Fri, 21 June 2024
Cracks on approach road, not on Atal Setu: MMRDA

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Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar/Courtesy Ravindra Waikar/Facebook
Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar/Courtesy Ravindra Waikar/Facebook
23:51   Independent candidate moves HC against Sena candidate Waikar's LS win
An independent candidate from Mumbai North West constituency on Friday moved Bombay high court challenging the win of Shiv Sena's Ravindra Waikar in the Lok Sabha elections, results of which were announced on June 4. 

Alleging malpractices and illegalities in the counting, defeated candidate Bharat Shah, in his plea, sought HC to declare the results of the Mumbai North West constituency as null and void. 

Waikar won the poll from the constituency by just 48 votes against his nearest Shiv Sena-UBT rival Amol Kirtikar. Shah, from the Hindu Samaj Party, contested as an independent candidate and received 937 out of the 9,54,939 votes polled in the constituency. 

Shah, in his plea also. sought direction to the Election Commission of India to probe the alleged fraud. 

Shah claimed initially Kirtikar was in the lead but Waikar later emerged victorious by just 48 votes. 

He alleged EVMs in the constituency were utilized for "unfair practices and selective misuse". 

"Due to this incident, some serious concerns have been further raised about the transparency in the electoral process," Shah's plea said. 

It alleged certain close associates of Waikar, including his daughter, were present in the control room of the polling centre and were using their mobile phones, which is not permitted. -- PTI
Atal Setu/File image
Atal Setu/File image
23:30   Cracks on approach road, not on Atal Setu: MMRDA
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on Friday clarified that minor cracks were found on the approach road connecting Atal Setu in Ulwe, which is not a part of the bridge but is a service road connecting the bridge. 

MMRDA stated that the cracks are not due to structural defects in the project and do not pose any threat to the structure of the bridge. 

MMRDA also labelled the news as 'rumours' and urged the citizens not to believe them. 

According to MMRDA, these minor cracks were already noticed at three places on Ramp No. 5, from Ulwe towards Mumbai, on Thursday during an inspection by the Operation and Maintenance Team of the Project and require immediate repair. 

Strabag, the contractor of Package 4 of the Atal Setu project, has started the repair work in the said area and the work will be completed within 24 hours without any disruption to the traffic on the bridge. 

The official statement reads, "It has been noticed that there is no crack in the main part of Atal Setu Bridge but rumours are being spread in various media about it. Please don't believe the rumours. Minor cracks have been found on the approach road connecting Atal Setu. The said footpath is not a part of the main bridge but is a service road connecting the bridge. It is also very important to note that the cracks are not due to structural defects in the project and do not pose any threat to the structure of the bridge." -- ANI
CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury (right) and CPI's D Raja (second from right)/File image
CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury (right) and CPI's D Raja (second from right)/File image
23:11   New Chinese ambassador meets Left leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja
New Chinese ambassador to India Xu Feihong on Friday met CPI-M and CPI leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, respectively. 

Xu Feihong, who took charge as China's envoy to India last month, shared photographs of his meetings with the two Left leaders on 'X'. 

In two identical posts, the ambassador said he was glad to meet the leaders and added that they exchanged views on China-India relations and international and regional issues of common interest. 

Sources from both CPI-M and CPI described the meeting as a courtesy call by the new ambassador. 

Xu Feihong was appointed by President Xi Jinping on May 7 after an unusual delay of 18 months. 

He arrived in New Delhi on May 10 to take charge of his office. 

The senior diplomat is the 17th Chinese ambassador to India. 

He succeeded veteran diplomat Sun Weidong who left India after completing his tenure in October 2022. -- PTI
File image/Umar Ganie for
File image/Umar Ganie for
22:56   3 held for providing shelter to terrorists in J-K's Doda
Three people have been arrested for allegedly providing shelter and food to terrorists involved in the attack on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district last week, senior superintendent of police Javid Iqbal said. 

The terrorists had attacked a joint checkpost of the army and police at Chattergalla and Kota Top areas of the district on June 11 and 12, injuring six army personnel and two policemen. 

The police have arrested "terror associates" Sadar Wani, Mubashir and Sajjad, all residents of Draman village in Tanta Panchayat of the Gandoh Sub Division, the Doda SSP said. 

They provided food and logistics to Pakistani terrorists in exchange for money, Iqbal said. 

He said two terrorist groups are responsible for the Chattergalla and Kota Top attacks. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
22:06   NTA cancels yet another entrance examination
The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Friday postponed the Joint CSIR-UGC-NET Examination June 2024 which was scheduled to be held between June 25 and June 27. 

In a press release, the NTA said that the exam is being postponed due to unavoidable circumstances as well as logistic issues. 

The revised schedule for the conduct of this examination will be announced later through the official website. 

NTA further said that for any queries or /clarifications, candidates can call NTA help desk at 011- 40759000 or 011-69227700 or write to NTA at 

The education ministry had cancelled the UGC-NET held on June 18 "to ensure the highest level of transparency and sanctity" of the examination process, a ministry release earlier said. 

As per the release by the education ministry, the University Grants Commission (UGC) received certain inputs from the National Cyber Crime Threat Analytics Unit of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) indicating that the integrity of the examination may have been compromised. 

Simultaneously, the matter is being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for thorough investigation in the matter, it added. 

The exam was attended by 81 per cent of over 11.21 lakh registered candidates for the exam in 317 cities across the country, UGC chairman Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said.
21:59   OBC leader Ramesh Kuthe quits BJP
Former MLA Rameshkumar Kuthe on Friday resigned from the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party. 

The OBC leader's exit could be a setback for the BJP in eastern Maharashtra's Gondia district ahead of assembly elections. 

