Fri, 25 November 2022
Venugopal to visit Rajasthan amid turmoil in Cong

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Representative image only
Representative image only
23:30   ISRO begins countdown for PSLV-C54 mission
Scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) commenced the countdown on Friday for the launch of Earth Observation Satellite - Oceansat --  and eight other customer satellites on a PSLV-C54 rocket from the spaceport of Sriharikota on Saturday.

The 25.30-hour countdown for the 56th flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its extended version (PSLV-XL), started at 10.26 am today for the lift-off scheduled at 11.56 am on Saturday from the first launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, 115 km from here, a source said.

The primary payload of the rocket is an Oceansat which would be separated in orbit-1 while the eight other nano-satellites would be placed in different orbits based on the customer requirements (in the Sun-synchronous polar orbits).

Including the primary payload, nine satellites would ride piggy-back on the 44.4-metre high PSLV-C54 which has a lift-off mass of 321 tonne. It is also the 24th flight of the PSLV-XL version.

The mission would be one of the longest ones undertaken by the ISRO scientists who would engage the rocket to change orbits using two-orbit change thrusters (OCTs) used in the PSLV-C54 launch vehicle.

The separation of the Earth Observation Satellite is expected to take place in orbit-1 while the passenger payloads would be separated in Orbit-2.   

The Earth Observation Satellite is expected to be placed after reaching an altitude of about 742 km about 20 minutes after lift-off.

After the primary satellite separation, the vehicle would be lowered to reach an altitude of 516 km for placing of the first passenger satellite. The last payload separation is expected to take place at an altitude of 528 km, the ISRO said.

The Earth Observation Satellite-6 is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series. This is to provide continuity services of Oceansat-2 spacecraft with enhanced payload specifications as well as application areas.

The objective of the mission is to ensure data continuity of ocean colour and wind vector data to sustain the operational applications.

The customer payloads include ISRO Nano Satellite-2 for Bhutan (INS-2B) which would have two payloads namely NanoMx and APRS-Digipeater.

NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by Space Applications Centre while APRS-Digipeater payload is jointly developed by Department of Information Technology and Telecom, Bhutan, and U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru.

The 'Anand' satellite developed by Pixxel is technology demonstrator to demonstrate the capabilities and commercial applications of miniature earth observation camera for observation using a micro-satellite in low earth orbit.

The 'Thybolt' (two satellites) is from another space start-up Dhruva Space while Astrocast is a technology demonstrator satellite for the internet of things as the payload from Spaceflight, the United States of America.   -- PTI
23:06   Venugopal to visit Rajasthan amid turmoil in Cong
Amid a turmoil in Rajasthan Congress after chief minister Ashok Gehlot's gaddar (traitor) remark at his former deputy Sachin Pilot, All India Congress Committee general secretary organisation K C Venugopal has decided to visit to the desert state from November 29.

Sources said Venugopal will be reviewing the arrangements for the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan which enters the state in the first week of December, but insiders say he will have to ensure that the bickering in the state unit does not come to the fore during the yatra.

Gehlot and Pilot are at loggerheads over the leadership position, with Pilot seeking to replace him and the chief minister saying that there is no indication of a change in leadership in Rajasthan.

Venugopal will have to play a key role in cooling the tempers of legislators and party leaders in Rajasthan who are a divided lot, with one section owing allegiance to the chief minister and the other putting its weight behind Pilot.

AICC general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan Ajay Maken has already tendered his resignation in the wake of the development on September 25, when the party could not hold a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), but has been asked to continue.

Maken is unlikely to visit Rajasthan during the yatra as he has made his intentions public by asserting that he is not keen on continuing in his position, after the party failed to take action against three key MLAs including ministers Shanti Dhariwal and Mahesh Joshi, besides RTDC chief Dharmendra Rathore.

Joshi is also the chief whip of the Congress in Vidhan Sabha.     Dissensions appeared in the Rajasthan Congress after Gehlot called Pilot a traitor.

The party has said the comment was unexpected and asserted that the crisis will be resolved by the leadership.

Gehlot on Thursday said Sachin Pilot is a gaddar and that he cannot replace him, drawing a sharp response from his former deputy who said such 'mud-slinging' would not help, in an escalation of their rift just days ahead of the entry of Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' into the state.

Gehlot also told NDTV that Pilot had revolted against the Congress in 2020 and alleged that he tried to topple the state government.

The crisis in Rajasthan Congress comes ahead of assembly elections in the state next year, where the Congress is seeking to buck anti-incumbency and repeat its government.   -- PTI
22:39   Dera chief's parole ends, back to jail in Rohtak
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was back in Sunaria jail in Haryana's Rohtak district on Friday at the end of his 40-day parole.

The Dera chief, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping his two disciples, had gone to his Barnawa ashram in Uttar Pradesh after his release on October 14.

"At the end of his parole, he (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh) returned to Sunaria jail Friday evening," a police official said.

Notably, during his parole period, the 55-year-old Sirsa dera chief held several online 'satsangs' at the Barnawa ashram.

Some of these were also attended by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from Haryana, including Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa.

The dera chief's parole had once again coincided with some polls in the region, the third such instance in the current year.

Haryana witnessed three-phase panchayat elections between October 30 and November 25, and the bypoll to the Adampur Assembly seat was held earlier this month.

The Dera chief had come out of prison on a month-long parole in June ahead of the elections to 46 municipalities in Haryana.

He was granted three weeks furlough from February 7, barely two weeks before the Punjab assembly elections.

The Sirsa Dera has a large number of followers in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex religious body of the Sikhs, had earlier raised an objection to the 40-day parole to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami had alleged that while special kindness was being shown to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Sikh prisoners lodged in jails for three decades were not being released even after completing their sentences.

The Dera chief was last year also convicted along with four others for hatching a conspiracy to kill Ranjit Singh, a dera manager. The dera chief and three others were convicted in 2019 for the murder of a journalist more than 16 years ago.  -- PTI
22:18   'Misuse of kids': Cong complains to EC against PM
A delegation of Congress leaders on Friday met the Election Commission and complained against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the alleged misuse of children in election campaign in Gujarat after he shared a video of a child campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The delegation demanded that those responsible for the act should be brought to book as the issue was serious.

The delegation comprised former Union minister Salman Khurshid, All India Congress Committee in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir, Rajni Patil, and AICC secretary Ranjeet Ranjan.

The Congress alleged that the prime minister shared a video of a girl child campaigning for the BJP and the same was shared by several union ministers, which is in violation of law.

"We are apprising you of the actions of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi ji, which are not only illegal, but also in clear violation of your Commission as well as the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

"We hope, in the present case, you shall take the strictest and immediate action against the offenders in question who are egregiously, and without a shred of doubt, used a minor child for express campaign purposes. This is an actionable claim since it directly violates your own directives. We hope you will take swift action against the offenders," the party memorandum to the Election Commission (EC) said.

