Thu, 09 June 2022
Sec 144 imposed in Kanpur ahead of Friday prayers

Timeline  Refresh

23:28   13 candidates file papers for UP legislative council polls, set to get elected unopposed
The stage is set for a no-contest election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council with 13 candidates filing their nominations by the Thursday deadline for the same number of seats. 

While nine of the candidates are from the BJP, the remaining are from the Samajwadi Party, and they are set to be elected unopposed. 

Scrutiny of the nomination papers will be held on Friday and the last day to withdraw the nominations is June 13 after which a formal announcement will be made, returning officer BB Dubey said. 

Prominent among those who filed their papers are deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and former minister Swami Prasad Maurya who quit the BJP just before the assembly elections and joined the SP. 

The other BJP candidates who filed their nomination papers on Thursday are Chaudhary Bhupendra Singh, Dayashankar Mishra Dayalu, JPS Rathore, Jaswant Saini, Danish Azad Ansari, Banwari Lal Dohre and Mukesh Sharma. 

Another candidate Narendra Kashyap was down due to ill-health and Satish Sharma filed the nomination on his behalf, Dubey said. 

Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath and the party's state president Swatnatra Dev Singh among others were present during the filing of the nominations. 

The tenures of Keshav Prasad Maurya and Panchayati Raj Minister Chaudhary Bhupendra Singh as members of the Legislative Council will end on July 6. -- PTI
23:18   Sec 144 imposed in Kanpur ahead of Friday prayers
Elaborate security arrangements have been made across Kanpur city ahead of Friday prayers and Section 144 of CrPC, which restricts assembly of more than four persons, has been imposed, police officials said on Thursday. 

Personnel from Provincial Armed Constabulary, Rapid Action Force and Quick Response Team have been deployed in Muslim-dominated pockets, a senior police official said. 

Violence had erupted in parts of Kanpur after Friday prayers last week between members of two communities over attempts to shut shops in protest against controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammed by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. 

According to the officials, Kanpur district magistrate Vishak G Ayyar and police commissioner Vijay Singh Meena also held a meeting with religious leaders, including Muslim clerics and Hindu priests, to take them into confidence. 

The clerics and priests have been asked to persuade the members of their respective communities to maintain peace, they said. 

It has been decided to make deployment of police personnel on the rooftops of the high-rise buildings and all the subordinates and station heads have been asked to ensure round-the-clock patrolling and take precautionary measures to maintain law and order in their respective jurisdiction, Meena said. -- PTI
22:59   Child rights body seeks withdrawal of Mumbai police order on POCSO cases
The apex child rights body National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Thursday sought the withdrawal of Mumbai police commissioner's direction that cases of molestation and crime under POCSO Act be registered only with the zonal DCP permission, saying such a move will severely affect child sexual abuse victims. 

The NCPCR, in a letter to Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, said the order issued by the Maharashtra police will cause serious infringement upon the right of victims of sexual abuse and cause undue delay for victims to their access to justice. 

"Moreover, this order is observed by the commission to be in contravention of the true objective and spirit of the Act and beyond the scope and purview of the provisions laid down under the Act," it said. 

"Therefore, keeping in view the rights of minor sexual abuse victims, the commission recommends and requests that this order may be reviewed by your good offices and withdrawn thereafter. An action taken report in the matter may be sent to the Commission in the next seven days," NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said. -- PTI
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22:35   Bharat Gaurav train will have theme-based coaches, on-board facility for yoga
The first 'Bharat Gaurav' train which will take pilgrims to destinations closely associated with Lord Ram in India and Nepal will have on-board facility for practising yoga, sources said on Thursday. 

The train will depart from Delhi's Safdarjung Station on International Yoga Day on June 21, they said. 

The 10-coach train being run on the Shri Ramayana Yatra Circuit will be theme based, with each coach depicting the culture and traditions of India. 

Coach interior will be decorated with posters and artwork highlighting various themes, they said. 

Two of the coaches have been dedicated to yoga. 

An instructor will be present to showcase various asanas and interested passengers will be able to perform them in the coach itself, the sources said. 

This will also be the first tourist train to cross international borders and travel to neighbouring Nepal. 

It will also be the first such train for tourists with all third AC coaches. 

The train will take 18 days to complete its journey and will cover eight states and 12 cities across the country. 

The total capacity of the train is 600, out of which around 450 have already been booked. 

The cost of each ticket is Rs 65,000. 

The coaches will be officially unveiled on June 17. -- PTI
22:24   EC probing poll code breach charge against Nadda
The Election Commission is investigating the allegation of the Congress that Bharatiya Janata Party president JP Nadda has violated the model code of conduct during his recent visit to Jharkhand where an assembly by-poll will be held later this month, an official said on Thursday. 

The Congress, which is part of the JMM-led ruling coalition in Jharkhand, on June 7 had lodged a complaint with the EC, accusing Nadda of breaching the model code of conduct by "canvassing" for the BJP's Mandar by-election candidate at a tribal rally Ranchi, which was supposed to be a "non-electoral" programme. 

"The ADM (law & order) is probing into the matter. We will be able to tell you whether any action will be taken only after analysing his report," Ranchi deputy commissioner-cum-election officer Chhavi Ranjan told reporters. 

Nadda addressed the tribal rally at Ranchi's Morabadi ground on June 5. 

The Congress had alleged that the BJP national president sought favour for his party's candidate in the rally, which was a violation of the model code of conduct. 

Countering the Congress' allegation, state BJP president Deepak Prakash had claimed that the model code of conduct is applicable only in the assembly constituency where the by-election is scheduled. -- PTI
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22:14   Services on Delhi Metro's Blue Line affected for over 2 hours
Delhi Metro commuters, largely office-goers, on Thursday faced hardship, as services on its Blue Line were delayed for over two hours due to a technical snag. 

Blue Line connects Dwarka Sector-21 in Delhi and Noida Electronic City, along with a branch line to Vaishali. 

This is the second time this week when the entire Blue Line has been impacted by a glitch. 

On June 6, a large number of commuters on the Blue Line had faced hardship as services across the corridor were impacted for nearly an hour and a half due to a technical snag caused by a bird hit. 

On Thursday again, the DMRC tweeted around 7:25 am to alert commuters. 

"Blue Line Update Delay in services between Dwarka Sector 21 and Noida Electronic City/Vaishali. Normal service on all other lines," it tweeted. 

The normal services could only be resumed after over two hours on the corridor. -- PTI
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21:53   Mumbai's harbour line local train services hit
Suburban train services on the trans-harbour line of Central Railway in the Mumbai region was affected during evening peak hours on Thursday after an overhead wire broke near Vashi railway station. 

Thousands of commuters faced inconvenience due to the disrupted services. 

Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, Central Railway, said an overhead wire snapped between Vashi and Sanpada railway stations on trans-harbour line around 7.15 pm. 

While services on the trans-harbour line between Vashi and Turbhe stopped, those on harbour line and trans-harbour line between Thane -Juinagar/Panvel were running, Sutar said. 

Efforts were on to restart train services by restoring the overhead wire, he added. 

Passengers on trans-harbour line are allowed to travel by harbour line and continuous announcements are being made to keep them informed, Sutar said. 

The trans-harbour line provides train connectivity to Mumbai's satellite towns Thane and Navi Mumbai. Lakhs of commuters travel on the line every day. 