His associates and followers wanted him to leave the party, Kuthe wrote in his resignation letter addressed to state BJP chief Chandrashekar Bawankule. Kuthe had represented Gondia in Maharashtra assembly as a Shiv Sena legislator in 1995 and 1999. 

He was with the BJP since 2018, but the recent visit of state Congress chief Nana Patole to his residence had led to speculation about his future moves. -- PTI
Representational image of Hinduja family
Representational image of Hinduja family
21:32   Swiss court sentences 4 of Hinduja family for exploiting domestic help
Just In: A Swiss court sentences 4 members of the wealthy Hinduja family to up to 4 1/2 years for exploiting domestic workers, PTI has reported quoting AP.

Details soon.
File image/Andrew Yates/Reuters
File image/Andrew Yates/Reuters
20:53   Tata Steel workers in UK call first strikes in 40 years
Around 1,500 steelworkers based in Port Talbot and Llanwern in Wales will begin "all-out indefinite strike action' from July 8 in protest against what they see as Tata Steel's plans to cut 2,800 jobs and close its blast furnaces. 

Unite the Union said it is the first time in over 40 years that steelworkers in the UK have taken strike action aimed at severely impacting Tata Steel UK's operations. 

The so-called "escalation' in industrial action comes after members of Unite had already begun working to rule and an overtime ban earlier this week. 

"Tata's workers are not just fighting for their jobs -- they are fighting for the future of their communities and the future of steel in Wales," said Unite general secretary Sharon Graham. 

"The strikes will go on until Tata halts its disastrous plans. Unite is backing Tata's workers to the hilt in their historic battle to save the Welsh steel industry and give it the bright future it deserves," she said. 

The union claims the Opposition Labour Party has called for the Mumbai-headquartered steel major to halt its plans and wait until after the July 4 general election to engage in talks with a newly elected government. -- PTI
The father of the accused 17-year-old boy involved in the Porsche accident/ANI Photo
The father of the accused 17-year-old boy involved in the Porsche accident/ANI Photo
20:37   Porsche teen's father, five other accused get bail
A court in Pune on Friday granted bail to the father of the juvenile accused in one of the cases pertaining to the Porsche car crash in which two software professionals were killed in the city last month. 

The court also granted bail to five other accused, including the owner and managers of two bars who were arrested for allegedly serving liquor to the underage patrons. 

On May 19, two IT professionals were killed in Kalyani Nagar in Pune after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding Porsche car allegedly driven by the juvenile in an inebriated condition. 

The case caused a national uproar after the Juvenile Justice Board member LN Danwade gave bail to the accused on very lenient terms, including writing a 300-word essay on road safety. 

The police had registered a case against the teenage accused's father, Vishal Agrawal, a real estate developer, under sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act, and against the owner and staff members of the two bars -- Cosie and Club Blak -- for serving alcohol to an underage person. -- PTI
Former BJP leader Eknath Khadse
Former BJP leader Eknath Khadse
20:25   Ex-BJP leader Eknath Khadse meets Amit Shah
Former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Eknath Khadse on Friday met Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi. 

He was accompanied by newly appointed Union minister and his daughter-in-law Raksha Khadse. 

The veteran leader from Maharashtra who is currently with the NCP-SP led by Sharad Pawar said that it was a courtesy call. 

"Raksha Khadse has been made Union minister of state for sports. So we went to thank Amit Shah for it," he said, adding that politics was not discussed in the five-minute meeting. 

Raksha, a BJP leader, won from the Raver Lok Sabha seat for the third time in the recently held elections. Asked about his re-entry into the BJP which is awaited for the last few months, Eknath Khadse said," Let's wait." 

He was associated with the BJP for more than four decades before joining the Nationalist Congress Party in 2020 and becoming a member of the state legislative council. -- PTI
Hardeep Singh Nijjar/Courtesy Twitter
Hardeep Singh Nijjar/Courtesy Twitter
20:07   India criticises Canadian parliament observing 'one minute silence' in memory of Nijjar
India on Friday was critical of the Canadian parliament observing "one minute silence" in the memory of Khalistan extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down in Surrey, British Columbia, in June last year.  

"We naturally oppose any moves giving political space to extremism and advocacy of violence," external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said.

In an unusual move, the Canadian parliament observed "one minute silence" two days ago in memory of Nijjar.

The relations between the two countries came under severe strain following Trudeau's allegations in September last year of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in Nijjar's killing. -- PTI
A view of the Longest Sea Bridge Atal Setu in Mumbai/ANI Photo
A view of the Longest Sea Bridge Atal Setu in Mumbai/ANI Photo
19:32   Cracks on Atal Setu just months after opening: Cong
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole on Friday alleged corruption in the construction of the Atul Setu sea bridge connecting south Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, saying that cracks have appeared on it within months of inauguration, posing a threat to people's lives. 

Patole, who inspected the bridge during the day, claimed that the construction quality of the bridge was poor and that a portion of the road has caved in by one foot. 

However, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which is the nodal agency for the project, said that the cracks were not on the bridge itself but on the approach road from Ulwe in Navi Mumbai. 

The 'Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu', also known as the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, that connects south Mumbai with the satellite city of Navi Mumbai, was inaugurated in January this year. 

Built at a cost of Rs 17,840 crore, this six-lane bridge is 21.8 km long with a 16.5 km sea-link. 

Talking to reporters, Patole alleged that the state government has crossed all limits of corruption and put people's lives at risk. 

"A portion of the Atal Setu bridge has developed cracks within three months of the inauguration and a half-a-kilometre-long stretch of the road near Navi Mumbai has caved in by a foot. The state has spent Rs 18,000 crore for the MTHL," he said. 

