Sun, 02 October 2022
Chouhan bans hookah lounges, warns of bulldozing
21:19 Email threat to blow up IndiGo flight turns out to be hoax, Mumbai cops registers case
A case was registered after an unidentified person sent an email to the Mumbai International Airport Limited threatening to blow up a flight of IndiGo airline, a Mumbai police official said on Sunday.
The email threat, which was received on Saturday night, turned out to be a hoax after nothing suspicious was found post a thorough check of the aircraft, the Sahar police station official said.
The email had a sentence that read "I will blow up flight 6E 6045", he said, adding that an FIR has been registered under Indian Penal Code section 506B (issuing death threat) and other offences.
IndiGo, in a statement, said "due to a specific bomb threat, IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad was impacted on October 1, 2022."
"The bomb threat protocol was initiated and the flight operated after all the checks were completed," the airline said in its statement, though it did not share details like the number of passengers on board, flight number and delay in departure due to the incident.
Mumbai airport, which is operated under a joint venture between Adani Group and the Airports Authority of India, declined to comment. -- PTI
21:12 Chouhan bans hookah lounges, warns of bulldozing
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced that hookah lounges will not be allowed to function in the state and will be bulldozed, if necessary, and strictest action possible will be taken against people involved in illegal drug businesses.
The chief minister was speaking at the launch of a de-addiction campaign in the state to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in the presence of former Union Minister Uma Bharti, who has been demanding total prohibition in Madhya Pradesh.
The campaign will continue till November 30. Now, places like hookah lounges will not be allowed to operate in Madhya Pradesh and they will be bulldozed, if needed, Chouhan said.
He further said that the white drug being sold near colleges and schools was ruining the lives of youngsters and pushing them towards addiction.
The state government has resolved to take strict action against people involved in sale and trafficking of drugs, and it will leave no stone unturned to make the society drug free, Chouhan said.
People present at the launch took a pledge to make Madhya Pradesh addiction free.
Activities to create awareness about de-addiction will be conducted in every town and village during this campaign, the chief minister said.
Chouhan also said that an excise policy will be formulated to control the use of alcohol. -- PTI
20:52 Paramilitary force deployed in Puducherry for power installations' safety
A company of paramilitary force was deployed in Pudicherry on Sunday to ensure safety and security of the power installations, following a request by the Union Territory government to the Centre.
While the indefinite strike by the electricity department staff against the privatisation of power distribution entered the fifth day on Sunday, authorities said steps have been taken to restore power supply and the task has been completed in several areas.
Home minister A Namassivayam had held an emergency meeting on late Saturday with top officials to tackle the situation arising out of the strike.
Namassivayam had told reporters that the government has requisitioned 24 officials of the Central power grid to tackle the current situation in Puducherry.
He had also said the government has sought two companies of paramilitary force from the Centre to guard power installations.
The minister said he had received reports that a section of the power staff entered certain sub-centres in rural areas in an unauthorised manner on Saturday and removed the fuse carriers, causing power disruption. -- PTI
20:15 Prashant Kishor starts 3,500 km padayatra on Gandhi birth anniversary
Political strategist Prashant Kishor began a 3,500-kilometre long padayatra' from the Gandhi Ashram in Bihar's West Champaran district on Sunday, the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, as part of his Jan Suraj' campaign.
The march is widely seen as a precursor to his entry into politics.
Kishor and his supporters will attempt to reach every panchayat and block of Bihar during the yatra which is likely to take anywhere between 12 and 15 months to complete.
He started the march from Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram, from where Mahatma Gandhi launched his first Satyagraha movement in 1917.
As the political strategist and his followers embarked on the padayatra, he was greeted by people on the road.
Ahead of the yatra, Kishor tweeted in Hindi that he is determined to change the system in the poorest and most backward state of Bihar.
According to him, the first step to achieving a better system in society is a padayatra across the "villages, towns and cities of Bihar".
