Tue, 07 June 2022
Jaishankar to meet Iranian FM on Wednesday
23:57 Jaishankar to meet Iranian FM on Wednesday
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is scheduled to hold talks with his visiting Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday amid widespread anger in West Asian countries over controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad made by two former BJP spokespersons.
Abdollahian is paying a three-day visit to India with an aim to further enhance bilateral ties.
It is the first visit to India by a senior minister of a member nation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation after the controversial remarks triggered anguish in the Arab world.
His visit, beginning Tuesday night, comes two days after Iran joined Kuwait and Qatar in summoning the Indian ambassadors over the remarks against Prophet Mohammad by Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.
Since then, several countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Bahrain, Maldives, Malaysia, Oman, Iraq and Libya denounced the comments. -- PTI
23:34 Parliamentary panel summons Maha DGP, chief secy on Navneet Rana's complaint
Lok Sabha's privilege committee has summoned chief secretary, DGP and other officials of the Maharashtra government to appear before it on June 15 in connection with a complaint filed by independent MP Navneet Rana alleging "illegal arrest and inhuman treatment meted out to her" by the Mumbai police.
MP Navneet Rana and her husband Ravi Rana, an independent MLA from Maharashtra, were arrested on April 23 by the Mumbai police after they announced that they would recite anuman Chalisa' outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's private residence Matoshree'.
The couple was released from jail on May 5 after getting bail, and thereafter Navneet Rana appeared before the privilege committee on May 23.
The committee has called chief secretary and director general of Maharashtra police over Navneet Rana's complaint "alleging patently illegal arrest and the consequent inhuman treatment meted out to her in Khar police station, Mumbai," to appear before it on June 15, according to a notice of the committee. -- PTI
23:20 Train mishap delays Rajdhani Express in Bengal
Four wheels of a compartment of a MEMU passenger train got derailed at Asansol station on Tuesday evening, causing a delay in running of two Rajdhani Express trains by half an hour each, an Eastern Railway official said in Kolkata.
No one was injured in the incident as the train was leaving a platform in Asansol station at a very low speed, ER spokesperson Ekalabya Chakraborty said.
Four wheels of the rear coach of the Asansol-Bokaro MEMU train got derailed while leaving a platform at 6.10 pm, he said.
"This led to delay of half an hour each of Howrah-New Delhi and Sealdah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express trains," Chakraborty said.
Train services were normalised by 7.45 pm after the wheels were put back on tracks, he said. -- PTI
23:05 BJP youth wing leader held for anti-Prophet post
The Kanpur police on Tuesday arrested Bharatiya Janata Party's youth wing leader Harshit Srivastava for derogatory comments on Prophet Muhammad, in view of recent clashes in the district.
A case has been registered against the BJP leader over his controversial tweet, which now stands deleted.
"Harshit Srivastava was arrested while taking immediate action after registering a case for his controversial tweet. Those who disturb the peace of the city, irrespective of religion, will not be spared," said the police.
This comes three days after a violent clash broke out between two groups belonging to different communities allegedly over a market shutdown in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
Two persons and one policeman were injured in the aftermath of the clashes.
The violence started after some people tried to shut down shops which were opposed by the other group, said the police. -- ANI
22:35 8 Cong MLAs in Rajasthan may cross-vote in RS polls: Subhash Chandra
BJP-backed Independent candidate Subhash Chandra on Tuesday claimed that eight Congress MLAs may vote for him in the Rajya Sabha polls and asked former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot to also cross sides.
This would be an opportunity for Pilot to avenge his "humiliation", the media baron told reporters. Pilot had rebelled against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot two years ago, plunging the Congress government in the state into a crisis.
Following the rebellion, Pilot was removed from the posts of the deputy chief minister and the state Congress president.
"This is an opportunity to take revenge or to give a message. If he misses this opportunity, he will not be able to become the chief minister till 2028," Chandra said as he claimed that Pilot is feeling "humiliated" in the party.
Apparently referring to the Congress, he said, "It is my guess that eight MLAs will cross-vote. They will cross-vote not because they have affection towards Chandra but due to the behaviour of the government and the kind of humiliation."
The Independent candidate made the statement in the wake of the ruling Congress expressing fears of horse trading by the BJP ahead of the elections to four seats of the Rajya Sabha from the state. -- PTI
22:24 BJP leader among 12 held for Kanpur violence
The police in Kanpur arrested a local Bharatiya Janata Party leader and 12 others in connection with the Kanpur violence, taking the total number of those held to 51, a senior official said.
Around 10 more suspects have been detained for questioning.
Besides, a 16-year-old boy walked into the Colonelganj police station and surrendered after his picture appeared on posters put up by police, DCP (East) Pramod Kumar said.
Former district secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha Harshit Srivastava has been arrested for posting inflammatory content on social media platforms, ADGP (law and order) Prashant Kumar said.
Violence had erupted in parts of Kanpur after Friday prayers as members of two communities indulged in brick-batting and hurled bombs over attempts to shut shops in protest against "insulting" comments on Prophet Mohammed by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate.
The Kotwali police on Tuesday lodged another FIR against people behind two Facebook accounts and three Twitter handles for spreading "fake and inflammatory content" about the June 3 violence, pushing the number of such users booked so far to 13, Pramod Kumar said.
The FIR has been registered against the operators of the Twitter handles "Duggalsahab15", "shivaisrael" and "AkhandBharat", and two Facebook account holders Abu Zaid and Kaushal Patel, the DCP said.
The district administration has sealed a petrol pump situated nearby the Deputy Padav crossing after a CCTV footage showed people taking fuel in bottles from the filling station ahead of the Friday clashes, said another senior official. -- PTI
21:53 Nick Jonas rushed to hospital after sustaining injuries during softball game
American actor and singer Nick Jonas sustained injuries while playing softball on Sunday.
Now, videos of the Jonas Brother Singer getting into an emergency room has gone viral on social media.
Page Six shared the video, in which Nick can be seen limping into the hospital along with his older brother Kevin.
According to the news outlet, Nick was several innings into a softball game when he appeared to be hit in the groin with the ball.