"The bridge has been named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and yet the government indulged in corruption. This is very unfortunate," he said. -- PTI
File image
File image
19:25   Can't rule out merger of Left parties in future: CPI-ML-Liberation
A merger of the Left parties some time in future cannot be ruled out but no immediate possibilities as such are there, Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist-Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said. 

He also said in the days to come, as the climate crisis becomes a major political issue, the Left will be in focus again. 

In an interview with PTI Editors at the agency's headquarters, the CPI-ML leader said differences remain amid different Left parties, but added that India needs a strong Left formation. 

Asked about the possibility of a merger of the Left parties, Bhattacharya said, "I will not rule it out, but I don't really see any immediate possibility." "There was one communist party in India till 1964. It has been in history that there have been differences and the differences led to the formation of different parties," he said. 

"So maybe in future, yes, because India does need a strong left formation... There are political and ideological differences. There may not be very major differences, but till the differences are sorted out, it is difficult to expect complete unification," he said. 

The Communist Party of India, which was founded on December 26, 1925, was split in 1964 and the Communist Party of India-Marxist was formed. 

Discussions around reunification of the parties have resurfaced from time to time. 

However, no agreement has been reached. 

The CPI-ML meanwhile originated from the Naxalbari movement of 1964 and was founded in 1969. 

The CPI-ML-Liberation was formed after a split in the party in 1974. 

Bhattacharya said differences remain among the Left parties in terms of policies as well as articulation. -- PTI
19:02   Petrol to be dearer by Re 1, diesel 36 paise in Goa from tomorrow; Oppn slams govt
The Goa government has announced a hike in Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel with effect from Saturday, which will raise the price of petrol by Re 1 and diesel by 36 paise, an official said. 

The notification on this hike was issued on Friday by under secretary (finance) in the state government Pranab G Bhat. "The rise in VAT means petrol and diesel price will go up by Re 1 and 36 paise, respectively. 

The current price of petrol in Goa is Rs 95.40 per litre, while it is Rs 87.90 per litre for diesel," the official said. 

Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Yuri Alemao called it the act of an "insensitive government" and said the hike must be withdrawn immediately. 

The Pramod Sawant government must curb wasteful expenditure instead of carrying out such hikes, he said. 

"The state government wants to break the backbone of the common people. Just recently, they hiked the power tariff and today we have rise in petrol and diesel prices," Alemao said. 

In a post on X, Goa Aam Aadmi Pary chief Amit Palekar said, "To fuel the ever rising need of corruption of @BJP4Goa led by CM @DrPramodPSawant after electricity price hike now BJP puts hands in the pockets of common again by raising fuel prices. How much more you will make common man suffer?" -- PTI
18:44   Canada's court upholds no-fly list for Sikh separatists
Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal of two alleged Khalistan supporters who sought to be taken off from a no-fly list they were placed on in 2018. 

Bhagat Singh Brar and Parvkar Singh Dulai, also known as Parry Dullai had sought removal from Canada's no-fly list after being barred from boarding flights in Vancouver in 2018, the Globe and Mail reported. 

The court noted that, based on confidential security information, there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the two men intended to travel by air to commit terrorism offences. 

The Canada based publication reported that this week's ruling confirmed the previous decision by a lower court, upholding the constitutionality of the country's Secure Air Travel Act. 

This legislation grants the public safety minister authority to prohibit individuals from flying if there are "reasonable grounds to suspect they will threaten transportation security or travel by air to commit a terrorism offence." 

Brar and Dulai argued that their inclusion on the no-fly list infringed on their Charter rights. -- ANI
18:33   Elgar Parishad case: SC grants interim bail to activist Mahesh Raut
The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail for two weeks to activist Mahesh Raut, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, for attending the rituals following the death of his grandmother. 

A vacation bench of justices Vikram Nath and S V N Bhatti directed that the interim bail will commence from June 26 and Raut shall surrender without fail on July 10. 

The bench passed the order on his application seeking interim bail to attend the rituals which are likely to be held on June 29-30 and July 5-6. 

"Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the period of incarceration already undergone by the respondent and also the nature of request made for the purpose, we are inclined to grant two weeks interim bail to the applicant (Raut) which may commence from June 26, 2024 and end on July 10, 2024," the bench said. 

It said the terms and conditions of the release shall be determined by the special court and the National Investigation Agency would be at liberty to request the trial court to impose such stringent conditions as may be necessary. 

"The applicant, on being released on June 26, shall surrender without fail on July 10, 2024, that is, on completion of two weeks," it said. 

The top court had in September last year extended the stay granted by the Bombay high court on the implementation of its verdict granting bail to Raut. -- PTI
17:52   HC lifts stay on release of Aamir Khan's son's debut film
The Gujarat high court on Friday lifted the interim stay to the release of Maharaj, debut film of Bollywood star Aamir Khan's son Junaid, observing that there is nothing derogatory in the movie and it does not target the Pushtimarg sect as alleged. 

The film is based on an 1862 libel case involving a Vaishnavite religious leader and social reformer Karsandas Mulji. 

Some members of the Pushtimarg sect had filed a petition against its release on Netflix, claiming that it hurts religious sentiments. 

Justice Sangeeta Vishen had on June 13 given an interim stay to the release of the movie on the OTT platform. 

In her order on Friday, the judge noted that the movie has been certified by CBFC and it does not target the sect.
17:35   Why Sonowal is grateful for Modi's yoga scarf
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday expressed his deep gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for showing his "love and affection" for the 'Gamosa' of Assam by adorning it during the International Day of Yoga event in Srinagar.

The Prime Minister was seen adorning a 'Gamosa' of Assam during the 10th International Day of Yoga event at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar today morning.PM Modi had worn it on many occasions earlier also.

