-19 on September 22 and shifted to the ZMC, they said. 

 Mizoram on Monday reported 527 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the state's tally to 88,693, a government bulletin said.

Mizoram has the fourth highest Covid numbers in India. 
16:33   Orange alert in parts of Kerala
Orange alert issued in Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur districts in Kerala and yellow alert in all other 11 districts for today .Yellow alert in Kozhikode , Kannur and Kasargod districts for tomorrow: India Meteorological Department. 

An orange alert means very heavy rains from 6 cm to 20 cm of rains.
16:16   73% of people in Odisha have Covid antibodies: ICMR
At least 73 per cent of Odisha's population and over 93 per cent of health workers have developed antibodies against SARS-CoV2, according to a recent sero-survey conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

 The survey was conducted in 12 of the state's 30 districts between August 29 and September 15 by experts of ICMR's Regional Medical Research (ICMR), Bhubaneswar with help of the Health and Family Welfare Department of Odisha government. 

Sanghamitra Pati, Director of RMRC, Bhubaneswar said, of 5,796 samples collected from the community, it was found that 4,247 have antibodies. Similarly, 1,232 health workers out of 1,312 samples collected, have developed the antibodies, she said. 

 "We found 73.5 per cent seroprevalence among the community and 93.9 per cent among the healthcare workers," Pati said, adding that of the 12 surveyed districts, Khurda district has highest seroprevalence of 80 per cent followed by Jajpur, Mayurbhanj and Jharsuguda (around 68 per cent). 

 In terms of age groups, the RMRC director said: "Seventy per cent of people in the 6-10 year age group, 74 per cent of 11-18 age group, 75 per cent of 19-44 age group, 72 per cent 45-60 age group and 66 per cent above 60 years of age have the antibodies". 

 Among the seropositive adults, around 66.5 per cent had received at least the first dose of vaccine, she said, adding that study also found that 25.6 per cent are fully immunized, 41.4 per cent are partially vaccinated and 33 per cent are unimmunized.
16:16   Sensex, Nifty tick higher to fresh records
Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty inched marginally higher on Monday to end at fresh lifetime highs, led by gains in Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and Maruti amid a largely positive trend in global markets. 

 After touching its lifetime intra-day high of 60,412.32, the 30-share Sensex ended 29.41 points or 0.05 per cent higher at its all-time closing peak of 60,077.88. 

 Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 1.90 points or 0.01 per cent to record 17,855.10. 

 Maruti was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 6 per cent, followed by M&M, Bajaj Auto, NTPC, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank. On the other hand, HCL Tech, Tch Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv and Infosys were among the laggards.
16:04   What a feet!
Amitabh Bachchan is wowed by this talented artist and writes, "Aayush differently abled .. paints with his feet .. reminisces his visits to Jalsa, for the Sunday well wishers meets at the gates .. and visually remembers it .. simply amazing .. miracles of the Almighty .. he taketh away, but he giveth in abundance ..."
15:49   BJP, TMC workers clash in Bhabanipur, WB
Several BJP workers are believed to have been injured in an alleged clash at a bypoll campaign in Bhabanipur, Kolkata. 

"The TMC govt including CM Mamata Banerjee are intolerant and are not allowing us to campaign. TMC hooligans tortured our workers, beat them. Decide before you vote on September 30," says Agnimitra Paul, BJP.

WB LoP Suvendu Adhikari says, "The situation is very critical and the Election Commission is not doing anything. A team of our party met them in Delhi and in Kolkata too. But the EC hasn't taken any action till now." 

The Election Commission has sought a report from the state government over the Bhabanipur ruckus today. The EC has asked to submit the report by 4 pm. 
15:36   Madhuri's tribute to Yash Chopra
Yash Chopra's heroine in Dil to Pagal Hai remembers the filmmaker on his birthday today. Madhuri Dixit Nene tweets this image with Shah Rukh Khan and the dream-maker writing, "Remembering you on your birthday (heart emoji."

15:16   Dombivli gang-rape: Police arrests all 33 accused
All 33 people accused of allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl, several times over a period of 9-months, in the Dombivli area of Maharashtra's Thane district, have been arrested, said police on Monday.

