Tue, 13 February 2024
Farmers' stir: Hospitals near Haryana border alerted

Timeline  Refresh

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/
23:49   Burglars change heart, return Tamil film director's awards with apology note
Burglars, who stole some cash, gold jewellery, and medals from the residence of national award-winning Tamil film director M Manikandan in the district, had a change of heart and returned only the medals with a note of apology. 

They made a sudden appearance at the house of the director in Usilampatti on Monday night and left the medals along with the hand-written note in a polythene carry bag, at the entrance of the home, and left the place unnoticed, a senior police official said on Tuesday. 

However, Rs 1 lakh cash and five sovereign gold that were stolen from Manikandan's house on February 8, were not returned. 

The apology written in Tamil on a ruled scrap paper read: "Sir, forgive us, your hard work is yours." 

Manikandan shot to fame with his Kaaka Muttai (The Crow's Egg), which won the award for Best Children's Film at the 62nd National Film Awards, and his Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer) won the Best Feature Film award at the 69th National Film Awards. 

The police said some unidentified persons broke into Manikandan's house when he and his family were in Chennai, and decamped with the awards, cash and jewellery. -- PTI
23:38   Farmers' stir: Hospitals near Haryana border alerted
The Punjab government has sounded an alert in hospitals located near the Haryana border in the wake of many farmers getting injured following clashes with police at Shambhu and Khanauri borders. 

According to official sources, the state government has also sought from the Haryana government not to use lathi-charge and hurl tear gas shells at farmers. 

The state government has stepped up the number of ambulances along the Haryana border, besides asking doctors and other staff to remain on duty, sources said. 

The government has issued an alert to hospitals located in Sangrur, Patiala, Dera Bassi, Mansa and Bathinda, they said. 

Meanwhile, health minister Balbir Singh will meet injured farmers who were admitted to the Civil Hospital in Rajpura on Wednesday, sources said. 

As many as 26 farmers were under treatment at the Rajpura hospital. 

Farmers from Punjab clashed with Haryana police at two border points between the states on Tuesday, facing tear gas and water cannons as they tried to break past barricades blocking their protest march to the national capital. -- PTI
23:15   One more person injured in Haldwani violence dies; 6 more held
One more person injured in recent violence in this Uttarakhand town died during treatment at a hospital in Haldwani on Tuesday, while a police outpost was set up in the affected area within 24 hours of an announcement made in this regard by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the police said. 

Inaugurated by two women police personnel injured in the violence that broke out on February 8 over the demolition of an "illegally-built" madrasa, the police chowki consists of a head constable, four constables and some Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel to keep an eye on unruly elements in the area, Nainital senior superintendent of police Prahlad Narayan Meena told a press conference in Haldwani. 

Dhami had on Monday said a police station would come up on the land freed from encroachment in Haldwani's Banbhoolpura, where violence erupted last week after authorities razed the madrasa. 

Mohammad Israr (50), who had sustained a gunshot injury in the violence, died at the Sushila Tiwari Hospital where he was under treatment. 

The body has been sent for post-mortem, Meena said. 

Israr was among the three people who were critically injured in the clashes between an irate mob and security personnel. 

His death has taken the number of people killed in the clashes to six, the SSP added. -- PTI
23:03   'Dead' Odisha woman comes back to life minutes before cremation
A 52-year-old Odisha woman, who was believed to be dead in a fire incident at home and carried to a cremation ground, opened her eyes just before the pyre was to be set alight. 

The incident occurred in Berhampur town in the southern district of Ganjam, the family said on Tuesday. 

Family members of the woman who reside at Goods Shed Road admitted her to MKCG Medical College and Hospital, hours after returning home from the cremation ground on late Monday evening. 

The woman belonging to a poor family suffered over 50 percent burn injuries on February 1 in a fire mishap at home and was admitted to the same hospital. 

However, when the hospital authorities referred her to another medical facility, her husband took her home due to paucity of money. 

Since then, she has been struggling with her life, family sources said. 

"On Monday, she was not opening her eyes and it appeared she was not breathing. We thought she might have died. We then informed others in the locality," said Sibaram Palo, her husband. 

Without consulting a doctor or trying to get a death certificate, he took the "body' to the nearby cremation ground at Bijipur in a hearse of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation. -- PTI
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22:20   IndiGo passenger claims screw found in sandwich
An IndiGo passenger has claimed that he found a screw in a sandwich served by the airline, which on Tuesday said the issue was not reported to it during the journey. 

The passenger shared his experience on social media along with a picture of the sandwich that he had after deboarding the aircraft. 

"We are aware of the image circulating on social media with reference to a customer sharing their experience on flight 6E-904 operating between Bengaluru-Chennai on February 1, 2024. The issue was not reported by the passenger during the journey," IndiGo said in a statement. 

The airline said it regretted the inconvenience caused to the passenger but did not specify details about the image that was being circulated. 

"Our in-flight meals are sourced from reputable and highly regarded caterers to maintain the highest standards of quality and hygiene. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passenger and remain committed to providing the best possible in-flight experience and ensuring compliance with all food and hygiene standards," it said. 

On January 2, food safety regulator FSSAI had issued a show cause notice to IndiGo for serving unsafe food to a passenger, days after a worm was found in a sandwich served onboard a flight. -- PTI
TN Governor R N Ravi
TN Governor R N Ravi
21:53   Cong MLA gives privilege notice over TN Raj Bhavan's post
Congress MLA K Selvaperunthagai on Tuesday raised a breach of privilege issue in the Tamil Nadu assembly over a Raj Bhavan social media post related to the governor's remarks, which were expunged by Speaker M Appavu on February 12. 

Leader of the Congress legislature party, Selvaperunthagai, during the zero hour, said the Raj Bhavan posted on X on February 12 a video of Governor RN Ravi's remarks made in the House, which were expunged. Hence, Selvaperunthagai said he has given a notice to move a motion to raise breach of privilege of the House. 

Speaker Appavu said the matter was under his consideration. 