A recent statement issued by Jan Suraj said the main goals of the yatra include identifying the right people at the grassroots and bringing them on a democratic platform.
While announcing creation 'Jan Suraaj' platform aimed at transforming his home state Bihar in May this year, Kishor had said he would launch the padayatra on this day. -- PTI
19:59 Hyderabad cops nab 3 for plotting terror attacks
The city police on Sunday said three persons were arrested for allegedly conspiring to hurl grenades on public gatherings.
An official release from the police said on credible information that Abdul Zahed, resident of Malakpet, in Hyderabad, who was involved in several terror-related cases in the city in the past revived his contacts with his Pakistani ISI conduits again, conspired to cause terror acts including blasts and lone wolf attacks in Hyderabad to create terror among the minds of common public.
Zahed was previously involved in several terror-related cases in Hyderabad including a suicide attack on the Hyderabad City police commissioner's task-force office Begumpet in 2005.
He was in regular touch with Pakistani ISI-LeT handlers, the release said.
Zahed, in his confession has revealed that at the behest of Pakistan-based handlers he recruited the two other accused-Samiuddin and Maaz Hasan.
During searches, four hand grenades allegedly to be used targeting public gatherings through his group members, were recovered from the possession of the accused, it said. -- PTI
19:44 UP ex-CM Mulayam's health deteriorates, shifted to ICU
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav has been shifted to the ICU of Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on Sunday after his health deteriorated, the party said.
Family members are reaching Gurugram to check up on his health.
While his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav is already there, Samajwadi Party president and Mulayam's son Akhilesh Yadav has left Lucknow for Delhi, SP state unit spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.
According to the hospital sources, the 82-year-old leader is being treated under the supervision of oncologists Dr Nitin Sood and Dr Sushil Kataria.
He is under treatment in the hospital since August 22.
The SP leader was admitted in the hospital in July also.
In a tweet in Hindi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, "We all are concerned about the deteriorating health condition of Mulayam Singh Yadav and are praying for his health." -- PTI
19:38 Lashkar terrorist killed in Shopian encounter
A local terrorist of proscribed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba was neutralised by the police in a joint operation with security forces in the Baskuchan area of Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
The terrorist has been identified as Naseer Ahmad Bhat of Nowpora Baskuchan, Shopian, according to ADGP Kashmir.
Based on a specific input generated by the police regarding the presence of a terrorist in the village Baskuchan area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the police, Army (44R) and CRPF (178Bn) in the area.
During the search operation, as the joint search party approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorist fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter.
The police have recovered incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including one AK rifle from the site of the encounter.
According to the police, all the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and further investigation is in progress.
The police urged the people to cooperate with them till the area at the encounter site is completely sanitised and cleared of all the explosive materials if any. -- ANI
19:04 Prez Murmu on 2-day maiden visit to Gujarat from Monday
President Droupadi Murmu will visit Gujarat from October 3 to 4, according to statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday.
This will be her first visit to Gujarat as the President of India.
The President will visit Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on Monday.
Later in the day, she will inaugurate/lay the foundation stone for various projects related to health, irrigation, water supply and port development at GMERS, Gandhinagar.
In the same evening, she will attend a civic reception hosted by the government of Gujarat in her honour in Gandhinagar.
On Tuesday, Murmu will launch 'herStart' -- a start-up platform of Gujarat University for women entrepreneurs and inaugurate/lay the foundation stone for various projects related to education and tribal development at Gujarat University, Ahmedabad.
18:42 Sonia Gandhi to attend Bharat Jodo Yatra in K'taka
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will participate in the Bharat Jodo Yatra on October 6 in Karnataka, sources said on Sunday.
The Yatra will pass through Karnataka for 21 days covering 511 km in the state. It began on September 7 from Kanyakumari and entered Karnataka on Friday after passing through Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Sonia Gandhi will walk with the participants on October 6 during the Karnataka leg of the Yatra, a party source said.