"One more accused arrested by the Police. All 33 accused, including two minors, have been arrested. The two minor accused have been sent to Child Correction Home," informed the Maharashtra Police in the statement. Meanwhile, the rape survivor was discharged from the hospital on September 25.

Earlier police informed that of the 33 accused, two were minors and were sent to a juvenile correctional facility in Bhiwandi after being taken into custody.

Thane Police has constitutes a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.
13:48   Mega traffic jam at Gurugram-Delhi border eases
The traffic movement at the Gurugram-Delhi border became normal after the Delhi Police loosened the barricades near the Rajokri border.

Earlier today, the Gurugram-Delhi border witnessed a massive traffic snarl as vehicles entering the national capital are being checked by Delhi Police and paramilitary jawans, in wake of Bharat Bandh.
AIKS activists observe Bharat Bandh in Tamil Nadu
AIKS activists observe Bharat Bandh in Tamil Nadu
13:23   Bharat Bandh: Left blocks roads, rail in Bengal
Left activists blocked roads and railway tracks across West Bengal on Monday in support of the Bharat Bandh, while normal life remained largely unaffected in the state. Markets and shops were opened as usual, while public transport operated almost normally, except for a few hitches.   
Government and private offices registered usual attendance. Educational institutions are shut in state the due to the COVID-related restrictions.   In Kolkata, CPI(M) members blocked roads at College Street, Jadavpur and Shyambazar Five-Point Crossing but were swiftly removed by the police.

Road blockades were held in most of the major towns and cities in the state, including in district headquarters of Jalpaiguri, West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Hooghly and Coochbehar.
13:21   Maha: 8,000 kg of beef seized, 2 held in Thane
Police have seized 8,000 kg of beef and arrested two persons for allegedly smuggling the banned animal meat in Maharashtra's Thane city, police said on Monday.  Based on a tip-off, the police on Saturday intercepted a tempo at Kharegaon toll naka on the Nashik-Mumbai highway, an official from Kalwa police station said.  The police found beef in the vehicle and during enquiry, they learnt that the meat was being transported from Malegaon in neighbouring Nashik district to Kurla in adjoining Mumbai, he said.  The meat was worth about Rs 8 lakh, he said, adding that the tempo was also seized.  Two persons, identified as Rais Ahmed Salam Qureshi and Abdul Ahmed Naseem Khan, were arrested and booked under relevant provisions, he said.         

Cow slaughter and beef transport are banned in the state.  Over the last three-four days, the police have seized 14 tonnes of beef in the city and arrested five people in this connection.
A gangster was killed in the Rohini courthouse last week
A gangster was killed in the Rohini courthouse last week
13:19   Delhi HC to hear on Sep 29 plea concerning safety at court premises
The Delhi High Court Monday said it would hear on September 29 a plea seeking enhanced security in district courts in the national capital which recently witnessed a courtroom shootout that killed three people. 

Lawyer Richa Singh informed a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh that she has moved an application for early hearing in the petition pending since 2019, seeking better safety and security at the courts where incidents of crime have taken place.  The application specifically mentions the Rohini Court complex incident in which three people, including a gangster, were killed in a courtroom shootout last week.     

Counter affidavit was filed by the high court registry and loopholes on ground situation were pointed out, she added.
12:50   England all-rounder Moeen Ali retires from Test cricket
England all-rounder Moeen Ali announces retirement from Test cricket. The 34-year-old played 64 Tests and bagged 195 wickets and scored five centuries during his career.

"I'll miss walking out there with the lads, playing against best in the world with that feeling of nerves but also from a bowling point of view, knowing with my best ball I could get anyone out," Moeen said in a statement.
12:42   Pandemic caused biggest fall in life expectancy
The COVID-19 pandemic led to biggest decrease in life expectancy since the World War II, and wiped out years of progress on mortality, according to a study published on Monday by the University of Oxford. The research team assembled an unprecedented dataset on mortality from 29 countries, spanning most of Europe, the US and Chile -- countries for which official death registrations for 2020 had been published.  The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found that 27 of the 29 countries saw reductions in life expectancy in 2020, and at a scale which wiped out years of progress on mortality. Women in 15 countries and men in 10 countries were found to have a lower expectancy at birth in 2020 than in 2015, a year in which life expectancy was already negatively affected by a significant flu season. 

