Fri, 09 June 2023
National level baseball player ends life, friend held

Timeline  Refresh

23:55   Malaysian Bharatnatyam Guru dies after collapsing on stage
Prominent Bharatnatyam exponent Sri Ganesan, a Malaysian citizen, collapsed while attending a cultural function here on Friday and was subsequently declared dead by doctors at a city hospital. 

Ganesan, also the director of Sri Ganesalaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malasiya, was here to receive an award from a cultural organisation which was conducting a three-day Devadasi Dance event at Bhanja Kala Mandap in Bhubaneswar. 

Friday was the last day of the event. 

According to eyewitnesses, Sri Ganesan, about 60 years old, performed his dance and later while lighting a lamp collapsed on stage. 

He was immediately rushed to the Capital Hospital here where doctors declared him dead, an official said. 

"His (Ganesan) death could be due to sudden cardiac arrest. His body has been kept for postmortem tomorrow morning," a doctor at the Capital Hospital said. 

"He was in good health and performed a Bharatnatyam recital based on the Geet Govinda today evening. Unfortunately he collapsed whle lighting the lamp on stage," said Jagabandhu Jena, organiser of the festival. -- PTI
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23:34   SU-30MKI jets of IAF carry out long-range mission in Indian Ocean region
A fleet of Su-30MKI jets of the Indian Air Force carried out a strategic mission over the Indian Ocean region for eight hours, days after a similar operation was carried out by four Rafale aircraft.                 

People familiar with the operation said the Su-30MKI jets flew over the south-western region of the Indian Ocean on Thursday, demonstrating their operational prowess and capability to carry out long-range missions.                 
The six-hour mission involving the Rafale fighter aircraft last month covered the eastern region of the Indian Ocean, they said.                 

"Another outing into the Indian Ocean Region! This time, with #IAF Su-30s flying nearly eight hours, on a different axis. Both Seaboards covered," the IAF tweeted on Friday.                 

The IAF carried out the two missions at a time when China has been ramping up its presence in the Indian Ocean region, which is largely considered as the backyard of the Indian Navy.                 

The IAF did not divulge the details of the operation carried out on Thursday as well as late last month. 

The number of aircraft involved in the operation is not known.                 

The Rafale jets are India's first major acquisition of fighter planes in 23 years after the Sukhoi jets were imported from Russia.                 

The Rafale jets are capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. -- PTI
23:19   National level baseball player ends life, friend held
A 25-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing, extorting money and assaulting a national level baseball player, who died by suicide earlier this week, a police official from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh said on Friday. 

Sanjana Barkade (20) hanged herself on Monday when her parents were not present in the house and a probe zeroed in Abdul Mansoori, who befriended her on a social media platform by introducing himself as Rajan, the Sanjeevani Nagar police station official said. 

"As per the deceased's parents, Abdul posed as Rajan and befriended Sanjana on Instagram one year ago. He shot some videos of her and started demanding money. He also forced her to convert to his faith," inspector Kranti Barve said. 

"The accused forcibly took away her medals and certificates. She committed suicide when her parents were not at home. Sanjana is a second year BA student from Seoni district who was staying with her parents in Jabalpur," Barve said. -- PTI
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23:04   Heroin smuggled using drone from Pakistan seized in Punjab
Five packets of heroin smuggled using a drone from Pakistan were seized here on Friday, officials said.                 

The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel intercepted the drone at around 1.30 am near Rai village. 

A police patrol party also joined the BSF team and a joint search operation was launched in the area.                 

A packet wrapped in yellow-coloured tape was seized from a field on the outskirts of Rear Kakkar village. 

Inside, there were five packets of heroin weighing around 5 kg, they said. -- PTI
Sanjay Raut
Sanjay Raut
22:24   Two detained over death threat to Sanjay Raut
Two persons were detained in connection with the death threat message to Uddhav Thackeray faction leader and MP Sanjay Raut, the Mumbai police said on Friday.  

"The police detained two people for threatening Uddhav faction leader and MP Sanjay Raut," the Mumbai police said.  

The police are questioning the detained person.   

Earlier on Friday, Uddhav Thackeray faction MLA Sunil Raut said that Sanjay Raut and he received death threat calls since Thursday, asking them not to talk to the media in the morning.   

"Uddhav Thackeray faction MP Sanjay Raut and I have received death threat calls since yesterday, asking them not to talk to the media in the morning. Mumbai police commissioner and state home minister have been informed regarding the incident," he said. -- ANI
22:17   1 more held in connection with molestation, attempted kidnap of JNU students
One more person was arrested in connection with the alleged molestation and attempted kidnap of two female students inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, an officer said on Friday. 

The police have identified this person as Mahavir, a resident of RK Puram. 

This is the second arrest in the case. Earlier, police had arrested Abhishek (22). 

According to police, the accused has claimed that he studies at an open university. 

They said they were taking a stroll in the area before heading to the campus. 

The facts are being verified and further investigation is underway, they said, adding that efforts are on to nab the remaining two accused. 

The JNU Students' Union had on Wednesday alleged that some inebriated men in a car had come to the campus on Tuesday night and attempted to kidnap two students. 

They also got into a fight on the premises. Abhishek was driving the car when the alleged incident took place. 

"Two complaints '" one regarding physical assault and another on molestation, attempt to kidnap '" have been received from JNU students and cases have been registered. 

"In both cases, the accused and the vehicle, which are the same, have been identified," deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Manoj C had said on Wednesday. -- PTI
22:07   Varsha Gaikwad becomes first woman to head Mumbai Congress
Four-time MLA Varsha Gaikwad, who was appointed as Mumbai Congress chief on Friday, faces a daunting task of rejuvenating the cadre ahead of elections to the civic body as well as Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly. 

Elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), long due, are expected to be held before the Lok Sabha and assembly elections. 

Gaikwad replaced Bhai Jagtap as the city Congress chief. 

Incidentally, she is the first woman to hold this post. 

The Congress could not win a single seat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai. 

The country's financial capital has six Lok Sabha and 36 assembly seats. 

Gaikwad (48) represents Dharavi -- known as the country's biggest slum cluster -- in the assembly. 

She worked as a lecturer at the Siddharth College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Mumbai before entering politics. 

She holds a master's degree in mathematics. 

She was a minister first in the Democratic Front government of the Congress and NCP and later in Maha Vikas Aghadi government of the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena. 

Gaikwad's father, the late Eknath Gaikwad, had served as Maharashtra Congress chief in 2017-2020.
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21:46   ED notice to Xiaomi over Rs 5,551-cr forex violation
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it has issued show-cause notices to Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi, its chief financial officer and director Sameer Rao, former MD Manu Jain and three foreign banks for alleged foreign exchange violation of more than Rs 5,551 crore. 

The adjudicating authority under the Foreign Exchange Management Act has issued show-cause notices to Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited, the two executives, CITI Bank, HSBC Bank and Deutsche Bank AG, the agency said in a statement. 

The federal probe agency had seized Rs 5,551.27 crore worth of funds of Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited lying in its bank accounts under the FEMA for "unauthorised" remittance of this amount in guise of royalty abroad. 