Resharing the video on Instagram, fans have wished him a speedy recovery.
A fan wrote, "Ouch... I hope he feel better soon and he can perform this week on Las Vegas".
Another user wrote, "Hope he feel better soon".
Nick is often seen playing softball with his friends and family on weekends.
Wife Priyanka Chopra, who is currently in Paris, has been spotted alongside Nick before his softball games.
Priyanka attended a Bulgari launch event last night, for which she was also joined by actor Anne Hathaway and singer Lisa. -- ANI
21:20 Moosewala killing: Lawyers won't defend accused
The district bar association of Mansa in Punjab has decided not to defend any accused in the murder case of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, officials said on Tuesday.
A resolution in his effect was passed by the district bar association, said one of its members.
"We have decided that nobody from the bar association of Mansa will appear on behalf of the accused in the murder case," said the member in Mansa.
Moosewala was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Mansa on May 29.
The district bar association of Mansa has also appealed to bar associations of Punjab and Haryana not to defend the accused in the Mooselwala murder case, the member further said.
The bar association also said that it stands by the family of Moosewala.
The Punjab police on Tuesday said it has arrested eight persons so far in connection with the brutal murder of the famous Punjabi singer. -- PTI
20:48 Madras HC stays defamation cases against Arappor Iyakkam, Google
A division bench of the Madras high court on Tuesday stayed further proceedings on three defamation cases filed by KCP Infra Limited in Coimbatore and others demanding Rs 1 crore each from non-governmental organisation Arappor Iyakkam, Google and YouTube, which were pending before a single judge.
The bench of Justices M Dhandapani and Sundar Mohan, which granted the stay while passing interim orders on the appeals from Arappor Iyakkam, posted the matter for further hearing on July 20 with a direction to KCP Infra and other respondents to file their counters.
Alleging corruption in the award of tenders by the corporations in Chennai and Coimbatore, in which former minister SP Velumani and others were allegedly involved, Arappor Iyakkam lodged a complaint before the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption in September, 2018.
It also conducted a press meet in this connection.
The details were subsequently published as postings in Facebook and YouTube.
KCP Infra filed a civil suit claiming the press meet held by the Iyakkam was defamatory and sought an interim injunction in the nature of a gag order.
All the applications were dismissed by a single judge in June, 2019. -- PTI
20:29 Nupur Sharma entitled to her opinion: Kangana
Actor Kangana Ranaut on Tuesday voiced support for suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, saying she was 'entitled to her opinions' amid international condemnation over the politician's controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad.
The BJP on Sunday suspended Sharma and expelled its Delhi unit media head Naveen Kumar Jindal as the row over their alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad escalated with protests from some Muslim countries.
In her Instagram Story, Ranaut also condemned death threats against Sharma and urged people to take the legal route if they wanted her to be held responsible for the comments she made during a TV debate nearly 10 days ago.
"Nupur is entitled to her opinions, I see all kinds of threats targeted at her, when Hindu Gods are insulted which they are almost every day we go to court, pls do that no need to play dons yourself...(sic)" wrote the actor. "... this is not Afghanistan, we have a proper functioning government which is chosen with a process called democracy... just a reminder for those who keep forgetting," she added.
Ranaut's statement comes hours after Delhi police provided security to Sharma and her family after she alleged that she has been receiving threats and was being harassed over her remarks. -- PTI
20:17 BSE Sensex top losers
Extending its sell-off to the third straight session, equity benchmark Sensex slumped 568 points on Tuesday as investors scrambled to offload riskier assets ahead of the RBI's policy decision.
Titan was the biggest laggard in the Sensex pack, tumbling 4.48 per cent, followed by Dr Reddy's, Larsen & Toubro, HUL, Asian Paints, Bajaj Finance, TCS and Nestle India.
20:11 Johnny Depp dines at Indian restaurant in Birmingham, spends Rs 48 lakh
Actor Johnny Depp who recently emerged victorious in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, was recently spotted dining at an Indian restaurant in UK's Birmingham.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star indulged in scrumptious Indian food, celebrating his big win.
According to TMZ, the actor spent a whopping amount of Rs 48.1 lakh (around $62,000) at the restaurant.
English musician Jeff Beck along with 20 other friends joined Depp for the lavish dinner.
Johnny also interacted with restaurant staff and a few other people present there.
The actor has been spotted at various restaurants across the United Kingdom post the win.
Earlier this week, he was spotted relishing a British meal of fish and chips and a pint in a pub in Newcastle.
The trial, which took the internet by storm, went on for about six weeks and was held in USA's Virginia.
Depp won the highly-publicised defamation case and was awarded $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages.
Amber Heard, on the other hand, was awarded $2m compensatory damages. -- ANI
19:50 Now Telangana BJP MLA booked for hate speech
A case was registered here against Bharatiya Janata Party MLA T Raja Singh on Tuesday for allegedly making provocative remarks and insulting the religious beliefs of a particular community, the police said.
A local resident in a complaint filed with the police stated that he saw a video on a social media platform, and accused the BJP legislator of making derogatory and offensive remarks against a shrine and also insulting the religious beliefs of their community in it (video) , they said.
Based on the complaint, Raja Singh was booked under IPC Section 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), a police official at Kanchanbagh police station said.
Raja Singh, the MLA from Goshamahal in the city, is known for his strong views in support of Hindutva. -- PTI
19:37 'Dead' son returns home during 'shraddh' ceremony in Tripura
A 22-year-old man returned home in Tripura on Tuesday after he went missing last month to find that his post-death rituals were underway.
The incident took place in West Tripura's Kalibazar area, a border village of the northeastern state, evoking disbelief and joy among his near and dear ones, and triggering anger over the role of the police.
Akash Sarkar, a resident of Kalibazar of Mohanpur subdivision, had gone missing last month.
On June 3, a body was found floating in a lake near Melarmath under West Agartala police station.
After the initial inquiry, it was found that the deceased was a resident of Kalibazar, who went missing last month.
Accordingly, the police contacted Akash Sarkar's family informing them about the recovery of his body.