"Associated with this beloved Gamosa is the spiritual devotion and solidarity of the devout masses of Krishnaguru Sevashram. On behalf of the people of Assam as well as the devotees of Krishnaguru Sevashram, I express my deep gratitude to Modi ji for once again showing his love and affection for the Gamosa," the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterway said.
16:58   HC order on ED plea against Kejri bail next week
Arvind Kejriwal bail hearing: The Delhi High Court has stayed the order of bail till the order on the ED plea is pronounced. The order will be out by Monday or Tuesday. The High Court has asked the counsel to file the written submissions by Monday. 

In effect, the high court stays the trial court order granting bail to Kejriwal till it pronounces order on the ED plea. The Delhi High Court reserves order on the ED plea seeking stay on trial court order. Delhi HC says that it will pass the order on the ED plea in two to three days.
File pic
File pic
16:44   Indians who died on Haj had illnesses: MEA
The External Affairs Ministry on Friday informed that 98 Indians died in Mecca this year during Hajj pilgrimage.

On the death of Haj pilgrims from India, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal says, "This year we have 175,000 Indians who have already visited Hajj. So far we have lost 98 of our citizens. These deaths have happened on account of natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and also old age. On the day of Arafat, six Indians died and four Indians died on account of accidents. Last year the figure of Indians who died in Hajj was 187."
16:37   Bangladesh PM arrives in Delhi
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi on a state visit to India. This is probably the first time the PM is not wearing he gorgeous Dhakai Jaamdani saris.
16:26   Met Yuvi's cutie yoga guru?
Yuvraj Singh shares this loved-up picture on Yoga Day writing, "Meet my new Yoga teacher #InternationalYogaDay."
16:17   Markets halt record-breaking rally
Halting their record-breaking rally, equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty buckled under selling pressure as investors pared exposure to oil & gas, capital goods and FMCG stocks amid a bearish trend in global markets.

 Snapping its six-day rally, the 30-share BSE Sensex declined 269.03 points or 0.35 per cent to settle at 77,209.90. During the day, it tanked 676.93 points or 0.87 per cent to 76,802. 

 The Nifty rose 100.1 points to hit a record intraday peak of 23,667.10 earlier in the day. However, it failed to maintain the momentum and slipped 65.90 points or 0.28 per cent to end at 23,501.10. 

 Among the 30 Sensex companies, UltraTech Cement, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Motors, Nestle, Tata Steel, Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra and State Bank of India were the biggest laggards. In contrast, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, JSW Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and NTPC were among the biggest gainers.
16:04   80% of water in India's reservoirs over
With scorching heat battering a large swathes of India over the past few weeks, water available in the 150 main reservoirs across the country further dipped to just 21 per cent of their total live storage capacity. 

 The Central Water Commission (CWC) has released the live storage status of 150 key reservoirs across India in its latest bulletin.

These reservoirs, crucial for hydroelectric projects and water supply, have a combined live storage capacity of 178.784 billion cubic meters (BCM), which is approximately 69.35 per cent of the total live storage capacity created in the country. 

 As of Thursday, the live storage available in these reservoirs is 37.662 BCM, which is 21 per cent of their total capacity. Overall, the live storage available across the 150 reservoirs stands at 54.310 BCM against the estimated total capacity of 257.812 BCM. 

 This marks a significant decrease from the same period last year, when the live storage was 46.883 BCM. The current storage is also lower than the 10-year average (normal) storage of 41.446 BCM. 

Thus, the present storage is 80 per cent of last year's levels and 91 per cent of the normal storage for this period. For the past two weeks, the reservoirs were at 22 per cent while it was 23 per cent the week before that. Swathes of northern and eastern India remained in the grip of a punishingly long heat wave, causing water stress in parts of the country including in the national capital. In terms of reservoir capacity, the southern region continues to be most hit. -- PTI
15:35   ED behaving as if Kejriwal's a terrorist: Wife
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita Kejriwal lashed out at the ED for challenging her husband's bail order in the high court, accusing it of behaving as if the AAP national convener was the "most wanted terrorist in India". 

 Speaking in south Delhi's Bhogal where Delhi Water Minister Atishi began an indefinite hunger strike to press on her demand for getting more water from Haryana, Sunita Kejriwal said dictatorship in the country has crossed all limits.

 "It was only yesterday your chief minister got bail. In the morning, the order was supposed to be uploaded. This happened as if Kejriwal is the most wanted terrorist in India," Sunita Kejriwal said. 

 "Dictatorship in the country has crossed all limits. The ED does not want to give anyone liberty and has gone to the high court against the chief minister demanding a stay (on his bail). The (court's) decision is yet to come. We hope the high court will deliver justice," she added. 

 The Delhi High Court on Friday put on hold the trial court order granting bail to the chief minister till it hears the Enforcement Directorate's plea challenging the relief granted to him in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam. 

 The Enforcement Directorate mentioned its plea challenging the trial court's order before a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja. PTI
15:19   It's Dr Anoushka Shankar now
Anoushka Shankar shares a memory: "It's genuinely hard to put into words the day I've just experienced. Yesterday I received an Honorary Degree from @UniofOxford and became a Doctor of Music, and well, what an astounding honour."

Anoushka is a sitarist, music composer, several-time Grammy nominee and Pandit Ravi Shankar's daughter. In the picture are her children and her mother, Sukanya Rajan. 
14:49   Finally! Rim jhim gire saawan in Delhi
Parts of the national capital witnessed drizzling, which brought relief from the intense heatwave in the city as the minimum temperature on Friday settled at 28.4 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the season, the weather office said. 

 The India Meteorological Department has predicted some relief from the searing heatwave in Delhi over the weekend as the sky is likely to remain partly cloudy on Saturday and Sunday. 

 The IMD has predicted thunderstorms accompanied by light rain on Friday in some parts of the city. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 40 degrees Celsius. Delhi has been reeling under a intense heatwave and a severe water crisis. 