Patil told reporters that on one hand, everyone wants that girl children should move forward and be educated, on the other hand, the prime minister is using them for poll campaign.

"This is the time for children to play and get educated, but it is unfortunate that small girls are being used for election campaign. We all strongly oppose this act of the prime minister and demand that the Election Commission take action in the matter. We hope the National Commission for Child Rights Protection also take action in the matter, as children have their rights and cannot be used for electioneering like this," she said.

Khurshid said, "We are very deeply concerned about children being exploited and used for election campaigns in Gujarat. We have produced videos that lots of people have seen; it has been widely made viral."

The Election Commission has very clearly observed several times that children must not be used in campaigns and yet this is happening, he said.

"The EC promised us that they will examine it very closely, scrutinise it and they will take appropriate actions. We are sincerely hoping that this will happen not only to make people accountable for what they have done, but also to ensure that this will not be repeated in future and the lives of our children is secured," the senior Congress leader said.  -- PTI
21:08   Final J-K electoral roll sees 7.72 lakh new voters
The final electoral roll of Jammu and Kashmir was published on Friday with the highest-ever addition of more than 7.72 lakh voters, officials said. The final electoral roll has a total of 83,59,771 electors -- 42,91,687 males, 40,67,900 females and 184 third gender -- Joint Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir Anil Salgotra said. 

The release of the electoral roll paves the way for holding of assembly polls in the Union territory, the first since Article 370 provisions were abrogated and Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into Union territories in 2019. 

"There has been a net increase of 7,72,872 electors in the final electoral roll, i.e. a 10.19 per cent net increase of the registered electors over the draft roll," he said. 

The highest number of additions during a special summary revision was less than 2 lakh earlier. 

The elector-population ratio has increased from 0.52 to 0.58 during this special summary revision (SSR), he said. 

This was for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir that more than 11 lakh applications for inclusion in the electoral roll were received in a single SSR period, Salgotra said.
21:02   Tripura: Cong says 12 injured in BJP 'attack' on Bharat Jodo Yatra
At least 12 people, including three police personnel, were injured as the Congress's state-level Bharat Jodo Yatra was attacked at two places in Tripura on Friday, police said.

Hundreds of Congress workers were marching to Santir Bazar market in South Tripura district around 3.30 pm when stones were hurled at them.

The Congress alleged that supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party were behind the attack.

"Suddenly, a group of youths started pelting stones at the rally, leaving several injured, including three police constables. It led to a war-like situation," the officer-in-charge of Santir Bazar police station Anupam Das told PTI.

"As the situation was going out of control, police charged batons to disperse the youths, during which some people might be injured," he said.

Six-seven Congress supporters were injured in the attack but the number is likely to rise, he added.

Later, agitated BJP supporters protested outside the police station over the lathi charge on its supporters.

Congress leader Asish Saha claimed that 15 party workers were injured in the attack.

Another leg of the programme was attacked at Amatali in West Tripura district, Superintendent of Police (SP), West Tripura, Sankar Das said.

"No FIR has been lodged regarding the incident till now but the police will start a suo motu investigation into the incident. The situation is now under control," he said.

As a part of the national-level Bharat Jodo Yatra, being led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, different state units of the party are organising similar marches.

The Tripura state Congress has organised such yatras in all sub-divisions. Chief Minister Manik Saha said police have been given a free hand to take action against those indulging in violence.

"In democracy, there is no room for violence. Those who are indulging in violence should know that violence brings nothing. We have seen unleashing of political violence over 25 years. It is very difficult to get rid of such old practice overnight," he said.

Criticising the attacks, Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman sought police action as per the law.

"Some day we will meet police officers in the garb of submitting deputations and force them to wear bangles as they remain mute spectators over the attacks on the opposition," he said.  -- PTI
Image strictly for representational purposes
Image strictly for representational purposes
20:37   Punjab: 10-yr-old boy booked for 'glorifying' gun culture
Amritsar Rural Police booked four people, including a 10-year-old boy and his father, for glorifying gun culture but later cancelled the FIR after it was pointed out that the firearm in question was a 'toy gun'.

The case was registered at the Kathunangal Police Station on Wednesday. The boy's father had posted a photo of his son on the latter's Facebook page in which the child was seen standing with a gun with a bandolier on his shoulder.

The case was registered under Section 188 of the IPC, which pertains to disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant.

The state government has banned public display of firearms and songs promoting gun culture, including on social media.

According to the FIR, police had registered the FIR against four people -- a man, his minor son, and two others, all of whom were seen in the picture.

Former Minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia slammed the Aam Aadmi Party government for registering the FIR, saying the child was only holding a big toy gun in his hands.

"Now, minor children too are being booked for carrying toy guns, this is Bhagwant Mann's Rangla (vibrant) Punjab," Majithia said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Amritsar Rural) Swapan Sharma told PTI that an FIR had indeed been registered, but not particularly against the 10-year-old son of the man.

"There was some confusion initially, now everything has been cleared and after a thorough investigation, police was cancelling the FIR against all the persons forthwith," he said.

Speaking to reporters in Amritsar, the boy's father said that he had received a phone call from Kathunangal SHO.

"He referred to the particular photo on my Facebook. I told him that the said photo was of 2015. I said the child was four years old then, now he is 10 years old.

"He told me to delete the photos. But yesterday, I came to know that a case had been registered. I then brought the matter to the notice of DSP Majitha. I told him these were old photos," said the boy's father, a businessman.

Replying to a question from the media, he said, "I have not told my child about the FIR. What will the child go through.."  -- PTI
19:43   Iran protests: India abstains on UN resolution
India on Thursday abstained from voting on a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the alleged Human Rights violation committed on protesters in Iran that started on September 16.

Taking to Twitter, United Nations Human Right Council said, 'At its 35th special session, the @UN Human Rights Council decided to create a new fact-finding mission to investigate alleged #HumanRightsViolations in the Islamic Republic of #Iran related to the protests that began on 16 September 2022.'

This resolution came amid the protests that started on September 16 after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was taken into custody by Iran's morality police for wearing an 'inappropriate' headscarf, later died, drawing allegations of custodial violence.

Apart from India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan had also abstained from the resolution.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and China rejected the resolution.

However, the resolution in the UNHRC was passed, with 25 votes in favour, six against and 16 abstentions, at a special session of the 47-member human rights body and now the Human Rights Council has created a fact-finding mission, related to the protests in Iran.

This follows calls from UN human rights chief Volker Turk for an independent investigation, UN News reported.

In the meeting, the UN High Commissioner highlighted how the security forces, 'notably the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Basij forces have used live ammunition, birdshot and other metal pellets, teargas and batons' against the protest movement as it has spread to a reported 150 cities and 140 universities in all provinces of Iran.

Before calling for an independent probe into all alleged rights violations, the high commissioner noted that his Office had received 'multiple communications' from Iran about the episode, 'including domestic investigations'.