"The competent authority, appointed under Section 37A of the FEMA, has confirmed the said seizure order," it said. 

"The authority while confirming the seizure held that ED is right in holding that foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 5,551.27 crore has been transferred out of India by Xiaomi India in an unauthorised manner and is held outside India on behalf of the group entity in contravention of section 4 of FEMA, 1999 and the same is liable to be seized in terms of provisions of Section 37A of the FEMA," it said. -- PTI
21:26   Cong appoints Shaktisinh Gohil as new Guj PCC chief; Babaria new Haryana, Delhi in-charge
The Congress on Friday appointed Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil as the new Gujarat PCC president and relieved him from the charge of AICC in-charge of Haryana and Delhi by appointing Deepak Babaria in his place. 

"The Congress president has appointed Shaktisinh Gohil as the new Gujarat PCC president and V Vaithilingam, MP, as the new Puducherry PCC president," said an official communication. 

"The Congress president has appointed Deepak Babaria as AICC in-charge of Haryana and Delhi with immediate effect," said another official order from the party. 

It also said that the party appreciates the contributions of outgoing AICC in-charge Gohil. 

Gohil has replaced Jagdish Thakor, who had resigned after the party's poor performance in the last assembly elections in Gujarat when the party reached its lowest-ever legislator tally. Gohil has been a former Leader of Opposition in Gujarat at the time Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state. 

By appointing Gohil, who is considered close to Rahul Gandhi, the party is seeking to strengthen the organisation in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. 

The Congress has remained out of power in Gujarat for over two-and-a-half decades. Meanwhile, the Congress also appointed MLA Varsha Gaikwad as the new president of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee by replacing Bhai Jagtap. 

Vaithilingam has replaced A V Subramanian as Puducherry PCC chief. -- PTI
21:05   Temple priest bludgeons paramour to death in Hyderabad, dumps body in manhole
A 36-year-old temple priest was on Friday arrested for allegedly bludgeoning his paramour to death with a stone after she pressured him to marry her, the police said. 

In March, Kuruganti Apsara had asked Ayyagari Venkat Surya Sai Krishna to marry her even though she was aware that he was married. 

The woman blackmailed him saying if he failed to marry her she would expose him. 

Vexed with her behaviour, Sai Krishna decided to kill Apsara, a police release said. 

On the night of June 3, he picked up the woman from her home, killed her and carried her body in a car. Later, he dumped it in a manhole. 

He took the mother of the deceased to a police station and lodged a false complaint stating that Apsara was missing. 

On June 6, he brought two tipper loads of red soil and covered the manhole. 

He also burnt her handbag and luggage. 

After that he washed his car and parked it in his apartment. 

The following day, he visited the spot and after noticing the bad smell emanating, he got some labourers to cover and seal the manhole with concrete. -- PTI
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20:43   AI cancels San Francisco-Mumbai flight due to snag
Air India has cancelled its flight scheduled to fly from San Francisco to Mumbai due to a technical issue in the Boeing 777 aircraft. 

While regretting the disruption to its customers, Air India said the affected people have been offered the option of alternative flights or a full refund for the cancelled flight. 

Besides, the airline will reimburse all expenses that the customers may incur towards hotel accommodation and transportation until they take a flight, an airline spokesperson said in a statement. 

Flight AI180 was scheduled to operate from San Francisco to Mumbai on June 8 and was cancelled due to an "unforeseen technical issue". 

Sources said the flight was initially delayed by a few hours due to some issues with an aircraft tyre, and subsequently, the flight was cancelled. 

Details about the number of passengers who had booked the flight could not be immediately ascertained. -- PTI
20:19   Pope Francis 'recovering well' from surgery, starts work from hospital
Following his abdominal surgery, Pope Francis is recovering well and has started working again, the Holy See Press Office said, reported Vatican News

He has also begun to use an armchair and read newspapers. 

Pope Francis on Wednesday underwent a 3-hour laparotomy and abdominal wall plastic surgery which the doctors said was successful. 

Providing an update on Pope's continued progress, Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press office on Friday said, "The medical team reports that the clinical picture is progressively improving and the post-operative course is regular," as per Vatican News

Vatican News is a website that provides multimedia pertaining to the global Catholic Church and the operations of the Holy See. 

"After breakfast, His Holiness began to exercise his mobility, spending most of the morning in an armchair. This allowed him to read the newspapers and start work again." the press office sent out a message to accredited journalists on Friday morning, via Telegram, saying the Pope had another good night and that he rested well. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the Pope's surgeon, Dr Sergio Alfieri told the media that there were no complications and that the Pope was conscious, alert and joking after the surgery, as per Vatican News. -- ANI
Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia and his wife Sangeeta protest against WFI chief/PTI
Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia and his wife Sangeeta protest against WFI chief/PTI
20:08   Cops take woman wrestler to WFI chief's office
Stepping up its probe into sexual harassment allegations against the Wrestling Federation of India chief, the Delhi police on Friday took a woman wrestler to his office in New Delhi to recreate the sequence of events that led to the alleged crime. 

It may be mentioned that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's official residence houses the office of the Wrestling Federation of India. 

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had assured the protesting wrestlers that a charge sheet would be filed in the case by June 15, after which the grapplers suspended their protest. 

A Delhi police official said the wrestler, accompanied by women police personnel, was taken to the WFI office at 1.30 pm. 

"They were there for half an hour. They asked her to recreate the scene and recall the places where she faced harassment," the police official said. 

Hours after the police left the place, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who was among those leading the protest, took to Twitter to express her disappointment at media reports that claimed that the wrestlers had reached the WFI office for a compromise.  

"This is the power of Brij Bhushan. He is harassing women wrestlers by using his muscle power, political power and running false narratives, and his arrest is necessary. If the police arrests him instead of breaking us, there is hope for justice, otherwise not."

 "Women wrestlers had gone to the crime scene for police investigation, but it was flashed in the media that they had gone for a compromise," she tweeted in Hindi.

Bajrang Punia, another protesting wrestler, also posted similar tweets. -- PTI
Lt Gen Sanjay Mitra (left)/Indian Army/Twittter
Lt Gen Sanjay Mitra (left)/Indian Army/Twittter
19:34   Lt Gen Sanjay Mitra takes over as Commander of Strike 1 Corps
Lieutenant General Sanjay Mitra on Friday took over as the Commander of the prestigious Strike 1 Corps, a defence spokesperson said. 

He succeeds Lt Gen Gajendra Joshi. 

Lt Gen Mitra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. 

He graduated from Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. 

He has attended the higher command course at National Defence College, Delhi and other basic courses of the Indian Army, the spokesperson said. 

In his career spanning 34 years, Lt Gen Mitra has commanded an Infantry Battalion, an Infantry Brigade and an Infantry Division, all of them along the Line of Control in northern Jammu and Kashmir and the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. 

He has held multiple instructional and staff appointments, including that of instructor at Commando School, Belgaum; squadron commander in National Security Guard; and Colonel General, Staff, Faculty of Studies, Army War College. 