The governor's remarks were in connection with his customary address to the house. Ravi made some remarks and refused to read out the government prepared address. 

Later, he issued a statement explaining the sequence of events that unfolded in the house. That statement was posted on social media. Also, a video clip -- of his remarks made in the house -- was also posted. 

The content in the statement and video had been expunged by the speaker on February 12. 

According to assembly rules, notice has to be given to the speaker for raising a matter that involved a question of breach of privilege of the house or a member. The member may raise the issue in the house only after the speaker gives his consent.
21:25   Sonia Gandhi to contest RS polls from Rajasthan
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi will file her nomination from Rajasthan for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls, party sources said on Tuesday. 

The sources said she will be travelling to Jaipur and party president Mallikarjun Kharge and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are likely to accompany her for the filing of nomination papers. 

Gandhi, who represented Rae Bareli in Lok Sabha, will not contest the next general election. 

"She is likely to file nomination for Rajya Sabha on Wednesday," a source said. 

The last date for filing nominations is February 15 and elections will be held on February 27. 

The Congress is comfortably placed to win Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. 

The party has not declared any candidate for the biennial elections for 56 seats from 15 states. 

Gandhi had announced in 2019 that it would be her last Lok Sabha election. -- PTI
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21:19   100-foot tunnel constructed to steal crude oil from IOC pipeline in Rajasthan
A 100-foot tunnel has been constructed to steal crude oil from the Indian Oil Corporation pipeline, said the police in Jodhpur on Tuesday. 

The investigation has been handed over to the special operations group of the police, they said. 

A half-inch pipe was connected to the line and was laid through the tunnel to a petrol pump, the police said. 

This crude oil theft was caught near Raipur on the Pali-Jaipur highway on Monday during a survey by the officials of the IOC to find some fault, they said. 

The police said that what unfolded before the officials during this survey was a shocking arrangement to steal the crude oil from the pipe line stretching from Mundra in Gujarat to Panipat in Haryana. 

After digging a pit at the faulty location on Monday night, they discovered a tunnel, they said. 

The work was, however, halted on Monday due to the late hour, police said. 

When the officials resumed excavation on Tuesday morning, it led to a valve connected to a nearby petrol pump's tank, they said. 

The officials informed the police and lodged a report at the Bar Police Station on Monday. 

The petrol pump manager identified as Pradeep Mali was arrested later during investigation, the police said, adding the search of the petrol pump owner was on. -- PTI
21:10   Bharat is proud of you, Modi tells UAE diaspora
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told the Indian community in Abu Dhabi that India is proud of them and it was the time to hail the friendship between the two countries. 

After greeting the thousands-strong audience at the 'Ahlan Modi' event with a 'Namaskar' amid chants of 'Modi, Modi' at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Modi said he was overwhelmed by the affection at the community programme. 

"You have scripted history by coming in such large numbers here. You may have come from different parts of UAE and from different states of India, but everyone's hearts are connected," Modi said. 

"This is the time to hail the friendship between India and the UAE. In this historic stadium, every heartbeat echoes the same sentiment- Long live Bharat-UAE friendship," Modi said at the event that began with national anthems of the two countries. 

"Today's memory will be with me forever because I have come here to meet members of my family," he said. 

"I have come here with a message of your brothers and sisters from over 140 crore Indians that India is proud of you," he said. -- PTI
Sanjay Kumar Jha/ Courtesy Facebook
Sanjay Kumar Jha/ Courtesy Facebook
20:52   JD-U names Nitish Kumar's confidant Sanjay Kumar Jha its RS candidate
Janata Dal-United on Tuesday named its general secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha, a confidant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, as the party's candidate for the Rajya Sabha elections. 

In a statement, the JD-U said party president Nitish Kumar has named Jha its nominee for the biennial polls to the Upper House from Bihar. 

Six seats from the state are falling vacant and the ruling National Democratic Alliance is expected to win at least three of them. 

The BJP, the principal NDA constituent, has already named its two candidates. Jha, a former minister in the state, has long been a close associate of Kumar and enjoys good equation with the BJP, the party the JD-U allied with last month after quitting the opposition INDIA bloc. 

He hails from the state's 'mithilanchal' region. 

He replaces outgoing JD-U MP Bashistha Narain Singh, a senior party leader who has not been keeping well for some time. 

Elections for 56 Rajya Sabha seats spread across 15 states are scheduled to be held on February 27, and the last date for filing nominations is February 15. -- PTI
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20:47   Threat letter found in Chennai-Mumbai flight's toilet
A threatening note was found in the lavatory of a Chennai-Mumbai IndiGo flight on Tuesday morning, the police said in Mumbai. 

Nothing suspicious was found on the aircraft and a First Information Report was registered against unidentified persons for mischief, said an airport police station official. 

The note, scribbled on tissue paper, was found minutes before the plane landed. 

"If you come to Mumbai, everyone will die," it read. 

The cabin crew immediately alerted the captain who informed the Air Traffic Control about the incident, the official said. 

The entire plane and passengers were searched but nothing suspicious was found, he said. 

An FIR was registered against unknown persons under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code including Section 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and further investigation was underway, the official added. 

"IndiGo flight 6E 5188 operating from Chennai to Mumbai had received a bomb threat post landing in Mumbai. All necessary protocols were followed and the aircraft was taken to a remote bay as per guidelines by airport security agencies," the airline said in a statement. -- PTI
20:07   SC to hear tomorrow plea against closure of Sterlite copper unit in TN
The Supreme Court will commence hearing on Wednesday on a plea of the Vedanta group against the closure of its Sterlite Copper unit in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra on Tuesday asked the parties to circulate short notes of their respective submissions in the case. 

Senior advocate Shyam Divan would open the arguments on behalf of the Vedanta group firm. 

Besides the firm, NGO 'Manu Neethi Foundation', through senior advocate Vikas Singh, had also moved the top court for an urgent hearing in the case, saying the workers of the Sterlite copper unit are facing extreme difficulties. 