 According to a senior police official, bodies of more than 50 people were recovered from in and around Delhi in the last five days. Police, however, have not confirmed if they died of heat-related causes.
14:22   Tejashwi Yadav denies links with NEET paper leak
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly, today denied his alleged involvement in the NEET paper leak scam and said that ruling NDA leaders have been linking his name to the scam to divert the issue and protect those behind it. 

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar  may call my PA or PS and personally interrogate them," Tejashwi said in reference to allegations that his aides helped an accused in the case.

"I am ready for probe and there is nothing to hide," he said a day after senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Kumar Sinha and  some JD-U leaders including Bihar minister Sharvan Kumar targeted the RJD leader for his alleged involvement in the case.

The JD-U says Pritam Kumar, a former  close aide of  Tejashwi, had links with the scam accused as he tried to book a room at a guest house for one of the accused in first week of May. 

Pritam Kumar, when he was in the Road Construction department, requested an official of in the same department to get a room in the name of Sikandar Yadavendu, who  is one of the 13 accused arrested in the case.

RJD leaders have pointed to the involvement of some top BJP leader in the NEET paper leak.

Till date 13 people have been arrested in the scam and put in judicial custody. A Patna civil court on Friday postponed the bail hearing of four of the 13 accused. The next hearing is on June 25.

-- MI Khan/Patna for
14:15   Can't be a more perverse order: ED on Kejriwal bail
Delhi High Court begins hearing on the Enforcement Directorate's plea challenging the trial court order granting bail to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case.

The ED prayed before the Delhi High Court to set-aside the order dated 20.06.2024 passed by Special Judge (Vacation Judge), Rouse Avenue District Courts granting bail to Kejriwal.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appearing for Enforcement Directorate calls the trial court order perverse and says proper opportunity has not been given to probe agency for argument before the trial court.

ASG informs Delhi HC that the trial court says records are voluminous and passes the order. He further says that without going through documents filed by both sides and without giving the probe agency an opportunity, the matter is decided. "Without going to documents how can you say it's relevant or not relevant," ASG Raju points out and says there can't be a more perverse order, highlighting serious procedural irregularities.

14:01   Renukaswamy was tortured, Darshan tried to cover up: Probe
The Karnataka police, probing the Renukaswamy murder case, has said Kannada film star Darshan Thoogudeepa had contacted several individuals soon after the alleged killing, while another accused has confessed that the victim was administered electric shock.

Aimed at escaping from 'adverse legal actions' against him and meet the expenses to 'cover up' the conspiracy and destruction of evidence, Darshan, accused number two in the case, had taken Rs 40 lakh from a friend, and the money has been recovered, they said.

Police have shared an update on the investigation in the remand application filed by the police before the 24th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court on Thursday, when they sought police custody of Darshan and three others, and judicial custody for his friend Pavithra Gowda, and remaining accused.

A total of 17 people including, Darshan and Gowda, are accused in the murder case.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy, a fan of the actor,  had sent obscene messages to Gowda, which enraged Darshan, allegedly leading to his murder. His body was found near a storm-water drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli here on June 9.

Police have said that the 47-year-old actor and other accused -- Dhanraj D, Vinay V and Pradosh -- did not cooperate with the investigation and tried to hide facts.

The court on Thursday extended the police custody of the four by two days till June 22. The rest were remanded to judicial custody.   -- PTI
Atishi with AAP leaders and Arvind Kejriwal's wife today
Atishi with AAP leaders and Arvind Kejriwal's wife today
12:48   Atishi visits Rajghat ahead of hunger strike
Delhi Water Minister Atishi reached Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, ahead of her indefinite hunger strike to press on her demand for getting 100 million gallons of water per day from Haryana. 

 She was accompanied by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's wife Sunita, and AAP leaders Saurabh Bharadwaj and Sanjay Singh. Earlier, in a post on X, the minister said she would begin her indefinite hunger strike in south Delhi's Bhogal as despite all efforts, the Haryana government was not releasing the full share of Delhi's water. 

 "I will start 'Pani Satyagraha' from today... I will start an indefinite fast at Bhogal, Jangpura from 12 o'clock until the people of Delhi get their rightful share of water from Haryana," she said on X earlier in the day," she said.

 The minister has claimed that Haryana for the last two weeks was releasing 100 million gallons per day less water to Delhi against its share of 613 MGD, as a result, 28 lakh people in Delhi were affected. Delhi is facing an unprecedented heatwave as a result the water demand has increased. PTI
An Italian newspaper with the story of Satnam Singh
An Italian newspaper with the story of Satnam Singh
12:09   Indian worker with severed arm left to die in Italy
A 31-year-old Indian casual worker in Italy has died tragically after he was dumped on the road without medical assistance by his employer after his arm was severed by heavy farm machinery. 

 Satnam Singh was injured by heavy machinery while working in a vegetable field in Lazio, near Rome, on Monday. 

 The Embassy of India in Rome posted on Wednesday on X that it was aware of the very unfortunate demise of an Indian national in Latina, Italy. "We are in contact with local authorities. Efforts are underway to contact the family and provide consular assistance," it wrote without giving more information. 

Singh reportedly hailed from Punjab. According to Italian media, Singh's employer, Antonello Lovato, loaded him and his wife into a van and left them by the side of the road near their home. 

 "We heard his wife's screams who kept calling for help, then we saw a lad who was holding him in his arms and who carried him into the house," ANSA news agency quoted Ilario Pepe, the owner of the house, as saying.

 "We thought he was helping him, but then he ran away. "I ran after him," said Pepe, "and I saw him get into a van and I asked him what had happened and why he hadn't taken him to hospital.