"Akash's father, Pranab Sarkar, rushed to GBP hospital and he identified his son's body after seeing his bag, containing his trousers and tablets', Mohanpur sub-divisional police officer KB Majumder said.
The mortal remains were handed over to Pranab Sarkar after conducting an autopsy, and his funeral was performed by family members.
"Since it was a case of mistaken identity, we will investigate the matter and do the needful'', the police officer said.
The father, however, claimed that it was the police who had pressurised him to identify his son's body and take it for disposal. -- PTI
19:12 AAP govt's maiden Punjab Budget on June 27
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab will present its first state Budget on June 27, a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
The Budget session of the state assembly will be held from June 24 to 30, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said in a tweet.
"Congratulations to all Punjabis! The Budget prepared with the suggestions of common people will be presented for the first time in Punjab's history," he tweeted.
Earlier, the AAP government had sought suggestions from the general public while calling it a "Janta Budget".
The Punjab Cabinet while approving the summoning of the Budget session of the 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha from June 24, recommended the same to Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, who is authorised to officially summon the state legislature as per Article 174 (1) of the Constitution.
The finance minister will present the Budget for 2022-23 on June 27 and general discussion on it will take place thereafter, said an official release in Chandigarh.
The audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India for 2018-19 and 2019-20, along with financial and appropriation accounts for 2019-20 and 2020-21, will also be tabled during the session. -- PTI
19:02 Mumbai sees spike in Covid count, logs 1242 cases
Mumbai witnessed a big jump in daily count, which crossed 1,000-mark on Monday as the city reported 1,242 new infections in the past 24 hours, said Maharashtra health department.
Maharashtra reported 1,881 new coronavirus cases during in the past 24 hours, said the state health department.
On Sunday, Maharashtra reported 1,036 COVID cases while Mumbai reported 676 cases. -- PTI
18:29 Covid: Sonia seeks more time to appear before ED
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has sought more time from the Enforcement Directorate to appear before it as she is still suffering from COVID, party sources said on Tuesday.
They said Gandhi, who tested positive on Thursday, is yet to recover and her latest report is not COVID-negative.
The ED had summoned Gandhi to appear before it on June 8 in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper-AJL issue.
The ED had also summoned her son and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on June 13 for questioning in the case.
He was earlier asked by the agency to depose on June 2 but the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad constituency in Kerala sought a fresh date as he was out of country.
The federal agency later asked Rahul Gandhi to appear on June 13 at its headquarters in central Delhi.
Congress leaders had earlier claimed that Sonia Gandhi is determined to appear before the ED provided she recovered from the virus. -- PTI
18:13 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Vietnam on three-day visit
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday arrived here in Vietnam on a three-day visit, in reflection of the growing congruence in maritime security cooperation with the key Southeast Asian country amid China's increasing muscle-flexing in the region.
Singh was welcomed at the airport by India's Ambassador to Vietnam Pranay Verma and senior officers of Vietnam's Ministry of National Defence.
"Hon'ble RM, Shri Rajnath Singh arrived at Hanoi on an official visit to Vietnam from 8-10 June 2022. He was welcomed at the airport by Amb. Pranay Verma and senior officers of Vietnam's ministry of national defence," the embassy of India said on Twitter.
In New Delhi, the defence ministry said Singh's visit to Vietnam from June 8 to 10 is aimed at further consolidating the bilateral defence ties as well as the comprehensive strategic partnership.
The defence minister will hold extensive talks with his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Giang, with a focus on exploring new initiatives to further strengthen the defence engagements, besides exchanging views on regional and global issues of shared interest, it said.
Singh is also scheduled to call on Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. -- PTI
The cash the ED says it seized from the Delhi minister
17:41 ED seizes Rs 2.85 cr cash, gold from Satyendar Jain
"Unexplained" cash of Rs 2.85 crore and 133 gold coins were seized after raids were conducted at the premises of Delhi minister Satyendar Jain and his alleged associates as part of a money laundering probe against them, the ED said Tuesday.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said those raided on Monday "either directly or indirectly assisted (the minister) or participated in the process of money laundering".
The cash and coins were "unexplained" and were kept in a "secret" place, it said in a statement. Jain, 57, was arrested on May 30 under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and is in ED custody till June 9.
The ED had conducted searches at about 7 premises, including that of a jeweller, in Delhi and some neighbouring locations on Monday. Jain, a minister without portfolio in the Arvind Kejriwal government, is being probed by the federal agency under the PMLA on charges of alleged hawala dealings.
Kejriwal recently had defended Jain as a "hardcore honest and patriot" person who was being framed in a "false case" and hoped the minister will come out clean after the ED probe.
The agency said those raided include Jain's wife Poonam Jain, his business associates Ankush Jain and Vaibhav Jain, Naveen Jain and Siddharth Jain (directors of Ram Prakash Jewellers Pvt Ltd), G S Matharoo (chairman of Lala Sher Singh Jivan Vigyan Trust which runs Prudence group of schools), Yogesh Kumar Jain (director in Ram Prakash Jewellers Pvt Ltd.), father-in-law of Ankush Jain and Lala Sher Singh Jivan Vigyan Trust. -- PTI
17:34 Mohan Bhagwat rescues PM Modi
No one should conclude from this one statement that the RSS is about to change its spots. But, for once, the RSS chief appears to have sized up the befuddlement at the heart of the Modi establishment and thought it imperative to send out a signal. Read the column here.
17:12 Threat letter: Police record Salman's statement
Mumbai Police has recorded the statement of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in connection with a letter threatening him and his father, an official said on Tuesday.
Khan's statement was recorded on Monday evening before he left for Hyderabad, he said.
Earlier, the police had recorded the statement of the actor's father, noted screenplay writer Salim Khan, in connection with the probe.
Police had also enhanced the security around the actor's residence in suburban Bandra.
According to a police source, the letter said "Salim Khan, Salman Khan Bahot Jald Aapka Mooselwala Hoga... (Salim Khan, Salman Khan, very soon you will meet Moosewala's fate.)"
Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was killed by unidentified assailants in Mansa district of Punjab last month.
