Sun, 26 November 2023
Bengal govt 'in talks' with Adani on Tajpur port

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21:49   Bengal govt 'in talks' with Adani on Tajpur port
Amid speculations about the fate of the proposed Tajpur port, senior West Bengal minister Sashi Panja on Sunday said the project is very much on track and talks are underway with the Adani group on the matter.

To a question about the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's claim that the project has become uncertain as the Adani group has pulled out of it, the state Minister for Industries, Commerce and Enterprises alleged that the opposition was making 'false claims' without knowing anything about it.

"The project is very much on the cards and talks are on with the party concerned, i.e. Adani group," she said.

When asked whether there has been any breakdown in talks with the Adani group, which had been initially named as a potential investor for the project, Panja said, "There has not been any such development."

Permission has been sought from the Centre for the construction of the port and the Union government has asked for some clarifications, she said.

Speculation was abuzz after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at the Bengal Global Business Summit on Tuesday that a tender will be launched for the development of the Tajpur deep sea port.

"The proposed deep sea port at Tajpur is ready for tenders. You can participate in the process..." Banerjee had told the delegates at BGBS, triggering speculations that Adani was no longer part of the project.  -- PTI
20:04   Foreign secy meets Iranian FM amid war in Gaza
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Sunday met Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties, boost connectivity through the Chabahar port, and the current situation in West Asia arising out of the Hamas-Israel conflict.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation in various spheres.     

'Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra called on FM @Amirabdolahian of Iran in Tehran today,' Bagchi said on X.

'Discussed bilateral matters, connectivity projects including Chabahar port, and shared perspective on current challenges in the region. Both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation in various spheres,' he said.

Kwatra's visit to Tehran assumes significance as it came amid growing global concerns over the hostilities between Hamas and Israel. The two sides agreed on a four-day ceasefire from Friday.

In Tehran, Kwatra also met Iran's deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy Mehdi Safari.

Bagchi said the discussions focused on concretising India's engagement in development of the Chabahar port as a connectivity project.

"Avenues of increasing broader trade and investment ties were also reviewed," he said.

Located in Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran's southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India and Iran to boost connectivity and trade ties.

At a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar projected the Chabahar port as a key regional transit hub, including to Afghanistan.   -- PTI
Photo: Hamas Military Wing/Handout via Reuters
Photo: Hamas Military Wing/Handout via Reuters
19:43   18 Thai nationals still in captivity in Gaza
Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that according to information it has received from Israel, 18 Thai nationals remain captive in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin released the names of the four Thai nationals who were freed on Saturday night.

They are Natthaphon Onkaew, Khomkrit Chombua, Anucha Angkaew and Manee Jirachat.

The four were taken to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre in Be'er Yaakov. -- ANI/TPS
19:21   Centre renames Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres as Ayushman Arogya Mandir
The government has decided to rename the Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres as 'Ayushman Arogya Mandir' and the Union Health Ministry has sent a letter to the states and Union territories to implement the rebranding exercise, official sources said.

States have also been asked to upload photographs of rebranded primary health facilities on the Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) portal, they said.

The rebranded AB-HWCs will also have a new tagline -- 'Arogyam Parmam Dhanam'.   -- PTI
18:49   Don't return to N Gaza: Israel warns Palestinians
On Day three of the temporary Israel-Hamas ceasefire, the Israel Defence Force warned Palestinians who evacuated northern Gaza not to return.

Reiterating warnings made in dropped leaflets, the IDF's Arabic spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Avichay Adraee directed Palestinians to continue moving south of Wadi Gaza.

He also instructed Gazans not to try return to the Strip's northern areas, enter the sea or approach within one kilometer of the Israel-Gaza border.

One condition of the temporary ceasefire was that Palestinians would not try to return to their homes in the combat zone of northern Gaza. While there does not appear to be large-scale Palestinian efforts to return, the warnings have not stopped some Palestinians from returning to inspect damage or bury the dead.

A temporary four-day ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization went into effect at 7 am on Friday.

