Tue, 28 September 2021
Pak intruder held along LoC in Rajouri
23:41 Pak intruder held along LoC in Rajouri
A Pakistani intruder was apprehended along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, officials said.
Army troops guarding the LoC picked up the movement of a person who attempted to sneak into this side from across the border in Keri sector, the officials said.
They said the infiltrator was challenged and taken into custody for questioning.
Nothing incriminating was recovered from his possession, the officials said, adding further details are awaited. -- PTI
23:24 'No progress' in Delhi riots case: Court raps police
This is really a sorry state of affairs, a Delhi court said on Tuesday, coming down heavily on the police for showing no progress in the investigation of a riots case months after registering the first information report (FIR).
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav made the remarks after he was apprised that no progress has been made in the investigation of a case registered in June 2021 on the complaint of one Nasir Ahmed and even the persons named in the FIR have not been interrogated.
This is really a sorry state of affairs, ASJ Yadav said, adding that this case has not gotten the attention of either the Delhi Police Commissioner or the newly-constituted Special Investigation Cell (SIC) tasked to monitor the probe in the riots cases.
He noted that the police is claiming that the circumstances during the riots in February 2020 and four weeks thereafter were difficult, followed by a pandemic due to which it could not investigate the cases properly.
I wonder whether the police can take the same excuse qua the investigation of the case, PS Gokalpuri.
The answer has to be 'clear No', ASG Yadav said.
He directed the prosecutor to tell the court about the probe carried by the police on the next date of hearing and asked the copy of the order be sent to the Commissioner of Police for his reference and to take appropriate steps.
Nasir Ahmed, a resident of Delhi's Bhagirathi Vihar area, claimed that he witnessed the communal riots on February 24 and 25 and identified various persons out of a mob of 200-250 persons, who were rioting near Gokalpuri toll-tax.
He claimed that on February 24, the mob put up a loud public address system and exhorted people to vandalise, rob, and put on fire the houses and shops of persons belonging to the other community while asserting that the police were with them.
He said that the mob allegedly stopped the persons passing through that area and if found to be from the other community, they inflicted injuries upon them and burned their vehicles.
On February 25, he claimed that the mob put his godown and three bikes on fire.
He further said that on both dates, he made several calls to the police, but to no avail.
Ahmed then made several complaints to the police, but no action was taken.
He also received threats, following which the witness protection committee of the district asked the police to provide protection to him.
He was then constrained to approach the High Court where for the first time the prosecutor said that his complaint dated March 18 had been clubbed with two different cases.
Subsequently, Ahmed approached the district court seeking registration of a separate FIR in his case and not to treat his complaint as part of another case.
The metropolitan magistrate allowed his plea on October 26 and directed the police to register the FIR.
The police, however, challenged the order which was dismissed by ASJ Yadav on April 26. They were asked to register a separate FIR, which was done in June, almost two months after the court directions.
The court will now hear the matter on October 22 on the point of charge.
Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi in February 2020, after violence between the Citizenship (Amendment) Act supporters and its protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and over 700 injured. -- PTI
22:30 Kanhaiya Kumar expelled himself from CPI: Raja
Kanhaiya Kumar has expelled himself from the Communist Party of India, the party's general secretary D Raja said on Tuesday moments after the former Jawaharlal Nehru University leader quit the Left party and joined the Congress.
He alleged that Kumar was 'not truthful' with the CPI leadership and also not 'straightforward' in his demands from the party.
"Kumar expelled himself from the party. He was not truthful to the party. The CPI existed long before Kanhaiya came into the party's fold and will continue to exist after his exit," Raja told PTI.
Raja also questioned Kumar's faith in the Communist ideology.
"He must be having personal as well as political ambitions and aspirations. It shows he has no faith in the Communist ideology.
"The CPI is known for selfless struggles and sacrifices. Those who come to our party must be ready to lead a selfless life, making supreme sacrifices in the interest of the nation and the working people. We do not promote personality, cult or any individual," the general secretary of the CPI said.
The former JNU students' union president joined the Congress on Tuesday in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.
Gujarat Dalit leader and Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani has also come out in support of the party, sources said.
Kumar had joined the CPI ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election and unsuccessfully contested from Begusarai in Bihar against Giriraj Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Kumar joining the Congress was almost a foregone conclusion over the last few weeks but the Left leaders denied it till this week.
Raja said he was in touch with Kumar throughout but the young leader did not mention anything about leaving the party.
"I have been speaking to him. We discussed various issues about the party but he never mentioned anything about his unhappiness or his decision to leave. That is why I am saying he was neither straightforward nor truthful with us.
"After the talks of him joining the Congress surfaced, I told him to hold a press conference to deny the news," Raja said.
According to sources, Kumar was supposed to hold such a briefing for the media but later changed his mind and remained incommunicado even as senior leaders tried to reach him.