An unidentified person dropped the letter on a bench at Bandra Bandstand where Salim Khan was sitting after a morning walk on Sunday. A case under section 506-II (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered at the Bandra police station. -- PTI
Former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma
17:06 15 nations condemn remarks on Prophet
Iraq and Libya have joined over a dozen Muslim countries in condemning the controversial remarks made by now-suspended and expelled BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammad.
Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Maldives, Libya, Turkiye and Indonesia
In response to a statement issued by the Parliamentary Committee on Awqaf and Tribals of Iraq on the controversial tweets, the Spokesperson of the Embassy of India in Iraq on Monday clarified that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India.
The Iraqi statement said that "these abuses, malicious and disgraceful acts will have serious repercussions and, if not contained, may lead to dire consequences that will have unimaginable consequences for the peaceful coexistence, as well as increase strife and tensions between peoples," according to the official Iraqi News Agency - INA.
The Indian embassy in its statement said that "in line with our civilisational heritage and strong cultural traditions of unity in diversity, Government of India accords the highest respect of all religions. Strong action has already been taken against those who made the derogatory remarks."
A statement has also been issued by concerned quarters emphasising respect for all religions, denouncing insults to any religious personality or demeaning any religion or sect, it said.
"Vested interests that are against India-Iraq relations have been inciting the people using these derogatory comments. We should work together against such mischievous elements who aim to undercut the strength of our bilateral ties," said the statement, which was identical to the statements issued by the Indian embassies in Kuwait and Qatar on Sunday. The Indian embassies in Qatar and Kuwait in their statements had referred to comments as "being made by fringe elements."
However, the phrase "fringe elements" is not there in the statement issued by the Indian embassy in Iraq.
Libya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a statement "strongly condemned" the "insulting remarks" and called for the consolidation of the values of tolerance and coexistence and the rejection of the discourse of violence and hatred. Egypt-based Arab Parliament also expressed its strong condemnation of, and rejection of the "irresponsible remarks issued by the spokeswoman of India's ruling (BJP) against Prophet Mohammad."
In a statement, the Arab Parliament affirmed that such remarks fully contradict the principle of tolerance, and interfaith dialogue, and lead to hate, Kuwait's state-run KUNA news agency reported.
On Monday, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the Maldives, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan condemned the controversial remarks against Prophet Mohammad, stressing the importance of respecting all religious beliefs.
Qatar, Iran and Kuwait on Sunday summoned India's Ambassadors and the expressed their strong protest and condemnation of the controversial remarks.
The BJP on Sunday suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against the Prophet.
Amid protests by Muslim groups over the remarks, the party also issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from these members, asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality. The controversial remarks also sparked a Twitter trend in the Arab world calling for a boycott of Indian products. -- PTI
16:52 A wild animal extinct in India will be returning
India is all set to introduce cheetahs from South Africa in a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh by August as part of attempts to rehabilitate the species that had become extinct from the country.
A top environment ministry official said a special 10 sq km enclosure for cheetahs has been readied at the Kuno-Palpur National Park in Madhya Pradesh and would soon be home to at least six cheetahs that would be brought here from South Africa.
The agreement with South Africa is in place and is being vetted by the legal cell, he said. Talks were also on with Namibia for introducing cheetahs from there in India, but have hit a roadblock over certain issues related to hunting.
"We plan to introduce 8-10 cheetahs every year and take the number to 50 over a five-year period," he said.
A team from South Africa is visiting Kuno Palpur next week to examine the arrangements made for the cheetahs. Discussions to bring the cheetah back to India were initiated in 2009 by the Wildlife Trust of India.
Cheetah is the only large carnivore that got completely wiped out from India, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat loss. The Supreme Court had appointed an expert panel, which approved Kuno Palpur as the possible location for cheetah relocation. PTI
16:38 Kupwara encounter: 1 of 2 LeT terrorists Pakistani
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including one from Pakistan, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, while another gunfight broke out in Shopian, police said.
Based on information about the presence of militants in the Chaktaras Kandi area of Kupwara, security forces launched a cordon and search operation, a police official said.
The terrorists opened fire on the security personnel who retaliated, he said, adding two ultras were killed in the ensuing encounter.
"Two terrorists of proscribed terror outfit LeT, including one Pakistani terrorist namely Tufail, killed. Search still going on," Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar tweeted. Meanwhile, another encounter broke out in south Kashmir's Shopian district, the police official said.
He said the gunfight started in the orchards of the Badimarg-Aloora area of Shopian. The exchange of firing was on and there was no casualty till reports last came in, he said. -- PTI
16:31 Mumbaikars can now place orders for veggies at PDS shops
Citizens can place orders for farm fresh vegetables at their nearest ration or public distribution system shops in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane city, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The pilot initiative of the food and civic supplies department is limited to Mumbai and Thane cities for now, Vijay Waghmare, the secretary of the department said.
Earlier, the state government had started an initiative in which stationary products could be sold at PDS shops in rural areas, as items sold in these regions were either of bad quality or expensive, the official said.
The scheme was successfully tried and tested in Pune and later implemented in the rest of the state, he said, adding that once the initiative gained traction, its ambit was further extended to groceries as well.
As both these schemes received a good response, farmers' produce organisations from Pune and Nashik approached the department seeking that even their produce be sold through PDS shops, Waghmare said.
These organisations already had a good presence in the urban areas through their applications and supply chains, he said. People can place their orders at PDS shops, which will serve as a link between the produce organisations and consumers. Customers will be notified when their order arrives, the official said.
CDS General Bipin Rawat passed away last year
16:11 Govt tweaks rules for appointing CDS
The Ministry of Defence issues gazette notifications to amend regulations of three defence forces related to appointment of Chief of Defence Staff. For appointing CDS the government may consider officers who are serving as Lt General equivalent or General equivalent or officers who have retired in the rank of Lt Gen or Gen but have not attained the age of 62 years on the date of appointment.
The first Chief of Defence Staff was General Bipin Rawat who took office on 1 January 2020. On 15 December 2021, following the death of General Rawat, General Manoj Mukund Naravane was appointed Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, pending the appointment of a new CDS.