This would be the first time that Sonia Gandhi will participate in the Yatra which began when she was abroad for a medical check-up.
Rahul Gandhi has been walking continuously in the Yatra and reached Gundlupet in Karnataka on September 30 from Gudalur in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The Yatra has entered a crucial phase with the Karnataka leg as the state goes to polls next year and is the first time when it is passing through a BJP-ruled state. -- PTI
18:26 Pakistan PM Sharif likely to visit China next month
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is expected to visit China in the last week of November, local media reported.
"Last minute details are being worked upon, but the visit is very much on," sources told The News on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Embassy in Beijing hosted an event on floods in Pakistan to lay stress on the need for proactive climate action and international solidarity to mitigate the effects of climate change.
"Delighted to host representatives of multilateral organizations, Chinese think tank and academia at the embassy. Briefed them on recent floods in Pakistan and Pakistan's vulnerability to climate change. Touched by their desire to contribute," Pakistan's Ambassador Moinul Haque said.
According to the News International citing a statement, international organizations, Chinese think tanks, NGOs, Global Young Leaders Dialogue members and Pakistani community members attended the Beijing event.
Speaking at the event, the Pakistani Ambassador briefed the audience about the extent and nature of the recent unprecedented floods in Pakistan.
During the occasion, Ambassador also expressed gratitude for the support extended by the international community, particularly China and the UN.
He reiterated the need for proactive climate action and international solidarity to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Haque stressed that it was unfortunate that despite being a low carbon emitter, Pakistan was among the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
He called on rich countries to help the developing states affected by climate change.
Ambassador hoped that the international community would remain engaged with Pakistan in the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, The News International reported. -- ANI
18:06 Maha CM Shindes security beefed up after threat
Security of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has been beefed up following a specific input about a threat to his life, an official said on Sunday.
The state intelligence department on Saturday evening received specific input about the threat to the life of CM Shinde, the official said.
State intelligence commissioner Ashutosh Dumbre confirmed the threat. "After specific information, we have taken necessary action and have increased the security of the chief minister," Dumbre told PTI without elaborating.
Additional security has been provided to the CM, who enjoys a Z Plus category security cover, he said.
Security has also been stepped up at Shinde's private residence in Thane and the official residence 'Varsha' in Mumbai, he said.
Shinde is scheduled to address his first Dussehra rally at MMRDA grounds in Mumbai on October 5. -- PTI
17:34 'The Last Heroes': Author P Sainath to return with new book after 2 decades
After his immensely successful Everybody loves a Good Drought, a researched study of poverty in the rural districts of India, award-winning author-journalist P Sainath will soon come out with a new book on India's freedom struggle.
The book, titled The Last Heroes and scheduled for release on November 21, celebrates little known fighters -- farmers, labourers, homemakers, forest produce gatherers, artisans and others -- from India's freedom struggle as it tracks the role of ordinary, everyday people in achieving Independence.
Published by Penguin Random House India, it is touted to be an attempt to tell these freedom fighter stories, giving them a recognition they "truly deserve, but were never granted".
"In the next five or six years, there will not be a single person alive who fought for this country's freedom. Newer generations of young Indians will never get to meet, see, speak or listen to India's freedom fighters. That's why and for whom I wrote this book," said Sainath, whose last book is currently on its 56th-print run.
"For quite a while now, we see young people being robbed of their history, denied any knowledge of what India's fight for freedom and Independence was about -- and who it was who spearheaded that struggle," he added.
The book highlights the distinction between freedom and independence that these fighters speak of. -- PTI
17:13 DRI seizes drugs worth Rs 1,476 cr in Mumbai
Revenue intelligence officers have seized 198 kg high purity crystal methamphetamine (ice) and 9 kg cocaine worth Rs 1,476 crore, the finance ministry said.
In one of the biggest seizures of amphetamine and cocaine in the country, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officers intercepted and seized a truck in Mumbai on October 1.