Raja said he was officially informed about Kumar leaving the party through a letter Tuesday.
"In the letter, Kumar said the country needs a vibrant Left party and also mentions his exit. The CPI is committed to certain specific ideologies. We have some discipline that has to be maintained. When any comrade leaves our fold, we discuss the reasons behind the exit. We will do so in this case as well," he said.
Sources indicate that Kumar had demanded a more senior role within the CPI in Bihar and a say over selecting candidates for elections.
However, Raja said no such demand was made to him.
The CPI's national council is scheduled to meet on October 2 where Kumar's exit and related issues will be discussed, sources said. -- PTI
21:38 Complete ban on crackers in Delhi up to Jan 1
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee on Tuesday ordered a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2022.
According to the order, several experts have indicated a possibility of another surge of COVID-19 and largescale celebrations by bursting of firecrackers will result not only in agglomeration of people in violation of social distancing norms but also a high level of air pollution leading to serious health issues in Delhi.
The bursting of firecrackers under the prevalent pandemic crisis is not favourable for the cause of larger community health given the significant relationship between air pollution and respiratory infections, it said.
'There will be a 'complete ban' on bursting and sale of all kinds of firecrackers up to 1.1.2022 in the territory of NCT of Delhi,' the DPCC's order stated.
The DPCC has also asked district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to implement the directions and submit daily action taken reports to it. -- PTI
21:06 Kejriwal launches 'Deshbhakti' school curriculum
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday launched 'Desh bhakti Curriculum' in a programme organised at Chhatrasal Stadium in the national capital.
The curriculum, launched for all the government schools in Delhi, is aimed at instilling patriotism among students.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the curriculum, made after two years of hard work, will prove to be a milestone in education.
'We are preparing money machines in our colleges today. We have to stop this. A true 'Desh Bhakt' is the one who works for the country, not for the money,' stated Kejriwal.
'Till now, our education system prepared competent professionals like engineers and lawyers but now we will prepare patriotic professionals through this curriculum,' he added.
Kejriwal further said that the curriculum will invoke a feeling of patriotism in the students who have been running behind the money till now.
'This curriculum is a beginning. You will see everybody embracing this idea across the country soon,' he stated.
Earlier on August 15, the chief minister made an announcement to launch the 'Deshbhakti Cirriculum' during the flag hoisting ceremony.
According to the Delhi government's education department, there will be one patriotic period every day for class nursery to 8 and once a week for classes 9 to 12 once the schools reopen completely in the national capital.
Three nodal teachers have been appointed in every school to ensure proper implementation of the patriotic curriculum, one each for class nursery to 5th, class 6th to 8th and class 9th to 12th, informed the statement.
In order to train the nodal teachers, an orientation programme is to be organised by NCERT for all these nodal teachers from September 29 to October 5, in which they will be trained on how the feeling of patriotism can be inculcated in the children.
During these patriotic classes, students will begin the period with the meditation of five minutes and will be asked to remember any five freedom fighters to pay their gratitude towards them. -- ANI
20:59 Antilia bomb scare: Don't discharge Waze till Wed, court tells hospital
A special court in Mumbai on Tuesday directed the hospital where dismissed policeman Sachin Waze is admitted post his open heart surgery to not discharge him until his application on house custody is decided.
After the hospital informed court that Waze, an accused in the Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case, can be discharged on September 28, he had moved an application through his lawyer Raunak Naik on Tuesday seeking that he not be discharged till his application on house custody, filed last week, is decided.
Waze has asked court to allow him house custody for recovery post his heart surgery, but the National Investigation Agency has opposed it claiming he may abscond.
On Tuesday, Special Judge AT Wankhede directed the hospital to withhold Waze's discharge till Wednesday, when his application will be heard further.
Waze and nine others were arrested after an explosives-laden vehicle was found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's south Mumbai home on February 25, and a Thane-based businessman, Mansukh Hiran, who had claimed the vehicle was stolen from him, was found dead on March 5. -- PTI
The fluctuations in rupee vs US dollar during the past week.
20:13 Suspension of scheduled intl flights extended till Oct 31
The coronavirus-induced suspension of scheduled international passenger flights has been extended till October 31, India's aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Tuesday.
'However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis,' the DGCA added.
Scheduled international passenger services have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May 2020 and under bilateral 'air bubble' arrangements with selected countries since July 2020.
India has formed air bubble pacts with approximately 28 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Bhutan and France.
Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.
The DGCA circular also said that the suspension does not affect the operation of international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by it. -- PTI
19:15 Punjab minister quits in 'solidarity' with Sidhu
Razia Sultana resigned as the Punjab Cabinet minister on Tuesday, just hours after Navjot Singh Sidhu quit as the state Congress chief.