He was posted as the chief instructor of the Army Wing at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. 

Lt Gen Mitra has been awarded Chief of Army Staff and General Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation Cards twice, an apt recognition of his selfless and distinguished service, the spokesperson said. -- PTI
19:17   Brij Bhushan misbehaved with female wrestlers: International referee
International referee Jagbir Singh on Thursday claimed that he has been a witness to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's inappropriate behaviour towards female grapplers on several occasions since 2013.
Brij Bhushan is currently under scrutiny after top Indian wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, demanded his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of women grapplers. 
"I am an UWW referee since 2007 and I have been a referee before the birth of the  the protesting wrestlers. I also know Brij Bhushan for a long time," Jagbir told PTI.
"I couldn't say much because until the girls register complaints, I could not do anything. But I saw the episode with my own eyes and felt bad," he said.
Jagbir, who has been a coach-cum-international referee since 2007, said he witnessed Brij Bhushan's misbehaviour with his own eyes on numerous occasions.
"After he became the president during his second tour in 2013 in Kazakhstan, the president told us 'I will feed you Indian food today' and he arranged a party in the junior wrestlers' hotel," he claimed.
"Brij Bhushan and his accomplices from Thailand were drunk and they misbehaved with the girls and I was a witness to that.
"In 2022, I witnessed something. Whenever the president used to travel inside the country for national tournaments, two to three girls were always with him but we could never protest. We have seen that with our eyes."
Jagbir, in fact, has corroborated the protesting wrestler's allegations in his testimony to the Delhi Police.
Asked about Brij Bhushan's denial of all the allegations, Jagbir said: "Does a thief ever say I have stolen? Every culprit will make these excuses."
He, however, refused to comment on the U-turn of the minor wrestler's father, who said he accused Brij Bhushan due to personal enmity after his daughter was discriminated during U-17 Asian Championship Trials. 
"I will not like to comment on statement of the minor girl's father. I even don't know who is the minor wrestler. Whatever I am saying is all about what I have seen with my own eyes," he said.  
"On 25th March 2022, after a trial, there was a photo session and a girl felt uncomfortable while standing with the president and left the spot." -- PTI 
19:03   Insurgents dressed as security personnel kill 3 in Manipur
Three people were killed in a village in Manipur's Imphal West district on Friday when a group of insurgents dressed as security personnel called them out of their homes on the pretext of a combing operation and fired at them, officials said. 
The incident took place in a village on the border of Kangpoki and Imphal West districts.
The insurgents are believed to be from the Meitei community, the officials said. 
Security forces on a routine patrol of the village stepped in when they heard the sound of gunfire. Insurgents fled the area but not before shooting down three villagers, the officials said. -- PTI 
18:21   Police takes woman wrestler to WFI chief's office
Stepping up its probe into sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief rij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Delhi Police on Friday took a woman wrestler to his office in New Delhi to recreate the sequence of events that led to the alleged crime.
It may be mentioned that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's official residence houses the office of the Wrestling Federation of India.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had assured the protesting wrestlers that a charge sheet will be filed in the case by June 15 after which the grapplers suspended their protest. 
A Delhi Police official said the wrestler, accompanied by women police personnel, was taken to the WFI office at 1.30 pm. "They were there for half an hour. They asked her to recreate the scene and recall the places where she faced harassment," the police official said.
Hours after the police left the place, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who was among those leading the protest, took to Twitter to express her disappointment at media reports that claimed that the wrestlers had reached the WFI office for compromise.
"This is the power of Brij Bhushan. He is harassing women wrestlers by using his muscle power, political power and running false narratives, and his arrest is necessary. If the police arrests him instead of breaking us, there is hope of justice, otherwise not."
"Women wrestlers had gone to the crime scene for police investigation, but it was flashed in the media that they had gone for a compromise," she tweeted in Hindi.
Bajrang Punia, another protesting wrestler, also posted similar tweets.
The Delhi Police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the sexual harassment allegations against the outgoing WFI president and BJP MP Singh is likely to submit in the court its investigation report in the two cases registered against him by next week, officials said on Wednesday.
As part of its investigation, the SIT has questioned more than 180 people, the Delhi Police officials said. -- PTI
18:03   Sachin Pilot floating new party? Cong says...
The Congress on Friday dismissed as rumours reports that its leader Sachin Pilot may announce a separate party on his father Rajesh Pilot's death anniversary on June 11.
Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal said the party is united and will contest the upcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan together, a day ahead of a programme planned to pay homage to Rajesh Pilot on his death anniversary.

"I don't believe in rumours. The reality is that the Congress president and Rahul Gandhi discussed with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot and after that we said that we will go together. That is the position of the Congress party," he told PTI.

"In my knowledge, there is no such thing," he said, when asked specifically about reports of Pilot floating a new party.

Venugopal said he has met Pilot in the recent days and there is no such thing.

He also told the media to be optimistic and not believe in such rumours.
"Who told you he is going out of the party. These are imaginary... rumours. Don't believe these rumours. Be optimistic. Don't worry, we will fight unitedly. The Rajasthan Congress will fight unitedly," he also said.

There are reports that Sachin Pilot, who is engaged in a tussle for power in Rajasthan ever since the Congress won the state in 2018, may announce his own party.

Pilot launched a tirade against the Gehlot government on the issue of corruption and demanded action against those involved in corruption in the previous BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje. He also accused the Gehlot government of not acting against the corrupt.

He had launched a yatra and sat on a day-long fast alleging inaction by the Gehlot government against the corrupt.

Thereafter, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and Venugopal sat with both Gehlot and Pilot and after hours of deliberations announced that the two would contest the next assembly polls unitedly.
17:39   Raut says he, MLA brother get death threat calls
Shiv Sena-UBT Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Friday said he and his MLA brother Sunil Raut had received death threat calls and asked the Maharashtra government to take them seriously.
He also said Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar getting a threat on social media was a serious issue, adding moves were afoot to instill fear in the opposition.
"The government should take it (threat calls to him and his brother) seriously and not me. The government wants such threats. The matter is with the  police and they will have to look into it," he told reporters.
"Sunil Raut received a threat. I didn't file any complaint. We are not worried about it," claimed Raut, who has received threats in the past as well.
On Friday, the NCP claimed 82-year-old Pawar received a message on Facebook threatening him with a fate similar to anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013.
Speaking on the threat to Pawar, the Shiv Sena-UBT leader said the threat is a move to instil fear in the opposition or "terrorise" its leaders through Central agencies.
"There is an invisible force behind them which the 40 people (Sena MLAs including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde) used to call super power. It is destroying the state for political purposes," Raut said, a possible reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party. -- PTI 
17:30   Punjab to have high security 'digital jail' near Ludhiana: Mann
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday said a "digital jail" is going to be built over 50 acres of land to hear cases involving dreaded criminals within the jail complex. 

Addressing a gathering after handing over appointment letters to the newly recruited jail warders at Ladda Kothi in Sangrur, the Chief Minister said the Centre has approved Rs 100 crore to set up the digital jail near Ludhiana. 