15:58 Markets fall for 3rd day; Sensex tumbles 568 points
Benchmark indices declined for the third day running on Tuesday, with the Sensex tumbling 567.98 points amid weak global markets and continuous foreign funds outflow.
Investors were risk averse ahead of the RBI's policy decision on Wednesday, traders said.
The 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 567.98 points or 1.02 per cent to settle at 55,107.34. During the day, it dived 792.91 points or 1.42 per cent to 54,882.41. The broader NSE Nifty fell by 153.20 points or 0.92 per cent to end at 16,416.35.
From the Sensex pack, Titan, Dr Reddy's, Larsen & Toubro, HUL, Asian Paints, Bajaj Finance, TCS and Nestle were the biggest laggards. In contrast, NTPC, Maruti, M&M and Bharti Airtel were the gainers. -- PTI
15:08 Ghaziabad girl tests for monkeypox. Result is...
The suspected case of monkeypox from UP's Ghaziabad has tested negative. The sample was sent for testing to ICMR - National Institute of Virology in Pune.
A 5-year-old boy from Ghaziabad was suspected to have contracted Monkeypox.
UP Deputy CM and Health Minister Brajesh Pathak had urged people not to panic.
According to the reports, the child had symptoms associated with the monkeypox virus. "The girl complained of itching and rashes on her body. However, the testing part is just a precautionary measure. No one should panic right now," the Chief Medical Officer of Ghaziabad said.
As of today, no Monkeypox case has been reported in India.
14:25 Close shave for Lalu as fan in room catches fire
RJD chief Lalu Prasad had a narrow escape on Tuesday morning as a fire that broke out in a room of the circuit house in Jharkhand's Palamu district where he was staying could be doused in time, officials said.
Prasad, 73, was having breakfast in his room around 8 am when the wall-mounted fan caught fire, they said. The fire was immediately doused by his aides, they added.
"The fire was caused by a short circuit and electricity supply to the premises was snapped after the incident," Deputy Commissioner of Palamu Shashiranjan told PTI.
No one has suffered any injury due to the incident and no significant damage has been reported, he said. The short circuit has been rectified and the fan that caught fire was removed, he added.
Prasad arrived in Medininagar, the district headquarters of Palamu, on Monday to appear before a special court on Wednesday in connection with a 13-year-old case pertaining to the violation of the Model Code of Conduct during elections.
He is slated to appear in the court of special judge Satish Kumar Munda. A case under IPC sections 188, 279, 290, 291 and 34, and section 127 of Representation of People's Act was registered against the RJD chief in Garhwa district after his chopper had diverted and landed in a paddy field allegedly owing to the mistake of the pilot instead of the scheduled helipad in Medininagar during the 2009 assembly polls in Jharkhand. -- PTI
13:49 Maha police summons Nupur Sharma on June 22
The Mumbra Police in Maharashtra has summoned suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on 22nd June to record her statement over her controversial religious remarks.
The BJP on Sunday suspended Nupur Sharma from the party's primary membership and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their inflammatory remarks against minorities.
India on Sunday conveyed to Qatar and Kuwait that it had taken strong action against those who made controversial remarks on Twitter against the minorities.
CM Bommai said the govt will help the J-K police
13:40 Hizb terrorist hiding in B'luru mosque arrested
A suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist has been arrested in Bengaluru in a joint operation by the Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir police.
The accused, Talib Hussain was arrested on June 5, police sources said on Tuesday.
According to police sources, Hussain had fled Jammu and Kashmir with his wife and children as the hunt for him was intensified by the armed forces, and was hiding in Bengaluru.
Hussain had allegedly taken shelter at a mosque in Srirampura and used to deliver sermons during Friday prayers.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai today confirmed Hussain's arrest from the city.
"Generally police keep an eye on people like them. We will provide whatever assistance is required to the Jammu and Kashmir police. In the past too, such arrests had taken place in Sirsi and Bhatkal.The Jammu and Kashmir police have taken this very seriously," Bommai explained. -- PTI
13:33 Four arrested in connection with IED blast in Shopian: Police
Four persons have been arrested in connection with an improvised explosive devices (IED) attack that took place in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir last week, in which an army soldier was killed, police said on Tuesday.
"#ShopianPolice cracked recent #terror attack case in which terrorists used IED in a vehicle at Shedow Shopian, in which one soldier was #martyred and others were injured. All 04 #terrorist/associates have been arrested. #Congratulations to team Shopian," Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar wrote on Twitter.
On June 2, a soldier named Naik Praveen was killed while two others were injured when an explosion took place in a civil vehicle hired by the Army for a cordon and search operation in Patitohalan area of Shopian in south Kashmir. PTI
13:03 Modi govt has made N East safer: Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking at the National Tribal Research Institute, New Delhi says today is an important day today.
"The National Tribal Research Institute is finally coming into existence. We may think it's just another institution, but such institutions have a role in nation-building.
"The Narendra Modi government brought the number of districts affected by Left-wing extremism down by 70 per cent. 8,700 untoward incidents took place in Northeast in 10 years of Cong rule. This has reduced to 1,700 under Modi govt. Only 87 security personnel have lost their lives in the Northeast under Modi govt as against 304 during Cong rule," the Home Minister said.
12:36 Moosewala killing: Lawyers pass resolution against defending accused
An update on the Moosewala story: The District Bar Association of Mansa says it has presented a resolution that no advocate will represent the accused in the case. A panel of lawyers will legally assist Sidhu's family free of cost.
12:34 Rahul meets Moosewala's family
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the residence of slain Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala in Mansa district on Tuesday to express condolences to his family. Gandhi, who landed at the Chandigarh airport this morning, drove straight to the singer's native village Moosa here.
Several Congress leaders including Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa, former deputy chief minister O P Soni and other party leaders accompanied him. Security has been tightened outside the residence of Moosewala in the wake of Gandhi's visit.
Moosewala was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Mansa on May 29. Gandhi was abroad when the killing took place and returned over the weekend.
Moosewala, who had joined the Congress December last year, had unsuccessfully contested from the Mansa seat in the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections. -- PTI
12:18 Maha DGP, top cop summoned in Navneet Rana case
The Parliamentary Privilege Committee of Lok Sabha has summoned the Maharashtra Chief Secretary, state Director General of Police and Mumbai Police Commissioner to appear before them on June 15 in connection with the breach of privilege complaint by MP Navneet Rana.
