Thu, 22 February 2024
Sharad Pawar group gets 'man blowing turha' symbol

Timeline  Refresh

23:48   Mumbai cleric granted bail in third hate speech in Gujarat, put in preventive detention
Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Mufti Salman Azhari was on Thursday taken under preventive detention by the Gujarat police soon after he was granted bail in a hate speech case registered against him in the state's Arvalli district. 

Earlier in the day, the court of Additional Sessions Judge HN Vakil granted conditional bail to Azhari, who was booked for delivering an inflammatory speech in an open ground in Modasa on December 24 last year. 

This was the third case of hate speech in Gujarat in which the cleric was arrested before being granted bail. 

However, as soon as Azhari was released on bail, he was detained at Modasa by the Junagadh local crime branch under the Gujarat Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act. 

He will be handed over to Vadodara central jail, Junagadh crime branch inspector Jatin Patel said. 

"We have detained him under PASA soon after a warrant was issued against him by the Junagadh collector,' Patel said. 

 The act allows the administration to take anti-social elements under preventive detention to maintain public safety. -- PTI
NCP founder Sharad Pawar
NCP founder Sharad Pawar
23:20   Sharad Pawar group gets 'man blowing trumpet' symbol
The Election Commission of India on Thursday allotted "man blowing turha (a traditional trumpet)" as the symbol of the Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar, the outfit's spokesperson Clyde Crasto said. 

"Our candidates will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on this symbol," he told PTI. 

The Sharad Pawar-founded NCP split in July last year after Ajit Pawar and eight other MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government. 

The ECI later gave the party name and 'clock' symbol to the faction led by deputy CM Ajit Pawar. -- PTI 
23:09   Maha ex-CM Manohar Joshi suffers cardiac arrest, is severely ill: Hospital
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi suffered a cardiac arrest and has been admitted in the ICU of PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, the private medical facility said on Thursday. 

In a statement, the hospital said Joshi (86), a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and he is severely ill. 

"Manohar Joshi, Ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra, was admitted at PD Hinduja Hospital on 21st February 2024. He suffered a cardiac event and is severely ill. He is currently in the ICU under close observation and receiving best of medical care," the statement said.

The 86-year-old Shiv Sena stalwart was admitted to the same hospital in May last year after suffering a brain haemorrhage. 

Joshi served as chief minister from 1995 to 1999 and was the first leader from the undivided Shiv Sena to occupy the top post in the state. 

He was also elected as a Member of Parliament and was the Lok Sabha Speaker from 2002 to 2004 when the Vajpayee government was in power. -- PTI
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22:44   Meow-meow haul: Pune cops probe role of Briton
The role of a British national is being probed in connection with the recent seizure of 1,700 kilograms of mephedrone worth around Rs 3000-3500 crore in the illicit market, a police official said here on Thursday. 

The mephedrone was seized after operations in several cities, including New Delhi, Pune and Sangli, leading to arrests of eight persons. 

These include Bhimaji Sabale, owner of a unit in Kurkumbh MIDC in Pune, and Yuvraj Bhujbal, a chemical engineer. 

Both were arrested for their alleged role in production and distribution of the drug, police officials had said. 

"The role of a person from Bihar, who is a British national, has emerged in the case. We have learnt he has fled to some other country. Efforts are on to nab him," Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said. 

Kumar said the British national was arrested in Pune in 2016 in a narcotics case involving seizure of a consignment by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and was lodged in Yerwada jail. 

He was using some of the people he met in jail as drug couriers, the official added. -- PTI
YS Sharmila Reddy along with party workers and leaders protest against the state government/ANI Photo
YS Sharmila Reddy along with party workers and leaders protest against the state government/ANI Photo
22:23   APCC chief Sharmila detained on her way to Secretariat march
Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president YS Sharmila was detained on Thursday on her way to the Secretariat in Guntur district, along with party leaders and activists as part of the 'Chalo Secretariat' protest walk to submit a representation, a police official said. 

Guntur district superintendent of police Tushar Dudi told PTI that Sharmila was briefly detained. 

"Sharmila and other Congress leaders were detained for about three hours and let off. Police detained us near Undavalli at the entrance of the riverside road leading to the Secretariat," APCC vice-president K Sivaji said. 

Sivaji said the police moved the detained leaders to Mangalagiri Rural police station and took their signatures. 

Sharmila highlighted that she and Congress leaders were allegedly illegally arrested when they set off to the Secretariat to submit a representation demanding a mega District Selection Committee teacher recruitment notification but not a 'deceitful one'. 

"Political power is not permanent, remember that. There is no freedom in our state to even submit a representation. It seems there is nobody in the Secretariat to receive the representation. The CM doesn't go there, ministers are absent and officers also don't go. This is proof enough to say that they don't know how to rule," Sharmila said in a post on 'X.' -- PTI
22:05   Std XII student kills self soon after taking board exams
A Class 12 student died after he allegedly jumped off the 22nd floor of a building at a group housing society in Noida Extension, within hours of taking the board exam on Thursday, the police said.

While the exact reason for the extreme step was yet to be ascertained, the police said the student, aged about 19 years, was unable to clear the exam last year also.

"Around 4.20 pm today, the local Bisrakh police station officials were alerted about the student's death at the Mahagun Mywoods society. The police team rushed to the site and forensic experts were also sent there," a police spokesperson said.

"The parents of the student were also there and they told the police that their son had returned home after taking the English Core exam for Class 12 today. After reaching home he went to sit on the terrace of the building at the 22nd floor. The family informed police that he was unable to clear the Class 12 exam last year also," the spokesperson said.

Further legal proceedings in the case were being carried out, the police added.

Mental health experts believe that suicides are preventable if first observers like parents, siblings, spouse or friends, recognise the behavioural changes in a person and talk to them in order to not let them doubt their self-esteem.

In Uttar Pradesh, the police have often appealed to people, including school and college students, to dial emergency number 112 for help in case of suicidal thoughts.
CEO Byju Raveendran
CEO Byju Raveendran
21:46   Byju, board members to skip select investors' EGM
Edtech firm Think and Learn Private Ltd, owner of BYJU'S, on Thursday said neither the company's founder and CEO Raveendran Byju nor any other board member will attend the extraordinary general meeting called by some select investors. 