According to an official statement, Mann said the jail will have separate cabins for judges which will allow them to hear cases without requiring hardcore criminals to be taken to courts outside. 

The jail department will soon have an "ultra modern" office in Mohali for which land has been identified, he said. 

The CM said that all out efforts are being made to modernise the police force on scientific lines, with various reforms underway including training on technological advances for them to tackle cyber attacks. 

High tech jammers and other equipment are being installed in jails to check use of mobile phones from inside the prisons, he said. 

Mann also said anti-drone technology is being introduced in the Punjab Police to check infiltration from across the border. 

He said Punjab will soon be joining hands with tech giant Google to update the state law enforcement with modern way of policing. 

He said a comprehensive blueprint has already been prepared to this end and the formal agreement will be signed soon. 

He said that 351 new posts will be created in the jail department and a special women jail will be constructed. 

Mann said that there is no dearth of funds in the state and every effort will be made to strengthen, modernise and upgrade jails in Punjab. -- PTI 

17:07   Schools to be shut in Goa tomorrow due to extreme heat
The Goa government on Friday announced that all state-run schools up to higher secondary will be shut on June 10 due to extreme heat. Director of Education Shailesh Zingde issued a circular during the day announcing the closure of schools on Saturday. 

"Due to extreme heat and delay of in monsoon in the state, it is decided by the competent authority to close down all the institutions on June 10, the circular read. All the heads of government, government-aided, unaided, primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary schools are hereby requested to compensate for the academic loss in future, if any," Zingde said in the circular. Monsoon is yet to arrive in Goa, due to which the state is witnessing extreme heat conditions. PTI
16:54   Ajit Pawar: Tried calling Maha CM, Fadnavis but...
Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said on Friday that stringent action should be taken against those who try to defame Opposition leaders through social media and appealed to all political parties to desist from using foul language against one another. 

 Speaking to reporters in Pune, Pawar said that he tried to reach Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis over the death threat issued to NCP president Sharad Pawar on social media. "We got to know whose account it is. In the bio, it is mentioned that the person is a BJP worker. We do not know whether he is really a BJP worker or whether his party told him to say so. The ideological fight should be fought ideologically," he said. 

"Everyone has freedom of expression but why misuse it," he said. "Who told them the right to write something defamatory about any political leader, "he asked. 

 Ajit Pawar said he tried to get in touch with Shinde but was told the CM is on a tour. "I tried to reach deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis but could not get through. I will again try to reach him," he said. 

 Pawar, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, said the phone of the person who issued the threat should be checked to find out if he was in contact with anyone and whether that persons asked him to send the threat message. 

 The police should take stringent action in such matters to ensure that law and order is not disturbed. Those who have done this act must be arrested and action be taken," he demanded.  -- PTI
16:26   Won't be tolerated: Fadnavis on threat to Pawar
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday instructed the state police to take action after Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule alleged that her father, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, had received death threats from unknown miscreants.

Devendra Fadnavis said that although there are differences at the political level threatening any leader would not be tolerated. "Maharashtra politics has a high tradition. Although there are differences at the political level there are no differences of opinion. Threatening any leader or overstepping the bounds of civility while expressing themselves on social media will not be tolerated... In such a case the police will definitely take action as per law," Fadnavis said.

Sule earlier today said that she received a message for her father Sharad Pawar on WhatsApp from her father for Sharad Pawar. Calling such actions 'low-level politics', she added that this should stop. "I received a message on WhatsApp for Pawar Sahab. He has been threatened through a website. So, I have come to the police demanding justice. I urge Maharashtra Home Minister and Union Home Minister to take action. Such actions are low-level politics and this should stop," Sule told mediapersons.
16:17   Cong history limited to Nehru-Gandhis: BJP minister
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekar on Friday hit out at the Congress government in Karnataka over reports of it removing a lesson on RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar from school textbooks, saying the party's views on history are limited to the Nehru-Gandhi family. 

 The senior BJP leader termed the reported move as Congress antics to grab attention, and alleged that it has a long history of rewriting the country's history to remove those who are not part of a "dynasty". 

 On Thursday, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa had said revision of school textbooks will be done this year itself in the interest of students. Bangarappa, while talking to reporters in Bengaluru, had also indicated that the proposal on the textbook revision will be placed before the Cabinet probably when it meets next. He, however, did not wish to go into details, when asked about reports stating that plans are on to remove some lessons from textbooks introduced by the previous BJP government, including one on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founder. 

Chandrashekar, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, said, "I don't have control on them what they do or say Its (move to remove a lesson) absolutely wrong. It is in their DNA and intent to take out from history whosoever is not part of dynasty." Their "prism" of looking at history is limited to the Nehru-Gandhi family," he said. 

 Chandrashekar also described the reported move of the Karnataka government to remove a lesson on Hedgewar as "crime against the youth of India" and said people will respond to the Congress for depriving students from the truth about India.

 The Congress in its manifesto for the recently concluded Karnataka assembly polls had promised to undo the changes made to school textbooks when the BJP was in power and had also promised to scrap the National Education Policy-2020 in the state. PTI
Tiger Shroff with his mother, Ayesha
Tiger Shroff with his mother, Ayesha
16:04   Jackie Shroff's wife duped of Rs 58L by staffer
Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff's mother Ayesha Shroff was duped of Rs 58.53 lakh allegedly by a kickboxer she had appointed as a staffer in her son's firm, a Mumbai police official said on Friday. 

 As per the complaint lodged by Ayesha Shroff at Santacruz police station, the kickboxing association fighter, identified as Alan Fernandes, was appointed as director of operations in Tiger Shroff's MMA Matrix company. The company gives training in mixed martial arts and its administration is handled by Ayesha Shroff, he said.

 "Fernandes was appointed director in the MMA Matrix firm in 2018. He is accused of collecting money to organise 11 tournaments in India and abroad through the firm and depositing Rs 58.53 lakh in his personal account," the official said quoting the FIR. Ayesha Shroff lodged a complaint on May 3 after which Fernandes was booked under Indian Penal Code sections for cheating, criminal breach of trust and other offences, the official said. PTI
Members of a Hindu outfit stage protests in Kolhapur
Members of a Hindu outfit stage protests in Kolhapur
15:59   After Kolhapur & Beed, Maha town tense over FB post
Tension prevailed in Ghoti town of Maharashtra's Nashik district after some local residents gathered outside a police station and sought action against a man over his Facebook post, which they alleged hurt their religious sentiments, police said on Friday. 

 The incident took place on Thursday evening, after which the police took the 23-year-old accused into custody, they said. 

 "A Facebook post by a man created a tense situation in Ghoti. The man had posted some edited photographs on the social media platform, which went viral and triggered tension," a police official said. 

"Local residents gathered outside the Ghoti police station in the evening seeking action against the man. The police, however, managed to defuse the situation," he said. 

 Following the incident, the police took out a route march in the town. A case was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) against the accused and he was taken into custody, the police said.

 "The situation is under control now and no untoward incident occurred," the official said. The incident took place close on the heels of tension in Kolhapur and Ahmednagar cities of the state recently over social media status messages put by some individuals.