Earlier, the top court had said it had directed the registrar to allocate "two dedicated dates" for hearing the Vedanta group's plea. 

The top court had in May last year asked the Tamil Nadu government to take appropriate decisions in pursuance of its April 10 direction by which it had allowed the Vedanta group to carry out the upkeep of its Sterlite copper unit in Tuticorin under the supervision of a local-level monitoring committee. 

In its April 10, 2023 order, the top court also allowed the evacuation of the remaining gypsum at the plant and made available manpower as requested by the company. -- PTI
Jaya Bachchan
Jaya Bachchan
19:43   SP names candidates for RS polls in UP; Jaya Bachchan renominated
The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday renominated Jaya Bachchan to the Rajya Sabha, and announced the candidature of former MP Ramjilal Suman and retired IAS officer Alok Ranjan for the polls to the Upper House of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh. 

They filed their nomination papers for the elections at the Uttar Pradesh assembly complex, where SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, party general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav and other party leaders were present. 

Returning officer and special secretary of the Uttar Pradesh assembly Braj Bhushan Dubey said that all three candidates have submitted their nomination papers in two sets each. 

The scrutiny of the papers will be held on February 16 from 11 am onwards, he said. Bachchan's fourth term as a Rajya Sabha member is ongoing and the actor-turned-politician has been renominated for a fifth term. 

Suman is a four-time MP from Firozabad. He became an MP in 1977 on a Janata Party ticket, in 1989 on a Janta Dal ticket, and in 1999 and 2004 on an SP ticket. 

Former Indian Administrative Service officer Ranjan was the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh during the SP government. 

Elections for 56 Rajya Sabha seats spread across 15 states are scheduled to be held on February 27, and the last date for filing nominations is February 15. -- PTI
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19:23   1 killed, 2 hurt as Manipur groups engage in shootout
A 25-year-old village volunteer was killed and two others were injured in a gunfight between two warring communities in Manipur's Imphal East district on Tuesday, the police said. 

The shootout took place at Pukhao Shantipur bordering Kangpokpi district, a senior officer said. 

The deceased was identified as Sagolsem Loya. He was taken to a private hospital in Imphal where he succumbed to his injuries, the officer said. 

Intermittent gunfights had been reported at Pukhao and surrounding hill areas since Sunday night. 

More than 180 people were killed in Manipur since the ethnic violence erupted on May 3 last year after a Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status. -- PTI
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19:10   Farmers' protest: Multiple gates at 9 stations of Delhi Metro shut
The Delhi Metro regulated passenger entry and exit at nine stations on Tuesday by shutting some gates in view of the farmers' proposed march to the national capital.

The commuters were allowed to enter or exit these stations through other gates.

Official sources said the gates have been shut as part of security arrangements as requested by the Delhi police.

The stations where one or more gates are closed are: Rajiv Chowk, Mandi House, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, Janpath, Barakhamba Road, Lok Kalyan Marg and Khan Market, a senior official said.

One gate was closed at Khan Market station, the official added.

At Central Secretariat Metro Station, a staffer said around 1 PM that gates no. 1, 2 and 5 were closed due to "security reasons" while gates no. 3 and 4 were functional.

A poster has been put up near Automatic Fare Collection kiosks leading to exit gates towards the Rail Bhawan roundabout.

A massive deployment of police and paramilitary personnel besides multi-layered barricading are in place to seal the national capital borders at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur to prevent the protesting farmers from entering the city during their march.

The Delhi Metro later also posted on X, informing passengers that a few gates may be closed as per security instructions. -- PTI
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18:36   IAF trainer aircraft crashes in Bengal; pilots eject safely: Official
A Hawk trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed at Kalaikunda in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district during a training sortie on Tuesday, a Defence official said. 

Both the pilots ejected safely, he said. 

The plane crashed near the Kalaikunda Air Force Station while returning from the training sortie, he said. 

A court of inquiry has been constituted to find out the cause of the accident. 

The official said there was no loss of life or damage to civilian property in the accident. -- PTI
18:27   SP's Swami Prasad Maurya resigns from party post
Senior Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya on Tuesday resigned as the party's national general secretary, saying he will continue to work to strengthen the SP without any post. 

In his resignation letter addressed to Party president Akhilesh Yadav, Maurya said that "he will continue to work to strengthen the party without any post". 

Maurya shared his resignation letter on social media.

A member of the state legislative council from the SP, Maurya had joined the Samajwadi Party from the BJP before the 2022 polls and unsuccessfully contested the assembly polls from Fazilnagar. 

He made controversial statements on the Ramcharitmanas and the Ayodhya temple consecration ceremony. -- PTI
Singer Vijay Lakshmi alias Mallika Rajput/Courtesy Facebook
Singer Vijay Lakshmi alias Mallika Rajput/Courtesy Facebook
17:57   Singer Mallika Rajput found dead in Sultanpur house
Singer Vijay Lakshmi alias Mallika Rajput was found dead in her house in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, under suspicious circumstances on Tuesday, the police said. 

The body of the 35-year-old singer was found hanging from the fan in a room of her house in Sitakund locality of Kotwali police station area, they said. 

Mallika's mother Sumitra Singh said that she did not know when the incident took place as the family was sleeping. 

Kotwali police station in-charge Shriram Pandey said that prima facie it seems to be a case of suicide. 

However, he said the exact cause of death would be known when the postmortem report comes. -- PTI
17:46   Terrorist behind killing of 2 Punjabi workers arrested
The terrorist who killed two labourers from Punjab in Srinagar last week has been arrested, a senior Jammu and Kashmir Police officer said on Tuesday. 

The weapon used in the attack, a pistol, has been recovered, additional director general of police Vijay Kumar told a press conference in Srinagar. 

"Adil Manzoor Langoo, the terrorist who opened fire on the two labourers from Punjab in the Habba Kadal area of the city on February 7, has been arrested," he said. 

Langoo, a resident of Zaldagar in Srinagar, carried out the attack on the directions of his handler in Pakistan, Kumar said and added he was arrested from Srinagar.