These efforts 'have failed to meet international standards of impartiality, independence and transparency', UN news quoted Turk as saying.

Responding to the High Commissioner's comments, Iran's representative, Khadijeh Karimi, Deputy of the Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, insisted that 'necessary measures' had been taken to seek justice by the Government, after Amini's death.

These included the formation of an independent, parliamentary investigation commission as well as a forensic medical team.

"However, before the formal announcement of the probe analysis, the biased and hasty reaction of a number of Western authorities and their interventions in internal affairs of Iran turned the peaceful assemblies into riots and violence," she maintained.

Since Amini's death following her arrest by Iran's so-called Morality Police on September 13 for not wearing her hijab properly, more than 300 people have been killed in protests, including at least 40 children, according to the latest UN human rights office information.   -- ANI
Elon Musk
Elon Musk
19:20   Twitter to have 3 colours for verified accounts from next week
Twitter's account verification program is finally set to launch next week. 

CEO Elon Musk, took to the microblogging site to make the announcement. 

Sorry for the delay, we're tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week." he posted. "Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates," the SpaceX owner added. 

He had earlier tweeted about the usage of different colours for different organisations and individuals but fleshed out the details just recently. 

"All verified individual humans will have same blue check, as boundary of what constitutes "notable" is otherwise too subjective," he tweeted.
BSE Sensex- Top gainers today.
Rupee vs Dollar fluctuations this week.
Sanjay Raut
Sanjay Raut
18:42   Judge recuses from hearing plea against Raut's bail
A single judge bench of the Bombay high court on Friday recused itself from hearing the Enforcement Directorate's plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and his aide Pravin Raut in a money laundering case. 

The ED had approached the HC seeking cancellation of bail granted to the Rajya Sabha MP and his aide by a special court on November 9. 

The central probe agency had sought an interim stay on the bail order, which the HC had refused. 

On Friday, when the matter came up for hearing, the single bench of Justice M S Karnik said, "It would not be appropriate for me to take up this matter before me." 

The matter will now be placed before a new bench. 

Sanjay Raut was granted bail by special PMLA judge M G Deshpande, over hundred days after he was arrested in the money laundering case related to redevelopment of Patra Chawl (a chawl is a row of old tenements) in suburban Goregaon. 

The special court, in its order, had termed the Rajya Sabha member's arrest as "illegal, without reason and a witch-hunt". 

The ED, in its application, said the special court order was bad in law and deserves to be set aside. It also claimed the special court had failed to appreciate the evidence submitted in the case against the accused persons. 
18:12   Aaftab undergoes fresh round of lie detector test
Mehrauli murder accused Aaftab Amin Poonawala on Friday reached the Forensic Science Laboratory in Delhi for his next session of polygraph test, officials said.

He had undergone a marathon polygraph test of nearly eight hours on Thursday. However, officials at the facility found it difficult to record his statements as he was not well.

Poonawala was brought to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) at Rohini on Friday for another session of the polygraph test, also called the lie detector test, as he seems to be in better health, they said.          

Poonawala allegedly strangled his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar (27) and sawed her body into 35 pieces, which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi's Mehrauli before dumping those across the city over several days past midnight.        

"During the session (of polygraph test) on Thursday, Poonawala was asked details about the case, what triggered him to kill Walker, if it was a planned event or he did it in a fit of rage like he claimed in the court.

"All the sequence of event that transpired ever since they started dating and how he decided to dispose of the body in such a gruesome manner. He was also asked about the kind of weapon he used to chop her body along with various other questions related to the case that could give lead to further investigation in the case," an FSL source had said.

The police also said the saw used to cut the body is yet to be recovered.
18:05   Ram Temple construction underway
Construction work is underway in Ayodhya for Ram Temple comprising sanctum sanctorum and five mandaps on the ground floor.

The total height of the Temple is 161 ft from ground level, says Construction Committee, Shri Ram Temple.  -- ANI
17:40   Bihar panchayat lets off rape accused after doing 5 sit-ups
In a shocking incident that has come to light from Bihar's Nawada district, the panchayat allegedly let off a rape accused after ordering him to do sit-ups as punishment, police sources said.

The local police informed that the accused was from the same village as the minor girl he allegedly raped.

Sources said three days ago, a panchayat was convened in the matter and the panchayat chief or mukhiya, as the post is called locally, sentenced the accused youth to do sit-ups five times as a punishment for the alleged rape.

According to a statement issued by the local police, 'A village panchayat was called and the matter settled after the youth accused of raping a minor girl was made to do five sit-ups.'

'A video purportedly showing the youth doing sit-ups went viral on social media,' said an officer of the local police station.

The viral video of the panchayat alledgedly settling the rape case by way of a light punishment for the accused drew outrage from netizens.

'On the basis of the viral video, an FIR was registered on the order of the Nawada SP,' the officer added.

The SHO of the local police station told ANI, "An FIR has been registered in the case and all angles are being looked into as part of the ongoing investigation."    -- ANI
17:26   UP Congress social media chairperson finds her car stolen
Congress leader Pankhuri Pathak has said her car was stolen from the main road in Janakpuri area of southwest Delhi. 

Uploading CCTV footage on Twitter, Pathak alleged on Thursday that the thieves tried to open her car in several other ways before they broke the window and the lock of the vehicle, adding that the police "kept sleeping". 

"My car was stolen from the main road in Janakpuri. It was parked in front of a bank. The attempt to steal my car continued for about 30 minutes," she tweeted. 

"Delhi was never so unsafe earlier. The city has now turned into the crime capital," said Pathak, who is the social media chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Congress. 

"Is there any hope that you will be able to catch the criminals?" she asked, tagging the Delhi police commissioner and the DCP of the southwest district.
Pic: Sahil Salvi
Pic: Sahil Salvi
16:55   Sniff it out
On the eve of the horrific Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11/2008, a sniffer dog does the needful. 
16:43   Isudan: AAP can get full majority in Gujarat if...
"Had Congress been not been in picture in Gujarat, the AAP would have been in a position to form the government with full majority just like it did in Punjab,"AAP leader Isudan Gadhvi said on Friday. 

Talking to ANI, the AAP's CM face for Gujarat, Isudan Gadhvi attacked Congress and termed it as the 'B team' of the ruling BJP. 

 Gadhvi expressed optimism that AAP will form the government in the state with full majority. 

 Responding to a question regarding AAP supremo and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's video in which he appealed electors not to vote for Congress, Gadhvi said Congress was dividing votes and further its MLAs will be available for sale. 

 "Arvind Ji in Goa told electors not to vote for Congress. He said so because if they voted for the Congress, its MLAs would go to the BJP. This time we hear that the BJP has helped half of its leaders to get Congress tickets so that after winning they will join BJP," the AAP leaer said. 

 As many as 65 big Congress leaders including its MLAs joined BJP in last eight years, so whose B team is Congress" asked Gadhvi.