 "He replied 'he's not on the books as a regular employee". The severed arm was placed in a fruit box. Medical help did not reach Singh until an hour and a half later. He was airlifted to a hospital in Rome but died on Wednesday. 

 Lovato is now under investigation for criminal negligence and manslaughter. Lovato's father told Italian media: "My son had told [Singh] not to go near the machinery, but he didn't listen." "It was sheer carelessness, unfortunately", said Renzo Lovato, speaking to the TG1 first channel news.

 Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called Singh's death an "inhuman act" and a "barbarism" that must be "harshly punished". Italy's Minister of Labour, Marina Calderone, said the death of Singh had been an act of barbarity. Opposition 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Giuseppe Conte on Thursday urged Meloni to act to stamp out brutal gangmastering. 

"You lose your arm while you're working in the fields for four euros an hour. You're not immediately treated. They put you in a van and they dump you like rubbish outside your home," Conte wrote on X. "Beside you, a strawberry basket in which your severed arm is left. You bleed out and die. It sounds like the story of a slave centuries ago. We can't close our eyes, we can't think about making profits while cancelling the dignity of work and the last shreds of humanity," he wrote. If people ignore these atrocities, they will stop defending Italy and its values, he said. "We are ready to do our bit in parliament against these barbarities, which must be rooted out of the fields all over Italy, he added. Gangmastering and the often violent exploitation of migrant farm labourers is a chronic problem in Italy, especially in the south. Latina hosts thousands of immigrant labourers, many of them Sikhs, working picking fruit and vegetables for the local 'agro-mafia'. Singh died in a Rome hospital Wednesday after being airlifted there when he was eventually found. The owner of the fruit and vegetable picking firm, and Satnam's employer, Antonello Lovato, may face gangmastering and manslaughter charges, Ansa quoted Latina police as saying. PTI
Udhayanidhi Stalin meets a victim of the hooch tragedy
Udhayanidhi Stalin meets a victim of the hooch tragedy
11:43   TN hooch tragedy toll rises to 47, over 30 critical
The toll in Kallakurichi hooch tragedy rose to 47 and the condition of at least 30 people is critical, the Tamil Nadu government said on Friday. 

 The mortal remains of 29 people who died till Thursday were handed over to their relatives and the bodies were either buried or cremated, Kallakurichi District Collector Prasanth M S said. 

 A total of 165 people were admitted to the Kallakurichi, JIPMER, Salem and Mundiambakkam government hospitals after consuming spurious liquor. Of them, 47 have died so far. The condition of 30 among 118 undergoing treatment is critical, he said. 

 A heartening news is that three affected persons have recovered, the collector said. 

 Earlier, speaking to reporters after visiting the patients undergoing treatment at the Kallakurichi GH, the Collector said special teams have been formed to prevent the sale of illicit arrack in the district and they have been told to take up intense combing operations. 

 The administration had sufficient stock of medicines to treat the affected and presently efforts were on in taking door enumeration in Karunapuram on the number of persons who could be affected. 

 He appealed to those among the public who had consumed illicit liquor to voluntarily subject themselves to medical examination soon and undergo treatment if needed and thus avert possible threat to their lives. PTI
11:13   HC stays Kejriwal's bail till ED plea is heard
The Delhi High Court on Friday said the trial court order granting bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shall not be given effect to till it hears the ED's plea challenging the relief granted in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise scam. 

 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) mentioned its plea challenging the trial court order for an urgent hearing before a bench of Justices Sudhir Kumar Jain and Ravinder Dudeja, which said the case file will come to it in 10-15 minutes and after that it will hear the matter. The high court said till then the trial court order shall not be acted upon. The ED has challenging the trial court's order passed on Thursday evening. 

 Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the ED, sought a stay on the trial court order contending that the agency was not given a proper opportunity to argue its case. The ED had arrested Kejriwal on March 21, shortly after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him protection from arrest on his petition challenging summonses issued to him. PTI
11:11   Never daunted by a role... Kiefer pays tribute to his dad
Actor Kiefer Sutherland shares this sweet picture with his dad who passed on yesterday. "With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film. Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived," Kiefer writes. 
11:03   ED moves HC challenging bail to Kejriwal
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the bail granted to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case stemming from the alleged excise scam. 

 The matter is likely to be mentioned in the high court shortly for an urgent hearing. The ED has challenged a trial court's Thursday order by which the AAP supremo was granted bail. The ED had arrested Kejriwal on March 21, shortly after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him protection from arrest on his petition challenging summonses issued to him. PTI
10:35   Water crisis: Atishi to begin hunger strike at noon
Delhi Water Minister Atishi will begin her indefinite hunger strike in south Delhi's Bhogal at noon to press on her demand for getting 100 million gallons of water per day from Haryana. 

 In a post on X, the minister said despite all efforts, the Haryana government was not releasing the full share of Delhi's water. Before starting the indefinite fast, Atishi will visit Rajghat at 11 am to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi who taught that the path of 'Satyagraha' has to be adopted to struggle against injustice, the minister said. "I will start 'Pani Satyagraha' from today... I will start an indefinite fast at Bhogal, Jangpura from 12 o'clock until the people of Delhi get their rightful share of water from Haryana," she said on X.

 The minister earlier claimed that Haryana for the last two weeks was releasing 100 million gallons per day less water to Delhi against its share of 613 MGD, as a result, 28 lakh people in Delhi were affected. Delhi is facing an unprecedented heatwave as a result the water demand has increased. PTI
10:19   Four dead after bus falls into gorge in Shimla's Jubbal
Four people, including the driver and the conductor of a Himachal Pradesh Road and Transport Corporation (HRTC) died after the bus met with an accident in Shimla district on Friday. 

 The mishap took place in Kenchi area of Jubbal when the bus which was enroute to Kuddu-Diltari in Rohru area of the Shimla district fell off the mountain road into the gorge below. 