Commuters also complained that suburban services on the CR's main line and harbour line were also running behind schedule due to unknown reasons. 

Railway authorities, however, denied any major disruption on both the lines. 

The main line of Central Railway provides services up to Kasara and Khopoli from CSMT in South Mumbai, while the harbour line gives connectivity to Navi Mumbai and western suburbs.
21:30   Bishnoi gang delivered Salman threat letter: Cops
Three members of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang delivered a letter threatening Bollywood actor Salman Khan and his father, writer Salim Khan, the police officials claimed on Thursday. 

Mahakal alias Siddhesh alias Saurabh Kamble (20), an alleged member of the Bishnoi gang which is also suspected to be involved in the singer Sidhu Moosewala murder case, made this revelation during interrogation, they said. 

Mumbai police's crime branch questioned Kamble in Pune on Thursday. 

Besides, he was also grilled by the Delhi police's special cell in connection with Moosewala's murder, while a Punjab police team has also landed in Pune to question him in the same case. 

`Mahakal' was arrested by Pune police earlier this week. 

He allegedly told investigators that three members of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang came from Jalour in Rajasthan and one of them placed the letter on a bench in Bandra Bandstand area where Salim Khan, noted screenplay writer and Salman's father, was sitting after his morning walk on Sunday. PTI
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21:00   Special pen to mark vote in President election
The Election Commission will provide "particular" pens to electors to mark their vote on ballot papers in the presidential election to be held on July 18. 

Polling will take in Parliament House in New Delhi and in state legislative assemblies. 

Elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and elected MLAs are entitled to vote. 

Nominated MPs and MLAs and members of legislative councils cannot vote to elect the President. 

"For marking the vote, the commission will supply particular pens. 

The pen will be given to the electors in the polling station by the designated official when the ballot paper is handed over," the commission said in a statement. 

Electors have to mark the ballot only with the pen provided by the poll panel "and not with any other pen". 

"Voting by using any other pen shall lead to invalidation of the vote at the time of counting," the EC cautioned. 

On the issue of environment, the EC said it has always been its endeavour to make elections eco-friendly. 

The election to the office of President of India, being an indirect election, does not involve campaigning in the conventional way of displaying banners or posters. 

"Still, the commission, in view of importance of this election, has directed the returning officer and assistant returning officers concerned to ensure use of eco-friendly and biodegradable material and eliminate the use of prohibited plastic materials as per extant instructions of government of India," it said. -- PTI
Patal Kanya Jamati/ANI
Patal Kanya Jamati/ANI
20:46   Tripura BJP vice president attacked, 2 cops hurt
Tripura Bharatiya Janata Party's vice-president Patal Kanya Jamatia was attacked by a group of people at Jampuijala in Sepahijala district on Thursday but escaped unhurt, the police said. 

The police, however, did not identify the group. 

The attack on Patal Kanya Jamatia took place few hours after Tipra Motha chairman Pradyot Kishore Debbarma said befitting reply would be given to those who had "oppressed" the indigenous people at Taidu in Gomati district on Tuesday. 

Taidu and Jampuijala are tribal dominated and adjacent areas. 

The BJP leader was attacked when the group tried to stop the escorts of Tribal Welfare Minister Rampada Jamatia and BJP MP Rebati Tripura who were on their way to attend a programme along Patal Kanya Jamatia at Jampaijala. 

Inspector general, law and order, Arindam Nath said two security personnel who were with Jamatia were injured and two vehicles were damaged by hundreds of people, mostly women at Jampaijala. 

A police contingent rushed to the spot and took her to Tripura State Rifles headquarters and the situation was restored, he said. 

Patal Kanya Jamatia had joined the saffron party recently after quitting Tripura People's Front. -- PTI
20:26   Vlogger sent to 5-day police custody for abusing Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek
Vlogger Roddur Roy, arrested on charges of hurling abuses at Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on social media, was on Thursday remanded in five days' police custody by a city court. 

Roy, whose real name is Anirban, was banned by a team of Kolkata police officers in Goa on Tuesday. 

He was brought to the city on transit remand the day after. 

On being produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate's court in Kolkata, the judge remanded Roy in police custody till June 14 on a prayer by the prosecution. 

An FIR was lodged under various sections of the IPC against the vlogger after a complaint was filed by TMC spokesperson Riju Dutta at Chitpur police station on Saturday. 

The vlogger, who is known to use expletives in his social media posts, recently mouthed profanities against the chief minister and the Diamond Harbour MP, besides other TMC leaders such as Firhad Hakim and Madan Mitra, blaming the ruling party for alleged mismanagement at singer KK's last concert at Nazrul Mancha in Kolkata. 

The singer had collapsed, shortly after his performance at the auditorium, and was declared 'brought dead' by doctors when taken to a hospital. 

The controversial video in question has been removed from the social networking site by authorities. Roy, who claims to be a poet and video creator, had earlier courted controversy for his unconventional ways of singing Rabindranath Tagore's songs. -- PTI
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19:53   Man held for Kanpur violence-linked post on FB
The Kanpur police on Thursday arrested a man for posting nflammatory and objectionable posts' on social media related to Kanpur violence, taking the total number of those arrested in connection with the incident to 55, a senior officer said. 

It has also been decided to make heavy deployment of forces in some pockets of Kanpur ahead of Friday prayers, police said. 

The arrested person has been identified as Gaurav Rajput. 

He was arrested from Kakadev locality, the officer said. 

Deputy commissioner of police (West) BBGTS Murthy said that he had received information that Rajput had been posting inflammatory posts targeting the Muslim community on his Facebook account and had been sharing them with others. 

Rajput was apprehended by Kakadev police and was produced before the court of metropolitan magistrate-VIII, which sent him on a one-day judicial remand, the DCP said. 

Violence had erupted in parts of Kanpur after last week's Friday prayers as members from Hindu and Muslim communities indulged in brick-batting and hurling of bombs during an attempt to shut shops. 

The shutdown was called for by some Muslim community leaders in protest against comments on Prophet Mohammad made by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV debate. 

Meanwhile, taking note of several complaints being made about the arrests of innocent people and wrongly implicating them in connection with the violence, police commissioner Vijay Singh Meena has formed a four-member committee headed by additional CP (law and order) Anand Prakash Tiwari. -- PTI
19:50   AIMIM supporters protest lodging of FIR against Owaisi
AIMIM supporters on Thursday held a protest outside Parliament Street police station in New Delhi after party chief Asaddudin Owaisi was named in an FIR for allegedly posting and sharing messages on social media against the maintenance of public tranquility and inciting people on divisive lines, officials said. 

Over 30 people have been detained, police said. 

"AIMIM supporters were protesting outside Parliament Street police station. A total of 33 protesters, including women, were detained and an FIR was registered under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code," a senior police officer said. 

The Delhi police registered FIRs against former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, controversial priest Yati Narsinghanand and others for allegedly posting and sharing messages on social media against the maintenance of public tranquility and inciting people on divisive lines, officials said on Thursday.

The FIRs were registered after an analysis of social media, they said. -- PTI
19:28   DU writes to colleges to stop caste-based discrimination on campus
The Delhi University has written to colleges asking them to ensure there is no caste-based discrimination on the campus, saying officials or faculty members should desist from any such act against SC/ST students on grounds of their social origin.  