 "If BJP gets 70 seats and Congress 10-15 and if all Congress MLAs will join BJP then they may be in a position to form the government to 'loot' farmers again," he alleged. 

Isudan Gadhvi further said that there is a prohibition on liquor in Gujarat but a liquor scam came to light after the death of over 70 people but it is not probed but in Delhi, "liquor scam" is being probed where not a single death occurred. What happened in Morbi?" he added. 

"Everyone trusts Arvind Kejriwal. Everyone hopes that AAP would provide better power, health and education facilities in Gujarat. People have fed up with BJP and Congress," he added. "I am an ordinary person and remain so in future", he added. -- ANI
16:27   15-year-old govt vehicles will be scrapped: Gadkari
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said all vehicles belonging to the Indian government that have completed 15 years will be scrapped, and a policy to that effect has been sent to states.

 He was speaking at the inauguration of the annual 'Agro-Vision' agriculture exhibition in Nagpur. 

 "Yesterday, I signed a file under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that all the vehicles of the Indian government which have completed 15 years will be scrapped. I have sent this policy of the Indian government to all the states. They should adopt this policy at the state level," he said.

Addressing the gathering, Gadkari said two plants of the Indian Oil have almost started in Panipat, one of which will produce one lakh litre ethanol per day, while the other one will manufacture 150 tonnes bio-bitumen per day using rice straw. 

"This is a big change as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and rice-producing parts of the country, where burning of rice straw causes pollution. Now, rice straw will be used to produce ethanol and bio bitumen," he said. 

 "We require 80 lakh tonnes of bio-bitumen in the country and mostly in the roadways department. Around 50 lakh tonnes of bitumen is manufactured in the country and we import about 25 lakh tonnes of it," he said. 

 "I am happy that when such projects start, our country will no longer need to import bitumen. Our roads in villages, districts, states and national highways would be made of bitumen using rice straw produced by farmers," he said. 
16:16   The British trained us to appreciate our culture
Ravindra Singh Bisht, a former joint director-general of the ASI, speaks to The Telegraph about its great significance and urgent need for better protection of Indus Valley sites. Read the interview here. 
Eknath Shinde with Devendra Fadnavis
Eknath Shinde with Devendra Fadnavis
16:10   Shinde meets astrologer, NCP says his future is...
The Nationalist Congress Party on Friday ridiculed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for reportedly meeting an astrologer and said superstition would not help him as his future lay in the hands of his deputy Devendra Fadnavis.

 Shinde's rebellion in June had brought down the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, and he was sworn in as chief minister with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has a far higher number of legislators than his faction. 

 As per reports, Shinde went to meet an astrologer to learn about his future but the fact is his future seems to lie in the hands of Deputy Chief Minister Fadnavis, said NCP national spokesperson Clyde Crasto.

 "This is visible in their behaviour in the past few months since their government was formed. It is evident who is calling the shots," Crasto said. PTI
16:05   SC upholds HC bail to Teltumbde, NIA plea dismissed
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed NIA's plea challenging the bail granted by the Bombay High Court to scholar-activist Anand Teltumbde in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. 

 A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli said it will not interfere with the high court order granting bail to Teltumbde. 

 "We will not interfere," the bench said. 

 "The petition is dismissed. However, the observations contained in the impugned judgement of the high court shall not be treated as conclusive final findings at the trial," the apex court noted. 

 The high court had on November 18 granted bail to Teltumbde noting prima facie the only case made out against him relates to alleged association with a terror group and the support given to it, for which the maximum punishment is 10 years in jail. It had also noted there was no evidence to show he was an active member of the banned CPI (Maoist) or had indulged in any terrorist act. The high court had, however, stayed its bail order for a week so the National Investigation Agency could appeal its order in the Supreme Court. 

 Teltumbde, 73, is the third accused among 16 arrested in the case to be released on bail. Poet Varavara Rao is currently out on bail on health grounds, while lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj secured regular bail. On November 22, the top court had agreed to hear on Friday the anti-terror agency's appeal.
Shraddha Walker was murdered and hacked to pieces
Shraddha Walker was murdered and hacked to pieces
15:29   Shraddha's torso may have just been found
Body parts recovered from a suitcase at a forest area in Haryana's Faridabad on Thursday afternoon are suspected to be of the 27-year-old woman from Mumbai, Shraddha Walkar, who was killed by her live-in partner in Delhi. 

Faridabad Police have contacted the Delhi Police following the recovery of the suitcase with body parts in the Surajkund forest area. 

 According to police, the remains were wrapped in a plastic bag and a sack, and clothes and a belt were also recovered near the suitcase. 

 Prima facie, it appeared that a person was murdered elsewhere and a part of the body was dumped here to avoid identification, Faridabad Police said in a statement. 

 Faridabad police have shared the information with Delhi police, and on the basis of which, a team of Mehrauli police of South Delhi, investigating the horrific Shraddha murder case, also reached the spot and joined the investigation. 

 Delhi police officials suspect that the body remains recovered from the suitcase could be linked with the Shraddha Walker murder case.

 The body parts (including torso) found in the suitcase appears to be months old, and it is not clear if they were of a man or woman, said sources. They said that the body remains have been sent for post-mortem examination, and things will become clear once the post-mortem report is received.

 "Faridabad police officials have also said that they will keep samples aside, in case Delhi police would want to go for a DNA test," official sources told ANI. Aaftab Amin Poonawalla, accused in the macabre Shraddha Walkar murder case, is currently in police custody and is undergoing Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) -- a psychological analysis test. -- ANI
15:13   Taught a lesson: Shah on 2002 Gujarat riots
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said anti-social elements earlier indulged in violence in Gujarat as the Congress supported them, but after the perpetrators were "taught a lesson" in 2002, they stopped such activities and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) established "permanent peace" in the state. 

 Parts of Gujarat had witnessed large-scale violence in 2002 following the train burning incident at Godhra railway station in February that year.

 Addressing a rally in Mahudha town of Kheda district in support of BJP candidates ahead of the next month's Assembly elections, Shah alleged, "During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society." 

 Shah claimed that Gujarat witnessed riots in 2002 because perpetrators became habitual of indulging in violence due to the prolonged support they received from the Congress. 

 "But after they were taught a lesson in 2002, these elements left that path (of violence). They refrained from indulging in violence from 2002 till 2022. BJP has established permanent peace in Gujarat by taking strict action against those who used to indulge in communal violence," the Union minister said. 

 Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for abrogating Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, Shah alleged that the Congress was against it because of its "vote bank". PTI
14:59   India belongs to no single ideology. No politician gets this today
Whether it is hatred for VD Savarkar or Nehru, the older generation of politicians, who understood that all ideologies deserve to be respected, are gone, writes Vir Sanghvi. Read the column here. 
14:56   A newspaper in Kyiv braves it out without electricity
A tweet from the Kyiv Independent: "Most of Kyiv is still without electricity, and so is the Kyiv Independent team. 
We'd like to let you know we have no intention of interrupting our work. Thanks to the support of our readers, we have stocked up on some equipment to help us carry on."