In Ashti town of Beed district, a teenage boy's alleged act of putting a social media status message glorifying Aurangzeb triggered tension, with some Hindutva organisations giving a "bandh" call on Friday.
15:23   Have taken serious note of threat to Pawar: Maha CM
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on the death threat to Sharad Pawar. "The government has taken serious note of the threat received by senior leader Sharad Pawar on Twitter and I have personally spoken to senior police officers and have given instructions for investigation. Sharad Pawar is a senior leader and we all respect him. Their safety will be fully taken care of. Instructions have been given to the police to increase security if necessary," Shinde said. 
Manoj Sane kept the body parts in buckets after cooking them
Manoj Sane kept the body parts in buckets after cooking them
15:20   Did man who cooked partner feed body to dogs?
Two days after a 36-year-old woman's body parts were found cooked in a pressure-cooker and then roasted inside a flat where she stayed with her live-in partner in Maharashtra's Thane district, three of her sisters recorded their statements with the police on Friday.

The Naya Nagar police on Thursday arrested victim Saraswati Vaidya's live-in partner Manoj Sane (56) in connection with the crime. Sane has been remanded in police custody till June 16. 

During Sane's interrogation, police traced Vaidya's family members and her three sisters recorded their statements, an official said. 

 While Sane told the police that he was planning to take his life after disposing of Vaidya's body parts, the motive behind the crime is still not clear, he said. 

 Sane, who worked at a ration shop, kept the woman's chopped body parts in three buckets in their rented flat in Mira Road (East), a suburb of Mumbai, and tried to hide the stench by spraying room freshener, his neighbours said on Thursday.

The crime came to light after neighbours alerted the police about a foul smell coming out of the flat.  

According to the FIR registered by the police, Sane not only boiled body pieces in a pressure cooker and an utensil after cutting them with a saw, but also roasted them and put them in a bucket and tub. 

It is suspected that Vaidya died on June 4 but came to light on June 7.

Neighbours also told the police Sane had been feeding stray dogs for the past few days, something he had never done before.
File pic
File pic
15:05   3 dead, many feared trapped in illegal coal mine collapse near Dhanbad
At least three people were killed and many feared trapped when an illegally operated mine collapsed in Jharkhand's Bhowra colliery area on Friday, an official said. The incident occurred at 10.30 am at Bhowra Colliery Area of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), about 21 km from Dhanbad. 

 Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sindri, Abhishek Kuma, said the exact number of people killed and feared trapped or injured would be known after rescuers are able to locate the victims. An eyewitness said many local villagers were engaged in illegal mining when the mine caved in.

 "With the help of the locals, three persons were brought out from the debris and taken to a hospital where doctors declared them dead," the eyewitness said. Bhowra police station Inspector Binod Oraon said rescue operations were on. PTI
Bajrang Punia, Sakshee Malikkh and Vinesh Phogat
Bajrang Punia, Sakshee Malikkh and Vinesh Phogat
15:03   No offence of hate speech against wrestlers: Cops
No offence of hate speech is made out against the wrestlers who were protesting at Jantar Mantar seeking action against sidelined Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Delhi police told a court on Friday. 

 Police said this in an Action Taken Report (ATR) filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Anamika who was hearing an application seeking registration of an FIR against the wrestlers for allegedly levelling false allegations against Singh.

"It is submitted that on perusal of a video clip provided by the complainant in pen drive, it has been revealed that some unknown Sikh protesters are seen in the video clip and they are raising slogans at Jantar Mantar... no cognizable offence of hate speech is made out," the report read. 

"The protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers are not seen raising any such slogan in this clip," police said. 

 The ATR urged the court to dismiss the application filed by Bam Bam Maharaj Nauhatiya, who claimed to be the national chief of Atal Jan Party', against wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshee Malikkh. The court has now listed the plea for further arguments on July 7. 

 On June 7, the wrestlers had a meeting with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur after which they agreed to suspend their agitation till June 15. The protest was withdrawn after the government assured them that a charge sheet will be filed against the outgoing WFI chief by then and elections to the federation will also be conducted by the month-end. 

 After the meeting, Malik and Punia had said they have also been assured that the FIRs lodged against them will be withdrawn. On May 25, the magisterial court had sought an ATR from the Delhi Police on the complaint filed through lawyer A P Singh.
14:27   'I want to command the respect of my men, not demand it'
Anshu Kumar, 21, son of government school teachers from a village in Bihar, won the President's Silver Medal at the NDA. He commanded the grand passing out parade last week and will go on to join the Indian Navy, writes Archana Masih/ Read the story here. 
14:24   V Maitreyan joins BJP
Former AIADMK MP V Maitreyan joins the BJP in the presence of the party's National General Secretary Arun Singh.
14:22   Shah on two-day, four-state visit from tomorrow
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be on a two-day visit to Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh from June 10. 

The Home Minister will attend various political events and public rallies during his visit to the four states. He will leave for Gujarat by late Friday and return back to the national capital by June 11 night. 

 Shah is expected to be engaged in political meetings with party workers in Gujarat's Ahmedabad in the first half of the day on Saturday. 

 The minister will then leave for Nanded in Maharashtra where he is reported to address first rally under Bharatiya Janata Party's special month-long campaign in Nanded city. Nanded is the home turf of Congress veteran and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. 

 Shah's program is part of the party's month-long campaign covering all Lok Sabha constituencies to mark the completion of nine years of Modi government in office. 

14:13   Priya Ramani: Whenever you feel overwhelmed, tell yourself...
"Vinesh, I'm remembering how you defeated reigning European champion Emma Malmgren 8-0 last year. By then, you were already a veteran member of that elite "first Indian woman to'' club. Sakshi, you entered that club at 23. Now both of you, along with your colleagues, are fighting for a different kind of 'first' in the history of Indian sport.

"Sometimes the weight of such fights that we undertake can feel too much to carry. Expectations of our strength and resilience; women's unspoken "counting on yous' and tightly-crossed fingers that hide their hope that we will be able to get justice in a way that we haven't before can be overwhelming."

Journalist Priya Ramani who fought and won a defamation case filed by former Union minister MJ Akbar writes an open letter to the protesting wrestlers. 
Read it here.  
13:54   Facing toughest trial of my life, says Kajol
Actor Kajol on Friday informed her fans that she is facing one of the toughest trials of her life and has decided to take a break from social media. 

Taking to Instagram, Kajol shared this image alongside, along with the post: "Taking a break from social media." 

She deleted all pictures and videos from her handle. Kajol did not mention the reason behind this action. 

 As soon as fans noticed this, they flooded the comment section. One of the users wrote, "I hope that the break does you great good and I wish you the very best as you navigate the tough parts of life. Prayers and love." Another commented, "You are strong enough to face any problem. soon you will overcome." 

 On the work front, Kajol will be seen in an upcoming web series 'The Good Wife'.
Representational image
Representational image
13:44   250 tourists stuck in gondola in Gulmarg rescued
Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla police on Friday rescued nearly 250 tourists who were stuck during a gondola ride to Gondola Phase 2 Affarwat.