In her resignation letter to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Sultana said she is resigning 'in solidarity with Navjot Singh Sidhu'.
Sultana is considered close to Sidhu.
Her husband Mohd Mustafa, who is a former Indian Police Service officer, is a principal strategic adviser to Sidhu.
Earlier in the day, Sultana was given the charge of the water supply and sanitation, social security, women and child development, printing and stationery departments.
She used to hold the transport department in the Amarinder Singh-led government. -- PTI
18:55 Govt orders Rs 50,000 ex gratia to kin of Covid victims
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued an order for ex gratia of Rs 50,000 for next to kin of those who died of COVID-19.
The ministry, in its letter to the chief secretaries of all states, said that the amount would be disbursed from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
This comes as Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by lawyer-cum-petitioner, Gaurav Kumar Bansal, seeking an ex gratia compensation for those family members, who died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The central government had informed the top court that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) recommended an amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia to be paid to families of those who died of COVID-19 including those who involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities subject to cause of death being certified as COVID-19.
In an affidavit filed before the top court the Centre had said NDMA proposed the amount, which has to be distributed by state governments from the SDRF.
The MHA, in its letter, said that 'Rs 50,000 per deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities, subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID-19 as per guidelines jointly issued by the ministry of health and family welfare and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)'.
The MHA also said that this ex gratia assistance will be applicable from the date of first COVID-19 case reported in the country and will continue till de-notification of COVID-19 as a disaster or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
The Centre on March 14 this year has declared COVID-19 as a 'notified disaster'.
As per Union health ministry, India's death toll due to COVID-19 stands at 4,47,373. -- ANI
18:21 Not meeting any politician: Amarinder in Delhi
Former Punjab Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh who arrived in the national capital on Tuesday said that he has come to Delhi to vacate Kapurthala House, further clarifying that he is not going to meet any politician during his visit.
Speaking to reporters at the Delhi airport, Singh said, 'I am here to vacate Kapurthala House (the official residence of Punjab chief minister in New Delhi). I am not going to meet any politician here.'
Further responding to a question on Punjab Congress Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation today, the former Chief Minister said, 'This man (Navjot Singh Sidhu) is unstable.'
Amid various speculations over Singh's Delhi visit, his media advisor Raveen Thukral had earlier in the day said that the former is on a personal visit to the national capital.
'Too much being read into Cap Amarinder Singh's visit to Delhi. He's on a personal visit, during which he'll meet some friends and also vacate Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation,' said Thukral in a tweet today.
This is Captain Amarinder Singh's first visit to the national capital after his resignation as the Punjab chief minister on September 18. -- ANI
18:19 No natural gas leak in Navi Mumbai, says MGL following complaints
Mahanagar Gas has announced that complaints of gas smell in Navi Mumbai were investigated but it has not found any leakage of natural gas.
'It has been receiving complaints of gas smell from various parts of Navi Mumbai since around 2 pm on 28th September 2021.
'Our emergency teams equipped with gas detection equipment have visited few areas from where such complaints were received.
'The gas detection equipment have not indicated any natural gas leakage.
'We have also not come across any breach in our pipeline system which could result in leakage of gas,' MGL tweeted.
18:13 Cyclone Gulab: Depression weakens into low pressure area
The intensity of Cyclone Gulab weakened into a well-marked low-pressure area over western parts of Vidarbha and neighbourhood, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed on Tuesday.
'Depression (remnant of Cyclonic Storm 'GULAB') weakened into a well marked low pressure area over western parts of Vidarbha and neighbourhood,' tweeted the weather agency.
National Disaster Response Force on Monday informed that a team of NDRF has been deployed in Osmanabad ahead of Cyclone Gulab.
India Meteorological Department also informed, 'Depression lay centred over Telangana and adjoining areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha to weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area during next six hours.'
Earlier, on Monday, the IMD informed that the Cyclonic storm 'Gulab' has weakened into a depression.
A red alert was sounded in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh for a cyclonic warning, and fishermen were alerted to stay away from the sea by the IMD on Sunday. -- ANI
IMAGE: NDRF personnel during a restoration work caused by Cyclone Gulab, in Kalingapatnam on Monday. Photograph: ANI Photo
Jignesh Mewani with Kanhaiya Kumar (right)
17:57 India can't survive without Cong: Kanhaiya Kumar
Ex-CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar on why he joined the Congress:
"Congress party is like a big ship, if it's saved, I believe many people's aspirations, Mahatma Gandhi's oneness, Bhagat Singh's courage and BR Ambedkar's idea of equality will be protected too. This is why I have joined it...
"I am joining Congress because it's not just a party, it's an idea. It's country's oldest and most democratic party, and I am emphasising on 'democratic'...Not just me many think that country can't survive without Congress..."
Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani joined Congress in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
17:42 2 Mumbai metro lines to be operational in 4 months
Mumbai Metro's red line 7 and yellow line 2A are likely be operational within the next three to four months, informed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Tuesday.
Speaking to ANI, MMRDA Commissioner DVR Shrinivas, who earlier inspected the ongoing work and was briefed by the officials regarding the same, expressed hope that the project will be finished within the next couple of months.
"I do not want to make any announcement regarding a deadline as we are already late by over two years. These lines were supposed to be functional in December 2019 but it got delayed for various reasons," he stated.
"I hope that these lines will be operational for the public in the next three to four months and two more lines will be in service within the next half a year," he added.
17:18 Kanhaiya Kumar, Mevani join Cong, meet Rahul
Former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani today joined the Congress.
They were inducted at a function at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi.
Kanhaiya Kumar was earlier with the Communist Party of India which he joined ahead of the 2019 general election. He then contested from his hometown Begusarai in Bihar against the BJP's Giriraj Singh of the BJP but failed to win.
Jignesh Mevani is a legislator from Gujarat's Vadgam constituency and the key to the Congress's poll arithmetic ahead of next year's Assembly election in that state.
Pic: Sahil Salvi
16:58 Heavy rains in Mumbai; train services unaffected
Heavy rains lashed Mumbai and suburbs on Tuesday but no major water-logging is reported so far and public transport services, including suburban trains, also remained unaffected, officials said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an "orange alert" indicating "thunderstorm with lightning, gusty winds, and very heavy rainfall at isolated places" for Mumbai and neighbouring areas for Tuesday.
The Mumbai Regional Meteorological Centre had issued a newcast warning of "likely moderate to intense spells of rain at isolated places" in the districts of Mumbai and neighbouring Palghar, Thane, and Raigad during the next 3-4 hours.
"Possibility of thunder/lightning accompanied with gusty winds in some areas. Take precautions while moving out," the warning stated. Mumbai has been receiving heavy showers since this afternoon, but no major untoward incident was reported in the city and suburbs so far, according to officials.
A civic official said no incident of a major water-logging was reported despite heavy showers in Mumbai. Public transport services are also running normally, he added.
"It's raining heavily in suburban and ghat sections. But, local and long-distance trains are running as per time table," Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, Central Railway said.
16:40 Punjab CM on Amarinder's Delhi trip: Koi gal nahi
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi on the developments in his state:
On former CM Amarinder Singh leaving for Delhi to reportedly meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah: "Koi gal nahi (no matter)," Captain Sahab has been our CM, no problem... He must have gone there (Delhi) to discuss Punjab issues.
On being asked about Navjot Singh Sidhu's resignation as Punjab Congress chief: I have no information. I have full confidence and faith in (Navjot Singh) Sidhu Sahab.
On Navjot Singh Sidhu being upset over bureaucratic set up and his commands not being followed after cabinet expansion in Punjab: "It will be settled if he is upset...though he is not upset with me..."
Sidhu with Punjab CM Charanjit Channi
16:11 Sidhu couldn't stand Dalit as Punjab CM: AAP
The drama continues in Punjab politics. The AAP finds its own answer for the abrupt resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu as Punjab Congress president.
The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday claimed that Navjot Singh Sidhu quit from his post as he 'could not bear" that a Dalit has been made the chief minister of the state.
Sidhu on Tuesday resigned as the chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee ahead of the Assembly elections in the state early next year. In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu, however, said he will continue to serve the party.
He had taken over as the state party chief in July this year.
"This shows that Navjot Singh Sidhu is against Dalits. One poor son was made the chief minister... this, Sidhu could not bear. It is very sad," AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj told reporters.
The AAP is the main opposition in Punjab. In his letter to Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu wrote, "The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab," he wrote in the letter. -- PTI
15:53 Told you so... Sidhu's unstable: Amarinder
Former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh tweets after the resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu as Punjab Congress President.
"I told you so... He is not a stable man and not fit for the border state of Punjab," Singh tweeted.
Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday resigned as the chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.
In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu, however, said he will continue to serve the party. Sidhu had taken over as the state party chief in July this year.
"The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner, I can never compromise on Punjab's future and the agenda for the welfare of Punjab," he wrote in the letter. "Therefore, I hereby resign as the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress," he further wrote.
Prof Eric A Hanushek and Dr Rukmini Banerji
15:46 Pratham CEO Dr Rukmini Banerji awarded Yidan Prize
Pratham CEO Dr Rukmini Banerji is this years recipient of the prestigious Yidan Prize for Education Development for her work on improving childrens learning levels.
Eric A Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna -- Senior Fellow and Professor, Hoover Institution of Stanford University, are the other recipients of the prize.
Each laureate is awarded HK$ 30 million -- approximately US$ 3.9 million-- half of which is a project fund to help them scale up their work.