And another tweet: "In case of interruption of all communications, we have team members outside of Ukraine to back us up.
No matter the difficulties here, we will continue to provide the world with accurate news about Ukraine.
Stand with us, become our patron:"
14:46   Congress reacts to Gehlot's 'gaddar' remark
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tells NDTV that the words used by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot while talking about Sachin Pilot, were unexpected.

"Some words used in the interview were unexpected. Many were surprised. The Congress leadership will discuss how to resolve this. We are a family, and the Congress needs both an experienced leader like Ashok Gehlot and an energetic youth leader like Sachin Pilot," Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told NDTV.

He added: "Even I am surprised by the words used (by Gehlot)."

There are some differences that will be resolved. There is no climate of fear in our party. People say whatever comes to their mind. The High Command is not dictatorial," Ramesh had said in a statement.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot dubbed his former deputy Sachin Pilot a 'gaddar' (traitor) on Thursday and said he cannot replace him as he had revolted against the Congress in 2020 and tried to topple the government.

Pilot hit back saying it is unbecoming of someone like Gehlot's stature to use such language and and added such mud-slinging would not help and it was the duty of everyone in the organisation to strengthen the party to help bring a Congress government again in Rajasthan.
Rajwinder Singh
Rajwinder Singh
13:58   Man wanted for murder in Oz held in Delhi
Australian citizen of Indian-origin Rajwinder Singh, who had fled the country after killing a woman four years ago and was carrying a Australian Dollar 1 million  reward on his arrest, was nabbed by the Delhi Police on Friday, officials said.

 The Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Singh (38) following which a non-bailable warrant was issued by the Patiala House Court on November 21 under the extradition act. 

 A senior police officer said based on inputs shared by CBI, which is the nodal agency of the Interpol in India, and their Australian counterparts, the accused was nabbed from near G T Karnal Road at 6 am and arrested by the Special Cell unit of the Delhi Police. 

 The accused will be produced before a court for further proceedings, he said. On November 4, the Australian High Commission had said a reward of 1 million Australian Dollars has been declared on the arrest of Singh, a nurse who killed the Australian woman on a beach. 

 Toyah Cordingley (24) was walking her dog on Wangetti Beach in Queensland when she was killed in October 2018. Singh, who worked as a nurse in Innisfail, was the key person of interest in the case. He fled Australia two days after Cordingley was killed, leaving behind his job, wife and three children. PTI 
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
13:45   Muslim body: Worshipping football stars anti-Islam
An influential Sunni Muslim body in Kerala on Friday came out against soccer-crazy Muslim youth in the state who have erected huge cutouts of star players in support of their teams participating in World Cup, saying worshipping football celebrities is against Islamic faith and urged them not to wave flags of Portugal, which had made many countries its colonies.

 Nasar Faizy Koodathayi, general secretary of the Qutba committee under the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama, also expressed concern over football fans spending too much money on erecting huge cutouts of their favourite soccer stars like Argentina's Lionel Messi, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr of Brazil on the streets.

 He also lamented that students were losing interest in studies due to the ongoing World Cup in Qatar. "It is not right to wave the flag of Portugal, which colonised many countries", the cleric said, adding that it was not right for Indian citizens to respect and wave the flags of other nations over the national flag. 

 He, however, said the organisation was not against football. "The game should be seen in a sportsman's spirit. Football is becoming a fever and people are getting addicted to it. This is not a good trend," he said. According to Koodathayi, football should be promoted only as a game which encourages physical activity.

 "Instead of that now football has become a fever and fans are engaged in worshipping football stars. Today people are respecting and waving the flags of other nations over their own," he said.

 He said those who are poor are wasting their money in erecting huge cutouts of their favourite football stars and students are not concentrating on their studies. "Instead of loving our nation, some are engaged in worshipping football stars. There is a limitation to worshipping people when it comes to Islam. Also people are waving Portugal flags... A country which colonised many countries. Students are losing interest in their studies," he said. 

 Kerala is well-known for the football crazy fans. Huge cutouts of football stars including Messi, Neymar Jr and Ronaldo can be seen across the state. Fans of Brazil and Argentina religiously follow the football season and celebrate the world cup with fervour in Kerala.
Representational image
Representational image
13:41   Afghanistan: 'I drug my hungry children to help them sleep'
Afghans are giving their hungry children medicines to sedate them -- others have sold their daughters and organs to survive. In the second winter since the Taliban took over and foreign funds were frozen, millions are a step away from famine."Our children keep crying, and they don't sleep. We have no food," Abdul Wahab said.

Read the report here
13:03   Amitabh's voice, image can't be used without OK: HC
The Delhi High Court on Friday passed an interim order restraining unauthorised use of actor Amitabh Bachchan's voice, image or any other trait exclusively identifiable with him by any individual. 

 The court's order came on a lawsuit by the veteran actor alleging exploitation of his publicity rights as a celebrity by several individuals, including the persons behind a KBC lottery. Bachchan is the host of popular TV game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). 

 Justice Navin Chawla said it is undisputed that Bachchan is a well-known personality and is likely to suffer an irreparable loss and disrepute if relief is not granted at this stage. 

 "I am of the view that the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case for grant of ex parte interim relief," the judge said. 

 The court directed telecom authorities to take action to pull down websites providing the content in violation of Bachchan's rights. It also directed telecom service providers to block access to telephone numbers circulating infringing messages. 

 Senior advocate Harish Salve said the relief of injunction was sought not only against the individuals named in the lawsuit but also against john doe parties or unknown parties who may be exploiting Bachchan's publicity rights. 

 He said besides the lottery, domain names were registered under the actor's name; there was Amitabh Bachchan Video Call and even T-shirts bearing his photographs. PTI
12:59   PM teaches history at freedom fighter's anniversary
PM Modi at the 400th birth anniversary celebration of Lachit Barphukan:

"For centuries, it was attempted to tell us we're people who always get looted, beaten and lose. India's history is not just about colonialism, it's a history of warriors. India's history is about displaying valour against oppressors, about victory, sacrifice and great tradition.

"Unfortunately, even after independence, we were taught the same history that was created under a conspiracy during the colonial era. After independence, it was needed to change the agenda of those who colonised us but it wasn't done.

"Leaving behind the colonial mindset, the nation is filled with a sense of pride in our heritage. Today, India isn't only celebrating its cultural diversity but also proudly remembering historical heroes of its culture: 

"Great personalities like Lachit Barphukan, and immortal offsprings of Bharat Maa are our constant inspirations for the fulfilment of the resolutions of this Amrit Kaal."
12:28   In Yogi's UP, an ambulance driver did this...
The health department in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, has sought a clarification from officials after a video of an ambulance driver administering an injection to a patient in the emergency ward of a district hospital came forward. 

 Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of the hospital, Dr. Diwakar Singh said that the video surfaced on the internet on Thursday. 

 In the video, the ambulance driver is seen administering an injection to a patient in the emergency medical room of the district hospital, he said. According to Singh, the incident took place on Wednesday night.

 Taking cognizance of the matter, action against the medical officer in-charge of the emergency medical room, the doctor and other medical personnel posted there has been initiated by serving notices seeking their immediate clarification, the CMS said. Action will be taken against all those found guilty in this matter, Singh said. PTI
12:26   Vikram Gokhale's health improving: Hospital
Update on actor Vikram Gokhle's health: The Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital the actor has been admitted to in Pune says his health is improving. His health is showing slow but steady improvement. He is opening his eyes, moving his limbs and likely to be off ventilator support in the next 48 hours. His BP and heart are stable. 
11:57   Fear for Kejriwal's life, BJP involved: Sisodia
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the BJP on Thursday of hatching a conspiracy to kill Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, fearing poll defeats in Gujarat and the MCD, and alleged Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari's involvement in it. 

Sisodia, however, asserted that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not scared of such petty politics.

"Due to the fear of defeats in the Gujarat and MCD polls, the BJP is hatching a conspiracy to kill @ArvindKejriwal. Their MP Manoj Tiwari is openly asking his hooligans to attack Kejriwal and he has done complete planning. The AAP is not scared of their petty politics and people will give a reply to their hooliganism," the deputy chief minister said in a tweet in Hindi.

His remarks came in response to Tiwari's tweets earlier in the day, in which he had expressed concern over Kejriwal's security, while highlighting recent allegations of corruption and "selling of tickets" for the MCD polls.
11:24   Amitabh files suit for 'protection of personality rights'
Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan has filed a suit in the Delhi High Court seeking protection of his personality rights. Eminent lawyer Harish Salve is appearing for him. The matter is underway before Justice Navin Chawla.
Meghalaya's root bridges
Meghalaya's root bridges
11:16   Going to magical Meghalaya? See Assam's advisory
Assam on Friday continued to 'advise' people from the state not to travel to Meghalaya as the "situation is not very good" following a clash in a disputed border area between the two neighbouring states in which six persons were killed four days ago. 

 Transportation of fuel from Assam to the hill state has also been stopped by the apex petroleum workers' body since Thursday following reports of attacks on vehicles from the state in Meghalaya, though other vehicles ferrying goods continued to cross the border. 

 The situation at the clash site in West Karbi Anglong district continued to remain tense but under control with security forces ensuring no further flare-ups, official sources said. 

 Restrictions under CrPC section 144 also remained in force in the area, they added. 

 "Yesterday in Shillong, public burnt police vehicles. The situation is not very good. That's why we are advising people not to travel, especially people from Assam," Deputy Commissioner (East) of Guwahati Police Sudhakar Singh told PTI. 

 He said non-Assamese people have been travelling to Meghalaya, but they are being asked to go in vehicles that do not have Assam registration number plates. "The advisory (on avoiding travel to Meghalaya for people from Assam) remains," the officer added. 

 Cachar Superintendent of Police Nomal Mahatta also said similar restriction on people and vehicles from Assam entering Meghalaya through his district also is in force. 

 "People are being held up due to it. But the route passing through Dima Hasao district is being used by commuters," he said. "For people from Meghalaya who needed to return, we arranged for vehicles from across the border," Mahatta added. 

 Transportation of all types of fuel to Meghalaya has been stopped by the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU) on Thursday after incidents of attacks on vehicles were received. The apex petroleum workers body in Assam, from where all fuel go to Meghalaya, shot off separate letters to all PSU energy firms, including IOC, HPCL and BPCL, and informed the union's decision to not load products in the tankers. 

 Pointing out the attacks on vehicles with Assam number plates, the APMU letter said: "Our members are afraid to go...for supplying petroleum products." The union also warned that it will be the sole responsibility of the Meghalaya government if any untoward incident takes place. Movement of other commercial vehicles ferrying goods has been continuing to the neighbouring state.
Lachit Barphukan
Lachit Barphukan
10:38   Shah: Who stops us from correcting history now?
Home Minister Amit Shah has said no one can stop rewriting of history to free it from "distortions" as he urged academicians to research and write about 30 great Indian empires and 300 warriors who showed exemplary valour to fight for the motherland. 

 The home minister said on Thursday had it not been for Veer Lachit Barphukan, the Northeast would not have been a part of India. He was addressing a plenary session of the 400th birth anniversary celebrations of the legendary Ahom general. 

"He protected not only Northeast India but the entire Southeast Asia from "religious fanatic" Aurangzeb," Shah said. 

 The home minister asked Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to translate literary work on the life and times of Lachit Barphukan into 10 Indian languages, including Hindi, so that children can take inspiration from him. 

 "I often come across complaints that our history has been distorted and tampered with. These allegations could be true. But who stops it from being corrected now? Who stops us from writing the correct history now," he said.

 Shah urged historians and students to identify 30 great empires in Indian history that ruled for more than 150 years in any part of the country and 300 warriors who showed exemplary courage to fight for the independence of the country and conduct research and write extensively about them.

"If we do this, we will see that the true history of India will be established and the lies will end spontaneously. In India, we now have a government which supports any endeavour to promote the glory of the country. We will work towards reviving India's glorious history," Shah said at the event organised by the Assam government. 

 Shah said a nation that does not derive pride from its glorious past, that does not garner inspiration from its heroes can never create a bright future for itself and cannot create better citizens and a golden future. 

 The minister said Barphukan fought the Saraighat battle in adverse circumstances by taking together different tribes, using local resources to build small arms and boats to take on the mighty army led by Ram Singh of Amer. 

 "The Mughal army did not have that iota of patriotism and dedication for the country that Barphukan and his soldiers had. This was a victory of patriotism. They won and not only secured the sovereignty, culture and heritage of Ahom but also saved entire Southeast Asia from religiously fanatic invader Aurangzeb," he said. 

 The home minister said that after this crushing defeat, foreign invaders from Delhi could never gather the courage to invade Assam again. 

 "If Lachit Barphukan was not there in Assam during those times, Assam and Northeast India would have never become a part of India," Shah said.

 He further said that the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Borphukan unveils a new episode of India's history in which Assam rulers defeated Muslim invaders of different ages and secured the sovereignty of their motherland. 

 Shah said Assam Chief Minister Sarma unveiled stories of glorious stories of Ahom warriors from Maharaj Prithu who defeated Bakhtiar Khalji in 1206 to Lachit Barphukan who defeated the Mughals in 1671 and urged students of history to look at the exhibition organised on the occasion.
Sachin Pilot with Rahul Gandhi at the Yatra in September
Sachin Pilot with Rahul Gandhi at the Yatra in September
10:13   Battle for Rajasthan: '80% MLAs with Pilot'
It's again Gehlot versus Pilot in Rajasthan Congress. The political drama on Thursday took a new turn after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had called state Congress leader Sachin Pilot a "traitor" and said that he can never become the Chief Minister of the state.