"For Western European countries such as Spain, England and Wales, Italy, Belgium, among others, the last time such large magnitudes of declines in life expectancy at birth were observed in a single year was during WW-II," said study's co-lead author Jose Manuel Aburto, from Oxford's Leverhulme Center for Demographic Science (LCDS). 

"However, the scale of the life expectancy losses was stark across most countries studied, with 22 countries included in the study experiencing larger losses than half a year in 2020," Aburto said. 

The researchers noted that females in eight countries and males in 11 countries experienced losses larger than a year.     

It took on average 5.6 years for these countries to achieve a one-year increase in life expectancy recently, while the progress was wiped out over the course of 2020 by COVID-19, they said.  Life expectancy, also known as period life expectancy, refers to the average age to which a newborn lives if current death rates continued for their whole life. It does not predict an actual lifespan. -- PTI
12:25   In respect of those who till the earth
Deepak Lamba, National Vice President, Jai Kisan Andolan tweets this image writing, "Hal chalaanewale ke samman mein, Aao likh de 'Bharat Bandh' ek din ke liye aasman mein.Ladenge or jitenge.

"In respect of those who till the earth,Let us write Bharat Bandh for a day in the skiesWe shall fight and win..."Farmers from different parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi borders since November last year, demanding the repeal of the three contentious farm laws that they fear would do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

The government, however, has been projecting the three laws as major agricultural reforms. Over 10 rounds of talks between the two parties have failed to break the deadlock.
12:03   Nowhere in the world... PM on India's health drive
Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission has the power to bring a revolutionary change in India's health facilities, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the campaign on Monday."Today begins a Mission that has the power to bring a revolutionary change in India's health facilities. Three years ago, on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya's birth anniversary, Ayushman Bharat Yojana was implemented. Happy that Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission is being started nationwide from today," said PM Modi. The Prime Minister said that in the last seven years, the campaign, which has been going on for the last seven years to strengthen the health services of the country, is entering a new phase from today.He also talked about the Arogya Setu app and said it helped a lot in preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection."We have been able to take the vaccine to everyone, under the free vaccine campaign. India has been able to apply about 90 crore vaccine doses today, and Co-WIN has a big role in it," he said.PM Modi noted that there has also been an unprecedented expansion of telemedicine during the pandemic period."So far about 125 crore remote consultations have been completed through e-Sanjeevani. This facility is connecting thousands of countrymen living in far-flung parts of the country every day with doctors of big hospitals of cities while sitting at home," said PM Modi.The Prime Minister further said that through Ayushman Bharat-PM-JAY, the government have been able to eliminate the great concern of the life of the poor. "So far more than 2 crore countrymen have availed the facility of free treatment under this scheme. In this also half the beneficiaries are our mothers, sisters, daughters," he said."130 crore Aadhaar numbers...118 crore mobile subscribers... about 80 crore internet users... about 43 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts... nowhere in the world there exist such big connected infrastructure. This digital infrastructure is taking the ration from the administration to the common Indian in a fast, and transparent manner," added the Prime Minister.
11:40   Vir Sanghvis memoir displays a classic case of Delhi Syndrome
There are many classic symptoms of Delhi Syndrome. But three particularly define the affliction, and which are most obviously in evidence in 'A Rude Life'. 

Read the review here.
11:28   Mother-of-all traffic jams at Delhi-Gurgaon border
Hundreds of cars are stacked bumper-to bumper along the Gurgaon-Delhi border this morning as the vehicles entering the national capital are being checked by Delhi police in wake of the Bharat Bandh called by protesting farmers seeking withdrawal of three controversial farm laws. 