The varsity's assistant registrar on May 25 wrote to colleges attaching several letters from the University Grants Commission on the prevention of caste-based discrimination in higher education and requesting them to take necessary action in the matter.

The UGC, in this direction, has requested to take four actions, including constitution of a committee to look into the discrimination complaints received from SC/ST/OBC students, teachers and non-teaching staff.

"The university/institute/college may develop a page on their website for lodging such complaints of caste discrimination by Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes students and also place a complaint register in the registrar/principal office for the purpose.

"If any such incident comes to the notice of the authorities, action should be taken against the erring official/faculty members promptly," it further suggested. -- PTI
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18:59   Maha logs 2813 Covid cases, 1702 in Mumbai alone
Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 2,813 new coronavirus cases, highest in nearly four months, and one pandemic-related death, the state health department said.  

The number of active cases rose to 11,571.

State capital Mumbai recorded 1,702 infections and the lone death during the day.

The daily rise in cases was the highest since February 15 when 2,831 infections had come to light.

The caseload rose to 79,01,628, and death toll to 1,47,867. 

On Wednesday, Maharashtra had recorded 2,701 new cases and zero fatality. -- PTI
18:42   Surjewala mixes up Draupadi and Sita, BJP gloats
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday accused Congress leader Randeep Surjewala of insulting goddess Sita, asking why the party 'hates Hindus so much.' 

Surjewala, who is a Congress spokesperson and a Rajya Sabha candidate from Rajasthan, referred to goddess Sita of the Ramayana while mentioning an episode related to Draupadi in the Mahabharata. 

Sharing a video of Surjewala, who by mistake mentioned goddess Sita instead of Draupadi in the context of disrobing episode in the epic, BJP national spokesperson Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore asked, "Why the Congress hates Hindus so much." 

"Rahul Gandhi, who does election tours from temple to temple, is irritated by a sacred word like Hindutva. His party keeps insulting Lord Ram. Today again, the Congress has hurt the faith of Hindus by making indecent remarks on Mata Sita," tweeted Rathore, who is the Jaipur (Rural) MP. 

Surjewala is one of three candidates the Congress has fielded for the Rajya Sabha polls from Rajasthan. 

He was expressing confidence of the party's victory and was simultaneously hitting out the BJP when by mistake he referred to Sita. 

"Majority will win, democracy will win, Constitution will win, law will win, morality will win and those who are under cover of lies' like at one time Sita Maiya's cheerharan had happened' they want to do cheerharan of democracy, those people will be defeated and exposed," he told reporters in Udaipur on Thursday. -- PTI
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18:30   People from 20 villages protest against oil refinery project in Maharashtra
Over 500 villagers staged a sit-in protest against an oil refinery project in Rajapur of Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district, an official said on Thursday. 

Residents of 20 villages, including women and children, began the protest at Shivne Khurd village on Wednesday and stopped the agitation on Thursday afternoon, he said. 

The villagers were protesting against $60 billion project, which is being planned at Barsu. 

The project was earlier planned at Nanar, but there was opposition from local groups and the Shiv Sena at the time. 

The protest began after some government officials came to the area to measure land, carry out a drone survey and test the soil in the region, the official said. 

District guardian minister Uday Samant said no decision will be taken without taking the views of both sides into consideration and claimed that these protests were happening due to some misunderstanding. 

During a recent visit to Ratnagiri, state Environment minister Aaditya Thackeray had said the the proposed multi-billion dollar refinery project in the Konkan region will come up only after the locals are consulted and their consent is obtained. -- PTI
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar
18:00   RS polls: Special observers in 4 states, polling to be videographed, says CEC
Amid allegations of attempts at horse-trading in the Rajya Sabha elections in four states, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Thursday said special observers have been appointed to oversee the poll process which will be videographed.  

Bienniel elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats were announced recently and all 41 candidates in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Telangana, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand were declared elected unopposed last Friday.

However, elections will be held for 16 seats of Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka on Friday as the number of candidates exceeds the seats going to the polls.

Taking questions after announcing the schedule for the presidential election, Kumar said, "We have appointed special observers in all the four places (states). The entire process will be videographed." -- PTI
Protests against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma
Protests against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma
17:44   Prophet tweets don't reflect govt's views: MEA
MEA briefing this evening. 

MEA on border infrastructure by China: "The govt takes all adequate, appropriate measures to safeguard territorial integrity, sovereignty."

MEA on the Prophet row: "We've made it pretty clear that the tweets and comments don't reflect views of the government. This has been conveyed to our interlocutors as also the fact that action has been taken by concerned quarters against those who made the comments and tweets.

MEA on whether the issue came up during EAM Dr S Jaishankar-Iran Foreign Minister's meet: "My understanding is that this issue was not raised during that conversation."

MEA on the ASEAN meet: "ASEAN meeting is in the ASEAN format. Myanmar is an ASEAN member state. So, the participation of Myanmar in this Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' meeting is as per ASEAN consensus in this regard."
17:34   All that you wanted to know about the Qutub Minar but didn't know where to look
The imposing Qutub Minar in the Indian capital was built 300 odd years before the first Mughal set foot in India and has nothing at all to do with the Mughal era, say historians, debunking claims in a section of the media. 

 The country's tallest minaret, standing at 72.5 metres and completed in the 13th century, was described as a Mughal-era structure by a television channel and a news website, prompting multiple social media posts with many hundred retweets endorsing the false claim. 

 The construction of the Qutub Minar began in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak -- the founder of the Slave Dynasty in India -- and the Mughals arrived in India after Babur defeated the last Lodhi king Ibrahim Khan Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526, said historians.

 While Qutub-ud-din Aibak finished the base of the structure, it was completed in the early 13th century by his son-in-law Shams ud-Din Iltutmish who added three more floors to the structure, said historian S Irfan Habib. The Slave Dynasty, which lasted from 1206 to 1290, was the first dynasty to rule as the Delhi Sultanate. 

The Dynasty, also called the Mamluk Dynasty, was established by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, who was born in a Turkish family and then sold as a slave to Muhammad Ghori, Afghanistan's Ghor ruler.

 "After that came the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs, the Sayyid dynasty, the Lodhis, and then came the Mughals. So, so many dynasties came in between before the arrival of Mughals. That way those calling it a Mughal monument are wrong by over 300 years...," Habib added. 

 According to writer and historian Sohail Hashmi, a section of people confuse Muslims with Mughals. 

 "Mughals have got nothing to do with the Qutub Minar. And those calling it a Mughal-era structure have no idea of our past and no sense of time. Actually, when they say Mughals, they mean Muslims. They use the two words interchangeably," Hashmi said. 

 Giving details of the red and buff sandstone structure, he explained that the top floor of the three floors built by Iltutmish were damaged by lightning twice in the 14th century and were restored by Tughlaq dynasty ruler Firoz Shah Tughlaq in the latter half of the century.

 While the first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. "The last of the Tughlaq kings rebuilt the top floor into two instead of one. That is why the top two floors that you see now have a lot of marble, unlike the lower floors which have no marble. Even the shape of the minaret is different in the top two floors as compared to the first three floors," Hashmi said. 