Responding to Gehlot's remark, State Minister Rajendra Singh Gudha claimed that 80 per cent of the MLAs are with Sachin Pilot and there is no better politician than him. 

"We will leave our stake for the chief ministership if you do not find 80 per cent MLAs with Sachin Pilot... No better politician than him," said the State Minister.

The State Minister also demanded a meeting to prove his claim.Chief Minister Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have come face to face again. Both are levelling allegations against each other.

The Rajasthan Chief Minister had called state Congress leader Sachin Pilot a "traitor" and said that he can never become the Chief Minister of the state.

Retaliating to Gehlot's remarks. Pilot said that the allegations made by the Rajashtan CM were "baseless".

"Ashok Gehlot is a senior and experienced leader, I don't know who is advising him to level false, baseless allegations against me. Today it is required to strengthen the party," said Congress leader Sachin Pilot while talking to ANI.

Taking a dig at CM Gehlot's statement, Pilot said that BJP was badly defeated in Rajasthan when he was the state party chief.

"BJP was badly defeated in Rajasthan when I was the state party president. Still, the Congress president gave him another chance to Gehlot to become CM. Today the priority should be on how we can again win the Rajasthan election," he said. -- ANI
09:54   AAP leader Sandeep Bhardwaj found dead at his residence, probe underway
In a shocking incident, Aam Aadmi Party's trade wing secretary, Sandeep Bhardwaj was found dead at his Rajouri Garden residence, on Thursday, said police. 

 As per reports, Bhardwaj was taken to "Kukreja hospital" by one of his friends. 

 "A PCR call was received from Kukreja Hospital, Rajouri garden at 4.40 PM that one person Sandeep Bhardwaj s/ o Naresh Bhardwaj R/0 B 10/15, Rajouri garden Delhi Age 55 yrs has been brought dead due to hanging at residence. Crime team has been called at the place," informed police.

 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed grief over Bhardwaj's death and offered condolences.

 "Extremely saddened by the sudden death of Aam Aadmi Party worker Sandeep Bhardwaj in Delhi. May God give his soul a place at his holy feet. My condolences to his family members in this hour of grief and the entire party stands with the family members of Sandeep ji in this difficult time," tweeted CM Kejriwal.
09:50   China has 32k Covid cases today; India just 347
India saw a single day rise of 347 coronavirus infections, taking the virus tally to 4,46,70,830, while the active cases further declined to 5,516, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The death toll has climbed to 5,30,604 with one death each reported from Delhi, Gujarat and Karnataka in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am stated.

The active cases constitute 0.01 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has increased to 98.80 per cent, according to the ministry website.

A decrease of 365 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in 24 hours.

China: China reports 32,943 new COVID cases on November 24 vs 31,656 a day earlier.

China is witnessing a massive labour uprising from one of the most oppressed classes in the manufacturing hub of the world at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory against its zero Covid policy.
 Labourers and workers at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory held protests on the factory campus, where they have had to stay since a closed-loop system was announced to counter the spread of COVID-19 without compromising productivity under the Zero Covid policy, reported Investigative Journalism Reportika.
 The government-deployed security officers are trying to suppress the uprising with violence as shown in the videos circulating on Chinese social media.  
09:38   Blackout in Kyiv
As northern India spends nights huddled under blankets, some with room heaters, spare a thought for Ukraine where temperatures are sub zero. There is no electricity in the capital city, Kyiv. 

Oleksandra Matviichuk, who runs the Centre for Civil Liberties, which shared the Nobel Peace prize this year, writes, "We have no electricity, but Ukrainians have a lot of light in our hearts."

Russians have bombed the city and its utilities. 
09:29   Is there a Rs 1,300-cr scam in Delhi govt schools?
The vigilance directorate has recommended a probe by a "specialised agency" into alleged irregularities in the construction of classrooms for Delhi government schools, claiming it involved a "scam of Rs 1,300 crore", official sources said on Friday. 

 A report of the Delhi government's vigilance directorate recommending the probe has been submitted to the chief secretary, they said. 

 The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), in a report dated February 17, 2020, highlighted "glaring irregularities" in the construction of over 2,400 classrooms in Delhi government schools by the Public Works Department (PWD). The CVC had sent the report to the Delhi government's vigilance directorate seeking its comments on the matter in February 2020. 

 "The directorate however kept sitting over the report for two-and-half years until LG V K Saxena asked the chief secretary to inquire into the delay in August this year and submit a report," a source said. The vigilance directorate has also recommended fixing responsibilities" of the officials concerned of the Education Department and PWD who were involved in the "bungling" to the tune of nearly Rs 1,300 crore, they said. PTI
09:12   Assam CM spikes Shraddha murder with love jihad
Assam Chief Minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has claimed that the Mehrauli killing has an "element of love jihad" and said besides roads and electricity, security of daughters is a poll issue. 

Responding to a question on him raising the Shraddha Walkar murder case during the poll campaign and calling for a stringent law to prevent "love jihad", Sarma on Thursday said the case relates to the security of women and also has an "element of love jihad". 

"Aaftab brought Sharddha to Delhi for marriage. He cut her body into 35 pieces and put in the fridge...then he brought another woman in the same relates to the security of women, it is related to the security of my daughter, and there is an element of love jihad," he said at the Times Now Summit.

 Aaftab Amin Poonawala allegedly strangled Walkar (27) and sawed her body into 35 pieces, which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi's Mehrauli before dumping those across the city over several days past midnight. 

Walkar was allegedly killed in May. Sarma also said Leftist historians have betrayed the country. 

He said those who wrote Indian history wanted to portray a "bigger picture" of Aurangzeb vis-a-vis Indian kings. 

 The Assam chief minister, who has campaigned in the Gujarat Assembly polls, defended his remarks comparing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's looks with that of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. 

He said the Congress leader was batting in the pavilion with his gloves and pads on when the pitch was elsewhere. He said while the Congress was contesting polls in Gujarat, Gandhi was walking with Medha Patkar in Madhya Pradesh in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. PTI 
09:00   India must be cautious in dealing with US: Ex-Army chief Bikram Singh
Former Army chief General Bikram Singh has urged the government to exercise caution while dealing with the United States on strategic matters, saying the world's mightiest nation so far has not proved its trustworthiness to its close allies.

He said despite India being a member of the Quad grouping, it should move cautiously when it comes to dealing with the US, which has expanded and deepened its ties with New Delhi in recent years.

The Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.

"While it's good that we are part of the Quad (seen as a counterweight to China in the Indo-Pacific region), it will be in our interest that we move cautiously with the US, because Washington has never made itself trustworthy in its dealings with any of its strategic and defence allies," he told the SBI Banking & Economic conclave in Mumbai on Thursday evening.