As part of the deal approved by the Israeli cabinet on Wednesday, Hamas is to release 12 to 13 hostages each day of the truce. The release of every additional 10 hostages will result in one additional day in the pause in combat.

So far, 26 Israelis and 15 foreign nationals have returned to Israeli territory.

Under the agreement, the Israel Defense Forces is to refrain from using surveillance drones in Gaza for six hours each day of the ceasefire. Israel will also allow fuel to enter the Strip during that time and dramatically increase the volume of goods permitted into the enclave.

On Saturday, the Israel Defence Ministry's Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit announced that four tankers of fuel and four tankers of cooking gas had entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas's attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Another 240 men, women, children and soldiers were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.   -- ANI/TPS
18:21   JU ragging death: 6 students banned from campus
Six students of Jadavpur University (JU), who were allegedly involved in the death of a fresher in August, have been barred from entering the campus indefinitely.

The move comes almost two months after the anti-ragging committee of the varsity had recommended that the students be prevented from entering the institute.

All of them are currently serving judicial custody in Presidency Jail. In a notification on November 24, JU registrar Snehamanju Basu said the six students will not be allowed to enter the campus including hostels till they are duly discharged from all the allegations brought against them.

Though the executive council, the highest decision making body of the university, had ratified the anti-ragging panel's recommendation to bar the six students in October, the notification was issued only a couple of days ago. 

Basu could not be contacted to know the reason for the delay in issuing the notification by her office.

The fresher had fallen off a second-floor balcony of the JU Main Hostel on August 9 after intensive ragging.

He died at a private hospital the next morning. Jadavpur University Teachers' Association, the representative body of the varsity faculty, and senior professor Imankalyan Lahiri had recently voiced their grievances over the delay to implement the recommendations of the anti-ragging panel.

All the six students are seniors in various UG disciplines including economics, sociology, electrical engineering, civil engineering and computer science.

Thirteen individuals have so far been arrested in connection with the death of the student, including postgraduate students and a PhD researcher who was overstaying in the hostel despite not being a student any more.

University English professor Manojit Mondal said the decision to bar the students should have been taken much earlier.   -- PTI
17:14   Won't let him work here: Trapped worker's dad
"Once he comes out, we will never allow him to work here again," a distraught Chaudhary said on Sunday, waiting for the rescue of his son, who has been stuck inside the collapsed tunnel in Silkyara along with 40 others for two weeks.

Having lost his another son in an accident in Mumbai earlier, the farm labourer from Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh is now going through the terrible ordeal of waiting for the safe return of his second son.

"Manjeet is my only son left. If anything happens to him, how would my wife and I survive," he said amid the agonisingly slow progress of the rescue work.

Manjeet, 22, is among the 41 workers trapped inside after a portion of the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand's Char Dham route collapsed following a landslide on November 12.

Manjeet's father, who reached here a day after the tunnel collapse, spoke to him on Sunday through a communication channel set up by the authorities. 

"My son looked fine. I am a bit stressed though due to the delay in the rescue work. Today I told him this is a war but he should not be scared. We will succeed soon," Chaudhary said.

"We are very poor and came here after taking a loan of Rs 9,000 against my wife's jewellery. Here, the administration gave me a jacket and shoes. They also repaid my loan," he said.

The administration has set up a camp for the kin of the trapped workers outside the tunnel. They are allowed to talk daily with the trapped workers. 

The communication between the trapped workers and their relatives is facilitated by a communication system set up through a six-inch wide pipe. 

Drilling to create an escape passage for the trapped workers got stalled after the auger machine went out of order on Friday. A plasma cutter from Hyderabad is being used to cut and remove the auger blades stuck in the rubble.

Rescuers have also set up equipments to carry out vertical drilling to reach the trapped workers.   -- PTI
16:24   Pneumonia outbreak in China: Centre asks states to...
The Union health ministry has advised states to immediately review public health preparedness in view of recent reports indicating a surge in respiratory illness in children in northern China.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said it has decided to proactively review preparatory measures against respiratory illnesses as a matter of abundant caution.