Shareholders at Byju's are set to vote on Friday on a resolution brought by some investors to oust founder CEO Byju Raveendran and his family members over alleged "mismanagement and failures". 

BYJU'S has called the EGM "procedurally invalid" and contractually in contravention of the company's article of association and shareholder's agreement. 

"Byju Raveendran or any other Board member will not attend this invalid EGM. This means the EGM, if it is still summoned, will not have the required quorum and cannot proceed to discuss or vote on the agenda." 

"As custodians of BYJU'S, it is the responsibility of the founders to respect the established procedures of law and protect the company's integrity," BYJU'S spokesperson said. 

BYJU'S founders and board members jointly hold around 22 per cent stake in the company. 

The EGM notice has been backed by General Atlantic, Peak XV, Sofina, Chan Zuckerberg, Owl, and Sands, who collectively account for about 30 percent stake in Byju's. 

Miffed shareholders at Byju's have proposed a resolution brought to oust founder CEO Byju Raveendran and his family members over alleged "mismanagement and failures" at what was once India's hottest tech startup. -- PTI
21:39   Dubai introduces 5-year multiple-entry visa for Indians
Dubai has introduced a five-year multiple-entry visa to boost travel between India and the Gulf nation, according to the Dubai department of economy and tourism. 

In 2023, Dubai welcomed 2.46 million overnight visitors from India, which is a 25 percent increase from the pre-pandemic era. 

This made the country the number one source market, the latest data from DET said on Thursday. 

In the year-ago period, the city hosted 1.84 million tourists from India, while in 2019, it welcomed 1.97 million visitors, it added. 

The data suggested that with an exceptional 34 per cent year-on-year growth, India continued to be the number one source market with the highest number of international visitors from a single country. 

"Dubai introduced a five-year multiple-entry visa to further bolster travel between India and Dubai, to foster sustained economic collaborations and encourage tourism and business ties," the DET said. 

This step ensures that the visa, issued within 2-5 working days upon receiving and accepting the service request, allows its holder to stay in the country for 90 days, extendable once for a similar period, with a total stay not exceeding 180 days in one year. 

Through this initiative, tourists can leverage multiple entries and exits, providing operational flexibility for business engagements, leisure travel, and seamless connectivity, DET added. -- PTI
BBC's new chairman Dr Samir Shah/Courtesy BBC on X
BBC's new chairman Dr Samir Shah/Courtesy BBC on X
21:30   BBC gets first Indian-origin chairman in Dr Samir Shah
India-born media executive Dr Samir Shah was on Thursday confirmed as the new BBC chairman after his selection cleared the stages of scrutiny to be approved by King Charles III this week. 

Shah, who has worked in UK broadcasting for over 40 years, was picked as the government's preferred candidate in December last year and went on to be quizzed by cross-party MPs of the House of Commons Media Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for his pre-appointment scrutiny. 

The 72-year-old has now been confirmed in the 160,000 pounds per year and four-year term role to take charge as the public broadcaster's first Indian-origin Chair from March 4 and running until March 2028. 

"With a career spanning more than 40 years in TV production and journalism, Dr Shah has a wealth of experience to bring to the position of BBC Chair,' said UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer as she announced his selection. 

"He has a clear ambition to see the BBC succeed in a rapidly changing media landscape, and I have no doubt he will provide the support and scrutiny that the BBC needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future," she said. -- PTI 
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20:54   Noida farmers call off tomorrow's Delhi march
The Friday's proposed "Delhi march" of protesting farmers in Noida and Greater Noida has been called off after their meeting with the local administration and the police, a protesting group said. 

The Thursday's announcement comes a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered formation of a three-member committee to look into the issue and resolve the woes of the farmers, who are demanding higher compensation and developed plots in lieu of their land acquired by the government in the past. 

Thousands of farmers from around 200 villages, who are protesting against the local authorities in Noida and Greater Noida, and the National Thermal Power Corporation (Dadri), had on February 8 made an unsuccessful attempt to go to Parliament to press for their demands but were stopped at the Delhi border here by the police. 

Representatives of Bharatiya Kisan Parishad, All India Kisan Sabha and Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Morcha on Thursday afternoon held a meeting with the local police officers and the administration, including district magistrate Manish Kumar Verma, in Greater Noida. 

"As you all know, the Bharatiya Kisan Parishad had held demonstrations at Noida Authority office and at NTPC office while All India Kisan Sabha was protesting at Greater Noida Authority's office and Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Morcha protesting against Ansal Group. On February 8, we had marched towards Delhi together," BKP's leader Sukhbir Yadav 'Khalifa' said after the meeting. -- PTI
20:41   Maha deputy CM Ajit Pawar on one-day tour of Sambhajinagar tomorrow
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will be on a day-long tour of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district on Friday during which he will attend events of Nationalist Congress Party and also chair an official review meeting. 

After landing in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in central Maharashtra, Pawar, who holds the finance and planning portfolio, will go straight to the district collector's office, where he will preside over a review meeting, an official said on Thursday. 

He will later address a press conference. Pawar will then go to Gangapur town, where he will unveil a statue of Ahilyabai Holkar, the legendary queen of the Malwa kingdom in medieval India, and address a rally there, according to his itinerary shared with the media. 

The deputy CM will then attend a state-level 'Samvidhan Gaurav' rally organised by his party in the Padegaon area. Pawar will meet local NCP workers and office-bearers in the evening before leaving for Pune. -- PTI
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar
20:17   Cong's no-trust motion against BJP-JJP govt in Haryana defeated
A motion of no confidence brought by the Congress against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party government in Haryana was defeated through voice vote after the Opposition party's MLAs walked out from the assembly. 

At the end of a four-hour-long discussion on the motion, Congress members walked out expressing dissatisfaction with the chief minister's reply. 

The motion was then defeated through voice vote. 

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said the motion had been defeated. 

This is the second no-confidence motion brought by the Congress in the second term of the Manohar Lal Khattar government. 

The no-confidence against the BJP-JJP government, which was brought by the Congress three years ago amid a stir against now-repealed farm laws, was defeated as well. 