 According to the police, while on their return to the gondola base, the tourists got stuck due to technical glitches in the cable car operations. 

 After being rescued, the stranded tourists were brought back to the Gulmarg base safely, the police informed.

 "On receiving information, police rescue teams of PS Gulmarg led by SHO PS Gulmarg Inspector Irshad Ahmad with the assistance of the staff of Gondola Car Corporation swung into action and after strenuous overnight efforts, they rescued the stranded tourists and brought them back to Gulmarg base safely," the police said. 

Earlier in May this year, Jammu and Kashmir's police rescued a tourist family comprising four children stuck in the Kangdoori area of Gulmarg. According to police, the tourists from Telangana arrived in Gulmarg recently and went for a gondola ride to Kangdoori in Gulmarg.
13:04   Sharad Pawar gets death threat on social media: NCP
Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has received a death threat on social media, NCP claimed on Friday. Taking cognisance of the matter, Mumbai police are in the process of registering a first information report, a senior police official said. 

 A delegation of NCP workers led by Pawar's daughter and Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule met Mumbai police chief Vivek Phansalkar demanding action. 

 The NCP leaders told the police that 82-year-old Pawar received a message on Facebook that read he will meet the same fate as (Narendra) Dabholkar soon. 

 Narendra Dabholkar, who fought against superstitious beliefs, was shot dead by two bike-borne assailants during his morning walk in Pune on August 20, 2013. Sule submitted printouts of the screenshots of the death threat to the police. A senior police official told PTI that they have been informed about the threat to the NCP chief on a social media platform. 

"We are looking into it. We have started a probe," the official said. 

 NCP had sent a representative to lodge a police complaint, the official said. The police are in the process of registering an FIR in this connection at South Region Cyber police station, he added. PTI
Ashwini Vaishnaw waves at a goods train as services resumed on Sunday
Ashwini Vaishnaw waves at a goods train as services resumed on Sunday
12:38   All lines now fit: Railways on Balasore accident
South Eastern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Aditya Kumar Chaudhary on Friday said that all lines in Odisha's Balasore district, where the tragic train accident took place earlier this month, are fit and trains are plying on all four lines. 

 "Trains are plying on all four lines, all the lines are fit," Chaudhary told ANI. 

 He said compensation has been given for 661 cases so far and Rs 22.66 crore have been disbursed in connection with the accident that took place on June 2 and involved two passenger and a goods train. 

 He said regular maintenance work is going on and some trains have been cancelled today. Chaudhary said the speed of trains is kept slow near the place where regular maintenance work is being done. 

 Asked about the inquiry into the accident, he said both CBI and Commissioner of Railway Safety teams are collecting data and working in coordination. 

 He said a forensic team is also at the accident site. The accident in which 288 people died involved Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Express and a goods train. -- ANI
12:16   1000 days without trial or bail for Umar Khalid
PhD student Umar Khalid completes 1,000 days in jail without a trial, Article 14 revisited the fabrications, inconsistencies and conjectures that vitiate the Delhi riots conspiracy case but are still not enough for him to get bail because judges, as experts point out, interpret draconian laws in unyielding fashion. Police witnesses against the 35-year-old have been shown as unreliable, unproven allegations have been dropped, and the police have used partial truths and communally tainted arguments in his prosecution. Read the report here. 
12:12   'I saw Brij Bhushan standing next to her, something wrong happened to her
In the FIR filed by six adult wrestlers detailing several incidents of alleged sexual harassment by Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, one complainant said that in March last year, as the team posed for a photo at the end of the trials in Lucknow for the Asian Championships, he "placed his hands on my buttocks" following which she tried to move away. Read the report here. 
11:51   Govt in talks with US-based Micron Technology for semiconductor fab factory
The government has started discussions with US-based Micron Technology to go beyond setting up an Assembly Testing Marking and Packaging (ATMP) facility in India to include a fabrication, or fab, plant, say sources aware of the development.

Micron is one of the world's largest memory and storage technologies players. It is expected to get government clearance very soon for the $1 billion ATMP facility.

A senior government official said talks have started with Micron to persuade it to build a fab plant after it has finished the ATMP facility. The ATMP plant could process Micron's captive wafers from the manufacturing plant.

"Micron continues to evaluate opportunities for potential future assembly and test project options needed to meet long-term memory demand. We have not made any decisions regarding the timing or scope of any expansion plans as yet," Micron spokesperson said in a response to queries.

-- Surajeet Das Gupta/Business Standard 
Mughal emperor Aurangzeb
Mughal emperor Aurangzeb
11:51   Boy praises Aurangzeb, bandh call in Maha's Beed
A teenage boy's alleged act of putting social media status message glorifying Mughal emperor Aurangzeb has triggered tension in Ashti town of Maharashtra's Beed district, with some Hindutva organisations giving a "bandh" call, police said on Friday. 

 Commercial establishments in the market area of Ashti, located around 80 km from Beed district headquarters, are shut in response to the 'bandh' call, they said. 

 This comes against the backdrop of some youths displaying photos of 17th century Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in a procession in Ahmednagar and tension in Kolhapur city on Wednesday over the alleged use of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan's image along with an objectionable audio message as social media status by some locals. 

Talking to PTI, Beed Superintendent of Police Nandkumar Thakur said, "A 14-year-old boy had a status message in praise of Aurangzeb on a social media platform on Thursday. A complaint was received in this connection, based on which an offence was registered at Ashti police station." 

After that, some local pro-Hindutva organisations gave a 'bandh' call, he said.

 "The boy is not in Ashti at present. He is in Mumbai on a vacation. He will be asked to return and once he comes back, he will be presented in a juvenile court after investigation," Thakur said. 

No untoward incident has been reported so far during the 'bandh', he said.

Tension gripped Kolhapur city in western Maharashtra on Tuesday after two men allegedly put Tipu Sultan's image along with an offensive audio message as their social media status. 

The next day, police had to disperse hundreds of protesters after they hurled stones during a demonstration against the alleged use of Tipu Sultan's image. Police said they have arrested at least 36 people and registered cases in connection with the Kolhapur violence. PTI
Displaced Manipuris at a community centre
Displaced Manipuris at a community centre
11:39   SC declines urgent hearing on net ban in Manipur
The Supreme Court on Friday refused urgent hearing on a plea by two Manipur residents against the repeated internet shutdowns in the state rocked by ethnic violence. A vacation bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal said the high court is already seized of a similar issue.

"The HC is hearing the matter. What's the need to duplicate proceedings? Mention before the regular bench," it said. 

 Advocate Shadan Farasat mentioned the matter before the bench seeking urgent hearing The top court was hearing a plea filed by Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James. 

 The plea said the shutdown was "grossly disproportionate" in its interference with the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to carry on any trade or business using the constitutionally protected medium of the internet.

The Manipur government on Tuesday extended the ban on internet services till June 10. The suspension of mobile data services, including broadband, has been extended till 3 pm of June 10, an order issued by Commissioner (Home) H Gyan Prakash said. 