 "Sequentially, major repair works were carried out by the British," he added. The Mughals, he stressed, had nothing to do with either the construction of the Qutub Minar or its repair. The five-storey monument, with a base diameter of 14.3 metres that narrows down to 2.7 metres at the top, is adorned by floral motifs and fine arabesque decorations -- mainly verses from the Quran.

 It was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1993. The other important constructions in the Qutub Minar complex are the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, the Ala-I-Darwaza and the Alai Minar. The claim that the Qutub Minar is a Mughal-era monument is 'false'.
17:08   Hyd gang-rape: Police want accused tried as adults
To ensure maximum punishment for all the accused in May 28 gangrape case in Hyderabad, the state police on Thursday informed that commissioner CV Anand will be urging the Juvenile Justice Board to conduct a trial against accused by considering them as adults and not minors.

"We will request the Juvenile Justice Board for trial against the Juvenile Conflict with Law (JCLs) as adults but not as minors to ensure they get maximum punishment, once we collect all the evidence against all the six accused including five JCLs in Jublee Hills minor gang-rape case," said Hyderabad Police commissioner CV Anand. 

Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) also took to Twitter to welcome the police's decision and said, "I welcome and support the stand of @TelanganaCOPs (Telangana Police). If you are adult enough to commit a crime as heinous as rape, one must also be punished as an adult and not as a juvenile."

The Juvenile court is yet to hear about the pending requisition by police for all the minors in police custody.

Earlier in the day, the Nampally court in Hyderabad had sent Saduddin Malik- one of the accused in said rape case- to three-day police custody from Chanchalguda central prison, till June 11. 

He will be grilled by police till this evening before being sent back to the prison.

The police have also requested the Juvenile court to grant police custody of all five accused minors who are currently in the observation home.

These six accused in the rape case were arrested by the police on Tuesday.

Notably, according to the police, the victim girl had attended the party with her friends at Amnesia and Insomnia Pub in Jubilee Hills on May 28. 
16:45   3.6 times increase in early puberty during lockdown
The incidence of early puberty, especially in girls, increased 3.6 times during the Covid lockdown, a study by researchers at a Pune-based hospital has found. 

 The exact cause is not known but the possible reasons for idiopathic central precocious puberty (iCPP) in children as young as eight-nine during the pandemic are many, including stress, increased use of mobile phones and also sanitisers, researchers at the Jehangir Hospital said. 

 In the study, published in the Journal of Paediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism recently, researchers found that 155 (5.1 per cent) of the 3,053 referrals to the hospital were related to precocity as opposed to 59 (1.4 per cent) of 4,208 before the pandemic. 

 Increased use of mobile phones, late sleeping hours, stress, anxiety, depression, all are known to cause precocious puberty and all these factors have been prevailing during lockdown, said Anuradha Khadilkar, deputy director and consultant paediatrician, Growth and Paediatric Endocrinology Unit, at Jehangir Hospital. 

 Since sanitisers were extensively used during lockdown, it is possible that increased exposure to triclosan may have stimulated early puberty in children.

 However, more studies are required to confirm this association, Khadilkar, the corresponding author of the study, told PTI. 

 Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent present in products such as toothpaste, soaps, detergents, sanitisers, toys and surgical cleaning treatments. It is recognised as an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) that is known to alter the timing and progression of puberty, the researcher added. 

 India went into lockdown in March 2020. Schools in Maharashtra, as well as other parts of the country, began to open in a phased manner between October to December 2021. 

 The researchers analysed two groups: a pre-Covid lockdown group from September 1, 2018 to February 29, 2020, and another from March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. A 3.6 times increase in the referrals for precocious puberty was observed during the Covid lockdown period. Amongst these, a significant increase in the referrals was seen among girls, the authors of the study noted.

 The study also found that the proportion of referrals for precocious puberty was significantly higher in the lockdown (4.4 per cent) among both genders Restriction of outdoor activity, increased screen time, consumption of high calorie foods and binge eating habits resulting in increased obesity may result in an earlier onset and accelerated puberty, it said.

 Dr Chetan R Mundada, lead paediatric intensivist at Hyderabad's Yashoda Hospitals, added that chemicals found in personal care products such as perfumes, deodorants, toothpastes and makeup kits have been linked to early puberty especially in girls. 

 The pandemic has led to drastic increase in the use of sanitisers. To make them more appealing with pleasant odour, chemicals like phthalate are added... (this) may lead to hormonal imbalance, Mundada, who was not involved in the study, told PTI. 

 The pandemic has also led to a more sedentary lifestyle with increased junk food consumption, increased obesity. All these factors together can lead to early puberty and future complications related to it, he added.

 Dr Vaman Khadilkar, one of the authors of the study and senior paediatric endocrinologist, said the prevalence of precocious puberty -- children physically turning into adults too soon - was on the rise in pre-Covid times as well. 

During the lockdown months, however, there was a sudden spike. "Initially we thought that since parents are at home, they are observing their kids more carefully and that is why they are coming to consult doctors more often. But this was untrue as we saw an actual rise in the incidence," Varman Khadilkar, also from Jehangir Hospital, told PTI. 
The Gorakhnath temple in Khyber Pakhtunwa
The Gorakhnath temple in Khyber Pakhtunwa
16:29   Hindus comprise just 1.18% of Pak population
Pakistan is home to 22,10,566 people from the minority Hindu community, comprising only 1.18 cent of the country's total registered population of 18,68,90,601, according to a report by the Centre for Peace and Justice Pakistan. 

 The report, based on data collected from National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), says that minorities constituted less than five per cent of the total population of Pakistan, with Hindus being the largest minority community. 

 According to NADRA data till March, the total number of registered people stood at 18,68,90,601 of whom 18,25,92,000 are Muslims. 

 The report that collected data on the basis of minorities that have obtained Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) from NADRA confirmed 17 identities of different faiths and religions, including 1,400 atheists. 

 The registered Hindus figure 22,10,566, followed by Christians 18,73,348, Ahmedis 1,88,340, Sikhs 74,130, Bhais 14,537, and as many as 3,917 Parsis, said the report, based on three national population censuses held in Pakistan. There are 11 other minorities in Pakistan, accounting less than 2,000, who have been issued CNICs by the NADRA.

 The Buddhists are 1,787, Chinese 1,151, Shintoism followers are 628, Jews 628, African religions followers are 1,418, Kelasha religion followers 1,522, and about six followers of Jainism. 

 From Ahmadis to Christians to Hindus, minorities in Pakistan face consistent harassment, with less than two per cent Hindus -- 95 per cent of them living in the southern province of Sindh. Minorities, including Hindu population, in Pakistan are poor and have negligible representation in the legislative system of the country. 

 The majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslim residents. They often complain of harassment by extremists. -- PTI
16:17   No registration of molestation, POCSO cases without DCP's nod: Mum top cop
Cases of molestation and crimes under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act should be registered only upon the recommendation of an ACP and with the permission of the zonal DCP, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey has instructed officials. 

The commissioner issued the order in view of the instances where false cases are registered due to personal rivalry or disputes over property, money matters and personal issues, an official said. 

 The directive, issued on Monday, noted that in many such cases, the accused is arrested immediately without a verification of facts, and later the complaint is found to be fake. The accused person's reputation gets tarnished for no reason even though he is eventually discharged, the commissioner said in the order. 