The Committee headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sunil Singh will take up the matter concerning the breach of privilege complaint by Maharashtra MP Navneet Rana next week. The Committee has summoned several officers from Maharashtra after Rana filed a complaint with the Lok Sabha Speaker about the same.
The Amravati MP had written to the Parliament's Privileges and Ethics Committee on charges of breach of privilege and had alleged illegal arrest and inhuman treatment faced by her at Khar police station.
Rana appeared before the privilege committee on May 23 to present her side of the story.
On April 25, a complaint of a serious breach of privilege was given by Navneet Rana to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla who further referred it to the Privilege Committee.
Navneet appeared before the Parliamentary Privilege Committee on May 23 over her allegation of "patently illegal arrest and the consequent inhuman treatment meted out to her at Khar Police Station, Mumbai".
Following this, the Privilege Committee summoned Maharashtra Chief Secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava, Director General of Police Rajnish Seth, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey and Superintendent of Women District Prison, Byculla (Mumbai) Yashwant Bhanudas.
Navneet Rana along with her MLA husband Ravi Rana were arrested on April 23 from their Mumbai residence after declaring that they would recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's residence in Bandra. They were booked in two FIRs lodged on charges of sedition, promoting enmity, and assaulting a public servant to prevent discharge of duty -- ANI
11:59 Can judicial processes create facts on the ground?
The Supreme Court's decision to allow the cordoning off of a part of the Gyanvapi mosque ordered by a lower court in Varanasi illustrates the way in which the judicial process sometimes creates facts on the ground. Read more here.
11:48 China warns against providing weapons to Ukraine
A Chinese envoy on Monday warned against constantly providing weapons to Ukraine or imposing sanctions on Russia.The international community should not stop at eliminating sexual violence and human trafficking.
Only through cease-fire and the restoration of peace can the trauma of conflict for women and children be fundamentally avoided, said Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
"The international community should work together to promote peace talks, and encourage Russia and Ukraine to come back to the negotiation track," he told a Security Council meeting on sexual violence and human trafficking in the context of the Ukraine conflict.
Constantly providing weapons or imposing sanctions and pressure will not solve the problem, but will only perpetuate and expand the conflict, he warned.
People in Ukraine and other developing countries should not pay the price for geopolitical and bloc confrontations. At a time when humans have a shared future and when global security is indivisible, no country can or should seek its own absolute security at the expense of the security of others.
And international and regional security cannot and should not be guaranteed by strengthening military blocs and cutting off supply and industrial chains, said Dai.
"China once again calls on the parties concerned to put international and regional peace and security first and to play a constructive role in the proper resolution of the crisis in Ukraine," he said. -- ANI
Pic: A man holds a used artillery shell on June 4, 2022 in Novyi Bykiv. Alexey Furman/Getty Images
11:37 Delhi police gives security to Nupur Sharma, family
The Delhi Police has provided security to suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her family after an FIR was registered on a complaint that she was getting death threats over her controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad, officials said on Tuesday.
She had requested the police to provide security citing harassment and threats she had been receiving.
"Sharma and her family have been provided police security after she alleged that she has been receiving threats and was being harassed over her remarks," an official said.
The BJP on Sunday suspended Sharma and expelled its Delhi unit media head Naveen Kumar Jindal as the row over their alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad escalated with protests from some Muslim countries.
Amid demonstrations by Muslim groups and the sharp reaction from countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Iran, the BJP issued a statement asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insults of any religious personality.
Sharma's comments, made during a TV debate nearly 10 days ago, and Jindal's now-deleted tweets sparked a Twitter trend calling for a boycott of Indian products in some countries.
After the action, Sharma unconditionally withdrew her controversial statement and claimed that her comments were a reaction to "continuous insult and disrespect towards our Mahadev (Lord Shiva).
Police said on May 28, its cyber cell unit received a complaint from Sharma against various persons about death threats and targeted hatred. Based on this complaint, an FIR was registered under IPC sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 507 (Criminal intimidation by anonymous communication) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) against unknown people.
"During the probe, another complaint was received from Sharma against certain persons promoting enmity. Following this, Section 153A of IPC was added to the case. "Notices have been sent to Twitter Inc. and a reply from it is awaited. Investigation into the case is underway," the senior police official said.
11:23 Depp-th of feeling
Those spices came with luxury prices.
Johnny Depp shelled out more than $62,000 (50,000) for a special celebratory curry dinner with his pals on Sunday evening in Birmingham, England.
Depp, 58, indulged in a feast of 'authentic Indian cuisine', cocktails and rose Champagne at the Varanasi restaurant, which serves "heavenly recipes and soothing ambience,' according to its website.
Read more here.
11:21 Queen to drop unreleased Freddie Mercury song in September
An unreleased song by music icon Freddie Mercury, recorded for his band Queen's 13th studio album 'The Miracle', will come out in September this year. Founding members of Queen -- Brian May and Roger Taylor -- shared the details about the song in an interview with BBC Radio 2.
"We did find a little gem from Freddie, that we'd kind of forgotten about. It's wonderful, actually. It was a real discovery. It's from The Miracle sessions, and I think it's going to be out in September," Taylor said.
May added that the song was kind of hiding in plain sight. We looked at it many times and thought, oh no, we can't really rescue that. But in fact, we went in there again and our wonderful engineering team went, okay, we can do this and this.' It's like kind of stitching bits together. But it's beautiful and touching piece."
The Miracle was released in 1989 and during a radio interview with DJ Mike Read, Mercury stated that they had recorded 30 songs while working on the album. -- PTI
10:59 UK woman raped in front of partner in Goa: Cops
A British woman was allegedly raped near the Arambol beach in Goa in front of her male partner by a local man under the pretext of giving her a massage, police said on Tuesday.
The accused, local resident Vincent D'Souza (32), was part of a group that illegally offered massage services near the Arambol beach in North Goa district, which is quite popular with international tourists, they said.