The Ghaziabad Police closed a national highway that connects Ghaziabad and Nizamuddin in Delhi. At the UP Gate, which is also the protest site of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) since November last year, police have put up barricades on the highway to check vehicles.The Noida traffic police also cautioned commuters against taking the routes passing through Ghazipur in adjoining Ghaziabad for travelling to or from Delhi. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of over 40 farmers' unions leading the 10-month-old agitation for withdrawal of three contentious farm laws, has called for the Bharat Bandh on Monday. Routes between Noida and Delhi via Chilla and DND flyway are open. But there was an increased traffic on these routes during the peak office hours. The traffic movement had slowed down a bit because of the pressure, a traffic police official told PTI.
A mega traffic snarl seen at Gurugram-Delhi border
A mega traffic snarl seen at Gurugram-Delhi border
10:59   Pandemic-hit cabbies don't support bandh in Delhi
Autorickshaws and taxis plied normally and shops were open in the national capital on Monday, with their unions and associations extending only "in-principle support" to the Bharat Bandh called by farmers but deciding not to join the strike. The auto, taxi unions and traders bodies said their livelihood has already been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown so they were not joining any strike.

The Bandh has been called by farmers against the Centre's three agri laws. "Previously also we had supported Bharat Bandh by the farmers but continued to ply our autos and taxis. This time also we are in support of genuine farmers but not on strike because our members are in deep distress due to shrinking earnings in pandemic times," said Rajender Soni, general secretary of the Delhi Auto Taxi Union. 

The Sarvoday Driver Association of Delhi, representing many drivers of cab aggregator platforms, also supported the farmers but did not join the strike. 

"We are in support of the farmers but our work was affected due to the pandemic and we cannot afford to go in their support by striking," said Kamaljeet Gill, president of the Association.    

Other auto and taxi unions expressed the same sentiment. "We fully support the farmers. But in view of the financial crisis faced by us due to Covid, we are extending our moral and in-principle support to them and their demand while working normally," said Anuj Rathor, secretary of the Rashtriya Rajdhani Kshetra Auto Drivers Association.    

Markets and shops in the city were open as farmers have not contacted our  associations for any strike, said Brijesh Goyal, chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Industry(CTI).
One of the 157 artefacts India got back from the US
One of the 157 artefacts India got back from the US
10:43   India thanks US for returning 157 artefacts
The Indian government has thanked the New York District Attorney office for its excellent support in returning over 150 antiquities to the country and appreciated its role to enhance the Indo-US people-to-people links and cultural understanding through restitution of the precious artefacts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought back 157 artefacts and antiquities, which were handed over to India by the US during his visit, with both he and President Joe Biden expressing commitment to strengthening efforts to combat theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.

While nearly half of the artefacts (71) are cultural, the other half consists of figurines related to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16) and Jainism (9), an official statement said on Saturday.The list of 157 artefacts includes a diverse set of items ranging from the one-and-a-half metre bas relief panel of Revanta in sandstone of the 10th CE to the 8.5 cm tall, exquisite bronze Nataraja from the 12th CE. PTI
Vaccination and following Covid protocol are the only way forward
Vaccination and following Covid protocol are the only way forward
10:30   Active Covid cases in country lowest in 191 days
India added 26,041 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,36,78,786, while the active cases declined to 2,99,620, the lowest in 191 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. The death toll climbed to 4,47,194 with 276 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.   

 The active cases comprise 0.89 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.78 per cent, the ministry said.  A decrease of 3,856 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.    

Less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 92 consecutive days, the ministry said. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.24 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for last 28 days. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 1.94 per cent. It has been below three per cent  for the last 94 days, according to the  ministry.  The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,29,31,972, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.33 per cent. 

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 86 crore. -- PTI
10:13   PM inspects work on new Parliament building
PM Narendra Modi visited the construction site of the new Parliament building in New Delhi last night. He spent almost an hour at the site and inspected the construction status of the new building.  

Modi spoke to people involved in the construction as he inspected the ongoing work, official sources said.The building is part of the Central Vista project, which has faced criticism from the opposition.
09:57   Sensex jumps over 200 points, Nifty tops 17,900
Equity benchmark Sensex jumped over 200 points in early trade on Monday, led by strong gains in index majors HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries amid a largely positive global markets.  After touching another lifetime high of 60,339.28, the 30-share Sensex eased slightly but was still trading 245.62 points or 0.41 per cent higher at 60,294.09. Similarly, the Nifty surged 69.90 points or 0.39 per cent to 17,923.10.     

Maruti was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising over 2 per cent, followed by HDFC Bank, SBI, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank.     