 To avoid this, police officials have been instructed to register First Information Reports (FIRs) for molestation or under the POCSO Act only after getting a recommendation of the divisional assistant commissioner of police and with the permission of the zonal deputy commissioner, it said.

While granting permission, the DCP should follow the Supreme Court's judgement in the Lalita Kumari case, it added. In the 2013 `Lalita Kumari versus Govt of UP and others' case, a three-member bench of the apex court set out guidelines as to when the registration of FIR is mandatory. PTI
16:02   RS polls: Sidda asks JD-S to vote with conscience
A day ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls for four seats from Karnataka, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday wrote an open letter to JD(S) MLAs requesting them to cast their "conscience vote" in favour of his party's second candidate Mansoor Ali Khan.

He stated that his win will be a victory of "secular ideology" followed by both parties. 

 JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy hit out at Siddaramaiah for writing the letter to his party MLAs. "If he had discussed this with our party leaders before filing nominations such complications would not have arisen...he has written about support for minority candidates, then why didn't Congress make Mansoor Ali Khan its first candidate instead of Jairam Ramesh," Kumaraswamy said. 

 Interestingly, in the letter, Siddaramaiah has repeatedly referred to JD(S), the party from which he was expelled from in 2005 and that he repeatedly called 'B-team of BJP' during previous assembly polls, as a "secular party".

 The appeal from the Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly came after Kumaraswamy on Thursday strongly urged the Congress to support his party candidate -- D Kupendra Reddy -- to strengthen "secular forces" and tagged AICC General Secretary in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet. 

 "This Rajya Sabha poll that is before us, is a question of life and death for secularism. While there are Congress and JD(S) on one side ideologically, there is BJP which breathes communalism on the other side. The victory and defeat of our second candidate Mansoor Ali Khan is being watched with curiosity by not only minorities but by all those who believe in secularism," Siddaramaiah said. 

Stating that Khan's victory will not belong to any one particular party, he said, it will be the win of a "secular ideology" that both Congress and JD(S) believe in.

 "As public representatives it is our duty to become the voice of the conscience of our voters, who are our bosses. I appeal to you (JD(S) MLAs) to cast your conscience vote for our party's Mansoor Ali Khan, who is committed to secularism," he added. 

 This comes after talks between the Congress and JD(S) to find some kind of a partnership aimed at defeating the ruling BJP in the contest for the fourth seat in the Rajya Sabha elections from Karnataka seems to have reached a deadlock, with both parties firmly sticking to their stand. -- PTI
15:48   Presidential polls on July 18, counting on July 21
Election for the President of India will be held on July 18, the Election Commission announced on Thursday, with 4,809 members of the electoral college comprising MPs and MLAs set to elect the successor to incumbent Ram Nath Kovind.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar noted that Kovind's term ends on July 24 and his successor should be in place before that.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, he said the notification for the poll will be issued on June 15, and June 29 will be the last date for filing of nominations. 

"The value of the vote of an MP will be 700. Those in preventive detention can vote and those in jail will have to apply for parole and if they get parole, they can vote," said Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

Secretary-General of Rajya Sabha will be the Returning Officer. Nomination papers have to be delivered in Delhi and need at least 50 members of electoral college as proposers and another 50 as seconders.

So far no political party has named its choice for the top constitutional post. -- PTI

May we blow our own trumpet and tell you that had predicted the date of the polls correctly. Read here. 
15:32   Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh not allowed to vote in RS polls
Special PMLA court rejects applications of Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and former state minister Anil Deshmukh seeking permission to vote in Rajya Sabha elections tomorrow. The lawyer of former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh has requested a certified copy of the order as soon as possible so as to enable them to approach the High Court today.
15:25   Kamal Haasan says he will contest TN polls
Kamal Haasan, actor and President of Makkal Needhi Maiyam, attended a press meeting in Chennai regarding the success of his new film, 'Vikram'.

There, the actor confirmed that he will 'contest in next election' of Tamil Nadu.

In terms of working with South Indian actor Rajnikanth, Kamalahassan asserted, "I am ready always to act with Rajinikanth. On the part of the direction, it's should be discussed with Lokesh and Rajinikanth and then let you all know." 

The actor boasted that his party Makkal Needhi Maiyam has completed five years and expressed that it has "grown well" over the years.

According to Kamal Haasan, "There is no break with MNM party side. It will continue in its side."

The actor is willing to contest in the next Tamil Nadu elections as well.

Read the Vikram review here. 
14:55   A man in magnificence
Mr Tharoor is a man on the move. The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram is in making the most of the gorgeous city of Venice with pictures from a gondola and in the beautiful Piazza San Marco. Is he travelling alone in romantic Venezia? We don't know.

For, Shashi has tweeted, rather shrewdly, to say, "And I even took selfies that didnt involve other people!"

Enjoy yourself, Mr Tharoor.  
14:44   Mahima Chaudhry battling breast cancer
Bollywood actor Mahima Chaudhry has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

On Thursday, veteran star Anupam Kher took to Instagram and informed everyone that Mahima is suffering from cancer. He dropped an emotional video in which Mahima is seen recalling opening up to Kher about her cancer diagnosis when he called her to offer her a role in his movie 'Signature'.

In the clip, Mahima shared that Kher called her to do his film when she was getting treated in the hospital. She said that she has been receiving calls to do web shows and films but she couldn't say yes because she had no hair.

 She later got emotional and said that she asked Kher if she can do his film with a wig as she has lost hair due to cancer.

Sharing the video, Kher wrote, "Story of @mahimachaudhry1 's courage and Cancer: I called #MahimaChaudhry a month back from US to play a very important role in my 525th film #TheSignature. Our conversation turned to her discovering that she has #BreastCancer. What followed is in this candid conversation between us."

He added, "Her attitude will give hope to so many women all over the world. She wanted me to be part of her disclosing it. She calls me an eternal optimist but dearest Mahima! "You are my HERO!" Friends! Send her your love, warmth, wishes, prayers and blessings. She is BACK on sets where she belongs. She is ready to fly. All those producers/directors out there! Here is your opportunity to tap on her brilliance! Jai ho to her."

As soon as Mahima shared her health update, fans and members of the film industry chimed into the comment section to wish her a speedy recovery. -- PTI
SAI has sought a report from the yatching federation
SAI has sought a report from the yatching federation
14:39   After cyclist, female sailor complains against coach
Days after a renowned cyclist accused her coach of sexual harassment, a national level female sailor has alleged that a coach made her "uncomfortable" during a foreign exposure trip to Germany. 

 According to a source, the complainant reached out to the Yatching Federation of India (YAI) several times but when she did not get any response, she sought Sports Authority of India's intervention last night. SAI has now sought a report from the Federation by the end of the day, asking if the sailor had approached them earlier, and if so why the matter was not taken seriously. 

"The SAI has received a complaint from a female sailor that a coach is making her uncomfortable during a foreign exposure tour of Germany. The sailor claimed that she had earlier approached the federation but after getting no response from them, she knocked on SAI's doors," a SAI source told PTI. "SAI has sought a report from the federation from the Yatching Federation of India on this serious matter.

"The camp was proposed and organised by the Yatching Association of India and funded by SAI through ACTC, as is the norm. The coach in question has been appointed by the federation and was included in the contingent as per the proposal of the Federation," the source added. 