The DRI recovered 198 kg high purity crystal methamphetamine (ice) and 9 kg high purity cocaine worth Rs 1,476 crore in Navi Mumbai, the ministry said in a statement.
The team of DRI Mumbai officers intercepted a truck in Vashi, carrying imported oranges. On thorough checking and examination, large quantity of drugs were found concealed in the cartons carrying oranges.
"This is a new kind of modus operandi involving concealment of drugs in the boxes of 'Valentia Oranges' imported from South Africa. After clearance of such oranges from Customs area, the goods used to get stored in some cold storages located in Vashi," the ministry said. -- PTI
17:00 UP to take action against farmers burning stubble
Farmers burning stubble would face punitive action since it not only pollutes the environment but also releases methane, sulphur dioxide and other toxic gases causing skin disease, heart problems, cancer etc, a senior official said.
In a crusade against stubble burning, the district administration here has adopted a double-prong attack to counter the menace by adopting cohesive measures including felicitating the farmers donating stubble to cow shelters, the official said.
"While an awareness programme including familiarising the farmers with the nutritive value of stubble has started on September 26. It is going on in a geometrical progression in the district as the farmers themselves are educating other farmers. The violators have been warned of punitive action," district magistrate Pulkit Khare said on Sunday.
He said the panchayat secretaries and lekhpals have been instructed to prepare a schedule of paddy harvesting in their area with the help of farmers for close watch on stubble movement.
With the use of a device attached to the cutting machine, rice is separated, and side by side the residue spreads in the field of the farmer, officials said adding that spreading the urea after ploughing and slightly flooding the field once, will pave the way for ideal manure full of nutrients. -- PTI
16:33 Cop killed, CRPF jawan hurt in J-K terrorist attack
A policeman was killed and a Central Reserve Police Force jawan injured when terrorists attacked a security forces team in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, the police said.
The attack took place in Pinglana area of the south Kashmir district.
"Terrorists fired upon a joint Naka party of CRPF & Police at Pinglana, Pulwama. In this terror attack, 01 Police personnel got martyred & 01 CRPF personnel got injured," Kashmir zone police said in a tweet.
The police said reinforcements had been sent and the area was being cordoned off. -- PTI
15:58 Ankita murder: Bandh seeking CBI probe gets mixed response in U'khand
A statewide bandh called by the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal on Sunday to demand a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the Ankita Bhandari murder case evoked a mixed response.
Many shops in the main market areas here remained shut while several other establishments remained open for business as usual.
Some shop owners who had opened their business in the morning downed the shutters when bandh supporters descended on the streets shouting slogans and asked them to shut shops in solidarity.
"It is not a political fight. It is a fight to ensure the safety of our daughters. So, everyone should support the bandh," a woman protester said.
The bandh was near total in Bhandari's home district Pauri, where almost all the shops remained closed and traffic was thin.
Market areas in Kotdwar, Srinagar and Pauri also wore a deserted look.
Jeeps and taxis meant for local commute went completely off the roads in the border district of Chamoli.
Only roadways buses and the ones engaged for transporting pilgrims to Badrinath and Kedarnath were seen plying.
Apart from the suspension of vehicular traffic, commercial establishments also remained closed in Pindar valley in Chamoli district.
Bhandari, who worked as a receptionist at a resort in Yamkeshwar block of Pauri district, was killed allegedly by its owner Pulkit Arya, manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta when she resisted their attempts to force her to offer "extra services" to a VIP guest. -- PTI
15:30 Kejri promises Rs 40/day for upkeep of cows in Guj
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday promised Rs 40 per day for the upkeep of every cow in Gujarat and a shelter home for non-milching cattle in every district of the state if the Aam Aadmi Party is voted to power.
Kejriwal's announcement is a renewed push to counter the ruling BJP in Gujarat and attract Hindu voters, as per political experts.
The Aam Aadmi Party national convener also claimed that the BJP and opposition Congress have united to "cut into the AAP votes" as according to an "IB report", his party will form the next government in the state.
