Fri, 23 September 2022
PFI sends funds via NRI accounts for radicals: ED
23:48 PFI sends funds via NRI accounts for radicals: ED
Certain Popular Front of India members based abroad have been found to be sending funds to their NRI accounts in India and subsequently transferring them to the leaders of the radical Islamic organisation so as to evade the foreign funding regulation law, the ED said Friday, a day after countrywide raids against the outfit.
The federal agency on Thursday arrested four members of the Popular PFI during the raids, led by the National Investigation Agency.
The persons nabbed have been identified as Perwez Ahmed, Mohd Ilias and Abdul Muqeet (arrested from Delhi) and Shafeeque Payeth who was taken into custody by the ED from Kerala.
More than 100 PFI members were arrested during the multi-agency operation that also involved various state police forces and their anti-terrorist units.
The ED, which is probing PFI, its office-bearers and members since 2018, has also filed a fresh complaint taking cognisance of a National Investigation Agency FIR filed in April against the PFI for allegedly committing terrorist acts in various parts of the country, promoting enmity among different groups and radicalising Muslim youths to join banned terrorist organisations like the ISIS.
The ED alleged funds collected by the PFI abroad "are remitted to India through hawala/underground channels and through remittances sent to the accounts of members/activists/office bearers of PFI/CFI and other related organisations."
The agency said the funds received from abroad are "concealed" from government agencies and compliance for collection of such funds and donations was not done by PFI as they are not a registered entity under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. -- PTI
23:13 Govt launches Indian Sign Language mobile app 'Sign Learn'
The Centre on Friday launched an Indian Sign Language dictionary mobile application called 'Sign Learn' containing 10,000 words.
The app was launched by minister of state for social justice and empowerment Pratima Bhoumik.
Sign Learn is based on the Indian sign language dictionary of the Indian Sign Language Research And Training Centre which contains 10,000 words.
The app is available in Android as well as iOS versions, and all the words in the ISL dictionary can be searched through Hindi or English medium, officials said.
The sign videos of the app can also be shared on social media.
"The app has been developed to make the ISL dictionary easily available and to make it more accessible for the public at large," a senior official said.
Notably, ISLRTC had recently signed an MoU with the National Council of Educational Research and Training on October 6, 2020 for converting NCERT textbooks from classes 1 to 12 into the Indian Sign Language (digital format) to make the textbooks accessible to children with hearing disabilities.
This year, ISL e-content of NCERT textbooks of class 6 was launched, the official added. -- PTI
22:40 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots: BJP MLC Ashok Katariya surrenders in MP/MLA court
Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Ashok Katariya on Friday surrendered in an MP/MLA court here in connection with violation of prohibitory orders during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
Katariya then moved an application in court to call back the warrant against him.
Special MP/MLA court civil judge Mayank Jaiswal withdrew the non-bailable warrant against Katariya after he furnished bail bonds.
The court has fixed September 27 for further hearing in the case.
The non-bailable warrant was issued against the BJP member of legislative council for non-appearance in court during the hearing of the case.
According to government counsel Rajiv Sharma, a case was registered against 27 people, including Katariya, for violation of prohibitory orders in 2013. -- PTI
22:21 India 'stalled' during UPA era: Narayana Murthy
N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder of IT giant Infosys, on Friday lamented that economic activities in India were "stalled" and decisions were not taken by the Manmohan Singh government in time in the Congress-led UPA era.
During his interaction with young entrepreneurs and students at the Indian Institute of Management -- Ahmedabad, Murthy expressed confidence that young minds can make India a worthy competitor of China, the world's second largest economy.
"I used to be on the board of HSBC in London (between 2008 and 2012). In the first few years, when China was mentioned two to three times in the boardroom (during meetings), India's name would be mentioned once," said the well-known businessman in response to a question on where he sees India in the future.
"But unfortunately, I don't know what happened (to India) afterwards. (Former PM) Manmohan Singh was an extraordinary individual and I have tremendous respect for him. But, somehow, India stalled (during UPA era). Decisions were not taken and everything was delayed," said Murthy.
The IT czar said when he left HSBC (in 2012), India's name hardly found a mention during meetings, while China's name was taken nearly 30 times.
"So, I think it is your (young generation) responsibility to make people mention India's name whenever they mention any other country's name, particularly China. I think you people can do that," said Murthy. -- PTI
22:05 Vikram Doraiswami assumes charge as high commissioner to UK
India's new high commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami arrived in London on Friday and began his new charge by paying tributes at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament Square and Ambedkar Museum in north London.
The former high commissioner to Bangladesh received the credentials for his new post from President Droupadi Murmu earlier this week after his appointment was announced by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) last month.
The diplomat, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1992 batch, was welcomed to the UK by special representative of the foreign secretary Adele Taylor, deputy high commissioner Sujit Ghosh and other senior officials.
Straight from the airport, High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami went directly to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Parliament Square in London, India House in London tweeted with images of the tribute.
From Bapu to Babasaheb Ambedkar: High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami visited the Ambedkar Museum in London to pay tribute to the architect of India's Constitution, and the proponent of equity and social justice, it added.
Doraiswami succeeds Gaitri Issar Kumar, who retired from service as the high commissioner of India to the UK at the end of June.
21:41 IMD warns of heavy rains in Delhi on Saturday
Incessant rains lashed parts of the national capital for the third consecutive day on Friday, bringing down the maximum temperature to 27.6 degrees Celsius -- seven notches below normal.
The India meteorological department has issued a 'yellow' alert cautioning people about moderate rain at most places in Delhi on Saturday.
The Palam observatory recorded 30 mm rainfall between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, the IMD said.