While Amritpal Singh was killed on the spot in the February 7 attack, Rohit Masih died during treatment at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences a day later. 

"It has come to the fore that the accused had conspired with his handler in Pakistan for commission of the crime," inspector general of police, Kashmir Range, VK Birdi, told the press conference. 

Langoo, he said, was a highly motivated and radicalised individual. 

"His handler in Pakistan radicalised him on social media and motivated him to carry out the attack," Birdi said. -- PTI
Shah Rukh Khan with the Prime Minister of Qatar
Shah Rukh Khan with the Prime Minister of Qatar
17:16   Shah Rukh denies involvement in release of navy men
Shah Rukh Khan's office issues a statement denying any involevement in helping the release of the eight navy men from Qatar. 

In an Instagram post, the actor's office said:

"Regarding the reports concerning Shah Rukh Khan's purported role in the release of India's naval officers from Qatar, the office of Mr Shah Rukh Khan says that any such assertions are unfounded, emphasizing the execution of this successful resolution solely rests with the Indian government officials and unequivocally denies Mr Khan's participation in this matter. 

"Additionally, all matters involving diplomacy and statecraft are best executed by our very able leaders. Mr Khan like many other Indians is happy that the naval officers are home safe and wishes them all the best."

This refers to a post by veteran politician Subramanian Swamy on X alleging that the Bollywood star and not the Indian government, played a crucial role in securing the release of eight Indian Navy veterans from a Qatari prison.

Shah Rukh Khan was recently in Doha where he was greeted by Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. The actor was there to attend the AFC Final as a special guest of honour.
17:03   PM greets UAE president with a hug
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a rousing welcome as he arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. PM Modi was welcomed by UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders shook hands and hugged each other. Prime Minister Modi also received a guard of honour.

 Modi tweeted, "Immensely grateful to my brother, HH @MohamedBinZayed, for taking the time to receive me at Abu Dhabi airport."
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Representational image
16:56   Over 3,700 children go missing in Assam in 3 years: Minister
More than 3,700 children had gone missing in Assam in the last three years, with over 3,400 of them also rescued by different agencies, Women and Child Development Minister Ajanta Neog said in the state Assembly on Tuesday. The rescued children are handed back to their families wherever possible, or else they are taken care of by the government, she said.

 Replying to a question by Congress MLA Bhaskar Jyoti Baruah, Neog said a total of 3,779 children had been reported missing from their homes from 2021 to 2023. 

 Of these, 3,419 children were rescued, she added. Rescued children who could provide details of their homes were sent back to their families, and those who could not give the details were taken care of at childcare institutions, she said. The minister also said that 6,054 cases under POCSO Act, 2012, were registered from 2012 to 2023, of which 3,522 cases have been disposed.
16:30   Farmers stopped with water cannons near Haryana
Farmers marching from Punjab to Delhi faced tear gas shells and water cannons as police tried to stop large groups from entering Haryana through the Khanauri border in Jind district on Tuesday. 

 Earlier in the day, farmers participating in the 'Delhi Chalo' march to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law guaranteeing minimum support price for crops, faced similar police action at the Shambhu border in Haryana's Ambala. 

 The demonstrators claimed that a farmer was injured in the tear gas shell firing at the Data Singhwala-Khanauri border. Several groups of farmers had assembled at the heavily barricaded border ahead of the march. PTI
A spring-loaded suicide-proof fan
A spring-loaded suicide-proof fan
16:03   Kota student found hanging, fan not suicide proof
A 16-year-old JEE aspirant allegedly hanged himself in his hostel room here, hours after the National Testing Agency published the answer key for the first edition of JEE-Main 2024, police said on Tuesday. 

 This is the third case of suspected "suicide" by coaching students in Kota this year so far, they added. 

 Shubh Choudhary's body was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room in the Jawahar Nagar area of Kota on Tuesday morning, Circle Officer (CO) DSP Bhawani Singh said. 

 Choudhary, who hailed from Chhattisgarh, was a student of Class 12 and had appeared in the JEE-Main 2024 examination, Singh said. However, the police is yet to ascertain the status of his results, he added. 

 The National Testing Agency on Monday published the answer key for the first edition examination of JEE-Main 2024 and announced the results on Tuesday. 

 Choudhary had been preparing for JEE at a coaching institute here and was living in the hostel in Jawahar Nagar area for two years, the police said.

 After the boy did not respond to his parents' repeated calls on Tuesday morning, they asked the hostel warden to check on him, the CO said. 

 On going to his room, the warden found Choudhary's body hanging from a ceiling fan and informed the police, he added. 

 The teenager allegedly hanged himself some time on Monday night, the CO said, adding that no suicide note was recovered from his room and the actual reason behind the suspected suicide is yet to be ascertained. In gross violation of norms, the fan in the hostel room was not equipped with an anti-suicide device, the officer said. 

 The body has been placed in a mortuary and a post-mortem will be conducted after the arrival of his parents from Chhattisgarh, he added. 

 This is the third case of suspected suicide by coaching students in Kota since January. A 27-year-old B.Tech student also hanged himself earlier this month. Twenty six cases of alleged suicide by coaching students were reported in Kota in 2023, the highest ever in 10 years.
15:23   Drones used to lob tear gas, farmers cover shells
The Haryana Police on Tuesday hurled multiple rounds of tear gas shells, including through drones, at the Shambhu border near Ambala to disperse farmers marching towards Delhi to seek enactment of a law on minimum support price. 

 Chaotic scenes were witnessed near the border as farmers deployed tractors to remove cemented blocks which had been placed as part of the barricading by the Haryana police on the Ghaggar river bridge to prevent them from marching forward.

 However, the Haryana police said tear gas shells were being used to control the situation as protestors were pelting stones at police personnel.

 "Stones were pelted at Haryana police by protesters. To control the situation, tear gas shells were being used," said a Haryana police spokesperson. 

 "No one will be allowed to create disturbance. Those doing so will be dealt with strictly," the spokesperson said, asserting that "the situation is completely under control". 