'This is noted to be important in view of the ongoing influenza and winter season that results in an increase in respiratory illness cases. The Government of India is closely monitoring the situation and indicated that there is no need for any alarm,' it said.

In a letter to all states and Union territories, the Union health secretary has advised them to immediately review public health and hospital preparedness such as availability of beds, drugs and vaccines for influenza, medical oxygen, antibiotics, personal protective equipment, testing kits and reagents, functionality of oxygen plants and ventilators, and infection control practices.

The state authorities have been advised to implement the Operational Guidelines for Revised Surveillance Strategy in the context of COVID-19', shared earlier this year, which provides for integrated surveillance of respiratory pathogens presenting as cases of influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).

They have also been asked to ensure that the trends of ILI and SARI, particularly among children and adolescents, are closely monitored by the district and state surveillance units of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP).

The data of ILI/SARI is required to be uploaded on the IDSP-IHIP portal.     

The state authorities have been asked to send nasal and throat swab samples of patients with SARI, particularly children and adolescents, to the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories for testing for respiratory pathogens.  

The cumulative effect of implementation of these precautionary and proactive collaborative measures is expected to counter any potential situation and ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens.

Recently, information shared by the WHO has indicated an increase in respiratory illness in northern parts of China. This is predominantly attributed to usual causes such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia and SARS-CoV-2.

According to the WHO, the release of COVID-19 restrictions coinciding with the onset of winter season in addition to cyclical trend of respiratory illnesses such as mycoplasma pneumonia have led to this surge.

While the WHO has sought additional information from the Chinese authorities, it is assessed that there is no cause for any alarm at the moment, the ministry said.   -- PTI
15:20   Cong-BRS deal to make KCR CM and Rahul PM: Amit Shah
Union Minister Amit Shah on Sunday alleged that a deal has been done between the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samiti in Telangana and Congress to make K Chandrasekhar Rao as chief minister again and that he would later help Rahul Gandhi to become prime minister.

Shah, who addressed an election rally at Makthal, said if a vote is given to Congress to dislodge Rao from power, the grand old party MLAs would go to BRS.

"A deal happened between the Congress party and BRS. Congress will make KCR as chief minister here, KCR will make Rahul Gandhi prime minister," he claimed.

If KCR is to be dislodged from power, the only option is to form a Bharatiya Janata Party government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

"(A) Congress MLA is like Chinese goods which do not have a guarantee and will go to BRS anytime," he said.

The Union home minister said the BJP had decided to make a backward caste leader as chief minister in the state if the party is elected to power and would provide a 'vertical quota' to the Madiga community of SCs in Telangana. 

Shah also highlighted the BJP's promise to arrange free darshan at Lord Ram temple in Ayodhya.   -- PTI
Image only for representation
Image only for representation
14:46   Mizoram churches pray for change in counting date
Churches in Mizoram held prayers to seek divine intervention to change the date of counting of votes for state assembly polls held on November 7, a church leader said on Sunday.

On Saturday, Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of 15 major churches, had urged churches to organise prayers during church service on Saturday night or Sunday to seek help from God so that counting is not held on Sunday, which is a sacred day for the majority of Christians in the state, the leader said.

He said that prayers were held by some churches on Saturday night, while others on Sunday.

In its letter to churches, the MKHC had expressed disappointment over no sign of progress in the efforts to reschedule the date of counting of votes. 

Citing that leaders of the NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC) will meet the Election Commission on November 28, the MKHC urged church members to hold prayers to ensure that the efforts of the leaders bear fruit. 

Mizoram Presbyterian Church, the largest denomination in the state, also separately urged its members to hold prayers to ensure that the date of counting is changed.

Meanwhile, a five-member delegation of NGOCC, currently camping in Delhi, will meet Chief Election Commissioner and other officials of the Election Commission on Tuesday to re-appeal and press its demand for a change of date for counting of votes.