At present, the BJP has 41 MLAs in the 90-member House while its alliance partner, the Jannayak Janta Party, has 10. Six of the seven Independent members in the House support the BJP, which also enjoys the support of the lone Haryana Lokhit Party MLA, Gopal Kanda. 

The main opposition Congress has 30 MLAs and the Indian National Lok Dal has one. -- PTI
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge/File image
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge/File image
19:39   Kharge granted Z-plus security ahead of LS polls
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has been granted Z-plus security across the country by the Union home ministry, official sources said Thursday. 

The decision was taken by the home ministry early this month based on the threat perception of Kharge, they said. Commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force will provide the Z-plus security to Kharge on all India basis, the sources said. 

As president of the principal opposition party, Kharge is expected to tour across the country extensively in the run-up to the general elections as well as during the polls and the decision to enhance his security cover was taken keeping in view this fact, the sources said. 

Kharge will now be covered by a security blanket of about 30 CRPF commandoes round the clock in three shifts. 

This cover also includes a bulletproof vehicle, pilot and escort. 

The Z-plus is the highest category security provided to a person of high threat perception in India. 

There are four categories of VIP security Z plus, Z, Y and X -- depending on the threat perception analysis by the Intelligence Bureau. 

The prime minister is provided the highest security cover by the Special Protection Group. -- PTI
Sanjay Gaikwad/Courtesy Facebook
Sanjay Gaikwad/Courtesy Facebook
19:15   Shinde Sena MLA claims he killed a tiger in 1987, wears its tooth around his neck
An MLA from the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena has claimed that he hunted a tiger 37 years ago and wears its tooth around his neck. 

A video of Sanjay Gaikwad, who represents the Buldhana constituency in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region, making the claim has gone viral on social media. 

In the video, Gaikwad is asked about the tiger body part around his neck. 

"This is a tiger tooth. In 1987, I had hunted it and removed it (the tooth),' said Gaikwad, who is known for his off-the-cuff remarks. 

The interaction seems to have been recorded on Monday on the occasion of Shiv Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. 

It was also posted online by Saamana, the mouthpiece of Sena's rival Uddhav Thackeray faction, on social media. Hunting of tigers was made a criminal offence in the country much before 1987. 

Calls made to Gaikwad did not elicit any response. -- PTI
Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan'/File image
Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan'/File image
18:48   Ex-JD-U chief Lalan files defamation suit against news channel, Hindi daily
Former Janata Dal-United president Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan' on Thursday filed a defamation suit against a leading news channel and a Hindi daily for their reports regarding his relinquishment of the top party post. 

Lalan lodged the case at a court in Patna and shared the details on his social media accounts, accusing the media outlets of damaging his reputation and casting doubts on his "37-year-old relationship with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar." 

Kumar succeeded Lalan as the party president in December last. Lalan had said he wanted to step down from the post to focus more on his constituency of Munger ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. 

Speculations were rife that Lalan had been made to step down because of perceived closeness to Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad, with whom ties were snapped by Kumar a month ago. 

Lalan referred to reports in a section of the media alleging that he had, while heading the party, called a meeting of JD-U MLAs to plot the removal of Nitish Kumar as the chief minister, for the benefit of the RJD supremo's son Tejashwi Yadav, who was then the deputy CM. 

Lalan clarified, "Although I voluntarily relinquished the party president's post with the consent of Nitish Kumar, certain media outlets published unfounded reports. I issued legal notices in response." -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
18:35   Avoid naming animals as Sita, Akbar, observes HC
The Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench of the Calcutta high court on Thursday verbally observed that the naming of a lioness and lion as "Sita" and "Akbar" should have been shunned to avoid controversy. 

The bench also suggested that the West Bengal Zoo Authority take a prudent decision by renaming them. 

Hearing petitions by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's north Bengal unit and two other individuals, Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya asked whether an animal can be named after gods, mythological heroes, freedom fighters or Nobel laureates. 

The Judge verbally said that such naming of the animals should have been shunned to avoid controversy. 

Stating that West Bengal is already burdened with several controversies starting from school jobs appointments to several other issues, he said "Therefore, take a prudent decision, avoid this controversy." -- PTI
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File image
18:09   CBSE plans open-book exam trials for classes 9-12
The Central Board of Secondary Education is planning a pilot run of open-book exams in selected schools for classes 9 to 12 later this year, according to officials. 

The idea was floated in the last governing body meeting of the Board in December, 2023. Officials, however, said there is no plan to adopt the format in class 10 and 12 board exams. 

"The CBSE is planning a pilot run of open-book assessments in selected schools, targeting subjects -- English, Mathematics, and Science for Classes 9 and 10, and English, Mathematics, and Biology for Classes 11 and 12. The aim is to gauge the time taken by students to complete these tests and gather feedback from stakeholders. 

"The plan is in line with recommendations made in the National Curriculum Framework. These tests would undergo a pilot phase in schools to evaluate various aspects such as completion time, suitability for formative and summative assessment, and stakeholders' perceptions," a senior board official said. 

In an open-book exam, students are allowed to carry their notes, textbooks, or other study material and refer to them during the exam. -- PTI
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
18:06   Atishi claims Kejriwal will be arrested in 3-4 days if AAP ties up with Congress
Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi claimed on Thursday that the party's national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be arrested in the next three to four days if the party enters into a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls. 

Addressing a press conference, she also claimed that the CBI was going to issue a notice to Kejriwal either on Saturday or Sunday. 

"Since the news of discussions on an alliance between AAP and Congress reaching final stages is circulating, AAP leaders have received messages since Wednesday evening that Kejriwal will be arrested if AAP enters into a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress," she claimed. 

The Delhi minister claimed that it was conveyed by the messengers that a notice will be issued to the chief minister by the CBI on Saturday or Sunday and then he will be arrested. 

She said that it was conveyed by the messengers that the only way to keep Kejriwal out of jail was AAP quitting the opposition bloc INDIA. 

The alliance between the AAP and the Congress in Delhi is on the verge of finalisation. 

Leaders of the two parties may make an official announcement in a day or two, she said. -- PTI
17:52   CSK vs RCB in IPL opener in Chennai on March 22
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2024 IPL season-opener in Chennai on March 22, the BCCI announced Thursday while unveiling the schedule for only the first 17 days of the popular T20 league. 