"In Delhi, we give Rs 40 per cow per day. The Delhi government gives Rs 20 and another Rs 20 is given by the municipal corporation. If the AAP is voted to power in Gujarat, then we will provide Rs 40 per cow per day for their upkeep," Kejriwal said at a press conference in Rajkot.
Panjrapole (shelters homes for cattle) will be constructed in every district for non-milching cows and those roaming on roads, Kejriwal said and also assured that the AAP government will take all necessary steps for the benefit of cows in the state.
His announcement has come at a time when panjrapole owners have been protesting against the Gujarat government over its alleged failure to release a package as promised for the shelter homes.
Asked about an auto-rickshaw driver in Ahmedabad, at whose house Kejriwal had dinner, supporting the BJP, the AAP convener said he does not discriminate against people on the basis of which party they support. -- PTI
14:34 QR codes posted in Bengaluru traffic junctions to address cardiac emergencies
A digital solution (QR codes) has been launched for Bengaloreans to provide first aid care and medical services to people with cardiac emergencies.
The QR codes are posted at all traffic signal junctions in the city for use during medical emergencies, according to Manipal Hospitals which launched it with the support of the civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, and Bangaluru city traffic police.
These codes can help the concerned/ affected person connect to the emergency number, from where at a single click, the person will be directed to ambulance service, the multi-speciality healthcare chain said.
The initiative, that would enable a quick "shift around" during emergency, was launched on the occasion of the World Heart Day last week.
Regional chief operating officer, Bengaluru Cluster, Mysuru and Salem, Manipal Hospitals, Deepak Venugopalan said at the time of medical emergencies, it is hard to have presence of mind and remember numbers.
"Keeping this in mind, we came up with QR codes that are installed across all signals with the help of Bengaluru city traffic police," he said. -- PTI
14:22 Bihar min Sudhakar Singh who flayed own govt quits
Bihar agriculture minister Sudhakar Singh, whose outspokenness has been a cause of embarrassment for the Nitish Kumar government, has resigned from the post, according to his father and state Rashtriya Janata Dal president Jagadanand Singh.
The RJD leader said that the agriculture minister, who had been "raising his voice in favour of farmers", decided to put in his papers so that "the rift does not deepen" (taaki ladaai aage nahin badhe).
The minister, whose recent utterances on corruption in his own department had made headlines, was not immediately available for comment. -- PTI
14:04 Vijay Sethupathi to star in Zee Studios' silent film 'Gandhi Talks'
Zee Studios on Sunday announced a silent film, titled Gandhi Talks with actor Vijay Sethupathi.
An AR Rahman musical, the dark comedy will be directed by Kishore P Belekar' and also feature actors Aditi Rao Hydari and Arvind Swami, a press release by Zee Studios stated.
Rahman will provide the background score and music for the film, which will be produced by Zee Studios.
Director Kishore P Belekar, says, "Silent film is not a gimmick. It is a form of storytelling. Conveying emotions by switching off the device of dialogue is not only scary but also interesting and challenging," Belekar said in a statement.
Shariq Patel, CBO of Zee Studios, said the film has a unique, relatable, and incredibly funny, and entertaining story.
Gandhi Talks, co-produced by Kyoorious Digital Pvt. Ltd. and Movie Mill Entertainment, will be released worldwide in 2023. -- PTI
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
13:34 Say 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'hello' on calls: Maha govt directs officials
The Maharashtra government led by Eknath Shinde on Saturday issued a government resolution making it mandatory for all government employees to say 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'hello' while receiving telephone or mobile phone calls, saying that the word 'hello' is an imitation of Western culture.
The employees working in the government or in government-funded institutions would use 'Vande Mataram' instead of 'hello' while receiving telephone or mobile phone calls from citizens or government officials, as per the government order.
The GR issued by the general administration department said that officials should also create awareness among the people who meet them to do the same.
"The word 'hello' is an imitation of Western culture and just a "greeting without any specific meaning and does not evoke any affection," GR said.