Further explaining his call for a cautious approach in strategic dealings with Washington, General Singh, who was the 24th Army chief and served between May 31, 2012 and July 31, 2014, said, "The US extricated itself first from Vietnam, then twice from Iraq, and recently from Afghanistan. We must be very cautious in dealing with the US."

He maintained the US has failed in all its external military interventions and one of the main reasons for the same was that Washington has been outsourcing its work to others.

The Quad started as a diplomatic network originally floated by former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in early 2007 and later took shape as a four-nation bloc. It aims to strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region. -- PTI 
08:57   Why so few women in top leadership? asks JNU VC
Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice Chancellor Santishree D Pandit on Thursday said that Amrit Kal' cannot come in the country without women empowerment even as she asked why there were so few women in top leadership.
She also said the country should think of ways to bring young girls who are forced to leave studies back to education.
Pandit was speaking on the inaugural day of a three-day conference and expo organised by the JNU.  
"We are third in the country and the best in terms of inclusion and equality The idea behind the conference which has greatly impressed me is facilitating innovation from Lab to Land', she said.
The VC also claimed that women's problems like menstruation, menopause or any other thing does not get much attention in research.  
"They (Women students) do very well at the entry-level, both as faculty and as students. But something happens at the middle and the higher level. Why are so many women not in a position of leadership?" she wondered.
STREE2020 Conference and Expo is organised jointly by JNU and Shakti, an NGO that works for women empowerment. The programme is dedicated to Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' a government initiative launched to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence from the British.
The conference is being held at the JNU Convention Centre and will continue till Saturday.
Addressing a press conference, Professor Ranjana Arya, the conference organiser, said: "The main objective of the conference is to promote women's contributions in various sectors of science and entrepreneurship through an exchange of ideas, the presentation of technical achievements and the discussion of future directions."  
"The main focus is to encourage the dissemination of scientific innovations and the outreach of women to achieve sustainable development," Arya said.  
The expo will showcase women-friendly technologies from the DST, DBT, CSIR, Ayush and various women startups, as well as scientists from across the country.
The open forum sessions will allow young researchers and women participants to interact with academicians, entrepreneurs, and women farmers from rural areas.
The conference is an opportunity for the press to explore news and feature stories about sustainable development, gender equality and entrepreneurship, the varsity in a statement said. -- PTI  
08:39   Nobody cuts a woman in heat of the moment: Smriti on Shraddha
As a debate over the gruesome killing of Shraddha Walkar raged on, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said there is a need to discuss violence against women by intimate partners and the fact that there was not much that she could get in terms of help.
Aaftab Amin Poonawala (28) allegedly strangled Walkar (27) and sawed her body into 35 pieces, which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi's Mehrauli before dumping those across the city over several days past midnight. Walkar was allegedly killed in May.
Speaking at a session at the Times Now summit, Irani stressed on the need for discussion on violence against women by intimate partners.
"Nobody cuts a woman into small pieces in the heat (of the moment). Nobody continues to beat a woman who he claims to love or is in a relationship with in the heat of the moment," she said.
The fact that the abuse was continuous, the fact that the abuse was known to so many people, and the fact that there was not much that she could get in terms of help is an issue which needs to be elaborately reflected on by people at large, because violence by intimate partner and violence by members of the family of a women is something that is aggressively reported in the National Crime Records Bureau, Irani said.
"So...when we speak about women security then there is need to discuss violence against women by intimate partners," she said.
Noting that earlier it was thought that a man will beat up women if he is not educated, Irani said that now it has been seen that domestic violence is not an issue that is only related to men who are not well-educated. This is as much an urban phenomenon as it was presumed to be rural phenomenon, she said.
"The issue is who are the people at workplace, in families who knew that she is being violated and beaten and threatened and were somehow compelled not to help. It is very easy to tell a woman that if you are being beaten then leave the man but whoever has spoken to such victims they know that the mental fear is such that she will not be able to take a step even if let free," she said.
Irani also stressed the need to focus on the person who killed her and not to deviate from it.
When asked if it was a case of love jihad, Irani said, "I think we are simplifying a very heinous crime."
"In 2009, love jihad as a terminology was founded by the Kerala High Court. There was a high court in our country in the year 2009 when the BJP was not in power at the Centre which actually acknowledged the word love jihad which actually acknowledged that the girls were targeted because they belonged to a Christian or Hindu family. They were targeted so that they could be brought into a relationship and then converted," she said. -- PTI
08:18   Shinde doesn't dare speak against K'taka CM: Uddhav
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has no courage to speak against his Karnataka counterpart.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's claim that several border villages in Maharashtra once sought to be become part of his state has triggered a row.

"Have we lost our courage as Karnataka chief minister is easily making claims on Maharashtra villages,"  Thackeray said, taking a swipe at Shinde.

"Is Karnataka CM having any blessings from Delhi? Does the Centre also want the same thing?" Thackeray, a former chief minister, said while speaking to reporters.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, meanwhile, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party "can not run away from Karnataka issue."

"If Karnataka wants to return Nipani, Belgaum villages, then only some exchange can be worked out," he added.

Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, countered the jibes by opposition on the Maharashtra-Karnataka dispute by saying that the the Congress was in power in Maharashtra for much longer than the BJP.

"Still it did not solve the issue. The case is in the court. Not a single village of Maharashtra will go to Karnataka," he said. -- PTI 
01:48   Bhilwara: Internet shut after Muslim man's murder
Internet service was suspended in Bhilwara city for 48 hours after a Muslim man was shot dead and his brother got wounded in the same attack, police said on Thursday.

According to the police, four bike-borne assailants opened fire on the brothers to avenge the murder of Adarsh Tapadia that took place six months ago.

Additional police force has been deployed in the city as a precautionary measure even as mobs were said to have gathered at various places, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumaria said.

Family members of the victims and their supporters vandalised the hospital after one of the victims of the attack succumbed there during treatment, police said.

His injured sibling has been referred to Udaipur for treatment, they said.

Hawa Singh said that the district SP and his team are tracking security arrangements in the area.

Inspector General of Ajmer range is being sent to Bhilwara and the situation in the city is completely under control, he said.

Police force has been deployed in the city at several places, including Mahatma Gandhi crossing, Badla Chauraha, Bhimganj, C T Kotwali.

The assailants are being searched for.

Additional Superintendent of Police Jyestha Maitreyi said that in the afternoon, four unidentified people on two bikes surrounded Ibrahim Pathan alias Bhura, 34, and Qamaruddin alias Tony, 22, at Badla intersection and shot three rounds at them.

Ibrahim died while undergoing treatment, she said.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that the men were shot to avenge Adarsh Tapadia's murder.

In May this year, Tapadia was stabbed to death in the city during a fight that arose out of an old rivalry between two groups.

After his murder, Bhilwara was gripped with fears of communal violance, even as police arrested three minors, as well as half a dozen other people. On the appeal of Hindu organisations, the city was shut down then.  -- PTI