The committee general secretary Malsawmliana said that the delegation visited the ECI office on Friday seeking an appointment.

He said that the Election Commission allowed them to meet the chief election commissioner and other officials on Tuesday at 3 pm.

The ECI had fixed December 3 as the day for counting of votes for five states -- Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana. 

However, political parties, civil society organisations, churches and a church-sponsored poll watchdog in Mizoram had opposed it and sent numerous pleas to the Election Commission urging it to reschedule the counting date because it falls on Sunday, a sacred day for Christians in the Christian-majority state. 

Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held peacefully on November 7.  --  PTI
14:05   Search operation underway near LoC in J-K's Poonch
Security forces on Sunday launched a massive search operation in the forest area near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, officials said.

The joint operation by Army, police, and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is underway in several forest areas of Mehdhar and Krishna Ghati sector following information about some suspicious movement, the officials said.

They said the search operation was launched in the general area of Behra, Kund, Topa and adjoining areas in the jurisdiction of police station Mendhar and Daradullian, Mangnar, Salani and Uchhad top in Krishna Ghati sector. -- PTI
13:48   Vertical drilling underway to rescue tunnel workers
Vertical drilling, one of the several chalked-out options to bring out 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi since November 12, finally started on Sunday afternoon.

Two locations were identified for the vertical drilling, and both are on the Silkyara side of the high-altitude under-construction tunnel, a portion of which caved in on November 12.

SJVN, a public sector undertaking company involved in hydroelectric power generation and transmission, has just started vertical drilling work on the top of the tunnel atop the hill, the 15th day of continued rescue efforts.

As a second option, vertical drilling work has also been started in another part on top of the tunnel to create rescue space for workers trapped.

This portion of the tunnel has access to electricity and water.

Multiple agencies are working on the rescue efforts.  -- ANI
13:03   Had no intention to hurt Israel: Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray MP Sanjay Raut has said a post on his X handle in connection with Israel had a reference to German dictator Adolf Hitler, but he did not intend to hurt the sentiments of people of Israel.

Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Raut said the Israel embassy has sent a letter following his old post as someone might have told them to oppose him.

The post has since been deleted from his handle on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Referring to the post, the Rajya Sabha member on Saturday said, "My tweet about Israel was an old one. It had a reference to Hitler, but I had no intention of hurting the sentiments of Israel. I have even deleted that tweet."

"I had even criticised the kind of attack Hamas initiated against Israel," he said.

Further referring to the attack initiated on Gaza-based hospitals where some children lost their lives, Raut said children should be kept out of war.

"I had said this is inhuman. You are not showing humanity, so may be in the past a leader might have opposed you, that is what I said. After a month, the Israeli high commission has written a letter. Someone might have told them, this is Sanjay Raut, oppose him," the Sena-UBT leader added.   -- PTI
12:25   Tunnel rescue: IAF flies in 'critical equipment'
The Indian Air Force on Sunday flew in 'critical DRDO equipment' in an effort to accelerate the rescue of 41 workers, who are trapped inside the collapsed portion of the under-construction Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi for over two weeks now, the IAF informed through an official release.

'Responding with alacrity to the requirements of the ongoing rescue operation, late last evening the IAF flew in critical DRDO equipment to Dehradun. #HADROps,' the IAF stated in its official release.

Earlier, on Sunday, a plasma-cutting machine was flown to the tunnel site from Hyderabad to cut through the Auger drilling machine and its stuck blades from inside the tunnel.

The process of removing the auger blades from the rubble was underway even before the new machine arrived at the tunnel site in the early hours of Sunday.

Meanwhile, a safety umbrella was thrown around the Silkyara tunnel where 41 workers have been trapped for two weeks now, official sources said, adding that the umbrella ensure the protection of the rescuers.

Also, as part of efforts to relieve the stress and anxiety of the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has stepped in to provide them with a landline through which they can talk to their families.

Kundan, a BSNL official, said they are in the process of sending a small landline phone to the stranded workers through the pipeline inserted to bring them out.