Hitting back at the government over the decision, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Waris Pathan said that the Shinde government is creating new drama just to distract the public from the real issues.
"What will you do, if we do not say Vande Mataram? Will people get jobs by uttering Vande Mataram? Will farmers' loans be forgiven? Inflation will come down?" Waris Pathan's questioned the government. -- ANI
13:26 Moosewala murder: Accused flees police custody
Gangster Deepak Tinu, one of the accused in the Sidhu Moosewala murder case, escaped from police custody in Punjab's Mansa district, official sources said on Sunday.
They said a manhunt has been launched to nab Tinu, who escaped on Saturday night when he was brought on a production warrant from Goindwal Sahib jail in another case by the Mansa police, they said.
Tinu is a close aide of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, also an accused in the murder case of the Punjabi singer.
When asked about the incident, inspector general, Bathinda Range, Mukhwinder Singh Chhina said over phone, "We are working on it, police parties are on the job and we will catch him soon."
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, was shot dead in Punjab's Mansa district on May 29. -- PTI
13:19 Funeral of Kerala CPI-M leader Balakrishnan to be held on Monday
The funeral of Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member and former party state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will be held at Payyambalam beach in Kannur on Monday, the party said.
Senior CPI-M leader and Kannur district secretary MV Jayarajan said the mortal remains of Balakrishnan will be kept at Thalassery town hall for the public to pay homage.
"We expect that the body will be brought to Kannur in the afternoon. The party leaders will receive the body and take out a procession to Thalassery town hall where the public can pay homage," Jayarajan told the media in Kannur on Sunday.
He said a procession from the airport will be received at 14 points along the route to Thalassery.
"The body will be taken to Thalassery in a transparent vehicle so that people along the route get to see the comrade one last time. We request the people along this route not to visit Thalassery town hall after this in order to reduce the crowd and to avoid traffic blocks," Jayarajan said.
The Marxist party leader said the body will be taken to Balakrishnan's house late in the night for the family and relatives to pay their respects. -- PTI
12:50 Open to public debate between Cong prez poll candidates: Tharoor
Set for an electoral face-off with Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge for the AICC chief's post, Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said he would be open to the idea of a public debate between the candidates as it would evoke people's interest in the party in a manner similar to the recent British Conservative Party leadership race.
He also said the Nehru-Gandhi family has held and will always hold a special place in the hearts of Congress party members.
In an interview with PTI, Tharoor said the answer to the Congress' current challenges lies in a combination of effective leadership and organisational reforms.
Kharge and Tharoor were left in the fray in the Congress presidential poll after former Jharkhand minister K N Tripathi's nomination was rejected on Saturday.
Talking about what he brings to the table, Tharoor said, "I have a proven and credible track record in leading at the highest levels of organisations, whether it has been at the UN, where, as the under-secretary general in-charge of the body's public information department, I managed the communications of the UN's largest department comprising of over 800 staff in 77 offices worldwide, rationalised its structure, trimmed its budget and sharpened its efforts -- all of which prompted many to urge me to contest to lead the UN Organisation itself." -- PTI
12:40 Suzlon Energy chairman Tulsi Tanti passes away
Founder chairman and managing director of Suzlon Energy and renowned expert on renewable energy Tulsi Tanti died due to cardiac arrest on the evening of October 1, a company official said on Sunday.
Tanti, 64, who was also the chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, was on his way to Pune from Ahmedabad when he suffered the cardiac arrest, the official said, adding that a formal statement regarding his demise and cremation will be issued later in the day.
He is survived by his daughter Nidhi and son Pranav.
Tanti spearheaded the wind revolution in India with the founding of Suzlon Energy in 1995.
He envisioned the opportunity in the Indian renewable energy industry at a time when the global wind energy market was dominated by international players and characterised by expensive and complicated technologies that were largely unviable for traditional businesses.