The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, gauged 8 mm rainfall during the same period.
Lodhi Road, Ridge and Ayanagar weather stations received 6.4 mm, 15.2 mm and 20.4 mm rainfall, respectively. Jafarpur, Najafgarh, Pusa and Mayur Vihar recorded 1 mm, 15 mm, 7 mm and 3.5 mm rainfall, respectively.
Rainfall below 15 mm is considered light, between 15 mm and 64.5 mm is moderate, between 64.5 mm and 115.5 mm is heavy, and between 115.6 mm and 204.4 mm is very heavy.
Anything above 204.4 mm is considered extremely heavy rainfall.
Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 22.4 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal. The relative humidity oscillated between 100 per cent and 95 per cent, the IMD said. -- PTI
Punjab minister Aman Arora/ANI
20:51 Centre disallows Punjab minister's Europe trip
Punjab minister Aman Arora on Friday said the Centre has denied him political clearance for a Europe visit where he was to go on a knowledge-sharing study tour and said this shows the BJP-led government's "narrow mindset".
Arora was to proceed on a week-long visit from Saturday.
The development comes amid a political slugfest with the BJP, who has been accused of the bid to topple the AAP government in Punjab.
"The BJP-led Centre blames Punjab on stubble burning but they denied clearance when I was to go on a knowledge-sharing tour. To keep Punjab out from participation is a perfect example of the BJP-led government's narrow mindset," Arora told PTI over the phone.
When asked if any reasons has been specified for the denial of clearance, Arora told PTI over the phone, "No reason has been given."
The minister for new and renewable energy sources alleged that the Centre doesn't want that any new technology and come to Punjab or solutions be found to stubble burning issue.
"Sadly, the Union government has denied me permission to visit Germany, Netherlands and Belgium on a knowledge-sharing study tour on green hydrogen being sponsored by the Indo-German Energy Forum to tackle stubble burning and pollution," he earlier tweeted.
According to a state government statement, the Union ministry of new and renewable energy had cleared a list of 13-member delegation, including Aman Arora, on September 14 but the ministry of external affairs has not issued political clearance to the minister. -- PTI
20:21 No change of guard ceremony on Saturday due to inclement weather: Rashtrapati Bhavan
There will be no change of guard ceremony at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on September 24 due to inclement weather, according to an official communique issued on Friday.
The national capital has been witnessing incessant light to moderate rains for the past two days.
"The change of guard ceremony which takes place every Saturday at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan will not to be held tomorrow (September 24, 2022) due to inclement weather conditions," said the communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The change of guard ceremony is a military tradition that is held every week to enable a fresh group of the President's Bodyguard to take charge. -- PTI
20:01 205 trains cancelled over Kurmis' rail blockade
The rail blockade by Kurmis continued for the fourth day on Friday at Kustaur and Khemasuli stations of South Eastern Railway, with at least 205 mail, express and passenger trains getting cancelled thus far over the past few days, an official said.
Kurmis had first taken to rail and road blockades in Bengal and neighbouring states on September 20 demanding Scheduled Tribe status and inclusion of Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.
In Jharkhand and Odisha, however, the blockade of railway tracks was lifted on that very day itself, but the protest at the two stations of Bengal continued.
"The agitation is still underway at Kustaur and Khemasuli stations of South Eastern Railway. Normal train services remain severely affected in Adra and Kharagpur divisions," the SER official said.
As many as 205 mail/express and passenger trains have been cancelled since Tuesday, he said.
Apart from this, 74 trains have been short-terminated or short-originated, 89 diverted and four trains have been rescheduled, the official said. -- PTI
19:40 SC to hear on Oct 10 BJP MP Manoj Tiwari's plea on firecrackers ban
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on October 10 a plea filed by BJP MP Manoj Tiwari against the Delhi government's decision banning the storage, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, 2023, to check pollution levels in the national capital.
Contending that freedom of religion cannot be taken away under the pretext of the right to life, Tiwari has also sought directions to all states not to take any coercive action like lodging FIR against common people found selling or using permissible firecrackers during the upcoming festival season like Deepawali.
The plea was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, which said it would be taken up on October 10.
The top court had last year clarified there is no blanket ban on the use of firecrackers and only those fireworks which contain barium salts are prohibited.
Warning that top officials at various levels "shall be held personally liable" for any lapses, the apex court had said it is unfortunate that despite its directions blatant violations were taking place.
The BJP MP, in his plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, has said that several state governments and certain high courts had in 2021 passed orders contrary to the stand taken by the apex court and imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers.
"With so many different orders, directions and views, it was confusing for the people at large to understand whether the firecrackers were allowed or not despite this court's refusal to put a blanket ban," said the plea, drawn by advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha.
"In the name of Right to life, freedom of religion cannot be taken away and that a balance has to strike like that has been done through the decision of this court dated October 29, 2021," it said. -- PTI
19:16 Mumbai police file charge-sheet against 8 in Rs 2,500-crore drug seizure case
The Mumbai police's Anti-Narcotics Cell on Friday submitted a voluminous charge-sheet against eight persons in a special court in a case related to seizure of mephedrone worth around Rs 2,500 crore, an official said.
The 4,818-page document was filed in the special court set up under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, he said.
The official said the charge-sheet was filed against eight accused persons, who were arrested by the Mumbai crime branch for manufacturing the synthetic stimulant drug, popularly known as meow meow.
All the accused persons, booked under the NDPS Act, are currently in jail under judicial custody, he said.