"Through this, they will be able to talk directly to their families," he said.

After a portion of the tunnel caved in on November 12, the debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel trapped 41 labourers inside the under-construction structure.   -- ANI

IMAGE: An excavator carries the damaged parts of the auger machine during the drilling to rescue the trapped workers inside the Silkyara Tunnel where the rescue operation is underway, in Uttarkashi on Saturday. Photograph: ANI Photo
11:54   India crushing terrorism with all its courage: Modi
On the anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India faced the most heinous attack on this day but it was the country's capability that it recovered from that assault and was also 'crushing terrorism' with all its courage.

In his Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Modi paid homage to all those who lost their lives in the Mumbai attack and noted that the nation is remembering the brave martyrs.

"We can never forget November 26. It was on this day that the most heinous terrorist attack took place in the country. Terrorists had shaken Mumbai and the entire country. But, it is India's capability that we recovered from that attack and now we are also crushing terrorism with full courage," he asserted.

On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived by sea route and opened fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others during a 60-hour siege in Mumbai.

The prime minister also noted that November 26 is also important for another reason as in 1949, the Constituent Assembly had adopted the Constitution of India on this day.

"I remember when we were celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar in 2015, the idea came that November 26 be celebrated as Constitution Day  I extend wishes to all on Constitution day," he said.

"All of us together, by giving priorities to the duties of the citizens, will definitely fulfil the resolve of making the country developed," Modi said.

In his remarks, the prime minister also said business of around Rs 4 lakh crore took place during recent festivals and a lot of enthusiasm was seen among people to buy made-in-India products.

Modi also questioned the practice of some families organising weddings abroad and urged all to hold such celebrations within the country.   -- PTI
BRS chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao/File image
BRS chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao/File image
11:16   Restrict BRS against Rythu Bandhu disbursement mention in poll rallies: Cong to EC
The Congress on Sunday requested the Chief Election Commissioner to impose restrictions on BRS, not to mention the disbursement of Rythu Bandhu amount in their poll campaign.

The EC on November 24 gave a green signal to the state government to disburse the amount under Rythu Bandhu scheme, an investment support to farmers, before November 28. 

In a letter addressed to CEC Rajiv Kumar, Congress alleged that BRS leaders are making the EC's nod as a "tool to influence" voters as if they are giving it out of their own pockets. 

BRS leaders are blaming Congress for claiming that it obstructed the disbursement, which is not correct. 

After the EC gave clearance, a press release from the state government said that as there are bank holidays on November 25, 26 and 27 and also the Election Commission directing that the distribution of money under Rythu Bandhu is not allowed on November 29 and 30, the funds would be deposited in the farmers' bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer method. -- PTI
11:07   20-year-old shot at in Delhi's Shakti Vihar over personal enmity
A 20-year-old man was allegedly shot at by another man in revenge in northeast Delhi's Shakti Vihar area, the police said on Sunday. 

"On Saturday, the police received a call at 8.30 pm regarding a man sustaining bullet injury in his back. Later, his relatives visited police station to report the matter," deputy commissioner of police (northeast) Joy Tirkey said. 

The victim was taken to GTB Hospital where his condition was stated to be out of danger. 

The victim said one Shoaib shot at him and fled, the police said. 

According to the victim, Shoaib was caught stealing some batteries from his uncle's scrap godown a few days ago and was thrashed by some locals. 

Shoaib in revenge shot at the victim on Saturday when he was returning home, said the officer. Shoaib has been absconding since. 

"Further investigation has been started and a case of attempt to murder and provisions of Arms Act has been registered," the DCP said. -- PTI
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10:52   Tunnel rescue: Plasma cutter lands from Hyderabad
A plasma cutter was flown in from Hyderabad on Sunday to cut and remove parts of the auger machine stuck in the rubble inside the Silkyara tunnel where 41 labourers have been stranded for the last 14 days. 

A complete disengagement of the machine is necessary for the officials to resume the rescue work which involves manual pushing of pipes through rubble to prepare an escape passage. 