The Yidan Prize is the world's highest education accolade.
The prize is in recognition of their ground-breaking work addressing a crucial piece of the education puzzle: improving quality of education and outcomes for learners at scale.
Pratham is an innovative learning organization created to improve the quality of education in India. Established in 1995 to provide education to children in the slums of Mumbai, Pratham has grown in both scope and scale, with programs today reaching children and youth across the country.
15:14 Navjot Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress chief
Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab Congress chief but remains in the Congress party.
In a letter to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu wrote, "The collapse of a man's character stems from the compromise corner." (A bit of Sidhu-ism there)
He added that he can never compromise with Punjab's future and the welfare of the state.
This, as former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh has left for New Delhi to meet Sonia Gandhi, on what is being called a courtesy visit.
15:00 Capt Amarinder Singh to meet Sonia in Delhi
The Congress party will be keenly watching Captain Amarinder Singh's visit to Delhi.
Singh, who will be in Delhi today is likely to be in the national capital for two days.
He will be visiting AICC chief Sonia Gandhi in what is being termed a courtesy call.
Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to Capt Amarinder Singh, said, "Too much being read into Cap Amarinder Singh's visit to Delhi. He's on a personal visit, during which he'll meet some friends and also vacate the Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation."
Amarinder had resigned amid a bitter power tussle with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
After resigning as Punjab chief minister, Amarinder Singh had said he felt 'humiliated'.
Later he had also called Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra inexperienced.
He had also dubbed Sidhu as "anti-national" and "dangerous", saying he would pit a strong candidate against the state party chief in the upcoming assembly polls.
14:33 Pooja Bhatt marks five years of sobriety
Actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt on Tuesday celebrated five years of abstinence from alcohol and credited her sobriety for keeping her "afloat" through emotional upheavals.
Bhatt took to Instagram and penned a note, describing how sobriety has been life changing for her.
For the longest time, the 49-year-old actor said she had chased love in all corners but when the universe "introduced" her to sobriety, it became "the love of my life". "And the need for validation from any other source ebbed. A demanding yet fulfilling lover, sobriety breaks down your defences, bares and reveals your soul, calls out any and all bulls***, yet clasps your hand tight and ensures you make it through many uncertain nights.
"Filling your dawn with such unimaginable light when you do the most revolutionary thing-say no to yourself," she wrote.
Bhatt, known for her starring turns in acclaimed films of the 1990s like "Daddy", "Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin", and "Zakhm", has been vocal about her struggles with alcohol.
She had previously said she quit drinking because she thought she had fallen into the "trap of addiction myself and the only way to get out of it was to acknowledge it to myself".
In her Instagram post, Bhatt said it has been almost five years of her being sober and called it a "deeply gratifying relationship".
"One that has helped me weather many vicious storms, kept me afloat through great loss and grounded through a supposed revival of fortune and fame. There is no room for a third in my life at this point. My priority for the first time ever, is myself.
"My emotional health comes first. Sobriety, recovery gets first priority. And because recovery, like love, is selfish no matter what people say, my choice is clear- it is single blessedness all the way." -- PTI
14:10 Anil Vij post-Covid complications? Anil Vij hospitalised
Haryana minister Anil Vij was admitted to the AIIMS in New Delhi after he complained of breathing difficulties, sources said on Tuesday.
Vij, who holds the home and health portfolios in the Haryana cabinet, was admitted to a private ward of the hospital under AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria for investigations on Monday night, they said.
A team of doctors is monitoring his conditions. "He has complaints of breathlessness, which could be part of post-Covid complications," a doctor said. PTI
14:00 Bhowanipore Junction
Bhowanipore would be knitting its brows in disapproval right now, that is if it were a person instead of a para.
To be spoken of in the same breath as a gram! To be referred to like a mere punctuation -- ahead of Bhowanipore, X resigns, Y kicked upstairs.
There's that thing Trinamul's Abhishek Banerjee said while campaigning. "Bh- for Bhowanipore. Bh- for Bharat. If we win Bhowanipore, we shall also win Bharat.'
The air is frenzied.
There is a sense that Bhowanipore has only just burst into public memory and is standing on the brink of history. As if to say that all this while it was a nowhere no-place with not a connection or story worth the boast.
Read more here.
Major General Virendra Vats
13:37 Army reveals 9-day LeT encounter in Uri
Major General Virendra Vats, GOC, 19 Infantry Division, in Uri, on the terror module being busted in Uri sector:
-- An operation was carried out over nine days along the LoC in Uri sector. It started on September 18, when our patrol along LoC detected infiltration movement.
-- When the encounter took place, two infiltrators came across the border, while four were on the other side.
-- On September 25, an encounter ensued, during which one terrorist neutralised, another was caught. The surrendered terrorist in custody identified himself as Ali Babar Patra, of Pakistan's Punjab. He has admitted he is a member of LeT and was trained by them in Muzaffarabad.