 With multiple rounds of tear gas shells being hurled by police, a blanket of tear gas smoke has enveloped in the air. Whenever a shell was dropped, farmers tried to cover it with a jute bag to limit its impact.

 Farmer leaders were heard asking the protestors to use wet clothes to minimise the impact of the tear gas shells.

 Initially, the police resorted to lobbing tear gas shells when a few youths broke an iron barricade and tried to throw it off the Ghaggar river bridge. Despite an appeal by the Haryana police to the protestors to stay away from the barricades, many youths continued to stay put and stood over the barricades, officials said. 

 But after an hour when a sizeable number of farmers gathered near the barricades at the Shambhu border, the police again resorted to hurling tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. The tear gas shells were also lobbed after some of the protesters entered a nearby field. 

 The police also used drones to hurl tear gas shells, apart from using them to keep an eye on the crowd of protesters. Protesting farmers slammed the Haryana government for hurling tear gas shells and said they were determined to march towards Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands. 

 Farmers on Tuesday morning commenced their 'Delhi Chalo' march to press for their demands, after a meeting with two Union ministers over their demands, including legal guarantee to MSP for crops, remained inconclusive.

 The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that farmers will head to Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops. PTI
15:03   Nothing to smile about
A meeting of Maharashtra Congress leaders chaired by party leader Ramesh Chennithala after former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan joined BJP today.
14:56   AAP says it respects Cong, offers 1 seat in Delhi
The INDIA bloc has been virtually confined to the history books, after the RLD walked out of the alliance in UP it was turn of the AAP to snub the Congress in Delhi. 

On Tuesday the Aam Aadmi Party offered the Congress Party a single Lok Sabha seat in Delhi. 

This is contrary to earlier reports that had suggested a 3-4 formula between Congress and AAP in Delhi. 

 Further, AAP MP Sandeep Pathak said that even though the Congress party does not merit even a single seat in Delhi, in the spirit of alliance, the AAP party is willing to offer one seat.

 The AAP plans to field candidates in the remaining six seats in Delhi, Pathak added. "You must have seen in the Delhi elections that the Congress party has zero seats in the Lok Sabha, zero seats in the Vidhan Sabha, and in the MCD elections, out of 250, only 9 seats have come to the Congress party. If you look at this data on a merit basis, the Congress party does not get a single seat, according to this data. But data is not important; keeping in mind the dharma of the alliance and the respect of the Congress party, we offer them one seat. So we propose that the Congress party fights on one seat and the Aam Aadmi Party fights on six seats," he said. 

 The AAP MP added that the candidate's announcement is not being made today. He expressed hope that a meeting will soon commence in Delhi, and the conclusion of this meeting will determine the next steps. 

 "Today, we are not announcing the candidate. I hope that the meeting will start in the context of Delhi soon, the conclusion of the meeting will come out, we will all get on with our work and if the conclusion does not come out, then in the next few days we will announce the candidate on the six seats we are saying and we will start our preparation and our work, AAP MP Sandeep Pathak said," he said.
14:30   Congress lives in la la land: Baba Siddique
After former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan left the Congress party on Monday, NCP leader Baba Siddique on Tuesday said that this is a wake-up call for the grand old party. 

 Ashok Chavan on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He had resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party on Monday.

Reacting to this, Siddique said, "Ashok Chavan called me and I told him that we are going to meet soon on the way ahead. More people are going to leave because when a person feels suffocated, he tries to find a way. It is a wake-up call for Congress but I don't think they are going to wake up." 

 Taking a jibe at the grand old party, the NCP leader said, "They live in La-la land, they are living in illusion. They don't see a writing on the wall. It's unfortunate for a party formed in 1885 that people are leaving like this. There must be a reason why people are leaving Congress." 

 When asked about the reason behind the leaders leaving the Congress party, Siddique said this was because of the decision taken by the high command. 

 "As I think, this is not happening because of any specific leader. This is because the decision taken by the high command collectively. The people who are not elected decide for the party. There are even some people who haven't fought the election ever," he said. 

 Ashok Chavan is the third big name to desert the Congress ship in Maharashtra. First to go was former South Mumbai MP Milind Deora who left the grand old party to join the Shiv Sena, which is led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. Meanwhile, last week, Baba Siddique announced his resignation from the Congress' core membership. He had been involved with the grand old party for 48 years.
14:14   'How many Cong leaders will leave at yatra's end?'
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on Tuesday took a jibe at the Congress and said by the time the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, led by its leader Rahul Gandhi, reaches Maharashtra, "don't know how many will bid bye-bye to the party". 

 In a post on X, Maurya said, "A number of senior Congress leaders, while tolerating the injustice of the Gandhi family, chose the time when Rahul Gandhi was himself on the nyay yatra. "By the time, the yatra reaches Maharashtra, don't know how many will bid bye-bye to the party... 'Jan-jan kee yehi pukaar, baar-baar Modi sarkaar'," he said. Maurya's post on X assumes significance as it comes a day after former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan tendered his resignation from the Congress. 

 In a setback to the Congress ahead of Lok Sabha elections, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan on Monday tendered his resignation from the party, amid speculation that he may join the BJP. 

 The departure of Chavan, son of former chief Minister and Union home minister S B Chavan, follows the recent exits of senior Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora, deepening the party's challenges in the state. PTI
14:02   Farmers remove barricades at Shambhu border with tractors
Protesting farmers forcibly remove the cement barricade with their tractors as they try to cross over the Haryana-Punjab Shambhu border. Farmer leader Naresh Tikait says, "Protests are underway in the entire country...The government should sit with us and hold discussions and give respect to the farmers. Government should think about this issue and try to solve this..."

Adds farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, "MSP guarantee law and Swaminathan Committee report, Electricity amendment bill and debt waiver are the issues of the farmers across the country. There are several farmer unions and they have different issues...If the govt creates a problem for these farmers who are marching towards Delhi, we are not far from them...We are in support of them..."
13:47   'Beginning of new career': Ashok Chavan joins BJP
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Mumbai on Tuesday, a day after quitting the Congress.