Instituting a new business model, he conceptualised the end-to-end solution to create realistic avenues for businesses to 'Go Green' and thus emerged as a strategic partner in developing sustainable businesses. -- PTI
11:59 Plastic bottle hurled towards Kejriwal in Gujarat
A plastic water bottle was thrown in the direction of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a Garba event in Gujarat's Rajkot city, but the object did not hit him and passed over his head, Aam Aadmi Party leaders said on Sunday.
A video grab of the incident, which took place on Saturday night during Kejriwal's visit to the Navratri event, showed the bottle thrown towards AAP national convener Kejriwal from behind as he walked waving at the participants.
The Delhi CM was accompanied by security officials and senior party leaders as he walked through the crowd of revellers.
AAP's media coordinator Sukanraj said, "The bottle was thrown from some distance. It passed over Kejriwal's head. It appears the bottle was thrown at Kejriwal, but we cannot say for certain that this was the case. There was no need to approach the police." Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann are on a two-day visit to Gujarat from Saturday, ahead of the assembly polls in the state due later this year.
Mann also took part in a Garba event at another venue in the city. -- PTI
11:42 Encounter breaks out in Baskuchan area of Shopian
An encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces in the Baskuchan area of Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian, on Sunday, said police.
"Encounter has started at Baskuchan area of Shopian. The police and security forces are on the job. Further details shall follow," tweeted Jammu and Kashmir police.
Further details are awaited.
Earlier on Friday, two local terrorists linked with the proscribed terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed were killed after an encounter in Baramulla.
Jammu and Kashmir Police had gotten intelligence input on the presence of terrorists in Yedipora village in the Pattan area of district Baramulla.
A joint cordon-and-search operation was launched by police, Army and Sashastra Seema Bal in the area.
During the search operation, as the joint search party approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately upon the security forces which was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter.
The police had said in the ensuing encounter, two local terrorists linked with the proscribed terror outfit JeM were killed. -- ANI
11:08 Gehlot backs Kharge, calls Tharoor 'elite'
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said veteran party leader Mallikarjun Kharge has the experience to strengthen the Congress and would emerge as a clear winner in the party presidential poll, while his rival in the race Shashi Tharoor belongs to the 'elite class'.
"Kharge has a long political experience. He has a clean heart, he comes from the Dalit community and (Kharge contesting election) is being welcomed everywhere," he told reporters after paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the secretariat in Jaipur.
Gehlot, one of the proposers of Kharge, said Tharoor is also a good man and has good thoughts but he is from the elite class.
"Tharoor is a class apart; he is from elite class but the kind of experience which is needed to strengthen the party at booth, block and district levels, that is with Kharge and cannot be compared to Shashi Tharoor," he said.
"Therefore, it will naturally be a one-sided contest for Kharge," he said.
Kharge and Tharoor are in a direct contest for the Congress president's post.
A Dalit leader from Karnataka, Kharge has emerged as the clear favourite for the Congress president' post.
Kharge has resigned as the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, sources said on Saturday.
Kharge's resignation, which the 80-year-old leader sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday night, is in line with the party's declared 'One person, One post' principle that was announced at the Udaipur 'Chintan Shivir' in May.
The polling, if needed, will be held on October 17.
The counting of votes will be taken up on October 19 and the results will be declared the same day.
More than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates will vote in the election. -- PTI
10:26 No extension to Modi-critic Meghayala Guv Malik
Arunachal Pradesh Governor B D Mishra has been given additional charge of Meghalaya with incumbent Satya Pal Malik, whose remarks against the now-repealed farm laws made the headlines during the farmers' protest, completing his term on October 3.
Malik, 76, has served as governor of Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Goa before being moved to Meghalaya in August 2020.
The Rashtrapati Bhawan said in a communique on Saturday, 'The tenure of Shri Satya Pal Malik, Governor of Meghalaya is going to be completed on 03.10.2022.'