 SAI has also reached out to the athlete, who claimed that "mental pressure" was being created by the coach during training. The sailor did mention any sexual harassment by the coach. The coach in question is a three-time Olympian and is a coach of the Indian Navy team. PTI
Representational image
Representational image
14:30   Body of NEET aspirant found after 2 days
Body of a missing 17-year-old girl was found in the forest of Jawahar Sagar Dam in Kota, police said on Thursday. 

 A NEET aspirant, the girl hailed from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, and was staying in a hostel in Rajiv Gandhi area for the past one and a half month, they said. 

 DSP and CO of Jawahar Nagar Ankit Jain told PTI, her body was found fully dressed. 

Prima facie, it seems that she died after being hit by a stone. 

 The cause of death can only be cleared after the post-mortem examination, he said.

 According to the police, the deceased minor had left her room two days ago for coaching and did not return. During primary investigation, it was found that the girl had befriended one Kishan Thakur from Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat on social media. 

The man in his early 20s had come to Kota on Saturday and they both had planned to go on a picnic near the dam, they said. 

 CCTV footage too showed the girl leaving with a young man on a scooty, the police official said. 

 Police teams have been dispatched to Gujarat to nab Thakur who is likely to be brought to Kota by Thursday evening, Jain said. The motive behind the murder would be ascertained only after the suspect is arrested and interrogated, the DSP added. PTI
13:54   Jharkhand: Two rape accused thrashed, set afire; one dies
Two youths accused of raping a girl have been beaten up and set on fire by villagers in Jharkhand's Gumla district, leaving one dead and the other seriously injured, police said on Thursday. 

 The incident took place in a village in Sadar Police Station area on Wednesday night. The injured is undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Gumla Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Manish Chandra Lal said. 

 "The duo had allegedly raped the minor on Wednesday. When the girl's family members and other villagers came to know about the incident, they got hold of the accused from a neighbouring village, of which they were residents. The mob then brought the youths to the survivor's village, thrashed them and set them on fire," Lal told PTI. 

 One of the accused succumbed to his injuries in the hospital while the condition of the other is critical, he said. 

 The accused's motorbike was also set on fire. The girl's family lodged an FIR with the Sadar Police Station, and the survivor will be sent for medical examination, the officer said. -- PTI
13:48   Monsoon to reach Maharashtra in 2 days: IMD
The monsoon is progressing normally and will likely reach Maharashtra in the next two days, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday. Senior IMD scientist R K Jenamani said the monsoon covered south and central Arabian Sea, entire Kerala, parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu between May 31 and June 7. 

 In the meantime, it covered the entire northeast India, which received good rainfall, he said. "There is no delay in the progress of the monsoon. It is likely to reach Maharashtra in the next two days and cover Mumbai in the subsequent two days," Jenamani told reporters. 

 "We have strong monsoon features -- there are strong winds and clouds have started developing -- for the next two days," he added. 

 The scientist said conditions are favourable for the further advance of monsoon over Goa and some more parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the next two days. -- PTI
Nupur Sharma
Nupur Sharma
13:39   FIRs filed against Sharma, Jindal, Owaisi, Yati
Delhi Police has registered FIRs against former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, controversial priest Yati Narsinghanand and others for allegedly posting and sharing messages on social media against the maintenance of public tranquility and inciting people on divisive lines, officials said on Thursday.

 The FIRs were registered after an analysis of social media, they said. The cases have been registered against those who were posting and sharing messages against the maintenance of public tranquility and were inciting people on the basis of divisive lines," a senior police officer said. 

 The cases have been registered under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, he said. 

 One case has been registered against Sharma and another against multiple social media entities, including Owaisi, Jindal, Narsinghanand, Shadab Chauhan, Saba Naqvi, Maulana Mufti Nadeem, Abdur Rehman and Gulzar Ansari, based on the analysis, the officer said. Notices will be sent to the social media intermediaries for the details, he added. 

"We have registered 2 FIRs under appropriate sections on the basis of social media analysis against those trying to disrupt public tranquility & inciting people on divisive lines. One pertains to Ms Nupur Sharma & other against multiple social media entities," Delhi Police tweeted. 

 "Even as Notices are being sent to social media intermediaries for details of those behind these accounts/entities, #DelhiPolice appeals to everyone to desist from posting anything that may disrupt social and communal harmony," it added. 

 The FIRs have been registered by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operation (IFSO) unit of the Special Cell, police said.
Get your booster shot now
Get your booster shot now
12:54   Centre 'closely monitoring' Covid spike in 4 states
Union Health Ministry is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, and Karnataka and has asked them to follow the five-fold strategy. This strategy is: Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid appropriate behavior. 

The single-day rise in new coronavirus infections in the country was recorded over 7,000 after 99 days, registering around 39 per cent jump in daily cases, while the daily positivity rate crossed 2 per cent after 111 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.  

A total of 7,240 infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours taking India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,31,97,522, while the death toll has climbed to 5,24,723 with eight fresh fatalities, data updated at 8 am by the ministry stated.

The active cases have increased to 32,498, comprising 0.08 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.71 per cent, the health ministry said. -- PTI
12:29   Rajnath hands over 12 high-speed guard boats to Vietnam
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday handed over to Vietnam 12 high-speed guard boats built under a USD 100 million Line of Credit granted to the Southeast Asian country by India. 

 The boats were given by Singh at a ceremony in the Hong Ha shipyard amid increasing maritime security cooperation between the two sides to deal with Beijing's increasing military assertiveness in the South China Sea region. The defence minister is on a three-day visit to Vietnam from June 8 to 10. 

 "It gives me great pleasure to join this historic ceremony marking the successful completion of the project to build 12 high-speed guard boats under the USD 100 million defence Line of Credit by India," he said at the event. 

 The initial five boats were manufactured at the L&T Shipyard in India and the remaining seven were built in the Hong Ha shipyard. "I am confident that this will be a precursor to many more cooperative defence projects between India and Vietnam," Singh said. 

 "This project is a glowing example of our 'Make in India -- Make for the World' mission," he added. The defence minister said India would be "greatly pleased" if "close friends like Vietnam" become part of the country's transformation in the defence manufacturing sector. -- PTI
Pilgrims on the way to Amarnath in 2014
Pilgrims on the way to Amarnath in 2014
12:25   Sticky bombs new threat for Amarnath Yatra
As the countdown for the Amarnath Yatra has begun, security personnel deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, especially those in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), will be equipped with high-tech gadgets being used "first time" during the annual pilgrimage of Hindus amid specific concern regarding the use of "sticky bombs" by terrorists, sources said.

The names of these special gadgets, which are withheld due to security reasons, are learnt to be used for some specific purpose, said a source in security wind requesting anonymity, adding that "these gadgets include some of them manufactured by Israel". 

Besides, the source said, the number of drones for surveillance is being increased during the pilgrimage and it is estimated that over 50 are to be used only on twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal.

For the first time, another officer in the CRPF said, an "integrated" effort is being put across all forces concerned including Army, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Jammu and Kashmir administration and Amarnathji Shrine Board members.

The officer said security agencies are concerned over terrorist groups possessing "sticky bombs" -- explosives that can be attached to vehicles and detonated remotely -- and are reshaping their standard operating procedure for the pilgrimage which is all set to start on June 30 after a gap of two years.