The roster for the remaining matches will be announced once the dates for the upcoming general elections are announced early next month. 

The first 17 days of the tournament will see 21 matches taking place. 

Delhi Capitals will take on Punjab Kings on March 23 in Mohali. 

As per the format, 10 teams are divided into two groups of five. 

In the group stage, each team plays 14 games facing the other four sides in their group two times each (home and away basis, four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times. 

The general elections are expected to be held in April-May.
17:44   Priyanka set to join Nyay Yatra in Moradabad, will cover remaining UP leg
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is set to join the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Moradabad on February 24 and will be part of it for the remainder of its Uttar Pradesh leg over the weekend, sources said Thursday. 

She was to participate in the yatra when it entered Uttar Pradesh in Chandauli but could not do so because of ill-health and subsequent hospitalisation, they said. 

The Congress general secretary will join the yatra when it resumes from Moradabad on Saturday and will remain with the yatra during its leg in western Uttar Pradesh, the sources said. 

The Congress has invited Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to participate in the yatra in Agra, the sources said. 

The yatra will resume on the morning of February 24 from Moradabad and will thereafter cover Sambhal, Aligarh, Hathras and Agra districts culminating in Dholpur in Rajasthan on Sunday. 

The Congress has said February 26 to March 1 will be break days to enable Rahul Gandhi to fulfill his long-standing commitment to deliver two special lectures at his alma mater Cambridge University in the UK on February 27 and February 28, and also to enable him to attend other important meetings in New Delhi. -- PTI
17:24   Shahi Idgah: HC to hear again plea against maintainability of suit tomorrow
The Allahabad high court will hear again on Friday a plea challenging maintainability of a suit seeking removal of Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura which it claims has been built on 13.37 acre land of Katra Keshav Deo temple. 

After hearing counsels of the both sides, Justice Mayank Kumar Jain fixed February 23 as the next date of hearing in the case. 

On January 30, the high court had fixed February 22 for hearing the plea challenging maintainability of the suit and said objections to the plea have to be filed before February 22. 

On January 17, the court had given time to the Hindu side to file its reply on the application of the Muslim side moved regarding maintainability of the suit. 

In May last year, the high court transferred to itself all 15 cases related to the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid dispute. 

Notably, objections in some of the cases have been filed. -- PTI
Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi holds up a placard
Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi holds up a placard
16:41   30 firms donated to BJP after ED raids: Cong
The Congress on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi government of capturing democracy through extortion and financial terrorism, and claimed that at least 30 firms donated huge sums to the BJP following raids by probe agencies such as the CBI, ED and the Income Tax Department. 

 The Congress cited news reports claiming that these firms donated as much as Rs 335 crore to the BJP after actions by probe agencies against them. And, 23 of these companies did not make any donation to the BJP between 2014 and the year of the raids, the report stated. 

 "An autocratic Modi Government is capturing democracy through extortion and financial terrorism," Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said. He claimed that the BJP received donations from at least 30 firms after it "misused" the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the I-T Department for raids against them. 

 Reports also show that some of these firms handed out a heftier amount to the BJP in the months following the searches, Kharge claimed. 

 "On one hand the Modi Government wants to steal the hard earned money of people donated to the Congress party in good faith and on the other hand it threatens corporate firms through ED, CBI, I-T etc to grab lion's share of donations! 

 "Looting Opposition and Blackmailing donors to fill BJP's coffers is a dark phase for our democracy! We shall fight this tooth and nail - both in the court of law and in the court of the people," he said. 

 At a press conference, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the Narendra Modi government put the Income Tax Department and other agencies after 30 companies, forcing them to donate Rs 335 crore to the BJP. 

 This, he said, has been done in the last two to three years. In a post on X, Ramesh alleged, "Dhanda ek ko, Chanda sab se! (business to one, donations from all)." 

 "Dr Manmohan Singh gave Indian citizens a unique ID through Aadhaar. Narendra Modi has given corporate India a new ID: Investigate-Donate," he said. "From the ashes of I-T and ED, MoShah have innovated this new I-D model: Investigate, then get them to Donate," he alleged, in a swipe at Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Electoral trusts and conventional political party donations allow some degree of transparency into campaign financing, he said, claiming that it enables public disclosure of who funds which political party. 

 "Mr. Modi's pet project of electoral bonds did away with all transparency - the media cannot conduct such an investigation on the electoral bonds. It's clear why: they don't want people to have insight into the Pradhaan Mantri - Chanda Vasuli Yojana. 

 "The only reason that we have any data at all is because the Electoral Bonds are only open in a few 15-day windows every year, and because the investigated businesses are desperate to make donations and appease MoShah instantaneously," he alleged.
16:23   Minor girl pregnant after grandfather rapes her
A 14-year-old girl has been allegedly raped over a period of four months and impregnated by her grandfather at a village in Krishna district, police said on Thursday. 

 According to Avanigadda DSP Muralidhar, the minor girl is studying in class 9 in Zilla parishad school in Mopidevi village and her parents are working as daily wage labourers. 

 The matter came to light when the girl complained of stomach pain on Tuesday and was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors examined her and found that she was pregnant. Based on a complaint from the victim's parents, police registered a case and are on the lookout for accused, who is absconding. PTI
16:20   Court denies permission to Hemant Soren to participate in budget session
A special court in Ranchi on Thursday denied permission to former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren to participate in the state Budget session beginning Friday.

 Soren, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on January 31 in a money laundering case, had filed a petition before the special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court seeking permission to participate in the budget session. 

 Soren was sent to the Birsa Munda Central Jail on February 15 after his 13-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) ended. The court had earlier allowed Soren to participate in the trust vote in the assembly on February 5.
15:42   Fresh protests in Sandeshkhali, property burnt
Fresh protests rocked parts of trouble-torn Sandeshkhali on Thursday afternoon as enraged locals took to the streets against local TMC leaders accused of sexual abuse of the women folk and forcible land grabbing in the area. 

 Armed with sticks, they set ablaze a thatched structure near a pond, venting their fury against the elusive TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his brother Siraj. The torched structure, it was revealed, belonged to Siraj. 

 A protester said, "Siraj and his brother Shahjahan have usurped our land. They subjected us to molestation. We demand justice and the return of our land."