Last month, the ANC had conducted raids at Nallasopara in adjoining Palghar district, Ambernath in Thane district and in a follow-up action at Ankaleshwar in Gujarat, and seized mephedrone valued at around Rs 2,500 crore and also arrested eight persons, the official said.
The investigation in the case was still on, he said.
After unearthing the drug manufacturing chain, the ANC will now start work on tracing the supply network, the official said. -- PTI
18:55 500 arrested in Kerala after violent PFI stir
As many as 500 people were arrested and 400 others put under preventive detention on Friday in connection with violent protests during the twelve-hour strike called by Popular Front of India to protest the arrest of the organisation's leaders.
The protests also saw stone pelting at an RSS office in Mattannur in Kannur, the police said.
Additional director general of police, law and order, Vijay Sakhare told ANI that 500 people had been arrested so far in connection with the protests.
"500 people have been arrested in connection with that and 400 more have been put under preventive detention in connection with a hartal called by the Popular front of India. Two incidents of stone pelting were reported at the RSS office at Mattanur," the ADGP said.
The ADGP also gave details of another incident where arrests were made for carrying an explosive device.
"In another case, two persons on motorcycle with a bomb were arrested. Three more people were arrested later. All the five have been arrested. Currently, the situation is normal and under control," Sakhare said. -- ANI
18:30 Odisha CM owns property worth Rs 64.97 crore
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik possessed property worth Rs 64.97 crore as on December, 2021, a marginal dip from Rs 64.98 crore a year ago, according to an official portal where all ministers submit details of their assets.
The website, which was updated on Friday with latest information about assets and liabilities of public representatives, showed that Patnaik owned movable property worth Rs 12.09 crore, which included bank accounts in New Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Hinjlicut and Bargarh, along with jewellery and a four-wheeler.
The gold jewellery was valued at Rs 3.45 lakh and the old Ambassador car of 1980 model at Rs 6,434. The chief minister had deposits of Rs 72 lakh in a bank at Janpath, New Delhi, and Rs 21.71 lakh in the State Bank of India at Bhubaneswar.
Patnaik possessed immovable assets worth Rs 52.88 crore all of which were inherited from parents Biju and Gyan Patnaik, according to the CM's property statement.
His immovable assets included his two-thirds share in Naveen Nivas, near Bhubaneswar airport, worth Rs 9,52,46,190 (approximately), and 50 per cent share in the property at 3, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi worth Rs 43,36,18,000 (approximately).
Other cabinet ministers, too, declared their assets on the website.
State health minister Naba Das disclosed that his wife owned as many as 75 vehicles, all of which were used for commercial purposes. Of these, 18 were procured in 2021. -- PTI
18:12 Faith in judiciary vindicated, crows Uddhav's Sena
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Friday welcomed the Bombay high court's decision to allow it to hold its annual Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park ground, saying its faith in the judiciary stood vindicated.
Welcoming the decision, party spokesperson Manisha Kayande said this year's rally will be grand.
There must have been some pressure on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which had denied the permission, she claimed.
"Our faith in the judiciary stands vindicated. For the last many years, Dussehra rally has been taking place at `Shiv-tirtha' (as the Sena refers to Shivaji Park), but this time attempt was made through the Shinde faction and BJP to create obstacles. Thankfully, the court rejected it," said Sena secretary Vinayak Raut.
The Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde too had applied for permission to hold its rally at Shivaji Park on the same day (October 5). -- PTI
17:43 150 young SPs to attend conference on cybercrime, drones on Sep 29, 30
About 150 young superintendents of police and equivalent rank officers will attend a two-day conference on cybercrime, drones, and other related issues to be held here during September 29-30, officials said on Friday.
The national young superintendents of police conference-2022 and the police expo is mandated to create an interface between technology developers -- industry, academia and government technical institutions -- and representatives of law enforcement agencies through expositions and demonstrations of latest technologies and gadgets related to police modernisation.
The theme of the exposition and conference will be Innovation and research in cybercrime management, drones and counter drones and aims to create awareness among young SPs from states and commandants from Central Armed Police Forces about latest technologies in areas such as cybercrime management, officials said.
The young police officers will discuss issues related to drones, counter-drones and other related fields such as predictive policing, crime analytics, big data analytics, geospatial technology, surveillance, and CCTV equipment etc, for effective delivery of police services to citizens. -- PTI
17:19 No trees cut for PM's cheetah launch: Kuno park
Officials of the Madhya Pradesh forest department on Friday dismissed as "fake" a media report on felling of trees to make arrangements for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit with around 300 guests for the release of eight cheetahs from Namibia in the Kuno National Park last week.
The report claimed that the national park had only one guesthouse and therefore, tents were pitched to accommodate the VIPs, which "entailed the cutting of a large number of trees". It also claimed that trees were felled for making helipads.
Reacting to the report, a state department official said, "No tree was felled for making helipads at Kuno. The site selected as such was devoid of trees, the news about the felling of trees is absolutely false."
"Neither there were 300 guests nor any tented accommodation was made for them. In fact, tented accommodation was used at the Sasaipura resort, where the dignitaries and officers were housed. The news about the creation of tented accommodation at the Kuno National Park is baseless," he added.
In a tweet, the fact-checking wing of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said: "Fake media reports claim that a large no. of trees were cut in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary to make arrangements for PM's visit with around 300 guests for release of 8 Cheetahs. Lodging arrangements were made at Sesaipura FRH & Tourism Jungle Lodge."
Modi released the first batch of eight cheetahs -- five females and three males -- from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at the KNP on his birthday on September 17.