Chavan (65) was inducted into the BJP at the party office in Mumbai in the presence of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Mumbai party unit head Ashish Shelar and cabinet minister Girish Mahajan.

"Today is the beginning of my new political career," Chavan told reporters earlier in the day.

Asked if he had received any calls from senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Chavan evaded a reply.

Former Congress MLC Amarnath Rajurkar and several supporters of Chavan from his home district Nanded in Marathwada came to Mumbai and gathered at the BJP office in south Mumbai.

Ashok Chavan, the son of former CM S B Chavan, on Monday underscored that his choice to depart from the Congress was independent and refrained from attributing specific reasons for his exit.

His exit from the Congress came days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.

Ashok Chavan stepped down as the chief minister in 2010 for his alleged involvement in Adarsh housing scam in Mumbai.

He is an accused in the Adarsh housing society scam wherein a 31-storey posh building in south Mumbai was constructed allegedly on land owned by the Defence Ministry without getting the requisite permissions and clearances.

The backdrop of the Adarsh Building scam mentioned in a white paper tabled in Parliament last week has drawn attention as a potential factor in Chavan's departure, a claim though denied by him.

Chavan was the state Congress chief during 2014-19.

He represented Bhokar assembly seat and is also a former MP from Nanded Lok Sabha constituency.   -- PTI
13:08   Ashok Chavan arrives at BJP office in Mumbai
Former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan reaches BJP Office in Mumbai. He will be joining the BJP today after quitting the Congress party yesterday.

Barriers blockade the roads at the Singhu border
Barriers blockade the roads at the Singhu border
12:38   Police fire tear gas shells on protesting farmers
The Haryana Police on Tuesday hurled tear gas shells when a group of youth, who were part of the farmers' 'Chalo Delhi' protest march, tried to break barricades set up at the Shambhu border in Ambala. Despite an appeal by the Haryana Police to stay away from the barricades, many youth continued to stay put and stood over the barricades, officials said. 

 When a few youth broke an iron barricade and tried to throw it off the Ghaggar river bridge, the police lobbed several rounds of tear gas shells. They also used a drone later on to drop a teargas shell. Farmers on Tuesday morning commenced their 'Delhi Chalo' march to press for their demands, after a meeting with two Union ministers over their demands, including legal guarantee to MSP for crops, remained inconclusive.

 The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have announced that farmers will head to Delhi to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops. PTI
12:24   IIM fresher bags Rs 1-crore salary job
An e-commerce company has offered an annual salary of Rs 1 crore to a student of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, an official said Tuesday. 

 This is the highest annual package offered during the final placement round of this session at IIM-I, the official said.

 "One of our students has bagged the highest salary package of Rs 1 crore during the final placement period of this session. This student has been offered a job in the sales and marketing department by a company in the e-commerce industry. The offer is for domestic placement," the official said.

 Against the backdrop of "a cooling job market", the season culminated with more than 150 recruiters extending offers to 594 students of the two-year Post Graduate Programme (PGP) and five-year Integrated Programme in Management (IPM), the official said, adding that this reflects the industry's unwavering trust in the institute and its students. 

 The statistics for this year consisted of the average CTC (cost to company) at Rs 25.68 lakh per annum. While the median CTC stood at Rs 24.50 LPA, the highest compensation offered on campus stood at Rs 1 crore per annum
11:53   Sharad Pawar moves SC on EC's 'real NCP' order
Veteran leader Sharad Pawar has moved the Supreme Court challenging an Election Commission order recognising the party led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar as the real Nationalist Congress Party. The plea was filed by Pawar senior in his personal capacity through lawyer Abhishek Jebaraj on Monday evening. 

 Prior to him, the Ajit Pawar faction had filed a caveat through advocate Abhikalp Pratap Singh to ensure that no ex-parte order is passed in favour of the Sharad Pawar group if the latter moves the top court. 

 On February 6, the Election Commission announced that the Ajit Pawar faction is the real NCP, in a major setback to party founder Sharad Pawar. The poll panel also allotted the NCP symbol 'clock' to the group led by Ajit Pawar. 

 The decision followed the laid-out tests of maintainability of such a petition which included tests of aims and objectives of the party constitution, test of party constitution and tests of majority both organisational and legislative, the EC had said. PTI
11:29   Kejriwal refuses to turn stadium to jail for farmers
The Delhi Government rejects the central government's proposal to convert Bawana Stadium into a jail in view of the farmers' march to Delhi today. On the Centre's proposal, Delhi Government Home Minister Kailash Gehlot says "The demands of the farmers are genuine. It is the constitutional right of every citizen to make a peaceful protest. It is therefore incorrect to arrest the farmers..." 

 In view of the farmers' march to the national capital, one or more gates at eight stations of the Delhi Metro were shut on Tuesday morning. However, these stations are not closed and entry and exit of passengers is permitted through other gates. Official sources said the gates have been shut for security arrangements on instructions of police authorities.
A barbed wire post on the Singhu border
A barbed wire post on the Singhu border
10:57   Driving tractors, excavators farmers head to Parl
Farmers from Punjab on Tuesday morning commenced their 'Delhi Chalo' march to press for their demands, after a meeting with two Union ministers over their demands, including legal guarantee to MSP for crops, remained inconclusive.

 The farmers plan to head to Delhi from the Ambala-Shambhu, Khanauri-Jind and the Dabwali borders. Many farmers along with their tractor trolleys begun the march around 10 am from Fatehgarh Sahib and are moving towards Delhi via Shambhu border. Another group is moving towards the national capital from Mehal Kalan in Sangrur through Khanauri border. 

 Authorities in Haryana have fortified the state's borders with Punjab at many places in Ambala, Jind, Fatehabad, Kurukshetra and Sirsa using concrete blocks, iron nails and barbed wire to scuttle the proposed march.