 "The accident took place at 6:45 am after the bus overturned on the road. In total there were 5 passengers plus the driver and conductor. Three injured have been admitted to a local hospital in Rohru," Rohan Chand Thakur, Managing Director, HRTC said. While two people died on the spot, the driver and the conductor succumbed to their injuires on their way to the hospital, he said.
10:12   What a backdrop!
Police officials of the Taj Security and Tourism Police perform Yoga at Dussehra Ghat in Agra on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.
PM practicing yoga in Srinagar
PM practicing yoga in Srinagar
10:09   Yoga better than taking medicines: Rajnath
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday, spoke about the benefits of yoga, and said at a time when issues like depression, blood pressure, and diabetes are rising, it is better to practice yoga than to depend on medicines.

The Defence Minister along with Army Chief General Manoj Pande performed Yoga in Mathura, on the occasion of the 10th International Day of Yoga.

Singh said it is a matter of pride today that the cultural heritage of yoga has been accepted by the world.

Addressing the event, Rajnath Singh said, "I would like to extend my wishes on the occasion of International Yoga Day 2024. It is being celebrated throughout the world with great fervor. It is a matter of pride that the world has adopted this cultural heritage. The reason for its popularity is that it has become a symbol of a healthy lifestyle."

"Despite the progress in technology and infrastructure people are living a stressful life. People have become more isolated. Earlier there used to be joint families but now there are nuclear families. With the growing importance of social media, it has put more pressure on the minds of youths. Anxiety and depression have become very common. Physical activities have been reduced which has resulted in diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Instead of depending on medicines to cure these diseases, it is better to practice Yoga," the Defence Minister added.

He further said that working in this direction Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the concept of Yoga in front of the world and everyone adopted it.

"While there are clashes taking place in the world we believe in collaboration and cooperation. This year the theme of Yoga is Yoga for Self and Society. Yoga word means to combine. Through Yoga, the importance of meditation also spread to the world."
10:05   Indian embassy organises Yoga Day celebrations in Tokyo
The Indian embassy in Japan organised the Yoga Day celebrations at Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple here, witnessing immense participation from across the country, including diplomats and the Indian diaspora. Amid lashing rain in the country, Tokyo celebrated the 10th International Day of Yoga, on Friday. The Indian embassy in Tokyo shared a post on X, stating "Rain or Shine Yoga in Japan".
Modi takes a selfie after the yoga session in Srinagar
Modi takes a selfie after the yoga session in Srinagar
09:49   'Mongolia to Germany'... PM counts yoga's benefits
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the world sees yoga as a powerful agent for global good as it helps people live in the present without carrying the baggage of the past. 

 Addressing a gathering at the 10th International Yoga Day event at the SKICC here, the prime minister said yoga has helped people realise that their welfare is linked to the welfare of the world around them. 

 "The world is looking at yoga as a powerful agent of global good. Yoga helps us live in the present moment without the baggage of the past," the prime minister said. 

 "When we are peaceful within, we can also make a positive impact on the world...Yoga is making new ways of positive change in the society," the prime minister said. 

 The event was scheduled to be held on the lawns of the SKICC on the banks of the Dal Lake but had to be shifted indoors due to incessant rain. The prime minister said the number of yoga practitioners across the globe is growing every day and the regimen is becoming a part of their daily life.

 "The number of yoga followers is growing continuously. Wherever I go, there is hardly any (international) leader who does not talk to me about the benefits of yoga. 

 "In many countries, yoga is becoming a part of the people's daily lives," Modi said as he cited the examples of Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, and Germany, saying the ancient form of meditation was fast becoming popular there.

 In his address, the prime minister also made a mentioned of 101-year-old Frenchwoman Charlotte Chopin who was awarded a Padma Shri for her services in popularising yoga in her country. 

 Modi said the spread of yoga globally has led to a change in perception about it as more people are travelling to India to get authentic knowledge about it. 

 "We are now seeing yoga tourism in states like Uttarakhand and Kerala. People are coming to India because they get to see authentic yoga.

 "People are now hiring personal yoga trainers for fitness, and companies are including yoga in mind and body (fitness) programmes for their employees. It has opened new avenues of livelihood," he said. The prime minister said yoga provides solutions to several problems faced by people today. "Yoga is not only knowledge but it is science as well. In this era of information revolution, there is a flood of information sources and it is a challenge for the human mind to focus on one subject. 

 "A solution for this is also in yoga as it helps the mind to focus. That is why from army to sports, yoga has been included in their routine," he said.

 The prime minister said astronauts and people working on space projects are also trained in yoga as it increases "productivity as well as tolerance". "In many prisons, the inmates are also taught yoga so that they can think positively," he added. 

 Modi expressed satisfaction that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are also taking up yoga which will help the tourism sector of the Union Territory.
09:35   Yoga is India's unique gift to humanity: Murmu
President Droupadi Murmu on Friday said yoga is India's unique gift to humanity, and it has become far more important because of rising lifestyle-related problems.

She, along with other officials of the President's Secretariat, also performed yoga at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

'Greetings to the entire global community, especially the fellow citizens of India on International Yoga Day! Yoga is India's unique gift to humanity. In view of rising lifestyle related problems, Yoga has become far more important today.

'Yoga is a way to physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Let us resolve to adopt yoga as an integral part of our day-to-day living,' the President said in a post on X and shared pictures of her doing yoga.  -- PTI
08:51   PM leads Yoga Day event in J-K amid rain spoiler
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the world sees yoga as a powerful agent for global good as it helps people live in the present without carrying the baggage of the past.

Addressing a gathering at the 10th International Yoga Day event at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, the prime minister said yoga has helped people realise that their welfare is linked to the welfare of the world around them.