A part of a drill machine has also been sent atop the hill, above the tunnel, for a vertical drilling. 

A unit of Madras Sappers, an engineer group of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army, arrived at the site on Sunday to assist in the rescue operations Blades of the auger machine drilling through the rubble of the collapsed Silkyara tunnel had got stuck in the debris Friday night forcing officials to consider switching to other options that could drag the rescue operation by several days, or even weeks. -- PTI
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10:36   NASA administrator set to travel India, to discuss space cooperation
America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration administrator Bill Nelson is set to travel to India and the UAE beginning Monday for a series of meetings with key government officials.  

Nelson will also meet with space officials in both countries to deepen bilateral cooperation across a broad range of innovation and research-related areas, especially in human exploration and Earth science, the American space agency NASA said in a release.  

Nelson's visit to India will fulfil a commitment as part of the US and India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology initiated by President Joe Biden.  

In the India leg, Nelson will visit several locations, including the Bengaluru-based facilities where the NISAR spacecraft, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and its Indian counterpart ISRO, is undergoing testing and integration for launch in 2024.  

NISAR is short for NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar.  

As the first satellite mission between NASA and ISRO, NISAR is a revolutionary Earth-observing instrument, the first in the Earth System Observatory, that will measure Earth's changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses, providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, key information to guide efforts related to climate change, hazard mitigation, agriculture, and more. -- ANI 
Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais pays tributes to martyrs in Mumbai./ANI
Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais pays tributes to martyrs in Mumbai./ANI
10:24   Tributes paid to martyrs on 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks anniversary
Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday paid floral tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives while fighting terrorists who had attacked the metropolis on this day 15 years ago. 

They paid tributes at the martyrs' memorial in the premises of the police commissioner office in south Mumbai, where senior police officials were also present. 

Family members of the policemen, who lost their lives during the November 2008 attacks, also paid tributes to the martyrs. -- PTI
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10:18   PM security breach: Punjab SP among 7 suspended
Seven police officers including Bathinda superintendent of police have been suspended for alleged dereliction of duty in connection with the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab in January last year. 

Accordingly, SP of Bathinda AP Gurbinder Singh, deputy SPs Parson Singh and DSP Jagdish Kumar, 3 inspectors namely Tejinder Singh, Balwinder Singh and Jatinder Singh besides an assistant sub-inspector, Rakesh Kumar, have been suspended in the case involving Modi's security lapse in Punjab on January 5, 2022, reported ANI. 

The officer, Gurbinder Singh, was at the time of the incident posted as the superintendent of police (operations) and was on duty in Ferozepur.                  
Singh, currently posted as an SP in Bathinda district, has been suspended with immediate effect, according to an order issued by the Punjab Home Department on Wednesday. -- Agencies
10:01   President Murmu on two-day visit to Odisha
President Droupadi Murmu will arrive in Odisha on Sunday on a two-day visit, during which she will attend a function in Paradip, officials said. 

This will be her second visit to Odisha this month as she spent three days in her home state from November 20. 

The president will arrive at the Bhubaneswar airport at 6 pm, and spend the night at Raj Bhavan. Murmu will grace the 'Boita Bandana' (worshipping boats) ceremony to be organised by the Paradip Port authority on Monday. 

'Boita Bandana' is held annually across Odisha celebrating the state's ancient maritime glory. 

Murmu will virtually inaugurate a multi-modal logistics park and lay the foundation stone for a new reservoir and water treatment plant for the port township, besides a next-gen vessel traffic management and information system. 

The president is likely to interact with members of the fishing community during her visit to Paradip. 

She will leave Bhubaneswar on Monday evening. -- PTI
09:50   Shami turns do-gooder, saves motorist who met with accident in Nainital
Fresh from his exploits in the ODI World Cup where he emerged as the highest wicket-taker for the hosts, India's pace ace Mohammed Shami turned a do-gooder on Saturday after he rescued a person, who met with an accident in Nainital. 