Riot control vehicles, including water cannons, have also been deployed at many places at Punjab and Haryana borders. The Haryana government has also imposed restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in as many as 15 districts, prohibiting the assembly of five or more people and banning any kind of demonstration or march with tractor trolleys. 

 Security in Delhi has been intensified with multi-layer barricades, concrete blocks, iron nails and walls of containers at border points. 

 On Monday, tractor trolleys set out from different parts of Punjab to join the protest march. On the tractor trolleys sporting flags of the farm unions, farmers packed essential items, including dry ration, mattresses and utensils, among others. An excavator was also among the convoy of tractor trolleys, with a farmer in Amritsar saying it would be used to break the barricades. 

 The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha had announced that farmers would head to Delhi on Tuesday to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law to guarantee a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops.
A mega traffic jam at Delhi-Gurugram Expressway
A mega traffic jam at Delhi-Gurugram Expressway
10:27   Delhi airport advisory: Use alternate routes
The Delhi airport issued an advisory to passengers on Monday in view of the 'Dehi Chalo' march at the borders of Delhi on February 13. It added, "We recommend planning your trip accordingly and staying informed about potential delays and alternative routes." 

The airport advised passengers to use the Delhi Metro for commuting. "It said, "To ensure timely arrival, we strongly encourage travellers to utilise the Magenta Line for Terminal 1 (T1) or the airport metro for Terminal 3 (T3) for convenient transportation options."

 Commuters faced traffic gridlock as vehicles were struck at the Ghazipur border and the Delhi-Noida Chilla border in view of the farmers protest. Delhi Traffic Police on Monday issued a traffic advisory in view of the proposed farmer's protest, informing commuters there will be diversions around the Singhu Border (Delhi-Haryana). 

 "Traffic restrictions and diversions will be imposed at Singhu Border from February 12 for commercial vehicles and from February 13 for all types of vehicles," the advisory said. 

 Farmers are protesting over their demands, which include a law ensuring the minimum support price for their agricultural produce and a debt waiver. The protests come just ahead of the Lok Sabah elections, which are due in May-April this year.
Ashok Chavan will join BJP today
Ashok Chavan will join BJP today
10:03   Why is BJP luring away Oppn leaders, asks Uddhav
Taking a swipe at the BJP-led NDA government in the state after former chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan resigned from the party, Shiv Sena UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday questioned whether the ruling party was suffering from 'low self-confidence' ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Expanding on his claim about the ruling NDA in the state, the former CM questioned why it felt the need to poach leaders from the Opposition camp unless it was nervous and feared defeat in the upcoming general elections.

While Chavan resigned as an MLA and also announced his exit from the Congress, dealing a further blow to the INDIA bloc and the Opposition unity, he stopped short of opening up on his future political course.

However, the Sena (UBT) Supremo claimed that the former CM could be linking his lot with the BJP.

Addressing a rally at Sambhajinagar (formerly Aurangabad) on Monday, Uddhav went all guns blazing at the BJP, saying it wouldn't have felt the need to split the Opposition combine--Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)--and lure leaders away to its fold if it had worked for the people during its decade-long rule at the Centre.

"PM Narendra Modi recently said in Parliament that the BJP will secure a thumping majority (in the Lok Sabha elections). If so, then why lure leaders away from Opposition parties? If they are so confident of going '400-paar' in the upcoming elections, why poach leaders from the Opposition camp? They took Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Ashok Chavan, Ajit Pawar, and (CM Eknath) Shinde here. 

"If they had worked sincerely for the people in the 10 years (at the Centre), the BJP would not have had to break the Opposition. Is the BJP's self-confidence so low ahead of the general elections?" Uddhav said. -- ANI
09:53   The Murtys enjoy ice-creams
A picture of Britain's first lady Akshata Murty with her father and Infosys found Narayan Murty at an ice-cream parlour has gone viral on social media. The father-daughter posed for the camera, holding ice-cream cups.
09:29   Haldwani violence is not communal: Uttarakhand DGP
Uttarakhand Director General of Police Abhinav Kumar stressed that the recent 'violent' clashes that broke out in Banbhoolpura town of Haldwani area following the demolition of an 'illegal structure' as part of an anti-encroachment drive on Thursday were not 'communal'.

The top police official said that they have registered three first information reports (FIR) in connection with the violence, adding that 'action will not be taken against innocent people'.

The clashes and violence left five people dead and dozens injured, the police said on Sunday.

DGP Kumar told ANI on Tuesday, "...People should not give this incident a communal tinge. We are taking the incident very seriously, considering the way the police and administration teams were attacked. We have registered three FIRs...The police will not take any action against innocent people...Lawful action is being taken."

"A team of district administration and police who had gone there for an anti-encroachment drive were attacked by a mob with stones, petrol bombs, and illegal weapons," the DGP added.

"We will properly collect scientific evidence and take action against the accused whose name comes up during our investigation," he added.

Urging the 'law-abiding citizens' to cooperate in the police investigation, he said, "We are trying to restore normalcy in the area. The curfew is being periodically relaxed. The Internet has been restored. We also urge the law-abiding citizens to come forward and cooperate in the police investigation."

Several country-made weapons and live rounds were recovered from those arrested, the police said.

Violence erupted on Thursday after the administration conducted an anti-encroachment drive in Banbhoolpura.

After stone-pelting incidents, the torching of vehicles, and a mob surrounding the local police station, the administration issued a shoot-at-sight order.  -- ANI
09:20   Ashok Chavan to join BJP today
After quitting Congress on Monday, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party today, says his office.

Meanwhile, in the wake of Chavan's resignation, Maharashtra Congress in-charge Ramesh Chennithala has called for a key meeting of party leaders in Mumbai.

The announcement was made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar.

"Today, Maharashtra Congress in-charge Ramesh Chennithala has called a meeting of party leaders in Mumbai. This meeting is being held after the resignation of Ashok Chavan," Wadettiwar said.

Despite rumours, Wadettiwar asserted his allegiance to the party, stating his determination to remain with Congress till the end, even though he admits to having minimal expectations from the party.