The inputs came during the interrogation of arrested terrorists and their sympathisers and other evidence which suggests that while some "sticky bombs" have been recovered by security forces, many of them may have found their way into terror groups in Kashmir Valley, said the officer.

"As the sticky bombs can be only used in unattended civilian vehicles, the message is being circulated not to leave any vehicle unattended," said the officer.

About three lakh pilgrims are likely to take part in the pilgrimage to the cave shrine located in the upper reaches of south Kashmir.It has been decided that vehicles of pilgrims as well as of security forces will be secluded during their movement, some other officials, privy to the development said.

"Instructions have also been issued to the security forces as well as those managing the pilgrimage not to leave vehicles unattended.

"The 'sticky bombs' emerged on the terror scene in February last year in Kashmir when these were recovered from the Samba of the Jammu region, indicating the initiation of a new phase of terrorism in the union territory.

It was the first such recovery of "sticky bombs", used largely in Afghanistan and Iraq. In India, it was used by suspected Iranian terrorists who targeted the vehicle of an Israeli diplomat in February 2012, resulting in injury to his wife.

Sticky bombs, which were also used by the British forces during World War II, can be put on any vehicle and detonated through remote control or an in-built timer, the officials said. -- ANI
The spectacular Rashtrapati Bhavan
The spectacular Rashtrapati Bhavan
12:05   EC to announce date of presidential poll today
The Election Commission will announce the schedule of the election to the office of the President of India on Thursday. The poll panel has convened a press conference at 3 pm to announce the schedule.

The term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 24 and an election for the next president has to be held before that day. 

 The president is elected by the members of the electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament, and elected members of the legislative assemblies of all states including the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry. 

 The nominated members of either Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha or legislative assemblies of the states are not eligible to be included in the electoral college and therefore, they are not entitled to participate in the election. 

 Similarly, members of the legislative councils are also not electors for the presidential election. In 2017, the presidential polls were held on July 17 and the counting took place on July 20.
11:46   Satyendar Jain's custody in ED till June 13
Delhi court extends Satyendar Jain's ED custody till June 13 in money laundering case. The Delhi's health minister was sent to the Enforcement Directorate's custody in a money laundering case by a court in New Delhi which noted that his interrogation was required to unearth the alleged larger conspiracy.
11:36   Student molested in Mumbai local train
A man allegedly assaulted and molested a woman in a moving local train in Mumbai and then snatched her bag and mobile phone, but was nabbed while running away at the Churchgate railway station, police said on Thursday. 

 The incident took place on Monday evening, when the 20-year-old victim, a college student, was travelling from Prabhadevi to Churchgate in south Mumbai, they said. She was alone in the women's coach when the accused, identified as Pappu Gupta, got into the compartment and sat next to her.

 The victim then got up and stood near the door of the compartment, a police official said. 

 After the train crossed the Charni Road station, the man got up and tried to snatch the victim's bag and mobile phone, but she resisted his move and fell in the coach. The accused then allegedly pulled the victim by her hair, bit her lips and snatched her bag and mobile phone, the official said. 

 The victim shouted for help, following which the accused jumped out of the train as it slowed down while entering the Churchgate railway station and started running away, he said.

 On hearing the woman's screams, some commuters and police personnel present at the station chased the accused and caught hold of him, he said.

 The Government Railway Police (GRP) subsequently arrested Gupta, the official said. Mumbai GRP Commissioner Quaiser Khalid in a tweet on Wednesday night said, "The accused has been arrested and DCP (Western) is supervising the investigation. We regret the survivor's experience and will take the required steps to resolve her grievance on priority and provide every possible support." 

 A case has been registered against the accused under IPC Sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 393 (attempt to commit robbery), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery) and and provisions of the Railways Act, he said. -- PTI
A charred scooter
A charred scooter
11:20   20 people rescued after house catches fire in southeast Delhi
More than 20 people were rescued after a fire broke out in a house in southeast Delhi's Jama Masjid area on Thursday morning, Delhi Fire Service said. However, no casualty was reported so far, it added. 

Atul Garg, Director, Delhi Fire Service said a call about a fire in a house near Batla House was received at 8.48 am, following which seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot. 

 "The Fire was in a house comprising five floors. It was triggered from meter boards and reach up to the third floor of the house. More than 20 people have been rescued and the fire was brought under control," he said.
File pic
File pic
11:04   Safety nets, flags, fine to prevent drownings at Mangaluru beach
The Malpe beach development committee in Udupi district has put up safety nets across an important stretch of the beach in view of the increasing number of cases of drowning of tourists there in the recent past.

 The nets are placed to prevent tourists from venturing into the sea in the dangerous spots. 

 The six-feet high nets have been installed up to one km stretch on the main area of the beach. Red flags have also been put up to caution tourists of the impending danger. 

 The committee sources said that those who cross the net and step into the water will have to pay a fine of Rs 500.

 A public address system is also in place to warn the tourists. Yellow flags have been placed at some places indicating that these are safe places for the tourists. PTI
11:01   Tapovan glacier disaster: Headless torso, body found
More than a year after a glacial disaster ravaged parts of the NTPC's Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project, two disfigured bodies with the head of one missing were found in a tunnel at the project site, police said on Thursday. 

The headless body and a body part belonging to another victim of the glacial disaster were found inside the Intel Tunnel when it was being cleaned of rubble on Wednesday evening, they said. 

A glacial burst had triggered a flash flood in the Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga rivers in February 2021 completely demolishing the Rishi Ganga hydel project and ravaging major parts of the NTPC's Tapovan Vishnugad hydro-electricity project being built over Dhauli Ganga. 

 More than 200 people working inside the tunnels of these projects perished in the tragedy. Bodies continue to be found stuck in tonnes of rubble still choking the tunnels of the NTPC's project. 

 The headless body has been identified as that of Harish Singh of Dhak village near Joshimath. 

The other body has not been identified as yet. 

 A total of 205 people had been reported missing after the tragedy out of which 82 bodies and one human limb have been found so far, police said. PTI
10:50   Iran satisfied with India's stance over Prophet row
Iran is satisfied with the efforts made by the Indian government in dealing with those responsible for comments on Prophet Muhammed, the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said. 

Abdollahian, who is on his first visit to India since he assumed office last year, raised the issue of the controversial remarks, made by two former BJP spokespersons, in his meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in the national capital on Wednesday. 

 The Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement said that Abdollahian had raised the issue with Doval, and was satisfied by the response he received. The NSA Ajit Doval, it said, reaffirmed the Indian government and officials' respect for the Prophet Muhammad saying offenders will be dealt with at the government and related bodies in an exemplary manner. 

 "Ajit Doval reaffirmed the Indian government and officials' respect for the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), saying offenders will be dealt with, at the government and related bodies levels, in such a way that others will learn a lesson," the Iranian foreign ministry statement read. 

 "Amirabdollahian said Muslims are satisfied with the stance of Indian officials in dealing with the culprits," the statement added. Amirabdollahian hailed the Indian people and government for their respect for the divine faiths, especially the Prophet Muhammad and also for the religious tolerance, historical coexistence and friendship among followers of various religions in the country. 

The Iranian foreign minister also called for serious attention to the sensitivities of Muslims regarding their religious sanctities. 