 In the wake of DGP Rajeev Kumar's visit, wherein he pledged swift action against wrongdoers, a substantial police force descended on the area with officers assuring to assist the locals and urging them to submit their grievances and documentation. 

 "Please bring forth your complaints; we will take immediate action. If you possess any relevant documents, present them to us. Rest assured, your land will be restored," a police officer was heard telling the residents. DGP Rajeev Kumar affirmed the police force's commitment to addressing the concerns of every individual in Sandeshkhali. He vowed stringent measures against those implicated in the mistreatment of women. 

 Kumar, who spent Wednesday night in Sandeshkhali to gauge the situation, promised resolute action against perpetrators of gender-based violence. Amidst these developments, TMC leaders from North 24 Parganas district went to the Sandeshkhali village, offering reassurances of support. -- PTI
15:12   Modi tickled at Amul ads featuring him and...
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the golden jubilee celebration of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which operates the popular dairy brand Amul, in Ahmedabad.

Amul's entrepreneurial spirit has made it one of the strongest dairy brands in the world.

The prime minister took a walkthrough of the exhibition showcased on the occasion and also unveiled the Golden Jubilee Coffee Table Book.

 Among the various items that were put up in the exhibition area was a section where Amul showcased a series of its creative ads, featuring the Prime Minister, his party, the BJP, and his flagship initiatives such as Swach Bharat Abhiyan and Make in India, among others.

The Prime Minister looked through all the creative ads, with senior officials of Amul accompanying him.

Later, addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone for the Golden Jubilee celebration of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) and said that a sapling that was planted 50 years ago by the farmers of Gujarat has become a giant tree with branches all over the world.

The Prime Minister underlined that even though several brands emerged in India after independence, there were none like Amul.

"Amul has become the symbol of the strength of the Pashupalaks of India", the Prime Minister said, "Amul means trust, development, public participation, empowerment of farmers and the technological advancements through time."
14:48   Sandeshkhali: 23 complaints of land grab, torture
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) team, which reached trouble-torn Sandeshkhali in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Thursday morning, has received over 23 complaints of forcible land grabbing and torture during their interaction with locals there, a senior official said.

 NCST acting vice-chairperson Ananta Nayak said they have also received complaints against a politician, which they would include in their report to the President, the official added. 

 "They (Sandeshkhali residents) have mentioned the name of a political leader. We will include it in our report. We have received more than 23 complaints so far," Nayak told reporters. 

 "We will compare this (their findings) with the ground report and then submit it to the President," he added. 

 The visit by the NCST team comes days after a team of the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes had gone to the area. 

 The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the state government and police chief regarding ongoing violence and human rights violations in the area. 

 Recognising the gravity of the situation, the NHRC has additionally decided to "dispatch its team to verify facts through an on-site investigation" into the occurrences of "human rights violations" in Sandeshkhali, according to official sources.

 A large number of women in Sandeshkhali had accused Trinamool Congress strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of "land-grab and sexually assaulting" them under coercion. Shajahan has been absconding after a mob, allegedly affiliated with him, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a ration scam on January 5. PTI
14:15   PM may meet Sandeshkhali women on March 6
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address a women's rally in Barasat in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on March 6, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said on Thursday. 

 Majumdar said if the tortured women of Sandeshkhali express their willingness to meet the PM, the party will facilitate a meeting. 

 "Today, we came to know that the prime minister will be visiting the state on March 6 and will address a women's rally at Barasat," Majumdar told reporters. 

 Asked whether the PM will meet the women from Sandeshkhali, which is also located in North 24 Parganas, Majumdar said, "If the sisters and mothers of Sandeshkhali want to meet Modi, we will definitely arrange it."

 A large number of women in Sandeshkhali have accused Trinamool Congress strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of "land-grab and sexually assaulting" them under coercion. Shajahan has been absconding after a mob, allegedly affiliated with him, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a ration scam on January 5.
14:03   AAP, Cong seal 4-3 seat sharing deal in Delhi: Sources
Talks between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress over seat sharing in Delhi for the Lok Sabha polls are in final stages and the two sides are likely to announce their tie-up soon, sources said on Thursday.

Both sides have agreed on the seats to be contested by each party.

The AAP will field candidates from the South Delhi, West Delhi, North West Delhi and New Delhi seats, while the Congress will contest from the Chandni Chowk, East Delhi and North East Delhi constituencies, the sources in the Aam Aadmi Party said.

All the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital are currently held by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday that the talks over the alliance were delayed and hinted at fresh developments in the next one or two days.

The Lok Sabha polls are likely to be held in April-May.  -- PTI
14:02   Murder of democracy: Congress slams govt over X's statement
The Congress alleged on Thursday that democracy is being "murdered" in the country, after microblogging platform X voiced disagreement with the BJP-led Centre's order to block accounts and posts related to ongoing farmers' protests. 

 X also called for extending freedom of expression to the affected posts. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has ordered social media platforms to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers' protests on the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), according to sources. 

 Tagging a statement issued by X's Global Government Affairs team, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Murder Of Democracy in India." 

 In its statement, the microblogging platform said: "The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts." 

 It said a writ appeal challenging the government's blocking orders remains pending and called for making the order public to enhance transparency.

 "Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making," X said.
13:16   ED searches Hiranandani group in FEMA probe
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday searches the premises of prominent real estate group Hiranandani on charges of foreign exchange violation, official sources said. About four-five premises in and around Mumbai are being covered. The probe pertains to alleged contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the sources said. PTI
12:48   Netflix defers release of Indrani Mukherjea docu till Feb 29
Update: OTT platform Netflix on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it would not release the documentary series on Indrani Mukerjea, who is facing trial for allegedly killing her daughter Sheena Bora, till February 29.

 A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Manjusha Deshpande directed the makers of the series to hold a special screening of the series for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the prosecuting agency. 

The docu-series, titled 'The Indrani Mukerjea Story: The Buried Truth', delves into the disappearance of 25-year-old Bora and was scheduled to premiere on streaming platform Netflix on February 23 (Friday). 

The CBI had filed a petition in the high court, seeking a stay on its release till the trial in the case is complete. 

The bench on Thursday sought to know from the makers of the series if it was willing to hold a screening of the series for the CBI. 