"Rumors were spread about me. I am with the Congress and will remain with the Congress; I won four assembly elections on the Congress symbol, became a minister and was twice the Leader of the Opposition. Now I do not expect much from the party; I am determined to remain in Congress till the end," he said.

"If there are any issues of displeasure regarding the state Congress president, these things will come forward in the discussion that will be held today with the in-charge, Ramesh Chennithala," he added.  -- ANI
Ashok Chavan
Ashok Chavan
08:47   Sanjay Nirupam's big claim: Chavan was upset with...
After former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan resigned from the Congress party's primary membership, former Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam claimed that Chavan was upset with the working style of a leader from Maharashtra.

'Ashok Chavan was definitely an asset for the party. Some are calling him a liability, some are holding ED responsible, all this is a hasty reaction. He was basically very upset with the working style of a leader from Maharashtra,' Nirupam said in a post on 'X'.

The former president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee also claimed that had his complaints been addressed by the party he would not have resigned.

'He (Chavan) had given this information to the top leadership from time to time. Had their complaints been taken seriously, this situation would not have happened,' Nirupam added.

Heaping praises on the former Chief Minister, Nirupam said, "Ashok Chavan is resourceful, a skilled organiser, has a firm grasp on the ground and is a serious leader. When Bharat Jodo Yatra was in Nanded for five days last year, the entire leadership had seen his potential firsthand."

"His leaving Congress is a big loss for us. No one will be able to compensate for it. The responsibility of taking care of them was ours alone," he added.

Ashok Chavan, earlier today, submitted his resignation to Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole.

Also, in the letter, Chavan mentioned his designation as a former MLA.

The former Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president also served as MP of Lok Sabha from 1987 to 1989 and was re-elected to the lower house in May 2014.

He was the vice president and general secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress Committee from 1986 to 1995.

He served the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for three terms, starting in 1999 and ending in May 2014.

He served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra State from December 8, 2008, to November 9, 2010.

On November 9, 2010, the Congress Party asked him to resign from office over corruption allegations relating to the Adarsh Housing Society scam. -- ANI
Union minister Darshana Jardosh flagging off Ayodhya Dham 'Aastha' train from Surat/ANI Photo
Union minister Darshana Jardosh flagging off Ayodhya Dham 'Aastha' train from Surat/ANI Photo
01:59   Stones pelted at Ayodhya-bound Aastha Special train in Maha, none hurt
The Ayodhya-bound Aastha special train that had left from Gujarat's Surat was pelted with stones near Maharashtra's Nandurbar late on Sunday night.  

The Aastha special train was flagged off at 8 pm on Sunday, with a total of 1340 passengers on board.  

The police said that the train was pelted with stones by miscreants near Nandurbar at 10:45 pm which led to a stir among passengers.  

Deputy superintendent of police of Nandurbar, Sanjay Mahajan, said that some passengers immediately closed the windowpanes during the attack, but some stones landed inside the coach.  

Mahajan said that the Nandurbar Railway Police started an investigation into the matter. 

After an initial investigation, the police dispatched the train from Nandurbar Railway Station late at night, the DySP said.  

Earlier on Sunday, Union Minister of State for Railways Darshana Jardosh flagged off Surat to Ayodhya Dham- Special Tourist 'Aastha' train from Surat Central Railway Station for Ayodhya. -- ANI
Mufti Salman Azhari
Mufti Salman Azhari
01:16   Gujarat: Islamic preacher held from Mumbai remanded in police custody
A court on Monday remanded Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari in police custody till February 17 in a hate speech case registered against him in Modasa in Gujarat's Arvalli district. 

The court of principal district and sessions judge AN Anjaria remanded the cleric to police custody till 10:30 am on February 17 against the 10-day remand sought by the police, public prosecutor DS Patel said. 

"The reason for remand was to get his physical presence to question him regarding conspiracy angle, from where he received funding for the event, etc.," Patel said. 

According to police, Azhari was booked for delivering an inflammatory speech in an open ground in Modasa on December 24. 

He was held from Mumbai on February 5 after he delivered an alleged hate speech in B division police station limits in Junagadh on January 31. 

Later, Kutch East police registered a First Information Report and arrested him on February 8 for delivering an allegedly provocative speech in Samakhiyari village in Bhachau taluka on January 31. 

Azhari has been granted bail in cases registered against him in Junagadh and Kutch. -- PTI
01:00   3 hurt in late-night shooting at bar in port city of Kochi in Kerala, 3 arrested
Three employees of a bar located in the heart of this port city in Kerala suffered injuries in a late-night shooting incident, following which police arrested three persons on Monday, an officer said. 

The incident happened when one of the accused fired his "handgun" at the staff of the bar located in Kathrikadavu here following an altercation late Sunday night, they said. 

The police have arrested Dilshan Bose (34), Vijay Jose (32) and Shemir P A (34), all residents of Ernakulam, in connection with the incident. 

According to the FIR, four people who came to purchase liquor had an altercation on the road in front of the bar's main gate. 

As the bar manager objected to their quarrel in front of the establishment, he was brutally assaulted by the accused later, police said. 

He was beaten up and thrashed on the face and left thigh. Seeing the manager being attacked, two employees of the bar -- Sujin and Akhil - rushed to the spot and tried to stop the accused. 

Enraged over this, the prime accused fired his handgun at them causing injuries on their abdomen and thighs, the police added. -- PTI 
00:42   UP STF arrest Mumbai halal officers for extortion
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Monday arrested four office-bearers of Halal Council of India, Mumbai, for allegedly extorting money in the name of halal certification. 

According to the UP STF sources, the arrested persons have been identified as Maulana Mudassir, Habib Yusuf Patel, Anwar Khan, and Mohammed Tahir. 

Notably, the Uttar Pradesh government had banned the manufacture, sale, storage, and distribution of halal-certified products in the state. 

A case was registered in Lucknow against some organisations, production companies, their owners as well as other unidentified people for extorting money in the name of halal certification, the sources said. -- PTI