The speedster took to his official Instagram account to share a video of the rescue. 

The 33-year-old tagged his post with a caption informing that the person was driving through a hilly road in Nainital when his car skidded off and rolled down a slope. 

The pacer added that since his car was tailing the vehicle that met with the accident, he, along with other occupants in his car, could rush to the person's rescue and pull him out of the vehicle. 

"He's so lucky, god gave him 2nd life. His car fell off a hill road near Nanital just in front of mine. We took him out very safely," Shami wrote on Instagram. -- ANI
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09:26   Delhi air quality remains very poor
Delhi's air quality remained 'very poor' on Sunday though a change in meteorological conditions due to a western disturbance may bring some relief, according to monitoring agencies. 

The capital's air quality index stood at 385 at 9 am. 

The 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4 pm every day, was 389 on Saturday, 415 on Friday, 390 on Thursday, 394 on Wednesday, 365 on Tuesday, 348 on Monday and 301 on Sunday (November 19). 

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor' , 301 and 400 'very poor', 401 and 450 'severe' and above 450 'severe-plus'. 

The national capital has recorded 10 severe air quality days this November so far. 

The city recorded just three severe air quality days in November last year, while it experienced 12 such days in 2021, the maximum in the month since the Central Pollution Control Board began monitoring. 

There were nine such days in November 2020; 7 in 2019; 5 in 2018; 7 in 2017; 10 in 2016, and 6 in 2015, according to CPCB. 

The recent rise in the AQI levels comes in the wake of the Centre last Saturday removing several curbs, including a ban on construction work and the entry of polluting trucks in Delhi, which saw a drop in pollution levels, contributed to by a favourable wind speed and direction. -- PTI
09:17   Heavy rains in Maha's Thane, Palghar; building catches fire in lightning strike
A building in Maharashtra's Thane district caught fire on Sunday morning due to lightning strike after heavy rains lashed many parts of Thane and neighbouring Palghar district in the early hours, officials said. 

The plastic roof of the building located at Durgesh Park locality in Kalher area of Bhiwandi town in Thane caught fire at around 6.45 am, Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation's disaster management cell officer Sakhib Kharbe said. 

No person was injured in the incident, he said, adding the fire damaged the building's plastic roof. 

After receiving information, a fire engine was rushed to the spot and the blaze was put out, he said. 

In Palghar, there were reports of some motorbike accidents following rains. 

A person was killed in one such incident under Kelve police station limits, an official from the Palghar district rural control room said. -- PTI
09:01   EC notice to BRS' Rama Rao over poll code breach
The Election Commission of India issued a notice to Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader KT Rama Rao in connection with alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct in the run-up to the impending Telangana elections in 2023.  

ECI has also sought an explanation from the BRS leader by 3 pm on November 26, 2023, regarding his announcement of job recruitment at T-Works (government institution), and directed that the ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel.  

The election commission in its notice said that Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala has complained that Rao had visited the T-works Office in Hyderabad and interacted with a large number of youth employed in the office on November 20.  

"The Commission has received a complaint dated November 21, 2023, from Randeep Singh Surjewala, Member of Parliament, Indian National Congress wherein it has been alleged that KT Rama Rao, star campaigner for BRS on November 20 visited the T-works Office in Hyderabad and interacted with a large number of youth employed in the office," the notice said.  

The election commission stated that acting on the complaint, a factual report was taken from the CEO, Telangana in the matter.  

The report said, "A meeting was conducted at T-works Raidurgam by Student Tribe (A Unit of Colosseum CQ Solutions Pvt. Ltd.) represented by Charan on November 20, between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm at and attended by KT Rama Rao."  

"Video Surveillance Team has covered the meeting and submitted a report under the CUE sheet to the video viewing team for viewing the captured video. The video viewing team has reported that in the said meeting it was discussed about the government jobs in Telangana, re-vamping of the TSPSC Board and also some remarks about the government of Telangana in the recruitment of government jobs," it added. -- ANI
08:40   '12th Fail' sent to Oscars 2024 as independent nomination: Vikrant Massey
Ace film director Vidhu Vinod Chopra's 12th Fail was released in cinemas on October 27.  