He had also worked as a school librarian in the past, the police said.
The Pernem police had arrested him on Monday.
As per the police complaint lodged by the middle-aged woman, who is on a Goa trip, the accused allegedly raped her under the pretext of giving her a massage when she was lying near the Sweet Water Lake, located close to the beach, along with her male partner, an official said.
The alleged incident had taken place on June 2, but the woman lodged the complaint at the Pernem police station on Monday after consulting her family members in the UK and seeking assistance from the British Embassy in India, he said.
Within an hour of getting the complaint, the Pernem police, led by inspector Vikram Naik, swung into action and arrested the accused, the official said.
A senior police official said the accused had also worked as a librarian at a school in the past. We have contacted the police station concerned to get his past records.
Currently, he is not working as a librarian, the official said. On Monday night, the accused and the victim were sent for medical examination at the district hospital in Mapusa town near here.
An FIR was registered against the accused under Indian Penal Code Section 376 (rape) and the police would produce him before a local court on Monday to seek his custody, the official said. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Pernem) Siddhant Shirodkar is supervising the investigation into the case. PTI
Sushmita Sen in Aarya
10:37 Sushmita Sen's character 'Aarya' would weep
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) will destroy around 42,000 kilogram narcotics at 14 locations, including Guwahati, Mumbai and Siliguri, as part of 'Drug Destruction Day' to be observed on Wednesday, the finance ministry said.
The Drug Destruction Day would be observed as a part of an iconic week of 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' celebrations of the ministry to mark the 75th year of India's independence.
A total of around 42,000 kg narcotics would be destroyed at 14 locations across the country, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would be virtually witnessing the destruction process to be held at Guwahati, Lucknow, Mumbai, Mundra/Kandla, Patna and Siliguri and address the officers. PTI
10:28 Nupur objected disrespect to Hindu deities: VHP
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) came to the defence of Nupur Sharma, who was expelled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over her controversial remarks against the minorities, and said that the court will decide whether her statement is legal or illegal.
Speaking to ANI on Monday, Alok Kumar, International Working President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, said, "Whether Nupur Sharma's statement is legal or illegal would be decided by the court. But are those violent demonstrations taking place across the country without waiting for the court's verdict as per law?"
"Nupur Sharma participated in a debate where disrespectful things were being spoken about Hindu deities. They said things like Hindus worship stones found on roads and Shivling was also described as a fountain. During the heated debate, Nupur said something. Whether it is legal or illegal, it is a crime or not, and it will be decided by the court," he added.
The VHP leader also expressed concern over violent demonstrations over Nupur's remarks without waiting for the court's decision and said some people are taking the law into their own hands.
"Violent demonstrations are taking place all over the country without waiting for the court's decision, is it allowed under the rule of law. It is being said openly that tongue will be chopped off if anybody says something about the Prophet... People speaking in this language are taking the law into their own hands. And I think this is a matter of concern in the country," he said.
10:07 Sensex tumbles 559 points in early trade
Equity benchmark indices extended their decline for the third day running on Tuesday, with the BSE Sensex tumbling over 559 points in early trade, as foreign funds outflow and elevated crude oil prices continued to play spoilsport ahead of the RBI's policy decision on Wednesday.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 559.46 points lower at 55,115.86. The broader NSE Nifty fell by 161.05 points to 16,408.50.
From the Sensex pack, Titan, Dr Reddy's, HUL, Asian Paints, Nestle, Sun Pharma, Maruti and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the biggest laggards. In contrast, NTPC and Reliance Industries were the gainers.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo and Shanghai were trading in the green, while Hong Kong and Seoul were quoting lower. Stock markets in the US had ended with gains on Monday.
10:02 Active Covid cases in India rises to 26,976
India added 3,714 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,31,85,049, while the active cases increased to 26,976, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
The death toll climbed to 5,24,708 with seven fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases comprise 0.06 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.72 per cent, the ministry said.
An increase of 1,194 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was 0.97 per cent, according to the ministry.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,26,33,365, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.22 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 194.27 crore. -- PTI
09:30 British woman raped at Goa beach; accused arrested
The Goa Police on Monday arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly raping a British woman at the famous Sweet Lake near Arambol beach in North Goa.
A senior police officer said the accused Joel Vincent D'Souza, a local resident, allegedly raped the middle-aged British woman on June 2 when she was relaxing at the beach.
The victim, who is on a Goa visit with her husband, filed a complaint with the police on Monday.
"The accused has been arrested and further investigation is underway," the police officer said. -- PTI
09:27 Encourage respect for all religions: UN on Prophet remarks
Amid sharp reaction from several Muslim nations over remarks by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders against Prophet Mohammed, a spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that "we strongly encourage respect and tolerance for all religions."
The spokesperson was responding to a question by a Pakistani journalist on the condemnation by several Muslim nations over remarks by BJP's former national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal against the Prophet and the Secretary General's response to it.
"I've seen stories. I haven't seen the remarks themselves, but I mean, regardless, I can tell you that we strongly encourage respect and tolerance for all religions," Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said on Monday at the daily press briefing.
The BJP on Sunday suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal as the row over their remarks against the Prophet escalated with protests from many Muslim countries.
Amid demonstrations by Muslim groups and the sharp reaction from countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Iran, the BJP had issued a statement asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces insults of any religious personality.
Seeking to defuse a diplomatic row, spokespersons of the Indian Embassy in Qatar and Kuwait said on Sunday that the Ambassadors have "conveyed that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements."
Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain and Afghanistan and the Maldives on Monday joined several Muslim nations to condemn the controversial remarks of BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammed, stressing the importance of respecting all religious beliefs.
09:11 JK: 2 LeT terrorists, including 1 Pakistani, killed
Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, including one from Pakistan, were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, police said.
Based on information about the presence of terrorists in the Chaktaras Kandi area of Kupwara, security forces launched a cordon and search operation, a police official said.
The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired upon the security forces who retaliated, he said.
In the exchange of fire, two militants were killed, the official said.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said one of the slain militants was a Pakistani, identified as Tufail.
"Two terrorists of proscribed terror outfit LeT, including one Pakistani terrorist namely Tufail, killed. Search still going on," the IGP tweeted.