-- After the firefight, the four terrorists on the Pakistani side took advantage of the dense foliage and went back to the Pakistani side. Two terrorists sneaked into the Indian side. Additional forces were mobilised to cordon the two terrorists infiltrated into India.
-- It's also been revealed that this infiltration group was supported from Pak side by three porters who had come till LoC along with supplies.
-- Movement of such large group of people can't take place without active complicity of Pakistani Army deployed on the other side.
-- This infiltration attempt was made in the area of Salamabad nallah. It's the same area through which we've had a history of infiltration in 2016, that's when a suicide attack at Uri Garrison took place.
The "Uri attacks" refers to the grenade attacks carried out by four terrorists near the town of Uri.
It was one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in Kashmir in two decades and was planned by the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
17 army personnel were killed during the attack.
13:17 Inmates bang their heads on walls in Delhi jail
In a bizarre incident around 25 inmates deliberately inflicted self-injuries at the Mandoli Jail in the national capital, jail officials claimed.
The incident took place in Jail number 11 on Monday as inmates banged their heads and injured themselves after two inmates were prevented from stepping outside their ward.
On not being permitted the two inmates self-inflicted minor injuries on themselves and also instigated other inmates to do the same.
Several inmates sustained minor injuries and one inmate was shifted to hospital for treatment. He has since then been sent to jail after receiving treatment for his injuries.
According to jail officials, one prisoner was shifted to the hospital for treatment upon inflicting major injuries. However, he was sent back to jail after treatment.
12:29 WHO asks Bharat Biotech for data, vax nod delayed
The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked for more data from Bharat Biotech for its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. The Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the vaccine will be delayed by a few more days, WHO says.
The WHO has raised some more questions on Covaxin and the queries have been sent to Bharat Biotech for further clarification.
Although a set of technical queries have been sent by the international health watchdog, a source in the WHO said that its a routine process and theres no concern in the matter.
The approval for the made-in-India vaccine is much awaited, especially by students, medical tourists, business travellers and people, who have international travel plans.
12:19 Can't say when Biden will call Imran: White House
A senior White House official has said that she cannot "predict" when President Joe Biden would make a call to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan though there has been high-level engagements between the two countries.
Prime Minister Khan during recent interviews to the American media has complained that a "busy" President Biden has not bothered to speak to him though Washington was seeking Pakistan's support in stabilising Afghanistan.
Replying to a question during the daily briefing on Monday on whether there could be a call from Biden to Khan at some point soon, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "I don't have anything to predict."
A senior White House official has said that she cannot "predict" when President Joe Biden would make a call to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan though there has been high-level engagements between the two countries.
Prime Minister Khan during recent interviews to the American media has complained that a "busy" President Biden has not bothered to speak to him though Washington was seeking Pakistan's support in stabilising Afghanistan.
Replying to a question during the daily briefing on Monday on whether there could be a call from Biden to Khan at some point soon, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "I don't have anything to predict at this point in time. If they do a call, we will of course read it out to all of you."
The media, during the briefing, highlighted that as President Biden was meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Khan took to the stage at the UN and delivered some "scathing criticism of the US' actions in Afghanistan and he lamented the lack of direct engagement between himself and President Biden. this point in time. If they do a call, we will of course read it out to all of you."
The media, during the briefing, highlighted that as President Biden was meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Khan took to the stage at the UN and delivered some "scathing criticism of the US' actions in Afghanistan and he lamented the lack of direct engagement between himself and President Biden.
12:01 Modi launches 35 crop varieties with boosters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched 35 crop varieties with special traits -- developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) -- to address the twin challenges of climate change and malnutrition.
The new crop varieties were dedicated to the nation through a video conference organised at all ICAR institutes, state and central agricultural universities and Krishi Vighyan Kendra.
According to the PMO, 35 crop varieties with special traits like climate resilience and higher nutrient-content have been developed in 2021.
These include a drought tolerant variety of chickpea, wilt and sterility mosaic resistant pigeonpea, early maturing variety of soybean, disease resistant varieties of rice and biofortified varieties of wheat, pearl millet, maize and chickpea, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean and fava bean.
These special traits crop varieties also include those that address the anti-nutritional factors found in some crops that adversely affect human and animal health. -- PTI
11:30 J-K Police bust LeT terrorist hideout in Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested two terrorist associates in Pulwama and busted a terrorist hideout in Rajourikadal area in Srinagar district, officials said on Tuesday.
The Srinagar Police with the assistance of Pulwama Police and Army's 50 RR arrested two overground workers (OGWs) of terrorists from South Kashmir's Pulwama district.
The statement further said that on further interrogation an input confirmed the presence of Riyaz Sathrgund (LeT Commander) was developed.