"Why should the CBI not be allowed to see the series. What is the difficulty in sharing the docu-series?" the court asked. 

"While an accused has rights, even the prosecution and victim in a case have rights," it noted. 

 Senior counsel Ravi Kadam, appearing for Netflix, initially opposed and said this would amount to pre-censorship. He added that the CBI ought to have moved the court against the series earlier and should not have waited till the last moment. 

The bench, however, said that the trial in the case was still ongoing and statements of witnesses are still being recorded.

 "It (release of the series) can be deferred for a week...Heavens are not going to fall," the HC said.

 Kadam said the court could also view the series if it wishes to. The bench quipped that it does not have the time to watch series. The court, however, asked the CBI's advocate Shreeram Shirsat to also watch the series during the special screening. 

"What your (CBI) officer may think and perceive is different from a law officer. You (Shirsat) are officer of the court. We are giving you an opportunity to view it," the court said. Kadam then made a statement to the bench that till the next hearing of the matter on February 29 the docu-series would not be released on the streaming platform.
12:38   Netflix to show Indrani Mukherjea docu to CBI
The Bombay High Court asks Netflix to allow the CBI to view the docuseries, "Buried Truth - the Indrani Mukerjea Story".The docuseries will not go on air tomorrow.

The release of the Netflix documentary on Indrani Mukerjea, a former media boss accused of murdering her 25-year-old daughter, has been stalled for now. 

The Bombay High Court has ruled that "The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth" must be screened on Netflix only after it has been shown to the CBI, which is investigating the Sheena Bora murder case. The documentary was to release tomorrow.

In its application filed through public prosecutor C J Nandode, the CBI asked the court to issue direction to accused and other concerned for staying/stopping the featuring of the accused persons and the persons connected with the case in the documentary by Netflix and its broadcasting on any platform till the conclusion of the ongoing trial.
12:12   HC quashes LOCs against Rhea Chakraborty
The Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed the Look Out Circulars (LOCs) issued against Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and father by the CBI in connection with its probe into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. 

 A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Manjusha Deshpande allowed the petitions filed by Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and their father Indrajit against the LOCs issued against them in 2020. 

 CBI's advocate Shreeram Shirsat requested the bench to stay the operation of its order for a period of four weeks so that the agency could file an appeal in the Supreme Court. 

 The HC bench, however, refused to stay its order. Rajput was found dead in his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14, 2020.

 While the Mumbai police registered an Accidental Death Report and started a probe into the case, Rajput's father in July 2020 lodged a complaint with the Bihar police, alleging that the actor's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her family members had abetted his suicide. 

 The case was later transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which has since then been carrying out a probe into it. 

 The LOCs were issued in August 2020 against Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and their father. In September last year, the high court granted a temporary suspension on the LOC issued against Showik enabling him to travel abroad.
11:50   ED issues 7th summons to CM Kejriwal
The Directorate of Enforcement on Thursday issued the seventh summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to appear before the agency. Sources say the Delhi CM has been asked to appear before the ED on February 26.

On February 14, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued a sixth summons to the Delhi Chief Minister in the money laundering probe related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 case, asking him to join the investigation on February 19.

The fresh summons to the Delhi Chief Minister were issued after he skipped the fifth summons on February 2.Arvind Kejriwal had earlier skipped five previous summons issued by the ED on February 2, January 18, January 3, November 2 and December 22, calling them "illegal and politically motivated."

The ED wants to record Kejriwal's statement in the case on issues like the formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalised, and allegations of bribery.
11:35   When the CJI had Covid PM called him and said...
CJI DY Chandrachud inaugurates the AYUSH Holistic Wellness Centre at the Supreme Court premises.

CJI Chandrachud says, "I have been associated with AYUSH since Covid broke. I had a really bad attack of Covid and the Prime Minister called me up and said, 'I believe that you are down with Covid and I hope everything is fine. I realize that you are not in good shape but we'll do everything. There is a vaidya who is also a secretary at AYUSH and I'll arrange a call with him who'll send you medicine.

"I took medicine from AYUSH when I was down with Covid. The 2nd & 3rd times when I had Covid, I didn't take any allopathic medicine at all.

"All judges, their families and more than 2000 staff members of the Supreme Court, I am very concerned about them as they don't get the facilities that judges have. I want them to have a holistic pattern of life... I would like to thank the minister Sarbananda Sonowal..."
11:19   And the person is...
So, the person skiing in the gorgeous snow-laden slopes of Gulmarg in Kashmir is its former chief minister -- Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah has been camping in white, white Gulmarg for the last several days and shares amazing pictures of the hill station like the one alongside, every day. 

11:15   PM offers sugarcane price sop to protesting farmers
After the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs increased the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the government is committed to fulfilling every resolution related to the welfare of our farmer across the country.

"Our government is committed to fulfilling every resolution related to the welfare of our farmer brothers and sisters across the country. In this context, a historic increase in the price of sugarcane has been approved. This step will benefit crores of our sugarcane-producing farmers," PM Modi posted on X.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane for Sugar Season 2024-25 at Rs 340 per quintal at a sugar recovery rate of 10.25 per cent. 

"This was the historic price of sugarcane, which is about 8 per cent higher than the FRP of sugarcane for the current season (2023-24). 

"The revised FRP will be applicable from October 1, 2024."At 107 per cent higher than the A2+FL cost of sugarcane, the new FRP will ensure the prosperity of sugarcane farmers. 

"It is noteworthy that India is already paying the highest price of sugarcane in the world and despite that, the government is ensuring the world's cheapest sugar for domestic consumers in Bharat," a Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs release said.

"This decision of the Central Government is going to benefit more than 5 crore sugarcane farmers (including family members) and lakhs of other persons involved in the sugar sector. It re-confirms the fulfilment of the Modi ki Guarantee to double farmers' income," the release said. -- ANI
A still from the documentary
A still from the documentary
10:47   BJP releases documentary on Sandeshkhali women
The BJP on Thursday released a documentary on its social media handles to highlight the alleged land grab and sexual exploitation of women at Sandeshkhali in West Bengal and attacked the state's Trinamool Congress government. 