"The world is looking at yoga as a powerful agent of global good. Yoga helps us live in the present moment without the baggage of the past," the prime minister said.

"When we are peaceful within, we can also make a positive impact on the world...Yoga is making new ways of positive change in the society," the prime minister said.

The event was scheduled to be held on the lawns of the SKICC on the banks of the Dal Lake but had to be shifted indoors due to incessant rain.

Early morning rainfall disrupted International Yoga Day events on the banks of the Dal Lake, officials here said.

Moderate to heavy rainfall has been reported from across the Valley, making it difficult to hold open-air yoga events, the officials said.   -- PTI
Pic: Blair Gable/Reuters
Pic: Blair Gable/Reuters
01:34   Actor Donald Sutherland dies at 88
Famous Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, known for his iconic roles in films like The Dirty Dozen and The Hunger Games, has died at the age of 88 in Miami following an extended illness, according to Variety

Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Sutherland rose to fame with a diverse array of roles that showcased his versatility and talent. He became a countercultural icon with roles in classic films such as The Dirty Dozen, MASH, Klute, and Don't Look Now, among many others. 

Throughout his career, he portrayed villains, antiheroes, romantic leads, and mentor figures with equal aplomb, winning accolades and adoration from audiences worldwide. 

Sutherland's roles included President Snow in The Hunger Games franchise, which brought him renewed prominence in popular culture. 

He continued to captivate audiences with his performances, appearing as Judge Parker in the series Lawmen: Bass Reeves and in the 2022 series Swimming With Sharks

His achievements were not limited to the big screen. 

Sutherland won a supporting actor Emmy for his compelling portrayal in HBO's Citizen X in 1995 and received critical acclaim for his role in the Lifetime miniseries Human Trafficking in 2006. 

Beginning his career with roles in low-budget horror films like Castle of the Living Dead (1963) and Die! Die! My Darling! (1965), Sutherland quickly ascended to more significant roles, including his memorable part in The Dirty Dozen (1967) and his collaboration with Elliot Gould in Little Murders (1971) and Irvin Kershner in SPYS (1974). 

His role as Sgt Oddball in the WWII action film Kelly's Heroes (1970), alongside Clint Eastwood, solidified his reputation as a scene-stealer with his portrayal of an eccentric tank commander. 

Sutherland later reunited with Eastwood in Space Cowboys (2000), showcasing his versatility as a former hotshot pilot. 

In 1971, Sutherland starred in Klute, directed by Alan J Pakula, opposite Jane Fonda, marking a significant milestone in his career. 

His portrayal of a troubled detective who becomes romantically entangled with a call girl (Fonda) earned critical acclaim, with Fonda crediting Sutherland for her Oscar-winning performance. 

Beyond his acting prowess, Sutherland was known for his activism during the Vietnam War era. Alongside Fonda, Peter Boyle, and Howard Hesseman, he co-founded the controversial antiwar troupe FTA (Free the Army), which performed for troops and drew the ire of government agencies like the Pentagon and the FBI. 

Sutherland's career continued to evolve with roles in influential films such as Nicholas Roeg's psychological thriller Don't Look Now (1973), where his restrained acting style complemented Julie Christie's performance in a haunting tale of grief and loss. 

Despite occasional setbacks, including turning down roles in films like Deliverance (1972) and opting for unconventional choices like Alex in Wonderland (1970) over Straw Dogs (1971), Sutherland's commitment to challenging roles remained unwavering. 

His portrayal of complex characters in films like Fellini's Casanova (1976) and Bertolucci's 1900 (1977) underscored his willingness to take risks and explore diverse facets of human nature. 

In 1980, Sutherland delivered a career-defining performance in Ordinary People, directed by Robert Redford, where he portrayed a grieving father navigating family turmoil. His portrayal earned widespread acclaim, showcasing his ability to delve into profound emotional depths. 

Throughout his career, Donald Sutherland's contributions to cinema were marked by his dedication to his craft, versatility in roles, and a commitment to artistic integrity. 

His passing leaves behind a legacy of memorable performances and a lasting impact on the film industry. 

-- ANI
00:14   Modi's 'hand holding' statement not true: Pawar
Nationalist Congress Party-SP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2016 statement that the former had held his hand in early days in politics was not true.

Pawar, a prominent opposition politician, criticised Modi, saying the policies being pursued by him are "flawed".

The Rajya Sabha MP thanked the voters of the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency for their overwhelming support to his daughter, Supriya Sule, who posted a comprehensive victory from the seat in Pune district in the just held elections.

Pawar pointed out that Sule's victory margin in Baramati was more than Modi's in Varanasi.

He was interacting with farmers and local residents at Loni Bhapkar village under Baramati taluka during his ongoing tour of the western Maharashtra district.

"You made Supriya victorious with a lead of 1.58 lakh votes, which is more than Modi's victory margin in Varanasi. He (PM) often speaks of 'Modi's guarantee', but that guarantee did not work here because he doesn't understand what Baramati's guarantee means," said the former Union minister.

"I do not have any personal quarrel with PM Modi, but his policies are flawed. He once visited Baramati and, during an event, claimed he had come into politics by holding my finger, which was not a true statement, yet he said it. His policies do not serve people's interests," Pawar emphasised.

Criticizing Modi for his government's decision to ban sugar exports, the former Union agriculture minister explained the decision had harmed farmers by depriving them of an opportunity to earn extra income by selling surplus stock in overseas markets after meeting domestic demand.

"When farmers began to earn from sugar mills producing ethanol, Modi imposed a ban on it. These policies are detrimental and not in the interest of farmers. They (Centre) focus on keeping consumer prices low, but if farmers don't produce, what will consumers eat?" he questioned. -- PTI