'The President of India has been pleased to appoint Brig (Dr) B D Mishra (retd), Governor of Arunachal Pradesh to discharge the functions of the Governor of Meghalaya, in addition to his own duties from the date he assumes charge of the office of the Governor of Meghalaya, until regular arrangements are made,' the communique said.
Malik was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir when Article 370 was withdrawn and the state was divided into two union territories.
He, thus, became the last governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
He was appointed governor of Bihar in 2017 before being moved to Jammu and Kashmir in 2018.
After the state was divided into two UTs, Malik was shifted to Goa and finally to Meghalaya.
He courted controversies with his statements on farmers' agitation and was publicly critical of the government.
Also, in one of the statements, he had claimed that during his tenure as J-K governor, two files had come to him and he was offered a huge bribe by a prominent business house of the country and a representative of a political party.
The CBI had registered two cases in this connection.
Hailing from Bhagpat of Uttar Pradesh, Malik was also a Rajya Sabha member from 1980-89.
A recent media report quoted him as saying he would not be joining any political party after his retirement but continue to work for the cause of farmers. -- PTI
09:36 Meghalaya HC grants bail to BJP leader accused of running sex racket
The Meghalaya high court granted conditional bail to jailed state Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bernard N Marak, accused of running a sex racket at his farmhouse in the northeastern state.
Marak was on Saturday granted bail on the condition that he shall not abscond or tamper with evidence or leave the country and will cooperate with the investigation.
He was also asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 along with two solvent sureties of the like amount.
"The accused person, Bernard N Marak, is hereby directed to be released on bail, if not wanted in some other cases, provided the following conditions are complied with," Justice W Diengdoh said in the court order.
Marak's wife L K Gracy had moved the bail application on Friday.
The high court was content that Marak is the owner of the property, but expressed doubt whether there is enough evidence to point out that the place was used as a brothel.
"From the statement of the witnesses and the materials on record, there is insufficient evidence to link the accused person to the alleged offence in as much as there is no initial evidence that the place of occurrence has been used as a brothel," the court observed.
Marak, a former militant leader, was arrested from Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh, days after the police allegedly busted a sex racket at his private farmhouse 'Rimpu Bagan'.
Police had also said it arrested 73 people from the farmhouse and rescued six minors -- four boys and two girls.
A case under different sections of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956 was registered against the BJP leader at Tura women police station. -- PTI
08:56 Tharoor likely to lose chairmanship of IT panel
By Payal Mehta/ANI
The Standing Committees for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are likely to be reconstituted in the coming days.
The principal opposition party Congress is likely to lose out on several committees where the chairman was from their party.
This also includes the Standing Committee for Communications and Information Technology which was chaired by Lok Sabha MP Dr Shashi Tharoor.
Top sources told ANI, the chairmanship of the committee will go to the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partner the Eknath Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena.
Sources from Shiv Sena have confirmed the news to ANI.
It is learnt that the party has decided to nominate the name of MP Prataprao Jadhav for the same.
"Our party has been offered the chairmanship of the IT committee and after consultation with top leaders, we have decided to nominate Jadhav," the Sena sources said.
Prataprao Jadhav is a Lok Sabha MP from the Buldhana constituency in Maharashtra.
Jadhav was one of the many Shiv Sena MPs who jumped into the rebellion ship led by Eknath Shinde.
Notably, several opposition MPs including Karti Chidambaram, John Brittas and others had written to Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla, requesting for the continuation of Tharoor as chairman of the IT panel.
The Standing Committee for Communications and Information Technology has been a point of friction between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MPs and the Opposition MPs led by chairman Tharoor.
Another member of the IT panel Nishikant Dubey on several occasions has asked for the removal of Tharoor citing his personal party-driven agenda and had also moved a couple of breach of Privilege Motions against him.
In September 2019, Shashi Tharoor, a Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram, was appointed as the chairman of the Committee for Communications and Information Technology by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
Despite opposition from several BJP MPs, Tharoor was reappointed as the panel chief in September 2021 through a voice vote. -- ANI