On the other hand, Nestle India, Tech Mahindra, Dr Reddy's and ITC were among the laggards.
09:43   Parts of Karnataka protest farm laws
In Karnataka, various organizations protest outside Kalaburagi Central bus station as farmer organisatons call for Bharat Bandh today against  the three farm laws."Many organizations are supporting our farmers and participating in the nation-wide call for bandh," says protester K Neela.
09:41   Kerala shuts for Bharat bandh
Roads wear a deserted look, shops remain closed in Thiruvananthapuram for Bharat bandh. Trade unions affiliated to LDF and UDF have supported the call for Bharat bandh today against the three farm laws. Visuals from Thampanoor and East Fort areas.
People queue up to get vaccinated
People queue up to get vaccinated
09:26   50% of India's Covid cases in 24 hrs from Kerala
India reports 26,041 new Covid-19 cases, 29,621 recoveries, and 276 deaths in the last 24 hours as per the Union Health Ministry.Of these cases and deaths, 15,951 cases and 165 deaths were reported in Kerala, yesterday.Total cases 3,36,78,786 Total recoveries 3,29,31,972  Death toll 4,47,194  Active cases 2,99,620  Total vaccination: 86,01,59,011 (38,18,362 in last 24 hours).
Farmer organisations have called a Bandh today against the three farm laws.
Farmer organisations have called a Bandh today against the three farm laws.
09:13   Bharat Bandh: Delhi Police tightens security
The Delhi Police has beefed up security in border areas of the national capital in view of the Bharat Bandh called by farmer unions against the Centre's three agri laws on Monday.  Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of over 40 farm unions spearheading the farmers' agitation, had earlier appealed to the people to join the bandh.  A senior police officer said adequate security arrangements have been made to maintain the law an order situation and prevent any untoward incident in the national capital during the bandh. Patrolling has been intensified, extra personnel have been deployed at the pickets especially across the border areas and every vehicle entering the national capital is being thoroughly checked, according to the police. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav said, In view of Bharat Bandh, adequate security arrangements have been made as a precautionary measure. Pickets at the border areas have been strengthened and all vital installations, including India Gate and Vijay Chowk have adequate deployment. "No protester is being allowed to enter Delhi from the three protest sites at the city's borders," the official said. The security is preventive and we are fully alert. There is no call for Bharat Bandh in Delhi, but we are watching the developments and adequate number of personnel are on ground," another officer said. Police personnel have been deployed on all roads leading to Delhi through villages near border areas while all vehicles are being checked at the pickets, they said. -- PTI
08:55   Leave path of agitation, opt for dialogue: Tomar to farmers
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the protesting farmers should leave the path of agitation and opt for dialogue.Speaking at a programme at Agriculture College in Gwalior on Sunday, Tomar said, "I would like to appeal to farmers to leave the path of agitation and follow the path of dialogue. The government is ready to consider the objections raised by them. There have been several discussions earlier. If there is anything left, the government is definitely ready to talk."The union minister also emphasised that farmers' protest should not become a political issue."Farmers movement should not be mixed with politics. Farmer belongs to all. The government has negotiated with the farmers union very sensitively and is ready to do so in future also," added Tomar.The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a coalition of farmers' unions, has called a Bharat Bandh today to mark the first anniversary of the enactment of the three farm laws.The SKM has said that the nationwide strike will be observed from 6 am to 4 pm today.During this period, all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments as well as public events and functions will be closed throughout the country, the SKM said.
08:15   Bharat bandh: Farmers block highways in Punjab, Haryana
Farmers have blocked many national highways in Punjab and Haryana as part of the Bharat Bandh call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to demand repealing of three farm laws. "It was on September 27, 2020 that President Shri Ram Nath Kovind assented to and brought into force the three anti-farmer black laws last year. Tomorrow, there will be a total Bharat Bandh observed around the country from 6 am to 4 pm," the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is an umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions, said in a statement."It is a day to express support to the annadatas (farmers) of the country, the ones who keep all Indians alive," it said.The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Telugu Desam Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Left parties and the Swaraj India have backed the Bandh call.Farmers from different parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi borders since November last year, demanding the repeal of the three contentious farm laws that they fear would do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.