Reportedly Riyaz has asked them to build a hideout in Rajourikadal area of Nowhatta Srinagar.
Acting on this information, a cordon and search operation (CASO) was launched early morning along with CRPF personnel and the hideout was discovered.
"However, the hideout was empty. The owner of the house has been brought to the police station and further investigation is underway," said the police.
11:15 Punjab to give jobs to kin of dead farmers
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has asked ministers to visit the houses of deceased farmers and deliver appointment letters for government jobs to their family members, said a press release from the chief minister office on Monday.
The CM said, "Nearly 155 appointments are ready for the family of farmers who died during the anti-farm laws protest."
He asked the ministers to deliver the letters within a week. He also asked the Chief Secretary to ensure verification of other remaining such cases expeditiously so as to complete the process of giving jobs to the eligible next of kin.
Terming the farm laws as anti-farmers and anti-food security, Channi said that they are a potent threat to their livelihood and future generations.
The CM also said, "Earlier resolutions passed by the state Assembly in support of the state farmers' demand to repeal these black laws should be conceded by the Government of India forthwith without any further delay." -- ANI
10:50 Matter of pride: PM on BJP getting 1st RS seat from Pudu
With the BJP getting its first Rajya Sabha member from Puducherry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that it was a matter of immense pride for every member of the party.
He also congratulated Union ministers Sarbananda Sonowal and L Murugan on being elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
In a tweet, Modi said, "It is a matter of immense pride for every BJP Karyakarta that our Party has got its first ever Rajya Sabha MP from Puducherry in Shri S. Selvaganabathy Ji. The trust placed in us by the people of Puducherry is humbling. We will keep working for Puducherry's progress."
He added, "Congratulations to my Ministerial colleagues, Shri @sarbanandsonwal Ji and Shri @Murugan_MoS Ji on being elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam and Madhya Pradesh respectively. I am confident that they will enrich Parliamentary proceedings and further our agenda of public good". The AINRC-BJP alliance is in power in the union territory of Puducherry. PTI
10:28 Bypolls to 3 LS, 30 assembly seats on Oct 30: EC
Bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats and 30 assembly constituencies spread across various states will be held on October 30, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday.
The counting of votes will take place on November 2.
"The Commission has reviewed the situation related to pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances and it has decided to hold by-elections to fill vacancies in three Parliamentary Constituencies of UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and 30 vacancies in Assembly constituencies of various states," the EC said in a statement. -- PTI
10:18 US needs better ties with India to keep China, Taliban under check: Congressman
The United States needs to strengthen its relationship with India to keep China and the Taliban under check, an influential Republican lawmaker said on Monday.
The remarks come days after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here during which he held a meeting with President Joe Biden and attended the historic in-person Quad Summit.
"Providing India with needed military equipment to balance against China and now the Taliban in Afghanistan should be our first step in strengthening a defense partnership with India," Congressman Mark Green wrote in an op-ed in Real Clear Defense.
The Republican lawmaker represents the seventh Congressional District of Tennessee in the US House of Representatives.
"To combat the rise of China, the United States must strengthen its defense partnership with India," he said.
Green said he has been encouraged by the growing alliance between India and the United States since the resurgence of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in 2017, and his hope is that India remains central to President Biden's Indo-Pacific strategy.
"By helping India upgrade its defense systems, the US can empower India to defend itself and provide security in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific region. This is all the more important since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban," he wrote.
Over the past 15 years, the official said the US and India have done USD 20 billion worth defense deals, but this is no longer enough.
When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan and Afghan security forces collapsed, the Taliban were all but gifted with over USD 80 billion in US military equipment, he said.
Veteran Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro resigns
09:59 Cong can't keep sitting with eyes closed: Alvi on latest exit
Congress leader Rashid Alvi has said that the party should think why some prominent faces have left the party and there is a need to make the party strong.
"Leaders leaving the Congress is unfortunate but the party needs to rethink. We cannot keep sitting with our eyes closed. The party needs to think about why people are leaving the Congress. We need to think and make the Congress strong. If the Congress becomes weak then the country will also become weak," Alvi, a former MP, told ANI.
On Monday, veteran Congress leader and former Goa Chief Minister of Goa Luizinho Faleiro resigned from the party.
VM Sudheeran, a senior party leader in Kerala, has also resigned from the All India Congress Committee.
Former chief of Mahila Congress Sushmita Dev and former union minister Jitin Prasada had also resigned from the party over the past few months.
09:32 Modi to chair Council of Ministers meeting today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to chair a meeting of Council of Ministers today, news agency ANI reported.
The meeting comes after Modi's 3-day United States visit where he met US President Joe Biden for the first time since the former assumed office.