The cheetah has come back to India 70 years after the species was declared extinct in the country in 1952. The large carnivore got completely wiped out from India due to their use for coursing, sport-hunting, over-hunting and habitat loss. -- PTI
16:48 HC allows Uddhav Sena to hold Shivaji Park rally
The Bombay High Court has allowed the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of Shiv Sena to hold Dussehra rally in Mumbai's Shivaji Park on October 5. It has also given them permission to use the Park for preparations from October 2.
Earlier, it had rejected the application of the Eknath Shinde-led faction to hold the rally.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena yesterday said the BMC's decision to deny permission to it for Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park in Dadar was expected and claimed it was "very bad script of the BJP". They also said they would go ahead and the hold the rally at Shivaji Park despite the BMC denying permission.
16:43 One man, one post debate unnecessary: Gehlot
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has announced that he would fight the Congress presidential polls, on Friday said the debate on 'one man-one post' was unnecessary and that he would like to serve the people of his home state all his life.
He also said that his statements on wanting to serve the people of Rajasthan were being interpreted in different ways. Speaking on the party's 'one man-one post' principle, Gehlot said there was a buzz in the media that he did not want to relinquish the post of Rajasthan CM.
"This debate is unnecessary. I have remained silent. If the media is to be believed, I do not want to relinquish the post of chief minister," Gehlot said after visiting the famous Saibaba temple in Shirdi.
"But I have said this for sure, I say this even today and will maintain this even after I fill the form (for the Congress president polls), I belong to Rajasthan and I would like to serve the state for my lifetime. What is wrong in saying this? People take a different meaning out of this. Media interprets it," he said.
Incidentally, senior leader Rahul Gandhi had, on Thursday, batted for the 'one-man, one-post' concept in line with the Chintan Shivir reforms and had also indicated he may not run for the party president's post.
Earlier in the day, while speaking to reporters at Kochi in Kerala, Gehlot made it clear he will fight for the party's president post, and added that any call on his successor to head the Rajasthan government will be taken by party interim President Sonia Gandhi and Congress' Rajasthan in-charge, Ajay Maken. -- PTI
16:31 Booker-winning author Hilary Mantel dies at 70
Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel, the author of the best-selling Wolf Hall trilogy, has died aged 70, her publisher said on Friday.
In a tweet from its official account, HarperCollins UK noted her date of death to be September 22. However, the reason of her demise is not yet known.
In a statement, her publisher said: "We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald. This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work," it said.
Born on July 6, 1952 in Glossop, Derbyshire in England, Mantel received the prestigious Booker Prize twice, for 2009's Wolf Hall, the first in the Thomas Cromwell series, and the 2012 follow-up Bring Up the Bodies.
The conclusion to her trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, was published in 2020 to much critical acclaim, became a fiction best-seller and was longlisted for The Booker Prize 2020. Dame Hilary was the first woman to receive the Booker Prize twice.
15:59 Freaky Friday: Sensex tanks over 1000 points
Equity indices fell sharply by nearly 2 per cent each, extending their decline for the third day running on Friday, amid an overall bearish trend in global markets.
The 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 1,020.80 points or 1.73 per cent to settle at 58,098.92. During the day, it tumbled 1,137.77 points or 1.92 per cent to 57,981.95.
The NSE Nifty plummeted 302.45 points or 1.72 per cent to end at 17,327.35.
Among the 30-share Sensex pack, Power Grid slumped 7.93 per cent. The other major laggards were Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, HDFC and IndusInd Bank. Sun Pharma, Tata Steel and ITC were the only gainers. -- PTI
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
15:52 'Bhagwat meeting imams in line with RSS ideology'
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's visit to a mosque and his meeting with the head of an organisation of imams were not a deviation from the outfit's line, its senior leader Indresh Kumar said on Friday.
He slammed the Congress for saying Bhagwat's meeting with All India Imam Organisation chief Umer Ahmed Ilyasi was due to the "impact" of the party's "Bharat Jodo Yatra".
The Congress has misunderstood the Sangh's line and it should "repent" for it, Kumar, a national executive member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised to mark the 104th Haifa Victory Day at the Teen Murti Chowk.
His remarks came a day after Bhagwat, taking forward his outreach to the Muslim community, visited a mosque and a madrassa and held discussions with Ilyasi, who termed him "rashtra pita".
The Congress said the RSS chief's meeting with Ilyasi was due to the "impact" of its "Bharat Jodo Yatra" and requested Bhagwat to walk with party leader Rahul Gandhi in uniting the country "with a tricolour in hand".
"There has been no change in the Sangh's line. It continues to remain the same as it was and will remain so in the future. That is eternal. People have misunderstood it as they have been misled. Efforts have been made to create a misunderstanding," Kumar said while replying to a reporter's question.
He said Bhagwat's meeting with Ilyasi was part of the Sangh's initiative to hold a dialogue with the minority communities, which began more than 20 years ago under the leadership of the outfit's former chief, K S Sudershan.
"And if anyone is trying to claim the credit for it now, I want to say that the Congress must repent for launching attacks and hurling all the abuses at the Sangh. Its misunderstanding of the Sangh will be cleared if it repents," Kumar said, when asked about the opposition party's reaction to Bhagwat's meeting with Ilyasi.
15:40 Not interested in becoming Cong prez: Digvijaya Singh
Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh on Friday said he is not interested in becoming the party chief.
The Congress on Thursday set the ball rolling for electing its chief by issuing a notification. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday made it clear he will fight for the party's president post.
A contest for the top party post appeared imminent after a gap of over two decades as party leader Shashi Tharoor looks set for an electoral face-off.
Names of former Union minister Manish Tewari, former Madhya Pradesh chief ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik and Prithviraj Chavan, were also doing the rounds as possible contenders, but many of them have ruled out running for the top post.