 The BJP said on X about the over 20-minute long video, "A truth that'll shock us. A truth that'll pain us. A truth that'll shake our conscience. The truth of #Sandeshkhali, that Mamata Banerjee is trying to hide..." 

 The documentary has several Sandeshkhali women speaking of the crimes they were subjected to. The TMC has accused the BJP of being behind the allegations. 

 The BJP, the main opposition party in the state, has seized on the issue to mount a strong attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. Local women have accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault under coercion.

 Shahjahan is absconding following his suspected involvement in a violent attack on Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to raid his house in connection with a corruption case. PTI
A Pak drone that was downed in Punjab last year
A Pak drone that was downed in Punjab last year
10:23   Drone-dropped IED found at Indo-Pak border in J-K
The Border Security Force (BSF) found a drone-dropped improvised explosive device (IED) near the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district on Thursday, an official said. 

 The IED was found in the Manyari post area, near the zero line, during a search operation that was launched after the BSF troops noticed the movement of a Pakistani drone in the morning hours and opened fire to bring it down, the official said. 

 He said the search operation was going on when last reports were received. The drone is believed to have returned to the Pakistani side, the official said, adding that the IED that was dropped in a forward village is being examined by experts. PTI
10:13   Who is this?
This is a video grab of a very well-known politician skiing in Gulmarg. Who is he/she?

Answer in a bit.  
10:06   'X' protests govt order to block farmer stir posts
Social media platform X on Thursday expressed disagreement with the Indian government's order to block accounts and posts related to the ongoing farmers' protests and called for extending freedom of expression to the affected posts.

 The Ministry of Electronics and IT has ordered social media platforms to temporarily block 177 accounts that were linked to farmers' protests on request of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to sources. 

 "The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts," X said in a post. 

 The social media platform said that a writ appeal challenging the Indian government's blocking orders remains pending and called for making the order public to enhance transparency. 

 "Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making," X said.

 The social media firm has provided the impacted users with notice of the government actions in accordance with the company's policies. Farmers from across the country have been protesting to press for their demands, including a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farm debt waiver. -- PTI 
Sandeshkhali women welcome BJP's Suvendu Adhikari
Sandeshkhali women welcome BJP's Suvendu Adhikari
09:35   Will hear each complaint in Sandeshkhali: DGP
West Bengal DGP Rajeev Kumar on Thursday said that police will listen to the complaints of every individual in Sandeshkhali and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.

 Kumar, who went to Sandeshkhali on Wednesday and stayed there overnight to assess the situation in the troubled areas in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, assured of strict action against those found involved in torturing women there. 

 "We will listen to the complaints of every individual. If there is any incident we will take strict action against those found guilty. If people are found involved in torturing, we will take appropriate action against them," Kumar told reporters at Dhamakhali this morning. 

 Kumar, in his first visit to the area, since the protests began, held meetings with ADG South Bengal Supratim Sarkar, Basirhat Police District SP Hasan Mehedi Rehman and other police officers and also visited adjoining islands of Situlia, Sardarpara, Manipur on Wednesday evening to understand the situation there. 

 A special team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) constituted to investigate allegations of sexual violence and land grabbing will visit Sandeshkhali on Thursday. -- PTI
09:18   Cong leader YS Sharmila spends night in office to...
In a sudden turn of political events in Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh Congress Chief YS Sharmila Reddy spent the night in her party office at Vijayawada as in an attempt to avoid house arrest.

Sharmila's move came a day ahead of 'Chalo Secretariat' protest by Congress cadre under her leadership on Thursday.

Demanding that the state government address the problems being faced by unemployed youth and students, Congress cadre has given a call of 'Chalo Secretariat' protest.

Speaking to the media at Andhra Ratna Bhavan in Vijayawada, YS Sharmila said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had utterly failed in addressing important issues of youth, unemployed and students in the last five years.

Taking to her account on X she wrote, "If we call for protest on behalf of the unemployed, will you try to keep us under house arrest? Don't we have the right to protest in a democracy? Is it not shameful that as a woman I have been forced to evade the police and spend the night in the Congress Party office to avoid house arrest?"

Further lashing out at the state government, she said, "Are we terrorists...or anti-social forces? They are trying to stop us... It means they (the government) are afraid of us. They are trying to hide their incompetence, the real truth. Even if they try to stop us, stop our workers, our struggle on behalf of the unemployed will not stop."

In a fresh post on Thursday the newly elected Andhra Congress State President said, "Thousands of policemen were placed around us. Iron fences have been put up and we have been held hostage. If we stand on the side of the unemployed, they are arresting us. You are dictators who are trying to stop us. Your actions are proof of this. YCP Sarkar should apologize to the unemployed."

Congress in charge of Andhra Pradesh, Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore also criticised the state government for what it termed was a dictatorial approach.

Standing up against Jagan's arrogance and standing for democracy, "Joining YS Sharmila and countless others in condemning the unjust behavior of Jagan's police for the suppression of democratic rights against advocates for the unemployed. It's time to uphold the fundamental principles of democracy and respect the right to peaceful protest" Manickam Tagore posted on X.
08:30   Seattle cop who killed Jaahnavi Kandula set free
The Seattle police officer who struck and killed Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula while responding to an overdose call, will not face any criminal charges due to lack of 'sufficient' evidence, authorities said.

On Wednesday, the King County Prosecutor's Office said they will not move forward with criminal charges against Seattle Police Officer Kevin Dave, FOX13 Seattle reported.

In a statement released Wednesday, the King County Prosecuting Attorney said, "Kandula's death is heartbreaking and impacted communities in King County and across the world."

Kandula, 23, was struck by a police vehicle driven by Officer Dave when she was crossing a street in Seattle on January 23. He was driving 74 mph (more than 119 kmh) on the way to a report of a drug overdose call.

Kandula was thrown 100 feet when she was struck by the speeding police patrol vehicle.

In bodycam footage released by the Seattle Police Department, Officer Daniel Auderer laughed about the deadly crash and dismissed any implication Dave might be at fault or that a criminal investigation was necessary.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion said that she believes they lack the evidence to prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt, the report added.

"It is the responsibility of the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office to review all available evidence relating to the case involving Seattle Police Officer Kevin Dave and the January 2023 collision death of Jaahnavi Kandula. After staffing this case with senior deputy prosecuting attorneys and office leadership, I have determined that we lack sufficient evidence under Washington State law to prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt."