The film starred Vikrant Massey and Medha Shankar and got a positive response from the audience.  

A few days ago, it was announced that the makers were planning to send the film to the Oscars in 2024.  

Confirming it, actor Vikrant Massey said in a statement that the film 12th Fail has been sent to the Oscars in 2024 as an independent nomination.  

The film has received appreciation from Kamal Haasan, Rishabh Shetty, Sanjay Dutt, Farhan Akhtar, Anil Kapoor, and many more.  

Helmed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, 12th Fail revolves around UPSC aspirants and is based on real-life experiences. 

It draws from the gritty struggles of millions of students who attempt the UPSC entrance exam.  

Earlier, on working in the film, Vikrant had told ANI, "The movie is very typical Vidhu Vinod Chopra movie which is based on hard reality and is a very hard-hitting film. The role was very challenging. I had to lose weight and darken my skin."  -- ANI
File image
File image
08:28   Over 74% voter turnout recorded in Rajasthan assembly polls
Approximately 74.13 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Rajasthan on Saturday in the mainly direct contest between the Congress and the BJP to form a new government in the state, according to the latest data from Election Commission.  

It was slightly above the 74.06 per cent voter turnout recorded in the 2018 assembly polls.  

Polling at more than 51,000 polling booths in 199 assembly constituencies began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm, but officials said those already in queue at the polling booths were allowed to vote.  

The elections in the Sriganganagar's Karanpur seat were adjourned due to the death of Congress candidate, Gurmeet Singh Koonar, who was also the sitting MLA.  

The votes will be counted on December 3.  

The EC had made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth polling with more than 1.70 lakh security personnel being deployed across the state.  

A total of 5,26,90,146 voters are registered in the state, while 1,862 candidates are in the fray.  

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje and former deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot exercised their franchise at their respective polling booths.  

Among all the constituencies, all the eyes are on Sardarpura, Tonk, Jhalarapatan, Nathdwara, Jhunjhunu, Jhotwara, and Churu among others.  Sardarpura is on the list of key constituencies as Gehlot has won this seat since 1998. -- ANI
08:25   Tremor of 3.0 magnitude hits Haryana's Sonipat; no loss of life, property reported
An earthquake of magnitude 3.0 on the Richter scale struck Sonipat in Haryana on Sunday morning, the National Centre for Seismology informed, adding that the tremors were felt around 4 am.  

"An earthquake of Magnitude 3.0 on the Richter scale hit Sonipat, Haryana at 4 am today," read a post on the official X handle of the NCS.  

No loss of life or property was reported in the incident.  

Further details are awaited.  

Earlier, an earthquake of magnitude 3.5 on the Richter Scale hit Maharashtra's Hingoli on November 20, the NCS informed. -- ANI
A vehicle carrying hostages released by Hamas arrives at Sheba Medical Center, in Ramat Gan, Israel/Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
A vehicle carrying hostages released by Hamas arrives at Sheba Medical Center, in Ramat Gan, Israel/Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
08:18   Hamas frees 4 foreigners among 17 more hostages
After a long delay, 17 hostages have been released by the Hamas terror group and sent to Egypt, according to The Times of Israel.  

Reportedly, the Red Cross has handed these hostages to Egypt, according to the Israel Defence Forces.  

As per the details, the hostages include 13 Israeli citizens and four Thais, reported The Times of Israel on Sunday.  

The convoy carrying the hostages will head to the Kerem Shalom crossing, where Israeli officials will verify the list of names.  

"IDF representatives are updating their families regularly," the IDF adds.  

Meanwhile, some of the families of these hostages have begun to identify and confirm the identities of these hostages who are on their way to Israel.  

The hostages include a 12-year-old girl named Hila Rotem, who was abducted by Hamas terrorists with her mother, Raya Rotem, 54, who was not released, according to The Times of Israel. -- ANI