Talking to reporters, Singh said, "I have already said and I am reiterating that I am not interested in becoming the party's national president."
He arrived here on his way to Jhoteshwar in Narsinghpur district to pay tributes to late Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, who passed away recently, at his samadhi. When asked who will replace Gehlot as the chief minister of Rajasthan in case he becomes the party president, Singh refused to comment saying, "I am not a public representative from Rajasthan." Replying to a question about Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat visiting a mosque and a madrassa in Delhi, the veteran Congress leader said it was the result of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', which has merely completed two weeks.
"I express my gratitude towards RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for getting influenced by the Bharat Jodo Yatra," Singh said, adding that this kind of feeling must percolate to the lower rungs of the Sangh. Singh said they (RSS cadres) should stop creating differences and feeling of animosity among communities on religious lines. -- PTI
15:35 Covid infection ups risk of long-term brain problems: Study
People infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus are at increased risk of developing a range of neurological conditions in the first year after the infection, according to a large study conducted in the US.
Such complications include strokes, cognitive and memory problems, depression, anxiety and migraine headaches, the researchers said.
The researchers at Washington University School of Medicine also found that the post-COVID brain is associated with movement disorders, from tremors and involuntary muscle contractions to epileptic seizures, hearing and vision abnormalities.
The infection is also associated with balance and coordination difficulties as well as other symptoms similar to what is experienced with Parkinson's disease, they said.
"Our study provides a comprehensive assessment of the long-term neurologic consequences of COVID-19," said Ziyad Al-Aly from Washington University. "The results show the devastating long-term effects of COVID-19. These are part and parcel of long COVID. The virus is not always as benign as some people think it is," Al-Aly, senior author of the study published in the journal Nature Medicine.
The researchers noted that, overall, COVID-19 has contributed to more than 40 million new cases of neurological disorders worldwide. Other than having a COVID infection, specific risk factors for long-term neurological problems are scarce. "We are seeing brain problems in previously healthy individuals and those who have had mild infections," Al-Aly said.
Dr Randeep Guleria, the calm and keen voice during the pandemic
15:31 M Srinivas replaces Dr Guleria as director of AIIMS-Delhi
M Srinivas, Dean of ESIC Hospital and Medical College in Hyderabad, has been appointed as the Director of AIIMS-Delhi, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.
The order, dated September 9, stated the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr. Srinivas to the post of Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
The appointment is "for a period of five years w.e.f the date of assumption of charge of the post, or till attaining the age of 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest."
"Ex-post facto approval for continuation of Dr Randeep Guleria as Director AIIMS, New Delhi w.e.f. March 25, 2022 for six months, or till joining of the new Director, whichever is earlier," it stated further.
Dr Guleria's second extended tenure as the Director of AIIMS-Delhi is scheduled to end on September 23. Dr Srinivas was a professor in the Department of Pediatric Surgery at AIIMS-Delhi before he joined ESIC Hospital and Medical College in Hyderabad in 2016.
15:16 CBI, ED jewels of law, not caged parrots: BJP
Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday said that the CBI and the ED were no more a "caged parrot" but have now become "jewels of law" which are performing their duties fairly without any bias.
Speaking to reporters in Moradabad and Rampur, Naqvi slammed the opposition parties for accusing the government of misusing the probe agencies to target them. He said those raising such questions are themselves in dock for committing "wrong deeds."
These "champions of corruption" are in trouble today that is why they are levelling baseless and unsubstantiated statements against the agencies, Naqvi said.
He also parried criticism of the Uttar Pradesh government over its decision to survey madrassas and waqf properties, saying its critics are raising a "bogey of fear and fallacy" only for emotional exploitation of people. "Everyone's constitutional rights are absolutely safe and secure.
"Some organisations like PFI are involved in a criminal and communal conspiracy to harm the fabric of harmony in the country. We all have to work united to defeat such nefarious elements," he said. Naqvi said that those who are misusing religion as their "security cover" are the biggest enemy of "the community, the country, and the entire humanity." PTI
Dr Manmohan Singh with Sonia Gandhi
15:02 Remote-controlled like Manmohan: BJP on Cong prez
The BJP on Friday claimed the new Congress president will be a "proxy" of the Gandhi family and will be remote-controlled by them "like" former prime minister "Manmohan Singh was".
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla cited the comment of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, seen as the likely next Congress president, that a call on his replacement will be taken by the party's interim chief Sonia Gandhi and its in-charge for the state Ajay Maken.
"What capacity will she have as she will become a former president? Shouldn't Congress MLAs decide? If Gandhis will have the remote control then why this sham election," he said, referring to the ongoing poll process for the next president of the opposition party.
He noted that Congress leader P Chidambaram had said recently that whoever be the next president, Rahul Gandhi will have a preeminent position in the party.
"This was a proof that the next president of Congress will be a proxy of the Gandhis and will be remote controlled by Gandhis like Manmohan Singh was by Sonia Gandhi," he alleged in a statement. These statements have made it clear that the ongoing poll process is nothing but an eyewash, Poonawalla claimed. -- PTI
14:32 MEA advisory on Canada: Beware hate crimes
India on Friday issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students in Canada to remain vigilant amid increasing incidences of crimes and anti-India activities in the country.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Indian missions in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to probe these crimes.
"There has been a sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence and anti-India activities in Canada. The Ministry of External Affairs and our High Commission/Consulates General in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to investigate the said crimes and take appropriate action," the MEA said in a statement while stressing that "the perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada."