The statement also said that the prosecutor's office also finds the comments made by Seattle Police Officer Daniel Auderer, recorded on his body-worn video, 'appalling and deeply troubling'.

Auderer, who was not involved in the January collision, was captured in the video saying, 'But she is dead' and laughing while on the phone.

"She was 26 anyway," Auderer said in the video. "She had limited value."

"Officer Auderer's comments were also unprofessional and undermined the public's trust in the Seattle Police Department and law enforcement in general," said Manion.

"As egregious as Officer Auderer's comments are, they do not change the PAO's legal analysis into the conduct of Officer Dave. It is the Office of Police Accountability that bears the responsibility of disciplinary investigation and proceedings relating to Officer Auderer's comment, not the PAO."

Auderer was pulled from patrol in September 2023 and reassigned to a 'non-operational position'.

Auderer could still be fired after the fallout of his insensitive comments captured on bodycam.

Auderer's chain of command and the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) found he acted unprofessionally. For that, he faces the highest disciplinary range of nearly two weeks suspension up to termination, according to a disciplinary action report.

Before a final disciplinary decision, Auderer will have the chance to meet with Police Chief Adrian Diaz to disagree.

His disciplinary hearing is scheduled for March 4, K5 News reported.

Seattle local media reported that speed was the cause of the collision, as the speed at which Dave was travelling did 'not allow (Kandula) or him sufficient time to detect, address and avoid a hazard that presented itself'.

Dave was responding to a 'priority one' call at the request of the Seattle Fire Department, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to the police report, the officer was responding to a report of a drug overdose.

The officer did not have his siren activated continuously. Instead, the officer 'chirped' his siren at the intersection.

He did have his emergency lights on, according to a previous statement from the police department.

In a memo to Seattle police, prosecutors wrote there was not enough evidence to prove Dave showed 'conscious disregard for others safety'.

A drug recognition expert responded to the scene and found no impairment in the officer.

Kandula was a graduate student at Northeastern University at the Seattle campus.

The university said in January 2023 that they would award her degree posthumously and present it to her family.  -- PTI
File image
File image
01:15   BJP president Nadda calls on Maha CM Shinde during Mumbai visit
Bharatiya Janata Party president JP Nadda on Wednesday called on Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at the latter's official residence 'Varsha' in South Mumbai. 

Shinde's office described the meeting as a "courtesy visit". 

The BJP president is on a two-day tour of Mumbai to interact with party workers from all the six Lok Sabha constituencies of the metropolis ahead of the parliamentary polls likely to be held in April-May. 

Nadda was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and the party's state unit head Chandrashekar Bawankule during his visit to Shinde's residence. 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP and the undivided Shiv Sena, its then-ally, had won three seats each in Mumbai. 

Out of the three MPs who won on united Shiv Sena's tickets in 2019, Rahul Shewale (Mumbai South Central) and Gajanan Kirtikar (Mumbai North West) are with the party faction led by Shinde. 

The third MP, Arvind Sawant (Mumbai South), is with the Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray headed by former CM Uddhav Thackeray. -- PTI
00:59   Zimbabwean woman jailed for 10 years in drugs case
A Zimbabwean woman who was apprehended with drugs at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport two years ago was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment by a special court here on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old woman was found guilty under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act by Special Judge A V Kharkar. 

As per the prosecution, the Air Intelligence Unit at the Mumbai international airport intercepted Rosie Daimon upon her arrival in the city on February 13, 2022.

A search led to the recovery of 7,006 grams of heroin and 1,480 grams of white crystal granules, which is a combination of heroin and methamphetamine, the prosecution said.

The woman claimed her innocence, citing abject poverty due to her origin from a third-world nation. 

She said her cousin was a part of a Zimbabwean gang and he lured her with money. 

The cousin passed on a bag to her, saying it contained medical equipment and asked her to carry it to India, the woman told the court.

Referring to the evidence, the court said it precipitates that the woman was found in possession of commercial quantities of contraband methamphetamine and heroin. -- PTI
00:37   Nine killed in tempo-truck collision in Bihar; PM, CM condole deaths
At least nine people returning from a wedding were killed and five others were injured in a head-on collision between a truck and a tempo in Bihar's Lakhisarai district on Wednesday, the police said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar condoled the deaths.

The accident took place at Biharaura village during the early hours, a police officer said.

"The road accident that happened in Lakhisarai, Bihar is very sad. My condolences to those who lost their loved ones in this accident. Along with this, I wish speedy recovery of all the injured. Under the supervision of the state government, the local administration is engaged in providing all possible assistance to the victims," the PMO posted on X.

The CMO's office, in a statement, said that the CM has expressed his deep anguish at the accident in Lakhisarai district and offered his condolences to the bereaved families.

"The local administration is providing all necessary support to the injured," it added. -- PTI
Leader of Opposition in Bengal assembly and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari meets local people of Sandeshkhali /ANI Photo
Leader of Opposition in Bengal assembly and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari meets local people of Sandeshkhali /ANI Photo
00:13   NCST team in Sandeshkhali to probe sexual abuse
A three-member National Commission for Scheduled Tribes team reached West Bengal Wednesday to investigate complaints of sexual harassment of tribal women in Sandeshkhali of North 24 Parganas district, sources said. 

Led by vice chairperson Ananta Nayak, the team will also inquire into the complaints of tribal land grabbing by "people associated with the Trinamool Congress", a source told PTI. 

The commission has also issued notices to the chief secretary of West Bengal and the state police head, asking them to submit factual and action taken reports within three days. 

The NCST inquiry comes amid a political uproar ahead of the Lok Sabha elections over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali. 

The riverine Sandeshkhali area, situated on the borders of the Sunderbans about 100 kilometres from Kolkata, has been witnessing protests after local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grabbing and sexual assault under coercion. 

"The commission has decided to investigate/inquire into the matter in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338A of the Constitution of India. You are hereby requested to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the said allegations/matters to the undersigned within 3 days of receipt of this notice either by post, in person, or by any other means of communication," the NCST notice to the state's chief secretary and police head read. -- PTI