09:26 Road in Agra renamed after late VHP leader Ashok Singhal
A road in Agra, known till now as 'Ghatia Azam Khan', has been renamed after late Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal, who was born in a house located on the same stretch, the city mayor said on Monday.
Agra Mayor Naveen Jain said the proposal to change the name was proposed by Jagdeesh Pachori, a corporator from Shaheed Nagar ward in Agra, and it was accepted during the 13th session of the executive committee of Agra Nagar Nigam organised in the Smart City, Agra office premises.
Jain highlighted that late Ashok Singhal was born on September 27, 1926 at a house located on the road in Agra. "In his youth, he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and continued his studies. He graduated from the Institute of Technology of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1950. After that, he joined the RSS as a full-time pracharak," he added.
Singhal joined the VHP in 1981 and was in the public eye during the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, Jain said, adding that the VHP leader played a key role in forming a 'Dharm Sansad' in 1984.
Singhal died in 2015 at the age of 89.
Regarding the resolution in the civic body, the mayor said, "The members of the executive committee passed the proposal of the changing of the name from 'Ghatia Azam Khan' to 'Late Ashok Singhal' road with full majority. Besides, proposals to change the names of other roads were also passed during the executive meeting.�
Corporator Pachori told PTI, "On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Late Ashok Singhal, the road in Agra would be known by his name. Today was his birth anniversary. During the executive committee meeting, the proposal was accepted and passed as well."
"As this proposal was presented in the session, it was accepted by the members and passed with full majority. It is a matter of pride for us that the road would be known by his name," the corporator added.
During the meeting, proposals to change the names of various other roads in the city were also cleared. "Now, Kehrai Mod Crossing would be known as Shaheed Kaushal Kumar Rawat, and the name of Shastripuram Crossing to Chitragupta Crossing was also passed," Mayor Jain said.
Besides, one of the corporators proposed to change the name of a shelter house in Agra, known as 'Kanzi House' to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Maweshi Grah. "A road from Kidwai Park to the old post office in Raja Ki Mandi was changed to the name of Tantya Tope," the mayor said. -- PTI
08:46 Taliban ban barbers from trimming beards in Afghan province
The Taliban have banned hairdressers in Afghanistan's Helmand province from shaving or trimming beards, a media report said.
"The Taliban have banned stylish hairstyles and shaving beards in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan," The Frontier Post reported citing the Taliban's letter.
The publication further stated that officials from the Ministry of Islamic Orientation, at a meeting with representatives of men's hairdressing salons in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, advised against styling hair and shaving beards.
The order, distributed on social networks, also contains a request not to play music or hymns on the premises of hairdressing salons, The Frontier Post reported.
Meanwhile, the Taliban is re-imposing repressive laws and retrograde policies. They are imposing laws that defined its 1996-2001 rule when they enforced their version of Islamic Sharia law.
Amid reports of large-scale human rights violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the outfit earlier had put on public display the bodies of four people who were killed after they allegedly carried out a kidnapping in the western city of Herat.
08:17 Joe Biden gets COVID-19 vaccine booster shot
United States President Joe Biden received his COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at the White House on Monday.
Biden got a third Pfizer dose after booster doses were approved by federal health officials.
"We know that to beat this pandemic and to save lives, to keep our children safe, our schools open, our economy going, we need to get folks vaccinated," Biden said during remarks ahead of his shot.
"So, please, please do the right thing. Please get these shots. It can save your life and it can save the lives of those around you," he said.
Biden received his first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of his inauguration in January.
Biden joked about how he is "way over" the age of 65, which is part of the reason he is eligible for the shot.
He said he didn't have any side effects after getting his first or second COVID-19 vaccine shots.
"If you fall under these categories, you're eligible for the booster. Now, I know it doesn't look like it, but I am over 65 -- I wish I -- way over. And that's why I'm getting my booster shot today," the White House said in a statement.
"Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated," Biden said.
"The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. Over 77 per cent of adults have gotten at least one shot. About 23 per cent haven't gotten any shots, and that -- that distinct minority is causing an awful lot of us an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country," he said.
"This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That's why I'm moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can," he added.
00:24 Cyclone Gulab: Waterlogging at Vizag airport
Visakhapatnam International Airport on Monday witnessed severe waterlogging following heavy rainfall due to cyclone 'Gulab' in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh.
Airport Director K Srinivasa Rao stated that the waterlogging took place in some other areas after water was released from Meghadri Gedda Reservoir and heavy rainfall due to cyclone.
"As a precautionary measure, fight boardings were delayed for some time but are normal now," he said.
Cyclone Gulab is likely to move nearly westwards and weaken further into a depression during the next 12 hours, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday. -- ANI
IMAGE: Visakhapatnam International Airport witnesses severe waterlogging following heavy rainfall due to cyclone 'Gulab' in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, on Monday. Photograph: ANI Photo