"In view of the increasing incidences of crimes as described above, Indian nationals and students from India in Canada and those proceeding to Canada for travel/education are advised to exercise due caution and remain vigilant," the statement added. -- ANI
14:00 Only lotus will bloom in Bihar: Shah@Purnea
Home Minister Amit Shah addressing the 'Jana Bhavna Mahasabha' in Purnea, Bihar slams the Bihar CM.
"Nitish Kumar has no ideology, 'Mahagathbandhan' in Bihar will be routed in 2024 Lok Sabha polls," Shah said.
"Bihar public gave Nitish Kumar benefit of the doubt for long, now they know that neither Lalu's party nor your party (JD-U) will come this time. Only PM Modi's lotus will bloom in Bihar this time," said Shah.
"Can Nitish babu become the PM by changing political alliances? He has betrayed many since he entered politics. Laluji, beware that Nitish babu might sit in Congress's lap tomorrow leaving you behind," the home minister warned.
" In 2014, you (Bihar CM Nitish Kumar) only had 2 LS seats, 'naa ghar ke rahe the, naa ghaat ke'. Let the 2024 LS elections come, Bihar public will wipe out Lalu-Nitish duo. The BJP with full majority is going to come to power in the 2025 polls," Shah said.
13:22 After Tharoor taunt, Cong asks spokes to zip lip
A day after Congress leader Gourav Vallabh taunted Shashi Tharoor over his probable AICC president poll bid, the party on Friday urged all its spokespersons and communication department office bearers to refrain from commenting on any colleague contesting the elections.
In the first indicator of leaders taking sides in the upcoming contest for the top post, Vallabh had also voiced support for another contender, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who many believe has the backing of the current leadership.
According to sources, AICC general secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh, in a message to all spokespersons and office bearers of the communication department, said, "I would strongly urge all spokespersons and office bearers of Communications Department of AICC to refrain from making any comment of any kind on any colleague of ours contesting the elections for the post of Congress president."
"We all have our individual preferences but our job is to only highlight that the Congress is the only political party to have a democratic and transparent system in place for election to the post of its president," he said.
Ramesh told the spokespersons and office bearers of the communications department that their job is to highlight that the Congress is the only political party in India to have an independent election authority to conduct organisational elections, the sources said.
"A person wanting to contest needs no nod from anybody to do so except from 10 PCC delegates for filing nomination form. The election authority ensures free and fair elections.
Spokespersons have to ensure that elections are seen to be free and fair," Ramesh said. "If elections have to be held on October 17th so be it. We welcome it. Even so the focus of the entire party organisation should be and indeed is to make the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has already evoked tremendous response even more of a resounding success," the sources quoted the Congress general secretary as saying in his message.
Vallabh is also a party spokesperson but he asserted his comments were as a Congress worker and not spokesperson.
12:25 The tennis gods in one photo
If you haven't seen this picture of Roger Federer with his pals, do.
Federer who recently retired from professional tennis at age 41 after winning 20 Grand Slam titles, shared this picture with, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, as they headed out to dinner.
Federer who recently retired from professional tennis at age 41 after winning 20 Grand Slam titles, shared this picture with, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, as they headed out to dinner.
Medha Patkar, the face of Narmada Bachao Andolan
12:11 Urban Naxals stalled work of Narmada dam: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday alleged that "urban Naxals and anti-development elements" having political backing had stalled the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river in Gujarat for many years by running a campaign claiming that it would harm the environment.
He was addressing the Environment Ministers of different states after virtually inaugurating the National Conference of Environment Ministers at Ekta Nagar in Narmada district of Gujarat via video conference.
"Urban Naxals and anti-development elements having political backing had stalled the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by running a campaign that the project will harm the environment. Huge amount of money was wasted because of this delay. Now, when the dam is complete, you can very well judge how dubious their claims were," Modi said.
'Urban Naxal' term is often used by some segments of the political spectrum to describe sympathisers of the Naxalism cause as well as certain social activists.
"These urban Naxals are still active. I urge you to make sure that projects aimed at bringing ease of doing business or ease of life do not get unnecessarily stalled in the name of the environment. We must have a balanced approach to counter the conspiracy of such people," the prime minister added. PTI
11:58 A book on Delhi University is out
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on his new baby: "Privileged to edit & join some highly acclaimed luminaries & fellow alumni from my Alma Mater in contributing to the anthology 'Delhi University-Celebrating 100 Glorious Years' to be launched shortly. Each one of us has reminisced about our time in DU & how it shaped our lives."
11:52 When PM asked Jaishankar: Jaage ho?
External Affairs minister S Jaishankar in New York praised the leadership skills of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while recalling the attack on the Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan near the Indian consulate and while India was coordinating evacuations from the country.
Recalling the situation in Afghanistan in the year 2016, Jaishankar attending a book discussion event in New York on Thursday said: "It was past midnight, and our consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, was under attack. And we were using phones, trying to figure out what happened."
"All of this was happening and you're juggling phones, trying to keep everybody updated. And then, my phone rang. When the prime minister calls, there is no caller ID. His first question was -Jaage ho? (Are you awake?)," Jaishankar said.
The External Affairs minister was speaking at an event to discuss the book Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery. "Jaage ho?...achaa tv dekh rahe ho...toh kya ho raha h waha (what's happening there?)," Modi asked Jaishankar over the call, responding to which the EAM responded and informed the PM that help was on its way.
Jaishankar said during the address citing the phone call with Prime Minister. "I told him that it might take a couple of more hours and that I would call up at his office. To this, he responded - 'Mujhe phone kar dena' (Call me please)," Jaishankar said.
Praising the leadership skills of PM Modi the EAM said, "To handle the consequences of very big decisions, that is a singular quality."