 A Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson was suspended on Sunday from the party's primary membership after her alleged inflammatory remarks against minorities, which drew sharp reactions from Gulf countries. In his meeting with NSA Doval in New Delhi on Wednesday, the visiting Iranian foreign minister Amirabdollahian recognised India for its religious tolerance, and friendship among followers of various religions in the country. 

 The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Amirabdollahian and Jaishankar held two rounds of talks, during which a broad range of issues of mutual interest between the two countries in strategic, political, economic and cultural spheres, were discussed. -- ANI
Representational image
Representational image
10:27   Hindu temple vandalised in Pakistan
The idols of deities at a Hindu temple in this Pakistani city have been destroyed, police have said, the latest incident of vandalism against the places of worship of the minority community in this country. 

 The idols of deities at Shri Mari Maata Mandir in Karachi's Korangi area were attacked on Wednesday. 

The temple is located in "J" area within the limits of Korangi police station. After getting information, the police reached the area and inspected the temple and inquired about the incident. 

 The Express Tribune newspaper reported that the incident caused panic and fear among the Hindu community living in Karachi, particularly in the Korangi area where police were deployed to avoid any untoward incident. Sanjeev, a Hindu resident of the area, told the newspaper that six to eight individuals on motorcycles came into the area and attacked the temple. 

"We don't know who has attacked and why," he said, adding that the police were approached to lodge a case. Five to six unknown suspects entered the temple and escaped after vandalising it, Korangi SHO Farooq Sanjrani confirmed. 

He added that the case was being registered against the unknown suspects who attacked the temple.

 Temples belonging to the minority Hindu population in Pakistan are often the target of mob violence. In October, a historical temple located at the bank of the Indus River in Kotri was allegedly desecrated by unidentified people. Law enforcement agencies came to the scene soon after the news of the incident went viral on social media. An FIR of the incident was lodged at the Kotri police station against the unknown miscreants. -- PTI
Mahesh Thakur doesn't have Rs 50,000 to pay the bribe
Mahesh Thakur doesn't have Rs 50,000 to pay the bribe
10:05   Parents beg to pay bribe to get son's body released
In Samastipur, Bihar, parents beg and collect money to get the mortal remains of their son released from Sadar Hospital after a hospital employee allegedly asked for Rs 50,000 to release the body.

"Some time ago my son had gone missing. Now, we've received a call that my son's body is at Sadar Hospital, Samastipur. A hospital employee has asked for  50,000 to release my son's body. We're poor people, how can we pay this amount?" Mahesh Thakur told ANI.

The hospital authorities have said that strict action will be taken in the matter. "Those found responsible will not be spared. This is a shame on humanity," said Dr SK Chaudhary, civil surgeon, Samastipur.
09:34   Technical snag hits Metro Blue Line again, services affected
Services on Delhi Metro's Blue Line were delayed Thursday morning due to a technical snag, sources said.

Blue Line connects Dwarka Sector-21 in Delhi and Noida Electronic City, along with a branch line to Vaishali.

Three days ago, a large number of commuters on the Blue Line had faced hardship as services across the corridor were impacted for nearly an hour and a half due to a technical snag.

On Thursday again, the DMRC tweeted to alert commuters.

'Blue Line Update Delay in services between Dwarka Sector 21 and Noida Electronic City/Vaishali. Normal service on all other lines,' it tweeted.

Sources said, the technical snag was due to some OHE (overhead equipment) issue.

More details are awaited.  -- PTI
09:20   India's daily Covid count rises sharply to 7,240
India records 7,240 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, registering an increase of 38 per cent increase from yesterday when 5,233 new infections were reported.

Active cases rise to 32,498, with an increase of 3,641 cases.

Eight deaths were reported in the last 24 hours and 3,591 people recovered.  -- ANI

IMAGE: A health worker collects a swab sample of a man for COVID-19 test, at state transport bus stand, in Ahmedabad, on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo
08:58   1 dead, 15 injured in Mumbai building collapse
A 40-year-old man died and 15 others were injured after a three-storey residential building collapsed in suburban Bandra on Thursday, a civic official said.

A rescue operation is underway to search for three to four persons believed to be under the rubble, he said.

The ground plus two storey structure in Maharashtra Nagar locality near the Western Express Highway collapsed around 12.30 am, the official said.

Personnel of the fire brigade, police and ward staff of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation rushed to the spot after learning about the incident.

The injured are being treated at the nearby Bhabha hospital, the official said.   -- PTI
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar with Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar with Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala
08:30   RS polls: Haryana BJP-JJP MLAs moved to resort
Ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, Haryana MLAs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janata Party alliance have shifted to a resort in Chandigarh to discuss the strategy for the elections.

The polls are slated to be held on June 10.

Speaking to the reporters on Wednesday, Minister JP Dalal said that they have called all the MLAs to make the new MLAs understand on the polling procedure.

"We've come here (Oberoi Sukhvilas Spa Resort, New Chandigarh) to understand the process of voting for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls. All technical details regarding the poll will be discussed as many MLAs are first-time MLAs. They have never taken part in the Rajya Sabha elections. So it will be decided who will vote for the BJP and for the Independent," he said.

When asked about the Congress party which has shifted its MLAs to Chhattisgarh, the minister said that the worry of the party shows that they have factions within themselves.

"Our win is certain as we have 40 votes for our party. Our alliance partner has 10 votes. I don't understand that Congress had 31 MLAs, yet they are worried. This shows that Congress is a party which is divided in sections. We are not scared. We are roaming freely. We are here only to discuss who has to cast vote for which candidate," Dalal said.

He informed that the MLAs will stay at the resort till Thursday.   -- ANI
01:41   Govt school in J-K's Samba to be named after teacher killed by terrorists
The government high school in Gopalpora area of South Kashmir's Kulgam will be named after its teacher Rajni Bala, who was shot dead by terrorists on May 31, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced on Wednesday. 

During the day, Sinha visited Bala's family members at their residence in Samba and assured her husband Rajkumar of all possible support, an official said. 

"We have decided that Gopalpora government high school will be named after Rajni Bala," Sinha announced during a programme held in connection with a road project in the evening. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
01:00   Bhima panel summons chiefs of 6 parties in Maha
The Koregaon Bhima commission, probing the January 2018 violence near a memorial in Maharashtra's Pune district, has ordered to issue summons to heads of six political parties in the state, including the Shiv Sena, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, on an application stating that their presence will be helpful to suggest measures to avoid incidents of violence in future. 

Commission's lawyer advocate Ashish Satpute had submitted an application before the commission's chairman Jaynarayan Patel seeking direction to issue summons to state chiefs of Shiv Sena (CM Uddhav Thackeray), BJP (Chandrakant Patil), Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (Prakash Ambedkar), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (Raj Thackeray), Republic Party of India-Athawale Ramdas Athawale, and state Pradesh Congress Committee (Nana Patole). 

Satpute in his letter had stated that the presence of the above political persons is useful before the commission to suggest short and long-term measures to be taken by the district administration and police to avoid the recurrence of such incidents (the Koregaon Bhima violence that occurred on January 1, 2018). 

The application also stated that the commission had issued notices to prominent political leaders in 2018 also, but barring NCP chief Sharad Pawar none of them made any efforts to respond to the notices. 

Satpute stated that it was necessary to consider the suggestions of the political leaders of various parties on whether more powers should be delegated to police officers so that they can effectively control the situation like political bandh, communal riots, political agitations etc. -- PTI