The ban was imposed on May 3. 

 Violence broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 when people from the Meitei community and the Kuki tribe clashed with each other over the Meiteis' demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. PTI
The statement weakens the case against Brij Bhushan Singh
The statement weakens the case against Brij Bhushan Singh
11:04   Things were said in anger: Minor wrestler's father
The father of a minor wrestler who had filed a complaint against Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has admitted to a television channel that he has "corrected" the statement as he had filed a false complaint against him "out of anger".

In an interview with a Haryana-based news channel 'Khabrain Abhi Tak', the complainant's father said that the minor has corrected the earlier statement she had given in court and to the police.

 "Some things were said out of anger in that, some of them are true and some things were wrongly said. Brij Bhushan is right at his place but the anger was there and out of anger some false things were said. I have again given my statement and the things which were wrongly stated, I have corrected them," the complainant's father said. 

 When asked about media reports claiming that minor victim's father had filed a POCSO complaint against him in "revenge" after being overlooked for selection during camp, Brij Bhushan on Friday said, "All the matters are before the court. The government has also given an assurance that the chargesheet will be filed by June 15. Let the chargesheet be filed. I don't think I should say anything now."

The six-time BJP MP, Brij Bhushan was booked by Delhi Police following allegations of sexual harassment. -- ANI
Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge with Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav in April
Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge with Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav in April
10:51   Yes, Rahul, Kharge will attend Oppn meet in Patna
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal on Friday confirmed that party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi will attend a meeting of the top Opposition leaders convened by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, to mobilise the opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Talking to ANI, KC Venugopal said, "Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge will attend the opposition meeting in Patna..." He further said that it is high time to have unity between the opposition parties "to fight against these forces who are ruining the country." Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday confirmed that he would participate in the meeting of the Opposition parties.

Speaking to mediapersons in Patna on Thursday, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said that almost 15 parties will attend the meeting. However, the presence of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was not confirmed as Tejashwi Yadav did not have a chance to speak with him. 

 The meeting, aimed at laying the groundwork for the coming together of like-minded Opposition parties against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government at the Centre, was originally scheduled to be held on June 12.
Representational image
Representational image
10:29   Teen partying in unfinished building falls off, dies
A 19-year-old woman died after falling from the seventh floor of an unfinished and abandoned building in Maharashtra's Navi Mumbai during a liquor party with friends, police said on Friday. 

 The incident occurred around 5 pm on Thursday and the police have detained two of her male friends, an official of NRI police station in Belapur said. 

 "The woman was part of a group of friends who were enjoying a liquor party on the seventh floor of an unfinished and abandoned building. As per the preliminary probe, the police found that the victim accidentally fell off and died on the spot. However, the police are verifying this version," he said. 

 After being alerted about the incident, a police team rushed to the spot and sent her body to a government hospital for a post-mortem, the official said. The police have registered a case of accidental death and the two detained persons are being interrogated, he said. PTI 
10:24   El Nio may prove to be a headwind for the economy
In the wake of robust gross domestic product (GDP) data for the last fiscal year (FY23), some analysts have revised their FY24 economic growth estimates upwards, citing a resurgence in manufacturing and private investments. 

Others, however, have stuck to their earlier projections, saying El Nino conditions and a hit on exports due to a slowdown in the West are the two biggest headwinds for the Indian economy.

India's economic growth shot up by 6.1 per cent in Q4FY23 and 7.2 per cent in FY23, beating analysts' expectations, as the expansion in manufacturing and construction surprised on the upside, reflecting sustained strength in domestic demand amid a gloomy global outlook.

"The private investment activity looks robust and domestic monetary and credit conditions remain supportive of growth in FY24. We are now factoring in a pick-up in growth momentum in FY24. We are upgrading our baseline forecast from 6.2 per cent to 6.7 per cent," said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, chief economic advisor, State Bank of India.

Ghosh projects the four quarters of FY24 at 7.8 per cent, 6.5 per cent, 6.3 per cent, and 6.2 per cent, respectively.

"The robust trend in services trade surplus could help in supporting India's net exports contribution to overall growth even as global growth headwinds remain. Accordingly, we now revise India's FY24 real GDP growth by 70 basis points to 6.2 per cent from 5.5 per cent," said Tanvee Gupta Jain, India economist with UBS.

Gupta Jain said crude oil prices were at a sweet spot for the Indian economy. According to India's oil price sensitivity, a 10 per cent decline in average crude oil prices would push real GDP growth higher by 20 bps, if the fuel costs were passed on to consumers, and that the retail prices of gasoline and diesel could be adjusted somewhat lower in the second half of FY24 which bodes well for household consumption and overall growth.

Samiran Chakraborty, India chief economist at Citigroup, said a strong upside 'surprise' on the investment side prompted a rise in FY24 GDP growth forecast to 6.2 per cent from 5.9 per cent.

Gaura Sengupta, economist with IDFC First Bank, revised her FY24 GDP growth estimate to 6.2 per cent from 5.9 per cent. "High frequency indicators available for April show continued strong recovery with growth in construction activity as well as consumption. At the same time, we are seeing some signs of moderation with decline in non-oil non-gold imports, slowdown in freight traffic and softness in industrial activity indicated by decline in electricity demand and slower industrial credit growth," Sengupta said.

India's Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran had on May 31 said the momentum was expected to continue in FY24 and that downside risks to his GDP growth projection of 6.5 per cent appeared evenly balanced and there was a good chance of this number may be exceeded in the current fiscal year.

-- Arup Roychoudhury/Business Standard
10:19   Buyers of PSU shares exempt from gift tax
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has exempted buyers from gift tax when they acquire equity shares in public-sector units (PSUs) through strategic divestment. 

Earlier the exemption was applied only in the case of sale of a PSU. 

The change in the income-tax law has been made to make strategic divestment in PSUs attractive, said experts.

Strategic divestment in IDBI Bank, Concor, and Shipping Corporation of India is in various stages and is expected to be concluded this fiscal year. The government has set a target of Rs 51,000 crore from divestment in FY24.

Expanding the non-applicability of Section 56(2)(x), also known as gift tax, it said this would not apply to 'any movable property, being equity shares, of a public sector company or a company, received by a person from a public sector company or the Central Government or any State Government under strategic disinvestment'. 

Before the amendment, the difference in book value and fair market value was considered deemed income for the buyer under Section 56(2)(x). For the buyer, the difference is treated as deemed income, which gets taxed at the rate applicable to the individual.

"Typically the Central or state PSUs under strategic divestment may have a high book value but a lower fair value, which could result in potential tax consequences for a buyer,' said Amit Agarwal, partner, Nangia & Co LLP.

The amendment will address the potential tax implications for buyers of shares, he added.

The relaxation will stay as long as the strategic investor retains at least 51 per cent in the PSU after the takeover.

-- Shrimi Choudhary/Business Standard
Around a 100 people have died in the violence-hit state
Around a 100 people have died in the violence-hit state
10:16   IED hurled into Manipur MLA's home, no casualties
Two bike-borne miscreants allegedly hurled a low-intensity Improvised explosive device (IED) at the gate of MLA Soraisam Kebi's residence in Imphal on Thursday, police said.