The external affairs minister also recalled his first meeting with the prime minister. "I frankly liked Mr Modi before I met Mr Modi. I am on some levels, as many would complain, a micromanager. I can be quiet a pain. But the level of preparation he had done was commendable," Jaishankar said. The EAM also pointed out that PM Modi "starts his day at 7:30 am... and carries on, and does not drop, while others might." -- ANI
11:39 Kerala HC files suo motu case against PFI protests
The Kerala High Court on Friday filed a case on its own over the hartal declared by radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and subsequent sporadic incidents of violence in the state.
The court said hartal was banned by it earlier and the destruction of the public property cannot be accepted.
The court also asked the state administration to take stern action against those who violate the court order banning hartals.
It asked the government to use all possible means to stop any form of violence. Sporadic incidents of violence, including stone pelting, were reported since Friday morning in various parts of Kerala as the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by PFI was underway.
The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. PTI
11:17 Prophet row: SC clubs cases against Navika Kumar
Prophet remark row: The Supreme Court transfers all FIRs against journalist and Times Now anchor Navika Kumar to the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police. The SC says no coercive action can be taken Navika Kumar for period of 8 weeks.
The court said she can approach an appropriate forum for remedies and is at liberty to move the Delhi HC for quashing FIRs.
Kumar was booked after former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma had made derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad on Kumar's show.
It also granted liberty to Kumar to move the Delhi High Court for quashing of the lead FIR. The Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police will probe the matter.
The apex court on August 8 had granted interim protection from arrest to Kumar and issued notices to the Centre, West Bengal government, and others on Kumar's plea seeking quashing of proceedings initiated against her.
Sharma's controversial remarks had created a furore and even led to some Islamic nations summoning Indian ambassadors and high commissioners. The ruling BJP government had distanced itself from Sharma and also suspended her.
FIRs came to be registered against Sharma and Kumar in various parts of the country.
Kumar was booked in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.
10:47 Flooded roads, heavy rain in Delhi; WFH in Gurgaon
Rains continued to lash Delhi, leading to waterlogging and affecting traffic movement in several areas of the city. The national capital has been witnessing an incessant spell of light to moderate rain for the past two days. The weather department has predicted more rains on Friday.
Schools are shut in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Gurgaon, where private and corporate offices have been asked to work from home day after incessant rain yesterday. Parts of Delhi are flooded.
The minimum temperature in the city was recorded one notch above normal at 22 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature is expected to settle at around 28 degrees Celsius, according to the The India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The IMD issued a 'yellow alert', cautioning people about moderate rain at most places in Delhi. "Light intensity rain/drizzle would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of South-Delhi, South-East Delhi, NCR (Hindon AF Station, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Chhapraula, Noida, Dadri, Greater Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad, Manesar, Ballabhgarh) Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra...Kotputli, Alwar (Rajasthan) during next 2 hours," IMD's RWFC tweeted at around 8 am.
The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, gauged 40.8 mm of rainfall between 5.30 pm on Thursday and 8.30 am on Friday. The weather stations at Lodhi Road, Ridge and Ayanagar received 44 mm, 24.6 mm and 60 mm of precipitation respectively during this period. -- PTI
10:17 Will contest for Cong prez polls, confirms Gehlot
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on the upcoming Congress party's presidential elections. "It's decided that I'll contest for the post of Congress President. I'll fix the date soon (to file his nomination). It's a need for the Opposition to be strong, looking at the current position of the country.
"I have requested him (Congress MP Rahul Gandhi) multiple times to accept everyone's proposal of becoming the Congress President. He made it clear that no one from the Gandhi family should become the next chief," Gehlot said.
The elections are slated to be held on October 17 at all Pradesh Congress Committees with results being announced on October 19, immediately after the counting of votes.
10:00 Rupee falls to lifetime low of 81.18 to USD
Rupee falls 39 paise to all-time low of 81.18 against US dollar in early trade. The US Federal Reserve had raised the repo rate by 75 basis points, in line with expectations. The Fed also hinted that more rate hikes were coming and that these rates would stay elevated until 2024.
09:40 Shah sets tone for 2024 polls with new slogan
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is on a two-day visit to Bihar on Friday to prepare the party to become a formidable force ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to counter the Mahagathbandhan government in the state.
To give further impetus to the party, the Bihar unit of the BJP has come up with a new slogan urging people to support the party for the development of the state.
The party has introduced the slogan "Aao chale Bhajpa ke sath, Kare Bihar ka Vikash" (let's support BJP for the development of Bihar).
Shah's first trip to the state comes after chief minister Nitish Kumar parted ways with the BJP and joined hands with RJD, Congress and others to form a grand alliance government.
Amit Shah will address 'Jan Bhavna Mahasabha' in the Seemanchal area for the first time in Bihar. Seemanchal area includes Katihar, Araria and Kishanganj districts.
The visit of Shah to Bihar reflects BJP's strategy to win maximum seats in 2024 Lok Sabha and 2025 Bihar Assembly elections.
Amit Shah will address a gathering 'Jan Bhavna Mahasabha' at around 12 noon on Friday at Rangbhoomi Ground in Purnia. The BJP is in high gear ahead of Shah's visit to Seemanchal (bordering) districts of Bihar Purnia and Kishanganj districts. -- ANI
09:29 PFI raids: Molotov Cocktail hurled at BJP office
A bottle filled with inflammable substance were hurled at the BJP office in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore on Thursday night triggering tension in the area.
Following this, BJP workers protested in the area demanding action against the culprits. According to BJP, this is a kind of "terror attack".
Police reached the spot to take control of the situation and conducted a preliminary investigation.