Atul Gupta of the Gupta family
08:17 South Africa's Gupta brothers arrested in Dubai
The South African government on Monday said that law enforcement authorities in the UAE have arrested Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta of the Gupta family.
It remains unclear why the third brother -- Ajay -- was not arrested.
The Gupta brothers are accused in South Africa of using their relationship with former president Jacob Zuma to profit financially and influence senior appointments, charges that they have vehemently denied.
In 2018, the Gupta family went into self-exile in Dubai after looting billions of rands from parastatal institutions in South Africa, authorities said.
"The ministry of justice and correctional services confirms that it has received information from law enforcement authorities in the UAE that fugitives of justice, namely Rajesh and Atul Gupta have been arrested," the South African Department of Justice and Correctional Services said in a statement on Monday.
"Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing. The South African government will continue to co-operate with the UAE," it added.
Interpol had issued Red Notices to the Gupta brothers, who had also been declared persona non gratia by the US and the UK.
Red Notices are issued for fugitives wanted for prosecution to alert law agencies globally to arrest such persons pending extradition.
The family fled South Africa in 2018 when the net closed in on them as huge public protests eventually led to the ANC removing Zuma and appointing Cyril Ramaphosa as the Acting President.
Earlier, South Africa had also appealed to the UN to get the Guptas back to South Africa when negotiations with the UAE did not yield results because there was no extradition treaty between the two countries.
The treaty was ratified in June 2021, when South Africa immediately began the process of requesting extradition of the Guptas.
The Guptas told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in 2018 that they were not prepared to return to South Africa to testify after a number of witnesses implicated them and Zuma in corrupt cases.
The brothers called the South African authorities 'recklessly incompetent' in their affidavit to the commission.
A number of witnesses testified the role of the Guptas in looting huge amounts and also influencing the appointment of Cabinet ministers during the nine-year tenure of Zuma as the South African president.
01:35 RS polls: Uddhav meets MLAs of Sena, other legislators supporting it
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday met the MLAs of his party, the Shiv Sena, as well as others who have been supporting it ahead of June 10 Rajya Sabha polls for six seats from the state.
"The chief minister met legislators of the Shiv Sena and the MLAs (independent and those from smaller parties) backing our party," Sena leader Anil Desai said.
The Sena is comfortably placed ahead of the election, he stressed.
After more than two decades, the state will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls as there are seven candidates in the fray for six seats.
The Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates -- Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar -- while the BJP has put up three candidates -- Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.
The NCP (Praful Patel) and Congress (Imran Pratapgarhi) have fielded one candidate each.
The BJP has votes to win two seats, while the Sena, NCP and Congress can win one seat each.
However, together the Sena, NCP and Congress -- part of the ruling coalition -- have enough votes to ensure victory for the second Sena candidate.
With the BJP fielding three candidates, every vote is important for the Sena.
The Sena has also accused the BJP of "horse-trading' and using central agencies to pressurize independent MLAs. -- PTI
01:17 SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal hospitalised; condition stable
Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal was on Monday evening admitted to the PGIMER in Chandigarh after he complained of gastric-related problems, hospital sources said.
The 94-year-old former Punjab chief minister has been admitted to the Advanced Cardiac Centre of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research and was undergoing a medical examination, they said.
He complained of some gastric-related problems and had one episode of vomiting, but his condition is stable, the sources said, adding that the SAD leader is being looked after by a team of doctors.
Earlier this year, Badal had contracted COVID-19.
In February, he was taken to a private hospital in Mohali for a post-Covid health check-up.
He had undergone a cardiac and pulmonary check-up too.
Prior to this, Badal was on January 24 discharged from a hospital in Ludhiana where he was admitted after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The SAD patriarch had earlier been advised by doctors to opt for bi-weekly or tri-weekly precautionary check-ups, especially after being tested for COVID-19.
Parkash Singh Badal is a five-time chief minister of Punjab. -- PTI
00:50 Maha schools to reopen on June 15 with all possible precautions: Minister
Schools in Maharashtra will reopen on June 15 with all possible precautions, state Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Monday.
Gaikwad said students in grades 1 and 2 have never been to schools due to the coronavirus pandemic for the last two years.
"Schools will open with all necessary precautions on June 15 which has been the date for reopening of schools (after summer vacation)," the minister said.
School-going students have been impacted due to the COVID-19 curbs in the last two years.
Notably, Maharashtra has been witnessing a surge in daily COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Monday was the fifth consecutive day when the state witnessed 1,000 plus infections.
In view of the rising graph of infections, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has appealed to people to wear masks, though using them is not mandatory.
"The government has not taken any decision on making the use of masks mandatory but we are urging people to wear masks. Instead of falling ill, citizens should observe hygiene, wear the mask and follow social distancing," Tope had tweeted. -- PTI
00:29 Jamiat files plea in Places of Worship Act case
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has approached the Supreme Court urging it not to entertain a petition challenging the validity of the certain provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
The organisation sought to be impleaded in the public interest litigation petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay challenging the Constitutional validity of the Act.
It said entertaining the plea against the Act will open floodgates of litigations against countless mosques across India.
The organisation in its application has said, "There is a list of numerous mosques which is doing the rounds on social media, alleging that the mosques were built allegedly by destroying Hindu temples. Needless to say, that if the present petition is entertained, it will open floodgates of litigation against countless mosques in the country and the religious divide from which the country is recovering in the aftermath of the Ayodhya dispute will only be widened."
It said the Act was intrinsically related to the obligations of a secular State and reflected the commitment of India to the equality of all religions.
The intervention application further said, "This court has categorically held that the law cannot be used as a device to reach back in time and provide a legal remedy to every person who disagrees with the course which history has taken and that the courts of today cannot take cognisance of historical rights and wrongs unless it is shown that their legal consequences are enforceable in the present."
The top court had in March 2021 asked the Centre to respond to Upadhyay's petition challenging the validity of certain provisions of the 1991 Act, which prohibited filing of a lawsuit to reclaim a place of worship or seek a change in its character from what prevailed on August 15, 1947. -- ANI