"There were no casualties. Except for a few holes in the ground, the blast did not cause any major damage," the police said. 

 According to the Manipur police, the two bikers hurled and blew an IED at the residence of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa assembly constituency MLA, Soraisam Kebi, in the Imphal West hamlet of Ningthemcha Karong. 

 An IED is a bomb fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy or incapacitate personnel or vehicles. 

In some cases, IEDs are used to distract, disrupt, or delay an opposing force, facilitating another type of attack. 

 Advisor (Security) to the Manipur government Kuldiep Singh on Thursday has said that the situation in Manipur remained peaceful and under control as no incident of violence was reported in the last 48 hours in the Northeast state. To provide relief to the displaced people of Manipur, Singh said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved a relief package worth Rs 101.75 crore. -- ANI
10:06   Fire at west Delhi hospital, 20 newborns rescued
Twenty newborns were shifted to other medical facilities after a fire broke out at a hospital in west Delhi's Janakpuri area in the early hours of Friday, officials said.

 According to the fire department, they received information about the fire at 1.35 am following which nine fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Some furniture items in the basement of the hospital had caught fire. The fire was brought under control at 2.25 am. Twenty newborns were shifted to nearby hospitals. No casualty has been reported, they added. PTI
The UK PM laid a wreath at the Arlington national cemetery
The UK PM laid a wreath at the Arlington national cemetery
09:47   Rishis first trip to the White House
The British PM arrived in Washington on Tuesday night and is staying at Blair House, the first British PM to stay there since David Cameron in 2015. This is the 4th meeting between the two leaders since Sunak became PM in October 2022. 

On Wednesday morning, Sunak laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington national cemetery. He then met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Capitol Hill.

Sunak came bearing gifts for POTUS: A personalised Barbour jacket and a copy of a book written by Joe Biden's great-great-grandfather Christopher Biden in the mid 1800s.The British PM thanked Biden for letting him stay at Blair House remarking, "the spare room in the flat in10 Downing Street doesn't quite compare."

Speaking about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Sunak said, "For the first time in over half a century, we face a war on the European continent and as we've done before the US and the UK have stood together to support Ukraine and stand up for the values of democracy and freedom and make sure that they prevail as I know we will."

-- Abhijit Masih in Washington, DC
09:36   50 people rescued from major fire in Mum building
Update: A major fire broke out in a seven-storey residential building in Kalbadevi area of south Mumbai in the wee hours of Friday, after which at least 50 people were rescued from there, officials said. 

The blaze erupted in White House building located on Dhanji Street near the famous Mumbadevi temple around 1.30 am and one man suffered a minor burn injury in the incident, they said. 

"Fifty to sixty people were trapped inside the complex when the fire broke out, but they were safely rescued by the fire brigade personnel using the staircase of an adjoining building," a civic official said.

"At least 12 fire engines were engaged in the firefighting operation and the blaze was doused around 8 am after more than six half hours of efforts," he said, adding that the fire engulfed five floors starting from the ground floor. A 40-year-old man sustained a minor burn injury and a medical team of the 108 emergency ambulance service treated him on the spot, he added. 

 As some portions of the first and the second floor ceiling along with a part of the staircase fell off, the firefighting operation was carried out from outside the building as a precautionary measure, the official said. The cause of the fire is being ascertained, he added.
09:13   Major fire in residential building in Mumbai
A major fire broke out in a seven-storey residential building in Kalbadevi area of south Mumbai in the wee hours of Friday, but there was no report of any injury to anyone, officials said.

The blaze erupted in the building located on Dhanji Street near the famous Mumbadevi temple around 1.30 am and several people trapped inside were rescued, they said.

"Fifty to sixty people were stuck inside the complex at that time, but they were safely rescued by the fire brigade personnel using the staircase of an adjoining building," a civic official said.

At least 12 fire engines are currently at the spot and efforts to douse the blaze are on, he said.

"The fire has been covered from all the sides," he said, adding that there was no report of any casualty so far.

As some portion of the first and the second floor ceiling along with a part of the staircase has fallen off, the firefighting operation is being carried out from outside the building 'as a precautionary measure', the official said.

The fire has engulfed five floors starting from the ground floor. The cause of the fire is yet to be known, he added.

More information about the incident is awaited.  -- PTI
08:38   Trump indicted in classified documents case
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted in an investigation into his handling of classified documents after he left the White House, The Hill reported.

He has been indicted on seven federal criminal charges for retaining hundreds of classified government documents and even making false statements after leaving the White House, it reported.

Trump posted on Truth Social that he has been summoned to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon.

The National Archives spent months seeking the return of presidential records after Trump left office, with Trump's team eventually turning over a tranche that included nearly 200 classified records, The Hill reported.

'I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election. I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!' Trump wrote on social media.

'This is indeed a DARK DAY for the United States of America. We are a Country in serious and rapid Decline, but together we will Make America Great Again!' he added.

It is the second indictment of Trump, who is running for President in 2024 elections.   -- ANI
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00:23   Mamata launches mass programme, people can complain directly to CM
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday launched a new mass outreach programme, 

Sarasari mukhyamantri (direct to CM), in which people will be able to express their grievances directly to her through a helpline. 

People used to write letters or emails to the chief minister, but now they will talk to her directly about their problems, she said. 

"This (sarasari mukhyamantri) is a new programme. The people of West Bengal will be able to tell me their grievances directly. A helpline number, 9137091370, will be open between 10 am and 6 pm from Monday to Saturday," Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said at the state secretariat. 

After its poor performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee had launched a dedicated helpline number and a website as part of didi ke bolo (tell didi) programme, to enable people to have a direct interface with party functionaries. 

The TMC boss was addressed as 'didi' (elder sister) by her followers. 

"Didi ke bolo programme was done by the party. But this is not political," the chief minister said. 

Stating that all complaints will be given equal priority, Banerjee said that 500 call centres have been set up for the purpose and over 100 people would be on the job. -- PTI
00:13   Lucknow court firing: 6 cops suspended for laxity
Six police personnel have been suspended for negligence that led to the killing of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari's aide Sanjeev Maheshwari Jeeva on the premises of a court in Lucknow, the police said on Thursday. 

"As a result of not carrying out proper checking and frisking at the entry gates for the public and advocates on the old high court premises, Sanjeev Maheshwari alias Jeeva was murdered and some others were injured in firing with firearms on the premises of the hon'ble high court," a release issued by the Uttar Pradesh police said. 

The six police personnel were suspended with immediate effect for gross negligence towards duties and indiscipline, it added. 

Head constables Sunil Dubey, Mohammad Khalid, Anil Singh and Sunil Srivastava and constables Dharmendra and Nidhi Devi have been suspended, the release said. 

The assailant, identified as Vijay Yadav of Jaunpur, had opened fire at Jeeva (48), who was serving a life term in a Lucknow jail and was brought to the court for hearing in a case on Wednesday. -- PTI