The NIA on Thursday took A.S. Ismail, national executive committee member of PFI, into custody from Coimbatore.
Speaking to reporters, Nandkumar, a BJP worker said, "Petrol bomb was thrown at our office, this is how terror attacks come. Today raids (against PFI) took place at several places. It is the anniversary of Hindu Munnani leader and BJP National president too is in the state." -- ANI
08:53 Mexico wants UN panel, including Modi, to borker peace between Russia, Ukraine
Mexico has proposed to the United Nations to set up a committee that would include India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to mediate permanent peace between Russia and Ukraine.
The proposal was put forward by Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon, the foreign minister of Mexico, while participating in a UN Security Council debate on Ukraine in New York on Thursday.
This came days after Modi, who met Putin on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Uzbekistan's Samarkand, told the Russian leader that 'today's era is not of war'.
The Indian prime minister's remarks have been welcomed by the western world including the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
"Based on its pacifist vocation, Mexico believes that the international community must now channel its best efforts to achieve peace," Casaubn said.
"In this regard, I would like to share with you the proposal of the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to strengthen the mediation efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through the formation of a Committee for Dialogue and Peace in Ukraine with the participation of other heads of state and government, including, if possible, His Excellency Narendra Modi and His Holiness Pope Francis."
He said the objective of the committee would be to generate new mechanisms for dialogue and create complementary spaces for mediation to build confidence, reduce tensions and open the way for lasting peace.
Casaubon said the Mexican delegation will continue with the necessary consultations to contribute towards generating broad support for the mediation efforts led by the UN secretary-general as well as for the committee, 'whose formation we hope will proceed with the support of the UN member states that so decide'.
"As the Secretary-General has said, it is time to act and commit to peace. To settle for war is always to go to the precipice," he said.
The Mexican foreign minister argued that peace can only be achieved through dialogue, diplomacy and by building effective political channels.
"Indifference is unacceptable, just as it is unacceptable to simply lament the fact that, so far, in the case in question, the Security Council has not been able to fulfil its essential responsibility," he said.
"The reasons why this Council can become dysfunctional are well known. It is up to us to correct them. The time is right to consider, in all seriousness, the structural reforms required to do so," Casaubon added. -- PTI
08:27 Join Bharat Jodo Yatra: Cong to RSS chief
Congress leader Gourav Vallabh on Thursday claimed that the meeting of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat with the All India Imam Organisation president is the impact of the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra, and asked the RSS chief to join Rahul Gandhi in uniting the country.
The RSS chief, who is engaged in a campaign to increase contact with Muslims, on Thursday visited Masjid and Madarsa in Delhi and met Chief Imam of All India Imam Organisation Dr Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, who called the RSS chief 'the Father of the Nation'.
His visit to the Masjid earlier and to the Madarsa has grabbed eyeballs, as it is for the first time that he has been to a Madarsa.
Speaking to media persons, Vallabh said that the results of the party's Bharat Jodo Yatra are evident from the fact that for the first time Bhagwat has visited a Madarsa.
"Only 15 days have passed since the Bharat Jodo Yatra has begun and the results are out. A BJP spokesperson has said Godse Murdabad on television. Mohan Bhagwat went to the house of a person of another religion. This is the effect of Bharat Jodo Yatra," said Vallabh.
He further said that by the time the Bharat Jodo Yatra is completed, the hate and the divisions created by the ruling dispensation will disappear from the country.
"We would like to urge Mohan Bhagwat that if this 15-day yatra has had such an impact on you, so you should participate in the Bharat Jodo Yatra for an hour and walk with Rahul Gandhi with a tricolour in hand," he added.
Reacting to it, Congress leader Pawan Khera also in a tweet said, 'It has only been 15 days since the Bharat Jodo Yatra has started and BJP spokesperson started saying 'Godse Murdabad', ministers have become concerned over the hatred spread through the media and Bhagwat has reached out to imams. Let's see what happens next.'
Earlier, after visiting a Masjid at Kasturba Gandhi Marg, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat went to the Azad Market Madrasa Tajweedul Quran in Old Delhi, interacted with the children and also had a piece of advice for them.
Madarsa director Mahmudul Hasan, while talking to ANI said, "The chief stayed inside the Madrasa for about an hour and met the teacher and the children."
His visit to the Masjid earlier and to the Madarsa has grabbed eyeballs, as it is for the first time that he has been to a Madarsa.
The RSS chief, who is engaged in a campaign to increase contact with Muslims, also met with Dr Imam Umair Ahmed Ilyasi, head of All India Imam Sangathan, on August 1 last month. -- ANI
00:01 Don't think reference to JK at UN is helpful: India
India on Thursday said any reference to Jammu and Kashmir at the UN General Assembly was not useful or helpful as it needs to be resolved bilaterally in accordance with the Shimla Agreement.
Addressing the ongoing UNGA in New York Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "India and Pakistan, after having established their sovereignty and independence 75 years ago, they still haven't established peace and solidarity between one another. This is much unfortunate. We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir."
Responding to questions on the remarks made by the Turkish President, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said, "I don't think reference to Jammu and Kashmir at the UNGA is useful or helpful".
In 2019, during an address at the general debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the UN, Erdogan had said, "Despite the resolutions adopted (by the UNSC), Kashmir is still besieged and eight million people are stuck in Kashmir."
Bagchi noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with the Turkish President on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit meeting in Samarkand last week.
"As regards Jammu and Kashmir, our position is very clear. This issue needs to be resolved in the Shimla Agreement and bilaterally and also in a conducive atmosphere free of terrorism. I don't think reference to Kashmir in UNGA is useful or helpful," Bagchi said. -- PTI